Study: Extra Years in College Cut into Income, Retirement

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In just a few short months, a new crop of freshmen will begin their college journey.

For first-year students, four years may seem like more than enough time to pick a major and earn a degree.

But national data shows that roughly one in five students take longer to complete college. And each extra year cuts into their lifetime earnings and retirement savings, according to an analysis by NerdWallet — a San Francisco-based consumer finance company.

“Taking six years to get a four-year college degree can cost students up to almost $300,000 in tuition, interest on loans, and forgone income and retirement savings,” the report notes.

Continue reading Study: Extra Years in College Cut into Income, Retirement

3 Ways to Help Vets Succeed

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More than 5 million post-9/11 service members are projected to transition out of the military by 2020.

Many will seek out higher education. But while veterans can bring tremendous value to the nation’s college campuses, their path to a degree is often more complex than that of a traditional undergrad.

Veteran students are typically older than their peers. Many juggle work and family responsibilities. And on top of that, adjusting to civilian life comes with its own set of hurdles.

“Veterans value their education benefits, but it’s often a very difficult transition,” said Tommy Lucas, interim director of the Office of Military and Veteran Enrollment Services at Saint Louis University (MO).

Continue reading 3 Ways to Help Vets Succeed

Spots Still Available for Students at More Than 500 Colleges

The number of colleges still accepting applications for Fall 2017 continues to grow.

More than 500 institutions have openings, financial aid, and housing available to qualified freshmen and/or transfer students, according to NACAC’s College Openings Update.

When survey was first posted on Thursday morning, the list included 414 colleges and universities. Since that time, dozens of additional schools have added their information. The update, which includes public and private institutions located here and abroad, will continue to be modified by colleges and universities through July 30.

Continue reading Spots Still Available for Students at More Than 500 Colleges

Michelle Obama Celebrates College Signing Day in NYC

Getting into college is only half the battle, former First Lady Michelle Obama told a group of New York City students Friday.

The next challenge? Having the courage to ask for help.

“No one gets through college, or life, on their own,” Obama told the teens, who were gathered to celebrate College Signing Day. ” So when you hit those walls — and you will — don’t be surprised; don’t be shocked; don’t think it’s you; don’t think you’re not supposed to be there. Go get some help.”

More than 1,300 similar events — which honor college-bound students — were planned nationwide. The annual celebration, coordinated by Better Make Room, is aimed at increasing college access for low-income, minority, and first-generation students.

Continue reading Michelle Obama Celebrates College Signing Day in NYC

Lawmakers Examine Factors Behind Suspension of DRT

The Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) was suspended on March 3, with Federal Student Aid (FSA) and IRS citing security and privacy concerns. On  May 3,  the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing to get a better understanding of the problems that caused the tool to be taken out of service and the steps FSA and the IRS are taking to restore this critical tool.

James Runcie, the Chief Operating Officer of the office of Federal Student Aid (FSA), confirmed that the DRT will continue to be suspended for 2017-2018 FAFSA; it will return Oct. 1, 2017 for the 2018-2019 FAFSA. This solution, according to a memo from FSA, will “limit the information that displays to the applicant” to enhance security. Taxpayer information will be encrypted and hidden from view on both the IRS DRT page and the FASFA page. Continue reading Lawmakers Examine Factors Behind Suspension of DRT

Spots Available for Students at More Than 400 Colleges

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Traditional admission deadlines have passed, but more than 400 colleges and universities still have openings, financial aid, and housing available to qualified freshman and/or transfer students.

NACAC’s annual College Openings Update — posted this morning — includes both public and private schools. The list will remain online through June 30, serving as an important resource for students looking to expand their admission options, said NACAC CEO Joyce Smith.

Continue reading Spots Available for Students at More Than 400 Colleges

Survey: College Grads Concerned about Finances

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Graduation is fast-approaching, and a new national survey suggests that college seniors are worried about money.

Researchers with Barnes & Noble College interviewed 312 graduating seniors in April. Here’s what they found:

  • Salary is important to job-seeking graduates, with 44 percent of respondents citing pay as their top priority in the job hunt.
  • Forty-eight percent of respondents are worried about student loans.
  • And 68 percent of students listed “earning enough money” as a top concern.

Continue reading Survey: College Grads Concerned about Finances

Pay Less for College? Sure, if…

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Editor’s note: A version of post was first published on Counselors’ Corner.

Spring is a season of mixed emotions for school counselors. As students come in to share the exciting news of college acceptances and generous scholarships, an equal number of families come in with questions that are harder to answer:

“What more were they looking for?”

“Don’t they know this isn’t enough to cover my needs?”

“Why does college cost so much?”

It turns out this last question has a pretty clear answer—it’s complicated, but it’s clear.

“It doesn’t have to cost this much, if you start at a community college and transfer.”

Continue reading Pay Less for College? Sure, if…

New Flexibilities for FAFSA Filers Affected by DRT Outage

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Institutions now have more options when it comes to verifying FAFSA information.

Last week, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that colleges and universities would be granted new flexibilities due to the extended outage of the IRS’s Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).

Continue reading New Flexibilities for FAFSA Filers Affected by DRT Outage