SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

woman student on laptop

Here’s the FAFSA Cheat Sheet You Didn’t Know You Needed

Taking out student loans is a big commitment—and filling out the paperwork is no cakewalk, either. You’ll need you and your parents’ tax documentation, income statements, and, of course, the ability to actually understand all that IRS gibberish… which is challenging even for those who already have a college education.

So we put together this FAFSA® “cheat sheet” to help you get filed and funded in a snap. (Sorry, though; we won’t be able to give you an equivalently easy fix when it comes to actually completing your college assignments.)

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female college student

Is Your Child’s Major Practical?

When your child chooses a major that taps into his or her passions and aligns with interests and strengths, that’s wonderful for them. But, because college educations are increasingly more expensive, it’s natural to hope that the choice of major will also be practical, one worth the investment.

Higher education is a financial investment, with average college tuition and associated fees for the 2018-2019 academic year standing at:

•  $35,676 for private colleges

•  $10,230 for state residents at public colleges

•  $26,290 for out-of-state students at state schools

This doesn’t count housing expenses, transportation costs, and books and supplies. So it just makes sense to want your child to end up with a college degree that’s practical.

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mother with children outside house

6 Questions to Ask Before Doing a Home Remodel

Home sweet home hasn’t been looking so sweet lately. Maybe you spend your days fantasizing about a kitchen any professional chef would dream of. Or perhaps you want to soak your worries away in a brand spanking new bathtub in your freshly tiled bathroom.

Your home is a sacred space, but it might take a little work—and money—to make your home feel that way. Whether you’re working on a fixer upper or want to give your home a mini-makeover, here are six home renovation questions to consider asking yourself before you launch into a remodel. Thinking about these questions out before you start home improvements could potentially save you a lot of time, money, and stress!

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student on graduation

Are You a Go-Getter? Ways to Be Successful in College & Beyond

College can be a blast—dinners in the dining hall, late-night gab sessions with the roommates, and weekend parties with the crew. It is an exciting time for self-exploration and learning.

As a college student, you might have more freedom than you’ve ever had before. No parents checking in to make sure your homework is finished or telling you to go to bed and get a good night’s rest. It’s really all up to you. While this transition can be challenging, college can also be a chance for you to grow in your independence.

Oftentimes, the skills you learn in college will be invaluable as you enter the real world—and isn’t that why you’re going to college in the first place? The work you put in during your college career could even lay the foundation for your future success.

So, what do college students need to be successful? There’s no one single guide for how to be successful in college, but these tips could help you make the most of your college years.

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women at hotel front desk

Hotel Fees: What Could You Be Paying For?

During the summer of 2019, two different attorneys general—from Washington, D.C. and Nebraska—filed lawsuits against two large hotel chains, Hilton (Hilton Dopco Inc.) and Marriott International, Inc., accusing them of charging hidden hotel resort fees. Although the lawsuits are not identical, they’re similar in their language, with each calling these hotel fees “deceptive and misleading.”

These types of fees vary by location and by the amenities and services they cover. For example, some hotels charge guests for Wi-Fi access, gym access, newspapers, in-room safes, even bottled water—whether these amenities are used or not.

At the heart of the lawsuits against Hilton and Marriott is the allegation that these hotel resort fees are not included in room rates published online, which makes it challenging for people to compare rates.

Hotel guests typically aren’t aware of these fees until after they have started booking—a practice called drip pricing—and, according to the lawsuits, these practices violate laws put into place to protect consumers.

So, what fees should a hotel guest expect to see on their bill? What do they actually cover? Which of these hotel fees should be questioned?

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