The Beat-Tuition Blog

The Beat-Tuition Blog is a great way to keep up with new info about money for college on the site! Click that orange button for the feed, and keep up to date.

You'll also see entries here as I post new pages or add new information to articles.

Scroll on down and look at some of the great past articles, too. And if you can't find it in the blog posts, take a look at the nav bar on the left.

After the articles appear here, I link them to one of the pages listed on the college tuition related subjects listed on the left for long term access.

Still need a FAFSA?

Still need a FAFSA for this year? Take a look at these videos to get some help filling it out.

That's an official one from Federal Student Aid - but it looks a bit short to me.

Here's another that's more complete for your student aid entertainment.

I hope it helps you with your aid, for a scholarship or a student loan if that's what you need.

Stay dry, and remember to finish the degree.

Picking the Best College for Your Money? 2 Guidelines

Looking for the best college for your money? I’ll share my favorite torpedoes for choosing schools, and how much it matters.

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401K Hardship Rule Tuition Withdrawal: When To Use It

Considering using your retirement account to go to college? Look here for 401K hardship rule tuition withdrawal information.

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Incredible: Free Government Money For College

Finding free government money for college may seem like a pipe dream, but have you heard of Sequestration?

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The Mesothelioma Scholarship: Why You Should Pay Attention

Have you looked at the mesothelioma scholarship? There are many scholarships out there by various institutions who want to help young people progress. Look here for ideas to get more scholarships.

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Scholarship Essay Sample: 10 Sources for Great Sample Essays to Get You Started

Looking for a few free scholarship essay sample to help you write a better essay? Click here for great, winning essays.

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Funding Your University Tuition: Worst Ways - Updated

Finding money for your university tuition and going to college should not saddle you with lifelong debt. You can find tuition money in many ways. Avoid the worst ways, and you'll be miles ahead.

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Free College Financial Aid: 7 Fantastic Sources to Check

Finding free college financial aid can really make going to school easier, and less stressful. This list of resources will help you find free money for college.

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Pell Grant Application: Where To Go & What To Do

Where to go for your Pell grant application, and what the application includes

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Student Financial Aid Form, A Tip & Some State Forms

Tips on filling out the student financial aid form (the FAFSA), plus links to related forms

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College Scholarship Money: The 7 Major Ways You Can Get A Scholarship

You see people winning college scholarship money left and right – but how? Scholarships go to students with certain characteristics. Learn what they are and how to improve your chances

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Private Student Loan Companies: A List and How They Work

A list of private student loan companies, how they work, and where to find private student loans.

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If you are a student, (international students also allowed) with a .edu email account, you can go to and sign-up your student email account

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Money Makers for College Students

Hi! I have a few money makers for college students I wanted to put out there.

Have you heard of the Google Rewards app? It's a survey app that you can install and then answer short surveys now and then.

Each survey will be only a few questions, maybe 5 but very often just one. For a one question survey, I earn about 10 cents - not much right?

But for a 3 question, I'll get about 25 cents, and I've also earned up to a dollar.

I'm telling you about this not because these money makers will put you through college. I'm doing it to give you a way to pay for your Google Play purchases - apps, movie rentals, songs and so on.

You may not earn quickly, but the money lasts for a year giving you plenty of time to buy the next app or rent a movie.

You can find several survey apps out there, which can come in handy.

These little money makers can help eliminate some of your books charges, too. Google Rewards pays into your Play account, but some apps pay into your Amazon account, which means you can buy stuff on Amazon with your balance.

Nice little money makers for college students that don't require much time, and help with the little expenses.

Big News For Student Loans

Student loans are in the news again!

Loan companies have new requirements to help borrowers to repay. The dept of education is going to process all loan payments through their site.

Student loan processors now process payments through their individual sites. After the change, you can go to the education department's site and make a payment to any of the processors.

The idea is to help us get the payments done at one place. Also, new requirements mean that students and graduates will get more help with student loan options.

These new requirements will apply to all government backed loans, but not the private ones.

Debt can be a killer. It messes up your life and prevents you from doing many things. Get it paid off now or as soon as you can.

Your processor should help you with options like forbearance or payments in line with your income.

And watch for these changes - coming soon to your student loan, too.

Your College Scholarship Essay: 6 Simple Steps to a Great Essay

Need to write a killer college scholarship essay? Try these simple 6 steps to make your essay a knockout, and win more scholarship money.

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Student Loan Consolidation Facts

Student loan consolidation information. Great benefits, but some drawbacks and requirements. Look here for help.

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Scholarship Essay Writing: More Than A Dozen Keys to Success

Key elements of excellent scholarship essay writing, and how to implement them, with sample essays and 4 key mistakes to avoid.

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Refinance Private Student Loans: 4 Ways

Refinance private student loans and save money. 4 ways to get it done.

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Fall Scholarships and Student Aid time is Here!

Are your financial aid and scholarships in order? It's time for college to start again!

There are still scholarships out there to apply for, and it's also a good time to start considering next semester.

Peruse the pages here and see if any of the links included will help you. Next, call your college financial aid office and see what's available.

Beyond that, you can find plenty of scholarships to apply for away from college.

Remember, a real scholarship shouldn't have an applications fee, and private student loans can add up to big debts later. Think twice.

Finishing college can open many doors, and I've never regretted finishing my degree. I doubt you will, either.

Buying Used Textbooks: 5 Tips & 5 Ways

Buying used textbooks - How to do it right, and 5 ways to do it fast.

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The Robert Byrd Scholarship: 9 Reasons to Apply

The Robert Byrd Scholarship gives money to tons of students. Maybe you can be one of them. Look at these great reasons to apply for this scholarship.

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College and Scholarships: Cause and Effect

Having trouble paying for college? Thinking that a scholarship might help?

I was thinking about paying for tuition and going to class while watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The episode is called Cause and Effect, and it is about a time loop where the Enterprise keeps repeating the same period in time. (And yes, I've seen it several times... Is that bad?)

Trivia: Kelsey Grammer guest stars.

You pay tuition for college, and then you go to class...and then you pay tuition and go to another class...and at the end you get your degree - fantastic! Hang that diploma on the wall.

But it can seem tedious at times. And maybe you come up short when tuition time comes, and you need a way to overcome that, right?

Do any of these remind you of yourself:

- You come up short the same amount each time

- You want to get scholarship money, but you don't have much time to apply

- You have already applied for aid, but haven't gotten what you need

If you come up a little short, and you are able to handle it, maybe you don't need to make any changes.

But if not, you have some options.

First, keep doing what works. Maybe you get a Pell grant each year - keep doing it for example.

But jettison what doesn't work and try new things to keep the tuition money coming it. For example, maybe you could work a full time job that has tuition benefits and a flexible attitude toward attending university classes during work hours.

Or maybe you'll just apply for larger scholarships. If it works, and it's ethical, and it gets your degree, then I applaud the change (I'm air-clapping as we speak).

Do yourself a favor and reexamine what doesn't work, and look for a new opportunity to find something that does work to get your degree, and pay tuition.

Good luck!

Free College Scholarship Searches - No Sign Up!

Looking for access to free college scholarship searches? This database has a ton of scholarships, free searches, and best of all, no registration.

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Make Money In College: 35 Cool Ideas

How do you make money in college? Learn how here. Online ways and offline near home – plenty of ideas here. Start today.

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Welcome to the new look here at There may be a few kinks to iron out, but try to overlook them as you use the site. I'll get to them as soon as I can!

Hope you like the new background and layout. More changes and upgrades are on the way - so stick around and come back often!

Student Loans Bankruptcy: 3 Silly Answers

Have you looked into some kind of student loans bankruptcy? We explore the idea here.

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An Oddball Scholarship to Consider

Graduating seniors – look at this oddball scholarship! Juniors, too – this can help. So listen up: now is the only time you qualify for this one!

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Consolidate Your Federal Student Loans

How to consolidate your federal student loans to stay out of high interest debt

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International Textbooks: The Supreme Court Rules...

The US Supreme Court recently ruled on the case of Supap Kirtsaeng vs. John Wiley & Sons.

The case was about an individual, Supap Kirtsaeng, buying international versions of textbooks internationally, and then reselling them here in the US for a profit.

He was sued by the publisher because there was thought to be a protection given that prevented the sale in the US.

The Supreme Court disagreed. The justices ruled that no, the publisher cannot expect that once it sells an international textbook, the textbook would not be sold in the US.

Which is good news - you can get international textbooks without any worry!

These versions are very similar to US versions. They may use all metric system measurements, or some other small changes. And they can save you money.

Congratulations Supap!

Happy Textbook Hunting!

Free student financial aid: Get More

Free student financial aid for your budget – A new way this site,, offers to help you get money to go to college...

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Free College Grant Money: 54+ Sources

Looking for free college grant money? Look below for over 50 sources of grant money and where to start.

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The Car Loan for College Student Ad: 5 Borrowing Basics

Learn how to tell if that car loan for college student ad is for real, and how much you should borrow. Great advice for college students and graduates as well.

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Four Year Degree Vs. Community College

I just read a great article over at Forbes comparing a four year degree to a community college, mainly vocational school.

I bring this up for a couple of reasons. If you want to make more money, sometimes 4 years and several student loans will slow you down. A 2 year program with excellent employment prospects could be the alternative you need.

The savings can be huge, and you might like the work, too. Most vocational fields will be more hands-on than most degrees, so you need to decide if that is for you.

In the long run, a degree will still earn more than the vocational training for most people. But that may not matter. The voc plan can put you in a job faster, and some cases will offer a more flexible schedule.

For example, a vocationally trained radiologist may be able to work flexible hours, and pick up some overtime here and there.

Not all degreed positions offer the same.

Anyway, if you are not dead set on being, well, whatever your degree sets you up for, you might think about this path. These vocations don't go away, and they do pay well.

You can find the article at this link at Forbes.

Online College Degree: 3 Reviews

Getting an online college degree can really enhance your earning power. Look here to find reviews of sites that connect you to schools. Also, 1 great site to learn everything about accreditation

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College Textbooks Go To The Supreme Court: Kirtsaeng v. Wiley

College textbooks in the news! Take a look at Kirtsaeng v. Wiley, a court case that will go to the Supreme Court next session.

The case revolves around a strategy I have mentioned before on this site - buying an international version of a college textbook to save money.

Mr. Supap Kirtsaeng set up a little family business. Family members bought international versions of college textbooks in Thailand. Then, they sold the books online and shipped to US students. They made $1.2 million.

While you could interpret my idea and take it to this extreme, my actual recommendation was to do this only if you found a single book available that would help you, that you could use an international version for school in the US.

The publishers sell discounted international versions in countries that have lower incomes than here at home, giving those countries affordable, better textbooks.

They argue that their right to sell their books at a discount should supersede our right to resell anything.

Supap argues he bought the book, and now he has what are known as owner's rights.

Owner's rights are what you get when you buy anything. Original creators have first sale rights.

Think about that. Eliminate owner's rights, and you and I can't sell our stuff whenever we want.

If you look up the articles on this topic, you'll see that everyone is worried that this case will ruin secondhand selling in the US.

I have a prediction for you to think about.

First, who would be affected?

- eBay would lose big.

- Ditto for Amazon, B&N, and many others.

- All secondhand stores would shut down.

- No more Savers, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Deseret Industries.

- No more used car dealers.

- Goodbye garage/yard/estate sales, antique & consignment stores.

- And the list goes on...

Many articles propose that you could ask the original maker for permission to resell, or face prosecution.

The answer doesn't change. This would still shut down all the above.

One more thing before the prediction.

The solution for college textbook publishers is simple. First, raise prices on the textbooks for the time being. The cost of shipping will allow them to still price the international a bit lower.

Next, the publishers will have to create new textbooks that aren't carbon copies of US versions, and discount those.

Since the solution is so simple, and owner's rights so entrenched, here is the prediction:

Nothing will change.

I say this because many businesses rely on owner's rights, and being able to resell products. If the court were to attempt to reverse this, I see two events immediately after:

1. Many businesses would simply ignore the ruling, waiting for cease & desist letters.

2. Black markets would open, as they have from time immemorial.

It's simply not going to happen.

Take a minute to look up the international college textbook controversy in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley. I think you'll agree with me.

College Majors Vs. College Costs

I just read a great college-tuition related article over on Yahoo about the return on investment of different college degrees.

I agreed with most of what the article says, which is mainly about how much each major will pay in a related job upon graduation.

The author also provides the median mid-career salary, which is in interesting as well.

At the bottom, you'll find a brief explanation of cost vs. benefit. The article says that if you major in a higher paying field, you can pay extra for tuition.

And if you major in a lower paying field, you should go to a less expensive school and pay less in tuition.

The article also includes a note on certification in a hot field - few people understand the value here. If you can get the most up to date skills in a particular field, you can often get a solid job in that field.

Anyway, this is just a summary. Head over and check it out:

College Majors with the Best Return at Yahoo!

Scholarship Contests: 9 to Enter, plus 3 Tips

Scholarship contests offer a great opportunity to college students – free money! You can enter a bunch on this page, plus tips on your entries

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Grant Application Time!

Have you applied for a grant or scholarship yet? If not, now is the time. Some states have their own deadlines, but many do not, and leave it up to the colleges and universities.

And for private scholarships, you can apply throughout the year.

In addition to Pell grants and other financial aid, now is also a good time to start looking for a job on campus or nearby if you don't have one already lined up.

Many schools have a campus employment office. These offices can help you find a job at the school, and some will even have off-campus jobs as well.

Another great place to look is at your department or major. Professors will often hire students to grade their papers, do research, and other things.

A friend of mine had a job as the department secretary, and another as a research assistant. Ask about jobs like this at your school.

Come back soon - and apply for those Pell grants and other financial aid!

Student Loan Rate Is Extended!

Finally! Congress has extended the student loan rate of 3.4% - if you have an applicable loan, your rate is safe.

You have one year of the 3.4% rate, and then we'll see, but for now, it's safe.

Congress acted at the last second, and by then, many had reported that the student loan rate would be extended, and that everyone had agreed.

Now that you have the lower rate, do your best to pay it off or finish that degree up!

5 Degrees - 5 Responses

You may have seen an article around the net with a title like 5 Worthless Degrees, or Graduate Degrees That Don't Pay, something like that.

While some degrees don't have as much value as others, I suggest that you are the key.

Your response to your situation, your proactive choices can make the difference whether you get a graduate degree or not.

For example, I knew a law school graduate who went to the least expensive school he could find. After school, he had a plan for how to use the degree. That degree was very worthwhile to him, because he knew how to use it.

I also know a business graduate who was locked into being an office manager, sort of a glorified secretary.

She reinvented herself by diving into teaching IT courses, then getting a job as an IT department manager who knew the tools and had experience supervising a team...

You have to decide what you will do with your options, your degree, your future. A big change doesn't have to mean a big loan.

Student Loan Rate Still In Congress

The student loan rate debate rages on in Congress, with both sides and both houses staking out their territory.

The Dems now say that they have a new compromise to pay for the gap in funding that extending the lower student loan rate would cause. The money is in employer contributions, in a highway bill that is sort of stalled in the house.

The Repubs say that the new idea might work, as it isn't a direct new tax...they are looking at it to see if they can accept it.

I can't help thinking that this whole student loan rate question ignores a few things.

First, the rate is 3.4%, and congress is working to extend it, instead of letting the rate double to 6.8%.

Second, who put that sunset date and doubling in the law?

Third, do you know what the rate would be now if the new bill - the one congress is trying to extend - hadn't been passed?

Lower than 3.4%. The old student loan rate was tied to the prime rate. Prime is now at zero to 0.25%.

Back in 2007, the law was changed to the current 3.4, and locked in. The rate used to float.

Crazy how these things come back over and over again.

I think your rate will probably stay the same. But for the next couple of weeks, the news will be full of last minute negotiations, new proposals, urgent meetings, and quotes from all around about the student loan rate and extending it.

Stay calm. Call your representative and senator if you like. They work for you, remember.

And apply for some scholarships, or see if you qualify for loan forgiveness.

Got Citibank College Loans? Time To Check!

Do you know how you citibank college loans will be affected by President Obama's interest rate dilemma? Learn more here.

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Will Your Student Loan Interest Rate Double?

I see that Romney and Obama both support keeping student loan interest at 3.2%.

Do you think your rate will double? I think congress will get their act together for this one thing, and fix it.

But I've also heard at least one person say that the President will just forgive them. Weird, right?

That would be incredible - and I don't think it will happen. It would be a lot of cash to write off.

The total of all student loans stands at right around $1 trillion. A lot. Forgiving that amount would be a serious step.

Also, many of those loans belong to banks still. Forgiving those loans would mean giving the bank something to replace the loan income.

But who knows. You could see a change where your interest rate gets reduced instead of raised. Or maybe a new loan forgiveness program could be announced.

In the mean time, see if you can finish your degree!

The College Student Car Loan: My Sad Story

You’ve seen ads for a college student car loan. This is my story of a screw-up.

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Student Loans: To Strike Or Not To Strike

Have you heard of the student loan strike idea proposed by OWS? The Occupy movement wants to coordinate a strike.

Before you join in, remember where this puts you.

Some graduates or former students can't pay their loans. Hopefully they have set up forebearance. Some can't, which is a problem.

Student loans are a lightning rod issue. If you used loans and paid them off, good for you - the system worked.

But for many with loans, the situation is bleak. A future of high payments for years to get that student debt under control. It stinks - I've been there.

Even though my payments were affordable, there were times I was out of a job. I couldn't make the payments. I had to ask for relief from my loan company.

So here's the deal. If you are paying your loans, and have a job, remember that student loans have a special position in the law.

These loans are one of the only obligations for which a judge can authorize garnishment.

Ouch. Right out of your paycheck, before you see it.

More later.

College Credit Nearly Free Invitation

Need college credit cheap? Look here for several ways to get it done.

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Student Loan and Grants: 10 Questions to Ask Yourself

The economy is getting very blustery. How stable are your student loan and grants? And finishing school in general? You’ll find 10 questions to think about and help you see what’s coming.

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How to Pay for College - Upcoming Release

Do college costs get you down?

I have been working on a series of mp3's to help students cut down the cost of college credit. I haven't released it yet, but I will very soon.

This is a good time of year to start preparing for college this fall. And if you don't plan to go until next year, there are still things you can do now to get ready.

Ask your school counselor for ideas on what to do to prepare.

And come back soon and check out my new release!