What’s the hardest part about obtaining a college degree? Is it passing your subjects? Well, some would possibly think so. Most college students could attest that the most challenging part about getting a college education is, as you may have guessed, paying for your college tuition fees.
Every school year, American college students pay at least $20,000 to cover college tuition fees alone. And as you well know, the costs doesn’t really stop there. You still need to pay for books, allowance, food, transportation, and the list just continues to infinity and beyond.
Perhaps you’ve spent a lot of sleepless nights thinking about it. And perhaps you’d be glad to learn that the United States government, your government, has thought about it as well. In fact, the government has been thinking about it well before 1980.
The United States Government mandated the establishment of United States Department of Education under the Department of Education Organization Act of 1979.
The US Department of Education was basically created to encourage the promotion of student achievement and their preparation for global competitiveness by way of fostering academic excellence and ensuring equal access to quality education.
The department participates in four fundamental activities, including:
a) The development of policies that are associated with federal education funding, the administration of funds and the monitoring of its usage
b) The gathering of data and overseeing of scientific studies in American schools
c) The detection of major issues in education and the development of solutions that would address them
d) The enactment of federal laws that prohibit discrimination in certain programs that receive federal funds.
The Department of Education provides a lot of programs and several other forms of financial assistance which have been proven to be largely helpful for students who are academically deserving but financially challenged.
Some of the services offered by the Department of Education are Grants, in the form of Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grants, and Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grants; Federal Work-Study Programs, and Federal Loans such as Perkins Loans, Direct Stafford Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, and Direct Loan Consolidation Programs.
Every aspiring university student must always keep in mind that with regards to education, there is always a form of assistance that’s available for everyone. All a student needs to do is understand what she needs and determine where and how she can get it.
The internet continues to prove itself to be one of the most powerful and versatile resources that individuals can use. The search for money for education is no exception to this. The US Department of Education student financial assistance pages are an excellent example of this. You can access the Department of Education’s page and begin planning your educational career now.
There are a number of significant benefits available to those that visit the US Department of Education student financial assistance pages. Among them is concise information about the federal aid that is available. This information will provide you with a basic understanding that prepares you to approach education funding. The US Department of Education student financial assistance goes well beyond the beginning of securing funding though. It provides information that will be useful for managing your education while in school and managing any remaining debt that you may have when you graduate. The result is a comprehensive resource for your entire educational career.
The fact is that no single site can supply you with all the information that may be useful to you. The US Department of Education’s site provides links to other trusted sites to compliment the resources that it does have. In this way the pages work to provide you with more complete information about the topics that you need to know about. The information is not limited to generalities though. If you are ready to get to the details there is a seamless progression to that on the site.
On the US Department of Education student financial assistance pages you can find links that take you directly to the applications that you need to complete to secure financial aid. It removes the questions of what is next. If you need to apply for aid then you can click the apply for aid link and follow the step-by-step. It really is that simple. You do not need to pay for the information. The US Department of Education student financial assistance pages are free to access and the FAFSA is free to complete and submit. You can literally have an estimate of what you will receive in minutes.
It even provides resources that allow you to search for scholarships that are not government-based. All of this is designed to help you get the money that you need for the education that you want. If you are ready to begin your search into the world of money for education you may want to begin with the US Department of Education’s website. The site offers information for students and financial aid professionals. If you work to help other secure financial the site may prove to be an invaluable resource for you as well.
Filing for financial aid as soon as possible is important. It can help you to secure as much funding as possible in some cases. It can also provide you with additional time to make corrections and seek other funding if necessary. From questions to the application, it is all awaiting you at the US Department of Education website now.
Finding sources of college funding is an important step towards getting an education. College tuition and living costs are increasing and you will need to find funding wherever you can. You may even have to eliminate your favorite school from your list, even if your efforts have been rewarded with the chance to attend. Though you will have to take money into account when choosing a school, you should be able to get into one of your top five schools with the help of the department of education; student loans and financial aid can help you pay for it.
You should apply for student aid first. It is free to apply, you may receive extra funds that you won’t have to pay back, and having applied for student aid is a requirement for receiving student loans. You can apply online with the department of education. An online forecaster and a college expenses calculator are now provided to help you estimate how much money you will need and how much you will receive.
Federal PLUS loans are available for parents who wish to help their children study, but if they do not meet qualifications to receive a PLUS loan, the student can apply for Stafford loans with a higher maximum loan amount. The minimum loan amount increases after every year in college, and as an example, your first year the maximum loan amount is $3500, or $7500 if your parents do not have access to the PLUS loan.
In the case of financial need, the government pays the interest on your loan during your time in college. This is called a subsidized loan. If you are borrowing a Stafford loan with the normal maximum limit, the entire loan is subsidized. If you qualify for a higher maximum loan amount, only the normal loan amount can be subsidized: $3500 of the $7500 for the first year, for example.
Federal loans can be taken from the Department of Education directly, or, through the FFEL program, through private lenders. The terms and payment options may vary, but federal loans now have a fixed interest rate at a maximum of 6.8%. Direct federal loans offer you the option of switching among a variety of payment plans, allowing you to make lower payments over time or even make payments based on your income.
If you have education expenses which are not covered by federal loans, you can take out private loans as well. These are available from many different sources with differing terms; you should contact them while you are comparing colleges to get an estimate on how much you can borrow. Graduate students can take out PLUS and Stafford loans, and you can consolidate your student loans at any time.
Even if you can’t pay for your top choice, you can get into a good school if you use all the resources available to you, including Department of Education student loans, financial aid, and private loans.
If you have heard about any kind of Federal financial aid for students, you are already familiar with US Department of Education loans. The US Department of Education handles all government aid for defraying the cost of attending college in America, from grants to loans. The first thing that you will need to do to apply for US Department of Education loans is to fill out a FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. FAFSA forms compare the amount of money required to attend a specific college to the amount of money that can be expected to be paid by the family of the attendee. Any difference is the amount of money eligible for student aid.
Qualifying for US Department of Education Loans
US Department of Education loans have specific qualifications that an applicant must meet to be eligible. The qualifications include US Citizenship (some non-citizens with social security numbers are also eligible), financial need, possession of a valid Social Security Number, and proof of eligibility for higher education in the form of a high school diploma, General Education Development (GED) certificate, or similar. Furthermore, applicants for US Department of Education loans must be in good financial, academic, and legal standing. In other words, they must be registered with the Selective Service if required, they must not have defaulted on a student loan in the past, they can have no record of conviction on charges of sales or possession of drugs, and they must maintain a certain grade point average (GPA) to continue to receive student loans from the Department of Education.
Types of US Department of Education Loans
There are three main possibilities when considering US Department of Education loans: grants, which are monetary gifts, student loans, and work-study programs where the money for education is earned. Only in the case of student loans
does the money need to be repaid. Most federal grants are based solely on financial need, and some are given on a first-come-first-served basis, so it is important to apply as early as possible.
Work-Study programs are not technically US Department of Education loans, but they are a federally mandated way to
receive financial aid to attend college. A number of work-study hours are specified as part of the financial aid package.
These usually involve jobs working with non-profit companies or on campus, and pay a modest salary. The money earned can be used for college tuition. True US Department of Education loans include the Perkins Loan, the Stafford Loan, and the PLUS loan for parents.
Perkins loans have a particularly low interest rate and can be paid back over a time period of as long as 10 years. There are a limited number of Perkins Loans available to each school every year. The Stafford Loan has a higher interest rate than the Perkins loan, and doesn’t necessarily offer a grace period after graduation. However, there are more Stafford loans offered by the US Department of Education every year. Stafford loans are even available to students who don’t have a pressing financial need. Stafford loans may be paid off over a period of as long as thirty years.
PLUS loans are the final type of US Department of Education loans. They are offered to parents of undergraduates, as opposed to the students themselves. Payments on Federal PLUS loans start two months after the money is received, and can be paid off over a ten-year term.