Friday, February 27, 2009

How the stimulus will change college loans

By Jen Lynch

The current system has "needlessly cost taxpayers billions of dollars" and has subjected students to "uncertainty because of turmoil in the financial markets," the proposal said.

In President Obama's most recent legislation concerning college financing, the government has decided to discontinue subsidizing banks, and provide student loans directly. There are currently two ways college students receive loans, either borrowing directly from the government, or taking out loans from private lenders that are government subsidized. In Obama's 2010 budget proposal, he asks Congress to change the entire college-loan system to direct government loans and eliminate bank subsidies. 

According to an article by the New York Times, this will be the biggest change in federal student aid programs since the Higher Education Act was enacted in 1965. Experts say that eliminating federal loans through banks could save the U.S. approximately $4 billion a year. However, this proposal for direct government funding of student loans will completely cut out an entire private industry of companies like Sallie Mae, Student Loan Corp. and Nelnet Inc. All of these stocks fell sharply after the proposal was announced Thursday. This will be the likely  source of argument coming from Republicans in Congress when the proposal is debated. 

Overall, the stimulus plan will have several very positive effects on college financing. The plan is contributing an additional $200 million to the work-study program, which allows working students who are often paying their own tuition, to make more money per semester. Tax credits for college students will also now cover 100 percent of the first $2,000 of college-related expenses and 25 percent of the next $2,000 in the next two years. So regardless of the effects on private industry, the proposal will be of more benefit to college students overall.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

5 Point Get-A-Job Plan at the Bad Time

By Shu Zheng

The economy is making it tough for anyone who is seeking a job, and it is getting tougher for college students entering the workforce at this time. It is common today to see students become nervous and uncertain about their future career, due to the economic downfall. Many students say that it is difficult for them not to be worried, even the ones that are not yet graduating this year.

So a question arises: “what would be some tips for college students to get a job right now?”

• Be realistic: You might have a specific idea for a dream job and are worried that it may not be available to realizable for you any more. So stop further dreaming about it. There are a plenty of other jobs that can make you happy and provide you financial wherewithal.
• Stay positive: Employers don’t simply look for great resumes and impressive skills but for people they can work with everyday. So be engaging and positive will make you appear more confident and be able to present your skills confidently to the employer.
• Get proactive: Get on internet, not only search on campus recruiting website, but also company websites, job search sites, go to career fair and get in front of companies will give you more opportunities to find a job.
• Expand your horizon: If you are finance major, don’t only look at the financial institutions. Wall Street firms aren’t the only one destination for you. Check out the companies that have available position on multiple functions, and see if there is anything you may be capable or interested in doing.
• Broaden your geography: Don’t confine yourself within your general vicinity, you need to search opportunities national wide. Having a job outside your vicinity, you might end up with some traveling fun along with work itself.


Saving Money Through Public Education

Posted by: Thomas Gillick

The rough economic times have led to education becoming more and more expensive especially higher education. Private schools have been drastically affected but so have public institutions. Public colleges tuition rates lately have been higher then the rate of inflation since they are not receiving the same amount of funding from the government. This does not necessarily every public school will become more expensive. Some schools in the south such as University of Georgia offer tuition free acceptance for qualifying students. Other schools such as University of North Carolina Chapel Hill still offer plenty of scholarships and financial aid. Other schools help out those coming from a lower socioeconomic area. The University of Virginia gives financial aid for those who qualify and attend their school without the use of loans. Some of the staff at UVA was afraid that those taking out loans would have already built up enough debt to scare them away from graduate school. This would mean that students who are well educated will be more likely to take the first job they are offered rather then to continue their education. To avoid this UVA committed to meet the needs of these students. Although college education is becoming more and more expensive, some schools both private and public are willing to help out underprivileged students.


College Costs Rising

By: Asim Mohammed

The total cost of going to a private 4-year college has risen to $34,132 on average for the 2008-09 academic year, while in-state public school students paid an average of $14,333 for the current school year.

The rise of going to school in today’s economic crisis, credit crunch, etc is rising drastically. With the economy slowing more, students will only see more tuition hikes, mainly in public schools as private schools will not be able to hike their costs because families will be more sensitive to price changes in a down economy. Private institutions may instead be forced to freeze hiring, delay building projects and make other cutbacks. Some families even after adjusting for financial aid the amount they pay for college has skyrocketed 439%.

There is some relief however with new stimulus plans for education. Families that qualify for financial aid, the news is doubly good. Pell Grants, awarded to students with high need, will climb to a maximum of $5,400 per year over the next five years. Also the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans, also offered to families will drop to 3.4% over the next four years. Easing the burden for many families to try and pay for college and to pay back loans.

In the end with all the rising costs of college and the more aid coming in, there's no reason to overpay. Some people say go to a low cost school and save your money for graduate school.

I Hope You Have a Big Wallet

Posted by: Sean Brown

For students applying to U.S. colleges, it's a very good year to have strong grades and deep pockets. Especially the latter.

As colleges and universities provide more financial aid to families hit by the recession, they are also more likely to give wealthier students preference in admissions and scholarships to help offset that extra cost, according to college administrators and consultants.

"The full-pay kid this year is going to be at a premium," said Frank Vellaccio, senior vice president at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, which does not consider finances in admissions decisions.

Clicke Here to read more.

Paying Back Student Loans

By Sarah Reilly

With the rising cost of college tuition and expense combined with the slowing economy many students are forced to have to take out student loans to afford to pay for college. However after four years of college life, students have to come to the harsh reality that now they have to pay back all the thousands of dollars in loans that they took out to pay for their education. The problem is a matter of how that is going to happen.

For some they have the option of joining the military, Peace Corps, VISTA, AmeriCorps, social services, or teacher payback programs to help offset their payments. For others who would rather not choose this path there are some simple things that must first be dealt with.
1) How much do you do you and who do you owe. It is important to know what type of loans you are dealing with, how many lenders, and how much in total is owed.
2) Figure out what happens if you don’t pay, what your payment options are (Standard, Graduated, Income-based, long-term).
3) Find ways to delay your payments through consolidation, deferment, and forbearance.
4) Find ways to survive defaulting on your loans because this could lead to potential bankruptcy

Private vs. Public College Education

by Jenny Sutton

When deciding to go to college, many people look at what kind of environment they want. Another big decision is the cost of the institution. While scholarships and financial aid help students afford higher education, choosing between a public and private school is often a crucial financial choice.

Both private and public schools offer higher education, although in different fashions. Private schools often have smaller student to professor ratios and have a private owner or owners. While this can be very beneficial to students, it also comes with a price. For instance, between room and board and tuition for a four-year private university, the price is usually more than $30,000 per year. On the other hand, public universities on average cost about $6,500 per year and are state institutions.

While private institutions have better financial aid and scholarship programs, all the benefits come with a price tag. Before deciding whether to spend money at a private college, make sure to look at each environment, and the programs offered at each school individually. Also, apply for financial help and the costs may even themselves out.

Weighting the Costs in Public vs. Private Colleges
Public vs. Private Colleges
Public Colleges vs. Private Colleges: What's Really Affordable?

Going To College or Going To Work

By Rudy Armstrong

While watching CNN news I saw a interview with a college graduate student talking about whether or not she picked the right school because of her debt. Students across the nation are “Facing the near-certainty of accumulating large debt from attending college, students wonder if the cost is worth it.” It is clear that in today’s economy that having large college debts and then figuring how to pay them off when most companies are laying off. As a college senior worrying about my college debt and getting a job I wonder if choosing Syracuse University as my choice of University; which cost $44,000 a year! Of course it is safe to say yes go back to school in a recession but is it really worth being in debt to learn another concentration. One has to look at the opportunity cost of if staying in school or going back to school is financially suitable. For example, look for a job that will pay for your graduate school rather then paying for it yourself. Some may say they learn more at work than they will ever learn in a class room, because school can not teach everything that one would learn on their own at the workplace. Maybe as a solution schools should incorporate co-op programs to insure students that their education is going to reward them rather then leave them in debt.


Ways to Reduce Tuition Costs

By Velida Alemic

With tuition costs increasing and financial aid decreasing, many students are worried about paying for their degree. Fortunately there are many alternatives to paying for your tuition.

One way is to accelerate your degree; it is very possible for students to get a bachelor degree in three rather than four years. By taking an addition class each semester and taking a few classes at nearby community colleges over the summer, it can be achieved if you are willing to work hard.

Be a transfer student. Spending a year or two at a much cheaper community college then transferring to an elite school is a good way to save money and still earn a prestigious diploma.

Lock in a single tuition rate for all four years. The price you pay your freshmen year is guaranteed until you graduate. Not every college allows students to lock in tuition rates but there are several including Pace University in New York and Baylor University in Texas.

Get a head start! Taking AP courses in high school saves hundreds and hundreds of dollars. I know personally I took two classes of AP biology in high school and earned 8 credits for it. It only cost me $800 but at SU it would have cost me almost $8,000. I know students who took so many AP courses in high school that they began their college career as a sophomore, which saves them a whole year of tuition costs.

Search for scholarships. There are thousands of scholarships available to students who are willing to put in the effort to find them. Start with local scholarships and move on to national scholarships by searching the web.

If you are willing to put forth an effort and be smart about the choices you make, there are plenty of ways to reduce your tuition costs!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuition for Syracuse University

Written by Yoshikuni Asaba

Tuition for Syracuse University is increasing constantly. Currently, for undergraduate student, the main campus per semester (12-19 credits) $16,090 Per credit (first 11) $1,401, and Per credit (20 or more) $968.
There are financial Aid available for Tuition. During 2006-2007, % of students received is 78%. There are three types of financial aid available for University, Federal Grant Aid, State/Local Grant Aid and Institutional Grant Aid. 19% of students receive Federal Grant Aid, the average amount equal to $5,092. 35% of students receive State/Local Grant Aid, the average amount equal to $3,412. 72% of students receive Institutional Grant Aid the average amount equal to $17,136. There are Dean’s list financial aid available for GPA above 2.5 students in Syracuse which is most commonly received for numbers of students in University. Another way to pay tuition is student loan. According to the Stafford loan interest rate, 2008 through 2009, the subsidized rate = 6.00%, and unsubsidized/graduate rate equals to 6.80%.
If you consider using students loan, we recommend that you consider federal student loan, they offer low-fixed interest rate and the most flexible option for repayment. However, you should be U.S. citizen or U.S. national which not allowed for international students. How sad.

College Financial Aid System 'In Crisis'

By Yoshikuni Asaba

Finding financial aid for college this year promises to be tougher than any final exam.
The quest for money that begins for students and parents every January has taken on new urgency in 2009 amid fears that loans and grants will be scarcer than in the past due to the recession.
"The financing system for college is in real crisis," said Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers. "Every one of the participants in the system is experiencing hardship — higher education institutions, states, aid donors and families all are cash-strapped."

Federal student loans remain readily available — with some funding even increased recently by Congress. But the prospect that grants and scholarships may be cut at many schools, combined with the shrinking availability of private loans, has fueled widespread angst at a time when more people than ever are seeking help. Applications for federal aid for the current academic year already are running 10% above last year's record pace, according to the Department of Education.

Click here to read more

Being Wealthy = Getting Accepted

By Kaitlin Lanier

As the recession wears on, potential college students are taking a beating when it comes to being accepted. However, it doesn’t hurt the student to have a few bucks in his wallet. Colleges and universities are providing much more financial aid to help families during the recession, so in turn they are accepting more wealthy students to offset the extra costs. Although schools have always somewhat considered a student’s financial needs during acceptance, the recession has changed that outlook since schools are now struggling to remain above water in the finance department.

This is bad news for a student that finds himself outside the wealthy category. These wealthy students are now supplied with an advantage, where not only are they more likely to be accepted, but they are also more likely to receive scholarships, taking them away from other students who are less fortunate. Although it was thought that colleges would try to increase tuition expenses, schools have basically decided to admit one student with financial need for each accepted student with no financial need whatsoever. So everyone, find a partner.

As Wealthy Fill Top Colleges, Concerns Grow Over Fairness by David Leonhardt
For College Admissions, It Pays to Have Money by Peter Schworm
State Should Support All Students by The Triangle Editorial Board

Your Money:Planning for College

posted by: Thomas Gillick

How the Stimulus Helps You Pay for College

Posted By: Bovemsa Cheung

The government is poised to spend about $13 billion in stimulus funds on improvements to education tax credits that will offset up to $2,500 in college costs for millions of low- and middle-income families. But the changes probably won't immediately stimulate the economy or make much of a difference to the many families now living paycheck to paycheck, tax experts say.

Other education provisions in the stimulus bill, such as a several-hundred-dollar increase in the Pell grant, the biggest federal grant awarded to low-income students, have won bipartisan support. The education tax changes are more controversial, though, and have drawn criticism from some education organizations for their high costs and comparatively small impact.

Congressional Democrats defended all aspects of the stimulus bill, including the education tax breaks. "For the first time, Congress is making these tax cuts refundable, which means that even if people don't earn enough to pay taxes, they are still eligible for a refund. We also simplified the process by combining two existing tax credits, which will make the tax credit less confusing for eligible students. Both the tuition tax credit and the significant boost in the Pell grant scholarship will be a huge help for low-income and middle-class families struggling to pay for college," says Melissa Salmanowitz, press secretary for the House Education and Labor Committee.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Student Loan Crisis

Posted by Jenny Sutton

5-minute guide to saving for college

Posted By: Asim Mohammed

By 2020, you'll need an estimated (and heart-stopping) $225,000 to put Junior through a private college or $105,000 for a public university.

Conventional wisdom says the sooner you start saving, the more funds you'll accumulate. (See "How to afford a Harvard education.")

No one savings method is perfect for every family. Consider your tax bracket, your child's age, how much control you want over your investments and how much financial aid you expect to get.

Click to read more.

529 Plans, Grandparents Help College Financing

Posted by Jen Lynch

By Ellie Behling

In a recent report, the CSF found that parents saved less for college in 2008 than in 2007. The CSF noted that knowing how much they needed to save in the first place—which they can learn from an adviser—helped to close the financial savings gap (see “Retirement Takes Priority over Saving for College”). Also, parents who employed certain strategies, such as having a 529 college savings plan, fared better than others.

The report said 529 plans, automatic savings plans, grandparents and giving gifts of college funds versus material gifts (or “trading toys for tuition”) are all effective strategies to help parents save.

Parents who have a 529 plan have saved much more than those who don’t. In fact, more than half of parents without a 529 plan have saved nothing. Of parents with a 529 plan, 69% have saved more than $5,000. Almost half (49%) have saved more than $10,000, according to the survey data.

Click here for Full Article

College Saving Tips

By Craig Rozelle

There are some very important things to consider when you have a child and are deciding how to save money for college. The first thing to consider is saving for your retirement is more important than saving for college. It is much easier for your children to secure sources of money then for you when you choose to retire. Secondly the sooner you start saving the better. Investing just $100 a month for 18 years will yield $48,000, assuming an 8% average annual return. Another tip is with tuition costs rising faster than inflation, a portfolio with more stocks are the best way to build enough savings in the long term. As your child approaches college age, you can shelter your returns by switching more money into bonds and cash. Next it is not necessary to save for all four years of college; there are many ways to supplement the money that has been saved. Taxpayers get a tax break with student loans, you may deduct the interest you pay up to $2,500 a year if your modified adjusted gross income is less than $65,000 if you're single or less than $130,000 if you're married filing jointly. The deduction can be taken for the life of the loan.

Student Loans

Posted By Lara Turner

Obama Stimulus Package Would Affect Student Aid, Campus Infrastructure

Written by: Jeffrey Thomas
Posted by: Keun H. Maeng
At President Obama's urging, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an $819 billion economic stimulus bill January 28 that provides significant new sums of money for education.
While the full Senate must also vote on the legislation, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved education provisions similar to the House version, and Obama has expressed optimism the full package will be sent to him for signature before Congress begins its mid-February recess.

Problem with the Intimidating Financial Aid Form

Written by: Keun H. Maeng

Paying for college is tough during the poor economic period of recession. With this in mind, the number of student applying for financial aid is estimated to drastically increase by 20 percent. Even though this increase is a significant factor to consider, the mundane six-paged federal form is the most immediate problem that must be corrected.

The whole process of financial aid was created in 1992. The intention to simplify applying for financial aid has become rather intimidating. With more than 100 questions, many poor students anticipating to attend college are being scared off. President Obama has promised to eliminate the Federal Student Aid, and simplify the whole process on this campaign. But, with that elimination creates a new problem: some states and universities might create new forms to get additional information. An alternative solution would be to let taxpayers direct the IRS to share the information from their tax returns with the Education Department. This might seem like a great solution, but such changes cannot be easily made since it requires Congressional action.

The complexity of the Financial Aid has been a profit for high-priced financial advisors who maximize the students’ eligibility for financial aid. However, for families not affluent to consider financial advisors as an option to get financial aid is unfortunately struggling to send their kids to college.

Facebook taking over college

By Rudy Armstrong

As I was looking through atricles in i came across this article "How Facebook is Taking Over Our Lives" about Facebook is taking over our lives and it is true. Facebook is taking over the internet and if you would like to read more about it take a look at this article.

Economic Stimulus Effects on Paying for College

By: Bovemsa Cheung

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 proposed by President Obama, passed the House of Representatives and Congress and was signed into law on February 17, 2009. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, reduces the stress on families that are worried about paying for college tuition.

In terms of tax credits, the Hope Scholarship tax credit would be temporarily increased. A tax credit lowers your tax bill dollar for dollar while a deduction subtracts money off your taxable income. People can use these credits toward tuition and course materials such as textbooks. However to qualify for a HOPE scholarship, students must be in the first or second year of college.

The Pell Grant is a need-based grant for low-income undergraduate students. 98% of Pell Grants are allocated to students whose family income is under $50,000. This bill would increase the amount a student would qualify for by up to $500. Students would be eligible for a maximum grant of $5,350. In effect, the bill would help 800,000 additional students. In 2009-2010, it is estimated that 7 million students will receive Pell Grants.

The bill would also increase unsubsidized Stafford loan limits. The limit increase is a positive effect for students who now many not have to rely on the private loan market. Federal loans are a lot cheaper than private options.


Calvin College freezes pay, hikes tuition for 2009-10 school year

By Velida Alemic

GRAND RAPIDS -- Calvin College becomes the second area private college to freeze pay for all employees this fall.

In an e-mail today to faculty and staff, Calvin President Gaylen Byker was expected to announce the decision, made by the Board of Trustees over the weekend, to freeze salaries for about 750 employees and raise tuition 3.8 percent for 2009-10.

The announcement comes a week after Hope College announced a salary freeze for its 700 employees and a 2.9 percent tuition increase.

Calvin students will pay $1,175 more in tuition, room and board next fall, for a total of $32,310.
In his e-mail, Byker said the tuition increase is among the smallest in the college's recent history and comes as the college is affected by the struggling economy.

The college's endowment is down 20 percent, ministry shares from the Christian Reformed Church are down 15 percent and the Calvin Annual Fund -- which contributes $3 million to the college's $96 million budget -- also dropped by 20 percent.

"In light of all this, we felt we had no other choice but to freeze salaries for 2009-2010. It is a decision we do not take lightly," he said, adding in recent years the college has made efforts to make wages competitive with comparable institutions. "It is personally frustrating to not be able to continue that progress this year."

Is Grad School Worth It

By: David Lucas

Is Graduate school you next step life after college or will your undergraduate degree be better? Many students face the issue towards whether or not they should continue their education through graduate school. Two things come to mind at first, it is just more money going towards education, but it will allow me to get a higher paying job, or will it? Some students find themselves following their peers towards graduate school because it seems like the thing to do. Some students expect they will automatically get a better job with higher pay. Some students simply want to stay in school as long as they can. But are these the right reasons? With enough research and planning towards your future you will be able to better answer these questions. You may want to ask yourself what kind of job will i be able to get now compared to a job after graduate school. Will the pay for work after graduate school be great enough to pay for all of the the time you spent at school. Research the job you would really love to have and find out what is the difference between your education and a graduate degree? You may find out that you will not be able to get the job you want without it. You have to also take into consideration the fact that the years you spend at school are years lost of possible income. instead of paying for school you could be making $40,000 a year. By the time you would have been done with graduate school you could work your way up the ranks and receive a higher pay. The main point is to figure out the advantages and disadvantages of going to graduate school. Once you have laid out all of the pros and cons, and figured out what will work best towards your future interest then you will be able to decide what you want to do. Put a lot of thought into it because it is a very big decision!

Sources: Feb. 23,2009

Back to school in a credit crunch

Posted by Nicholas Hall

Given the recent wave of lay offs, people around the country are contemplating their next step. Hiring has slowed. Job seekers are taking an average 4.5 months today to land a new gig, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So more adults are thinking now is the time to return to the classroom.

So far this year the number of GMAT tests taken by hopeful biz school students is up 15% from 2006, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council. Applications for graduate school at Arizona State University have jumped by double digits, said ASU President Michael Crow at a recent New York panel dinner of college and university presidents.

But the credit crunch has made it tougher even for students to borrow. So will grad school hopefuls be able to get a loan?

Click here to read more.

Stimulus Bill Should Help With College Costs

By: Brandon Zimerman

As political and financial experts continue to pore through the numbers contained in the economic stimulus bill signed by President Barack Obama Tuesday, college officials are pondering exactly what the nearly 1,100-page bill means for higher education.

One thing is certain: The biggest impact will be greater accessibility for lower-income students and their families through the federal Pell Grant program and the College Opportunity Tax Credit.

Click below to read more

The Big Test Before College? The Financial Aid Form

Posted by: Sarah Reilly

Published: February 21, 2009

Most everyone agrees that something is very wrong with the six-page federal form for families seeking help with college costs.

Created in 1992 to simplify applying for financial aid, it has become so intimidating — with more than 100 questions — that critics say it scares off the very families most in need, preventing some teenagers from going to college.

Then, too, some families have begun paying for professional help with the form, known as the Fafsa, a situation that experts say indicates just how far awry the whole process has gone.

“We’re getting thousands of calls a day,” said Craig V. Carroll, chief executive of Student Financial Aid Services Inc., whose charges $80 to $100 to fill out the form. “Our calls for the month of January are up about 35 percent from last year. There’s been a huge increase in the desperation of families.”

click to read more

Saving for College

Posted by Craig Rozelle

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the tuition component of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 8% per year, on average, from 1979 to 2001. This means that children born today will face college costs that are 3 to 4 times current prices by the time they matriculate.
September isNational College Savings Month!

Parents should expect to pay at least half to two-thirds of their children's college costs through a combination of savings, current income, and loans. Gift aid from the government, the colleges and universities, and private scholarships accounts for only about a third of total college costs.

Accordingly, it is very important that parents start saving for their children's education as soon as possible, even as early as the day the child is born. Time is one of your most valuable assets. The sooner you start saving for college, the more time your money will have to grow.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

10 Things College Financial Aid Offices Will Not Tell You

Posted by Kaitlin Lanier
Article by David Weliver

1. "You waited until April? Sorry, we gave your money away."
At first glance, the amount of financial aid available to students seems like a gold mine. According to education testing and information organization The College Board, students received over $122 billion in aid last year for undergraduate and graduate study; more than $111 billion came from the federal government alone. Problem is, you'll need a treasure map to find your share. The bewildering aid-application process stumps thousands of families each year, leaving many to pay more tuition than they have to. Lots of students miss out on aid because of the confusing deadlines for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (Fafsa), which everybody must complete to be considered for government grants and subsidized loans. The forms, which are available from colleges and at, are reviewed first by the government and then by your student's prospective school. While the deadline on the form is June 30, many schools' individual aid deadlines -- listed in the colleges' materials but not on the Fafsa forms -- are as early as February.

If you're the parent of a high school senior, keep a list of all the schools' different deadlines. To play it safe, though, apply for aid as soon as any admissions applications are in the mail -- as in now. "Families need to submit their financial aid info as soon as they can after Jan. 1 preceding the student's freshman year," says Barry Simmons, aid director at Virginia Tech. While the forms typically ask for the previous year's tax information -- a common reason parents postpone applying until April -- it's completely legit to estimate tax figures based on last year's return and update them later.

Click here to read more.

Guide to College Cost

Posted by Shu Zheng

Paying for college? It might feel like there's a vacuum hooked up to your bank account. But these two dozen tips can ease some of the pocketbook pain.Before you do anything else, apply for financial aid. Even if you think your family earns too much to qualify, send in the forms.

Then try these tips:

Pick up credits where you can
-The more credits you can bring with you, the less money you'll pay to a four-year university.

Paying for the basics: Eating and sleeping

Textbooks: Read 'em and weep

Click to read more

Ways to save for college in 2009

By Nicholas Hall

     With the current financial situation it can be very difficult to start saving up and shelling out money.  However, considering the importance of a college education, college financing has to go to the top of the list.  So how can you find a way to pay for college without breaking the bank in this poor economy? 

            For starters, take advantage of low stock values. With the market at depressed levels, now is a great time to cash out a taxable investment account such as a 529 plan or Coverdell education savings account.  These plans also help you take advantage of state tax breaks for education and educational savings.  The plans are meant to make saving as easy and painless as possible, perfect for today’s economy.

            Look for opportunities that give out free college money. According to the College Board, the average private-college undergraduate received more than $7,400 in institutional grants for the 2006-07 school year.  Planning ahead for financial aid can also take some weight off your back; so make sure you look into any free money that might be out there.

            Lastly, start saving early.  Don’t wait or waste time in saving for college, having your accounts earning interest over numerous years is extremely beneficial.  Also, keep your retirement account for retirement.  There are always loans available if you don’t have enough, so don’t risk the withdrawal penalty in your IRA account.



Friday, February 20, 2009

The value of a college education

By Jen Lynch

College is becoming more expensive for all students. Community colleges, public institutions and private universities have been hiking up costs in order to cover instructional payroll expenses and scholarship offerings. 1 out of 7 students attend private research universities, which are said to spend the most money per student, but also have the highest tuition rates. Spending on professors and general instruction at these institutions has decreased at a faster rate, compared to spending at community colleges which spend less per student. These community colleges are also trying to offer additional scholarship opportunities to help during the tough economy. By working with local high schools, financial advice and planning has been facilitated if the student continues to the local community college. 

Families are feeling forced to send their Duke or UPenn-eligible student to these community and public colleges, because the cost of tuition is too expensive and offered scholarships aren't enough to cover the expense. There has also been an increase in students staying in-state instead of traveling out-of-state for school, since in-state costs are more reasonable. Parents are also starting to send their kids to two-year colleges instead of four-year, and most students are beginning to pay for more of their own bill if they choose a four-year school instead.

Although families and students feel the pinch of the economy, many are still working to get to college, because they know that the return on investment of a college education is worth it. Sure payments on student loans and higher tuition costs are creating a somewhat dismal landscape for the future, many feel education is a necessity. Some financial aid experts disagree with recent trends, and encourage people to not make the decision between two-year vs. four-year or public vs. private. They say to apply to all your top schools regardless, and who knows, the financial aid or scholarship opportunity might just be there. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Financial Aid Struggles

Blogged by: Thomas Gillick

The financial crisis is not only hitting Wall Street hard but it is also heavily impacting the higher education system, more specifically financial aid. When the stock market was booming endowments were increasing providing higher education with more financial power. As the market has plunged so has endowments and higher education spending. Schools are less likely to invest large amounts of money in their school. Also schools are cutting back on future projects and jobs. This does not only hurt the student but also hurts the community. Also schools are receiving less and less money from donations and alumni. This could directly affect schools from cutting back on financial aid. Also this could influence who gets accepted and who does not based on their financial needs. The government is also not helping with these financial aid cutbacks. The government is cutting back on financial aid so families and schools are going to have to pay more of the bill. Schools are now looking for the best ways to avoid cutting there financial aid expenses but its hard since most schools rely on their endowments and the way these work is that only so much can be spent at a time. Looking ahead most schools will be cutting their financial hard but also cutting back on improvements and long term projects until the economy bounces back.


Surviving Student Loans

Posted By: Sarah Reilly

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ways to Boost Your Financial Aid

Posted by Shu Zheng

Sure, most students would much rather party, shop or veg out this holiday break, but if they want to land enough financial aid for the upcoming school year they’ve got some work to do.

The number of students seeking financial aid jumped by some 16% for the 2008-2009 academic year from the prior school year, according to Kalman Chany, president of Manhattan-based Campus Consultants, which provides financial aid assistance to college students and their families. Chany predicts that those numbers will only continue to grow in 2009.

For students seeking aid, success hinges on two main factors: filling out applications early and thoroughly. “One wrong answer can mean the difference of thousands of dollars of aid,” says Chany. And with the clock ticking on most financial aid forms, this is one assignment you really shouldn't procrastinate on.

MBA schools face up to crisis

Posted by Craig Rozelle

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) -- In 2001, Cristina Mariaca watched the dot-com bubble burst while working as an analyst at the Latin American unit of Internet giant AOL in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Today, she's in business school, where a global financial collapse that dwarfs that earlier meltdown has prompted soul-searching among business academics about corporate responsibility and governance and a re-examination of risk models that failed to predict such disasters.

"I didn't understand how this could continue to happen," said Mariaca, 30, as she prepared last month for the inaugural lecture of a new financial crisis course at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. "There's a blindness to financial analysts."

The Best Colleges for Making Money

posted by: Thomas Gillick

by Neil Parmar
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is an Ivy League education worth the money?

The debate over the long-term value of a pricey private-school education is heating up, especially in this tough economy. Sure, everyone knows that by sticker price alone, public schools are a sweet deal, with out-of-state tuition and fees that run about 30 percent less than most of their private rivals—and in-state fees running up to three-quarters less.

Indeed, the math is pretty jarring; the difference, on average, ranges between $7,700 and $18,600 a year, obviously no small matter with stock market woes depleting so many people's savings. But in the back of everybody's mind, there's that nagging question: Is the extra money worth it?

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Is Going Back To School During a Recession

By Rudy Armstrong

As the Recession continues going back to school is supposed to be the way to go when you can not find a job. But is that really the truth to go back to school when times are rough. If you not sure what you want to do while these hard times, take a look at this article "MBA schools face up to crisis," which gives you a good idea of what is really going on at Graduate school.

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Finding Money Your College Education

By: Brandon Zimerman

Arizona universities and colleges are seeing the effects of tough economic times.

More students are seeking financial aid for college this year compared to last year.

"We are seeing an increase, there's no question about that," said Craig Fennell, executive director of student financial assistance a Arizona State University.

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Is Graduate School Worth it?

by Jenny Sutton

With jobs being extremely scarce in the United States today, many recent graduates are thinking about graduate school. With hopes of more opportunities with a higher education level, people are increasingly turning to their studies. The only problem is the cost. Without financial support, students are forced to look in other places to aid them in their efforts in higher education.

Whether students are going to school for their MBA or Doctoral Degree, their are many places to look at for help. Grants, Fellowships and Scholarships are some of the most popular forms of aiding these studies. Work study, Assistantships, and Federal and Private loans are more to look into for addition aid. If employed, some employers will offer tuition compensation to employees pursuing a higher degree.

Fortunately, about 82% of full time graduate students receive some kind of financial aid. It is important for students to fully take advantage of their school's advisors to help them in continuing studies. Moreover, perspective students should look closely at federal over private loans since they have fixed interest rates and free insurance. The price of going to graduate school is minimal compared to the average salary increase a person will receive, not to mention the benefit of higher education and insight to the future.

Paying for Graduate School

Best Federal Loans for Graduate School

How to Pay for Graduate School

The Grad School Payoff

By Kim Clark

Posted by Jenny Sutton

Kevin Murphy, an economics professor at the University of Chicago who has studied the economic benefits of higher education, warns that money shouldn't deter anyone from any level of education—including graduate school. "I hate to see people get discouraged" by high tuition costs, says Murphy, who won a MacArthur "genius" prize in 2005. Educated people do so much better "in so many aspects of life by deepening your mind, and improving your appreciation of life. You should go for a master's in poetry if you enjoy it," he says.

Before you commit to a program, or an education loan, check out:
- What salaries people in your intended field are earning.
- What your monthly payments will be on your student loans.
- How quickly graduates from your school got jobs.
- What salaries graduates from your program are earning.

8 offbeat ways to pay for college

Posted by: Brendan Boesch

The news on college costs is mighty grim, but there are plenty of creative ways to keep your college dream on track.
Dwindling state and federal aid, lower endowments and drops in fund raising have forced many colleges and universities to raise tuition prices and cut back on financial aid programs.
What's a cash-strapped student to do?
Never Give Up on Scholarships
You don't have to be a stellar student to land a big scholarship. Unless it's strictly an academic scholarship, your grades don't really matter. As long as your grades make the cutoff, often a 2.5 GPA or higher, you have as good a chance as any applicant of bagging a scholarship.

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Loan crisis goes to college

Posted By: Bovemsa Cheung

When parents and students try to line up college funding this spring, they will likely be in for a nasty shock. They may still get a loan, but it will come at a price. Borrowers will have a more limited choice of lenders and find discounts for on-time payments or direct debit scarce. On top of that, they'll see higher rates and fees.

The credit crisis, which started last year with mortgages and has bled into many other areas, is now affecting student loans. Many lenders, particularly smaller companies not affiliated with banks, are finding their main source of funding for private student loans cut off as investors balk at buying securities backed by these loans. This will force some to boost interest rates on private loans by up to 1 percentage point, raise minimum credit scores to 650 and require parents to co-sign the loans, experts said.

"If lenders are not able to securitize, they are not getting the capital to make new loans," said Mark Kantrowitz, who runs, a college funding Website based in Cranberry Township, Pa. "It's an issue of liquidity and cost of capital."

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College a Hoax?

Posted By:

Asim Mohammed

As steadily as ivy creeps up the walls of its well-groomed campuses, the education industrial complex has cultivated the image of college as a sure-fire path to a life of social and economic privilege.

Joel Kellum says he's living proof that the claim is a lie. A 40-year-old Los Angeles resident, Kellum did everything he was supposed to do to get ahead in life. He worked hard as a high schooler, got into the University of Virginia and graduated with a bachelor's degree in history.

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Paying for college in PA: A Way That Makes Sense

By Velida Alemic

AS members of the Pennsylvania House, we were excited to hear Gov. Rendell make helping Pennsylvania families afford college a major priority in his budget address.

The cost of a college education in our state is now a quiet crisis. Pennsylvania's public universities cost more than those in almost any other state. Too often, students don't go to college or drop out because they can't afford it. This is both a personal tragedy and society's loss.

While the governor has proposed dramatically increasing financial aid to college students, we believe a better way to help Pennsylvania's families afford a college education, and a better investment in our state's economic future, is to create a REACH Scholarship program.

Modeled after Georgia's HOPE Scholarship, REACH would be a statewide merit-based program. Under it, any high school senior with a 3.0 GPA and 90 percent attendance would receive a full-tuition scholarship to any public college or university in the state. All are eligible for the REACH scholarship, regardless of race, religion, age and family income. It is strictly based on merit. REACH provides opportunity to those who have shown responsibility.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Colleges Struggle to Preserve Financial Aid

Posted by Kaitlin Lanier
Article by Geraldine Fabrikant

For years, as the stock market roared, educational endowments swelled, helping private secondary schools and colleges provide more financial aid, expand and attract better faculty. But with the financial markets in crisis, those days are over.

Today educational institutions are cutting spending, delaying projects and holding off on hiring. While many schools and colleges say their commitment to helping families pay the costs of education will not waver, some experts maintain that as investments shrink and donations fall, some institutions will be forced to cut back on financial aid.

Morton Schapiro, president of Williams College in Massachusetts, which has long had a commitment to accepting students without considering their financial situation, said he doubted that all colleges with such full need-blind policies would be able to hold to them.

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'Safe' College Plans: 3 Things to Know

Posted by Jen Lynch

By Aleksandra Todorova

IN AN APPEAL TO PARENTS reeling from steep losses incurred in their 529 savings plans, several states are offering safer, government-insured investment options like savings accounts and CDs. But going the "safe" route may not be worth it for many college savers.

1. You may be better off in equities
With low risk come low returns. Because the money contributed to a savings account or CD is invested in low-yielding products, such as Treasury bonds, the returns on these products can be as low as 1%. So don't expect great returns.

2. Roll over now and you’ll lock in massive losses
With the market continuing to spiral downward, you may be tempted to roll over your 529 savings plan assets from equities into one of these new government-insured investments. But by pulling your money out now, you’re locking in losses that can run as high as 40%, says Brown. And when the stock market recovers, you’ll miss out on what will likely be much stronger returns than those offered by a CD yielding 3%.

3. Lump-sum contributions may be necessary
With 529 savings plans, investors are only allowed one investment change per calendar year (this year, the IRS made an exception, allowing two changes). That limit also applies to rolling over funds from a matured CD to a new one, says Feirstein.

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Obama's stimulus package towards education

By David Lucas

Included in President Obama’s stimulus package is $125 billion for education through the next two years. The funds will go from young education all the way up to the college level. The money will be manly put towards public schools and colleges. The stimulus package will aid the schools that have made cuts to certain programs in their school. $40 billion will be spent on school improvement and special education programs states the article from The article also says that $200 million in financial incentives will be given to teachers to raise student achievement in high-need schools. People will receive benefits directly by increases in grants, financial aid, and education tax credits. They will also benefit indirectly from renovated classrooms and other education facilities. Increases the amount of money received and the amount of people to qualify for financial aid will come through the package as well. Obama has also said that “the first $4,000 of college education is completely free for most Americans.” According to the article from He says “by making the tax credit fully refundable, my credit will help low-income families that need it the most.” Obama feels that it is very important to supply aid to the education system and the students of America. His stimulus package should be beneficial to many.

Posted Feb. 15 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Reform Student Loans

Posted by David Lucas

If we truly want to stimulate the economy, we can start by reforming the student loan industry.

Student loans are the only form of consumer debt lacking standard consumer protections. In 1997, student loan companies such as Sallie Mae successfully lobbied Congress to amend the Higher Education Act and remove consumer protections, making defaulted student loans among the most lucrative and easy debts to collect.

The loan companies actually have a vested interest in debtors defaulting on their loans and have great leeway to collect on those loans.

Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article as saying that "student loan debt collector have power that would make a mobster envious."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How much college debt is too much?

Posted by Nicholas Hall

Student loans are usually classified as "good" debt. Like a mortgage or a business loan, borrowing for education can be a smart investment in your future.

Too many of today's students and their parents, though, are taking a good thing way too far. I get e-mails from readers who are $30,000, $40,000 or more in debt from student loans and who can't find work in their fields. Even if you graduate with the average level of education debt -- about $21,000, according to The Project on Student Debt -- you may be jeopardizing your finances. Many newly minted graduates find their loan payments are so big that they can't save for other goals, such as a house or retirement.

Four years of loans can last a lifetime. Putting off these goals to pay debt is an expensive choice. A 22-year-old's $3,000 Roth IRA contribution, for example, could grow to more than $95,000 by the time she's eligible for full Social Security benefits. Put off that contribution by 10 years, and her contribution will grow less than half as big, to about $44,000. Both examples assume 8% average annual returns.

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