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Education is without a doubt one of the most important things in life that everyone should have access to. Typically, the kind of job that a person has is determined by his or her educational attainment. The advent of the internet has provided us with so many great opportunities to advance our skills and knowledge, and this is through online education. Online degree programs offer so many great benefits to those people who want to pursue higher education, particularly those who have no time to go to school, like parents and working professionals. Here are some of the greatest benefits of taking online courses:
Students Can Take Accredited Degrees
Online education gives students the chance to have a diploma in various accredited courses. These accredited online degree programs are also recognized by employers just as much as they recognize graduates of on-campus courses. So it is not true that students who take online courses are less likely to be hired in the future. For instance, students who have a degree in environmental science at an online degree program accredited by the National Environmental Health Science & Protection Accreditation Council are hired as quickly as the students who earn their degree with an on-campus program.
Another interesting example is the case of students taking up a course in the field of engineering. If the course a student takes is offered at a distance learning program which is accredited by ABET, Inc., they will surely be interesting prospects for employers. There is not even a possibility that they will be less preferred than on-campus graduates just because they had online education .
Students Can Choose Their Own Schedule
Online degree programs are designed in such a way that students can get access to various archived lectures. What this means is that every single lecture for a particular course is already saved in an online lecture archive, so students can use them at any given time. This is one of the most significant advantages of online education as students have a chance to learn wherever and whenever they would like to.
Taking up online courses also allow students to work while they are enrolled so they can avoid accumulating lots of debt, which most on-campus students are suffering from. As you can imagine, students enrolled in an online degree program do not need as much amount of student loans as on-campus students. As a result, online students are more capable of paying their tuition fees upfront and avoid any debt.
Students who are taking online education can just stay at home and have their classes there. This actually saves them not only the money, but also the time that it would take them if they were to go to
Education today is a part and parcel of human’s life. Learning and having an authorized degree is a prerequisite for the better future. Getting the best opportunities to learn and gain the best possible knowledge from where-so-ever is one of the main targets of everyone today. Going to school and attending classes is one of the basic methods to learn and get educated. Learning from the surroundings also helps a lot. Studies are the mere basis of all the advancements being done in today’s world. Be that technological, scientific or medical innovation or discovery, education is the only base to every such incident in the entire world. With the passage of time and growing needs and requirements, education has become very expensive at campus and not everyone among the people around has access to the schools.
Having an accredited degree is a dream of every hardworking student and the passionate professionals who want to excel in their field. To get through with all the aspirations and dreams to gain top quality education is now very much possible with all difficulties and hurdles in the way. Online Schools have provided an easy path leading to the degrees in one’s favorite subjects and with various concentrations. Every accredited online school provides various subject heads under different degree programs. Nearly every field including medicine, engineering, arts, science, business and every concentration within is available for an associate, bachelor, masters or even a doctorate degree from online schools. The best part of this whole system is the interactivity. The live interactive online classes provide students to share their ideas and views on online forum along with the experts of the relevant subjects.
The synchronous and asynchronous form of education allows student to either study at a scheduled time with an online teacher and students, however if a student is not able to attend the online class, the asynchronous online education system allows to download lectures and attend at convenient time and then later coordinate with teacher for any queries. This self-paced education system encourage working professionals to pursue education and apply for a better and position with the organization.
Accredited online schools keep their subject materials and curriculum updated with the latest market demand and trends; this helps provide the latest knowledge to its students. Online degree program enables the students to be a complete professional providing them all the facilities and complete technical know how about the particular field they are pursuing. Unlike the campus schools, online schools provide a complete backup of all the lectures, studies conducted and all discussions to all the students enrolled in the particular subject helping them to gain most of the knowledge delivered during the classes. All the prerequisites for any campus school are also applicable for the online school but there is flexibility in rules and regulations making things easier for the students to learn and gain knowledge in-order to enhance their educational career in a better way.
Professionals can also gain from this opportunity as this can help them engage in knowledge enhancement, and provide them a chance to grow in their professional life and gain monetary and other related benefits. Online schools are also the best options for all those who are looking for some continuing education plan and do not have any choice else to leave their job or discontinue their current place of work or even have plans to study but do not see any good institute around in their area. The problem of traveling and time wastage has been resolved by Online schools by providing complete access to the educational material and complete range of subjects, notes and also provide experienced and seasoned teachers to guide and teach the relevant subjects in an appropriate manner.
One of the five colleges that were grouped within Alamo Colleges, San Antonio College is located in San Antonio, Texas in United States. Apart from quality
San Antonio College was established in 1925, and is one of the five colleges in the Alamo Group. Other colleges are St. Philip College, Northeast Lakeview College, Palo Alto College, and Northwest Vista College.
San Antonio College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Associate degrees, certificate programs, and licensures are offered by the college. Four distinct academic programs are offered by the college, namely, professional and technical education, division of arts and sciences, distance education, continuing education, and workforce development. Professional development classes, youth programs, general education classes, medical administration, computer skills, and nursing courses are also offered.
Professional and Technical Education program has eleven academic departments while the division of arts and science helps students prepare for transfer to four year institutions. Another unique feature of the college is the wide scope for distance education and enlists in the directory of universities offering degrees online. In addition the college provides extensive law enforcement certificates.
San Antonio College follows open admission policy. However students who wish to enroll in one of the nine public two year colleges in the community college district must complete an application and also possess high school diploma. Apprentices defined by section 3077 of the California Labor Code and K-12 students with special circumstances are eligible for admission. Details of admission criteria can be viewed on the state university website.
Financial Aids and Student Services
San Antonio College offers multiple financial aids including the federal, state, local, and institutional grants, scholarships and student loans for the students. In addition student support programs and counseling are available. One can visit the college aid and support page or the state university website for details. Students can obtain assistance from the counselors in the college those provide guidance and assistance for the students.
The technological advancement in the past century has been beyond our imagination. Ask your grandfather or even your father about the modern gadgets, their only response to our modern gadgets is a surprised look. This reminds me of a famous quote by Arthur Clarke “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” That’s so true, technological advancement is nothing but something near to magic for the older generation. Technological advancement has become a part and parcel of our daily life. It has made its way to every walk of life, even in the educational institutes. Campus Management Software is a very well known ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), used in majority of educational institutes in foreign countries. The use such ERP has made the management of important data and records smooth in the educational institutes.
In an educational institute a series of activities like admissions, library management, finance, placements, etc, are to be performed efficiently for its smooth administration. Campus management software is an integrated management system, where the data and information is consolidated, which make the maintenance of important records easy. Through this system all the educational departments get well connected with each other, thus making the administration smooth. Education is streamlined by the Campus Management Software, as all the educational activities are documented, which can be retrieved whenever needed.
Campus management software stores all the personal information of the students like the birth date, attendances, monthly progress report, etc. This makes the life of the teachers easy; who otherwise have to spend hours and hours in updating these information. It is boon for the teachers as well as the students, as with this software doing all the tedious jobs, teachers can dedicate more time to their actual job. The teachers can spend more time interacting with the students, thus it makes learning a fun experience. The teachers get more time to explore the hidden talent of the students, thus leading to an overall development of the student.
The concept of virtual library might become a reality some day, with Campus Management Software; the software automatically keeps an updated record of the books and its availability. The students or the teachers can check the availability of books on the school site. In case of unavailability of any book, students or teachers can make an advance booking for the book, in this way everyone can get a chance to read the book, which otherwise may become difficult. The software gives a detailed list of the books, from which the students can select the books and not waste time searching the book in the shelf, with thousands of book.
Campus management software is not only for small clerical task, it is beyond that as it offers a three way interactive platform for teachers, students as well as parents. It is very similar to the social networking sites where, anyone whether it is the teacher, students or alumnus can interact with each other. An advantage of this kind of an interactive platform is that the students can be in touch with their old friends and with their teachers, thus making the relations last forever. Moreover, parents can interact with the teachers to know the progress of their child.
Imagine the time which administrative staff in the schools or colleges have spent taking the fees, issuing different certificates, etc. With the Campus management software it saves a lot of time of the administrative staff, as a student can pay his fees online, moreover the students get the message, if any of his fees is due. The students can apply directly online for issue of any certificate and get the same online.
The internet has made huge strides in several aspects of life. In the field of education, it is now possible for students to acquire formal education online. If you are interested in pursuing a degree online a.k.a distance learning, it is very essential to consider matching its pros and cons against on-campus
Distance learning gives you the chance to take classes anywhere at any time as long as you gain access to the internet. However, long hours staring at the computer can be a headache for some. Also, taking classes online deprives students of social interaction which is very essential to foster personal growth.
Convenience & Flexibility
When you opt to student online, you will enjoy learning at your very own pace. The flexibility of time gives you much convenience compared to attending standard classes from on-campus University. However, setting your own “study time” can most probably lead to procrastination if you are not disciplined enough to adhere to it.
Quality of Education
Online students are typically given video lectures and multimedia presentations as materials for learning. These tools give students the chance to replay the lecture all over again until they learn from it. But unlike on-campus set up, distance learning may deprive students to interact face-to-face with instructors for immediate clarifications of certain topics. Most probably, online students get less feedback and support than they could have in a university classroom.
Program Accreditation Concern
Unfortunately, not all employers are willing to employ applicants who matriculated online. This is the stigma attached to your online degree diploma despite its growing popularity. Your hard earned diploma may not be perceived more valuable than a diploma from a traditional college.
Distance learning does not require you to get in to the bus station and wait for a ride to get you to school each day. There is also no need for you to apply for student housing and pay dues on time. Besides, you are also spared of meal expenses, textbooks and other materials essential for on-campus learning.
Now that you have compared its pros and cons, it’s all up to you to decide how to get your college degree. After all, it all boils down to how much knowledge you gained from school and how would you be able to step out to live to it.
If you didn’t happen to purchase real estate twenty years ago as part of your child’s college saving plan – well, that’s not a problem. It’s not too late to think about buying a condo property right now, to provide your own off-campus student housing for your child to live in while he or she is still attending college. And indeed, there are many good reasons to consider a condominium unit as an ideal home for the college years:
- Stability: Your student will no longer need to go apartment-hunting each year, or be at the mercy of the annual September housing crunch that occurs in so many college towns. There are advantages to becoming an established resident in a single neighborhood for four years, as opposed to moving from on neighborhood to another each year.
- Moving and Storage: Having one place to live means no more moving trucks or sofa-hauling up and down flights of stairs. There’s also no need to rent storage units to store possessions over the summer break.
- Fixed Expenses: In past years, apartment rents in most American cities have regularly increased each year, in order to keep up with the costs of inflation. By securing a condo unit with a fixed rate mortgage, the housing payments for your student will be much more predictable. You should still plan for some increases in taxes and insurance, however.
- No Security Deposits: Extra move-in expenses, such as security deposits, rental application fees, and first-last month’s rent, would no longer be a problem. Plus, you never have to go through the ordeal of getting security deposits back again.
- Home Ownership: There are plenty of life lessons to be gained from the experience of condo ownership: principles of real estate investing, home maintenance and upkeep; even the process of dealing with a Condo Owner’s Association can be educational.
- Equity Appreciation: Although never guaranteed, there is a strong possibility of financial gains resulting from the underlying appreciation of property values. Possible financial benefits include tax deductions on interest and improvements, as well as debt reduction of an amortized loan which builds up equity.
There have been many instances of students selling their condo upon graduation and realizing a tidy profit – paying for a substantial chunk of their college education with the capital gains! But of course, there are always potential drawbacks to any real estate scenario, and condos for college students are no exception.
- Changing Schools: College years can be quite volatile, and remaining in one place for four or more years might not be what actually comes to pass. Transferring schools, stopping out to travel, or even dropping out and moving back home – anything can happen and it’s best to have a plan. Fortunately, condos are usually easy to rent out in cases of unexpected “vacancy”, so all is not lost.
- Roommates: If you decide to purchase a larger condo and have your student seek a roommate to help cover costs, then a whole extra set of responsibilities will be required, including rent collection and the hassle of dealing with potentially irresponsible roommates and visitors.
- Decline in Value: Even though demand for housing in college towns tends to support basic property values, you may find that the actual condo appreciation after a few years falls short of projections. Even with this unfortunate turn of events, it’s very possible that the shortfall would amount to less than the amount of money that would have been spent on rent and moving expenses over several years.
Before you decide to buy a condo for your student, crunch the numbers to make sure the investment makes sense. Even if buying a nice condominium is more expensive than anticipated, you might make the decision to take the plunge anyway, in order to enhance the quality of life for your child during those busy college years. After all, the less time he or she spends worrying about finding off-campus housing, the more time left over to study, right?
Online education and online courses are most popular now a days.
This popularity is due to the advantages these programs consists. These
- Time Saving
These advantages of online education and online courses are
1. Easiness :
The course outline, material and test systems are easy
in online education and online courses as compared to the other manual education which
consist heavy books and light information. The material provided in these
programs are quite informative and skilled which lead the students to not only
high scores in but also to the better career enhancement.
Flexibility is the most important feature and
advantage of online education and online courses. These programs are very flexible as
compare to manual education. Online e-Lectures provide the flexibility in these
programs. Students can learn any thing or enroll themselves in any degree
program from either their homes or institutes or whatever and can learn any
where. In short students enroll themselves in these programs carry school with
them in their laptop bags.
3.Time Saving :
In normal, students have to spent their precious 5-6
hours in colleges and universities. But as far as online education and online courses are
concerned, these are less consumer of time as compared to manual system of
education. By saving times through these degree programs online, students not
only lesser the burden but also gain some experience by working for some
organizations or by self employment. This productive use of time enhance their
quality and career.
4. Inexpensive :
Online education and online courses are also inexpensive as
compared to manual degrees. The basic requirement of these programs are just a
computer and internet connection. These requirements are also the basic
requirement of any house and each house contain them. The education material and
test systems are online in these education degrees and courses which cut the cost of books
e-learning refers to any learning process that partly or wholly uses computer technology for delivery and or support.
The concept of e-learning is not new. Psychology professor Sidney Pressey developed a mechanical teaching machine in the early 1920s. Numerous computer-based training (CBT) applications were developed in the 1980s to exploit the evolution of the personal computer. However, the proliferation of the Internet has fuelled the growth in both volume and scope of what is now known as e-learning. Unfortunately, e-learning doesn’t guarantee an improvement in quality over traditional methods, and can be detrimental to the learning experience.
There are 2 main applications for e-learning:
* Distance Education – Distance education has been around a long time, eg The Boston Gazette carried an ad in 1728 for a correspondence course in shorthand. Being able to deliver learning materials online has benefits over shipping bulky packages around the globe. Tutorial support can be given via communal discussion forums and/or private e-mail.
* Corporate Training – Traditionally as engineers and salespeople needed to be informed of new products they would be herded into training rooms. Shifting this instruction on screen allows staff to be trained at their, and the company’s, convenience, avoiding the need for trainers to repeatedly deliver identical courses.
In addition, academic institutions are increasingly using e-learning to supplement face-to-face instruction (so-called blended learning) by way of an institutional Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) such as Moodle or Blackboard. In many cases these serve as repositories of lecture notes and electronic notice boards.
Educators adopt e-learning for a number of reasons:
* Economic – Although upfront preparation costs can exceed those for on-campus education , once materials are created and delivery and support platforms are in place the running costs for e-learning can be significantly cheaper than for traditional instruction. By posting study materials online, instructors benefit from reduced learner contact time. By eliminating printing and shipping costs e-learning can be delivered cheaper than paper-based distance education.
* Market reach – In addition to cutting costs, e-learning permits increased student numbers. Learners benefit from the flexibility of being able to study where and when they want. e-learning permits education providers to keep up with the ever-increasing knowledge and skill demands of the information age.
* Improved quality – Some educators recognize and exploit the potential of e-learning to offer a better learning experience than more traditional methods of instruction.
There seems to be a widespread misconception that simply presenting information on-screen rather than as ink on paper somehow improves its usefulness for learning.
Though thoughts on the screen vs. paper debate vary widely from person to person there are many reasons why paper remains superior to screen. People tend to read slower from screen than paper, and prolonged screen use may cause eyestrain. A sheet of paper generally reveals more information than a single screen. Most computer screens are landscape-oriented whereas most paper presentations are portrait-oriented. This means reading from paper can give the learner a better sense of where the current study topic fits into the whole. Imagine your computer developing a fault the night before your final exams; paper doesn’t develop faults.
That’s not to say don’t present text on-screen, the many millions of publishers of tens of billions of Web pages can’t all be wrong. But if you present largely text-based study matter on the screen, at least give the learner a convenient means of printing it out.
e-learning has its roots in the behaviorist approach to education. Learners are conditioned to produce appropriate responses to questions, and rewarded for doing so (like Pavlov’s dogs!) by being allowed to view the next screen.
However, modern education tends to favor a learner-centered, constructivist approach to learning in which learners create an internal model of reality based on their experiences.
There is a danger that in adopting e-learning to cut costs and/or increase market share the quality of the learning experience is reduced. In the worst case learners are treated as subjects to be conditioned in response to certain stimuli, with graduation as the eventual reward for pecking the right levers.
Too often educators are choosing e-learning to get their message across simply because it’s there and is seen as the fashionable to do. Even where the electronic medium offers no educational benefits, and might even be detrimental to learning. If the end-result offers nothing that couldn’t as easily be achieved on paper, then you’re probably better off doing it on paper – even if that paper is delivered as a PDF file.
e-learning is NOT inherently superior to on-campus instruction or even paper-based distance
The concept of distance learning applied to online career training is not very new. This form of learning emphasizes on the usage of an instructional system, design and technology. These are incorporated in an effective manner to deliver education to students, who cannot receive
Advantages of online training and learning:
Flexibility: Effective use of time is the best feature of online learning. As a student, you can maintain a flexible schedule, which is of great help when you are working and studying.
Accessibility: You can easily access online education with the help of the Internet. You need not attend regular classes to complete the course.
How to choose the right online training program?
Since there are many options available for online learning, choosing the right one for a specific individual need is indeed a difficult task. You need to conduct thorough research. Logging on to an online training site is similar to visiting a
Cost: Another major consideration in the case of an online
Reputation Of The Institute: The reputation of the institute matters a lot. Try to get references from outside. It is better not to rely on what the institutes claim about their own services, as they may be biased.
The guidance offered for online computer training should be practical in nature. If you are planning to enroll in online IT training, you need to evaluate the certification programs, to determine if they are worth the time, energy and money.
Online training and learning requires a lot of patience and dedication to ensure a good performance and results. If you are thinking of enrolling for an online course, You should familiarize yourself with the latest online learning technology.
Financially Challenged? There’s lots of free college information available online, and here are some of the most popular questions when it comes to student Financial Aid. Learn about the difference between grants, student loans and college scholarships and bank on your future!
What is Financial Aid?
Financial aid is monetary aid to help you pay for your college education. Aid is made available from grants, college scholarships, student loans, and part-time employment from federal, state, institutional, and private sources. The types and amounts of aid awarded are determined by financial need, available funds, student classification, academic performance, and sometimes the timeliness of application.
What is the FAFSA?
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is the Federal Department of education’s primary application for financial aid and is the gateway form to just about any other federal, state or private grants, college scholarships, student loans or college work study programs. The FAFSA form must be filled out each year between January 1 and March 10th (although some colleges have their own earlier deadlines) and can be completed online or by mail. Four to six weeks after you file the FAFSA (two to four weeks if you filed electronically), you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) which will contain a summary of the information you submitted on your FAFSA and presents your Expected Family contributions (EFC) which tells you the amount your family is expected to contribute towards your education. The amount of financial aid is then determined approximately by the tuition of your college subtracted by your EFC. If you do not receive the SAR within a reasonable amount of time, you can call the Federal Processor at 1-319-337-5665. Review the SAR carefully for errors. If necessary, make any corrections on Part 2 of the SAR and return it promptly to the address listed on the form. You will then be sent a new SAR with the changes made.
What is the College Scholarship Services Profile (CSS Profile)?
Some colleges also require you to fill out a College Scholarship Services Profile form in addition to the FAFSA. It is a secondary financial aid form that supplies further information about your family income. Be sure to check whether this form is necessary and about specific deadlines with your college directly.
What is the difference between a Grant, a Student Loan and a College Scholarship?
A grant is free money from government or non-profit organizations that does not need to be repaid. Grants are usually determined by financial need but can also be influenced by academic merit. Unlike grants, student loans are money loaned from an academic institution, financial institution, or federal government that must be repaid. Like a grant, a student scholarship is free money, but is generally offered through colleges, businesses, private individuals and outside sponsors. Those awarded by the college itself are often called MERIT AID. While grants tend to be issued according to financial need, college scholarships are awarded on a broad-base of criteria, the most common being academic merit. Furthermore, to receive any grants or loans you must complete a FAFSA, however, many scholarships may not require you to complete a FAFSA to be eligible. Instead, you may need to obtain application material directly from the donor of the scholarship.
What are the different kinds of grants?
There are federal as well as campus-based (institutional) grants. Federal Grants are free gift money from the Federal Department of Education while campus-based grants are government funds issued directly from your college. The campus-based grants provide a certain amount of funds for each participating school to administer each year. When the money for a program is gone, no more awards can be made from that program for that year, so make sure you find out about the types of grants awarded by each college you are considering as well as their specific deadline. Below are some of the most common grants.
Pell Grants are considered a foundation of federal financial aid, to which aid from other federal and non-federal sources might be added. Pell Grants are usually only awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or a professional degree. The amount you get depends on your financial need, your college’s tuition, your status as a full-time or part-time student and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less. The Academic Competitiveness Grant is a new grant available to first year college students who graduated from high school after January 1, 2006 or for second year college students who graduated from high school after January 1, 2005. Only students who are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and who has successfully completed a rigorous high school program as determined by the state or local education agency and recognized by the Secretary of Education. An Academic Competitiveness Grant will provide up to $750 for the first year of undergraduate study and up to $1,300 for the second year of undergraduate study for full-time students who are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (AKA the National Smart Grant) is available during the third and fourth years of undergraduate study to full-time students who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant and who are majoring in physical life, or computer sciences, mathematics, technology, or engineering or in a foreign language determined critical to national security. The student must have also maintained a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3. 0 in coursework required for the major. The National SMART Grant award is in addition to the student’s Pell Grant award.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The FSEOG is a campus-based grant aimed at assisting students with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions (EFCs) will be considered first for a FSEOG. You can receive between $100 and $4,000 a year depending on when you apply, your financial need, the funding at the school you are attending, and the policies of the financial aid office at your school.
What are the different kinds of student loans?
A student loan is money that needs to be repaid after you have completed your studies. Generally, interest rates are low- so that you do not rack up as much debt as you would with a credit card or bank loan. There are campus-based loans, which you repay directly to your college, as well as federal loans which you repay either directly to the U.S. government or to your financial institution.
Campus-based LoansFederal Perkins Loan
The Federal Perkins loan is a campus- based loan because it is administered directly by the financial aid office at each participating school. In other words, your school is the lender although the loan is made with government funds. Your school will either pay you directly or apply your loan to your school charges. You’ll receive the loan in at least two payments during the academic year. You can borrow up to $4,000 for each year of undergraduate study with a maximum of $20,000 for your entire undergraduate degree. The amount you receive depends on when you apply, your financial need and the funding level at your school. The Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest , 5 % loan for students with exceptional financial need. You must repay this loan directly to your school and you have nine months to begin your repayment plan after you graduate. Generally you will make monthly payments to the school that loaned you the money over a 10 year period. Federal LoansThe U.S. Department of Education administers the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Both the FFEL and Direct Loan programs consist of what are generally known as 1. Stafford Loans (for students) and 2. PLUS loans (for Parents). Schools generally participate in either the FFEL or Direct Loan program, but sometimes schools participate in both. For either type of loan, you must fill out FAFSA, after which your school will review the results and will review the results and will inform you about your loan eligibility. You also will have to sign a promissory note, a binding legal document that lists the conditions under which you’re borrowing, and the terms under which you agree to repay the loan.
- Stafford Loans
Stafford loans are federal loans for students. Eligibility rules and loan amounts are identical under both the FFEL and Direct loan programs, but providers and repayment plans differ. For all Stafford loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2006, the interest rate is fixed at 6. 8 percent. However, you can be considered for a subsidized loan, depending on your financial need, in which the government will pay (subsidize) the interest on your loan while you’re in school, for the first six months after you leave school and if you qualify to have your payments deferred. You might be able to borrow loan funds beyond your subsidized loan amount even if you don’t have demonstrated financial need. In that case, you’ll receive an unsubsidized loan. Your school will subtract the total of your other financial aid from your cost of attendance to determine whether you are eligible for an unsubsidized loan. Unlike a subsidized loan, you are responsible for you’re the interest from the time the loan is disbursed until the time it is repaid in full. After you graduate, you will have a six month ‘grace-period’ before you must begin repayment. During this period of time, you’ll receive repayment information, and you’ll be notified of your first payment due date. You are responsible for beginning repayment on time, even if you don’t receive this information. You will receive more detailed information on your repayment options during entrance and exit counselling sessions provided by your school.
- Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL)Funds from your FFEL will come from a bank, credit union or other lender that participates in the program. Schools that participate in the FFEL program, will usually have a list of preferred lenders. Student loan borrowers may choose a lender from that list, or choose a different lender they prefer. Your loan money must first be applied to pay for tuition and fees, room and board and other school charges. If money remains, you’ll receive the funds by cheque or in cash. Besides interests, you will pay a fee of up to 4 % of the loan, deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. For a FFEL Stafford Loan, a portion of this fee goes to the federal government, and a portion goes to the guaranty agency (the organization that administers the FFEL Program in your state) to help reduce the cost of your loans.
- Direct LoanUnder the direct loan program, the funds for your loan come directly from the federal government and you will need to repay your Direct Loan to the U.S. Department of Education’s Direct Loan Servicing Center. Like the FFEL loan, you will pay a fee of up to 4 % of the loan. For a direct Stafford Loan, the entire fee goes to the government to help reduce the cost of the loans.
- PLUS Loans (Parent Loans)Parents can borrow a PLUS Loan to help pay your education expenses if you are a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time in an eligible program at an eligible school. PLUS Loans are available through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program and the Direct Loan Program. Your parents can get either loan, but not both, for you during the same enrolment period. They must also have an acceptable credit history. For a Direct PLUS Loan, your parents must complete a Direct PLUS Loan application and promissory note, contained in a single form that you get from your school’s financial aid office. For a FFEL PLUS Loan, your parents must complete and submit a PLUS Loan application available from your school, lender, or your state guaranty agency. After the school completes its portion of the application, it must be sent to a lender for evaluation.
- Stafford Loans
- What are the different kinds of scholarships? Scholarships are awarded on a broad-base of criteria, the most common being academic merit. Many scholarships carry conditions besides academic merit, such as financial need, affiliation with a group-, leadership, athletic talent, artistic or musical ability etc. Some scholarships are awarded by the college itself, often called MERIT AID. Other scholarships are awarded by outside sponsors. For some scholarships, you need to be nominated. For most of them, you apply directly to a sponsor. Because there are so many different types of scholarships, you should check directly with your financial aid office at your college.
- Can I apply for a grant, a loan and a scholarship at the same time? Yes. You can team up different types of financial aid or simply have one kind. Nevertheless, some types of financial aid are contingent on others. For example, you can only receive an Academic Competitive Grant or a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant if you have received a Pell Grant. While you cannot team up a FFEL loan with a direct loan, you may be eligible to receive a subsidized loan (in which the interest is paid by the government) and an unsubsidized loan (in which you are responsible for the interest) at the same time. You can also combine grants with loans and scholarships, so it never hurts to try to get as many different varieties of aid as possible!
- What is the Federal Work Study Program? The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) is a campus-based program that provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, that allows them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the recipient’s course of study.
- How often should I apply for financial aid? You will need to apply for financial aid each year. Even if you did not qualify this year, you should reapply next year since financial circumstances can change. The number of family members in college, for example can have a big impact on your eligibility for financial aid. If you submitted a FAFSA during the previous year, you may be able to complete the shorter Renewal FAFSA form instead. The renewal FAFSA will be mailed to your home. The renewal FAFSA preprints most of your answers from the previous year’s FAFSA. Verify that the old responses are still accurate and provide corrections or new answers where appropriate. If you don’t receive a renewal FAFSA by February 15, fill out a new FAFSA form.
- How do I know whether I am eligible for financial aid? Don’t assume that you will not qualify for financial aid. Nearly all U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens enrolled at least half the time are now eligible for some form of financial aid. Even if you don’t qualify for a grant, free college info is still available, and you may still be eligible for other forms of financial assistance. Many families don’t apply for financial aid, because they believe that they earn too much money. However, you don’t need to be from a low-income family to receive financial aid. Some loans and scholarships are available regardless of need. Many factors are used to determine your eligibility for financial aid and there is no simple cut-off base on income. You can’t get aid unless you apply!!