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 Manchester Patch

Smart Debt Management at April 9th's "Beer, Burgers & Managing Your Bucks"

Marcie LaBelle
April 02, 2014

If you’re young and in debt, you’re not alone.  In a recent survey, Fidelity found that the class of 2013 left school with an average of $3,000 in credit card debt and $26,000 in student loans.

Clearly, these liabilities are a major concern for those in the early stages of their adult lives.  While there is no undoing the past, young adults who are smart about how they manage what they owe can greatly improve their future.  At the next Beer, Burgers & Managing Your Bucks on Wednesday, April 9 (6:00 PM) at MCC on Main in Manchester, personal finance expert Mary K. Johnson will offer attendees sound strategies for raising their credit scores, reducing the cost of their debt and accelerating their pay-back time.  

Mary is currently Director of Financial Literacy and Student Aid Policy at Higher One, a New Haven-based company that provides financial services and data analytics to over 1,600 colleges.   She conducts on-campus financial literacy workshops and is a money blogger for the Huffington Post.  In addition, Mary has served as Associate Commissioner of Finance and Administration for the Connecticut Department of Higher Education, where she oversaw the development and administration of the state’s student financial assistance programs.

Read More Here.


 huff post

The Devil Is in the Details: Sizing Up College Financial Aid Offers

By Mary Johnson
April 1, 2014

For families getting ready to send a child off to college this fall, sizing up financial aid offers can be daunting. At first glance, it may seem like some of the schools are offering to cover all of your costs, but the devil may be in the details. As you and your child make the decision about where to send that deposit check by the May 1 deadline, here are some tips for determining what your choice will cost you.

First, Look at the Net Price

When reviewing financial aid packages, the most important thing to focus on is the "net price" for each school -- or how much you will have to pay out-of-pocket after factoring in grants and scholarships. To find out which option is most affordable, start by identifying the total cost or the "cost of attendance" for each school. This estimate should be included in the offer letter and includes required tuition and fees, housing and meals and other costs such as books, supplies and transportation. Keep in mind that these "other" costs are only estimates provided by the school and may vary based on program of study, distance from home and other factors.

Read More Here.



How are you going to pay for college?
GPC planning Financial Literacy Day

By Leila Lawlor
March 13, 2014

Why do we hear horror stories about college students graduating with tens of thousands of dollars of debt and without good job prospects? And what can college students and their parents do to avoid falling into that debt trap? The answer is financial literacy — education geared at successfully handling one’s finances and making wise decisions. This is the time of year when college seniors receive acceptance letters and decide where to attend college. Many factors are involved in this important decision, but for the majority of families the most important factor is affordability. Luckily, there are many opportunities for financial aid available to most students. In fact, college board.org states that in 2013, college students in the United States received $119 billion in aid from our federal government.

The average student received about $13,200 last year to help pay for college, with more than half of that money coming in the form of grants that do not require repayment. Here’s the way the financial aid system works:

College applicants and their parents must fill out a form called the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Schools then use this information to determine a student’s EFC, the amount that is expected for the student’s family to contribute.

Read More Here.


 UB logo

Stepping It Up

By Thomas W. Durso
March 19, 2014

Honoree: Salisbury University
Program Category: Finance/Advancement

Instrumental in implementing the new online payments system were (left to right) Allison Foltz, Mike Boolukos and Melody Baker from the information technology office.

Cash flow is as important to nonprofits as it is to corporate entities. That’s something officials at Salisbury University in Maryland had in mind when they engaged outside help several years ago to provide students with online payment gateways, tuition payment plans and electronic bills.

The steps resulted in increased efficiencies and more timely payment. But with enrollment up a third over the last decade—and no increase in accounts receivable staffing—officials knew it was time to take the next step.

Read More Here.


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Before Higher One, our students only had one way to get their refunds, and that was by paper check. With Higher One processing refunds for us, it has allowed us to provide more options for our students without having to enter and store student banking information. We also no longer have to handle sorting, stuffing and mailing thousands of checks.Suzanne ClaggettUniversity of West Florida
Higher One’s experience with college students and their focus on serving colleges distinguishes Higher One from all other financial service providers. We really liked the fact that the community college customer base is expanding for Higher One.Carla Chance St. Louis Community College

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