Archive December 2009 in our Blog


Avoiding Scholarship Scams

Follow one generall rule: if you have to pay money to receive a scholarship; it is probably a scam. Each year as students and parents search to find money for college, thousands fall victim to scams which result in the loss of more than $100 million annually. Beware of scholarships with application fees, financial aid seminars that are advance-fee loan scams or sales pitches, and scholarship matching companies that promise guaranteed scholarships. Scams often disguise themselves as legitimate government agencies, grant foundations, educational lenders, and scholarship matching services. Don’t let official sounding names fool you. Just because an organization’s name… Read more here!

Categories: Financial Aid | Scholarships
Tags: financial aid scholarship scams scholarships

FAFSA Reminder!

Reminder~ 1 week from today, 1/1/2010, you can begin filling out your 2010-2011 school year FAFSA application. This is very important to ensure that you maximize your financial aid award. Remember money is distributed on a first-come, first-serve, need-based basis. So, don't miss your opportunity! While filing in March or April is acceptable, it is highly recommended that you apply as close as possible to January 1st. Prepare- Know your deadlines (by school, state, program), Gather your documents (personal information and information on your family's income, taxes, and assets), apply for a PIN, Use the FAFSA worksheet. Apply- Apply online;… Read more here!

Categories: Financial Aid Applications | FAFSA
Tags: apply for financial aid fafsa financial aid

The Teach Grant Program

Thinking about becoming a teacher? The Teach Grant Program may be able to help reduce the cost of your education. Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program can provide grants of up to $4,000 to students with intentions of teaching in a public or private elementary school or high school with students from low-income families. After receiving a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calender years of completing your education program for which your received the TEACH Grant. If… Read more here!

Categories: Financial Aid | Grants
Tags: college cost reduction and access act teach grant teaching career

The Perfect Essay

A lot of college scholarships and grants require an essay. Scholarship and grant officers have thousands upon thousands of essays to read through, so make yours stand out! If you have the right GPA, the community involvement and the school activities, a strong essay can set you apart from the rest. Here are some tips: Have a trusted adult or teacher review your essay before you submit it. Understand the purpose of the question and what they are asking. If you are going to write an essay, make sure you stay on track and write about what they are asking… Read more here!

Categories: Financial Aid | Grants | Scholarships
Tags: financial aid essay grants scholarship essay scholarships

Financial Aid Myths

Financial aid is available in many forms and for many reasons.  Don't believe everything you hear, and if you aren't sure if it's true or not research it! Here are a few common misconceptions regarding financial aid: I can't afford college. Without a doubt, college is expensive. However, this doesn't mean you cannot afford it. When you consider the long is worth every penny. A college grad will make an average $800,000 more in their career than a high school grad. Also, just because a tuition rate seems too high (or too low) this does not influence the quality… Read more here!

Categories: Financial Aid | Scholarships | Student Loans | Financial Aid Applications | FAFSA
Tags: financial aid for part time students financial aid misconceptions low interest loans qualifying for financial aid

College during a Recession

Here are a few quick tips for getting the most for your buck during a recession: Realism- If the cost of the school you wish to attend is rather pricey and your desired career isn't high paying, it may be worth considering schools with lower tuition costs. Fine Print- When you receive your loan information, read the fine print.  With interest rates dropping, the Federal Reserve may make private loans seem low. However, payments will increase when interest rates rise again. Federal Loans- If possible, stick with them. If you only borrow with Stafford and Perkins loans, you will avoid… Read more here!

Categories: College Planning | College Savings | Financial Aid | Scholarships | Student Loans
Tags: economic recession financial aid scholarships student loans

Tuition Tax?

For those of you living in Pittsburgh, the debate over the tuition tax continues. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has asked city council to approve a 1% tuition tax, which would be the first of its kind in the nation. Ravenstahl has set a Monday deadline for the city's 10 universities and other tax-exempt nonprofits to agree to pay $5 million dollars annually to the city. Leaders of these universities have made it clear that they will not contribute financially to the city. Allegheny County executive, Dan Onorato, says the tax is not supportable and it is not advisable to argue with… Read more here!

Tags: financial aid pittsburgh tuition tax tuition tax

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