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Paying for College
It Make$ Cents!on 26 January 2015
Transcript of Paying for College
Covering Tuition Costs:
photo (cc) Malte Sörensen @ flickr
College is expensive
The Simple fact...
The tuition at the UW-L is $_,_ _ _.
Students who graduate with loans at UW-L have on average over $_ _,_ _ _ of debt.
How can I afford School?
Students today face more adversity in paying for their educations than any generation before as loan amounts for college have increased 511% since 1999.
What are your biggest concerns when it comes to paying for college?
How do you think most college students pay for college?
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
It is always wise to 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.
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
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 with cash or a check, fortunately you can still pursue a college degree.
You may receive money for school expenses in two main forms that will help cover finances.
Bridging the Gap
Free Money: Or funds that you will receive without any responsibility to repay down the road
Student Loans: Which will carry a liability with you for years until they are completely repaid
The FIRST place to turn
Can Come in many different forms, such as...
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
The amounts, requirements, and recurrence of these vary greatly from each source
These usually require applications and are competitive, but with thousands of options a little hard work can go a long way here
3 Great tools for finding scholarships
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
Depending on your need you may be eligible to receive $602-$5,730 (As of the 2014-2015 school year)
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are awarded to those with the highest level of need and range from $100 to $402
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
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 need help paying for college?
The Facts on Student Loans
Each loan is different in quantity, interest rate, payment schedule, and servicer.
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 effect your credit score, influencing your ability to purchase a home, a car, and other large purchases!
Student Loan Options
Just like all the other sources of money available for college, loans come in many different varieties
Federal Direct Loans
PLUS Parent 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
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
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
Pay attention to entrance loan counseling, 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
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 save you thousands in the long run
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 the process, always seek the advice of a financial aid counselor.
And always remember... You can do this!!
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2103 Centennial Hall
free money sources?
So now you're asking, how do I access these funds?
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 notify you how much aid you are eligible for 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 will receive their financial aid award.
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 reviewed for special circumstances
It does not hurt for students to know their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and Cost of Attendance (COA)
Remembering deadlines are crucial!
The FAFSA is not the only step to getting an award letter
Wisconsin Covenant Grant
Wisconsin Higher Education Grant
Repayment begins when this loan is taken out, but if you contact the financial institution, you can receive deferment on the payment
Phone: (608) 785-8604
Estimated Awards at
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:
Budgeting tips: Part-time/summer Job & graduation money. Mint App
These costs don't include housing, food, transportation, or other living expenses.
Remembering deadlines are crucial!