Financial Aid

  • Students Suffer as Pell Grant Benefits Are Cut

    Barry Lenson

    You can read about it in dozens of places online. Just at the time when thousands of American students were expecting to get good news about their Pell Grants, they were told that they were getting nothing – not a cent – from the Pell Grant program this year. Most of the students who are affected attend community colleges. Some of them apparently got bills instead of the checks they were expecting. Take a moment to read these two stories about the crisis . . . “2,960 students lose Pell Grant eligibility,” an article in the Biloxi-Gulfport Sun Herald, reports that regulations that Congress quietly enacted last June to lower the cost of the Pell Grant program have already disqualified about 3,000 Mississippi students. “Shut ...

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  • $2,500 Annual Tuition Tax Credit Preserved in Fiscal Cliff Deal

    Barry Lenson

    As you know, Congress and the White House reached an agreement a few days ago that prevented our economy from falling off the so-called “fiscal cliff.” But you might not have noticed that at the same time, American college students and their families dodged a financial bullet too. As part of the agreement, The American Opportunity Tax Credit, which has been around since 2010, was preserved. If you are a college student, chances are that you have already been taking advantage of it. It allows families to get an annual tax credit of up to $2,500 to help pay for educational expenses. Students and their families can take advantage of the credit for up to four years. So the net is, students and their families can get as much as a $10,000 ...

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  • Don’t Let College Become Your Personal Fiscal Cliff

    Barry Lenson

    What exactly is the fiscal cliff that’s been making the news lately? You can define it in many different ways. (The taxes go up, up, up, and the services go down, down, down. That’s one way.) But when you boil it all down, you realize that the fiscal cliff can be defined as . . . A situation in which there simply isn’t enough money coming in to pay all the expenses that are going out. And something needs to be corrected, or the economy will fall of a precipice. As former president Bill Clinton said that the Democratic National Convention, such problems can be stated simply: “the math doesn’t work.” As we know, not only governments get into situations where the math doesn’t work. People who borrow money to buy houses f ...

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  • 4 Great Ways to Reduce the Cost of College

    Beth Dumbauld

    By Sani Golriz Just a few short years ago it seemed that college was the natural next step for graduating high-schoolers. It allowed them to move on to a whole new level of education, helping them develop the skills and knowledge they'd need for the bright, shining future that seemed guaranteed on graduation day. Today, though, the landscape is very different. The cost of tuition has increased (and has done, in fact, at around twice the rate of inflation every year since The Beatles played the Ed Sullivan Show), and an increasing number of parents are unable to set aside enough savings to help pay for higher education. What's more, with the economy in a shambles and unemployment at its highest rate in recent history, college studen ...

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  • How to Avoid Defaulting on Student Loans

    Barry Lenson

    Students in Record Numbers are Defaulting on Loans . . .  “College students defaulting at record rate,”an article that Meghan Hoyer wrote forUSAToday, reports some sobering statistics that have just been released by the U.S. Department of Education. Last year's 8.8% default rate surged to 13.4% this year. Nearly half of defaulting borrowers attended for-profit colleges, despite the fact that they make up only 28% of the total borrowing pool, and 13% of all enrolled college students. That’s all pretty bad. But let’s turn for a moment to a question that could be closer to your own heart. How can you avoid borrowing too much to pay for college, then being unable to pay it back? Some of the answers to that questi ...

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