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Financial aid

Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board, www.hecb.wa.gov/paying Tailor-made for Washington residents: a directory of state-sponsored financial-aid programs.

Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program, www.get.wa.gov/ Everything you ever wanted to know about Washington state’s own prepaid-tuition program.

College Savings Plans Network, www.collegesavings.org

Skinny on state-sponsored college-savings plans throughout the U.S.

SimpleTuition, www.simpletuition.com Online tools to help calculate your best student-loan options.

Green Tree Gazette, www.greentreegazette.com Features a robust loan-comparison tool.

National Institute of Certified College Planners, www.niccp.com

FinAid, The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid, www.finaid.org One-stop shop full of financial-aid FAQs, calculators, aid-application guidance and scholarship search. “Ask the Aid Adviser” feature offers personalized help from a financial-aid professional.

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, www.nasfaa.org/ User-friendly summary of state savings plans, guide to federal tax benefits for tuition and fees, and more.

Funding Your Education, www.studentaid.ed.gov/pubs By U.S. Department of Education; features free Guide to Federal Student Aid in English and Spanish; link to Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

www.savingforcollege.com: Useful website for 529 plans; has a search engine for financial advisors specializing in college planning.

Financial Planning Association, http://fpanet.org/ Has a search feature for locating a certified financial planner, as well as a service that offers free personalized help from a financial advisor.