Tag Archives: Financial Aid

Scholarships expiring at the end of July

Below Cedar Education lists 7 Scholarships that are about to expire-hurry up and act fast!

Media Fellows Scholarship Program
Eligibility:for rising college juniors and seniors who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their major concentration

Deadline: July 30, 2015

Amount: Up to $5,000

ScholarshipPoints.com Scholarships

Eligibility: for high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors, undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students

Deadline: July 31, 2015

Amount: Up to $10,000

Platt Family Scholarship Essay Contest

Eligibility: Scholarships for undergraduate college students

Deadline: July 31, 2015

Amount: Up to $1,500

Heritage Scholarship

Eligibility: for high school seniors and undergraduate college students

>Deadline: July 31, 2015

Amount: $500

FastWeb Refer A Friend Scholarship

Eligibility: for high school students, undergraduate students, and graduate students

Deadline: July 31, 2015

Amount: $500

Courage to Grow Scholarship

Eligibility: Scholarships for high school juniors, high school seniors, and undergraduate students

Deadline: July 31, 2015

Amount: $500

$2,000 “No Essay” College Scholarship

Eligibility: Scholarship for current students and those planning to enroll within 12 months

Deadline: July 31, 2015

Amount: $2,000

Tips on Paying for College

What can students do today to help pay for their college tuition? Cedar Education Lending lists 5 tips current students should follow:

1) Start researching for financial aid sooner rather than later. The competition for aid increases when the economy is weak. However, it also helps to check in as the start of the school year gets closer as some schools have emergency funds available as the admissions office gets a better handle on the final attendance numbers as some students withdraw or choose other schools.

2) Take as many AP courses as possible and to excel on the AP exams. High scores on AP exams can save considerably on college tuition. Many colleges award course credits for them, which can significantly reduce your tuition.

3) Apply strategically to colleges. If you exceed the school’s admission criteria, you might be likely to get a better financial aid package than a decent student.

4) Be realistic about how much debt to take on, given the starting salaries for probable majors and career paths. While some students feel they just have to attend pricey, brand-name colleges, a report released by PayScale found that state schools with low tuition offered students the best return on investment, when projected salaries and loans were taken into account.

5) If you have to borrow, pursue federal loans first before taking on private student loans. Also, remember that a private student loan consolidation can help save a significant amount of money after graduation.

It’s Not Too Late To Apply For these 5 Scholarships

School is out, summer is here for many students, college is the next stop. Whether you’re a parent or a student, a first-time freshman or a graduate student, paying that fall tuition bill is on your mind. Don’t let it ruin your summer – there’s still time to apply for a few more college scholarships!

Below is a list of 5 College Scholarships with Summer Deadlines for 2015:

1.The Graduate Programs Foundation Scholarship: Deadline June 30, 2015Description: Just rate & review your graduate program- Rank 15 categories of your program on a scale of 1 to 10. Award: $1,000

2.The BigSun Scholarship Deadline: June 21, 2013 Description: This is an essay contest open to all student athletes from graduating high school seniors through college. Award: $500

3.A GPA Isn’t Everything Scholarship Deadline: June 30, 2015 Description: This scholarship can be applied for on the Cappex college search website after making a student profile on the site. Award: $1000

4.Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship Deadline: July 31, 2015 Description: This is a merit based scholarship named for based-selling authors Gen and Kelly Tanabe who provided the funding for the program. Award: $1000

5.American Fire Sprinkler Association 2nd Chance Scholarship Contest Deadline: August 28, 2015 Description: Applicants will take a ten question “open book” multiple choice test. For every correct answer, students will receive one entry into a random scholarship award drawing. Award: $1000

Cedar Education announces 5 Common Myths about College Financial Aid

Understanding financial aid awards can be a tricky proposition unless students know what they are looking at. When starting to evaluate the cost of college, remember not to rule out a college based on its stated cost, be wary of net price calculator results, and don’t assume all student loans are the same.

When a student receives their financial aid packages from the colleges to which he or she has been accepted, that’s when the due diligence process really begins. Since schools present their financial award packages in different ways, and even use different names, it can be quite confusing to the student and their parents.

Students should research and weigh their options carefully and avoid making any of the following assumptions:

Myth 1: All components of financial aid awards are free money. Financial aid packages could include two distinct categories of aid: money students won’t have to pay back and money they will. It may sound pretty simple, but it’s important to recognize what is essentially a gift scholarship or grant aid and what students have to work for or pay back; such as work-study positions and student loans.

Myth 2: Awards will be ongoing. After discerning what is scholarship or grant aid, understand that those numbers may change in subsequent years.
For example, if a student receives a merit award, does he or she need to maintain a certain grade point average to continue to qualify?

Myth 3: The total cost of a student’s financial aid package is what he/she will actually pay. A prospective student needs to dig deeply into each college’s website for all of the fees and add-ons not typically included in tuition and room and board, such as travel, books, and even social expenses.

Myth 4: The total cost will remain constant through graduation. Unless the student is enrolled in a school with a tuition guarantee program, there’s a good chance that costs of attending college will rise each year.
This is especially true for state schools that are facing budgeting issues.

Myth 5: Students can’t negotiate. If the financial aid package from a student’s top-choice school is not what he or she expected, it usually doesn’t hurt to contact the admissions office. If he has received a better offer or if her financial situation changes, it may warrant a phone call to state your case.

Also, remember to shop for private student loans and that a private student loan consolidation, post graduation, might make a lot sense.

Understanding your financial aid award letter

The financial aid award letters to perspective students can also be a bit confusing for students and parents trying to come up with the true costs of a school. Some are written in a manner that suggests the student is getting a great deal by blurring the line between grants and loans or not making clear how much the student may have to pay or borrow.
When reading your award letter, you might get the impression that you would owe nothing and might actually walk away with money. Read the calculations carefully, as an award letter might presume grants, student loans and parent loans figured in towards covering your estimated cost of tuition. Better yet, you should call the school’s Financial Aid department and have them walk you through what are truly grants or loans and what your non-loan tuition expense will be.
If you need to take out student loans, max out on the federal loans available.If you still need to bridge the gap, shop around for private student loans to get the best rate and terms.Also, once you graduate, don’t forget to consolidate your federal student loans and private student loan consolidations have also become quite popular and beneficial as well.

Colleges are listening?

A growing number of colleges are taking smart measures to attract more students by cutting tuition or speeding up the rate at which they graduate.

While some private colleges are introducing double-digit percentage cuts in tuition or freezing prices altogether, other schools are offering three-year degree programs or four-year graduation guarantees.

In part, these schools are responding to consumers’ concerns about the rising cost of college.However, one has to be careful that all is not what it appears. Tuition cuts and freezes are usually accompanied by reduction in financial aid.The University of Charleston, for example, may be slashing tuition but it’s also reducing the amount of financial assistance that’s available to students to $10 million from $15 million. Instead of making cuts, other schools are freezing tuition at current levels or giving students four-year tuition guarantees. This still means students need to take out student loans and they need to continue to be smart about shopping around for private student loans.

While making school more affordable for students has become more common, it’s still far from a widespread trend. Many more schools continue to hike tuition, he said. Overall, tuition at private colleges has been increasing more than 4% each year for the past three years, according to the National

At least 14 additional colleges have frozen tuition for the upcoming school year — the highest number of tuition freezes on record.

A degree in four years or less: With average tuition at four-year private colleges costing $28,500 a year, according to the College Board, failing to graduate on time is a costly proposition. As a result, some colleges are reducing the time it takes to graduate or guaranteeing that students will get their degree in four years.

Beginning next year, Ashland University in Ohio is granting bachelor’s degrees that can be completed in three years instead of four — saving students an estimated $34,000 in tuition costs and giving them a year’s head start in the work force.

Ohio’s Baldwin-Wallace College is introducing a “Four-Year Graduation Guarantee” program this fall. Under the program, the school guarantees that students who meet certain requirements, like maintaining a GPA of 2.0 or higher, will graduate in four years. If not, the college will pay for the extra time.

Some colleges are taking it a step further by offering joint-degree programs that allow students to graduate with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in four years. Simmons College in Boston is offering joint-degrees in areas including social work and public policy, while Wilson College in Pennsylvania is launching a program that lets students graduate with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in humanities.

Meanwhile, Lipscomb University in Tennessee is reducing the number of credits students need to take to graduate on time from 132 hours to 126 hours for the 2012 school year — the equivalent of about two classes.

Update on College Costs

Average annual tuition at four-year private colleges for the 2011-2012 academic year is $28,500, up 4.5% from a year earlier, according to the College Board, a New York-based nonprofit that administers college entrance exams, while average room and board charges have risen 3.9% to $10,089. Between 2001 and 2012, tuition and fees at four-year private colleges rose at an annual average rate 2.6 percentage points greater than the consumer-price index. The priciest colleges now cost close to $60,000 a year.
Debt, too, is on the rise. Students who graduated from college in 2010 are shouldering an average $25,250 in debt, up 5% from a year earlier, according to the Project on Student Debt, a nonprofit research group.
The most important element in applying for financial aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also called the FAFSA, which determines how much in federal grants and aid a college-bound student will get. The form, which is used by all public and private universities, asks families to provide income and asset information, but doesn’t require you to report the value of your primary residence.
If you are attending a private college, families also must fill out the College Board’s CSS/Financial Aid Profile, which schools use to determine how to distribute their own aid funds.
The CSS takes into account factors that are largely ignored in the FAFSA. For example, the CSS looks closely at home values: Parents who have seen their home values tank in recent years should include the “quick sale” value of the home—which is roughly 80% of the value that the home is currently appraised at.  If that value is substantially below your outstanding mortgage, it can increase your aid package.
After you have exhausted all your Federal Loan options, you should look to supplement you tuition expenses with cheap Private Student Loans.And for those that have already graduated, you may want to consider refinancing some of your more expensive Private Student Loans with a Private Student Loan Consolidation.