Parents, college-bound students, and educators can now use two revamped state websites to aid with planning for school, debt management

23 April 2024- The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is pleased to announce it has recently redesigned two of its popular public service outreach websites —EducationPlanner.org, a career and college-planning website, and YouCanDealWithIt.com, a student aid and debt management website.

The new designs not only have a fresh look, they’ve also been modernized to be mobile responsive. All site content and tools on both websites are now easily consumable on phones and tablets, in addition to desktop computers and laptops.

“It is PHEAA’s public service mission to create affordable access to higher education for Pennsylvania’s students and their families,” said Senator Wayne Fontana, Chairman of the PHEAA Board of Directors. “Students today are almost exclusively using their phones and laptops for research and resources when planning for college and life beyond. It is critical that we are providing these resources in a format that is most accessible to students. I’m pleased to announce that these site redesigns accomplish just that.”

EducationPlanner.org is a one-stop, career and college planning website. It provides practical and easy-to-understand advice for students, offering information on choosing a major, selecting a school, applying for admission, and finding ways to pay for it. Visitors can find tools which compare schools and their financial aid packages and offers links to postsecondary institutions, career exploration, and a scholarship search.

The site also provides a “Parents” section to aid them in their role in helping students transition from high school to college. Parents can also find information on saving for college, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), and tips for searching for scholarships. The “Counselor” section provides the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Standards for Students, guidance on using EducationPlanner.org as a classroom tool, information on establishing a job shadow program, and guidelines for hosting student aid and FAFSA completion events.

Celebrating 20 years this month, EducationPlanner.org first launched in April 2004 with an average 12,000 visitors a month throughout the first year. The site now averages over 360,000 visits per month and has received almost 48 million visits during the last 20 years.

Many high schools use EducationPlanner.org at the start of the school year with the students taking self-assessment quizzes, especially the learning styles quiz, and exploring their career options.

YouCanDealWithIt.com is a free site offering practical and easy-to-understand advice and information on how to deal with common financial situations facing today’s college students and recent graduates. The site provides information and resources on ways to pay for school, student aid basics, repaying student loan debt, options for borrowers having trouble making monthly payments, and money management and budgeting tips.

The “Parents” section of YouCanDealWithIt.com focuses on how parents can help their child before, during, and after college with financial aid and financial well-being information. The “School” section includes additional information and resources for schools to develop responsive default prevention plans.

Launched in March 2000, the newly redesigned YouCanDealWithIt.com will be celebrating its 25th anniversary next year! The site has received almost 10 million visits since its launch. The most popular features of the site are the calculators for budgeting and for loan and debt repayment. Tips for reducing transportation costs is the most popular page after the calculators.

“Both EducationPlanner.org and YouCanDealWithIt.com are comprehensive, useful sites for students, no matter where they are in their education journey,” said James Steeley, PHEAA President & CEO. “We encourage every student and parent to use these resources to make the most financially sound decisions about their future.”