Planning for College

Attending college requires careful planning in order to ensure you enroll properly, and have your tuition payments in order. These articles will help explain everything from the admission process to financial aid.

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Student loan refinance and student loan consolidation are completely different beasts. If you're weighed down with student loan debt, you need to know the difference.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

Refinancing your student loans seems like a no brainer. But is it always a good idea?

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

So you didn't quite finish college, and your student loans are piling up. Can you still refinance them even though you didn't earn your diploma?

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

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According to one study, the cost of a college education rose more than 1,000 percent between 1978 and 2012. We examine reasons for the jump, and look at why some say it's not that bad.

By Dave Roos

Your whole future balances on acing one test -- but no pressure. We have 10 tips on how to stay calm, make a plan and study effectively for the MCAT.

By Patrick J. Kiger & Matt Cunningham

Even if both of your parents are employed, you may be eligible for financial aid. Learn whether you can receive financial aid with two working parents.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Getting an education is one of life's great accomplishments, and, just like many valuable things, it doesn't come cheaply. Many of us will need some type of financial aid, and we have 5 tips to keep in mind while you're applying.

By Melissa Sandoval

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For most students, applying for financial aid is an important part of preparing for college. What can you do to be sure your application is perfect?

By John Kelly

Admissions counselors in high schools and colleges help students find the best colleges for them. But what happens when a student's family hires someone to help them find the right school? That's where private admissions counselors (controversially) come in.

By Josh Clark

A degree from a top-ranked law school is one of the most prestigious postgraduate degrees available. Pursuing one, however, is a lot of hard work. How do you gain admission to law school?

By Josh Clark

Rhodes Scholarships pay for post-graduate work at the University of Oxford. But this prestigious scholarship isn't just for students who spend all day in the library. Athletes tend to do well, too.

By Jamie Page Deaton

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The Fulbright Scholarship helps students pursue research abroad in hopes of boosting international understanding. How can you apply for this scholarship, and what costs does it cover?

By Lance Looper

There are many benefits to student loan consolidation, like lower monthly payments, more time to repay the lender and special repayment plans. But is consolidation the right option for every graduating student with loan debt?

By Eric Baxter & Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

Most people know how to apply for federal financial aid, but navigating the world of state-based financial aid is a bit murkier. It's worth the effort, though.

By Dave Roos

Dentistry can be a very lucrative career and dentists are in demand. Becoming a dentist isn't that easy, though: There are only a few dozen dental schools in the U.S. and thousands of applications for very few slots. How can you gain an edge?

By Ed Grabianowski

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Postdoctoral research, also called a postdoc, is an option for people who have earned a Ph.D. Traditionally, they're a way for young scientists to gain more in-depth training in their field and to supply research institutions with inexpensive labor.

By Melissa Sandoval

Do you need some help financing your college education? Stafford loans are federal student loans designed to supplement scholarships, grants, work-study jobs and family resources to help meet the cost of tuition, fees, room and board.

By Marie Willsey

The dental profession is one of the few bright spots in a gloomy employment picture for the U.S. The retirement of older dentists plus low past enrollment equals a very good prognosis for the future of the field -- but how do you get dental training?

By Linda C. Brinson

College is expensive, but students don't have to shoulder that financial burden alone. In fact, parents can contribute to their child's undergraduate expenses by applying for a PLUS loan.

By Dave Roos

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If you're paying off student loans, you might be able to take advantage of a perk that lets you deduct the interest when paying income taxes. How do you know whether you're eligible for this tax break?

By Jane McGrath

Georgia started its HOPE Scholarship Program to reward academic achievement and retain in-state talent, and some other states now have similar programs. What does it take to get a HOPE Scholarship and keep it throughout college?

By John Kelly

Gaining admission to medical school can be quite challenging, and once you get in, it will likely entail four years of blood, sweat and tears. Wouldn't you prefer to do it in the Caribbean or some other exotic locale?

By Victoria Vogt

The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) helps students cover college costs while getting military training. How do you know if you're eligible for ROTC, and what service commitments are required?

By Lance Looper

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During a downturn in the economy, it's likely that the number of people seeking out an MBA, or Master of Business Administration, will increase. With more people applying to business school, how can you stand out during the admissions process?

By Sarah Winkler

If you're having trouble paying off your student loans, deferment or forbearance may be an option. What's the difference between the two, and how could they help you pay off your debt?

By Susan Sherwood, Ph.D.