News Articles About College Costs

There was an interesting article in The New York Times today offering a rare behind-the-scenes look at a university financial aid office.  If you're still baffled by your financial aid award letter, or you just are curious to find out how it was created, this article is a good read.  While it focuses on Boston University, an elite and expensive private college, many of the processes discussed carry over to other schools, both public and private.

A Look Inside a Financial Aid Office

April 17, 2009
by Scholarships.com Staff
There was an interesting article in The New York Times today offering a rare behind-the-scenes look at a university financial aid office.  If you're still baffled by your financial aid award letter,
While an increasing number of college students received financial aid in the 2007-2008 academic year, that calendar year students also ran up more credit card debt.  The average college student owed $3,173 on credit cards in March 2008, compared to $2,169 in 2004.  This information comes from the student lender Sallie Mae, which has been tracking students' credit card debt since 1998.

College Students' Credit Card Debt Increasing

April 16, 2009
by Scholarships.com Staff
While an increasing number of college students received financial aid in the 2007-2008 academic year, that calendar year students also ran up more credit card debt.  The average college student owed
As college costs continue to rise, the percentage of students receiving financial aid also continues to grow.  As of the 2007-2008 academic year, a full two-thirds of undergraduate students received some form of student financial aid, with 47 percent receiving federal aid. This is according to the First Look report on the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study published by the National Center for Education Statistics yesterday.

More Students Receiving Financial Aid

April 15, 2009
by Scholarships.com Staff
As college costs continue to rise, the percentage of students receiving financial aid also continues to grow.  As of the 2007-2008 academic year, a full two-thirds of undergraduate students received
Today we move on to the final part of our Understanding Your Financial Aid Award Letter series.  If you were lucky enough to have your entire tuition paid through free money for college, then you can stop reading now.  But the vast majority of students who apply for aid will be awarded at least one less ideal form of financial aid.  Sorting through the rest of your award letter is the tough part--this is where difficult choices may need to be made, including whether and how much to borrow.

Understanding Your Financial Aid Award Letter III

April 14, 2009
by Scholarships.com Staff
Today we move on to the final part of our Understanding Your Financial Aid Award Letter series.  If you were lucky enough to have your entire tuition paid through free money for college, then you can
So you've figured out your cost of attendance, your expected family contribution, and the total amount of aid you're being offered at each college.  However, not all aid is created equal, and a package that appears to meet your full need could actually get you into more debt than a package that leaves a substantial gap.  A useful move both in choosing a college and budgeting out what you need for the year is to separate the grant and scholarship aid you've been offered from all of the other financial aid.  This is going to involve some more math and record-keeping on your part. We'll delve into the best kinds of aid in the second part in our series on understanding your financial aid award letter.

Understanding Your Financial Aid Award Letter II

April 10, 2009
by Scholarships.com Staff
So you've figured out your cost of attendance, your expected family contribution, and the total amount of aid you're being offered at each college.  However, not all aid is created equal, and a
Along with acceptance and rejection letters, colleges are sending out another nerve-wracking piece of mail this month: the financial aid award letter.  For many families who have only recently discovered the joys of completing the FAFSA, the financial aid letter can bring about a whole new kind of terror and confusion.  Even for people who are somewhat familiar with aid, deconstructing the naming conventions and occasionally less-than-detailed explanations on various colleges' award letters can be frustrating, as can mounting an effective comparison among differing aid packages.  Below is the first part in a series on understanding your financial aid award letter.

Understanding Your Financial Aid Award Letter

April 9, 2009
by Scholarships.com Staff
Along with acceptance and rejection letters, colleges are sending out another nerve-wracking piece of mail this month: the financial aid award letter.  For many families who have only recently
For current and future college students, April is a time for big, and potentially painful, decisions. Right now prospective college students are beginning to sort through their acceptance letters and financial aid offers and current students are starting to think about how to pay for school next year.  If the financial picture is much bleaker than you'd hoped, but you're hesitant to commit to the two-year school as a money-saving option, here's some information you may not have known about the community college experience.

The Changing Face of Community Colleges

April 7, 2009
by Scholarships.com Staff
For current and future college students, April is a time for big, and potentially painful, decisions. Right now prospective college students are beginning to sort through their acceptance letters and
On the heels of last week's announcement that Sallie Mae would not participate in the upcoming PLUS loan auction, the student lending giant once again comes bearing news that may ruffle some feathers and potentially hurt its customers' ability to pay for school.

Sallie Mae Sets New Terms for Private Loans

March 20, 2009
by Scholarships.com Staff
On the heels of last week's announcement that Sallie Mae would not participate in the upcoming PLUS loan auction, the student lending giant once again comes bearing news that may ruffle some feathers
It seems Sallie Mae wants nothing to do with PLUS Loans and it's possible many other lenders will be reticent to bid on the graduate student and parent targeted loans at the upcoming auction. Supposedly, the government is not allowing lenders to make enough money on these loans for it to be sufficiently profitable so they are opting to invest their capital elsewhere.

Sallie Mae Not Interested in PLUS Loans

March 13, 2009
by Administrator
It seems Sallie Mae wants nothing to do with PLUS Loans and it's possible many other lenders will be reticent to bid on the graduate student and parent targeted loans at the upcoming "auction".
Continuing our theme from yesterday, today's blog post centers on more options for saving for college.  Yesterday, we discussed 529 plans, popular college savings vehicles that have been battered by recent financial troubles.  If you're considering saving for college but are not sold on a 529 plan, the most common alternatives are discussed below.

Saving for College, Part II

March 6, 2009
by Scholarships.com Staff
Continuing our theme from yesterday, today's blog post centers on more options for saving for college.  Yesterday, we discussed 529 plans, popular college savings vehicles that have been battered by
Paying for college can be a struggle.  Nobody wants to repay student loans forever, not everybody is going to land a full-tuition scholarship, and federal student financial aid seldom takes care of all college costs.  If you're a parent or relative looking ahead to cover college costs for a child, finding scholarships is a great step now, but you may also want to consider college savings plans.

Saving for College, Part I: 529 Plans

March 5, 2009
by Scholarships.com Staff
Paying for college can be a struggle.  Nobody wants to repay student loans forever, not everybody is going to land a full-tuition scholarship, and federal student financial aid seldom takes care of
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