Before the internet became just a huge platform for communication, people didn’t get interviews by sending résumés and cover letters via e-mail or through online forms. You had to look at the classifieds in the newspaper or know someone at the company who could tell you about available positions. Then, you had to either send your résumé through snail-mail or actually go to the company in person to drop it off. The internet changed all of that. But the Web can be overwhelming. Lucky for you, I’ve been using a few sites in my job search that I’ve found to be great resources.
Being a real person has taught me quite a bit about budgeting and saving. While I’m still new to the world of big-boy finances, a key nugget that I’ve taken away already is that having a financial plan is important. Knowing how much per month I’m going to have to dedicate towards student loans will ultimately allow me to figure out how much will be left over for groceries, rent, and fun. With things like an expired apartment lease looming in my future, I knew it was important to have my numbers hashed out this month.
Graduation is right (and I mean right) around the corner. With that has come more stress than I’ve had in my entire life. This is partially due to my fear of falling down while on stage. But until recently, I was also freaking out because my parents and I still hadn’t decided if/how they’d be helping me repay my student loans after graduation. I decided the time had come for us to make a real game plan—a game plan that’s clear, tactical, and allows my parents and me to beat these loans together. Here are some steps you can take that may help you make a plan with your parents.
You applied to college and you got in. Congratulations! Why so blue? You’re an undocumented student and you can’t afford college on your own? I get it. The first eligibility qualification for federal student aid is “you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.” The second qualification for most (but not all) state aid—right after the one that says “you must be a resident of that state”—is “you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen”. Don’t throw in the towel just yet! Sure, your options are limited—but you do have options.
The Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC) form is essentially part II of the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile financial aid application process. It’s a document verification tool managed by the College Board. Basically, a school may need more information than what the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) requests in order to calculate your financial need. The IDOC collects important documents (such as your tax returns and other financial documents), and sends that information to your school.
The College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile is a financial aid application used by some private colleges and universities. It requires more asset information than the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)—such as what kind of car your parents drive and how much they have saved in their retirement accounts—in order for the school to get a better picture of your financial circumstances.
The CSS Profile is used by private colleges and universities to help them determine how much non-federal financial aid to award. Basically, the government uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine how much aid you can receive, while private colleges use the CSS Profile. So, if you want to receive financial aid from both your college and the federal government (and your school requires the CSS profile), then you’ll have to complete both applications. The good news is that the CSS profile requires the same documentation as the FAFSA—so there isn’t a lot of additional work.
There will probably be at least a few times in your career when you’ll find yourself job hunting while you’re already employed. This is totally normal, and everyone should always keep an eye out for good opportunities. However, you can bet your current employer won’t be too happy if they find out that you’re job hunting. Follow these steps to keep your search effective and discreet.
When I filed my taxes this year, I expected to get an income tax refund in excess of $5,000. As an MBA student with a huge tuition bill and a year’s worth of tax-deductible contributions to my retirement accounts, I was sure I had enough credits to produce a sizeable return. I was planning to spend it on plane tickets to South America, then shuffle the leftovers into savings for next year’s MBA course fees. I was even going to let myself take $300 on a mini shopping spree. You can imagine my disappointment when I received less than 25% of what I was expecting.