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Nitro Knowledge. Your Guide to Paying for College.


The prospect of paying for college can be overwhelming, even for the most well-prepared students. Tuition costs continue to rise, even though parental and post-graduate incomes haven’t followed the same trend. So who should pay for college? Viewpoints vary as to whether students or their parents should be responsible.

Let's take a look at some common viewpoints. 

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Going to college is one of the biggest milestones in your life. Between the decisions on where to go, how to pay for it, what courses to take, and where to live, a number of huge, life-changing decisions hang in the balance.

It’s only natural that you and your parents are feeling the pressure ... and that, perhaps, you're driving each other a little nuts. How you handle the process with your parents can mean the difference between smooth sailing or a huge stress bomb that’s just waiting to explode. 

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If you’re in college-funding “crunch mode” right now, you’re not alone. A recent study reveals that late spring is when most parents feel the pressure to get their children’s college funding plans tied up for the fall.

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The option to defer federal student loans may feel like a safety net — even if you've never done it, you like the idea that you could if you needed to. Maybe that notion has even stopped you from refinancing to a lower interest rate with a private lender. That means you mean be paying more than you need to for a benefit that you may or may not use. 

So can you defer private student loans if you decide to refinance? The short answer: No, you can't defer private student loans in the traditional sense. But the long answer is much more nuanced. Many private lenders offer some form of assistance if you experience an economic hardship. 

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Two names that come up often when talking about student loans are Sallie Mae and Navient. Many people get confused over whether they're the same company or not. 

Here's the fast answer: No, but they used to be. These days, they are two separate companies. Sallie Mae is offers private student loans and Navient acts as a servicer for federal and private student loans. 

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It happens all the time. Aid that covered you last year —and that you hoped to have again —isn't available for the next.

For many families, when they receive their award letter for next year's aid, they find there's a difference between their budget and the tuition that's now due.

But you don’t have to set your family’s educational progress back by taking a semester off. Here are five ways to make up the balance.

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