07.19.13 | College Costs Out of Control

Posted in Private Student Loans, Student Loans, Uncategorized by Student Loan Network Staff

Today, 20% of adults owe money on student loans, and 57% are worried about repaying these loans. Many have expressed concern about the recent legislation which increased the interest rate of subsidized loans to 6.8%, but the problem is not the cost of student loans. As stated by Mark Kantrowitz in a recent article published by MarketWatch, this will not double loan payments, but rather, will lead to about a 17% increase in monthly payments.

The real problem is the rising cost of college, and decline in government grants. A recent study by Gallup indicates that only 15% of Americans think that it would be reasonable for colleges to charge students more than $20,000 per year. Yet, many schools, such as MIT, Cornell, and Harvard, charge over $50,000 per year, after tuition and living expenses are taken into account. (more…)

05.09.12 | Skipping class costs how much!?

Posted in Financial Aid, financial aid tips, Scholarships, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

The Cost of Skipping ClassIt’s 7:30 on a monday morning and your alarm clock goes off. You turn it off and roll over for 5 more minutes of sleep. When you finally roll out of bed and look at the clock, it’s 11:30 and you’ve missed your class. Not a big deal, right? As it turns out, skipping class might cost you more than you think.

According to the recent infographic from StudentScholarshipSearch.com, skipping just one class is a waste of $20 if you attend a public college, or $50 if you’re at a private school. This may seem like it’s not a big deal, but wasted money can add up fast! If you’re paying for college with loans, you’ll be paying interest on that class’s cost too!

Still not convinced you shouldn’t skip class? What if i told you that “those who wasted time in college are 3x more likely to be unemployed”? That got your attention, didn’t it?

To find other ways skipping class can hurt you, check out the True Cost of Skipping Class infographic.

05.03.12 | Should you borrow from your 401k to pay tuition?

Posted in financial aid tips, PLUS Loans, Private Student Loans, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

Retirement ahead signThis week, many student nationwide are rejoicing in their college decisions, having just sent their deposits to their chosen colleges. Simultaneously, parents everywhere are worrying about how to pay the upcoming tuition bill. If you’re one of these parents, you may be weighing the pros and cons of tapping your 401k for those funds. In this instance, it may be more beneficial to be a little selfish. Here’s what I mean…

Tapping your 401k to pay for college tuition is usually not a good idea. Whether you’re thinking about withdrawing funds, or borrowing against your 401k or IRA, both options end up leaving you with less funds for retirement. Anytime you withdraw funds from your account, the money will be slapped with a hefty 10 percent penalty AND subject to taxes. If you’re looking for a deal, this really isn’t your best option.
(more…)

01.18.12 | Paying for college: What you should know

Posted in FAFSA, Financial Aid, financial aid tips, News by Student Loan Network Staff

Misty makes some excellent points in this video, especially for families who are applying for financial aid for the first time. She mentions that the FAFSA is free, and we can’t stress this enough! For families who have questions about the FAFSA, feel free to pose a question to the financial aid experts at FinancialAidForum.com, or check out some of the other common questions from families.
(more…)

01.27.10 | Paying for College: The Financial Aid Puzzle

Posted in FAFSA, Private Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

The cost of a college education is rising every year. This year the average cost of a private four-year school was $26,273, up 4.4% from last year, and the average cost of a public school was $7,020, up 6.5% from last year. For most families, paying for college is a struggle. If you feel like you do not have all the pieces of the financial aid puzzle, you are not alone.

On January 1st the 2010-2011 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) was released. The FAFSA is probably the most important part of the financial aid puzzle. If you are planning on attending college in the fall of 2010 you should be in the process of submitting this form. The FAFSA determines how much federal financial aid you are eligible to apply for. There are three basic types of federal student aid:

  • Grants: Grant money is financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Most grant money is based on financial need.
  • Work-study: Work-study money is earned through a job or near campus. Work-study money does not have to be repaid.
  • Loans: Loan money, including subsidized Stafford loans and unsubsidized Stafford loans, is awarded by the government and must be repaid with interest.

Federal financial aid can be a huge help when paying for college, but since most federal financial aid is awarded based on need, not everyone who files a FAFSA will be awarded sufficient aid to cover their education. So what happens when your federal Stafford loans and grants are not enough? Luckily, there are other pieces of the financial aid puzzle that can help you pay for college.

PLUS Loans are federal student loan options that are not based on financial need, but rather on credit. There are two types of PLUS loans; Parent PLUS loans and Graduate PLUS loans. If you are an undergraduate student, your parents can apply for a PLUS loan to help supplement the cost of your education. If you are a graduate student you can apply for a PLUS loan for yourself. With the federal PLUS loan you can borrow up to 100% of unmet financial need. PLUS loan money can also help you pay for educational costs not covered by your tuition including housing and supplies.

Some students choose to add private student loans to their financial aid puzzle. Private Student Loans are an alternative student loan option. Although you should always apply for federal financial aid before pursuing this option, private student loans have a few advantages. Private student loans are awarded based on credit rather than on need. You can use private student loans for any education related cost including textbooks, housing and transportation. If you are looking for a private student loan, the new private student loan comparison tool on PrivateStudentLoans.com can help you determine which lender and loan best meets your needs.

Because private student loans are based on credit, most students need a parent, family member, or close friend to cosign the loan. A cosigner is an individual who agrees to pay any debts if the primary account holder is unable to do so. This ensures to the lender that the loan will be paid back even if the student borrower does not have the funds to make payments.

The final, and quite possibly the best, piece of the puzzle is scholarships. Scholarships are favorable because unlike loans they do not have to be repaid. Hundreds of thousands of organizations around the country award scholarships to students based on their backgrounds, interests and accomplishments. StudentScholarshipSearch.com is a website that helps you find and apply for scholarships that you qualify for.

Every student’s financial aid puzzle is put together differently. Many students take advantage of all of these financial aid options while some students only need to use one or two. Some student might qualify for more financial aid while other students might be awarded more scholarship money. Whatever your financial situation is, remember that all of these options exist to help you complete your education.

ScholarshipPoints Bonus Code: FINAIDPUZZLE

07.24.09 | Middle School is Make or Break Time

Posted in Financial Aid, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

In sports it seems the focus on talent has been getting younger and younger. In my lifetime I’ve witnessed the focus on student athletes shift from college to high school and now to (gulp) middle school. I’ve actually been joking with friends recently that my 18-month son has some powerful thighs and would make a great fullback with his low 28-inch center of gravity. Maybe he could even get a free ride to a choice nursery school! But all joking aside, middle school is an important time in a students life, athletics aside.

Middle school ushers in a new set of challenges for parents as kids become more interested in social life. It’s these impressionable years that can set the stage for future success or failure in the world of academia. Making your presence felt is key.

Parent/teacher conferences are good, but are not nearly enough. Volunteering for field trips and school dances are a way to make yourself known within the school community. When teachers know the parent they tend to form a better relationship with the student. It’s also important for the teacher to know they have your support, and that you all stand together on a united front as to what is best for your child.

Serve as your childs scout, even if they don’t have a killer jump shot. Assess their strengths and weaknesses and help them be the best they can be.

11.15.07 | Cost of Attendance – The Value of a College Degree

Posted in Financial Aid by Student Loan Network Staff

Your college or university will generally publish on its Web site or in its financial aid office the college’s cost of attendance. This is an estimate of how much money will be required to attend school for one year at that college, including all reasonable expenses. Most people, when budgeting for college, look at the tuition and assume that tuition is more or less the “price tag” for that school, when the reality is that tuition may be as little as 50% of the overall budget.

Click Here to Read more – Determining EFC and Cost of Attendance

11.28.06 | Is FAFSA my loan?

Posted in FAFSA, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

Filing out your FAFSA is like filling out an application at a bank before you get approved for the student loan. Just because you got the award letter or the pre approval doesn’t mean that you are done and money will be sent to your school. If you got awarded a Stafford loan you need to find a lender and provide them with a Master Promissory Note before you receive anything. A FAFSA is just an application you fill out to determine how much aid you are eligible for. It is not a loan.

Furthermore, the money you get awarded from a FAFSA is all Federal aid and is determined by your school. This is not free money and you have to pay it back. You can find more information regarding this application at FAFSA Online. After reviewing that website you may want to check out Stafford Loan . If you are looking for a loan that you do not have to pay back you would want to ask your school what type of scholarship programs they offer and ask about Pell Grants. The previous loans are need based and are usually awarded on a first come first serve basis. You can also check out Scholarship Points