Sunday, December 23, 2012

State Merit Scholarships

Merit Award Scholarships are for academic achievement and not on any other financial criteria. Like need. That means they are open to potentially every student.

Right now, more and more states are switching a lot of their financial aid to merit awards. 27 states now do it, and 13 are giving more than 50% of their awards as merit.

In Georgia, because of financial problems with their scholarship program, they raised the bar. The academic requirement is now higher. Georgia's Hope Program is one of the largest merit awards program in the country.

This could mean other states follow. So what's the real change? Instead of awarding college money based on need, it is now trending to award it on merit. Meaning that maybe, and that's a big maybe, less needy students will get money.

Many other states are starting to look at how they give out grant money. Some are giving over 50% based on achievement. Remember, the financial aid money is not growing, and might even be reduced.

To some it makes sense to award college scholarships based on merit or achievement, rather than on income. It rewards those who work hard, and might raise the standards of those starting and completing college. We might have a better prepared work force.

Achievement comes in various parts, like ACT or SAT scores, and grades.

Of course states are trying to keep some aid there specifically for low income students.

The bottom line, is study study study. You'll be a better student for it, and, it might put money in your pocket!

College Students Car Insurance Discounts.

How to Become a Teacher.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

New federal Student Loan Payment Rules

On December 21, 2012, income based payments of the federal student loan program will change and be more lenient.

If you are eligible, your student loan payments will be capped at ten percent of some of your income. Living allowances will not be included in this level. This change is a new Pay as You Earn program designed to make student loan payments less onerous. After 20 years, your loan can be forgiven.

So, who qualifies? First, you must have taken out a federal student loan after October 1, 200. You are also required to have gotten at least one disbursement from the student loan after October 2011. Of course your income and financial situation must also be qualified, like family size and all income. If you choose this repayment option, it actually could cost you more in payments over the life of the loan, so do the math.

Remember, this is only for direct federal student loans. It is not for any private student loans you may have taken out.

You must reapply and meet the eligibility each year. The IRS is developing a way to submit your tax records automatically.

Want a better deal? Work in some type of eligible public service, and your student loan could be forgiven in only 10 years.

>>More info on help repaying student loans.