College Funding Strategy

By: Jeff Mictabor

College students all over the United States probably have just gotten into the swing of summer, whether that means finally perfecting their golf swing, getting that deep tan, or acing the most recent quiz in summer school. In the midst of these activities and especially at this time of year, it is important to regroup and begin planning financially for the new school year, according to NextStudent, a leading Phoenix-based education funding company.

NextStudent EFAs Help Students Understand Awards

The best place to start is to review all the correspondence students have received, especially their award letters. This is the document that lists such important information as the actual cost to attend school (includes tuition, fees, room and board), available need-based federal aid such as subsidized Stafford Student Loans (http://www.nextstudent.com/student-loans/student-loans.asp) , non-need-based aid such as unsubsidized Stafford Student Loans and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loans), and the remaining out-of-pocket funds required.

Unfortunately, many times the award letters from colleges are somewhat difficult to understand, which may lead to confusion when students attempt to put together a strategic plan for funding their college dream. However, when students or their parents contact NextStudent, they will receive personal attention from their Education Finance Advisor. EFAs help students understand the types and amounts of fnancial aid for which they qualify, answer any questions, and then work with students to develop a strategy that best fits students’ needs.

Students Qualify for a Variety of Federal Funds

Students and their parents have an array of federal financial aid options to consider, depending on the type of aid for which they qualify. Some students may qualify for need-based subsidized Stafford Student Loans, whereby the government covers any interest on the student loan while a student is in school, the grace period following graduation, and any period of deferment. Other students may qualify for a non-need-based unsubsidized Stafford Student Loan, where interest is charged to the borrower during this same time period.

Another common type of federal aid is Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students, known as PLUS Loans (http://www.nextstudent.com/plus_loans/plus_loans.asp). These credit-based options allow parents to borrow funds to cover the education costs of their dependent children who attend college at least half-time as undergraduate students. Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid.

Frequently, parents find that they pay more for their child’s education than they anticipated. NextStudent offers Private Student Loans (http://www.nextstudent.com/private_loans/private_loans.asp) to supplement federal student loan sources. Many parents prefer these unsecured credit-based student loans to borrowing against the equity in their homes or other options to cover the remaining out-of-pocket college costs. NextStudent offers generous borrowing limits, quick preapproval, deferred principal and interest on most student loans, and no prepayment penalties. Funds may be used for study abroad and distance-learning programs in addition to traditional schooling.

Financial Aid Myths Dispelled

One fairly common misconception is the belief that a student does not qualify for ANY federal aid. In fact, even a student who does not qualify for any SUBSIDIZED federal aid will almost certainly qualify for an UNSUBSIDIZED student loan. NextStudent Education Finance Advisors are equipped to help students and their parents understand just these types of issues so that they can put together a plan that best fits the needs of the borrower.

NextStudent believes that getting an education is the best investment you can make, and it is dedicated to helping you pursue your education dreams by making college funding simple. Learn more about Student Loans, Private Student Loans and Student Loan Consolidation (http://www.nextstudent.com/) at NextStudent.com.


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