The latest Federal Direct Student Loan rates have been set. For the 2015-16 school year the rates are as follows:
Undergraduate Subsidized & Unsubsidized Direct Loan — 4.29% (down from 4.66%)
GradPlus Direct Loan — 5.84% (down from 6.21%)
Parent Plus Direct Loan — 6.84% (down from 7.21%)
When borrowing through the Federal Direct Student Loan Program keep your borrowing as low as possible. Exhaust all funding options prior to borrowing. Check with the college’s Bursar’s Office regarding monthly payment plans which tend to be interest free.
While perusing Pinterest I found an excellent Pin from the site, StrongLikeMyCoffee.com, for college students or those looking for an idea to help out their college student. The post includes organizing ideas dorm groceries , kitchen supplies/tools, etc. Check out the Pin here: http://pinterest.com/pin/180425528798195208/
What great tip do you have to make a dorm room more comfortable and functional?
Every spring for the past few years I have had the pleasure of volunteering for Lemoninster Credit Union’s CU Reality Fair, a HS financial literacy program. The students are provided with a profile based on their career and educational goals, a budget sheet that lists a monthly net salary and budget line items. Students must visit a series of tables to “purchase their line items” and make sure their budgets balance. I man the student loan table discuss their student loan debt upon graduation and repayment options. It is a wonderful program that provides many students a “Reality Check” about what financial and life decisions they will be facing: balancing career & personal goals and handling unexpected financial setbacks. To learn more read the following article from the Worcestet Telegram & Gazette about the event at Clinton HS. If your school would like to host a CU Reality Fair, contact Ingrid Adade at LCU.
Freshmen year is definitely overwhelming for some students, who are dealing with the freedom and responsibility of being on their own for the first time. This is a great source of tips for incoming college freshmen. Please check it out! http://pinterest.com/pin/267119821624936790/
What would you add to the list??
Please use this Voter Info Tool from The Pew Institute & WordPress to prepare yourself for next Tuesday’s mid-term election. Mid term elections are just as important any other election. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!!
A recent article in in USAToday (Is Private College Counseling the Key to Getting Into a Top School), reported that 26% of college applicants hired a college counselor in 2013. That was up substantially from 2003— three times greater. When looking into private college counselors, consider the following points.
1. What are your needs? Do you need College search assistance, application process guidance, admissions interview coaching, essay writing counseling, test prep or financial aid application process guidance? Know what you need and make sure that counselor you work with doesn’t try to talk you into more than you are looking for. Larger college counseling companies have structured programs, so you may not get the personal counseling you need.
2. Ask for the background and experience level of the counselor. There is no license for college planners, so you really need to ask questions about the counselor’s qualifications. Many people enter this field without related or strong backgrounds in college admissions or financial aid. Frequently financial planners offer this as a service as a lead in to their financial planning services.
3. Does the counselor have set counseling programs or does he/she offer an hourly fee?
4. Make sure your personalities are compatible and that you feel comfortable working with the counselor. You must feel free to express you needs and concerns, as well as your strengths and weaknesses.
As a college planner who has over 20 years of experience as a college admissions and financial aid administrator, I am more than happy to answer these questions for my prospective clients!
Inside Higher Ed published a great piece on Prior Learning Assessment awhile ago. PLA has been gaining in popularity at colleges and universities. PLA is a great option for adult students who are looking to start a college degree. Unlike CLEP (College-Level Examination Program), which also provides students college credit for life experience, you are not sitting for a subject based test. PLA requires the student to research and write a paper on the subject incorporating their knowledge on the topic.
The article provides great information on what PLA involves and includes YouTube videos of adult students sharing their experiences and insights on their own PLA projects. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/08/02/look-students-who-have-earned-credit-prior-learning