Friday, December 11, 2009
By Jameel Murray
Considering the fact that I am on my way out of Syracuse University, I am trying to incur as much knowledge needed in paying off my student loans. Since my time here at Syracuse, I have witnessed my debts steadily increase due to this expensive life called college. I have been required to pay the most overdraft fees ever since I made my decision to attend this place. I do not think that it is right for students to pay a boatload of money only to be rejected by every employer in America. Knowledge should be free.
According to the LA times, the unemployment rate among college graduates age 20-24 is at an all time high at 10.6%. Students are unprepared to pay and are facing a debt load of $23,000. Although the debt may seem unconquerable, there have been many suggestions for students to make smart choices in an attempt to reduce debt. One suggestion is to separate the debt. Students are advised to examine all loans and sort them according to rates and loan types. Another suggestion for students is to examine and select a repayment option that applies to one’s situation. One final suggestion is to defer any repayment if a student is not making a steady income. This option can save a student a fortune.
During the recession times some parents may be considering to stop paying for the college tuition of their children. However, this might not be the right move and can be detrimental on the future of the child. Among the college graduates are 62% of those whose parents helped them (i.e. only 38% don’t graduate) and 42% of those who paid for college themselves. (58% don’t graduate). Given this, it is encouraged that parents try to help their children to pay for their education and make sure their child graduates.
About 40% of students of four-year colleges graduate while in community colleges the number is even lower. Among the most common reasons for dropping out are increasing tuition rates, work conflicts (54%), having dependents, poor quality of teaching etc. Only 25% of college students are full-time, living in a dorm type of students, while 23% of college students have children, 45% in four-year universities and 60% on community colleges work more than 20 hours per week. No wonder the dropout rates are so high.
To decrease this scary trend and to reach President Obama’s goal of making the US number one country with college certified people it is necessary to make financial aid available to part-time students, more classes offered at nights, on weekends, summer/winter breaks and online, cutting cost of tuition by 25%, offering more government loans, providing child care to students’ dependents.
By Shawn Chandok
A 529 Savings Account is operated by state or educational institutions in order to set aside money for college. Today, every state offers 529 savings accounts, however some states such as California allow you to invest a high maximum amount like $300,000. This is very useful because as we all know over the past 10 years, college tuition rates have skyrocketed. Furthermore, you can open more than 1 account if your child wishes to attend graduate school such as medical school.
Another one of the main benefits about 529 accounts is the fact that anyone can create one and they can start with as little as $25. What makes this better is that, you are never taxed on your withdrawal as long as it’s for educational purposes.
In addition, 529 Savings accounts let you invest not only in your state, but also other states your child might be considering. For example, a NY resident can invest in CA if he/she wants to attend school there. The 529 should approve any accredited collage within the US regardless of if it private or public.
One of the main disadvantages of 529 accounts occurs when you do not use the money for educational purposes. If you do this first you are charged 10% on your earnings, then you’ll have to pay federal taxes on those earnings, and finally to top it all off you will be charged an additional 10% for an early withdrawal penalty.
Posted by Ahmed Al-Salem
Students approach college financing in different ways. Some go through loans and financial aid, others through part time jobs others through their parents. But some students are doing more than just trying to pay for college. Instead of trying to look for more money to fund an education some students are trying to cut down costs as much as they can. Some students go to a community college their first two years and then apply to a university of their choice and end up only paying two years of tuition at a private university therefore saving thousands of dollars. Others try to finish school in three years and save a year of tuition. While others try to take a gap year to aid their finances and their education. If you run out of money half way through your college career maybe a gap year is right for you. Below is an example of a student who tried a gap year:
I ran out of money junior year. And I still couldn't settle on a major, anyway. I figured a year off would fix me up financially and help me figure out why I was going to college at all.
Oh, and my girlfriend had graduated and moved from Indiana to the Navajo reservation for her first job. So, rather than double up on college debt for an aimless senior year -- and lose her, too -- I quit college. I took the train to Gallup, N.M., where she met me at the station and drove me west across the state line into a land more foreign to me than any I'd lived in before.
I never regretted that year in Arizona 31 years ago. And I've since often wondered whether we Americans push our kids too lock-step from K-12 and into four more sequential years of study without asking whether there might be a better way for some of them.
A gap year isn't for everybody. Isaac's older brother Luke, for example, is in a mechanical-engineering program out East; taking a year off would stall his momentum in what's an intense and regimented program.
And before taking a gap year, college counselors tell me, it's crucial that students have a firm plan for what they're going to do with that year -- whether the gap is before or during college -- and a plan for how they're going to get back to school.
My gap year gave me more perspective on the globe -- and on my own country. When I returned to college after a year away, I'd worked in the "real world" (as a nearly full-time substitute teacher); I'd figured out how to set up a household; I'd explored the Southwest and then taken a solo bus trip to Belize and back on a $250 budget.
Back on campus, it felt like I had an unfair advantage over classmates who had stayed behind and often seemed to think of college as a grim continuation of what began in kindergarten. For me, college was now fresh and exciting; I had a new, intense appreciation for the value of my higher education, and vowed to make every dollar count.
By Shawn Chandok
On March 22, 2009 President Obama signed a new law that protects credit card holders from continuous billing practices. For example, credit card companies are now no longer allowed to raise the interest rate on your previous balance till at least 60 days have passed. This is reducing bills on top of bills for credit card holders. Although this may sound good for credit card holders, the worst is yet come. Now, according to the law college students under the age of 21 without a cosigner can only obtain credit up to 20% of their income. Since college student income is barely anything to get by on, what this means is students will have to get second or third jobs in order to use their funds. After the crisis, the government is taking no chances and aims to control or limit college student loans. In my opinion, I think this is a good idea however there should be some exceptions for some. For example, students who are independent should be allowed to take out a bit more than 20% because they strive on loaning in order to get through college.
Bookrental.com is another website that profits from renting out textbooks. They have raised $6 million in funding this year from companies including Storm Ventures and Adams Capital Management. Bookrental.com allows students to rent textbooks from them for 75% less than their retailed price. Books are delivered to the students door and they can be returned at no additional cost at the end of the rental period.
From personal experience also, it costs me on average $500 per semester to pay for books and readers. If I were to use a book rental service, it would cut costs on books for me by about 60%.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Article by Matthew Matthew Maillet
Last year, universities increased spending on financial aid at an average of 9.3% while tuition rose by just 4.3%. However, there is a great deal of curiosity about what colleges plan to do for the coming academic year. While most universities report their financial aid budgets in February, most economists believe that tuition assistance spending will dramatically decline.
Private universities rely on their endowments to cover operating expenses. The economic recession of 2009 took a huge toll on many private university endowments. For example, Dartmouth reported a $835 million decline in the school endowment. Because of this, schools are forced to find other ways to meet their growing operating expenses. One easy way to raise capital is by cutting down on financial aid.
It is important that students take advantage of outlets that are still helping with tuition costs. For example, many federal financial aid programs such as the Perkins loan and SEOG grant will still be an excellent resource for tuition assistance. Beginning in January of next year, students will have the opportunity to utilize the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA.) This will make it much more convenient for students to apply for federal and state aid while not costing them a dime.
By Robert Katz
With the rising costs of college today some parents are beginning to worry about how they will ever be able to cover the costs of the schools that their kids get into. There are plenty of good strategies that both parents and kids can use to really help decrease on these costs. First, you can never apply for too many scholarships because the more you apply for the more you are likely to get, the application process gets easier the more you complete as well. Other ways are to take more classes each given semester than the average. Most schools will allow you to take well over the 15 credit minimum, so take some 18-21 credit semesters could help you graduate earlier. Transferring is also a very common option, where the costs of community college are very low if you do really well there you could get into better schools than if you apply right out of high shool, and save on 2 years of the costs. Going where you are wanted is also a very good thing to consider because they are the schools that will be more willing to provide attractive financial aid packages and merit scholarships. The government provides a lot of help with this too allowing students to do work study jobs that don't get taxed or provide very low interest loans that don't have to be paid back till your out of school. There are also tuition-free school options that require you to work a job and earn valuable experience while earning your way through school. The high costs of college shouldn't deter you from going where you want and especially from going at all. Take advantage of all the opportunities that are provided for you and put in the time and effort to provide yourself with a great future.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Post by David Held
Is there a real advantage sending your child to a private school over a state school? First of all state schools ultimately save a parent or a student a tremendous amount of money. When comparing Syracuse University to SUNY Binghamton, Syracuse costs an in-state resident of New York about $25,000 more a year. So a four year degree, with no financial aid or scholarships considered can save a family about $100,000!
When comparing state schools against private schools across the country, some of the best Universities/Colleges are state schools, to name a few: The University of Virginia, Michigan University, and UCLA. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking state school is you are not going to receive as good as an education as if you are in private school. This statement is false. An education depends solely upon professors and one’s ability to absorb materials. Professors in both state and private schools are pretty much the same because in the end they are teaching out of a textbook and their prior experiences. The better professors have previously worked in the field that they are teaching. Both state and private schools have these professors.
In the end it comes down to your preference and your finances.
Sources #1, #2, #3
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Posted by Ahmed Al-Salem
The price of college, after growing faster than inflation for three decades, is enough to give all but the wealthiest families a run for their money. Four-year private colleges now charge an average of more than $37,000 a year, including tuition, fees and room and board, with expenses at the most elite colleges topping $50,000. That's the sticker price. A family's actual cost will vary depending on how much financial aid, need-based or merit-based, a student receives. Merit aid is a separate topic and intertwined with the question of admissions, since schools use this aid to attract the students they want most. It's always difficult to predict how much merit aid a student will be offered by any given school, yet it can be crucial to determining where a child goes. By contrast, need-based aid is generally based on set formulas determining a student's and parents' ability to pay for college out of both their income and some of their assets. These formulas may not be entirely fair or generous, but at least predictable. The formulas are used to come up with something known as your "expected family contribution." The EFC is subtracted from the college's total cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, room and board. If the family's EFC is less than the cost, the student is eligible for need-based aid.
Posted by Ahmed Al-Salem
For the second year in a row, Sarah Lawrence College is the most expensive college in the nation for the 2009-2010 school year, while NYU edges out The George Washington University to take 2nd in the ranking.
Most of the colleges in the ranking of expensive colleges are private liberal arts schools located in the Northeast. Even while tuition at private colleges rose 4.3 percent for 2009-2010, the smallest increase in 37 years, many colleges have approached the $50,000 per year mark.
It is important to note that just because these schools have high tuition, doesn’t mean you will actually be paying that amount. Many of these colleges provide excellent financial aid packages. A lot of these schools offer scholarships that often cover most of the financial burden of attending the college. For example, MIT is tuition-free for families earning less than $75,000 a year.
For all the complaining that Syracuse students do, SU is not on the list for highest tuition or highest total cost of attendance. Forbes generated its own list based on tuition plus fees and number on one their list is George Washington University with Sarah Lawrence College a close second.
By Leah Gorham
For many of us, student loans are a necessity to help pay our way through college, and we hope that after gradation and once we enter the working world, we will be able to pay these loans back. The average student is carrying a record debt load of more than $23,000, and unemployment rates for recent graduates are climbing. However, graduates do have options that could make the debt more manageable.
Before considering repayment you need to examine the type of loans you have and separate them by loan type. These include, Perkins loans, Subsidized Stafford loans, Unsubsidized Stafford loans, and Stafford loans issued before 2006. The loan types must be separated because each loan has different interest rates and accrues interest differently. Then you can pick repayment schedule. These include: standard repayment, which repays your loan over a 10-year period, extended repayment, which allows you to repay a significant balance over as much as 30 years, or income-based repayment, which allows you to pay what you can afford, based on your discretionary income.
There are some breaks to be aware of for Stafford loan borrowers to be aware of. You are entitled to a payment deferment if you go back to grad school, can't find a full-time job or experience economic hardship. You can also lower payments by stretching out the loan term. Lastly consider consolidating your loans for convenience. For low-income borrowers, the new federal program called the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) program, can help limit monthly payments by limiting monthly payments o to less than 15 percent of income.
Source 1, Source 2, Source 3
By Eric Gursky
After our final class today I was tempted to write about the costs incurred by going to college. The estimated cost to attend a public four-year college in the academic year 2008-2009 is at least $16,914 for one year, while for a private four-year college the cost more than doubles, like here at Syracuse University. This figure includes tuition, room, and board. A student must also consider the cost of books and personal expenses when figuring college expenses. It is estimated that the figure is over $600 per year. This makes it easy to understand the need for financial aid among many college students.
There are three major types of financial aid. First off are grants and scholarships: This type of aid is generally provided by the federal government or private organizations. Grants and scholarships do not have to be paid back but usually require qualifications in certain areas. The second option is work-study. This is a program where a student in college may earn income and gain work experience at the same time. It is usually provided by the Federal Work Study program. The college financial aid office can assist you in finding a job. Lastly a student can obtain loans. Based on financial need, this type of aid may carry low interest rates and favorable repayment plans. However, every loan will require you to pay interest for as long as the debt exists.
When searching and applying for financial aid, remember to apply every year because you might become eligible even though you were not eligible the previous year. Make a note of all deadlines for financial aid and register early for aid is best. College is expensive, but there are free sources that can help you pay for school if you spend some time and effort looking.
When students enter college, it is clear that financial responsibility is now going to be placed more onto the student than it ever has been before. Especially with the poor state of the economy and tuition prices on the rise, it is more important now that ever that students are making smart financing decisions. One way to help with college financing is to pick a bank with good checking accounts. It has been found that credit unions are more cost effective than large name backs because of lower fees and usually there is no minimum balance requirement. Another important choice to make is regarding savings accounts. Although in college most students will be spending more money than saving, it is important to learn the value of saving money. By finding a savings account with a larger interest rate, one will be able to see the benefits of saving money. When applying for loans, it has also been found that federal loans are smarter to take than loans from such companies as Sallie Mae. Federal loans have stable interest rates that are usually lower than loans from companies. A new type of student loan has also come about that is called a peer-to-peer loan. Think of this as a Facebook for student loans. Friends, family members, etc. can loan money to students that is contracted and collected for by the website. This only problem with this type of loan is the interest on this loan isn’t deductible like federal and commercial education loans. When financing your college career it is important to take all of these tips into consideration.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
The expectations of attending college include gaining knowledge and experience but also to secure a brighter future. With college tuition being so expensive, students are hesitant to enroll. Statistically speaking however, people with college degrees earn much higher wages. In essence it was a secure investment.
With the way our economy has been the job market has been harder on recent college grads. The once secure investment is now a serious gamble. You could graduate college with thousands of dollars in student loans with no jobs lined up to start paying it back. A student recently filed a lawsuit for $70,000 against her alma mater because she felt as if the college took her money and didn't help her get a job. She stated that college was a waste of time and money.
Statistically speaking college level degrees will pay off. People that hold Associates Degrees hold an average of $8,000 more then simply high school graduates and people with Bachelor's Degrees earn an average of $23,3oo more then high school. Even higher degrees such as Masters and Doctorates earn even higher. The job market is hard on everyone now and this investment has never been immediate. In fact it takes years and even a life time to show its true value. The simple fact is that a college educated person still has better luck and odds during this rough time.
With unemployment rising and employers lowering their hiring expectations, soon to be graduates are facing the worst job market in years.
Projected hiring for the class of 2009 is only a little bit higher than 2008 levels, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. In October, employers said they planned to hire just 1.3% more graduates in 2009 than they hired this year
Going to college can be an expensive endeavor. Not only can rising tuition costs be a heavy financial burden, but also the extra day to day costs of college can make quite a stamp on your savings. There are several ways to go about increasing funds for college and making sure that you have enough money to easily get by on a day to day basis.
One way to save properly for college is to look into student banking accounts. Generally there are both student checking and student savings accounts which can help students effectively save their hard earned cash. These bank accounts are usually easily accessible but you should check out all the available options before making a decision.
Another thing that come in handy when paying for college is those old savings bonds that your family used to give you before you were old enough to understand the concept of money. Since interest rates are likely to rise in the near future it may be smart to cash in your savings bonds and use the money for your education.
One last final tip for financially surviving college is to create a budget and stick closely to it. Make sure to allot money for any going out expenses and such along with food and extracurricular events. College can be expensive so it is smart to start budgeting early in the game.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Every year, millions of students and families must fill out the Fafsa form to apply for Pell grants, Stafford loans, Perkins loans, work-study programs and much state aid. But many are scared off by the form. Federal authorities estimate that 1.5 million students eligible for Pell grants did not apply.
And because the form is so complicated, a growing industry of paid consultants has sprung up to help families complete it. As a result, the form is being revised to remove questions and ease the process.
Borrowing has increased at many colleges and universities all over the country, but borrowing did not increase much for those earning bachelor’s degrees in public or private colleges, like Syracuse. At private four-year colleges, the median loan debt for bachelor’s degree recipients was $22,375 in 2007, an increase of five percent from $21,238 four years earlier.
The federal Department of Education says that almost all its loan forgiveness programs are safe. With this said it will allow students to feel more comfortable about taking out loans and not having to pay back a much higher amount later in life.
The economic turmoil of 2009 left many private colleges increasing school grants and scholarships to the prospective 2013 applicants. This was the response of many universities in an effort to keep students interested in paying the average $35,000 tuition cost of college, despite the grim economic conditions. However, since many indicators tell us that the US economy is finally rebounding, colleges across the country are cutting down on scholarship funding for prospective students.
Colleges are assuming that families will be more willing to shell out higher tuition costs than previously estimated. Aside from private colleges, public universities too are faced with higher tuition costs because tuition expenses go directly back to the state. States facing economic turmoil in recent years are looking for any way possible to generate money—an easy way of doing this is by bringing in more profit from state schools.
Since tuition costs largely cover the operating expenses for universities, schools rely heavily on high tuition costs and low scholarship funding to pay the bills. Since so many grants were offered to last year’s applicants, schools are raising tuition to make up for all of the scholarship funding lost in recent months. The incoming 2013 classes will also feel the pressure while tuition prices will most likely rise dramatically in their four years of enrollment.Source 1
Article by Matthew Maillet
Aside from the growing cost of tuition, there are many ways that you can save money on many of the associated costs that come with a college education. One of the biggest costs that a student faces each and every semester is the rising costs of textbooks. Professors are making it more and more difficult for students to save money on textbooks by requiring the newest editions. However, make sure to utilize online resources the next time you purchase a textbook.
Books cost an average of $998 per year for a college student. This shockingly high expense can be cut down if you take the right measures. For example, hundreds of websites offer used textbooks such as Half.com or campusbookswap.com. There is no longer any excuse for a student to pay full price for a text book. You can also utilize a store’s return policy by preparing for a dropped class. Buying a textbook mid-semester with a 30 day return policy will allow you to get a refund if you chose to withdraw from the class.
Utilize these same resources when selling your own books. Try to keep the wear and tear down as much as possible, because used textbook dealers pay top dollar for books in good condition. Getting the most out of your used textbooks helps put more money back in your pocket.
Friday, December 4, 2009
According to BusinessWeek, “This year's College Board report shows average increases of 6.5% for public in-state tuition and 4.4% for private colleges. The consumer price index declined 2.1% between July 2008 and 2009, meaning that inflation-adjusted increases in prices this year are significantly larger than current dollar increases, the College Board says. The spiraling cost of higher education comes at a time when institutions are reeling from the aftershocks of shrinking state aid, battered endowments, and significant budgetary pressures. Schools managed to temper some of these increases by doling out more institutional aid and grants to students, a move that made the sticker price less painful for the 18.5 million students projected to attend college this year (2009).”
College prices rose again in the fall of 2009. The increases in price were due to painful cost cutting by colleges in everything from faculty to sports travel and cafeteria. Some surprising findings on the increase in college tuition include:
- Increases in spending were driven mostly by higher administration, maintenance, and student services costs. Public universities spent almost $4,000 per student per year on administration, support, and maintenance in 2006, up more than 13 percent, in real terms over 1995. And they spent another $1,200 a year on services such as counseling, which was up 23 percent. Meanwhile, they spent about $8,700 a year on classroom instruction for each student, up about 9 percent.
- Big private universities, powered by tuition and endowment increases, have increased spending dramatically while public schools have languished. Total educational spending per student at private research universities has jumped by almost 10 percent since 2002 to more than $33,000. During that same period, public university total spending was comparatively flat and totaled less than $14,000 a year.
- That growing gap between rich schools and poor schools worries observers like Wellman. The cost of attending a public university, even after subtracting out aid and inflation, rose more than 15 percent in the last five years, according to the College Board. But almost all of the recent price increases at public universities are "backfilling for cuts in state funds," Wellman says. (US News, Clark, 2009)
When the economy started to fall, colleges started to panic thinking that they wouldn’t find any students that would be willing to pay their tuitions. So most colleges dramatically increased the amount of grants and scholarships they offered to their students accepted for the class of 2013. Now college aid officers are planning on cutting back on the amount of offers they give out because they feel more families can afford more now than they had estimated last year.
Many families and/or students have to take out loans to pay for their educations. Student loans are classified as “good” debt because it can be a smart investment in your future. On the other hand sometime debt can get out of control and by the time you graduate you’re stuck with hundreds of dollars a month of bills that will last 30 years.
In 2007 The College Cost Reduction and Access Act was signed into law which created the new Income-Based Repayment Program to help make student loans more manageable. According to CNN, “The Income-Based Repayment program is designed specifically for those students who have high loan amounts and low income. To continue to qualify for the repayment plan, every year borrowers will have to provide information on their income and family size. When income increases, the payments will revert back to the standard amounts (2009).”
Posted by: Christina Dove
Two years ago, Harvard University annoouced that they would be offering full tuition to third year law students who agreed to work a non profit organization or the government for 5 years after graduating. However, the university recently annnounced that they would have to cut this program. This is devastating news to the low income students who were depending on these funds.
The main reason for the decision is that twice as many students than expected signed up for the offer. Many Harvard Law graduates go on to corporate Wall Street and make millions of dollars. So the university did not anticipate so many students being interested in the free tuition program.
“This was always an experiment and just one of many ways we were trying to encourage students to explore public interest careers,” said Martha Minow, the dean of the law school, adding, “What we found is that we had less trouble than we thought encouraging that.” In addition to the influx of interested law students, the recession was also a determining factor in the cancellation of the free tuition. The university has received 27% less in endowments and this made it difficult to fund such a generous program.