Credit/Loans

Can Your Student Loans be Forgiven?

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr

2-9 student-loan-repayment

President Obama included a new repayment program for student loans in his 2016 budget proposal for Congress that will expand the income-based repayment plan put into place last summer.

“Let’s tell another one million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years- and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service, because in the United Stated of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college,” said President Obama in his 2010 State of the Union address.

There are 40 million Americans with student loans which adds up to $1.2 trillion in outstanding debt.

Income-based repayment borrowers make payments based on their incomes and can qualify for loan forgiveness. The Education Department plans to make all borrowers eligible for a plan involving “pay as you earn.”

For more information, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education/ensuring-that-student-loans-are-affordable.

White House Hosts Summit on College Affordability

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr
white house summit
Hundreds of college presidents from across the country joined President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden for the White House Summit to hear about new actions for students to prepare for college.

The White House hosted its second annual College Opportunity Day of Action, which focused on President Obama’s broadened agenda for higher education. The president plans to implement these steps:

1. Increasing Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year
2. Creating the American Opportunity Tax Credit, worth up to $10,000 over four years of college
3. Limiting student loan payments to 10 percent of income
4. Laying out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition

The president also explained the need for increased investments in America’s community colleges and simplifying the FAFSA to make it easier for potential and current college students to apply for financial aid.

For more information visit:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/16/fact-sheet-president-and-first-lady-s-call-action-college-opportunity

The Thing No One Likes to Talk About

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr

We’ve all been there – your award letter comes and maybe it’s not quite as much as you’d hoped it would be. And the loan portion isn’t quite as little as you’d hoped it would be. But you take out the loan anyway because how else are you supposed to pay for school? We’re 18-22 year olds mostly, and I don’t know about you, but I certainly haven’t got $30,000 lying around for free spending. College costs continue to rise and with the rising cost comes a rising amount of average debt per student per year.

 loans1

 In addition to a higher amount of debt being taken on by students, a larger number of students have to resort to taking out loans as well.

 loans2

 Another thing to keep in mind while borrowing for undergrad, is how you are planning to pay for grad school should you choose that route. According to the Wall Street Journal, “About 15% of graduate and professional school students graduate with six-figure student loan debt compared with only 0.3% of undergraduate students”. Be aware of potential salary increases that can come from an advanced degree in comparison with the additional debt and decide for yourself if it is appropriate for your goals.

 Student loan debt is not all bad though. With proper planning and budgeting, you can keep your student loan debt under control. Still, college students need to be aware of how much they are borrowing and make sure it is the smallest amount possible to get through school. Supplement the borrowed amounts with jobs and scholarships as much as possible. It’s not always enough to cover everything, but every little bit counts especially once interest starts adding up on an unnecessary loan.

4 Ways to Pay for College

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr

A college education is worth the investment, but paying for college may be the reason why many individuals do not attend. By no means is it cheap, but that does not make it any less important. There are many ways in which you can pay for college without that dreaded, overwhelming feeling of looming debt.

1. Always Apply for Financial Aid (even if you think you do not qualify)

fafsa

Financial Aid (FAFSA) is a helpful funding program to assist students in paying for many college expenses. Luckily, many students do qualify. The online application doesn’t take too much time to complete and it’s free.

2. Apply for Grants

grants

Grants are a great way to help pay for college. This is aid the does not need to be repaid and is often based on one’s financial need. You can apply for grants from the federal and state government.

3. Apply for Scholarships

scholarships

Scholarships are a bit different than grants. Grants are need based assistance and scholarships are merit based assistance. That means it’s awarded when an achievement is met. Your college of choice will have access to all scholarships offered.

4. Work While in School to Help Cover the Costs

work

Working while earning your degree is a great way to help pay for small college expenses. Ecampus.com has great, affordable rates on textbooks or other items needed. If loans have been taken out, many times you can pay the interest while attending school.

If paying for college is still too much of a burden, the next best thing would be to attend a local community college. That would offset the cost at a much cheaper rate until graduation. Then complete your degree at a four year institution. Staying at home can also help, as you wouldn’t need to pay for room and board.

The “What I Wish I Knew about Education Abroad” List for Students

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr

study-abroadAs the semester comes to an end, the majority of us are focused on surviving finals week and getting home for the holidays. However, many students, myself included, are preparing to spend time studying abroad for a few weeks, or even a semester. Although I am now very excited for my trip, my education abroad journey has not been all smooth sailing. There are a million and one things I wish I had known when I began planning my trip abroad. Here are just a few tips that I hope will make the process a little easier for anyone who is considering education abroad.

START EARLY: I repeat, do NOT wait until the last minute to start planning your trip (like I did). Although it’s not impossible to plan an education abroad trip last minute, it is definitely more difficult. If you are at all interested in studying abroad, go meet with an education abroad ASAP. Different programs have different requirements. It is absolutely never too early to get started!

 
Decide where you want to go: One of the most important education abroad decisions you will make is where to go. One of my majors is Spanish, so I chose to study in Seville, Spain in order to complete the requirements for my major. Many colleges offer many areas of stud. But, you need to think about which cultures and experiences will benefit you the most academically. No matter where you go, you will have a great time and make awesome memories, so make sure it’s going to pay off towards your degree.

Find a friend: Chances are, you know someone who has studied abroad in the past. Use them as a resource! Don’t annoy them of course, but ask them to get coffee or lunch with you someday so that you can ask them questions and advice.

Don’t let money stop you: If you’re anything like me, you may be hesitant about education abroad because you think you can’t afford it. Surprisingly, my semester abroad is going to cost me less than a semester at my home university. Now, this may not be the case for everyone. But I promise, education abroad fees include A LOT. And, you can usually apply any scholarships, loans or grants that you receive at your current school to education abroad fees. There are also TONS of scholarships available to students who want to go abroad.

Although a good GPA, campus involvement and leadership experience are all important aspects of an impressive resume, education abroad gives students an advantage over the rest. Employers and graduate programs love seeing that a student has studied abroad. Not to mention, I have never spoken to a student who regretted their education abroad experience. Have any questions or suggestions of your own about education abroad? Let us know in the comments section below.