A tip for higher education

I am working for several clients who are getting ready for or are already attending college. Frankly, I am surprised and pleased by the number of adults who are accessing our services. One of the things about education is–you don’t know what you don’t know. Of course not! And I thought, after doing some research for these families, that I should share information here. That’s the spirit of CEG; let’s not keep information hidden from clients or the public.

Student loans are a wonderful option for some families. For federal loan purposes, the cost of attendance includes many things people often don’t realize–not just tuition and books, but room and board (on or off campus), personal expenses, and transportation costs. These figures depend on the school the student is attending. Loans are available in some form to everybody who attends an accredited public or private institution of higher learning in the U.S., with a few important exceptions. I won’t go over those here. So, if the cost of say DSC for your child (and there are requirements as to full-time) is $12,000 a year, and they are living at home, and they go 12 hours for two semesters at a tuition and fees cost of $3000 (I am estimating for illustrative purposes only), the student regardless of family income can borrow up to that $12,000. The rest comes to the student over the course of the year in refunds through the institution. It can be used for anything.

The key is, in certain–quite broad–conditions, those loans turn into free money from the government which build’s the students credit rating. That’s right. The student can borrow to the maximum, use it as they see fit, get on certain repayment schedules after college for ten years, and the entire balance is forgiven. The key is, most repayment schedules are based on income, and the payments are very low, I know a man with two children, he and his wife work full-time, he works as a nurse, and his payments are $20 monthly. He makes them for ten years, and his balance of $75,000 in student loans is forgiven. I also know teachers who regret that they didn’t borrow to the maximum while in college and purchase their first home and car.

Some people are very resistant to these programs for political or personal, or misunderstanding them, reasons. Fine. I am not out to persuade anyone to a certain way of thinking. I will say, however, that as we grow as young adults it is helpful to open the mind and jettison pre-conceived rhetoric we may have heard, but have not experienced ourselves! For example, I heard a young adult this week bash several government programs he has neither experienced, studied, or known anyone who did. Don’t apply pre-conceived notions which have nothing to do with facts to the below information! These forgiveness programs are available and are terrific for hard-working, successful students. Another thing about them is, if you check “no” for interested in work-study jobs on your FAFSA, that makes borrowing the equivalent to what you would earn in work-study available to you as the student. For some students, this is a very wise choice as they cannot succeed in college classes while managing as well a campus job.

Feel free to contact us with questions, and here is a helpful link:

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service

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