Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Student Loans: How to reduce your payments

A college degree can mean a good income in the future. But if you pay a lot of that out to student loan payments, what was the point. If you are in college, you really need to cut your borrowing down and take out just the minimum amount of student loans to graduate.

Don't overspend in college. You will have the rest of your life to live like a rich person. In college, live like you are poor. What kind of career will you have after college? If you are not going into a particular high paying career, you need to limit your loan payments and protect your credit. 30 ways to cut college expenses.

Before graduating, look into the various student loan forgiveness programs now implemented by the government. If you work in certain areas, some of your loan can be forgiven. It may pay off to take a lower paying job if you can get thousands of dollars in student loans forgiven.

Start looking at student loan consolidation. You probably will have different student loans from different sources. Consolidating them can save you money in interest and payments.

Choose a college that tries to get its students as little loans as possible. Apply to more than one and see what they offer. If you qualify, get in on the grants and work study. Tuition Free Colleges.

This holds true even if you are studying to be in a high paying career like a doctor or lawyer. While in school, you should be living like a student, not a doctor or lawyer.

Student loans look easy and tempting. It looks like free money because college students don't pay until the future. But your future is what you need to protect, especially your financial future. Many former students are finding that student loan payments are a burden to their lifestyle. Live like a poor college student now. Enjoy your future income on things you enjoy, not student loan payments.

>>Repaying Student Loans.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Students Loans are now all Federal

Because the Student Loan Overhaul bill was attached to the health care bill, and it passed, student loans have changed.

They are no longer being offered through private banks. Only the federal government is now issuing student loans. One reason for the move, was to avoid paying banks to administer loans and collect fees. In theory, it should make the student loan process easier and quicker.

There are some good things about making student loans federal only. You get a fixed percentage and never need to have the interest rate raised.

You are allowed to defer making payments if you are attending school at least half time. Remember that interest may still accrue.

If you get a low paying job after graduation, you can get a lower payment. It cannot be more than 15 percent of your income. This is certainly a better deal than you could get with a private loan company.

Your student loan is insured for free. If for some reason like death or disability, your debt is canceled.

After you start paying on your student loan, there are various forgiveness programs. If you work in a public service job, some of your loan will be forgiven after a certain number of years worked. Also, if you make on time payments on your student loan, you can get the rest wiped out after 25 years.

If you pay your loan off early, you never have to worry about a penalty.

Even though it may seem that your options on student loans are now fewer, there are some bright spots about a federal only student loan program.

>>30 ways to save money in college.

>>Financial aid secrets.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

College Intern Crackdown

The Obama administration and the Labor Department are thinking about cracking down on unpaid internships that many college students do during the summer.

College internships have been a long standing practice. Especially unpaid ones. The student gets valuable experience, and the employer gets free help. And that free, unpaid status is what is wrong.

According to the Labor Department, most of the unpaid college internships are illegal. But because of tradition, they have gotten away with it.

What makes the unpaid internships illegal? Because in order for an internship to qualify for unpaid status, it must be a complete educational experience, preferably college credit. Not just a free worker for a company. But that's what most are. Free, unpaid work that the company benefits from.

There has to be a benefit to the intern. Many internships end with no promise or even prospect of a job offer. Not a few internships are just busy work like making copies, running errands, or other things that could be done by a regular employee.

In other words, the intern is really working in the place of a regular employee, not in the spirit of what an internship should be.

Many college students have benefited, however, by being able to put these internships on their resume.

The Labor Department is considering forcing these companies to pay. But many small businesses cannot afford to pay and probably would just cancel their intern programs.

But should big companies be allowed to get free employees?

This would also make every student the same, or at least better the competition. Right now, only college students who can afford to work for free are doing these unpaid internships.

The law is already on the books. It's just a matter of whether to start enforcing it or not.

These rules do not apply to non-profit organizations and the federal government.

If you are a college student who was looking forward to doing an internship, you may have to look harder for one.

>College Money, Financial Aid, Student Loans, Consolidation, Scholarships.

>Financial Aid Secrets

>College Students Car Insurance Discounts.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

College Admission Waiting Lists

Colleges and universities are making more waiting lists for prospective students than ever before. Normally your prime choice college that does not have room puts you on a waiting list. You are neither in nor out. Sometimes those lists can have thousands of students. What are you chances of actually getting in?

What is the reason for a waiting list? The economy has hit colleges. They send out acceptance letters, but because of finances, they do not really know how many students will actually attend. They have to guess. Thus, the waiting list for those not in on the first wave of admissions.

Another contributor to the waiting lists is the students themselves. Because of financial aid packages being different at all colleges, many students are sending applications in to many schools. That way, they are thinking they will get in somewhere. This has led to schools having more admissions submitted than normal. So the waiting list gets bigger.

It won't get better any time soon. Maybe in 2 or 3 months, the schools will whittle down the list and send out right rejection letters.

College waiting lists are not really done by students rankings or wait time. The admission office looks at all the students on a waiting list. Then looks at what the freshmen class looks like with the present students that have said yes. it tries to fill in holes. In other words, if there is a shortage of art students in the class, they may scout the wait list for prospective art majors. Like wise for other majors.

Some colleges are considering cutting the wait list by a good many names. They need to be realistic and let the students off the hook. They may pare the lists by up to 50%, but where does that leave the others still on the list? It leaves them hanging in college admission limbo.

There is a danger for schools as well. They may wait too long and lose valuable students. They may cut a particular student, then realize they need more of that type of student.

Prospective college students have got to act as soon as possible. If you are on a waiting list on one, but have received other for sure offers, you need to seriously consider taking one of those. If you wait too long, you could be shut out and settle for a college way down on your list.

In the end, for most majors, it does not really matter where you graduate.

There is always the possibility of transferring, but for schools in the upper tier, that is not always possible.

Best bet in this economy is to take the best offer from the best college that comes up with the best package for you.

In real estate, you try and buy the cheapest house in the best neighborhood. Likewise for college.

>College Money, Financial Aid, Student Loans, Consolidation, Scholarships.

>How to be a Teacher and Find a Teaching Job

>College Financial Aid

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Are you going on a college tour?

One of the favorite things of potential college students is to make a visit to the campus and take the tour. If you do that, you need to be aware that the college will put on its best side. They will not really show you what college life is like unless you ask. If you are on a campus tour, have fun, but make it a working vacation. Ask hard questions.

All students today need laptops. Internet access is a must for most college classes and doing research online is very streamlined. You should find out what areas of the campus have wi-fi. If you can only get it in a certain areas or buildings, you need to know that. Wi-fi in the dorms, or at least internet wired access in the dorms is a must.

Check out what crimes have been committed on or near campus in the last year. Do you notice the college police? Do they even have a college police? Does the college have safety programs like escorting you to the dorm late at night? Get to know how safe the campus is.

Food can make or break your college experience. Students run on their stomachs. What is the food like? Is there a large selection of different types of food? Do they have your favorites? Are their food choices all over campus, or are they all located near the commons or dining hall? You should also do some sampling of many foods on campus.

Dorms are wear you may be spending a lot of your time. Sleeping and studying. Are they comfortable? Can you envision yourself living for 9 months in the dorms they offer? Ask some of the current students what they think of the dorms.

Does the tour take you to classrooms and classes in progress? If class size is a concern, try and find out the average class size.

Find some current freshman on campus and drill them on what it was like starting college there and how they handled moving away from home. They will be able to tip you off on how the college helps freshmen succeed and be comfortable in college.

Normally a current student leads the campus tour. If yours is led by one, ask them questions. Even though they are trying to sell the school, they will be as honest as they can. Ask them what their experience is at the college.

Whew! That's a lot of questions and concerns! You may have thought that a college campus tout was just to have fun and be treated. It is. But in between the fun, you need to get some solid information about the school so you can make the best decision.

>College Money, Financial Aid, Student Loans, Consolidation, Scholarships.

>Hidden Costs of College.

>5 Jobs College Students can get Now.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Americorps, is it right for you?

Americorps is a program that could help put you through college. You may have heard a few things about it. Is it right for?

What is Americorps?
Americorps consists of people doing all types of community service in exchange for a benefit. The community services could consist of tutoring, helping to build, cleaning the environment, disaster relief, and various of other kinds of service.

What are the benefits?
Not only are you contributing to a better world, you will also be paid. Each month you will receive a stipend. It will not make you wealthy, but it will help pay your bills. At the end of a year, you will receive an education grant that is equal to a Pell Grant, currently $5,350.00. That means you get that much toward your college costs. There are numerous colleges and universities that match the grant. That means if you attend on of those, your college money doubles. In some cases, your housing is also paid for while serving.

You also can get a benefit of paying part of a student loan that you may already have.

One of the best benefits is not monetary. It is the valuable skill and experience you will receive. This will look good on your resume and college applications.

There are three types of Americorps programs. Each one is slightly different.

Now is Americorps right for you?
Not everyone is cut out to do community service. It will be hard, but rewarding work. Can you work in adverse conditions and with people? Can you move to a different area and be comfortable? You must be at least 17 years old and a United States citizen.

Americorps will also delay your schooling by up to a year. If you want to be on the fast track, you need to consider this.

In this economy, delaying school may not be a bad idea if you can work and earn money for college at the same time. Americorps is both a job and a college money plan. It does not get much better than that, unless you join the military.

For those young people who are undecided about what to do with their lives, Americorps can provide a nice bridge to the future.

Find out more about Americorps.

>>Financial Aid Secrets.

>>How to be a Teacher and Find a Teaching Job

Friday, April 9, 2010

High paying jobs that you can get with a two year degree.

The number one problem with college today is the high cost. It costs a lot of money to complete a degree. Have you thought about alternatives to a four year degree? Many jobs only require a two year associate degree. That's mush cheaper than a four year bachelor's degree, and you can start work sooner.

Many traditional four year colleges offer associate degrees. And this could be an option. But going to a city or community college is really the way to go.

With the new tuition tax credits, an associate degree from a local city college can almost be free.

Here are some high paying jobs that require just an associate degree.

The medical field has some terrific job opportunities.

Dental Hygienists are at the top of the list because of their high wage. You may have to do this program at a four year college.

Registered Nurses are next. They have higher wages than dental hygienists, but you may have a long wait list at a community college.

X-ray (radiologist) Technician, Respiratory Therapists, and Surgical Technicians round out the medical field. Community colleges offer these, but the wait list may be long. Also, because of the competition, you need high marks on your prerequisites.

A lab technician in research or medical lab may require only an associate degree in chemistry or biology.

The legal field is ripe with opportunities as well to the people going for a two year degree. Paralegals and court reported will always be in demand.

Many government and engineering firms hire technicians to do field work, both requiring only a two year degree.

A great way to save money in college is to attend a two year school anyway. The first two years of almost any degree can be completed at little cost at your local community college. Then you will be able to transfer more readily to a four year school if you wish. An associate degree makes it even easier.

Doing classes online can save money as well.

>>More information on getting and saving money for college.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Financial Aid and College Admissions

Did you know that your financial need may affect your admission to the college of your choice?

Colleges and universities like to admit as many qualified students as they can. And some pride themselves on giving out complete financial aid packages so no student ends up borrowing too much.

But colleges only have so much money to give out. They may not be able to be as generous with all students. So in effect, your need may affect your admissions.

All colleges use a different formula to calculate your financial need. Some colleges claim cheaper expenses, some charge more for tuition. Because of this, they may tweak what you need to kick in.

How does this affect you? If you apply to a college that ranks their potential admissions by financial need, if yours is bigger, they may put you at the back of the line.

If you are at the top of qualified students, the college wants you. No question. They will make you an attractive offer. But if you are in the middle of the pack, they may choose to take someone over you depending on how much they can pay.

Some schools will even admit you, knowing that you probably won't enroll due to needing too much money. They don't plan on you coming. Your admitted, but not really.

This may mean that more students from lower incomes will be admitted.

If in doubt, you can always try and ask the financial aid officer if they base some of their admission criteria on need.

However, this really makes it even more important to be in the top 10% of your graduating class, or even the state.

Top students will always be in demand, and have less financial aid problems.

>>College Money secrets.

>>Tuition Free Colleges.

>>Repaying Student Loans.