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Paying for College

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by It Make$ Cents! on 4 April 2013

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Transcript of Paying for College

Going Full Circle on Grants, Loans, and More! Covering Tuition Costs: photo (cc) Malte Sörensen @ flickr College is expensive The Simple fact... The national average annual Public In-State tuition alone is $8,244. These costs don't include housing, food, transportation, or other living expenses. Students who graduate with loans have on average over $23,000 of debt How can I afford School? Students today face more adversity in paying for their educations than any generation before. Thankfully there are a variety of ways to help reduce any costs associated with education. With proper planning, proactive measures, and a little help anyone can graduate with the least debt possible and have a plan in place to pay off what debt they do have. Making Sense of Your Dollars By budgeting out your total monthly expenses and comparing them to your available resources you can find how much of a financial gap you'll be facing Hopefully you have some money saved away to put towards your education. It is important to be realistic how much you have saved, and how much attending school will cost you. Example Annual Cost = $15,000 Let's say you have $10,000 saved for school and...
Annual tuition = $8,000
Room & Board = $3,500
Meal Plan = $2,500
Misc. Expenses = $1,000 Then your 4-year expected cost would be $60,000 leaving you with $50,000 to come up with! How am I going to do this? So now you must be thinking.... But there is hope! Between your family, the government, and private corporations there are numerous ways to bridge the gap between your resources and your need If you are like most people and cannot fully pay for school up front, you can still pursue a secondary education. You may receive money for school expenses in two main different forms Bridging the Gap Free Money: Or funds that you will receive without any responsibility to repay down the road Financial Loans: Which will carry a liability with you for years until they are completely repaid OR The FIRST place to turn FREE Money They Come in many different forms, such as... Grants Scholarships Federal Work Study These are based on a variety of factors and can be need-based, merit-based, or a combination of both Grants and Scholarships Both can come from the government or private-enterprises Every dollar you get here is a dollar you won't have to repay down the road Although it may take some work to find and apply for them, it is time well spent as it can literally add up to thousands of dollars off of your education and mind Scholarships The amounts, requirements, and recurrence of these vary greatly from each source These usually require applications and are competitive, but with literally thousands of options a little hard work can go a long way here 3 Great tools for finding scholarships www.salliemae.com/ www.fastweb.com/college-scholarships www.foundation.uwlax.edu/sch.html Has a number of programs and has awarded $15.5 million to 6,350 students since 2001 Provides access to countless sources of scholarship and can be individualized to help target those most likely to apply to the student searching Numerous scholarships offered through the University of La Crosse, many of which are local and give you the best chance of winning them Grants Federal Grants: Pell Grants- These are awarded based on the unmet need determined by your FAFSA. Depending on your need you may be eligible to receive up to $5,645 (As of the 2013-2014 school year) FSEOG Grants- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are awarded to those with the highest level of need and range from $100 to $402 Private Grants: Typically these are merit-based, need-based, and student -specific These are available to almost everyone, and though they usually have some requirements for who can apply, many corporations, small businesses, and employers have programs set up for grants for students Once again there is competition for these, but the time spend applying is better then taking on debt that you will have to deal with for years down the road Employment and Federal Work Study Federal Work Study Part-Time employment sponsored by the government to help students with need finance their post secondary education Other Employment Opportunities A part-time job is a good resume booster, but can also provide you with some money to put towards your education and personal expenses Eagle Ops www.uwlax.edu/careerservices/ This is the university's website that provides all the postings from both the school and local businesses. There are a great variety of options, internships, and jobs depending on what you are seeking So you've exhausted your This is where loans can become useful in pursuing your education, but there are many factors and parts of loans you must fully understand before taking one out. Chances are you still have some financial need Student Loans The Facts on Student Loans Each loan is different in quantity, interest rate, payment schedule, and who the money is loaned from The one thing they all have in common? They will be with you until the day they are COMPLETELY PAID OFF! Understanding what you are signing up for is unbelievably important, and every dollar you take out will need to be repaid in full and with INTEREST Depending on what loan(s) you take out you will face different responsibilities The most important thing to remember is that you will HAVE to repay what you borrow, and a failure to do so can haunt you for the rest of your life by ruining your credit score, holding you back from housing, and preventing you from getting a job Student Loan Options Just like all the other sources of money available for college, loans come in many different varieties
Stafford Loans
Perkins Loans
PLUS Parent Loans
Private Loans Stafford Loans These loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.8% as of June 1st 2012 Repayment begins 6-months after a student graduates or drops below half-time status and are typically due in 10-years/120-payments These loans are sponsored by or directly from the government, and are a primary loan source for students The maximum amount you can receive increases each year from $5,500 to $7,500 Stafford loans come in two variations... Subsidized Stafford Loans Unsubsidized Stafford Loans Subsidized means that the government will pay the interest accrued on your loan while you attend school Unsubsidized means the interested accumulated over your time on school is added to the principle balance of the loan to be repaid after the grace period ends Perkins Loans These loans are subsidized, and can be awarded up to $2,000 a year for undergraduates at UW-L Perkins loans have a fixed 5% interest rate Repayment begins 9 months after graduation Has a standard repayment schedule of 10-years/120 Payments This loan is another federally sponsored loan, and is considered the best option for those who qualify PLUS Parent Loans They are also government sponsored, and used for covering the financial expenses outside of tuition Theses are loans that your parents can take out regardless of need The have a fixed rate of 7.9% Repayment begins within 60 days of disbursement, but can be deferred until up to 6 months after graduation or dropping below half-time status Private Loans The interest rates are variable, and tend to be higher than Federal options The loan rate depends on you and your parents credit score and the institution you choose to take the loan out of These are taken out through various non-government financial institutions These typically have shorter repayment plans and smaller or no grace periods Things to Remember Always look around for the best possible deal Whatever you borrow will stick with you until the principle and interest are repaid Only borrow what you need, unneeded loan money is likely to be used frivolously Don't jump into a loan, always makes sure to fully understand the terms and conditions of the loan you are entering into. This is likely to be the biggest financial decision you will have made at this point in your life It MAKE$ Cents! Parting Advice Be responsible, these loans are most likely going to be one of the first defining factors on your credit score Just because you qualify for a certain amount on a loan doesn't mean you need to accept more than you need If you can, pay interest payments while in school as it can literally save you thousands in the long run Questions? Their advice and experience can help you save money and stress, and give you a better understanding of what you are doing If you ever have questions, concerns, or are confused about what you are doing always seek the advice of a financial mentor And always remember... You can do this!! Email: ItMakesCents@uwlax.edu Follow us on Twitter! @ItMakesCentsUWL www.uwlax.edu/itmakescents/ Financial Aid Office
215 Graff Main Hall free money sources? So now you're asking, how do I access these funds? The FAFSA What is the FAFSA? It is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid As the name implies, it is free, so never pay for a scholarship search or FAFSA completion! To be Eligible for the FAFSA U.S. Citizen or permanent resident
High school graduate or GED holder
Eligible degree/certificate program
Valid Social Security number
Males must be registered for Selective Service You can complete the FAFSA as early as January 1st of your senior year, and remember to complete it each year What Happens Next? Each school will tell you how much aid you can get at that school Once you decide which school to attend, keep in touch with the financial aid office to find out when and how you will get your aid When will the Aid be Awarded? The General Process is this: 1. Students are accepted for admissions
2. Students are awarded institutional merit scholarships (if qualified and meet all deadlines)
3. Students are then considered for "Need-based" aid Special Circumstances These are things that are not reported on the FAFSA Send written explanation to financial aid office at each college Examples of Special Circumstances:
Change in employment status
Medical expenses not covered by insurance
Change in yours or parents marital status
Unusual dependent care expenses
Student cannot obtain parent information When filling out the FAFSA, remember Don't assume you are not eligible for Federal Aid Award letters vary and CAN be appealed for special circumstances Students should know their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and Cost of Attendance (COA) Remembering Deadlines is crucial! The FAFSA is not the only step to getting an award letter Financial Aid is determined like this:
Cost of Attendance (COA)
-Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
=Need State Grants State grants are also offered for certain circumstances Wisconsin Covenant Grant Wisconsin Higher Education Grant $2500 max for students in the Covenant Program Provide assistance of up to $2384 for students who qualify when applied Subsidized: $13,810 $17,566 Difference: Unsubsidized: $3756 Repayment begins when this loan is taken out, but if you contact the financial institution, you can receive deferment on the payment finaid@uwlax.edu Phone: (608) 785-8604 Estimated Awards at
UW-La Crosse EFC: 0 EFC: 2000 EFC: 4000 EFC: 6000 EFC? Pell Grants:
WHEG:
FSEOG:
FWS:
Perkins Loans:
Subsidized Loans:
Unsub. Loans:
Additional Elig: $5645
$2324
$402
$1600
$2500
$3500
$2000
$329 Pell Grants:
WHEG:
FSEOG:
FWS:
Perkins Loans:
Subsidized Loans:
Unsub. Loans:
Additional Elig: Pell Grants:
WHEG:
FSEOG:
FWS:
Perkins Loans:
Subsidized Loans:
Unsub. Loans:
Additional Elig: Pell Grants:
WHEG:
FSEOG:
FWS:
Perkins Loans:
Subsidized Loans:
Unsub. Loans:
Additional Elig: TOTAL: $3595
$1544
$352
$1600
$2500
$3500
$2000
$3209 $1595
$764
$252
$0
$2500
$3500
$2000
$7689 $0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$3500
$2000
$12,800 $18,300 TOTAL: $18,300 TOTAL: $18,300 TOTAL: $18,300 The EFC is a number calculated through your FAFSA. It uses various pieces of financial information to determine what your family is "expected" to contribute and your financial need Calculating this number can be done many ways, including calculators that can be found online, such as this one:
http://www.finaid.org/calculators/finaidestimate.phtml
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