Links and Resources:

National Institute of Certified College Planners: The organization dedicated solely to the administration and maintenance of the Certified College Planning Specialist designation program.

U.S. Department of Education: ED was created in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. It's original directive remains it's mission today is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation. ED's 4,500 employees and $71.5 billion budget are dedicated to: Establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds. Collecting data on America's schools and disseminating research. Focusing national attention on key educational issues. Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.

The New York State Higher Education Services: (HESC) is the state agency that helps people pay for college by administering the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), guaranteeing student loans, offering guidance and administering a highly successful College Savings program for students and families.

FAFSA: U.S. Department of Education’s FREE Application for Student Aid web site.

FastweB: Free scholarship matching service, get student financial aid and find money to pay for college. Will assist students and their families in not only finding college scholarships, but helping them explore valuable financial aid opportunities they may not have discovered Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation

CSS Profile: The PROFILE is an online application that collects information used by certain colleges and scholarship programs to award institutional aid funds.

UPromise, Inc.: Launched in April 2001, Upromise was created to help families save for college. By joining forces with some of America's leading companies, Upromise now owned Sallie Mae allows families to get back a percentage of their everyday spending into their Upromise accounts.

Thomson-Peterson’s: Since 1966, Peterson's has helped to connect individuals, educational institutions, and corporations through its critically acclaimed books, Web sites, online products, and admissions services. Peterson's reaches an estimated 105 million consumers annually with information about colleges and universities, career schools, graduate programs, distance learning, executive training, private secondary schools, summer opportunities, study abroad, financial aid, test preparation, and career exploration.

Loan Locator: A clearinghouse for college loans.  This site will help you find out the lenders that you have currently, along with toll-free numbers and websites.

Loan Consolidation: The Higher Education Act (HEA) provides for a loan consolidation program under both the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Programs and the Direct Loan Program. Under these programs, a borrower’s loans are paid off and a new consolidation loan is created. These programs simplify loan repayment by combining several types of Federal education loans (that may have different terms and repayment schedules or may have been made by different lenders) into one new loan. The interest rate may be lower than on one or more of the underlying loans. In addition, the monthly payment amount on a consolidation loan is usually lower and the amount of time to repay may be extended beyond what was available in the separate loan programs. These features should result in more manageable debt and should make borrowers less prone to default.

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