Archive November 2009 in our Blog
While deadlines vary from school to school, the financial aid process can be timely and confusing (especially for incoming freshmen) if you are not prepared. Here is a ballpark time line to consider when applying for financial aid. September through November: Gather all the documents you will need to complete financial aid forms. If you are not sure which ones you need check out our previous posts! Start looking for scholarships. Free money!! Meet with your guidance counselor, they can help lead you in the right direction when searching and applying for colleges. As well as, guide you in the… Read more here!
With January 1st quickly approaching, let's review the changes made to student financial aid that were effective as of July 2009. These changes include lowering the cost of student loans, an increase in aid for Pell Grant recipients and military aid recipients, and providing help for students who find themselves in unmanageable debt. Grants: Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), there is an increase in the maximum Pell grant award being with the 2009/2010 school year. This funding increased the grant to $5,350, which is up more than $600… Read more here!
You are not alone. If you graduated in May 2009, your grace period is just about up. Here is the audio for an NPR news segment on the challenges of being a college graduate in today's economy. 20091123_atc_16 Now more than ever, students are defaulting on their loans.Here are a few tips to help: Income Based Repayment If you can prove your hardship, the federal government can defer your loans for up to three years. Do not borrow more than you can expect to earn. Don't expect to start your dream job the day after you graduate. A job will… Read more here!
Happy Thanksgiving! With Christmas just around the corner, if you are serious about getting the most out of your financial aid package, here are a few books you may want to add to your Christmas list. Reminder: You can fill out your FAFSA as of January 1, 2010! Getting Financial Aid 2010 by The College Board This book is designed for both parents and students how may need a little help understanding the financial aid process. The text talks you through the all important FAFSA form and the CSS Profile. As well as providing information for over 3,000 colleges regarding… Read more here!
By signing a Master Promissory Note, you are making a promise with your lender to pay back all loan money borrowed. The MPN is used by all lenders and schools. Terms of repayment include the entire loan amount, along with the accrued interest. The MPN is a way to streamline the financial aid process for all applicants.You will receive a Master Promissory Note application once you accept your financial aid package. Your federal PIN number will be needed to sign the MPN. Under the MPN you will: Receive instructions for repayment, deferment, and the interest that will accrue on all… Read more here!
Deferment and forbearance are just fancy ways of saying postponing your student loan repayments. Let's take a look at the difference. Deferment is postponing your student loan repayment for a specific period of time for a specific reason. You have to apply for deferment through your lender; it is not automatic. You apply for a deferment by contacting your lender and filling out a form. Not everyone will qualify for a deferment. You will need to illustrate your need in order to receive a deferment. Remember to continue making payments on your loans until you are 100% sure you have… Read more here!
Now that you are a few months removed from school, its time to start thinking about repayment. Your repayment period begins at the conclusion of your grace period. There are a few things you need to know about repayment: Exit Counseling You will receive notice about this when you graduate or start attending school less than half-time. This session will provide information on your loans and when repayment begins. Grace Period When you graduate or withdraw you will have a six month time period where you will not be responsible for making payments. This time will allow you to get… Read more here!
The FAFSA application will clearly define the rules for determining student dependency status. However if you answer yes to one or more of the following questions you are considered an independent student: Are you 24 years old or older? Are you married? Are you a graduate student (masters or PhD.)? Do you have children who you support more than half? Do you have other dependents living with you (other than spouse or children)? Are you an orphan or ward of the state? Are you a U.S. armed forces’ veteran? As an independent student, this means you parent’s income and assets… Read more here!