Rhode Island Monthly College Guide 2012 : Page 10

Footing the Bill continued from page 7 529 Plans obviously, the best college financing strategy is to start sav-ing early and to be consistent about it. 529 savings plans and 529 pre-paid tuition plans, such as Rhode Island’s CollegeBoundfund, offer a great way to save for college, tax free. For families with lower incomes, there are also state matching funds when you con-tribute. Some families may also opt to save for college via a variety of investments including savings bonds, stocks and even real estate. However, it is important to remember that colleges will expect any income or assets in a child’s name to be used for college at 25 percent per year whereas the calculation on parent income and assets is much lower (usually in the 5-10 percent range). for every type of student and budget; it just takes careful planning and research in order to have the best outcome. ¢ Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed., is the founder of College Admission Advi-sors, LLC, a Providence-based educational consulting firm which provides strategic, individual counseling for college-bound students. For more information, visit collegeadvisorsonline.com. Ω More information on above mentioned scholarships, grants and loans can be found on the following websites: FAFSA: fafsa.ed.gov CSS Pro le: pro leonline.collegeboard.com Perkins Loans: studentaid.ed.gov ROTC scholarships: todaysmilitary.com Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority: riheaa.org Rhode Island Student Loan Authority: risla.com New England Board of Higher Education: nebhe.org The Rhode Island Foundation: rifoundation.org Scholarship Search Engines: rischolarships.com, fastweb.com CollegeBoundfund: collegeboundfund.com College Planning Center of Rhode Island: collegeplanningcenter.org Planning is the Key aside from your home, this is probably the second largest in-vestment you will make in your lifetime. Planning is critical. Too many families start late and miss out on great options for colleges or funding. Since many college applications are now filed in the fall of senior year, families should have a college list in place no later than January of eleventh grade. They should complete all their campus visits by September of senior year and understand their financing options and paperwork obligations before applica-tions are filed. Having an honest discussion with your children about how much you can afford is also extremely important. With more than 3,200 colleges in the United States, there are options UP TO SPEED As students, researchers, faculty and administrators enter 2012, they do so with new highly advanced Internet connectivity and the promise of even more capacity by year’s end. That’s because OSHEAN, a collaborative organization that counts among its members every institution of higher education in Rhode Island (as well as hospitals, government agencies, libraries, elementary and secondary schools and other nonpro ts), is in the process of installing a new advanced 350-plus-mile ber optic network called Beacon 2.0. Funded by federal ARRA Broadband Stimulus funds and private investment, this new network adds to the already robust Internet technology provided by OSHEAN that connects colleges and universities to each other and to their counterparts across the globe. Academia’s appetite for broadband capacity is voracious. Annually, OSHEAN sees a 30 percent increase in demand for broadband among its members. This growth has become a trend as students arrive on campus with three to ve mobile devices each, from smart phones to game consoles, laptops and tablets. “With Beacon 2.0, we believe what we are building has the same potential impact on our region as the expansion of TF Green airport, the extension of train service to Warwick and the re-routing of Interstate-195,” said George Lous, OSHEAN president and CEO. “This once-in-a-genera-tion project will have an impact on Rhode Island citizens for decades to come.” Colleges and universities across the state are already bene ting from Beacon 2.0. Applications range from three-dimensional brain images between researchers at Brown University and Butler Hospital, to URI’s Dr. Robert Ballard sending live video from his robots scouring the ocean oor thousands of miles away, to a physics professor sharing results from the Large Hadron Collider in Europe or students at the Community College of Rhode Island taking advantage of cutting-edge technology through virtual desktops. OSHEAN’s dedicated ber optic network will have an initial capacity of 400 gigabits per second. These ultra-high speeds are critical for moving digital images and for gaining access to high performance computers used in research. 8 RHODE ISL AND MONTHLY I COLLEGE GUIDE 2012

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