Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Federal Minimum Wage Increase is Good News for Students

If President Obama‘s plan to raise minimum wage goes through, plenty of people will benefit. One group in particular may see a direct benefit, but they probably aren’t the first group of people thought of during minimum wage discussions.

work study

College students who are part of the Federal Work-Study Program, which helps them pay for their education, would be directly impacted by an increase in minimum wage. The program itself could also see some changes as award packages would have to be altered to allow for what essentially amounts to multiple students receiving raises at once.

Students participating in a Work-Study program are required to be paid at least federal minimum wage. Currently, that means making at least $7.25 per hour. If the raise in minimum wage goes through, their pay would increase to at least $10.10 an hour. Some Work-Study participants already make more than that depending on their individual circumstances.

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Touchdown Shutdown: Federal Furlough Threatens College Football, Financial Aid

Day two of the shutdown, haven’t slept in weeks…

Nah, just kidding. Unless you work a government job or have a loved one that does, you’re probably not feeling the pain of the furlough just yet. But come Saturday, the shutdown will rear its ugly head in the most holiest of holies: the college football field. Saturdays in the fall are a magical time; early morning purging and energy drink chugging, mid-afternoon grilling and queasiness, and late night strolls back to what you think is your dorm. Unfortunately, the white wigs want to take that majestic ritual away from certain young scholars.

Due to the budget impasse in Congress, this Saturday’s Air Force at Navy and Army at Boston College football games are being cancelled.

Empty Stadium

The reason behind the decision is fairly simple. The Air Force and Military Academies are branches of the government and use government appropriated monies to fund their athletic departments. The Naval Academy’s football games are not in jeopardy because the team is funded by non-appropriated funds, i.e. ticket sales and merchandise.

So a couple of unranked and unheralded college teams aren’t gonna take to the gridiron for the foreseeable future, big whoop, right? The government shutdown “can’t hold you,” and “we can’t stop,” or whatever you kids say. Well, until Macklemore and Miley Cyrus volunteer to help the Department of Education field calls regarding your student-loan questions, you’re gonna have a hard time dealing with next semester’s tuition. Read the rest of this entry »



The Majority of College Students Rely on Parents for Financial Aid

It’s pretty common knowledge that most college students can’t afford to go to school without taking some sort of financial aid these days. Some receive scholarships, some apply for federal financial aid, and some take out private loans from the government. However, the majority (62 percent) rely on loans from their parents, according to research from the University of Michigan‘s Patrick Wightman.

In his research, Wightman found that parents are helping their children earn a higher education to the tune of about $12,185 per student per year. This money goes toward everything from tuition to reoccurring expenses, such as rent and bills. This is a new trend concerning how students pay for their higher education and living expenses, probably caused by the fact that 25 percent of young adults between 18 and 34 years old are not making enough money at their jobs to cover basic living needs. Read the rest of this entry »



DePaul University Students Occupy President’s Office in Protest Against Tuition Increases

You’ve heard of Occupy Wall Street, but have you heard of Occupy Rev. Holtschneider’s Office? Well, if you are a student at DePaul University, you might have, but if not, you are about to learn all about it.

Last Thursday night, around 20 students occupied the office of their school’s president, Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, in order to show their displeasure about the proposed tuition increase the school is facing. For the 2012-2013 school year, DePaul University has proposed increasing tuition by 2.2 percent for the entire student body, and incoming freshmen will be charged 5 percent more than this year’s freshmen.

The students who are against this proposed tuition increase staged their occupy movement in order to ask the school to postpone voting on this issue until after a public forum could be held on the subject.

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It’s Almost Time to Submit Your FAFSA for the 2012-2013 School Year

fafsaIf you are one of the many college students who needs help paying for college, there’s an important date in your near future: March 1, 2012. Why is this date important? Well, if you want to receive government funds to help pay for you education, you need to have filled out and submitted the FAFSA by this date in order to qualify for the 2012-2013 school year.

What is the FAFSA? FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is a federal scholarship for students. Many students qualify for this need-based aid, but you must reapply for it each year in order to receive the money.

In the past, the FAFSA had a reputation for being overtly difficult to complete. Recently, the FAFSA received a makeover, which makes it easier to understand and complete; however, some people still have trouble with it the first time they fill it out.

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California Dream Act Makes It Possible for Illegal Immigrants To Receive Financial Aid

California Dream Act LogoAnahit Grigoryan is like many students in the USA. For a long time, she has wanted to study medicine and become a doctor. She graduated from high school in 2009 and enrolled in a community college with plans of transferring to a four-year school in the future.

However, Grigoryan cannot take the MCAT test, nor will she ever be able to take the Hippocratic Oath. Why is this? Because Grigoryan is an illegal immigrant in the USA, which makes it impossible for her to have a driver’s license, a legitimate job, or even a social security number.

“My whole life is a lie,” she said. “Every time someone asks me why I don’t drive I have to make up some sort of excuse. I feel embarrassed.”

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FAFSA Updates to Streamline User Experience

It’s FAFSA season again! Time to get those applications completed and submit them for review. Every student requesting Federal financial aid must fill out a new FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) for every school year, and the earlier the better. While the task may seem daunting, the FAFSA application has been streamlined for your convenience and is easier than ever to complete.

Changes have been made this year to both the online and paper applications. Here is an overview of some of the changes:

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How Americans Paid for College in 2010

College is getting more and more expensive every year. Considering the current economy, how are Americans continuing to pay for a product that is constantly increasing in price?

The authors of How America Pays for College 2010 tired of asking this same question over and over again, so they decided to conduct a survey to find out. They interviewed 801 students and 823 parents from across the nation and asked them various questions about how they finance a college education.

A vast majority, about 73 percent, said that they had to reduce their spending habits in other areas to pay for a college education. This shows a 17 percent increase from the 2008-2009 school year to the 2009-2010 year. Luckily though, 82 percent said that they strongly believe that a college education is an investment in the future and worth the sacrifice.

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Harvard and Princeton Offer Early Admissions for High School Seniors

In September 2006, Harvard and Princeton decided to no longer allow students to apply for early college admission, starting in the Fall 2008 semester. They made this decision in order to help students who needed to compare financial aid offers from different schools compete with wealthier students who applied earlier and did not need to wait for financial aid offers.

“In eliminating our early program four years ago, we hoped other colleges and universities would do the same, and they haven’t,” said Shirley Tilghman, the president of Princeton. “One consequence is that some students who really want ot make their college decision as early as possible in their senior year apply to other schools early, even if their first choice is Princeton.”

To combat this problem, both schools are reinstating their early-admissions programs. This will allow high school seniors who apply by November 15, 2011 to know if they have been accepted by December 15, 2011, without having to commit to the school if they are accepted. This will also allow the early-accepted students to wait for financial offers before committing to attend the schools.

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Public College Tuition Jumps Nearly Eight Percent

piggy bank moneyThough it is still cheaper to go to a public university than a private one, a recent spike in college costs this fall is narrowing the gap between private tuition and public tuition.

However, this narrowed gap is nothing new. Over the past ten years, public school tuition has increased at an annual rate of 5.6 percent, while private schools have increased at an annual rate of three percent.

The average public in-state tuition rose nearly eight percent this fall. That’s an increase of between $555 and $7,605. As for private schools, their cost went up 4.5 percent, or $1,164 to $27,293, according to a College Board report called “Trends in College Pricing.” Read the rest of this entry »





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