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All About FAFSA Cost 

All About FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known as FAFSA, is the first and most important part of your college financial aid strategy. Even if you are not sure about your college plans or think you won’t qualify, all seniors should file the FAFSA online between October 1 and April 15 to qualify for state and federal financial aid for the next academic year. Remember, you’ll have to file every year for the next year in order to keep receiving financial aid. Complete the application as soon as possible…

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Indiana Colleges Provide Strong Investment Cost 

Indiana Colleges Provide Strong Investment

College is an investment and families should know that money borrowed for college by Indiana students varies little by the type of institution, public or private. An Independent Colleges of Indiana study reveals the average debt for graduates of Indiana private colleges is $28,000, compared to $26,000 for public institutions. Lisa Norton, dean of admissions at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, cites these following reasons why attending a private institution is cost-effective: Indiana’s private colleges and universities offset tuition and reduce family costs with significant financial aid and scholarships. Students attending…

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21st Century Scholar? Read This Cost 

21st Century Scholar? Read This

Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program helps income-eligible students earn up to four years of tuition at an eligible Indiana college. Make sure you earn (and keep!) your scholarship by completing the checklist below. You can visit Scholars.IN.gov for detailed information. Track your completion of the Scholar Success Program by June 30 of your senior year of high school at ScholarTrack.IN.gov. Graduate high school with a minimum of a Core 40 diploma. Achieve a cumulative high school GPA of at least 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale). Apply for admission to an…

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Avoid College Fees Cost 

Avoid College Fees

Many Indiana colleges offer application fee waivers to encourage students to apply regardless of financial difficulty or other circumstances. If you can’t find information about fee waivers on a college’s admissions web page, call and ask. Most colleges offer more fee waivers than students realize. Some special circumstances that can allow you to save money on fees: 21st Century Scholars. If you’re a 21st Century Scholar, you may receive automatic fee waivers at some Indiana colleges. Campus Visits. Some colleges award an automatic fee waiver to students who have participated…

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How He Did It: Career Without Cost Blog Cost 

How He Did It: Career Without Cost

Like many high school students, South Bend Washington High School senior Ethan Forrest spent his senior year in English, history, and math classes, studying for AP exams and participating in athletics—for Forrest, that meant football, wrestling and golf. He also did something few high school students can say they have done: he helped build a house. The three-bedroom house, complete with custom woodwork and tile, was a year-long project started by Washington High School’s building trades class in 2018 and completed in the spring of 2019. “It was really fun…

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Important Financial Aid Definitions Cost 

Important Financial Aid Definitions

Don’t be intimidated by financial aid language and don’t ever hesitate to ask financial aid professionals to spell out exactly what they mean. Some basic terms you might come across: Award Letter. This is a term sometimes used for an offer from a college or career school that states the type and amount of financial aid the school is willing to provide if you accept admission and register to take classes at that school. Cost of Attendance (COA). The total amount it will cost you to go to school—usually stated…

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Your Future, For Free (or at least less) Cost 

Your Future, For Free (or at least less)

Worried about college costs? There are ways to get started on a great future without a lot of money up front, but you’ll have to be more personally invested. Some ideas: Military service has helped many Americans achieve their education goals and create meaningful careers in service to their country. Military tuition assistance is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. Each branch is different and has its own way of calculating and awarding benefits, but up to 100 percent of…

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How She Did It: ROTC Paved the Way to Law School Blog Cost 

How She Did It: ROTC Paved the Way to Law School

Since she was a student at Cathedral High School, Haley Roach dreamed of becoming a lawyer. She reached that goal in 2019 after graduating from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. But she’s not headed for a big law firm. Instead, she’s headed for the U.S. Army, where she will join the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, or JAG Corps, an elite group of military lawyers popularized in movies and television. Law school—especially after paying for an undergraduate college degree—can be expensive, and students…

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More Paying-for-College Tips and Tricks Cost 

More Paying-for-College Tips and Tricks

There are lots of ways to pay for college, but one of the most important is to finish on time. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education estimates that every additional year that students spend in college costs them at least $50,000 in tuition, fees, and lost wages. If you are a full-time student, make sure you are earning 30 credit hours per year to stay on pace to earn a college degree in four years. Other strategies: Working, especially in a campus job, can provide some extra cash as well…

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Control These Hidden College Costs Blog Cost 

Control These Hidden College Costs

Get more financial advice for college at Regions Bank’s Next Step Financial Wellness site. College is a time for making friends, finding new interests, and expanding your horizons. As you focus on fun, also keep finances in mind, according to financial advisors at Regions Bank. When it comes to college expenses, food and textbooks are probably some of the first things that come to mind, but what about credit hours? The classes you take—or drop—relate directly to how much you pay over the course of your education. Getting the most…

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Future Teachers: Win a Scholarship Blog Cost Featured 

Future Teachers: Win a Scholarship

The Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship provides 200 high-achieving high school and college students interested in pursuing a career in education the opportunity to earn a renewable scholarship for four academic years. Recipients will receive $7,500 annually (up to $30,000 total) for committing to teach in Indiana for at least five years after graduating college To qualify for the scholarship, students must either graduate in the highest 20 percent of their high school class or earn a score in the top 20th percentile on the SAT or ACT. To continue…

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Pete the Planner Talks About Paying for College Cost 

Pete the Planner Talks About Paying for College

IBJ personal finance columnist Peter Dunn talks with podcast host Mason King about three key components of paying for college: saving in advance, paying some expenses in the moment and preparing your kids to make good choices. All three take planning, Dunn says. And that last one takes some tough and ongoing conversations about choosing an affordable college, the amount you’ll be contributing as parents and making good decisions about debt. But his most important piece of advice for parents? Prioritize saving for retirement over saving for your kids’ college…

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The Reality of Student Debt Cost 

The Reality of Student Debt

Student loans may be necessary for you to reach your goals—which usually means a higher income for college graduates—but it’s important to know how borrowing for that investment might impact your life down the road. The majority—59 percent—of Indiana students at a four-year college had some student loan debt at graduation. The average Indiana graduate’s college loan debt in 2017 was $29,562.* What do those numbers mean in real life? Using the student loan calculator at FinAid.org, an individual with student loans of $29,562 would have monthly payments of $340.20…

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3 Strategies for Your Scholarship Search Cost 

3 Strategies for Your Scholarship Search

Scholarships are free money for college. Some are big—maybe even covering your entire college costs—but many, many more are local scholarships for smaller amounts that can really add up. Start early. Visit your school college counseling office to investigate sources of scholarships. Ask for your high school’s list of the previous year’s scholarship winners, where you can see how your qualifications stack up. Start working to secure letters of recommendation from teachers, coaches, or employers at least a month before the application deadline, and be sure to give them clear…

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What are some of the common mistakes college students make with money? Cost 

What are some of the common mistakes college students make with money?

Michelle L. Ashcraft, director of Purdue Promise Student Success Programs, sees some common financial aid fouls among students: Missing the institution’s and/or state’s FAFSA filing deadline. Neglecting to sign up for direct deposit, if available. Financial aid checks can be mailed to wrong addresses if they are not updated, stolen from mailboxes, or deposited into family member’s accounts. Spending financial aid refunds meant for housing, food, and books on furnishing apartments or decorating residence hall rooms. Not having a budget to make sure their financial aid refunds can last the…

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Perfect Your Essay Cost 

Perfect Your Essay

A written essay for a scholarship application is your chance to shine. You might be asked to write about your background, or an example of overcoming adversity, or about a person or event that shaped your life. Pick one of these prompts to write 250 words, and you’ll have the basis for a scholarship essay—no excuses now for not applying! Make sure you have any drafts edited by a teacher or other trusted adult before submitting. Who in your life has been your biggest influence? Why do you want a…

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Meet Matthew Jost – Skipping Graduation But Not College to Serve Country Cost 

Meet Matthew Jost – Skipping Graduation But Not College to Serve Country

Enlisting in the Indiana National Guard and signing up for ROTC at the University of Southern Indiana was a compromise that Matthew Jost made for his parents. Jost wanted to become an active duty soldier after graduating from Noblesville High School, but his parents wanted him to go to college. He found the best of both worlds, but he did have to skip his own high school graduation in 2017 to start army basic training for the National Guard at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Looking back at the missed ceremony, “it was…

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Financial Aid Facts Cost 

Financial Aid Facts

Thinking about college? You’ve got a lot to consider, including where to go, what to study and, of course, how to pay for it. Get the facts: All seniors should complete the FAFSA. Even if you are not sure if you are going to college, or don’t think you will get financial aid, file online between October 1 and April 15 to qualify for state and federal financial aid for the following academic year. Complete the application as soon as possible to maximize opportunities with colleges that might have early…

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21st Century Scholar? Read This Cost 

21st Century Scholar? Read This

Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program helps income-eligible students earn up to four years of tuition at an eligible Indiana college. Make sure you earn (and keep!) your scholarship by completing the checklist below. You can visit Scholars.IN.gov for detailed information. Track your completion of the Scholar Success Program by June 30 of your senior year of high school at IN.gov. Graduate high school with a minimum of a Core 40 diploma. Achieve a cumulative high school GPA of at least 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale). Apply for admission to an…

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Meet Henry Steckler – Starting Small, Graduating Debt Free Cost 

Meet Henry Steckler – Starting Small, Graduating Debt Free

When Henry Steckler graduated from Southridge High School in Huntingburg, Indiana, he was unsure about his next move. He had spent four years of high school preparing to go to Purdue and study engineering, participating in Project Lead the Way’s Gateway to Engineering and Rube Goldberg competitions. “I really liked the design side of things, being the person behind the scenes who makes everything go,” Steckler says. When he was accepted to Purdue, but not to his first choice of the College of Engineering, his career goals seemed in jeopardy….

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