June 4, 2008
June 3, 2008
June 2, 2008
May 30, 2008
Summer and school didn’t couple well in middle school, but now, well, they may not be the worst choice. With the exception of some lucky individuals, most college students spend at least a part of their summer working. Adding a class or two to one’s schedule won’t ruin what wasn’t paradise in the first place. While summer classes do require additional work, they are a sensible option for many. Here are some reasons why off-season classes may be worth the effort:
May 29, 2008
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a form of federal student aid that does not need to be repaid. It is awarded to students by colleges and universities, and a mixture of federal and school funds is used to pay for the program. As FSEOG awards are based on financial need, students interested in obtaining this form of financial aid will have to complete a FAFSA and have their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated. A standard federal formula will be used to determine a student’s financial need, but schools will have a large degree of leverage over how much each student will receive.
To obtain the FSEOG, a student must attend one of the approximately 4,000 colleges and universities that participate in the federal program. Schools that take part in the FSEOG program receive grant money from the government but must still contribute 25 percent of the funds.
Individual colleges and universities determine how much grant money each student will receives based on fund availability, the time a student submits their FAFSA (earlier is better) and the student’s level of need. The yearly awards may vary from $100 to $4,000 per year, and those who were eligible for Pell Grants will be considered first.
If a student is awarded an FSEOG, the school may pay them directly, credit their school account or both. Depending on the school’s term system, students may be paid each semester, trimester or quarter. Regardless of the institutions set course timeline, the money must be paid in at least two installments.
May 28, 2008
Weighed down by an economic downturn and a cut in federal subsidies, student lenders have been lining up at the FFEL exit sign for months. But if the past two days are a sign of what’s to come, many are reconsidering their departure. On Wednesday, Margaret Spellings sent a letter to numerous student lenders pledging the Department of the Treasury’s support in helping them get back on their feet.
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Department of Education’s plan to purchase loans student lenders have trouble selling had three student lenders declaring their plans to return within two days. Though the funds are meant to be a temporary, one-year solution to the student loan crunch, the decision was enough to convince NorthStar, the Brazos Group and Graduate Leverage to return to the FFEL program.
"Many details still need to be worked out, and we will share those as they become available. But the good news is we’re back in the federal student loan business, and students and families will have more loan options for the upcoming year,” stated NorthStar’s Chief Executive Taige Thornton on the company website.
The security now provided by the federal government may be enough to lure more FFEL student lenders back into the business. It may also prove incentive enough for student lenders to relax the increasingly tight criteria used to judge potential borrowers. While the credit crunch is certainly not over, the current federal aid contributions may prove sufficient in convincing some, if not most, lenders to return to the workforce.
May 27, 2008
As a means of promoting diversity and developing talent, Scholarships.com has created a new set of scholarships for high school students and undergraduate students. The Scholarships.com “Fund Your Future” Area of Study Scholarships consist of the Scholarships.com Resolve to Evolve Scholarship and thirteen $1,000 awards to be granted to students who pursue a postsecondary education in one of thirteen designated fields and 185 related majors.
Included is the Scholarships.com College Education Scholarship, an award for students who plan to or are already majoring in the Education and related majors. Finding money for college is not easy. By providing financial aid to education majors, we hope to produce another class of individuals who can use their knowledge to help future scholars.If you’re interested in applying for this essay scholarship, respond to the following question in 250 to 350 words (entries that fall outside of this word range will be disqualified): “What has influenced your decision to pursue a career in education?”
Deadline: August 30, 2008
Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search. Once the search is completed, students eligible for the award will find it in their scholarship list.
May 23, 2008
Following a controversial House tactic for approving only a part of their veteran tuition bill, the Senate today agreed upon their bill in whole. Based on the Senate version, veterans who have served in the military for a minimum of three years following the September 11 attacks would receive enough financial assistance to cover tuition at the most expensive public college or university in their state. A monthly stipend to be used for housing costs would also be provided for eligible veterans. A more divisive bill amendment—one that would set aside billions for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars—was approved by Senate but denied by the House. Rather than accept the bill in its entirety, the House decided to break the draft into three parts, voting only against the war funding portion.
Complaining that they were duped into believing the government would pay for an entire education, numerous veterans felt that the funds they received were insufficient to cover much of their college needs. The original G.I. Bill of Rights, a law created after WWII, provided troops with enough funds to complete their degree. Though financial appropriations were periodically increased, the money they receive no longer pays for all or most of the average student’s postsecondary education.
To pass the veteran tuition bill, the Senate and House will have to first hash out their differences and send a unified version to the president. Both requirements may prove difficult. Even if both chambers compromise on their ideas, the bill will have to be approved by President Bush who publicly stated that he would not support federal student aid exceeding his $108 billion cap. He was quoted by the AP as saying, “I will work with Congress on these veterans' benefits .... But the $108 billion is $108 billion.”
May 22, 2008
Following talks of purchasing FFEL loans and using a lender of last resort program to ensure student access to federal college funds, the Department of Education officially agreed on a temporary bail-out plan. For the next year, the Department has agreed to purchase loans federally subsidized student lenders have trouble selling at a profitable rate.
The credit crunch, caused in part by rising default rates and a decrease in federal student aid offered to student lenders, has caused about 80 lenders to leave the student market, reported the Los Angeles Times. Even the most important name in the market, student lender giant Sallie Mae, has threatened to pull out of the FFEL business. Attempting to ease fears that students loans would be difficult to secure, the Department of Education has been working with Congress on a regular basis to establish a quick and effective alternative.
The most recent announcement lays out an number of methods for ameliorating family and lender fears—at least temporarily. In a letter sent to Chief Executive Officers of student loan companies, Margaret Spellings promised that by July 1, 2009, the Department would purchase FFEL loans originated for the 2008-2009 school year. “Many lenders today do not have access to funds at a cost that justifies originating new loans. Our plan is designed to provide viability in the marketplace for lenders who step up and make loans in this difficult environment,” she stated.
To further assure that all students will have access to loans, the Department has agreed to put into play the Lender of Last Resort Program (LLR) which will be used to lend money to students who have trouble securing finances from weary lenders. Schools that choose to opt for the Direct Loan Program, a lesser used school loan program wherein students borrow directly from the government rather than from federally subsidized lenders, will also receive aid through a $15 billion boost in available funds. “This program should ensure that the market works for students needing loans this school year,” said Secretary Paulson of the Treasury.
May 21, 2008
More than a year after their controversial ad suggested that financial aid officials were profiting at the expense of student borrowers, MyRichUncle’s in-your-face marketing tactics have again caused an uproar among college officials. The ads in question, ones recently found in The New York Times and USA Today, portray a split head—no brains—with the slogan, “I didn’t use my brain, I went straight to the financial aid office,” reported The Chronicle of Higher Education.
After MyRichUncle's initial ad ran, an investigation into college financial aid offices led to revelations that numerous colleges were receiving money to advertise select student lenders on their official preferred-lender lists. Since then administrators at a number of colleges and universities were forced to resign. Frustrated at the prospect of more accusations and worried that the self-serving actions of a few would come to represent the general view of college representatives, financial aid officials are fuming about the new ads.
To find what MyRichUncle could tell me that financial aid officials couldn’t, I visited the student lender's site. Expecting to see federal student aid definitions or information about college scholarships and grants under their “Financial Aid 101” heading, I instead found that I needed to download the latest flash player to see further results. Information about company loans was, of course, much easier to navigate.
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