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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » PSA: College Students applying for financial aid for 09-10 - now with 10-11 question! (Page 1)

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Author Topic: PSA: College Students applying for financial aid for 09-10 - now with 10-11 question!
rivka
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If you are in
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Idaho
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia
and have not filed your FAFSA, I have only one thing to say to you.

So sad, too bad. Try again next year!

(Sorry. I've been suppressing that all day. Stupid people who wait until the very last second and then expect me to make miracles.)

[ August 09, 2010, 10:17 AM: Message edited by: rivka ]

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Lyrhawn
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Today was the deadline for students in those states? I thought you could file your FAFSA up until next December even.
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rivka
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Not if you want to get state aid you can't.

Anyway, the final deadline is never December; it's July. Unless your Spring semester is over earlier than that.

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Lyrhawn
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Ah, state aid. Didn't know they had a deadline.
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rivka
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Varies by state.
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scholarette
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Your thread inspired me. My FAFSA is all filled out and submitted. [Smile] I am not in one of the states listed though, so I am not late.
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TheBlueShadow
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I'm not in any of those states but if it makes you feel any better I completed mine over a week ago.
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CaySedai
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I'm in Iowa, but thanks for the reminder. I do need to get on that.
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adenam
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Mine was submitted about 2 weeks ago. Of course, my mom got to have the pleasure of actually filling it out while I hounded her about it. It was interesting to have a role reversal [Big Grin]
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Tara
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I emailed my parents a couple weeks ago and I'm assuming they did it... Hum.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
Your thread inspired me. My FAFSA is all filled out and submitted. [Smile] I am not in one of the states listed though, so I am not late.

quote:
Originally posted by TheBlueShadow:
I'm not in any of those states but if it makes you feel any better I completed mine over a week ago.

quote:
Originally posted by CaySedai:
I'm in Iowa, but thanks for the reminder.

quote:
Originally posted by adenam:
Mine was submitted about 2 weeks ago.

[Smile] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile]

quote:
Originally posted by Tara:
I emailed my parents a couple weeks ago and I'm assuming they did it... Hum.

>_<
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adenam
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YAY! I earned a smiley from rivka! I feel so honored [Smile]
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Lyrhawn
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I did mine about a month ago as soon as I got my W2 from work. I did my taxes and my FAFSA immediately.

I'll procrastinate like crazy with most things, but I don't screw around with that.

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rivka
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I couldn't access my email yesterday (server problem at work), nor did I get to my voicemails until today. At which time I discovered both an email and a voicemail from someone wanting to know how to "legally request an Cal Grant extension". I told him there is no such animal. [Razz] (And not ILlegally, either!)
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Boothby171
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I submitted my daughter's FAFSA a little over a week ago!

woot!

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PSI Teleport
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Grr, better do ours. Thanks for the reminder.
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PSI Teleport
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Done!
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dantesparadigm
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Pffft, bunch of suckers. I filled my FAFSA out over a year ago.
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rivka
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Impressive speed, PSI. You've done this before, huh?

dante, time travel much?

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dantesparadigm
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Nope, except for forward at the rate of one second per second. I was implying I thought I only had to fill it out once, and I was hoping someone would respond by pointing out that it's annual. I'd react with shock and a good laugh would be had by all. You ruined it.
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rivka
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I figured. I've done this before. [Wink]
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rivka
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And now to make this thread actually useful:

NY Times has new blog about college admissions and financial aid.
Including a series of Q&A by one of my favorite financial aid people, Mark Kantrowitz.

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DDDaysh
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State aid? I'm so jealous!

I always fill out my FAFSA at the same time I file my income taxes - kill two birds with one stone since they usually require the same information.

On a side note - did anyone else notice the presidents plan to change the way the subsidized loan program is run?

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by DDDaysh:
On a side note - did anyone else notice the presidents plan to change the way the subsidized loan program is run?

It's the single hottest topic in financial aid officer land. [Wink]

I'm against killing off the FFELP program.

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Kwea
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Why? And why do they want to change it? What would you do instead?
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andi330
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Hey, I have a question specifically regarding living on campus or off and student loans. I am working on getting in to a graduate program at USC Columbia (that's South Carolina not Southern California for those curious) and while my admittance and starting the program is probably a year or more away I thought I'd start researching money now. First, if I don't live on campus, can student loans cover housing (if needed). My intention is to save as much as possible ahead of time but while there is on campus student housing, it is more expensive than some off-campus apartments that are very near the campus. However, if financial aid can only help me pay for an apartment if I live on campus, I need to know that too. I'm an in state student in South Carolina so tuition is relatively low (I was shocked at how inexpensive it was actually) and I have some mutual funds which should help with the tuition and living expenses (assuming the stock market turns around) so I'm not planning on depending on borrowing a ton of money to cover living expenses, but it would be nice to know.

I ask because my parents planned really well for my undergraduate experience (thanks mom and dad! love you!) and between my parents and my undergrad scholarship I graduated from college nearly 10 years ago with no student loans at all. I owed not a penny for my undergrad education, but I know that's not going to be the same for grad school now that I've decided on a career change, and I'm trying to learn as much as possible up front.

Also, are there any books or websites that you would recommend for people trying to learn about financial aid options. I know about finaid.org, but sometimes they can get a bit...difficult.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
Why? And why do they want to change it? What would you do instead?

Currently there are two programs, FFELP and DL. The president (and before him, several other Democrats, including Hillary Clinton) has suggested getting rid of FFELP altogether.

Problems with that:
  • Having two programs is good for both. Competition breeds certain types of efficiency that the DL program alone would certainly lack (and which it barely has as it is).
  • Having two programs has worked well for over 15 years. Choice for schools and students is good, neh?
  • Currently, the DL program is considerably smaller than the FFELP. While ED keeps promising that they could absorb all the schools currently using FFELP as DL schools, there is a fair bit of evidence that it would be difficult and all schools (and students) using DL would suffer.
  • FFELP loans involve a lender (SallieMae, CitiBank, Bob's Credit Union) and a guarantor (in some states there is one state organization; in others there are many). This division of labor makes default less common, as the guarantors work hard to go after students and offer them options. In DL, the federal government is lender and guarantor, and the default rates are considerably higher.

I'd provide links, but almost all are highly tilted one way or the other. This is a highly polarizing issue. (And has been since DL was first instituted 15+ years ago.)

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by andi330:
First, if I don't live on campus, can student loans cover housing (if needed).

Usually. Ask the school's financial aid office how they calculate budgets for students living off-campus (this can vary by school).

quote:
Originally posted by andi330:
Also, are there any books or websites that you would recommend for people trying to learn about financial aid options. I know about finaid.org, but sometimes they can get a bit...difficult.

Financial Aid Podcast and its associated sites are fairly good.
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AvidReader
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So, rivka, I was hoping you could explain a bit more about the financial aid changes. My cousin has a 75% scholarship to school. For three years, she's gotten a student loan for about 12% and my Dad's paid the other 12%.

This year, she went down to apply for her loan, and she was denied. The only thing that changed was that her parents got divorced.

Was there something in this change that would make it harder for kids to get loans or is this a credit crunch thing? This almost ruined her senior year. (My Dad went ahead and paid the difference, so she gets to graduate.)

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rivka
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What kind of loan was she getting? (Or more likely, loans.) Stafford loans have no credit checks or anything like that, so I'm guessing that either she wasn't getting a Stafford at all (WHY?!?) or that was only part of the 12% (in which case, WOW, expensive school!)

PLUS loans (parent loans) DO have a sort-of credit check that could be affected by a divorce, and the various private student loans generally require a parent-cosigner who must have good credit (so also potentially affected by a divorce).

Which all brings me back to WHY wasn't she taking out a Stafford loan instead? Up to $7500 for a graduating senior, no credit check of any kind, and lower interest rates than most other student loan options (unless you or your cosigner have sparkling credit, in which case private loans might have better rates, at least temporarily).

quote:
This almost ruined her senior year.
I can tell she was worried. Which is why she applied for the loan back in April, instead of waiting for the last minute . . .

Ok, maybe that's a bit harsh. But in general, waiting until the last minute when it comes to financial aid (or most things, really) reduces your options. Not smart.

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PSI Teleport
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Rivka: Is the Stafford loan only available for seniors?

I ask because my husband is generally against credit cards and loans, but he's looking for a way to take out a relatively small, less risky loan in order to have something on his credit report.

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sarcasticmuppet
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I got Staffords starting my sophomore year, and I'm positive you can get them sooner. I was going to school full-time, though.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by PSI Teleport:
Rivka: Is the Stafford loan only available for seniors?

Nope.

General guidelines for Stafford and undergrads:
Freshmen: up to $5500
Sophomores: up to $6500
Juniors/Seniors: up to $7500

Except your husband is an independent for financial aid purposes, so it's actually:
Freshmen: up to $9500
Sophomores: up to $10,500
Juniors/Seniors: up to $12,500

However, until a Stafford loan goes into repayment, it's probably not on your credit report. And you must be at least half-time. And those numbers assume full-time; 1/2- or 3/4-time would have maximums proportionately less.

More.

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scholarette
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I seem to recall that the amount you could get was different each year, but stafford was still available every year. Though that could also be different since I just got the subsidized ones and got married while in college, so qualified for everything my senior year (I love Senator Pell!), but not so much my freshman year.
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rivka
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ANYONE can get Stafford. As the ED trainers like to say, Bill Gates' daughter could get an unsubsidized Stafford. (Why she'd want to is another question, were she to exist in the first place.)
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scholarette
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ok- rivka answered better. [Smile] I thought student loans were not so good for building credit- like you got a hit if you didn't pay and that was bad, but they did very little to raise your credit score. Having a credit card just sitting around unused was supposedly better. But, I have done nothing with calculating my credit score (though I do know mine).
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
I thought student loans were not so good for building credit- like you got a hit if you didn't pay and that was bad, but they did very little to raise your credit score.

I believe that is accurate. Defaulting on a Stafford is definitely worse for your credit than most credit hits.
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PSI Teleport
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Thanks for the info and the link.

It seems like it's possible to start paying while in school so that could be perfect.

ETA: Ack. Several responses while I was lolly-gagging on the reply screen.

I'll take the rest of that into consideration, too. I'm honestly just thinking of a tiny loan, only because it would put something on our credit report. We've attempted to apply for credit cards a couple of times and always get rejected for the stated reason that we have no established credit.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by PSI Teleport:
It seems like it's possible to start paying while in school so that could be perfect.

Yes, but you don't actually go "into repayment" until 6 months after you graduate, drop out, or drop below half-time. I don't know if payments made before that point show up on your credit report or not.

I suggest a consultation with a licensed financial planner. A single consultation should not be too expensive, and you should be able to find out precisely what it would cost in advance.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by PSI Teleport:
Thanks for the info and the link.
We've attempted to apply for credit cards a couple of times and always get rejected for the stated reason that we have no established credit.

I had the same problem when I first started trying to build some credit. I had heard that gas credit cards were the easiest to get (you know, Exxon, Texaco, whatever) but even they were turning me down. Finally I went and had a sit down with my bank. They very quickly set me up with a partially secured card. Just a $90 dollar refundable deposit for a $500 limit. After just six months, I applied for a credit increase. A few days later I got a check for my $90 and an increase to $1000. Ever since I have had very little trouble getting credit.
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Black Fox
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I am so happy that my school just gets paid for.
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Dr Strangelove
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Stafford loans are the bomb! Especially the subsidized one. Every semester the school tries to dump $6000 dollars of unsubsidized Stafford loans in my lap and every semester for about half a second I'm giddy about the amount of money in my account, then I go down to give them the loan back. Interest is evil.
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rivka
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You do realize that your subsidized Stafford will have interest for most of the loan's lifetime, right? (Technically, it has interest now. You're just not the one paying it.)
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scholarette
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rivka- when I was in school, I had this brilliant plan of just doing subsidized and then paying them off in the 6 month after school ended- cause then I would have a great job and no problem paying at all. lol. Forgot about things like ER bills, dead cars, hurricane damage,etc. And of course, the great job ended up not happening. If I did get a full time job equivalent to my husband's (and my education level is as high as his), even after day care, that would be possible. Except my husband and I both wanted someone home with little girl (10 more weeks and little girlS). Silly plans that sound so good at 18. [Smile]
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
Silly plans that sound so good at 18. [Smile]

Yup. And 20. And 21 . . .

I've heard 'em all. [Wink]

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scholarette
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The crazy thing is, I don't think 30 year old me could possibly explain that to 18 year old me.
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rivka
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Not so crazy. Heaven knows I can't explain it to most 18-year-olds. [Wink]
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka: [/qb]Yup. And 20. And 21 . . .

I've heard 'em all. [Wink] [/QB]

My 32 year old roommate is still trying to pay off her college loans.
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Belle
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That's why I have fought so hard and just paid cash...borrowed nothing. I didn't want to be stuck paying off loans for years. Unfortunately, now I am ina situation where I would have to get loans to finish my master's, but I hate to with no guarantee there will be a full time job for me when I graduate.

So, I'm looking at walking away, even though I only need 6 more classes. It sucks. [Frown]

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katharina
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I have a 37-year-old friend who has about 90K in student loans. Ivy Leage undergrad, and then graduate school overseas.

Granted, she makes bank when she works, but she works in a political field and so tend to change jobs every few years with gaps in between. The whole thing from beginning to end would give me a heart attack. She loves what she does and she's amazing at it, but she definitely has some regrets there, as she'd like to not have roommates at this point.

She also thought she'd be married and her husband would be supporting her, so she wouldn't have to worry about money. I fully support the whole "get married" message, but I'm flabbergasted at how that sometimes get internalized to justify iffy decisions.

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Having said that, 6 classes? One year of full time, right? Take out loans. It is sometimes worth it. My family's general rule is to pay cash until you have one year left, and then you can take out loans to make up the difference so you can blow through and finish.

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