Friday, February 26, 2021

 repost from the Grown & Flown Blog

How Do You Visit Colleges 

Without Leaving Home?

Thanks to NACAC Virtual College Fairs for their sponsorship of this post. The opinions are our own.

High school students who want to visit colleges for tours or information sessions aren’t able to do that at many colleges where visits have been curtailed. Fortunately, NACAC (The National Association for College Admission Counseling) has a solution. They’ve scheduled a series of Virtual College Fairs this spring that ALL students can attend, for FREE, without leaving home.

Visiting a NACAC Virtual College Fair is a great way to learn about colleges. (Twenty20 @NatalyaBodrova)

Here is the calendar for the upcoming fairs and information on where to sign up:

NACAC Virtual College Fairs

Here is where you and your teen can learn more about and register for the FREE NACAC Virtual College Fairs. Dates are as follows:

  • Feb 28 — Sunday, 1-7 pm ET — 600 exhibitors
  • March 7 — Sunday, 1-5 pm ET — STEM — 250 exhibitors
  • March 16 — Tuesday, 4-8 pm ET — Performing and Visual Arts — 200 exhibitors
  • March 21 — Sunday, 1-7 pm ET — 600 exhibitors
  • April 10 — Saturday, 3-7 pm ET — Western US — 400 exhibitors for students living in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington
  • April 20 — Tuesday, 3-7 pm ET — Southeastern US — 400 exhibitors for students living in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee
  • May 2 — Sunday, 1-7 pm ET — 600 exhibitors 

Visiting with college representatives at one of these virtual college fairs is an excellent, easy and free way to demonstrate interest in a school, something that many colleges want to see in an applicant. The colleges are notified when a student has visited their page at or chatted with them. It is recorded and demonstrates their interest in applying.

Students also have an opportunity to set up a chat with an admissions representative, making it even easier to ask questions and get answers that are specific to their needs and interests.

Register for the FREE NACAC Virtual College Fairs

About the STEM and Performing and Visual Arts Virtual College Fairs

About the STEM and Performing and Visual Arts Fairs

Both the STEM fair and the PVA fair will offer special workshops and a tip sheet. 

  • STEM Fair
    • NACAC workshops available at this fair (topics and titles finalized soon):
      • Building Your Identity in STEM Education: Learn the Obstacles Underrepresented Students in STEM Face
      • Bridging Entrepreneurship/Experiential Learning and Engineering
      • Does Size Matter? STEM Education at Small, Medium, and Large Schools
      • Exploring the Fields of Engineering
      • Applying for Financial Aid with a Focus on STEM Scholarships
    • Tips for STEM students
  • PVA Fair – check back for more information

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Navigating Financial Aid Offers Webinars from Sallie Mae


This is a big deal—your students have been accepted to college! Now it’s time for them to select the school they want to attend . . . but many will first need to figure out the financial aid piece of the puzzle. We’ve prepared a webinar to address the most common questions about how to compare financial aid offers.
Let your students and families know that they can register for a free webinar to learn more. Please send them the information below:
Register now for a free webinar:
Navigating Financial Aid Offers
Wednesday, February 24 | 2pm ET Register Now
Thursday, February 25 | 8pm ET Register Now
Webinar description: After being accepted to college, you’ll receive a financial aid offer that outlines your financial aid eligibility at that specific school. Each financial aid offer will contain similar information overall, but since there’s no standard format they can be difficult to interpret. In this session you’ll learn how to decipher each financial aid offer so you can confidently determine which college is the best fit.

Space is limited, so please register early!

Monday, February 8, 2021

 Reposted from Grown & Flown Blog -

Ten Things You Need to Know

About Undergraduate 

Student Loans

female student at college
Learning all you can about students loans has never been more important. (Twenty20)
There are different types of undergraduate student loans to help pay for college
  1. The single best loan an undergraduate can borrow is the federal Direct Loan, and it’s not just for students with financial need. Any student, regardless of need, can borrow up to the maximum: $5,500 as a freshman, $6,500 as a sophomore, $7,500 as a junior, and $7,500 as a senior. To qualify for a federal student loan, a student’s credit rating and FICO score are not considered.
  2. Most students receiving financial aid will see two federal Direct Loans in their award letter. One will be a Direct Subsidized Loan, which will total $3,500 for a freshman. The federal government pays the interest while the student is in college. The other is a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, which for a freshman will be $2,000. Interest accrues from the date of disbursal on unsubsidized loans. Both loans have the same low fee and low interest rate (see #5 below). Even though repayment on these loans doesn’t begin until six months after graduation, I highly recommend paying off the unsubsidized loan interest monthly so the amount owed doesn’t balloon.
  3. Even students who do not qualify for need-based financial aid are entitled to borrow up to the maximum in Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
  4. IMPORTANT COVID UPDATE: By executive order on January 21, 2021, President Biden has instructed the Acting Secretary of Education to extend the pause on student loan repayments until September 2021, and to set the current interest rate at 0%. No interest will accrue during this time, and no repayments need to be made by anyone with any outstanding student loans.
  5. The interest rate on federal Direct Loans disbursed between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 is 2.75% (though temporarily at 0% due to executive order). Interest rates are set annually by Congress in late May or early June and are based on the yield of the 10-year Treasury note. The fee for these loans is about 1%.
  6. To begin the process of applying for financial aid and federal loans, the student must submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA becomes available on October 1 of the student’s senior year. The form is completed online, and submitted once to the Department of Education, who processes it and distributes it to each school the student has listed on the form. Institutional financial aid deadlines vary—some may be as early as November 1 of the student’s senior year. So it is crucial that the FAFSA is submitted prior the earliest deadline. 
  7. If a student’s family has decided not to apply for financial aid but wants to borrow Direct Unsubsidized Loans, the FAFSA must still be submitted. In this case I recommend not submitting the form until after the family has deposited at the college of their choice by May 1 or June 1. After that, they should contact the financial aid office of the college letting them know their plans to submit the FAFSA for the purpose of borrowing federal student loans.
  8. What if a family needs to borrow more than the annual limit of federal Direct Loans? Parents can borrow federal Parent PLUS loans, which have a higher interest rate and fee than student Direct Loans. The interest rate on these loans disbursed between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 is 5.3%, and the fee is about 4.23%.
  9. Are there private sources of student loans? Yes, many banks, credit unions, and lending institutions offer education and personal loans. They are never as competitive as federal student loans, but may have better terms than federal Parent PLUS loans. It’s important to shop carefully, but not until after the federal loan rates are set in late May or early June. For homeowners, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) can be a smart source of college funding as well.
  10. Carefully consider how much debt you and your teen can take on. If a student borrows the maximum amount in federal student loans and interest is paid monthly while she is in college, she will graduate after four years with student loan debt of $27,000. Her monthly repayments will be manageable even if her first job after college pays as little as $30,000 a year. But parents approaching retirement with not many earning years ahead of them need to think carefully about how much debt is reasonable, and how much is too much, before making this important decision. 

Friday, February 5, 2021

Fill out this form to register:


Tuesday, December 8, 2020


Sallie MaeĀ®
What's the real cost of college?
How to save, plan, and pay.
What's the real cost of college? How to save, plan, and pay.
Paying for college doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If college is in your student’s future, you’ll want them to join this webinar during which we’ll show you and your students how to create a workable plan, that’s also responsible.
Let your students and families know that they can register for a free webinar to learn more. Please send them the information below:
Register now for a free webinar:
What’s the real cost of college? How to save, plan, and pay.
Wednesday, December 9 | 1-2pm ET
Thursday, December 10 | 8-9pm ET
During this webinar, we’ll cover:
Saving for college – it is never too late!
How to select a college and how much it will cost
FAFSA - what, why and how
Understanding a financial aid offer
How to find and apply for scholarships and grants – FREE $$$
Education loan options
Free tools and resources to make the process easier
Space is limited, so please register early!
Plus, check out the Paying for College Resource for more ways to help students and families pay for college, including helpful guides, free tools, and a video series.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


About THE 2020-21 COLLEGE PROCESS on Zoom
Sign Me Up: College Process for Juniors (Free)
College Planning for Juniors
with special attention to the ways that 2020 has impacted the process

8 p.m. ET
ZOOM: Must Register
EXPERT: Kevin Krebs, founder of HelloCollege
If you want to be notified of weekly opportunities, click here to sign up.
Sign Up For Weekly Notifications
Replay: The College Essay with Kevin Krebs (33 minutes)