Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Seeking Higher Education Aid

By: Bovemsa Cheung
The cost of higher education is costly however tuition costs should not be a prime factor of not going to school. Before deciding on a college program or an education loan you should consider the financial costs against the financial benefits. You should 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, and what salaries graduates from your program are earning.

The best kind of financial aid is money you do not have to pay back, commonly known as scholarships, grants, or fellowships. At least 40 percent of grad students get some free money through creating a bidding war for themselves, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, asking university department or grad school advisor for help in finding aid, tracking down and applying to charities and government agencies that fund graduate study and getting their employers to contribute to their education.

People who are unable to attain “free money” may consider taking out loans. When taking out a loan there are many things you need to look at such as the cost of the guarantee or origination fee, rate/time frame for loan capitalization, fixed rates versus non-fixed interest rates, whether the payment is required on a monthly basis, and so on. There are many types of loans such as Perkins, Stafford, and loans for a specific school such as medical, business, law and other private student loans.

There are also many ways to increase availability of aid, these include:
· If they separate themselves from their parent’s assets
· During the time of their application, if they have limited funds in their checking and savings account or have parents transfer their money away from their checking and savings accounts
· Don’t be claimed on your parents income tax forms prior to application for at least one year
· If a parent is going to sell an investment to support graduate school, they should sell during the junior year of undergraduate prior to January due to capital gain taxes
· Parents should contribute more money into home equity, because this is not under consideration when calculating financial aid in most cases


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