Archive for the ‘College’ Category

Hello Ladies,  we’re going to talk a bit more about scholarships, honing in on scholarships for women.  There are a few example, so check it out.

1.  The SWE Scholarship Program.

Each year the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) awards over 100 scholarships totaling up to $500,000 to female students.  The SWE Scholarship Program is designed to encourage and aid women in engineering, engineering technology and computer science fields of study.  Individual awards amount from $1,000 to $10,000 and are available to high school seniors/will-be undergraduate freshmen all the way up to graduate level students.

Scholarship awards are announced and awarded at various times, with differences among freshmen and upper-class.  College students, sophomore to graduate level, are notified during the summertime, while freshman recipients and renewed scholarships are announced during early fall.  SWE scholarship funds are both company-sponsored and donated, and thus awards are disbursed differently, with sponsored scholarships being presented in the fall and donated funds awarded in both fall and spring.

2.  The Dr. Aura-Lee A. and James Hobbs Pittenger American History Scholarship.

Sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the American History Scholarship is designed to aid entering female freshmen in the pursuit of history and government studies.  Dedicated to the country’s history, the DAR is motivated to provide 2 renewable scholarships (pending annual transcript review) worth $2,000 each to students following the same path.  U.S. citizenship is required for the award; however citizens currently living abroad may apply via a Units Overseas Chapter of the DAR.

3.  Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship.

The Women in Business Scholarship, provided by Zonta International, is available to women pursuing both undergraduate and graduate degrees in various business specialties.  Made possible by the generous donation from member Jane M. Klausman in 1998, this award gives funds to both national district and international club members for college.  One $1,000 award is presented to a member of eachU.S. district club (26 last year), and an additional 12 scholarships worth $5,000 each are disbursed to international recipients annually.

Applicants for the Women in Business Scholarship need to be studying and greatly excelling in this field and have to be nominated by their district club.

4.  New York Women in Communications Inc. Foundation Scholarship Program.

The New York Women in Communications Foundation (NYWICI) provides a great opportunity each year for female communication students to obtain scholarship awards.  There is most certainly a bias in mentioning this one (Communication major!).  The Foundation awards scholarships to 15-20 women in amounts of $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000.  Winners can be high school seniors, undergrads and grad students studying in the communications field (i.e. communications, advertising, PR, marketing, etc.) and must have a 3.2 GPA or higher.

These outstanding Comm. kids are selected based on multiple factors, including: U.S. citizenship and state of residence (only NY, NJ, CT and PA), academic excellence, financial need, school activities, honors and more.

There was a time when women were much farther behind and are still a sort of minority, but these scholarships for women and other opportunities work to move us ahead in education, work and the larger world.  If you’d like more tips and tricks as well as valuable financial aid solutions, talk to Go Financial Aid today.

Why hasn’t your processor mentioned the Durbin Amendment?  Learn how to lower your card acceptance cost: www.vms-washington.com and ask about the Durbin Amendment that was passed on October 2011 and how it will help you lower your rates.

Thank all of you for your replies and interests in my last blog Student Loan Debt Key Issue.  So you’ve finally gotten the chance to really sit down and take in all of the financial aid details, the process, all of that.  But maybe you find that you are still a little bit stuck?  Lucky for you, we at Go Financial Aid loves to help people just like you find ways to better understand the financial aid process, as well as helping to get you the most aid possible.  Today, let’s take a few minutes and talk about one good way of obtaining the information and help that you need: financial aid workshops.

Financial aid workshops are reasonably brief (a few hours at most) lessons for parents and families on the ins and outs of financial aid for college.  These classes come in a few forms: virtual workshop and standard sit-in sessions.

The Virtual Workshop

Attending a financial aid class in a virtual setting essentially means that you will be at your own personal computer, chatting online with a financial aid expert about the finer points of financial aid.  Go Financial Aid has an excellent virtual workshop service conducted by qualified financial aid consultants.  For specific information, fill out our contact form and we’ll keep you posted on the next session.

The Sit-in Workshop

As you may have guessed by the name, this is a class that participants physically go to, and hear firsthand the information they need to accurately apply for financial aid.  Many colleges hold such programs to assist families during the application process.  A few upcoming classes include the following:

  • University of Texas at El Paso-Too late
  • Gannon University (Erie, PA)- Too late
  • Walla Walla University (held at Upper Columbia Academy, WA)- Too Late
  • Berkeley City College (Berkeley, CA)- February 22 and March 6

Now that you know where to find these financial workshops, take a look at what you can learn from them…

Basic financial aid types

  • Loans- Federal vs. private
  • Grants- Federal vs. organization-sponsored
  • Scholarships- Academic, athletic, sponsored, essay-based, etc
  • Work study- How to get involved and eligibility

Application completion

  • Information to help you understand the FAFSA– What it is, why it’s important, etc.
  • Where to find and complete the FAFSA –web-based vs. paper application
  • Necessary info for the application–Personal and financial information to include
  • Deadlines–FAFSA start date, FAFSA end date, individual university deadlines
  • Mistakes to avoid

What you pay for college

Attending a financial aid workshop can be extremely beneficial, not only to the family members in charge of funding college education, but definitely for the students themselves in terms of becoming educated about their responsibilities during (i.e. maintaining grade levels to receive grants and scholarships) and after school (i.e. loan repayment).  It is important to realize that help in wading the financial aid waters is readily available, and that schools want to see you succeed!  Take these tips and check with your school about financial aid help, and visit Go Financial Aid’s solutions center for more helpful information.

The amount of debt that’s being carried by certain consumers in this country is growing by about $2,800 a second.

It’s not mortgage debt, and it’s not credit card debt. Those are two financial time bombs we’ve (kind of) gotten a handle on, by some analysts’ reckoning. No, this credit menace is student loan debt, which is pushing $1 trillion, according to FinAid.org, a site dedicated to college financial aid information that has created a “Student Loan Debt Clock” where, if you like to be uncomfortable, you can watch this debt as it piles up, at a rate FinAid pegs at around $2,800 a second.

Potential ripple effects are numerous, including whether a generation will be able to buy homes, said Rick Palacios Jr., senior research analyst for John Burns Real Estate Consulting, an Irvine, Calif., company that analyzes social and economic trends for the housing industry. He talked about how the burden of student loan debt is likely to put homeownership out of reach for many grads.

Q: How much student loan debt is out there these days?

A: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently revised a lot of its data, and it announced it had been understating student loan debt by a couple hundred billion dollars. Where the Fed thought in the second quarter of 2011 that student loan balances were $550 billion, it now estimates that the number in the second quarter was $845 billion. That’s greater than all of our outstanding credit card debt and other types of household debt, except for mortgages. And it’s growing at a ridiculously high level. College students who graduate with loan debts carry an average balance of $25,000.

One thing that caught my eye (in the New York Fed data) is the way that student loan debt is categorized. It doesn’t capture anything that would be put on credit cards or on home equity loans that we know parents take out to pay for education. So the amount of school-related debt is probably bigger.

Q: How will this affect the country, demographically?

A: If you look at the census data that they’re slowly releasing, one of the things that we’re starting to see is that student debt is having an impact on household formations — the decision to get married and have children. They’re putting off forming households.

Q: And, in turn, how does that affect the future of housing?

A: In the age group of 25- to 35-year-olds, which is a prized demographic for the housing business, you’re going to be saddled with a lot more debt than you would have a decade ago coming out of college. They’re a big group, and they’ve moved back with their parents; almost 6 million in that age group now live with mom and dad, up 26 percent from the beginning of the recession in 2007. Many others are renting.

But certainly, few are buying. The homeownership rate for people 25 to 29 is at its lowest level since 1999, and for 30- to 34-year-olds it’s the lowest rate in 17 years.

This will be a boon for the rental market. It will take these people a lot longer to qualify for a mortgage.

Q: In the fall, President Barack Obama issued an executive order to put further caps on how much these debtholders of federally backed loans must repay each year, reducing it from 15 percent to 10 percent of their discretionary income. Won’t that help?

A: That shaves off a fraction, which is good. But I don’t think it’s going to make a huge impact. Given the tight mortgage-underwriting standards, I doubt that many of them would be able to qualify to buy a home with that much debt obligation.

Another aspect of that, which has gotten some publicity during the Occupy protests, is the default rate on these loans. Some of the protesters said they were angry with the high cost of obtaining an education and said they weren’t going to pay back their loans. Well, student loan default rates are going up: At private institutions, the rate is 4.6 percent; at public schools, it’s 7.2 percent; and at for-profit institutions, it’s 15 percent. Once that blemish is on your credit record, you can’t escape that.

Q: Eventually, both the parents and their adult children will be weary of this doubling-up trend, and even if the offspring can’t buy, they’ll rent. Is there an adequate apartment supply to meet the demand?

A: Yes, rentals will be the obvious beneficiary. We think the apartment supply will be adequate, and there’s a lot of supply in the pipeline right now.

And, of course, in the doubling-up situations, eventually you do reach a boiling point — both parent and child do — but the economics of it will still make it difficult for them to move out.

We haven’t done much research, as far as what types of housing builders should be building to meet their rental needs — whether, say, they should build more three-bedroom apartments for roommate situations, or maybe studios for those who will be on their own.

But one thing we’ve seen in recent quarters is the number of builders who are offering more of a multigenerational home (for purchase), for parents who may be living with 20- to 30-year-olds. Where builders are constructing those, those homes have been outperforming in their markets.

And I believe that we’re seeing more parents helping out their kids with down payments; that might be a way to get them out of the house.

Why hasn’t your processor mentioned the Durbin Amendment?  Learn how to lower your card acceptance cost: www.vms-washington.com and ask about the Durbin Amendment that was passed on October 2011 and how it will help you lower your rates.