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Comparing financial aid: Part 2

12 Mar

After you and your parents figure out your cost of attendance for each college (see the Part 1 blog posted last week about how to whittle down college costs), you should create a chart that shows the various financial aid offered to you by each college.

This list should include the following:

1. Scholarships that you know of so far.

2. Grants (gifts of money that do not need to be repaid), including these: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, TEACH Grant, Cal Grant (or your state’s grant), and other grants, to include grants from the college.

3. Work study (great opportunity, which I will discuss in a future blog)

4. Loans, to include these: Federal Perkins Loan (best student loan), Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan (good student loan), Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan (not as good student loan), Federal PLUS Loan (loan parents must take out–not such a good option because of repayment requirements), and private loan(s) (your worst option).

The financial aid offers can help you logically determine which college is giving you the best option. One IMPORTANT piece of research to do before deciding is to find out if the scholarships that you obtain on your own will be counted against any scholarships or grants that the college offers you. Some colleges do; some don’t. That issue helped my daughter decide which college to attend, because she received many outside scholarships. If the college will let scholarships cancel out loans rather than grants — that is an important factor for your financial future. Go on each different school’s financial aid website to find out this important info.

NEXT UP: Other considerations to weigh other than financial aid.

 

 

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Available for pre-order now for all those you know graduating from high school and college: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Lessons-Grads-Graduates-Succeeding/dp/1683970462/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520879402&sr=1-1&keywords=50+life+lessons+for+grads

Checklist for February

7 Feb

While you have probably completed all college applications and are in the throes of scholarship applications (do at least one a week, seniors), don’t also forget to do the following:

  • Make sure you have listed all your colleges on your FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov). California has a March 2nd deadline for consideration for the Cal Grant — but “the sooner, the better” will help you get your financial aid offer back more quickly.
  • Some colleges require the CSS Profile for financial aid consideration (http://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile).
  • Make sure your school has sent your transcript to schools that have requested one.
  • Check your college portals every single day–you may have tasks to complete before your acceptance and/or financial aid package can be sent.
  • Some colleges may request copies of your family’s returns before they send financial aid offers.
  • Take any requested placement tests (English, math) that your colleges of choice may require.
  • Double-check that you listed your applied colleges with College Board (SAT) and/or ACT. Not doing that can delay your acceptance . . . or worse, sent you down the rejection path.

Staying on top of your to-do list will help smooth out your decision-making process!

 

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Good deal for future teachers

1 Feb

Thinking about teaching? GREAT! There will be many teaching jobs available as the baby boomer generation continues to retire in the next handful of years.

Federal TEACH Grants can provide up to $4,000. To qualify you must do the following:

  • Be enrolled in, or plan to complete, coursework to begin a teaching career.
  • Maintain a cumulative 3.25 GPA or better.
  • Sign an agreement to serve as a paid, full-time teach in a high-need field serving low-income students.
  • Agree to teach at least four academic years within eight years of completing your program of study.

One caveat: If you fail to complete your obligation, the grant converts to an unsubsidized Stafford loan that you (the student) must repay with interest.

However, for those determined to go into teaching, the TEACH Grant is a great help.

For more info, you can go to this government website: www.studentaid.ed.gov.

 

I’m super-excited about this new book coming out with Worthy Publishing in April–a perfect one-stop-shopping idea for all the graduates on your list, both high school and college grads. It’s available now for pre-order and early delivery to you on all online bookstores, including here at this Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Lessons-Grads-Graduates-Succeeding/dp/1683970462/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517506230&sr=1-1&keywords=50+life+lessons+for+grads