Financial Aid - Page 2 of 6

Financial Aid

FAFSA Must-Haves for Applying for Student Loans

Most students cringe when it comes time to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known by its dreaded acronym, FAFSA. Some students even avoid the whole situation by simply not applying for FAFSA and just hope to have enough money saved up by the time tuition is due, while others assume that they or their parents make too much money to qualify.fafsa

No matter what your situation is, it is always in your best interest to apply for FAFSA, especially if you’re having trouble making those tuition payments.

The financial aid application isn’t the easiest thing to complete, but students miss out on thousands of dollars in grants and low-interest student loans just because they didn’t have the necessary items to fill out the form. Sorry guys, but you’re in college now. If you want to make your tuition manageable, suck it up and gather every thing you need to complete the form.

Here are 5 things you will need to complete the FAFSA: Read the rest of this entry »

Student Loan Default Rates on the Rise

loan applicationFeb. 11, 2011 is the day my first student loan payment is due and like most students, I’m dreading repayment. While some students can handle the monthly amount, others are struggling to find work and the income to pay off their debt. In a tough job market, it’s no surprise that the student loan default rate continues to increase.

Education secretary Arne Duncan released a statement last Monday saying that he isn’t happy with the continued rise of student loan default rates. He attributes a significant amount of default rates to for-profit colleges, like the University of Phoenix or National American University.

“While for-profit schools have profited and prospered thanks to federal dollars, some of their students have not,” Duncan said in a statement on Sept. 13. “Far too many for-profit schools are saddling students with debt they cannot afford in exchange for degrees and certificates they cannot use.”

Duncan said that as of the 2008 fiscal year, the most recent period for which data is applicable, the total student loan default rate was 7 percent. The fiscal year before that, it was 6.7 percent. And before that it was 5.2 percent. Read the rest of this entry »

Student Loans Cheaper and Simpler to Receive and Repay

student-loanWe could all use some good news when it comes to money these days. And even if it’s not your own money, the federal government is taking steps to make borrowing money for student loans cheaper and easier to get and much simpler to pay off.

Here’s why:

On July 1, the federal government lowered the interest rates on many student and parent loans, and took out the middle-man by awarding loans directly through the government itself rather than through a bank.

The only downside is that there will be a bit of a learning and processing curve on the shoulder’s of the schools’ financial aid offices as they learn about the new rules and spend more time answering parents’ questions. So expect longer phone times and maybe mixed messages from school administrators during the first few months of the academic school year. Read the rest of this entry »

Number of Students Needing Financial Aid Increasing

student loansYou know what it’s like: You apply to your dream school, then wait for the mail every day, hoping for that big envelope that says you have been accepted.

So what do you do if you do get accepted, but the financial aid that is offered isn’t enough? You write a letter to the financial aid office asking for more.

Sandra Oliveira is the executive director of financial aid at Providence College and has been spending the past few days reading 100 appeals from students who want to attend Providence College, but need more financial aid in order to do so. Every application for more financial aid is a heart-breaking plea for more money to “offset the impact of recent job losses, plunges in home values or other financial setbacks.” Some students submit medical bills, layoff notices, and tax forms to show how real their need really is.

How much money are these students receiving at first? It’s probably not a lot, right?

Read the rest of this entry »

Student Debt – Who is to Blame?

478790_loan_applicationCollege Board® recently found in a recent study that the average student debt from a private school for bachelor’s degree was around $22,380.

In another study, according to the research and advocacy organization Project on Student Debt, in Oakland, California, 10 percent of 2007 and 2008 graduates had accumulated over $40,000 worth of student loan debt. They gathered this data per calculated Federal statistics.

While the students are burdened with the debt, in my opinion, the responsibility also falls upon the financial loan providers and the colleges who connect the students with their loan sharks.

In reality though, prestigious universities are not likely to discourage student loans to afford their hefty tuition rates.

Read the rest of this entry »

Paying for College with a 529 Plan

saving moneyPaying for college is expensive. The sooner you start saving for it, the better off you will be, and hopefully, the fewer student loans you will have to pay off after college.

So what’s the best way to save for college? Well, you could fill a glass jar with cash and bury it in your backyard. (On a side note, that really is how I saved for my first car. Other than avoiding the fire ant hill near my hiding spot, it was a great idea.) Or, if you still have a few years before you start college, you could invest in a 529 plan.

What is a 529 plan?

Read the rest of this entry »

New Study Shows What Students Really Consider When Applying for Colleges

student bookPaying for college is almost always something incoming freshmen and their families have to consider. However, according to an annual study conducted by the University of California- Los Angeles, this concern is growing in importance.

Since the economic recession began in December 2007, students have been facing new problems and concerns. Many graduating students are unable to find jobs, and many full-time students are becoming part-time students and find part-time jobs in order to pay for their educations.

The 2009 Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey study showed that 53.3 percent of college freshmen claimed to have at least “some” concern about how they would pay for their education. This is the highest percentage since 1971, and an increase of 3.9 percent since 2008.

Read the rest of this entry »

Are Best Value Schools Really a Good Bargain?

yale universityI recently posted a blog about the Top 10 Best Value Colleges in the U.S. It made sense to me why these were good schools. They have reasonable tuitions, are respectable schools, and the average student debt is lower at these schools than the national average student debt upon graduation. But according to an article in CBS’ Moneywatch, maybe I should rethink my opinion of these schools.

Evidently the people at the Princeton Review who ranked the top public and private  best value schools forgot to take something very important into account: Scholarships.

Read the rest of this entry »

Upromise Helps Students Save for College

saving moneyAs a college student, I have three main financial concerns: earning money, spending money, and saving money for college. Thanks to Upromise, two of my concerns are now combined into a system that makes saving for college so much easier!

Upromise is a free service that both parents and students can use to “earn” money for college by spending money on things you do everyday.

Read the rest of this entry »

5 Back to School Tips for Adults

adult studentIf you’re one of the many adult Americans heading back in to the classroom, we want to help arm you with information you need to make that a successful transition.

The Today Show recently featured Kim Clark from U.S. News and World Reports, who explains some of the things adult students need to know.

1. Seek a federally accredited institution. Without this, you’ll likely miss out on financial aid, credits will not transfer (to or from), and employers may not recognize the degree/diploma. Learn more about college accreditation.

2. Consider an online college. There’s a reason more than four million students attend these institutions and why their enrollment is growing at double-digit rates. They offer convenience, flexibility and are often more affordable. They’ve really upped their game making it worth your while. Read the rest of this entry »


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