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Nitro Knowledge. Your Guide to Paying for College.


Chances are, your life looks very different today than it did back in the fall when you filled out your FAFSA. 
If you or your family has experienced a change in income due to the coronavirus, you can and should appeal your financial aid award for next fall. 

Here's what you need to know. 

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If you're considering trade school instead of a four-year college, you're in good company. The growth in students seeking certificates and associate's degrees in the U.S. is outpacing the growth in those earning bachelor's degrees. As the cost of college tuition increases and graduates battle massive student debt loads, trade schools are drawing more interest. 

So can you get financial aid if you decide to go to a trade school? Often, yes, if you're attending an accredited trade school. However, you might have to do a little digging to find out which trade schools participate in federal education assistance programs.  

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If you're scrambling to fill a tuition gap for your child, you've probably considered taking out a PLUS loan from the federal government. While it may seem like an easy option — after all, it's right there on the financial aid award letter — it's not always the best option. Why? Because federal parent loans come with a much-higher interest rate than loans offered directly to students. The bottom line is that you may find a better deal elsewhere.

Let's take a quick look at why PLUS Loans (which may also be called Direct PLUS Loans)may not be a good value for parents and then examine three options that may make more financial sense. 

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Hello NitroCollege Community,

Oh, the times we're living in right now. Remember last week, when we were still talking about SATs and college selection? A week later and here we are ... with our high school seniors staring down the prospect of potentially missing out on half of their last year of high school and all the milestone events that go with it. 

So what now? As of today, many high schools have not yet announced plans for the rest of the school year. What can parents do to help kids who feel like they're getting shortchanged in a way that most of us can't fully imagine? As this situation evolves, here are some things to keep in mind.

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How can you visit college campuses when so many of them are closed? And what about your deposits? Are they still due at the same time? Is anyone there to receive them?

Here's a great tool that can relieve some of that stress for you. 

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No parent wants to have the dreaded "helicopter parent" insult thrown their way. So you step back during the college decision process as much as you can, biting your tongue about how much you'll miss them if they go to college on the other side of the country or why they're writing a college application essay on their favorite video game. 

It's a delicate balance, but one place you really shouldn't keep your mouth shut? 

The price tag. 

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