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Posts by brandon

Want More Money for College? Go Shopping.

By BrandonNovember 27, 2009
Feeling guilty about the Black Friday shopping spree you just went on/are planning to go on as soon as you finish eating all the leftover cranberry sauce? Don't. Shopping is good. It'll help you with your FAFSA. Seriously. In the wild world of the FAFSA formula, ... More  →
Want More Money for College? Go Shopping.

Should I Even Bother Applying for Financial Aid?

By BrandonNovember 23, 2009
A reader asks: I'm a sophomore just starting to learn about colleges and all that stuff. We are an upper middle class family from an extremely rich suburb, so we are on the lower end of the average net income for our area. Still my parents ... More  →
Should I Even Bother Applying for Financial Aid?

Forget Halloween and Apply for Scholarships

By BrandonOctober 27, 2009
Scholarships, scholarship, scholarships! Scholarships are basically the spoiled children of the financial aid family. They get all the attention, everyone likes them best, and they have to be first in line for everything. So even though the 2010 FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) ... More  →
Forget Halloween and Apply for Scholarships

Beware the Scholarship Scam

By BrandonOctober 22, 2009
As you're figuring out how to pay for college, remember this wise old cliche: “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” Tackling tuition bills can be pretty stressful, and many families feel desperate for help. Unfortunately, there are folks out there perfectly willing ... More  →
Beware the Scholarship Scam

Do You Have to Go to a Whatever School?

By BrandonOctober 9, 2009
Saving for college is smart, but what happens when your parents' method of saving limits your choice of schools? Brandon has some advice for a Sparkler facing that dilemma. Emily writes: My parents did a program where they prepaid for all the public universities in my ... More  →
Do You Have to Go to a Whatever School?

Punished for Your Part-Time Job

By BrandonOctober 2, 2009
College is expensive. Really expensive. There's the tuition, of course, but there's also books, food, and housing—not to mention clothes, drinks, and other essentials. If you're a college student strapped for cash, you might think a part-time job is the answer to your prayers. But ... More  →
Punished for Your Part-Time Job

Starting the Scholarship Search

By BrandonSeptember 18, 2009
A Sparkler asks: Hi! I am a senior living in Wisconsin. I am just starting to apply to colleges and I don't even know where to start looking for scholarships. Can you give me any ideas or jumping-off points? Thanks! Fairly or unfairly, most people think of scholarships ... More  →
Starting the Scholarship Search

Your Declaration of Independence

By BrandonSeptember 15, 2009
You've moved out of your parents' house, you've decorated your dorm room—you've achieved total independence! Right? Mmmm, maybe, but not in the eyes of the Department of Education. Under the federal aid system, by default, you're dependent on your parent(s), and it's their responsibility to pay ... More  →
Your Declaration of Independence

Getting Loans from Your Peers (and Parents)

By BrandonSeptember 9, 2009
Thinking about financial aid probably isn't high on your list of Super Amazing Things to Do. But as painful as might be, it's important to figure out how you're going to pay for college—especially these days, when many banks have completely shut down their student ... More  →
Getting Loans from Your Peers (and Parents)

Pleased to Make Your E-quaintance

By BrandonAugust 17, 2009
Hi! I'm Brandon, and I am a former financial aid counselor as well as the author of Ten Things You Gotta Know about Paying for College. My knowledge of financial aid is much like a superpower, in that I am able to quickly paralyze ordinary people ... More  →
Pleased to Make Your E-quaintance
About the Author
Brandon

I am a recovering financial aid counselor and trying to eat more vegetables.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.