Category Archives: Student Loans

How to Find a Scholarship to Fund your Studies

Each year, around 450,000 high school students opt out of a college education simply because the annual 45,000+ dollar expenses per year are just completely out of reach. No high school student can be expected to afford that and, with 66% of adults earning less than 39,999 dollars per year, no parent can be expected to afford that either!

Fortunately, there is a way to afford a good college education without needing to resort to selling your body for scientific research or taking out a study loan which you’ll then have to pay interest on for the rest of your life. That way is a scholarship; an amount of money given to prospective college students to help fund their studies, without the need to pay it back!

Who Gives Out Scholarships?

There are seemingly endless individuals and institutions that are willing to help shape the future of America with monetary donations. Colleges and universities themselves are the most obvious source of scholarships. Of course, no matter what the course, colleges want to recruit the absolute best of the best, so they offer incentives in the form of academic scholarships for the best in their field. But that’s not all! Colleges also need to fill places, and that means offering scholarships for the average Joe, too. It doesn’t matter whether you’re aspiring to be the next Nobel Prize winner or the next office worker, there is a scholarship suitable for you.

Sororities and Fraternities are also big on handing out scholarships to their members. These scholarships can be anything from 500 to 200,000 dollars and are handed out for a number of reasons including academic excellence and career prospects. Even just for being a member of these prestigious societies can merit having money thrown at you! If you’re planning on a college education, it’s definitely worth checking out the onsite societies.

Companies are the next most obvious choice. Like colleges, companies want the absolute best working for them, and what better way to ensure the best than to sponsor a future employee’s top education? An added bonus is that these companies are rewarded with promotion and recognition as a result of their generosity. Big names such as Walmart, Coca Cola and AT&T all offer college scholarships, as well as many more.

Next come foundations and institutions. Foundations are usually set up in memory of someone and scholarships are offered to continue the lifelong work and beliefs of that someone. For example, The Jackie Robinson Foundation offers scholarships for minority populations, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation offers scholarships for those with outstanding organizational leadership abilities.

Even celebrities are getting in on the education action. David Letterman, Alec Baldwin, Will.i.am and Jerry Seinfeld all offer prospective students the opportunity to win some free cash by following in their footsteps.

What Can I Get a Scholarship For?

The question is, what can’t you get a scholarship for?! While there are many scholarships for academic brilliance, you don’t need to be a know it all to be in with a chance of funding assistance. Are you good at acting, or dance? There’s scholarships for that! Do you come from a well known or successful family? There’s scholarships for that! Are you a single parent on a low income, a minority race, a woman, a man? There’s scholarships for that!

There is a scholarship for almost everything, even things you’d never dream possible. Are you a woman over 5 feet 10 inches, or a man over 6 feet 2? Why not apply for a 1000 dollar Tall Clubs International scholarship? Is your party piece an ability to communicate with ducks? Then give the organizers of the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest a call. You may just end up with 2000 dollars for your trouble!

Where to Find Opportunities

Colleges and universities are pretty good at getting their information out there. After all, scholarships are brilliant incentives and marketing for the institutions. Information on scholarships can usually be found on each college’s individual website, or you can get the information by contacting the college itself.

If you think you have what it takes to be the next CEO of a major corporation, get in touch with some big names and see if they offer any sort of assistance for the new generation of rising stars.

Give it a try. What do you have to lose?

Article written by Agnese Geka – blogger and online marketing consultant for SurveyCompare.net, which guides you through the biggest market research companies offering you to earn extra money and gift vouchers by sharing your opinions online.

Do You Pay Student Loans Bills With a Credit Card?

I love using my credit card for gas (3% cash back) when I can, but there are certain situations where you simply can’t use a credit card to pay your bills. I would love to get 1% cash back on my rent, but of course the property management company I rent through ads on lots of fees if you pay via credit card, so I send in a check each month.

Now that Lauren and I are married, I’ve taken a look at our financial situation and wanted to take action on a couple of important matters.

The first was paying off some of her student loans. I’ve paid off most of mine, but we can’t say the same for her (yet).There are a lot of them, and while the large number is a little scary, I’m not expecting to pay them all off this year. That being said, I want to tackle the high interest rate loans as soon as possible. At 7.25%, I’d love to lock in that rate (I look at paying off debt the same as earning that interest rate) for the foreseeable future.

The only question was how to pay it off. I love doing things online because it’s super fast and convenient, but I’ve had trouble in the past with paying off student loans online because by default, the payments are applied to all loans (both principal and interest) instead of paying off just the principal of the loan I wanted. I wanted to save money on the student loans, I didn’t want to make payments on the loans with lower interest rates!

So we called in together to find out how we could pay just the expensive loan, and were surprised to hear that we could pay it off over the phone, using our credit card. Um, score! I was planning on paying off $7,000, and to know that I’d be getting 1% back means I got $70 for paying via my credit card (which never carries a balance from month-to-month).

Readers, Does your student loan company let you pay via your credit card? Does this encourage you to pay off your balance sooner?

Preparing Your Child Financially for College

If you have a high school senior in your home, you may feel relief that she is on the cusp of graduating. Perhaps you are waiting on college acceptance letters, or perhaps he has heard he was accepted to the school of his dreams. Chances are, your child will be heading off to college in the fall. However, besides sending them off with creature comforts to help them navigate the new world of college, you should also prepare them financially for living on their own.

Many high schools no longer offer classes on how to manage personal finances. As a parent, it is your job to educate your children on important personal finance lessons:

Choose a credit card carefully. If your child is going to apply for a credit card in college, she shouldn’t apply for the one that visits campus and offers a free t-shirt. Rather, you and your child should make the decision about what credit card to apply for together. The best credit cards for college students often offer cash back in areas where college students typically spend such as gasoline purchases and entertainment. In addition, the card should offer a relatively low credit limit.

Don’t spend more than you need to. Many college students experience freedom for the first time when they go away to college, and as such, they often overspend and make other poor choices. While it is important that college students enjoy all college life has to offer, it is also important that they don’t live above their means and create a debt load that can be difficult to pay off once they graduate.

Be wary of student loans. Taking out student loans is often necessary to afford college. However, many students spend more than they should on living expenses and are saddled with tens of thousands of dollars worth of student loan debt. Sit down with your child and show him how much he will pay per month on student loan debt once he graduates, how many years he will be paying, and how much interest he will pay over the life of the loan.

Going away to college is an important step to adulthood for many teenagers. However, to succeed and get on the right financial path for the future, you as the parent need to teach them a few financial lessons before they go. Ideally, you will have been teaching them about personal finance during their childhood and high school, but if not, it is never too late to sit down with them and help guide them in their financial future.