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Emerson College Agrees to Settlement in Student Loan Scandal


Jul 22, 2009

After New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo brought to light questionable practices some college financial aid offices engaged in when creating preferred lender lists for private loans, the fallout was felt nationwide. While colleges and lenders have reformed their practices in the face of new regulations, lawsuits against colleges and lenders are still being addressed. [...]

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92 months ago 0 comments

While fall classes may still seem far off for many students, incoming college freshmen and transfer students are already attending summer orientation and registration sessions. Choosing classes leads directly to one of college's biggest sticker shocks: the price of textbooks for those introductory classes. With individual texts regularly carrying triple-digit price tags, a semester's worth of textbooks you may never touch again can seem an unreasonable expense. [...]

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With unemployment continuing to rise, college savings funds still performing poorly, and some states being forced to make cuts to grant and scholarship programs, many students are likely to be facing a very different financial situation when it comes to paying for college in 2009, as opposed to 2008.  Students who have experienced a significant change in their financial circumstances since completing the FAFSA, such as a loss of income and savings, can appeal to their college's financial aid office for a chance at more need-based college scholarships and grants. [...]

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Today is May 29, also known as "529 College Savings Day," named after 529 plans, which are popular state-sponsored college savings plans.  Today has been designated as a day to raise awareness of the importance of saving for college, as well as ways to do so. While 529 plans suffered along with everything else in the stock market, they are still being emphasized as a valuable tool for saving money for college. [...]

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Student loans and credit cards make up the two most dangerous, and often difficult to avoid, debt traps for college students.  While some amount of borrowing for college can make life easier for students, too much debt can make life nearly impossible for graduates.  The same goes for credit cards.  Having a card is great for emergencies and your credit rating, but running up a large balance while in college can really hurt, especially for students who were approved during days of easy credit and are now seeing rates soar and credit limits plummet. [...]

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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. [...]

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Nervous about shelling out big bucks for a college degree in this economy? Here's a compelling reason to go to college: data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2008 indicates that higher education attainment still translates to a lower rate of unemployment and a higher salary.  A handy graphic here breaks it down. [...]

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New college grads may face an especially tough time due to the recession.  The growth in anticipated new hires, which is measured twice a year by The National Association of Colleges and Employers, has been slowing since it reached a high in spring 2007, falling almost flat in the fall.  The numbers for spring 2009 show that for the first time in years, businesses actually anticipate hiring fewer college graduates this year than last--22 percent fewer, in fact.  According to The Boston Globe, the business and finance sectors have an even bleaker outlook, as does the northeastern region of the United States. [...]

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While April may be the cruelest month, March can be especially rough for students bound for college or graduate school.  Late March and early April are when admissions decisions and financial aid letters roll out for those not immediately accepted or rejected by their dream schools, and around now, things are getting pretty agonizing.  While a large part of March is consumed by waiting, even those who have already received good news may be consumed by the crushing dread of all the work to be done before September.  After all, if you get into a college or graduate school, you still have to figure out how to pay for it, what classes to take, what forms to complete, what to do with your life between now and then, and for many students, how to graduate on time, as well.  So, while you may still be waiting for a decision, there are things you can do in March to make April through August easier. [...]

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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. [...]

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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. [...]

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The recession seems to be bringing an almost constant stream of stories about people in all sorts of circumstances who are facing new and varied financial troubles.  These stories could easily be read as a guide for "things not to do in a recession."  The latest addition?  "Default on your student loans." [...]

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As we mentioned last month, financial aid application deadlines are fast approaching for the coming fall.  While students technically have until June 30, 2010 to complete a FAFSA on the Web for the 2009-2010 school year, state aid deadlines happen much sooner with some occurring as early as February--this February.  So if you're waiting to do your taxes first or just generally procrastinating on your application, check the deadlines below to make sure you don't miss out on state or campus-based aid programs.   Alabama:   Check with your financial aid administrator  Alaska:  April 15, 2009  American Samoa:  Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  Arizona:  March 1, 2009  Arkansas:   For Academic Challenge - June 1, 2009  For Workforce Grant - check with your financial aid administrator  For Higher Education Opportunity Grant - June 1, 2009 (fall term); November 1, 2009 (spring term)    California:   For initial awards - March 2, 2009  For additional community college awards - September 2, 2009 - date postmarked (additional forms may be required)    Colorado: Check with your financial aid administrator  Connecticut: Priority deadline February 15, 2009 (additional forms may be required)  Delaware: April 15, 2009  District of Columbia: June 30, 2009 (additional forms may be required)  Federated States of Micronesia: Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  Florida: May 15, 2009 - date processed  Georgia: Check with your financial aid administrator  Guam: Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  Hawaii: Check with you financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  Idaho:  Opportunity Grant - Priority deadline March 1, 2009 (additional forms may be required)  Illinois:   First-time applicants - September 30, 2009  Continuing applicants - Priority deadline August 15, 2009    Indiana: March 10, 2009  Iowa: July 1, 2009  Kansas: Priority deadline April 1, 2009 (additional forms may be required)  Kentucky: Priority deadline March 15, 2009  Louisiana: July 1, 2009  Maine: May 1, 2009  Marshall Islands: Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  Maryland: March 1, 2009  Massachusetts: Priority deadline May 1, 2009  Michigan: March 1, 2009  Minnesota: 30 days after term starts  Mississippi:   MTAG and MESG Grants - September 15, 2009  HELP Scholarship - March 31, 2009    Missouri: April 1, 2009  Montana: Priority deadline March 1, 2009  Nebraska: Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  Nevada: Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  New Hampshire: May 1, 2009  New Jersey:   June 1, 2009 if you received a Tuition Aid Grant in 2008-2009  All other applications - October 1, 2009, for fall and spring terms;  March 1, 2010, for spring term only    New Mexico: Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  New York: May 1, 2010 (additional forms may be required)  North Carolina: Check with your financial aid administrator  North Dakota: March 15, 2009  Northern Mariana Islands: Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  Ohio: October 1, 2009  Oklahoma: Priority deadline April 15, 2009 for best consideration  Oregon: Check with your financial aid administrator  Palau: Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  Pennsylvania:   All 2008-2009 State Grant recipients and all non-2008-2009 State Grant recipients in degree programs - May 1, 2009  All other applicants - August 1, 2009 (additional forms may be required)    Puerto Rico: Check with your financial aid administrator  Rhode Island: Priority deadline March 1, 2009  South Carolina: Tuition Grants - June 30, 2009  South Dakota: Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  Tennessee:   For State Grant - Priority deadline March 1, 2009  For State Lottery - September 1, 2009    Texas: Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  U.S. Virgin Islands: Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  Utah: Check with your financial aid administrator  Vermont: Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  Virginia: Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  Washington: Check with your financial aid administrator  West Virginia: Priority deadline March 1, 2009 (additional forms may be required)  Wisconsin: Check with your financial aid administrator  Wyoming: Check with your financial aid administrator (additional forms may be required)  Additional information about federal and state financial aid application deadlines can be found on the official FAFSA website.  Deadlines for individual campuses may occur earlier than the deadline for your state.  Check with your college's financial aid office to find out deadlines for campus financial aid. [...]

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If you're planning to enroll in a community college sometime in 2009, be sure to plan ahead.  While in the past, late registration may have resulted in students not getting a class or two they wanted, increased interest in two year schools may produce an even more pronounced effect.  Community colleges across the country are receiving more applications and admitting more students for the 2008-2009 academic year than ever before, with some institutions reporting percentage growths in the double digits.  Many schools are seeing enrollment increases so dramatic that they lack the money and space to adequately accommodate the students turning up on their doorsteps. [...]

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While the focus for many students right now is planning for and paying for the next year of college, some students are still struggling with bills from the current or previous semester.  An e-mail survey by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers reports a perceived increase in unpaid tuition bills in the 2008-2009 academic year.  While being caught short on one semester's tuition can seem stressful enough, it can carry serious consequences for college students. [...]

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Though it's a day off from school and work, New Year's Day is often seen as a day to get down to business.  While you're starting in on your New Year's resolutions, opening up a new calendar, and packing up the holiday decorations, there's one more thing that college students and college-bound high school students should consider doing.  The Department of Education starts accepting the 2009-2010 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (more commonly known as "FAFSA") on January 1.  State application deadlines start happening soon after, beginning with Connecticut's February 15 priority deadline.  So while you might not be starting school until August or September, you want to be applying for financial aid right now. [...]

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