All Articles Tagged "college tuition"
Whether you already graduated and are thinking of going back, or didn’t have the chance earlier in life, the opportunity to attend college can come your way. In fact, many employers now include tuition reimbursement programs that help lift much of the cost off your shoulders. Should you happen to work for an employer that has this benefit you might want to jump at the chance. But here are some things to consider with tuition reimbursement programs.
Student debt is out of control. The numbers say so. Recently The Huffington Post looked at the current coats of college versus nine years ago, and the increases are significant. The cost of public four-year colleges went from just over $10,000 in 2005 to nearly $20,000 in 2012. Private college tuition was a little more than $25,000 nine years ago. Now it’s more than $30,000. And student debt was less than $20,000 in 2005. Now it’s just shy of $30,000.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is trying to push through some changes that will help students with student loan debt. And the rest of the Democrats have gotten behind it. The student loan bill introduced is a “wedge issue” in the 2014 midterm elections, forcing Republican candidates to either support it or explain why they don’t, reports Mother Jones.
Warren’s legislation would decrease interest rates on most federal student loans below four percent, reducing millions of Americans’ bills by hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. According to a recent Harvard poll, 57 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 say student loan debt is a “major” issue for them.
The bill would be funded by eliminating tax breaks on millionaires and is part of what Democrats have called their “Fair Shot Agenda,” an election year slate of proposals.
The Senate Democrats will hold a vote on Warren’s bill, or a version of it, in early June.
Student debt has become a hot political topic. “In April, Student Debt Crisis, a group that advocates for student loan interest rate reform, nominated Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) for television host Bill Maher’s ‘Flip-A-District’ contest, a campaign Maher launched to find the worst member of Congress and boot him from office,” reports Mother Jones. The group selected Kline because he proposed increasing student loan interest rates.
And in 2013, GOP senators filibustered student interest rate relief before agreeing to a compromise bill at the 11th hour. While the legislation prevented interest rates on new federal loans from doubling to 6.8 percent, it didn’t help the 40 million Americans who have existing student loan debt, some of whom have loans with rates of up to 10 percent.
Below is a recent speech that Sen. Warren made on the topic. See what she has to say.
Why does it seem like before we know it, our children are going to their first day of school? Do you remember your parents scrambling at the last minute to send you to college? Or did your folks plan ahead, expecting the day that you would be packing up and heading to university would arrive soon enough?
And there are plenty of expenses in between kindergarten and college: braces, ballet classes, summer camp, prom, etc. etc. etc. This is why we need some sort of game plan.
Here are some ways to save for your child’s financial future sooner than later.
No matter how you cut it, it seems like our society has moved to using more and more plastic – and by that I mean credit cards. Swipe it here and get rewards there, you know the deal. Even with other alternatives in place (“Swipe No More! Credit Card Alternatives to Consider“), there’s just no getting around the temptation of using a credit card.
The question is, what do you use your credit card for? Quick pick-me-ups at the store or maybe a spur of the moment shopping spree? Though everyone is different, there are certain things you just shouldn’t charge on your credit card.
As Spring makes its way across the country, so do college acceptance letters for high school seniors. While students are happily rejoicing, parents are wondering where they will find the money and pray that their children won’t end up defaulting on future loans.
“This is the month of negotiating,” Bob Ilukowicz, a financial aid consultant said to Reuters. Ilukowicz says that there is definitely aid still available. In fact, this upcoming 2012-2013 school year is seeing higher offers than those of years past. The average cost of a private nonprofit four-year college is now $38,590 including tuition, fees room and board but aid, classified as grants and federal tax breaks, generally take off $15,530 from that cost. According to the US Department of Education, about 80 percent of full time undergraduate students receive some kind of aid, and almost 64 percent receive grants that don’t have to be paid back. Still, student loans make up almost half of all financial aid.
Reuters suggest that in lieu of these facts, the first things parents and students should do is ask for more. Joe Paul Case, Amherst College’s financial aid administrator reveals that about two-thirds of parents who make a request for more aid get it. Amherst is a school that sticks to needs-based assistance, but schools that have the funds to offer merit and competition demands offer an even better chance that a parent’s appeal will be rewarded.
Be open and honest about family situations. Some colleges will take family problems that don’t appear on the financial aid sheet into consideration. Situations that often get re-considered are instances where non-custodial parents are not willing to help with school fees, and parents that now have good jobs but weren’t able to fully recover from a year of unemployment or healthy problems.
Think creatively. Starting school at a more affordable community college to take pre-requisites saves money. Taking a gap year to work before going to college also helps to offset the high cost of tuition. If a deferral puts the older student in college at the same time as the younger, this may also help a parent’s case to win more financial aid.
Schools that won’t negotiate may allow parents to pay on a monthly basis as opposed to a one large sum in a semester. This can help with cash flow. Also keep in mind that home equity credit lines now have lower rates than college loans. In addition, refinancing a home mortgage may also help with college costs.
Remember, before any decisions are made, consider all options and make as many appeals as you can. Many students aren’t able to attend their first-choice school because of finances. But consider the high cost of tuition vs. education quality and job opportunities upon graduation. Research shows that great students will do well regardless if they attended a public or a private school. Perhaps it’s best not to spend all of the money and obtain thousands of dollars in debt for an undergraduate education.
(New York Times) — Each incoming freshman at Randolph-Macon College this year was eligible to take part in a brief signing ceremony. The new student, along with a parent and the college president, could sign a special agreement that is emerging at some colleges and universities: As long as the student keeps up with academic work and meets regularly with advisers, the college guarantees that earning a degree there will take no more than four years. If it fails to hold up its end of the bargain — if required classes are not available, or if advisers give poor counsel — the college promises to cover the cost of additional tuition until the degree is completed. Four-year degree guarantees, as they have become known, are being offered at a growing number of smaller private colleges. They work as a marketing tool, giving colleges a way to ease parents’ fears that their children might enjoy college enough to stick around for five or six costly years. And they help to focus attention on the task at hand: graduating in four years.
(Washington Post) — American families spent 9 percent less on college in the 2010-11 academic year than in the previous year, reversing a recent trend toward increased college spending, according to a new Sallie Mae study. Previous surveys from the student loan giant found families spending progressively more on college from the 2008 to 2010 academic years, despite the recession. Why the sudden shift? More families began moving to lower-cost schools in 2010-11, the survey said, with a sharply higher share of high-income students choosing community college. There was also a rise in the sheer number of low-income students, some of whom presumably were middle-income students a year earlier, the study said. It also found that middle- and high-income families are spending less out of their own pockets (and bank accounts), and low-income families are spending more.
(Smart Money) — With freshman orientation right around the corner, many college students and their parents are about to get a surprise that could derail years of careful financial planning: last-minute tuition increases and cuts to financial aid packages promised just a few short months ago. As states have finalized their budgets in recent weeks and months, cuts to public college funding have started to trickle down to parents and students. Since March, at least 19 states have cut money for public colleges. Some states, including Illinois and Georgia, are also slashing grants awarded to students just a few months ago. Still more families won’t find out about changes to tuition and financial aid packages until the end of the summer or even after the semester begins — what experts say is the longest delay ever. “This will create real hardship for these students and may impact directly on their ability to enroll this fall,” says Tom Horgan, president of the New Hampshire College and University Council.
(AJC) — Starting Monday, Georgia students can apply for a low-interest loan designed to serve as a “gap stop” for those who need extra help affording college. The program is no money tree. Loans are estimated to reach less than 6,000 of the neediest students. Recipients may be arbitrarily chosen via computer. Though lawmakers last February set aside $2o million in lottery revenue to launch the Student Access Loan Program as part of the HOPE scholarship overhaul, details of the program were only learned Tuesday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
(Bankrate) — Parents seeking an investment safe haven that provides guaranteed returns may not find one in prepaid tuition plans. Long touted as a no-risk way to save for college, prepaid plans generally allow parents to purchase college credits at slightly above current market prices, and then cash them in when their child heads off to school. Some investors predict that prepaid plans may be a thing of the past in coming years. Since 2008, several prepaid plans have either closed down entirely or stopped new enrollment, as Tennessee recently did. The 10 remaining state-run prepaid plans and one independently operated plan provide good value, but also come with restrictions on where funds can be used and questions about whether funds are safe. Here’s what you need to know before investing in 529 prepaid tuition plans.