Education &amp; Training http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12010/all en-US These 17 Companies Will Help You Repay Your Student Loan http://www.wisebread.com/these-17-companies-will-help-you-repay-your-student-loan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-17-companies-will-help-you-repay-your-student-loan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/saving_for_education.jpg" alt="Saving for education" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Student loans can dampen the ability of new grads to get on their feet financially, causing stress at home and at work. According to Student Loan Hero, the graduating class of 2016 had an average student loan balance of $37,172 &mdash; up six percent from the year before.</p> <p>While it's daunting to see that number rise, the good news is that, in an effort to recruit and retain the best hires, a growing number of employers have started programs to help employees pay back those hefty student loans. Here are a few of those companies helping workers get out of debt.</p> <h2>1. Chegg</h2> <p>In April 2015, tutoring and study services company Chegg announced its college loan reduction plan for full-time employees in partnership with Tuition.IO, a company that provides a web-based platform for tracking and managing student loan payments. This benefit has an annual cap of $1,000 (less taxes), but has no cap on the total amount an employee can receive.</p> <h2>2. ChowNow</h2> <p>ChowNow has found this perk so useful in hiring talent that the company decided to double it from when it first started offering it to employees. The Los Angeles-based online food ordering company has an employer-paid student loan assistance program that matches up to $1,000 a year of employee payments.</p> <h2>3. CommonBond</h2> <p>Since December 2016, this lending marketplace platform has been granting $100 per month to its employees to pay down student loans. While CommonBond limits the perk at $1,200 per year, the company continues helping its employees until they fully pay off their student loans. Employees also have the option to refinance their student loans with CommonBond. On average, student borrowers save over $14,000 when refinancing through CommonBond, according to the company.</p> <h2>4. Credit Suisse</h2> <p>The financial services company doesn't offer a lump sum benefit to its employees, but instead provides a 0.25 percent discount on interest rates to workers that refinance their student loans with online lender SoFi.</p> <h2>5. Connelly Partners</h2> <p>Boston-based ad agency Connelly Partners works with Gradifi to offer a student loan repayment plan that improves the longer the employee stays with the company. Like a 401(k) plan, the agency matches up to $100 per month of its employees' debt payments. Employees who stick around for at least six months receive a $1,000 student loan payment bonus. Those who work for the company for five years receive another $1,000 bonus for the sixth year.</p> <h2>6. Fidelity Investments</h2> <p>The financial services firm makes an annual $2,000 direct payment to employees' student loan servicers, up to a total of $10,000. If your career with Fidelity requires you to continue your education, then Fidelity will reimburse you 90 percent of qualifying costs (up to $10,000 per year) of a work-related degree or certification program. You must have worked for the company for at least six months to qualify.</p> <h2>7. Kronos</h2> <p>Based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, the workforce management software provider has partnered with solutions provider Student Loan Genius to pay up to $500 per year to help employees pay down student debt.</p> <h2>8. LendEDU</h2> <p>Since February 2016, the online marketplace for student loan financing has paid $2,400 per year ($200 per month) to employees with student loan debt.</p> <h2>9. Martin Health System</h2> <p>Employees working in the nursing field at Martin Health System in Florida can receive up to $2,000 per year to help pay down their student loans. In addition to this benefit from Martin Health System, Florida nurses can also work in areas with staff shortages to qualify for the state's Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program or the federal Perkins Loan Cancellation for Nurses and Medical Technicians.</p> <h2>10. Moonlite Bunny Ranch</h2> <p>In 2015, Dennis Hof, the owner of the legal brothel Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Nevada, promised to match 100 percent of his employees' student loan payments for two months, up to the full amount that they made during that period.</p> <h2>11. Natixis Global Asset Management</h2> <p>All Natixis employees receive an annual $1,000 student loan repayment benefit, up to $10,000 over a 10-year period. The company used to require that workers reached five years of employment in order to receive a lump sum benefit of $5,000, but did away with the requirement in July 2016.</p> <h2>12. Nvidia</h2> <p>This computing giant offers comprehensive student loan repayment options. First, employees working at least 20 hours per week who graduated within the previous three years can apply for a reimbursement of $6,000 a year for qualifying student loan payments, up to $30,000. Second, employees who successfully refinance their student loans with SoFi receive a bonus ranging from $200 to $500 and pay no loan origination fees. Third, employees who need to go back to college can receive a reimbursement of up to $5,250 each year for qualified job-related educational expenses, including tuition and books, as long as they earn at least a B average.</p> <h2>13. Powertex</h2> <p>The clothing design company was among the first businesses in Wisconsin to partner with Gradifi to offer a student loan repayment assistance program. Powertex gives eligible employees $100 per month for student loan payments for up to six years.</p> <h2>14. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC)</h2> <p>Associates and senior associates at the consulting firm receive $100 per month ($1,200 a year) toward student loan payments for up to six years.</p> <h2>15. SoFi</h2> <p>Many employers partner with SoFi to offer a student loan repayment assistance program. The online lender also offers its own eligible employees $200 per month to help them fully pay back student loans.</p> <h2>16. Staples</h2> <p>The office supply retailer offers top-performing full-time employees $100 a month for three years, for a total of $3,600 in student loan assistance. To maintain their eligibility, employees must meet set criteria throughout the entire three years.</p> <h2>17. Aetna</h2> <p>As of January 2017, the health care company matches employees' student loan payments of up to $2,000 per year, with a lifetime maximum of $10,000. The program is available to employees who have graduated within the previous three years from an accredited institution.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-17-companies-will-help-you-repay-your-student-loan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life">How to Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness">8 Ways to Get Student Loan Debt Forgiveness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-didn-t-learn-in-college-but-you-should-have">10 Things You Didn’t Learn in College (but You Should Have)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Job Hunting college companies contributions education employee benefits jobs loan repayment plans student loans Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1968233 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Earn $1,000 a Month or More as an Online Tutor http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-1000-a-month-or-more-as-an-online-tutor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-earn-1000-a-month-or-more-as-an-online-tutor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/web_chat.jpg" alt="Web chat" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're on a tight budget, want to accelerate debt repayment, or need extra money to save for an emergency fund, a side gig can be a smart way to boost your income.</p> <p>One of the most lucrative side gigs is tutoring. Whether you work well with children or prefer helping college students, you can earn up to $1,000 a month tutoring just a few hours a week. And there are many sites out there that eliminate the work of finding clients and marketing yourself; they connect you directly with customers and handle the administrative work.</p> <p>Below are five online tutoring companies that allow you to earn money on your own schedule.</p> <h2>1. Chegg</h2> <p><a href="https://www.chegg.com/tutors/" target="_blank">Chegg</a> connects students with tutors in a range of subjects, including science and mathematics. Unlike some tutoring sites, Chegg works with students from middle school through college. Rates start at $20 an hour, and top tutors can make as much as $1,000 a month.</p> <p>You can tutor whenever you want, depending on your availability; Chegg offers tutoring 24/7. Chegg pays weekly, so it's great for someone who needs extra money quickly. And you can earn more by tutoring high-demand subjects, such as calculus or computer science.</p> <p>To apply, you need to create an account with your email or Facebook login. Chegg will prompt you to enter your information, areas of expertise, and qualifications. You'll receive a decision from the company within a few days.</p> <h2>2. StudyPool</h2> <p><a href="https://www.studypool.com/" target="_blank">StudyPool</a> offers tutoring sessions in over 30 subjects. Online tutors can set their own deadlines and prices. According to the company, some of the top-earning tutors can make salaries well into the six-figures.</p> <p>Unlike other platforms, StudyPool allows students to pose questions to tutors, and a price is set for each question. For example, a student could post a question about a physics problem and offer $7 for help. You can choose as many or as few questions as you'd like to answer.</p> <h2>3. Tutor.com</h2> <p><a href="https://www.tutor.com/" target="_blank">Tutor.com</a> connects you with students of all ages for tutoring sessions in a range of subjects, including accounting, economics, and college essay writing. According to Glassdoor, Tutor.com contractors report making approximately $11 an hour, but some subjects pay even more.</p> <p>To be eligible, you must be a citizen of either the United States or Canada. Tutor.com can be a great source of income for college and graduate school students. While other companies require you to have a degree to accept clients, Tutor.com just asks that you be at least a college sophomore.</p> <p>Sessions are available day and night, seven days a week, so you can work on your own schedule. However, unlike some other sites, Tutor.com does require you to commit to at least five hours a week.</p> <h2>4. VIPKid</h2> <p><a href="https://t.vipkid.com.cn/" target="_blank">VIPKid</a> specializes in connecting Chinese students with English language instructors. The children you work with are between the ages of four and 12. All sessions are one-on-one with an individual child via webcam.</p> <p>With VIPKid, there's no need to spend hours planning classes and materials; VIPKid provides class materials for you. You just need to review the curriculum before each class. The pay rate can be as high as $22 an hour, with incentive bonuses for student performance and number of classes you complete.</p> <p>To be eligible to become a VIPKid tutor, you must have at least a bachelor's degree. You can submit your resume and application online. If the company selects you to proceed, you will undergo an interview, a class demonstration, and a mock session. If you pass these steps, VIPKid will have you sign a six-month contract and you can begin teaching.</p> <h2>5. Wyzant</h2> <p><a href="https://www.wyzant.com/" target="_blank">Wyzant</a> allows tutors to set their own rates, which can give you more flexibility and earning potential. In fact, some Wyzant tutors turn it into a full-time job and earn over $50,000 a year.</p> <p>Wyzant caters to a broad range of customers, from high school students who need help preparing for the SATs to college students who need to be coached in physics or engineering. You can set your own hours and take on as many or as few clients as you like. While you can tutor online with Wyzant, you can also offer in-person sessions for an additional fee for local customers.</p> <p>To become a Wyzant tutor, you must complete a profile and take a subject proficiency exam in your desired area of study. You can only tutor in subjects if you pass the exam.</p> <h3>Bottom line</h3> <p>Working as an online tutor can be a lucrative side gig that accommodates the other demands on your schedule. You can make extra money using just a few spare hours to accelerate debt repayment or build up your savings.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-1000-a-month-or-more-as-an-online-tutor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-money-during-a-semester-abroad">7 Ways to Make Money During a Semester Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-paid-to-learn">6 Ways to Get Paid to Learn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for">9 College Expenses You Aren&#039;t Saving For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-jobs-for-college-students">10 Great Jobs for College Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try">8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Extra Income classes college students kids online jobs side gigs students teaching tutors Mon, 19 Jun 2017 08:00:12 +0000 Kat Tretina 1965739 at http://www.wisebread.com Make Sure You Get Paid and 4 Other Great Tips From Famous Commencement Speakers http://www.wisebread.com/make-sure-you-get-paid-and-4-other-great-tips-from-famous-commencement-speakers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-sure-you-get-paid-and-4-other-great-tips-from-famous-commencement-speakers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_on_her_graduation_day.jpg" alt="Woman on her graduation day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Graduation season brings with it a slew of commencement speeches, all of which tend to repeat the same old cliches about bright futures, following one's dreams, and how graduation marks a beginning rather than an end. While great commencement speakers find ways to package these old chestnuts in humorous speeches and elegant words, most of these addresses do not offer graduates any actionable advice.</p> <p>However, some graduation speakers do have excellent words of wisdom to offer new grads. In particular, the following five famous people offered some important money and career tips that graduates (and anyone else watching their speeches) can take to heart.</p> <h2>Lesson #1: Get paid!</h2> <h3>Maria Bamford, University of Minnesota 2017</h3> <p>This spring, comedian <a href="https://vimeo.com/217651951" target="_blank">Maria Bamford</a> gave one of the most unusual &mdash; and helpful &mdash; commencement addresses of all time at her alma mater, the University of Minnesota. Bamford used her speech as an opportunity to detail the negotiation process she went through to receive a $10,000 paycheck from the school in exchange for her speech.</p> <p>The University had originally offered her nothing for the gig, which made her wonder if the school was lowballing her. &quot;Was the University of Minnesota suggesting that I couldn't get paid for the exact job that I paid them to teach me how to do?&quot; she asked the laughing crowd.</p> <p>Bamford went on to say that she requested $20,000 before being offered the $10,000 she ultimately accepted. Her business adviser (an aluminum salesman and the father of a friend) wanted her to ask to split the difference at $15,000, but since Bamford is &quot;still from Duluth, and still ashamed,&quot; she accepted the $10,000 &mdash; which only netted her $5,000 after taxes and commissions were removed.</p> <p>This lesson about the importance of getting paid what you are worth became even more concrete for one member of the graduating class. Bamford ended her address by asking graduates who owed money to Sallie Mae to raise their hands, and then asking if there were specifically any theater majors who owed money to Sallie Mae. One theater major in the front row was invited on stage, where Bamford handed over the $5,000 speaking fee check, already made out to Sallie Mae. She told the graduate that it would have been a larger amount, if Bamford had been a better negotiator.</p> <p>Doubtless, every graduate in the audience came away from that speech with a much better sense of the importance of asking for what they are worth.</p> <h2>Lesson #2: If you worship money, then you will never have enough</h2> <h3>David Foster Wallace, Kenyon College 2005</h3> <p>The writer <a href="https://youtu.be/8CrOL-ydFMI" target="_blank">David Foster Wallace</a> gave this speech over a decade ago, and it has shown up on lists of best commencement addresses ever since. The overall message of the speech, which is entitled <em>This Is Water</em>, is about being aware of the world around you and the ways in which your thoughts shape your reality. However, in one portion of his address, Wallace talks about how we all worship something, and he cautions against worshipping the wrong thing, including money:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">&quot;And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship &hellip; is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth.&quot;</p> <p>As he acknowledges in the speech itself, Wallace's message is as old as human storytelling. But the language and stories he uses to get his listeners to understand the power we give to the things we worship can help you to reframe the way you think about money and other worldly things.</p> <h2>Lesson #3: If everyone had a safety net, we would all benefit</h2> <h3>Mark Zuckerberg, Harvard University 2017</h3> <p><a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/25/mark-zuckerberg-calls-for-universal-basic-income-at-harvard-speech.html" target="_blank">Mark Zuckerberg</a>, the founder of Facebook, famously dropped out of Harvard before attaining his degree, leading to his joke that his commencement speech there was the first thing he finished at the university. But his ability to drop out of Harvard and create the juggernaut that is Facebook is partially due to luck &mdash; he knew that he had a stable family who could support him. He told the graduates:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">&quot;I know a lot of entrepreneurs, and I don't know a single person who gave up on starting a business because they might not make enough money. But I know lots of people who haven't pursued dreams because they didn't have a cushion to fall back on if they failed.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">&quot;We all know we don't succeed just by having a good idea or working hard,&quot; he went on to add. &quot;We succeed by being lucky, too. If I had to support my family growing up instead of having time to code, if I didn't know I'd be fine if Facebook didn't work out, I wouldn't be standing here today.&quot;</p> <p>Zuckerberg goes on to make the somewhat radical suggestion that people like him should pay for a universal basic income in order to make it possible for proto-entrepreneurs to try and fail without fear of losing everything. This idea may sound strange, but it could allow for huge innovations that could change the world.</p> <h2>Lesson #4: Be brave and just go for it</h2> <h3>Reshma Saujani, Harvard Graduate School of Education 2017</h3> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt--_V1Y6tU" target="_blank">Reshma Saujani</a> is the founder of Girls Who Code, an organization that works to teach girls computer programming in an effort to increase the number of women working in computer science. Saujani gave a commencement speech the day before Mark Zuckerberg, and she pointed out that more of the world's current revolutionaries look like him, rather than her:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">&quot;I don't mean any shade to Zuckerberg &hellip; But America is a big, beautiful, diverse country &hellip; [yet white men have] occupied a platform that the rest of us haven't had access to.&quot;</p> <p>Saujani goes on to state that our society trains boys to be brave, and girls to be perfect, which means girls are kicking butt and taking names in the classroom, but less likely to be revolutionaries in the real world. So we need more women to focus on being brave rather than being perfect.</p> <p>This is excellent advice for anyone who fears failure, no matter their gender or skin color. Saujani has reminded graduates that waiting for the perfect moment or trying to be perfect is the enemy of innovation. Just going for it, like Zuckerberg did and many white guys have done before him, is something that all people should embrace.</p> <h2>Lesson #5: Prepare for failure when you take risks</h2> <h3>Atul Gawande, Williams College 2012</h3> <p>Writer and surgeon <a href="https://commencement.williams.edu/atul-gawande-commencement-speaker/" target="_blank">Atul Gawande</a> took on the common-but-meaningless graduation cliché about embracing risks in his 2014 commencement address to Williams College. While it is all well and good to recognize that risks are necessary to reach your goals, it can be difficult to know how to mitigate the damage if the risk doesn't turn out in your favor.</p> <p>To help grads understand what we can do to protect ourselves from risk, Gawande explained how surgeons are able to protect their patients from unanticipated complications on the operating table:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">&quot;Scientists have given a new name to the deaths that occur in surgery after something goes wrong &mdash; whether it is an infection or some bizarre twist of the stomach. They call them a 'Failure to Rescue.' More than anything, this is what distinguished the great from the mediocre. They didn't fail less. They rescued more.&quot;</p> <p>Gawande went on to explain that there are three pitfalls to avoid when things go wrong: the wrong plan, an inadequate plan, and no plan at all. The secret to taking risks without losing your shirt (or your patient) is to make sure you recognize that failure is a possibility, and be prepared for it. Otherwise, you fail to rescue yourself, which compounds the failure.</p> <p>Ultimately, recognizing the possibility of failure and preparing for it will make it less likely that you will fail.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-sure-you-get-paid-and-4-other-great-tips-from-famous-commencement-speakers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-grads-guide-to-debt-management">The New Grad&#039;s Guide to Debt Management</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-inspiring-quotes-about-money-from-successful-women">6 Inspiring Quotes About Money From Successful Women</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-of-the-coolest-sayings-about-saving">10 of the Coolest Sayings About Saving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career Building Education & Training advice celebrities college grads commencement speeches famous people new graduates Fri, 16 Jun 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1965248 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Valuable Rights You Might Lose When You Refinance Student Loans http://www.wisebread.com/8-valuable-rights-you-might-lose-when-you-refinance-student-loans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-valuable-rights-you-might-lose-when-you-refinance-student-loans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/house_on_money_stack.jpg" alt="House on money stack" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Fannie Mae, the nation's largest buyer and guarantor of mortgage loans, made news recently when it announced it would sweeten the deal for folks who want to refinance their mortgage to pay off student loan debt. Fannie Mae works with 1,800 lenders nationwide, so their rule change affects many homeowners. At the same time, newer financial companies that target millennials have been pushing student loan refinances as a way to save money and simplify life.</p> <p>Fannie Mae's change will make it more affordable for graduates &mdash; or parents &mdash; to use home equity to pay off student loans by waiving the usual extra charge for taking out cash when you refinance a home. With mortgage interest rates still at historic lows, this could indeed be an opportunity for young adults with high-rate student loans to reduce their monthly payments. But proceed with caution.</p> <p>If you have a private student loan, you probably have nothing to lose by converting it into a mortgage, personal loan, or other consolidation loan. But if you have a federal loan, you should be more cautious about making changes. You may not realize you'd be losing these protections and options when you give up your federal student loan.</p> <h2>1. Deferment</h2> <p>If you lose your job or are unable to find a job after graduation, you may qualify for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-deferring-student-loans" target="_blank">deferment</a>, which halts your loan payments until you're in a better position to pay. With certain federal loans, the government will even pay the interest during deferment.</p> <h2>2. Forbearance</h2> <p>Similar to deferment, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway" target="_blank">forbearance</a> stops your payment obligation during a period of hardship. But unlike deferment, interest continues to accumulate.</p> <h2>3. Income-driven repayment plans</h2> <p>The government has rolled out a whole range of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-student-loan-repayment-plan-saves-you-the-most" target="_blank">flexible payment options</a> in recent years to help federal loan borrowers handle payments. These plans cap your monthly payment at a certain percentage of income (10 percent for the program known as Pay As You Earn and 15 percent for the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan). Another benefit of income-driven repayment plans that you would lose if you refinance: an end date. With PAYE, any balance you still owe after 20 years is forgiven; with ICE, loans are forgiven after 25 years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-definitive-guide-to-pay-as-you-earn-a-great-student-loan-repayment-plan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Definitive Guide to Pay As You Earn</a>)</p> <h2>4. A second chance if you default</h2> <p>The Federal Loan Rehabilitation Program is a one-time opportunity to get a default removed from your credit report by making a series of on-time payments. This can save you from wrecking your credit and being unable to buy a home later.</p> <h2>5. A central source for tracking loans</h2> <p>If all your student loans are federal, you'll be able to check up on all of them online through the National Student Loan Data System. If you refinance some but not all of your loans, you may end up having to keep track of them using multiple resources.</p> <h2>6. An unsecured loan</h2> <p>If you default on your student loan, you can lose your good credit, but not much else. If you default on your mortgage, you can lose your house. Let that reality sink in before you jump to refinance a home loan to pay off student loan debt.</p> <h2>7. A fixed interest rate</h2> <p>Of course, you could use a fixed-interest mortgage or a fixed-rate personal loan to pay off your federal student loan. But make sure that's what you're getting. If you use a variable rate loan to consolidate your debt, you could get hit with a big payment increase when rates inevitably go up. Federal loans, on the other hand, are guaranteed to be fixed rate.</p> <h2>8. Prepayment penalties</h2> <p>Federal loans don't charge a fee if you pay more than you owe on any given month, but some private lenders do &mdash; check on that before you commit to a refinance.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-valuable-rights-you-might-lose-when-you-refinance-student-loans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-student-loan-debt-can-affect-your-mortgage-application">3 Ways Student Loan Debt Can Affect Your Mortgage Application</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway">What Is Student Loan Forbearance, Anyway?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-deferring-student-loans">4 Things You Need to Know About Deferring Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-ignore-these-4-things-before-refinancing-your-student-loans">Don&#039;t Ignore These 4 Things Before Refinancing Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training Real Estate and Housing debt default deferment fannie mae federal loans forbearance interest rates mortgages refinancing repayment plans student loans Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1963763 at http://www.wisebread.com The New Grad's Guide to Debt Management http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-grads-guide-to-debt-management <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-new-grads-guide-to-debt-management" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/graduating_student_worrying_about_career_path_and_financial_future.jpg" alt="Graduating Student Worrying About Career Path and Financial Future" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to Student Loan Hero, the average 2016 graduate left college with $37,172 in student loan debt. The class of 2017 will graduate owing roughly the same amount, if not more.</p> <p>For many young adults, a student loan is the only option for obtaining a degree. The problem, however, is that it takes years to pay off these balances. Some graduates also have difficulty juggling student debt with their other expenses.</p> <p>Luckily, student loan debt doesn't have to cripple a new grad's finances. Here are a few strategies to help graduates manage their debt and stay on track.</p> <h2>1. Get organized and prepared for that first bill</h2> <p>Student loan repayment typically begins six to nine months after graduating college. You'll likely receive information regarding your first payment in advance. If you haven't received this information yet, it doesn't hurt to contact your student loan lender to ask about your due date and minimum payment. Having this information early helps you prepare your budget ahead of time.</p> <p>To stay organized and avoid late payments, set up automatic reminders a few days before your student loan payments are due. If you have multiple lenders, look into consolidating all your loans into a single loan. This way, you don't have to juggle multiple payments and due dates. If consolidation isn't an option, contact your lenders to see if you're allowed to change your due dates. It might be easier to manage student debt when due dates are within a few days of each other. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What's the Difference Between Student Loan Refinancing and Consolidation?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Sign up for autopay to stay on schedule</h2> <p>Signing up for autopay is one way to avoid missing a due date on your student loans, which can trigger a late fee or a negative mark on your credit report. With autopay, your student loan lender automatically drafts monthly payments from your checking or savings account on a specific day of the month. As a bonus, your lender may reduce your interest rate when you agree to automated payments. This results in paying less interest over the life of the loan.</p> <p>Of course, the key to making this a successful solution is ensuring that there's always enough money in your checking account to cover the deductions &mdash; something you'll really need to stay on top of.</p> <h2>3. Request forbearance if you need more time</h2> <p>If you're scheduled to begin repaying your student loan, but you don't have enough income, don't ignore the bills. Student loan lenders &mdash; especially federal lenders &mdash; are flexible and offer assistance to students requiring financial help.</p> <p>One provision is forbearance, which allows you to temporarily suspend student loan payments for a certain number of months. For example, request a one-month forbearance if you have a temporary hardship, or request a one-year forbearance if you experience longer financial troubles. Keep in mind that interest continues to accrue with forbearance, which can put you deeper in the hole. Only use this option as a last resort.</p> <p>Deferment, on the other hand, is an income-based hardship provision. This option works the same as forbearance in that it suspends monthly payments without penalty. With a deferment, however, the federal government pays the interest that accrues during this period. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-deferring-student-loans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Things You Need to Know About Deferring Student Loans</a>)</p> <h2>4. Deduct student loan interest</h2> <p>Student loan interest is a deductible expense, so remember to include this item when filing your income taxes. This is critical in cutting your tax liability, especially when you're already on a tight budget. Since it's an &quot;above-the-line deduction,&quot; you don't have to itemize your tax return to take advantage of this write-off. You're allowed to write off up to $2,500 of student loan interest paid annually. This will reduce how much you owe in federal and state taxes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-student-loans-impact-your-taxes?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways Student Loans Impact Your Taxes</a>)</p> <h2>5. Hold off on other types of financing</h2> <p>After finishing college, you're likely ready to get your &quot;adult&quot; life started. This might include buying a new car and furnishing an apartment. But since you're fresh out of school with student loan debt, try to hold off on other types of financing &mdash; at least for now.</p> <p>The more debt you acquire, the harder it might be to juggle student loan and other credit payments. If you can avoid a car loan and unnecessary credit card debt, the money you would have spent on these expenses can go toward paying down student loan debt.</p> <h2>6. Live at home</h2> <p>The financial decisions you make as a young adult can affect your life later on. Although your friends might move into their own apartments, buy new cars, and spend most of their money on fun stuff, consider the benefits of living at home after graduation. By doing so, there's an opportunity to put a major dent in your debt. I did it for two years immediately following college, and I wasn't even a little bit embarrassed about it; I've paid off two student loans as a result.</p> <p>Whether you have credit card debt or student loan debt, minimizing your expenses now and prioritizing debt elimination sets the foundation for a strong financial future. Not only should you pay off debt, you should use this time to build a solid emergency fund. It'll be easier to save money and get ahead financially when you commit to living as cheaply as possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-loans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Surprising Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-grads-guide-to-debt-management">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-deferring-student-loans">4 Things You Need to Know About Deferring Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway">What Is Student Loan Forbearance, Anyway?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-student-loan-refinancing-can-save-you-big">4 Times Student Loan Refinancing Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-student-loans-impact-your-taxes">4 Ways Student Loans Impact Your Taxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/student-loan-debt-in-collections-try-these-5-steps">Student Loan Debt in Collections? Try These 5 Steps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Education & Training college grads deductions forbearance interest new graduates student loans taxes Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:31:16 +0000 Mikey Rox 1963760 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways for College Students to Save Loads of Money http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-for-college-students-to-save-loads-of-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-for-college-students-to-save-loads-of-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-609683672.jpg" alt="College student learning how to save loads of money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Between big expenses like tuition and housing, and smaller everyday expenses such as school supplies and coffee, the costs of being a student can rack up fast. According to the College Board, tuition, fees, and room and board at a public four-year in-state school cost an average of $20,000 a year.</p> <p>But there are a lot of ways for students to save money. Here are 10 ways to tackle expenses of every size. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-avoid-student-loan-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Easy Ways to Avoid Student Loan Debt</a>)</p> <h2>Big savings</h2> <p>Tuition and housing make up the bulk of student spending, so finding ways to reduce those costs can pay off big.</p> <h3>1. Look at off-campus housing for lower rent</h3> <p>While living on campus can be a fun college experience, university housing often comes with a big price tag. Room and board at my private university cost approximately $10,000 a year &mdash; that's about $1,250 for the eight months school is in session.</p> <p>You may be able to find more competitive rents off campus. Check websites for apartment listings in your college town.</p> <p>Also talk with your university's housing department about opportunities for <em>free </em>housing that may be offered if you provide advising services to younger, first-year students. This could result in huge savings and be an interesting college experience.</p> <h3>2. Apply for scholarships to save money on tuition</h3> <p>Tuition is often the most expensive part of going to school, with some private institutions in the United States charging as much as $33,000 &mdash; and that doesn't include room and board. While federal financial aid can help, it's often not enough.</p> <p>There are a plethora of scholarships available, both locally and nationally, that you can apply for. The best part is, unlike federal student loans, scholarships don't have to be repaid. To find them, check with your university's financial aid office, your high school guidance counselor, your parents' employers, and organizations related to your field of study. Also try using the U.S. Department of Labor's <a href="http://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/training/find-scholarships.aspx" target="_blank">free scholarship search tool</a>.</p> <h2>Medium savings</h2> <p>Textbooks, entertainment, and transportation all add significant costs to your overall college bill. Try trimming or offsetting these expenses with these suggestions.</p> <h3>3. Save on textbooks</h3> <p>Textbooks can have a very high price tag. When I was a student, I remember books costing up to $100, and sometimes even more for specialized course booklets that included all of the semester's reading assignments. With multiple classes and most classes assigning at least five books per semester, it was easy to spend at least $500 on books alone in a semester, or $1,000 per academic year.</p> <p>Buying used textbooks is one way to save. In my experience, they cost about half the price of new books. You can buy books directly from students who have already taken the course or check online retailers like Amazon for deals on used books.</p> <p>Another option is to rent your textbooks, which means that you will pay a smaller amount upfront to the bookstore, but that the book won't be yours to keep at the end of the semester. <a href="https://www.chegg.com/etextbooks" target="_blank">Chegg</a> and <a href="http://amzn.to/2rqTvcz" target="_blank">Amazon</a> both offer rentals, and both claim you can save up to 90 percent by renting.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can cut out the cost of books entirely by checking them out for free at your college library. Supplies are limited, so you may have to wait to get the book you need, but you can't beat the price. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-to-buy-or-rent-textbooks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Places to Buy or Rent Textbooks</a>)</p> <h3>4. Sell back your textbooks at the end of the semester</h3> <p>Chances are, you can get some of your textbook investment back by selling your books when you're done using them. You can likely make back a couple hundred dollars at the end of the semester. One easy option is to use Amazon, which has a streamlined process for <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Books/b?node=2205237011" target="_blank">buying back books</a> for up to 80 percent of what you originally paid. Amazon will then sell the book used. You can also check with your university bookstore, as it may have a program in place to buy back books.</p> <p>A third option is to sell the book yourself. By cutting out the middleman, you'll get to pocket more money from the sale. You can ask around, or post notices on bulletin boards or online to find other students who are going to take the same class. If the book is required reading, chances are you will be able to find a buyer fairly easily with just a little bit of extra work.</p> <h3>5. Participate in studies to earn cash</h3> <p>If you don't have the time to commit to a full-time job, there are plenty of ways to earn on campus without the commitment. Check in with different departments about research studies that they may be running.</p> <p>These opportunities can range from writing tests to filling out questionnaires. Once, I was paid $100 an hour to have scans taken in an MRI machine.</p> <h3>6. Take advantage of free facilities</h3> <p>Familiarize yourself with everything your college or university offers on campus. You can save $50 and up a month on an expensive gym membership, for example, if you have access to this type of amenity for free as a part of your tuition. Some schools also offer free tutoring, software, legal services, and psychological counseling. All of these can save you money.</p> <h3>7. Reduce transportation costs</h3> <p>If you live off campus, consider ditching your car for an economic bicycle that will get you to class for free, saving you on the cost of gas, maintenance, and parking. Public transportation may be another way to get where you need to go without paying car and parking expenses. When you go home at the end of the semester, check with friends and on-campus forums to find out if you can find a ride with someone and split the gas costs.</p> <h2>Small Savings</h2> <p>Even small savings can add up. Check out these ways to pare your everyday expenses.</p> <h3>8. Save on coffee</h3> <p>Some college students have a costly coffee dependency, and at a cafe you can expect to spend as much as $3 to $4 on a coffee. If you are buying coffee once or twice a day, in a month you could be spending over $150!</p> <p>While a coffee maker might cost you a little bit up front, if you are a big coffee drinker it will pay for itself within the first month. Plus, with Italian coffee makers (around $30, depending on which size pot you choose), you can get stronger coffee and a better buzz for late night studying or just getting to your 5 o'clock class.</p> <p>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2pWBu3E" target="_blank">Handpresso</a> is a handheld espresso machine that is as convenient as it is cheap. Simply pump, add boiling water, a coffee pod or loose espresso grounds, and press a button for delicious coffee. Based on my experience buying ground coffee and milk in the grocery store, an Americano with milk only costs around 30 cents per coffee using this machine.</p> <p>If you make two 30-cent coffees per day, rather than buying two at $3 a cup, by the end of the year you could save nearly $2,000 in coffee expenses!</p> <h3>9. Find free events and entertainment</h3> <p>Check if your university offers free lectures, movie screenings, concerts, or other arts events instead of paying big bucks to go to ticketed events. You'll be surprised how much you can do for free with just a student ID. Signing up for a newsletter will help you to stay on top of the cool speakers that the university is hosting.</p> <p>Also use your college library, not just for studying but for entertainment options. Take advantage of newspapers, magazines, and movies that the library offers you to check-out, all completely free. By opting for this type of entertainment and reading materials, you can save a lot of money. With the average movie ticket costing around $9, if you instead go to two free movies per month or watch DVDs from the library, you'll save over $200 by the end of the year.</p> <h3>10. Stay in style for less</h3> <p>Trends move fast, and buying new clothes all the time can add up to significant costs for students. You don't have to completely forget about fashion for four years to stick to a tight budget. Check out thrift stores for fashions at a tiny fraction of the cost of new clothing. Also, find out about consigning the items you no longer want at the end of the semester.</p> <h2>Doing the math</h2> <p>Each item on this list may not seem like a lot &mdash; a coffee here, a movie ticket there &mdash; but when you add it all up over the course of the year, it can mean big savings for students. It's worth the effort to examine which of these costs you could cut, and then start realizing those savings.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-for-college-students-to-save-loads-of-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-financial-aid-might-not-cover">6 Things Financial Aid Might Not Cover</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them">8 Common Weekend Money Traps (And How to Avoid Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap">How Your Child Can Earn College Credits in High School (For Cheap)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Education & Training coffee college students cutting costs entertainment room and board saving money scholarships textbooks transportation tuition Tue, 23 May 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1949206 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things Employers Care About More Than Your Degree http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-employers-care-about-more-than-your-degree <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-employers-care-about-more-than-your-degree" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-587892248.jpg" alt="Woman learning things employers care about more than a degree" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A college education is a wonderful asset. You get a foundation on which you can build a great career, life experiences, and friendships that can last a lifetime. However, a degree is not the be-all and end-all of what makes you an ideal job candidate. Employers are looking for other key factors that separate you from the crowd.</p> <h2>1. Hands-on experience</h2> <p>There is a world of difference between college experience and real world experience. As it was so profoundly put in <em>The Secret of my Success</em>, it comes down to this: &quot;What you've got is college experience, not the practical, hard-nosed business experience we're looking for.&quot;</p> <p>Education is great, but it doesn't compare to being in the trenches, and employers know that. If you've got years of experience under your belt, it can often take the place of a degree or other form of education. And, it means you have references from people in the industry. This is by far the best way to separate yourself from the competition.</p> <h2>2. Ability to solve problems</h2> <p>It doesn't matter whether you have an office job, work in a garage, or are out in the fields every day. Whatever your chosen career, you are going to encounter problems; it's a daily part of every job. How you handle those situations will hold you in good stead, and problem solvers are highly prized.</p> <p>Do you think laterally? Can you condense the problem into key issues that should be addressed? Do you take charge when faced with a challenge? If you can hold your head up high and demonstrate your ability to solve problems quickly and effectively, your future employer will find you very hirable.</p> <h2>3. Communication skills</h2> <p>Directly related to problem solving, how well you communicate can be just as important as what you're communicating. It's no good having a great solution to a problem if you're afraid to speak up, or find yourself unable to distill your thoughts into actionable directions. Someone who can communicate well, and in a way that motivates and produces results, is a great asset to any employer.</p> <h2>4. Collaboration skills</h2> <p>Loners tend not to do well in most jobs. Sure, there are a few exceptions here or there, but for the most part, you must be able to work well as part of a team. In fact, one of the keywords you'll see most frequently listed in job postings is &quot;team player.&quot; Employers want candidates who can quickly and easily become part of a team, even if individuals in the group have clear differences. A candidate that can put aside those differences to produce a great team effort is worth their weight in gold.</p> <h2>5. Work-related achievements</h2> <p>Think about what achievements you can use as a plus during your application and hiring process. Have you written a successful blog or book about the industry? Are you a guest speaker at industry-related events? Have you appeared on television or radio? Have you won any industry awards?</p> <p>Any and all of these things can go a long way to getting you hired, and are often far more valuable than a degree. It shows that you know your stuff and know it well. Don't be afraid to list your achievements, even if they're not directly related to the job. They still count, and they have cachet.</p> <h2>6. Volunteer work</h2> <p>Charitable endeavors can do a lot to highlight the kind of person you are, and employers love seeing this on a resume. First and foremost, it's a sacrifice of personal time to do something for the greater good, and that says a lot about your character. The kinds of charities you work for can also sway the employer even more.</p> <p>For example, while volunteering at an animal shelter is great, helping people in need, like military veterans, will hold a little more value. How long you have been volunteering is also important. If you have been at it for 10 years, despite a poor economy and changing jobs a few times, it shows real dedication. And of course, you will get excellent references from anywhere you volunteer for, which leads to the final point.</p> <h2>7. Awesome references</h2> <p>The old saying &quot;It's not what you know, it's who you know&quot; is directly applicable to your career. In fact, many people climb the corporate ladder with great speed due to knowing the right people, regardless of skills or accomplishments.</p> <p>For example, let's say you're in the film industry, and you have no formal education in video production, editing, sound, or any of the other required skills. The employer will obviously overlook all of that if you have a reference from Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, or Martin Scorsese. This is, of course, an extreme example. But if you have references from well-respected professionals in the industry, you're golden.</p> <p>When it comes to getting a job, you need to use every advantage you have; especially if you do not have the &quot;right&quot; kind of education for the position. But if you're smart and inventive, you can still get the job without the diploma. Good luck.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-employers-care-about-more-than-your-degree">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-skills-todays-employers-value-most">7 Skills Today&#039;s Employers Value Most</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-hired-by-your-dream-company">How to Get Hired by Your Dream Company</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-part-time-jobs-that-offer-college-benefits">8 Part-Time Jobs That Offer College Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-loans">8 Surprising Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/student-loans-the-third-way-to-ruin-your-finances">Student Loans: The Third Way to Ruin Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Job Hunting accomplishments college education employers experience getting hired no diploma skills volunteering Fri, 12 May 2017 08:30:07 +0000 Paul Michael 1943629 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Things You Need to Know About Deferring Student Loans http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-deferring-student-loans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-deferring-student-loans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-528499384.jpg" alt="Man learning about deferring student loans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Finding a way to pause your student loan payment can be a lifesaver when your financial life goes sideways. And trust me, this can happen to anyone at any time.</p> <p>For me, the financial roller coaster ride started in June 2010. I was expecting our first child when my husband accepted a job in another state. I'd had to quit my teaching job when we moved, and I knew I was not going to be bringing in a paycheck for at least a year.</p> <p>On top of this reduction in income, we bought a house in our new city, but it took nearly a year to sell our old house. We were stuck paying two mortgages for 11 months.</p> <p>Between the two of us, my husband and I also had about $35,000 in outstanding federal student loan debt. To help get a better handle on our monthly budget, we decided to explore the option of deferment until our financial situation became more stable.</p> <h2>What is deferment?</h2> <p>Deferment allows you to pause the monthly payments on your federal student loans for a set period of time. For subsidized loans (these include Federal Perkins loans, Direct Subsidized loans, and Subsidized Federal Stafford loans), interest will not accrue on your loans while they are deferred. Unsubsidized loans, on the other hand, do accrue interest during the deferment period. If you have an unsubsidized loan that you plan to defer, you are allowed to pay the interest to keep it from being capitalized and added to your principal, but it is not a requirement for your deferment.</p> <p>Deferment can make a huge difference in your bottom line, but it is not necessarily a cure-all to your financial problems. Here is what you need to know about deferring your student loans.</p> <h2>1. You might not be eligible for deferment</h2> <p>When we applied for a deferment of our student loan payments, our first big surprise was the discovery that we were not eligible. Borrowers are eligible for, and have the right to take, deferment in the following circumstances:</p> <ul> <li>During at least half-time enrollment in postsecondary school;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>During full-time enrollment in an approved graduate program;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>During enrollment in an approved rehabilitation training program if you are disabled;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>During a period of unemployment (limited to three years);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>During active duty with the military, or within 13 months of when your active duty occurred;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>During periods of economic hardship, as defined by federal regulations (also limited to three years).</li> </ul> <p>My husband and I had assumed that going from two family members to three, from two paychecks to one, and from one mortgage to two, was sufficient enough to meet the economic hardship requirements. But federal regulations only allow for <a href="http://www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/self-help-EconomicHardshipDeferment.pdf" target="_blank">economic hardship deferment</a> if you are either on public assistance, or the salary from your full-time employment is no more than 150 percent of the federal poverty guideline for your family size and state. His salary was too high to qualify.</p> <p>Instead of deferment, we had to apply for a discretionary forbearance, which is the option available to borrowers who aren't eligible for a deferment.</p> <h3>What's the difference between deferment and forbearance?</h3> <p>The biggest difference between the two processes is that interest will accrue on your loans if they go into forbearance, even if your loans are subsidized. This means that unless you pay the interest during the forbearance period, the accrued interest will be capitalized (added to your principal).</p> <p>In addition, deferments are granted in six-month increments, and you may keep applying for the next six-month increment of deferment as long as you qualify for it. Forbearance, on the other hand, is granted in 12-month increments, and you may only apply for it three times over the life of your loan.</p> <p>In some situations, forbearance is mandatory, which means your loan servicer must offer forbearance to you. You can receive mandatory forbearance in any of the following situations:</p> <ul> <li>During a medical or dental internship or residency program;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>During economic hardship wherein your total monthly student loan payment is 20 percent or more of your total monthly gross income;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>During service in a national service program, such as AmeriCorps;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You are a teacher who is eligible for teacher loan forgiveness;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You meet the eligibility requirements for the U.S. Department of Defense Student Loan Repayment Program;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You are a National Guard member who has been activated by a governor, but who is not eligible for a military deferment.</li> </ul> <p>For student loan borrowers who do not meet any of the eligibility requirements for a mandatory forbearance, the only other option is applying for a discretionary forbearance. As the name implies, these are granted to borrowers at their lender's discretion, and generally borrowers apply for them because of financial hardship or illness.</p> <p>In 2010, my husband and I were granted a discretionary financial hardship forbearance. My unemployment was nominally my choice &mdash; although I was actually unemployed because of my baby's insistence on a Virgo birthday that coincided with the beginning of the school year. If I had been unable to find full-time work, that would have potentially made us eligible for a deferment, rather than a discretionary forbearance.</p> <h2>2. Accrued interest can pack a mean punch</h2> <p>Unless you are lucky enough to be eligible to defer a subsidized loan, you are likely going to deal with accrued interest. The problem with accrued interest is that it's like the inverse of compound interest: The interest that you accrue on your student loan is capitalized, which generates even more interest.</p> <p>For instance, between the two of us, my husband and I paid about 4.5 percent interest on our outstanding $35,000 student loan debt. By putting our loans into forbearance and not paying the accrued interest, we added over $1,600 to the $35,000 principal over 12 months.</p> <p>Not only does capitalized interest increase the total amount you owe, but it can also potentially increase either your monthly payment or your repayment term.</p> <h2>3. Be prepared for paperwork</h2> <p>Neither deferment nor forbearance is an automatic process, even when they are &quot;mandatory.&quot; You will always have to apply for either deferment or forbearance.</p> <p>If you are applying for deferment, you will need to submit a request to your loan servicer. For deferments while you are enrolled in school at least half-time, you will need to contact your school's financial aid office as well as your loan servicer. This process is relatively simple, but you will need to go through it every six months to maintain your deferment.</p> <p>For forbearance requests, the paperwork can be a little more onerous. Like deferment, you will need to submit your request to your loan servicer. In some cases, you will need to submit documentation to support your request, especially if you are requesting a discretionary forbearance. For instance, my husband and I were required to prove we were paying two mortgages at once to be granted our forbearance.</p> <h2>4. You must continue paying until your request is granted</h2> <p>After you have made your request for deferment or forbearance, you are required to continue making your monthly payments until your lender informs you that the request has been granted. Generally, this process takes about 10 business days, but it can take as many as 30.</p> <p>Not making payments during this time can be serious. If you skip a month after submitting your request, and your request is denied, then your lender will consider you delinquent and you risk defaulting.</p> <p>Both the paperwork and the necessity of continuing payments means that deferment and forbearance are options you have to plan ahead for. If you have a sudden financial downturn with no emergency fund, then you might be scrambling to request a deferment or forbearance, which may not be immediately granted.</p> <h2>Postponing your student loan payments doesn't erase them</h2> <p>Anyone can fall into an untenable financial situation. Your student loan servicer wants to work with you to help you stay afloat, but deferment and forbearance are not instantaneous processes nor are they a given. Putting your student loan payments on hold can help you get back on your feet financially, but you need to be prepared to handle the costs and be ready to get back to paying off your loans as soon as you can.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-deferring-student-loans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway">What Is Student Loan Forbearance, Anyway?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-valuable-rights-you-might-lose-when-you-refinance-student-loans">8 Valuable Rights You Might Lose When You Refinance Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-debt-faster">5 Ways to Pay Off Your Student Debt Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-grads-guide-to-debt-management">The New Grad&#039;s Guide to Debt Management</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook">CSS Is One Source of College Financial Aid You Can&#039;t Afford to Overlook</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training capitalized deferment financial aid forbearance interest monthly payments student loans subsidized loans Mon, 24 Apr 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1932491 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways Students Can Travel Abroad for Less http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-students-can-travel-abroad-for-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-students-can-travel-abroad-for-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-497154266.jpg" alt="Students traveling abroad for less" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The years you spend in college are arguably the only time you'll drink quite so much coffee, live with all of your best friends, and learn so much in such a short, intense period. They're also unique for most people in that you're given the flexibility to spend time traveling during long breaks from class or during a year spent studying abroad.</p> <p>Unfortunately, it's not a time when you're likely to be earning a lot of income that you can throw toward travel. But there are several ways students can save money and travel for less.</p> <h2>1. Enjoy cheaper flights</h2> <p>Websites such as <a href="https://www.studentuniverse.com/" target="_blank">Student Universe</a> and <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11820477" target="_blank">STA Travel</a> offer special rates on flights for students and youth. Although booking through a third-party website always comes with caveats (changes and cancellations may be more difficult, for example, than if you book directly with the airline), it's worth checking these websites for deals.</p> <p>StudentUniverse specializes in discounted fares for students at degree-granting universities, though it does also offer some flights for anyone between the ages of 18 and 25. It has been around since 2000 and works with 75 airlines to negotiate cheaper rates, passing on the discounts to customers.</p> <p>STA offers discounted tickets for students, teachers, and anyone under 26, and has been in business since 1979. Student tickets are marked with a little blue circle with an &quot;S&quot; inside for &quot;student.&quot; Youth tickets are marked in green with a &quot;Y.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Money Moves Students Should Make for a Gap Year</a>)</p> <h2>2. Always travel with your student ID</h2> <p>Be sure to bring along your student ID wherever you travel, since it can represent serious savings while you're away from home. You may already know that at some museums and historical sites, a student ID will get you reduced or even free admission. But some people are surprised to find that even movie theaters will sometimes also give a discounted price for showing a student ID.</p> <p>If you have some shopping to do before you leave, or you need to pick up some new items during your trip, Madewell offers a 15 percent discount on in-store purchases for students and teachers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Students</a>)</p> <h2>3. Take advantage of other student cards</h2> <p>Beyond a student ID, there are other student discount cards that can help you to save money while traveling. The <a href="https://www.isic.org/" target="_blank">ISIC</a> (International Student Identity Card) costs $25, but may be worth it, since it gives you access to more than 150,000 discounts on concerts, accommodations, museums, and restaurants.</p> <p>The ISIC card has the added benefit of being an internationally recognized means of proving your status as a student, which is valuable in places where a foreign student ID may not be accepted. Plan to order your card at least four weeks before your departure so that it will have time to arrive in the mail. You may even find yourself using it for discounts while you're at home, too.</p> <h2>4. Incorporate travel with your studies</h2> <p>Travel can be a unique learning experience, so why not get credit for your time abroad? Some universities offer amazing opportunities to incorporate travel into your course of studies. Check with your department about what kinds of internships or summer experiences it may accept for credit.</p> <p>Another option is to find classes that include travel. For instance, at my university, there were certain (highly coveted) classes that delved deeply into Italian art history. At the end of the term, the class took a two-week trip to see the artwork that they had been learning about all semester.</p> <p>Depending on your university and the specific department, these trips may even receive funding from the university to defray the cost of the trip for students.</p> <h2>5. Leverage study-abroad programs</h2> <p>Studying abroad is another way to seamlessly incorporate extra traveling into your student life. Not only will you get to experience life in whatever country you choose, you'll also have the opportunity to travel to areas nearby. Having a home base abroad for a semester can be an excellent way to get to know a different region of the world and learn about a new culture and language. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/budgeting-for-study-abroad-what-youll-need-and-how-to-access-your-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Budgeting for Study Abroad</a>)</p> <p>I studied abroad in the south of France, and during that time, I was able to travel extensively throughout Europe, visiting Prague, London, Budapest, and Istanbul, to name just a few destinations. While these trips would have been extremely expensive from the United States, since I was already in France, I could take advantage of cheap airfare on discount airlines like RyanAir and EasyJet. Plus, travel time was often only a few hours, so I could see these new cities over a long weekend.</p> <p>I reduced the cost of these trips further by staying with friends or acquaintances who were studying abroad in other European cities. That not only saved me the price of a hotel, it also gave me more of an insider's perspective on these destinations. When I didn't have a friend living in the place I was visiting, I'd use <a href="https://www.couchsurfing.com/" target="_blank">Couchsurfing</a> to find locals who would host me for free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-money-during-a-semester-abroad?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Make Money During a Semester Abroad</a>)</p> <h2>6. Apply for grants</h2> <p>It's worthwhile to spend some time researching what grants are available through your school. Some top universities have travel funds for undergraduates to use for internships, research projects, or other programs abroad. You can apply for a grant to cover some or all of the costs of your travel and housing while you're away.</p> <p>Some grants are offered directly through schools, but others are open to students across the country. Spend time preparing your proposal, since these grants can be competitive.</p> <h2>7. Travel offseason for better rates</h2> <p>Prices can vary a lot depending on whether you travel in peak season or not. Take advantage of the flexibility of being a student to book cheap flights at less popular times of the year. Being flexible with your travel dates can pay off, too. Use websites such as <a href="https://www.skyscanner.com/" target="_blank">Skyscanner</a> that allow you to filter your search by the cheapest date to fly. If you haven't decided on a destination yet, you can also search flexible departure and arrival airports. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use?ref=seealso" target="_blank">ITA Matrix Is the Best Kept Secret for Travelers</a>)</p> <p>When I was in college, I decided to take a semester off school to travel, and ended up being able to take advantage of an opportunity to travel to Chennai, India from Paris for just $200 &mdash; half the usual price. Once in India, I traveled for a month on only $200, so my cheap ticket was the equivalent of an extra month of travel.</p> <p>While you might think that traveling is outside of a meager student budget, hopefully this list will show you some of the unique advantages that students have for traveling cheaply.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-students-can-travel-abroad-for-less&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520Students%2520Can%2520Travel%2520Abroad%2520for%2520Less.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20Students%20Can%20Travel%20Abroad%20for%20Less"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20Students%20Can%20Travel%20Abroad%20for%20Less.jpg" alt="7 Ways Students Can Travel Abroad for Less" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-students-can-travel-abroad-for-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-get-bumped-from-a-flight">What to Do If You Get Bumped From a Flight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/caribbean-island-vacations-anyone-can-afford">Caribbean Island Vacations Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Travel Airfare discounts flights grants identity cards offseason students study abroad trips Thu, 13 Apr 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1925373 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Do When You Can't Afford Your Child's College Education http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-cant-afford-your-childs-college-education <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-do-when-you-cant-afford-your-childs-college-education" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-168249072.jpg" alt="Learning what to do when you can&#039;t afford college education" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>First comes the joy: Your child receives the thick packet from a dream university, the sure sign of an acceptance.</p> <p>But then comes the reality: that sky-high price tag.</p> <p>The college your child has just been accepted to might be asking for $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 or more in tuition each year. And if your child doesn't receive much, or anything, in merit-based scholarships from that school, you and your child will be responsible for covering those costs &mdash; often in the form of student loans that can haunt your child's finances for decades after graduation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt</a>)</p> <p>What if you haven't saved nearly enough to help cover these costs? What if you haven't managed to save anything at all? What can parents do when they can't afford their child's college education?</p> <p>The choice usually comes down to taking on tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt or attending a less expensive alternative school. And if you can't afford the tuition at any school, there are still options in the form of scholarships, grants, and community college. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/college/college-resources?ref=internal" target="_blank">40+ College Resources for Parents and Students</a>)</p> <h2>Rising costs</h2> <p>Tuition rates continue to rise every year. Especially at private universities, this means that tuition that is already intimidating becomes a bit more of a financial burden with each passing year.</p> <p>In its 2016 report, the College Board said that the average annual sticker price &mdash; including tuition, fees, and room and board &mdash; stood at $20,090 for in-state students at public colleges, and $35,370 for out-of-state students. The average for private colleges was $45,370 in 2016.</p> <p>There is a glimmer of good news here: Many students don't pay this full price. That's because many students receive scholarships (many offered automatically by the schools that accept them) and grants. According to the College Board's 2016 report, the net price of college &mdash; the price showing what students <em>actually </em>pay after they receive financial assistance &mdash; was $14,210 a year for tuition, fees, and room and board for in-state students at public colleges, and $26,080 for students at private colleges.</p> <p>The fact still remains that after financial assistance, paying for college is no easy task, even at more affordable public universities.</p> <h2>Student loan burden</h2> <p>Student loan debt is a financial burden for many college graduates. According to Student Loan Hero, the average college graduate from the class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt, a record high. But for many students, there is no other way to pay for college.</p> <p>If you can't afford to help pay for your child's college education, student loans are an alternative. The loans, though, are far from a perfect solution. First, students can only borrow from $5,500 to $12,500 in federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/college/federal-student-loans?ref=internal" target="_blank">Federal student loans</a> are the best option because they come with the lowest interest rates and most favorable repayment terms.</p> <p>Students who must borrow more each year will have to take out private loans. Their parents can also take out private student loans for their children. Those often come with higher interest rates and less favorable terms.</p> <p>Relying completely on student loans could also set you or your children up for a tough financial future after they graduate, especially if they struggle to land a decent paying job. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-loans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Surprising Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans</a>)</p> <h2>A more affordable school</h2> <p>Your child might dream of attending that elite private school, but an in-state public university might be a more affordable choice that can provide your child with an equally strong education.</p> <p>Explain to your children that an out-of-state private school might be a dream destination, but might also negatively affect their financial health for decades after graduation.</p> <p>Students might also attend an in-state public school for two years, taking the general education classes that they are required to complete. They can then apply again to their dream university for the final two years of their undergraduate career. This can make their entire college career more affordable.</p> <p>There's also community college. Community colleges are a far more affordable alternative to both private and public four-year colleges. Attending a community college for at least two years could leave graduates with far less student loan debt after graduation.</p> <h2>Sources of additional help</h2> <p>Many colleges automatically provide merit scholarships to incoming students, which students never have to repay. Colleges will automatically provide this financial assistance to the students they accept; students don't have to do anything to apply.</p> <p>Merit scholarships can make private universities far more affordable. Private schools generally pass out more of this aid to attract students who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford tuition at these schools.</p> <p>If your child is accepted at a school but doesn't receive any or enough merit aid directly from the university, you can always contact the institution's office of admissions or financial aid. Often, schools will allow you to fill out a hardship form as a way to request additional financial support. Colleges aren't required, of course, to provide more aid, but some might. A phone call could make a difference.</p> <p>Also search for scholarships. Your child might qualify for hundreds of scholarships, some offering significant financial help. Winning these scholarships isn't always easy, with many attracting thousands of applicants. But even earning one or two scholarships can help cut down the expense of a college education. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/college-without-loans-where-to-find-scholarships?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Where to Find Scholarships</a>)</p> <p>Your children can also work on a part-time basis to help afford tuition. Colleges usually offer their own work-study programs that can help defray expenses. Students who volunteer to serve as residential advisers at campus dorms might receive free or discounted room and board.</p> <p>You might even be able to significantly reduce your child's yearly college costs by convincing your child to attend a school close enough to home so that your student can continue living with you. Room and board generally costs about $10,000 a year; if your child lives at home, he or she can eliminate this cost.</p> <p>College education remains an expensive proposition. But you and your child do have options, if you look for them.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-cant-afford-your-childs-college-education">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-great-sources-of-financial-aid-for-switching-careers">7 Great Sources of Financial Aid for Switching Careers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-deferring-student-loans">4 Things You Need to Know About Deferring Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year">8 Money Moves Students Should Make During a Gap Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-better-way-to-rank-americas-colleges">A Better Way to Rank America&#039;s Colleges</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training college costs community colleges financial aid grants private schools public schools scholarships student loans Wed, 12 Apr 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 1922478 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 College Expenses You Aren't Saving For http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-517076077.jpg" alt="Parent finding college expenses she didn&#039;t save for" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Worried that tuition and room and board will bleed you dry when your kid goes off to college? Pfft. Wait till you get a load of all the expenses you didn't account for! You'll want to sit down for this.</p> <h2>1. College prep items</h2> <p>You'll want to send your kid off to college well prepared &mdash; with things. Things like study and work supplies, dorm room necessities, snack foods, toiletries, a new computer, maybe a new phone. It's amazing how easily items pile up when you're shopping for college.</p> <h2>2. Traveling home and back</h2> <p>No loving parent can go too long without seeing their kid &mdash; especially their freshman year in college. So, you'll need to account for travel costs to get your child back and forth to your home if they attend a school that requires more than a few hours' travel.</p> <p>&quot;Create a travel budget by researching typical costs for airfare, train, or bus, whichever mode of transportation is available to you, and estimate the number of times your child will head home throughout the year,&quot; suggests money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. &quot;If they have a car and are driving [a long] distance away from home, propose that they carpool to save on gas and tolls if applicable.&quot;</p> <p>They can also use a site like <a href="https://www.zimride.com/" target="_blank">Zimride</a>, which will connect them with other college students looking to share a ride.</p> <h2>3. Local transportation costs</h2> <p>If your child has a car on campus, you're looking at the cost of a parking pass plus insurance and gas. If they don't have a car, you'll need to consider a new bike and investigate the cost of public transportation passes. These costs can add up, as well. College students don't tend to be holed up in their tiny dorm rooms while not in class.</p> <h2>4. Food outside the meal plan</h2> <p>College meal plans are expensive enough by themselves, but don't count on those being your child's only source of food. Many campus dining halls close earlier than you probably think, and late night study sessions require energy. Plan on having to send them some extra dollars for groceries, snacks, and late-night diner runs.</p> <h2>5. Greek life</h2> <p>I was interested in joining a fraternity when I went to college. It signified the quintessential coming-of-age experience to me, and I liked the idea of having &quot;brothers,&quot; as I wasn't close with my own growing up.</p> <p>Nice sentiment, but it got expensive real quick.</p> <p>My dues were about $400 per semester, I wanted to buy new clothes every time we had a formal or theme party, and if something went wrong in the house &mdash; like the one time a drunk alumni brother smashed up our soda machine &mdash; we had to collectively cover the cost. By the end of four years, I had spent thousands of dollars to be part of this exclusive club &mdash; which, in hindsight, was worth every penny considering the memories I made. So, I guess what I'm saying here is &hellip; grab your checkbook.</p> <h2>6. Sports and extracurriculars</h2> <p>If you're the parent of a child whose athletic skills have earned them a college scholarship, congrats; consider yourself lucky. On the other hand, if your child is perfectly average but still wants to play sports or join extracurriculars, you'll need to cough up the cash.</p> <p>&quot;Sometimes participating in extracurricular activities on campus can cost extra money,&quot; says Johan Zhang, co-founder of CollegeVine. &quot;Whether it's paying for club dues, schoolwide participation fees, or even apparel, at many colleges there exists a hidden cost to joining and being an active member in extracurricular activities..&quot;</p> <p>Be sure to consider this and save up in advance.</p> <h2>7. Your trips to see your child</h2> <p>Bringing your kid home is going to cost you, and so is traveling to visit your child. You may also want to attend things like orientation weekend, parents' weekend, and other events hosted by the college. You'll need to factor in transportation, lodging, and food, so budget wisely.</p> <h2>8. Off-campus living</h2> <p>Eventually your kid will outgrow the dorm and want to live off-campus. This usually happens around junior year, but sometimes you can hold it off until senior year. With that comes the expense of monthly rent, renter's insurance, furniture, utility bills, and a security deposit that you're never going to see again. Make amends with that right now; it's already spent.</p> <h2>9. The extended plan</h2> <p>Listen, I'm rooting for you to get your kid in and out of college in four years, but, well... the odds aren't in your favor.</p> <p>&quot;At most public universities, over 80 percent of students will take more than four years to graduate due to overcrowded or unavailable classes,&quot; say Adrian Ridner, CEO and co-founder of Study.com. &quot;That means if you are planning on four years of college expenses, you could be under budgeting by 25 percent to 50 percent. Taking low cost college courses online can be a great way to stay on track and graduate on time. Another factor that can extend your child's time in school is lack of college readiness. This may mean completing remedial courses that do not count toward graduation.&quot;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-financial-aid-might-not-cover">6 Things Financial Aid Might Not Cover</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid&#039;s College Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-money-during-a-semester-abroad">7 Ways to Make Money During a Semester Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-better-way-to-rank-americas-colleges">A Better Way to Rank America&#039;s Colleges</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Education & Training college dining plans dorm rooms expenses food costs fraternities hidden costs kids sororities students transportation travel Tue, 11 Apr 2017 08:00:16 +0000 Mikey Rox 1923858 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-544603158.jpg" alt="Learning why saving too much college money is a bad idea" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have children, you may have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=internal" target="_blank">529 education savings plan</a> set up. While it's helpful to save for your kid's college education in advance, there are downsides to saving <em>too</em> much. Here are a few reasons you may want to adjust your contributions and/or revise your college fund strategy.</p> <h2>1. You may make more financial sacrifices than necessary</h2> <p>Unless you're loaded, you're probably making concessions elsewhere in your budget to keep up with contributions to your 529 &mdash; but at what cost? Are you neglecting other necessary payments, like credit card debt, resulting in additional fees? Are you compromising your health by reducing your visits to care providers? Do you have a sufficient emergency fund?</p> <p>Saving for your child's college education is important, but don't put it before any immediate needs. Paid-in-full college tuition is a luxury and privilege, and it shouldn't be your top priority if other aspects of your personal life and finances are affected.</p> <h2>2. Your retirement fund will suffer</h2> <p>If you're putting your child's paid-in-full education before your own later-in-life needs, consider this: You can take out a loan for education, but you can't take a loan for retirement. Millions of students have furthered their educations on their own dime and lived to tell the tale, because they're in perfect condition to work it off after they're spit out into the real world. You, however, may be nearing the time when you may not want or physically be able to work as your kid goes off to school, and that could wreak havoc on your financial future.</p> <p>&quot;If you devote the majority of your family savings to fund college education out of pocket, be prepared to push out your retirement goals,&quot; says registered investment adviser Ryan Miyamoto. &quot;By the time you are starting your family, you are usually thinking about getting serious with your retirement savings as well. These goals end up competing with each other, and with the rapid cost of college education, your retirement will suffer.&quot;</p> <h2>3. You're missing out on tax-exempt withdrawals of your 529 plan</h2> <p>Conservative investors miss out on the biggest benefit of 529 savings plans &mdash; tax-exempt withdrawals. Since tax-exempt withdrawals are only applicable to the gains, if you're using a 529 account to save for college and invest conservatively, your gains will be minimized compared to a growth investor. Having education as a top priority adds fuel to the fire of being conservative; you don't feel like this is your money, but rather your kids', so you irrationally think you want to minimize losses.</p> <p>Adds Miyamoto, &quot;Conversely, if these same individuals were to invest their savings into their own 401(k), the mentality changes; they're willing to take more risk since they view it as their own money.&quot;</p> <h2>4. You will have to pay sizable penalties if your 529 isn't used</h2> <p>You probably have an idea of how much you need to save for your child's education when you open your 529 plan, but whatever that number, it's still just a rough estimate. Your kid may need more than what you think college may cost at his or her time of birth, based on inflation 18 years later plus their choice of college. Let's hope the latter doesn't break the budget &mdash; but it probably will.</p> <p>On the other hand, if you funnel too much money to the account and it goes unused &mdash; for instance, if your scholar attends a relatively inexpensive school (which is normally good news, but not in this case) or decides not to attend college at all &mdash; you're going to kick yourself for not being a little more selfish with your money.</p> <p>&quot;If you overload a particular savings vehicle for college, you run the risk of actually being financially penalized,&quot; explains certified financial planner Greg Knight. &quot;For example, if you save too much in a 529 savings plan without having a drawdown strategy, you will incur income tax and a 10 percent penalty on the earnings portion of withdrawals not used for qualified education expenses. In general, distributions from 529 plans are not taxed provided they are used for qualified educational expenses. However, if you have paid all expenses and still have funds left, as the parent account owner you need to either name yourself as beneficiary and attend a qualified educational program to use the funds tax-free, or have another child or grandchild to name as a beneficiary.&quot;</p> <p>With 529 distributions, a portion is tax-free (as basis) and a portion is taxable (as earnings) unless the distribution is used to pay qualified educational expenses. Without knowing in advance who will use the 529 funds until they are depleted, you run the risk of paying tax and a 10 percent penalty.</p> <h2>5. You don't know if your kid will go to college</h2> <p>Another issue with putting too much cash in one basket is the variable of whether or not your kid will go to college at all. Once they're 18, you can't really make them do anything (unless you're holding financial support over their head), and, let's face it: College isn't for everyone. Having this fund might place undue pressure for them to do something they don't really want to do.</p> <h2>6. Your kid might not appreciate your sacrifice</h2> <p>I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't save for your kid's college education, but perhaps you shouldn't foot the entire bill. At the very least, refrain from telling them how much money is actually available. Plenty of parents want to pay their kids' way through college so they can enjoy the full experience, but that's really just providing them with an excuse to avoid taking on adult financial responsibilities. They may not truly appreciate the value of their education (nor your many years of saving) if they don't have to work for at least part of it themselves.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid&#039;s College Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-critical-money-mistakes-people-make-in-their-40s">7 Critical Money Mistakes People Make in Their 40s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-for-college-students-to-save-loads-of-money">10 Ways for College Students to Save Loads of Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training 529 plans college funds kids penalties retirement funds saving money saving too much taxes tuition Thu, 30 Mar 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Mikey Rox 1915279 at http://www.wisebread.com What Does "Free" College Tuition Really Pay For? http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-free-college-tuition-really-pay-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-does-free-college-tuition-really-pay-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-493478404.jpg" alt="College students learning if free tuition is free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Free college tuition was a rallying cry for some candidates in the 2016 presidential election, and it's become a reality in several states (or soon will be). But is free tuition truly free?</p> <p>Here's our rundown of who pays, along with a look at some of the hidden, unintended costs &mdash; monetary, societal, and otherwise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-on-college-tuition?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Save on College Tuition</a>)</p> <h2>1. Taxpayers Pick Up the Tab</h2> <p>Just three states &mdash; Minnesota, Oregon, and Kentucky &mdash; have free tuition programs in place, while the notion is being hotly debated by lawmakers in nearly a dozen other states. (The City of San Francisco recently announced free tuition at its community college.) All of these programs have small differences, but there's lots of commonality. First, all of the &quot;free&quot; tuition programs that have been proposed or are currently in place seek to shift the burden of payment from the student to the taxpayer. The idea is that the cost of an education is often prohibitive for individual students to bear, while state and federal taxpayers can collectively foot the bill without emptying their wallets.</p> <p>Rhode Island's free tuition program proposal, for example, has an estimated price tag of $30 million &mdash; or less than half of 1% of the <a href="http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20160616/ri-house-approves-89b-budget" target="_blank">Rhode Island state budget</a>. The program would annually benefit an estimated 8,000 resident students who enroll in a two-year program at any of the state's public colleges. Every Rhode Island resident would be eligible, regardless of income or academic ability.</p> <p>Cost estimates to institute free tuition programs such as the one being shopped around by Rhode Island lawmakers are relatively low, proponents say, because most of them are &quot;last dollar&quot; scholarships. This means that the program covers the gap a student has in his or her tuition and mandatory fees bill after subtracting federal funding and other financial aid grants. Such is the case for programs in place in Oregon and Minnesota, as well as those proposed in Rhode Island and New York.</p> <h2>2. Many Programs Are Limited to Community College or Trade School</h2> <p>Free tuition programs only apply to public schools, and many of them &mdash; including programs implemented or under consideration in Oregon, Maryland, Minnesota, and Massachusetts &mdash; further limit eligibility to students who plan to enroll in community colleges or trade schools.</p> <p>Minnesota's <a href="https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=SF0005&amp;session=ls89&amp;version=latest&amp;session_number=0&amp;session_year=2015" target="_blank">free tuition pilot program</a>, for example, covers tuition for students who plan to complete their schooling or training in a high-demand field within one or two years. The $5 million scholarship program applies to about 1,200 fields, ranging from cosmetology to poultry production, at the state's 30 community and technical colleges. It targets middle class students whose families earn $90,000 or less annually and who are not eligible for already existing federal and state grants that aim to help lower income students.</p> <p>For students whose sights are set on a four-year degree from a four-year school, very few of the free tuition programs offer much help. Rhode Island will cover tuition at any public school, including four-year institutions &mdash; but only for up to two years. New York's free tuition proposal, on the other hand, is fairly unique in that it would fund four-year programs at the 64 State University of New York (SUNY) and 23 City University of New York (CUNY) colleges.</p> <h2>3. Tuition Is Only a Fraction of the Cost of Going to College<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Free tuition is a wonderful benefit, but it certainly doesn't cancel out the cost of college attendance. In fact, it's only a fraction of the larger price tag attached to any college education.</p> <p>At Maryland's <a href="http://college-tuition.startclass.com/l/1706/Howard-Community-College" target="_blank">Howard Community College</a>, where a free tuition program for students at community colleges or trade schools is under consideration, the average cost of in-state tuition and fees is $5,626. That's less than a quarter of the total cost of attendance. In addition to tuition, students pay an average of $12,195 for room and board, $1,800 for books and supplies, and $2,532 for other expenses, such as transportation.</p> <p>In New York, students would similarly be responsible for covering their own room and board, books, and other living expenses. According to a TIME magazine analysis, even if the state of New York covers the $6,470 SUNY tuition, a student would still need to come up with about $14,500 a year for other college expenses.</p> <p>A rare exception is Washington State, where lawmakers are considering a program that would provide a tuition and mandatory fee waiver to resident students attending in-state community and technical colleges, plus one other perk: All students from families with an income less than 70% of the state median family income would also receive a stipend of up to $1,500 for books and other education-related expenses.</p> <h2>4. Free Tuition Programs Only Aid Resident Students</h2> <p>If your state doesn't have a free tuition program, you won't be able to mooch off one that does. All of the free tuition programs thus far apply only to in-state residents who choose to further their education within that state's borders.</p> <h2>5. Where Academic Eligibility Bars Are in Place, Minority, Low-Income Students Could Get Left Behind</h2> <p>Some free tuition programs, such as the one launched in Oregon in 2016, require students to achieve certain academic standards in order to be eligible for scholarship money. But there is evidence that reserving scholarship money for students of higher aptitudes can serve to &quot;<a href="http://www.nber.org/papers/w7756" target="_blank">widen the gap in college attendance</a> between blacks and whites and between those from low- and high-income families,&quot; according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.</p> <p>For example, a program launched in Georgia in 1993 with the aim of offering college scholarships to high school graduates who met certain academic requirements succeeded in increasing the state's college attendance rate by at least 7%. But researchers later found that most of that increase was represented by white, middle-class students. That's because when college becomes free or more affordable to students who meet and maintain certain academic markers, research shows that more <a href="https://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/college-access/financing/state-merit-scholarship-programs-and-racial-inequality/heller-marin-state-merit-scholarship-2004.pdf" target="_blank">white, middle-class students benefit</a> because they are proportionately better able to meet those standards. It's an inconvenient truth: Sometimes scholarship money aimed at aiding low-income and minority students instead leaves them even farther behind.</p> <h2>6. Some Experts Wonder if Free Tuition Actually Leads to More College Degrees</h2> <p>Free tuition for high school graduates, regardless of income or aptitude, is the product of the Tennessee Promise, a program that covers community college or technical school tuition, but leaves more than one-third of students saddled with $5,000 to $10,000 in fees for <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/free-tuition/410626/" target="_blank">books, rent, and living expenses</a>. For taxpayers, the net cost of the program for the 2015&ndash;2016 school year was $10.6 million.</p> <p>The Tennessee Promise has so far been successful in boosting college enrollment by 10%, but some experts wonder whether that boost will translate to higher college graduation rates. &quot;What you see is a lot of students enrolling who might not otherwise enroll. But you see really low success rates, and things like students going part-time because they can't afford the books,&quot; Debbie Cochrane, the research director at The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), told The Atlantic.</p> <p>If more students aren't attaining college degrees, will the Tennessee Promise be worth the strain on the state budget? That's the question academics and researchers are working to uncover.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-free-college-tuition-really-pay-for">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/college/college-resources">40+ College Resources for Parents and Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-tricks-to-try-if-youre-stuck-with-student-loans">8 Tax Tricks to Try if You&#039;re Stuck With Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training college cuny free tuition new york oregon public schools rhode island suny taxpayers Tennessee Mon, 06 Mar 2017 10:30:31 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1901332 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-604338428.jpg" alt="Finding places to stash a kid&#039;s college savings" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're hoping to save the tens of thousands of dollars needed to send your children to college, you'll need to do more than stash money in a savings account. To accumulate enough cash to stave off future student loan debt, you'll probably need to invest, and do so over a long enough time horizon.</p> <p>The good news is that there are several investment vehicles out there that can help you save money while also offering some tax advantages. Some are designed specifically for college savings, while others have different purposes but can be used to help with education costs.</p> <p>When saving for college, consider stashing your money in one (or a combination) of these places.</p> <h2>1. A 529 Plan</h2> <p>Any conversation about college savings should begin with a 529 plan. These are investment plans offered by states that allow you to invest money tax-free, as long as the funds eventually go to college expenses. You can open a 529 plan as soon as a child is born and in many cases, begin contributing as little as $25 a month. In addition to seeing investments grow without fear of paying taxes later, you can also get matching contributions and additional tax benefits from some states. In most cases, there are no restrictions on which college a beneficiary can attend. A child enrolled Maryland's college savings plan, for example, can use funds to attend school in Ohio. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <p>Most 529 plans offer a menu of mutual funds to invest in, though you may find your options limited to target date funds with relatively high fees. And it's important to note that if you don't use the funds for college expenses, you'll pay taxes and a 10% penalty.</p> <h2>2. Coverdell ESA</h2> <p>A Coverdell Education Savings Account is similar to a 529, in that you can invest money and will not see taxes on the gains. The advantage of a Coverdell is that you can invest in just about anything, and the money can be used for any educational expenses, not just college (even tuition for private high schools or grade schools would qualify).</p> <p>There is a $2,000 annual limit on Coverdell accounts, however, so it's unlikely you'll be able to save for the full bulk of college costs. There are also income limits, as those individuals with a gross income of $110,000 (or $220,000 for parents filing jointly) can't open Coverdell accounts.</p> <h2>3. Taxable Brokerage Account</h2> <p>It's smart to look at other options before exploring a regular brokerage account to save for your kids' education. But it is one option that has some advantages over other accounts.</p> <p>The main downside is that there are no tax advantages when you try to save money in a taxable brokerage account. When you withdraw your money, you'll be stuck with capital gains taxes, and no one is offering to deduct contributions from your taxable income. But, regular brokerage accounts do offer the flexibility of investing in just about anything, so you can seek out investments that have better performance and lower fees. Moreover, there are also no restrictions on how you use the gains, so it's no big deal if your child gets a scholarship or does not attend college.</p> <h2>4. Roth IRA</h2> <p>A Roth Individual Retirement Account isn't designed for college savings, but it can be used for that purpose. Under a Roth IRA, any money can be withdrawn tax-free at age 59 &frac12;, so if you happen to have a college-aged child at that time, you can use that money for education with no penalty. Investors are also allowed to withdraw the contributions (but not the gains) without penalty at any time.</p> <p>A Roth IRA will generally offer more investment options than a 529 plan, though for people under 50, there is an annual contribution limit of $5,500. If you do use a Roth IRA for college expenses, it's important to remember that saving for retirement should remain a priority over saving for college. So it's advisable to use this account for education expenses only if you have additional plans for your retirement savings.</p> <h2>5. Municipal Bonds</h2> <p>If you're seeking some tax advantages as well as safety, municipal bonds can be a good option for college savings. You won't earn as much going this route, but you may still be able to accumulate enough for college if you start early and contribute regularly.</p> <p>Municipal bonds are nice because they are tax-free, and don't come with the volatility of stocks. Muni bonds with strong ratings can earn you a tax equivalent return of between 5% and 6%, which is quite solid. If you invest $5,000 annually into these kinds of bonds, you'll have well over $100,000 by the time the kids head off to school.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-start-saving-for-your-child-s-education">When Should You Start Saving for Your Child’s Education?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Investment 529 plans brokerage accounts college Coverdell ESA kids municipal bonds Roth IRA saving money Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:00:11 +0000 Tim Lemke 1887743 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things Financial Aid Might Not Cover http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-financial-aid-might-not-cover <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-financial-aid-might-not-cover" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid_books_piggybank_626639020.jpg" alt="Guy learning things financial aid might not cover" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most students and parents realize that it's crucial to apply for financial aid, regardless of what your financial status may be. However, many families don't realize how expensive college can be, even if you receive a great financial aid package. It's important to recognize what items financial aid may not cover so that you can be better prepared for the school year ahead.</p> <h2>What Is Covered</h2> <p>Every student's financial aid package is different, so there are no exact expectations on how much you will receive and what will be covered. The package is based on the full cost of college, which includes tuition and fees, room and board, and sometimes, things like books and school supplies. Financial aid may also cover a summer session, but again, it all depends on how much is included in your particular package.</p> <p>If you live at home or off-campus, your package may include an allowance for things like transportation, housing, and food. If you live on campus, the dorm room and required meal plans may be covered.</p> <h2>What Isn't Covered</h2> <p>Students should be prepared for unexpected charges, which can quickly become overwhelming. Some of the most common college costs not covered by financial aid include:</p> <h3>1. Transportation</h3> <p>Some schools offer aid for transportation, but it's rare and something you should budget for. You'll need to find money for gas or public transportation. There may also be parking fees, campus shuttle fees, and transportation costs to travel back home during the summer and winter breaks.</p> <h3>2. School Supplies</h3> <p>Books may or may not be covered by a financial aid package, but you will still need to find money for pens, pencils, notebooks, and any other school supplies you may need for the semester. You may also be charged extra for art supply fees or other course necessities. You may also need to purchase things like a new laptop or printer for your dorm room.</p> <h3>3. Dorm Supplies</h3> <p>If you'll be living on campus, you'll need to buy items for your dorm. This can include everything from a mini fridge and television to new sheets and beanbag chairs.</p> <h3>4. Lab Fees</h3> <p>There are frequently lab fees, equipment charges, and other fees associated with certain courses.</p> <h3>5. Activity Fees</h3> <p>If you're planning on participating in sports, clubs, sororities or fraternities, or other on-campus activities, there will be additional fees.</p> <h3>6. The College Experience</h3> <p>Part of the fun of college is going out and meeting new friends, which will result in costs for eating out, going shopping, going to concerts or sporting events, and paying for other forms of entertainment.</p> <h2>How to Fill in the Gap</h2> <p>According to Damian Rothermel, a CFP who specializes in college funding, it's possible to <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2014/03/24/9-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-financial-aid-for-college/2/#7c72a39223a1" target="_blank">negotiate your financial aid package</a>. He says that once you receive your financial aid package, you can contact the school to appeal for more money.</p> <p>For instance, if the Expected Family Contribution is too high, you can appeal the offer. You can also provide documentation to support your request for increased funding.</p> <p>If a student needs more funding for the school year, then there are a number of options available.</p> <ul> <li>Grants and scholarships. There is no limit on how many scholarships you can apply for, so it's best to get into the routine of searching for and applying for scholarships whenever possible.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Work-study jobs. Students can earn money through work-study jobs either on or off campus.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Part-time jobs. There are endless part-time jobs available to students, which can help them earn the extra money needed for items that aren't covered by financial aid.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Payment plans. The school may have payment plans available, allowing you to spread the remaining costs you owe throughout a semester.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Student loans. Student loans should be your last resort, as the last thing a student wants after graduation is to be saddled with debt. Your best bet is to first apply for a federal loan, which offers flexible payments if you don't find employment after college. There are also private or alternative loans available to students. Many banks also offer special student loan rates that you may not have to begin paying off until graduation.</li> </ul> <p>If you still have questions about how to fill in the gap, the school's financial aid office is available to help however they can. You may want to call and speak with them about how you can receive more funding. They may be able to help you find scholarships, part-time work, and good private student loans.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-financial-aid-might-not-cover">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-better-way-to-rank-americas-colleges">A Better Way to Rank America&#039;s Colleges</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook">CSS Is One Source of College Financial Aid You Can&#039;t Afford to Overlook</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-for-college-students-to-save-loads-of-money">10 Ways for College Students to Save Loads of Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-tricks-to-try-if-youre-stuck-with-student-loans">8 Tax Tricks to Try if You&#039;re Stuck With Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training college financial aid higher education not covered room and board student loans students transportation tuition Tue, 24 Jan 2017 10:30:36 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1876850 at http://www.wisebread.com