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High school seniors have a few more weeks to decide where they want to head this fall. Selecting a college can be nerve-wracking, but paying for it can be downright frightening. To make sure families are armed with all of the information they need during this time, we’ve compiled articles that cover everything from financial aid letters to tuition insurance policies (yes, that’s a thing).

How to read a financial aid award letter: There is a lot of variation in the financial aid award letters schools use to inform students of the grants, scholarships and loans available to them. We got hold of a few letters and highlighted key terms that can help families understand exactly how much money they have to pay. Read More…

Check Out Our Interactive Award Letters


Graphic: How to read a financial award letter

How to negotiate a better financial aid package: Unless you’re one of those lucky families whose kid receives a full ride, chances are the scholarships and grants schools offer will fall short of what your child actually needs. And that means you might want to start negotiating. Many families don’t realize it, but there is often a little wiggle room in financial aid awards. Read More…

What to do when you haven’t saved much for your kid’s college education: There are options available to help you pay for your child’s education. A crucial first step is having a frank conversation with your college-bound student about your finances. Figure out how much you can contribute, but don’t immediately write off expensive schools. Read more….

A way to pay for college that doesn’t involve borrowing money: Many colleges offer monthly payment plans that let students spread out the cost of school over the fall and spring semesters. This can be a great alternative to borrowing money to pay all at once, but there are some questions students should ask before signing up. Read more…

What you need to know about private student loans: Given the high cost of public and private universities, chances are most families will have to borrow some money to pay for school. But as they decide between student loans offered by the government and those offered by financial firms, consumer advocates caution families to be mindful of the rigid terms that often come with private loans. Read more…

Should you take out an insurance policy to cover college tuition?: No family wants to envision a child withdrawing from school, but with a year at most four-year universities costing at least $13,000, some parents are planning ahead. Read more…

Want to read more on paying for college? Check out these stories:

Your child got into a few colleges. Now here’s what you need to know before making a decision.

When students face financial hardships, these colleges step up

Why so many students are spending six years getting a college degree