2+2+2 Strategy Complete High School and College in 6 Years

March 20, 2012
The 2+2+2 Strategy to Complete High School and College in 6 Years by Dr. Kuni Beasley We have pioneered the process of helping students complete high school and college in six years. Our 2+2+2 strategy moves the ambitious student through two years of high school to develop the foundation of skills and abilities to tackle […]

The 2+2+2 Strategy to Complete High School and College in 6 Years
by Dr. Kuni Beasley

We have pioneered the process of helping students complete high school and college in six years. Our 2+2+2 strategy moves the ambitious student through two years of high school to develop the foundation of skills and abilities to tackle college level courses early, two years of dual credit college work combining the last two years of high school and the first two years of college, then completing the last two years of college. Here's how we do this.

Most community colleges will allow juniors to cross-enroll for dual high school - college credit. Ambitions students can take this opportunity to double up on credit and shave two years off of high school and college.

1 - You have to be advanced and ambitious. If you are not a consistent A-B student and tend to just get by, this is not for you. You have to prove yourself capable of doing college work. This means being mature, responsible, and self-motivated.

2 - You need to make sure you have proper counsel and advice. Do not take advice from anybody who hasn't done this. Certainly don't listen to people who want to pooh-pooh the idea.

3 - Course substitutions. Remember, you still have to meet certain secondary school requirements for a high school diploma regardless of the number of college courses you take and what grades you make. Here is a generic list of college courses and the high school requirements they would satisfy:

• Freshman Composition I and American Literature I (English III)
• Freshman Composition II and British Literature I (English IV)
• US History I & II (American History)
• US Government (American Government)
• Introduction to Economics (Economics)
• College Algebra (Algebra II)
• Pre-Calculus (Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus)
• Speech Communications (Speech)
• General Biology (Biology I) - Some states only require 2 years of science so you might not need this.
• Introduction to Sociology (Elective) - Usually not required for high school, but many colleges require this or similar courses.
• Introductions to Psychology (Elective) - same as Sociology
• Humanities (Elective) - same as Sociology
• Introduction to Computers (Technology)
• Personal Fitness (PE) - Believe it not, most colleges require PE.

 

Class of 2013 and beyond Arizona high school graduation requirements from http://www.azed.gov/state-board-education/high-school-graduation-requirements/

English

4   credits

Math (1)

4 credits

Science (2)

3 credits

Social Studies(3)

3   credits

CTE/Fine Art

1   credits

Electives

7   credits

Total

22 credits

(1) Math courses shall consist of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II (or its equivalent) and an additional course with significant math content as determined by district governing boards or charter schools.

(2) Three credits of science in preparation for proficiency at the high school level on the AIMS test.

(3) Social Studies shall consist of one credit of American History, one credit of World History/Geography, one-half credit of government and one-half credit of economics.

(*Please note state high school graduation requirements and college admission requirements may vary. Check with your state requirements and the four year colleges and find out the individual college’s admission policy.)

This is provided as an example. Your personal situation may be different, as may your high school requirements.

One factor you need to consider is that you will be taking actual college courses instead of AP classes - which means you get REAL college credit instead of AP credit. Also, because you will already be in college, you probably don't need to take SATs or ACTs (some colleges require some sort of entrance or placement test), and you don't need to worry about class rank.

A second factor is that when you do this, you will enter into a whole new world where conventional rules do not apply. You won't be in any sort of competition for admission or scholarships. Your focus will be to position yourself for a transfer scholarship to a four-year college. Your grades will speak for themselves. Many four-year colleges set aside significant scholarships for junior college transfers. I have worked with many students who received full transfer scholarships to four-year colleges - even Harvard!

A third factor is that you probably won't be getting a scholarship for community college, though some do offer them. You will, however, be able to apply for Federal financial aid. Even if you don't, most community colleges are very affordable.

I can count dozens of students who have done this. Many have gone on to graduate school, medical school, and law school. This might be an option for a more ambitious student who is getting bored with high school.

Kuni Michael Beasley, Ph. D., College Professor, High School Dean, and College Counselor. You need to make sure you have the proper advice when you want to try something unconventional in college. Contact us to see how we can help 1-888-237-2087 ext. 2.

 

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More Scholarships For “C” Students

March 2, 2012
More Scholarships For "C" Students - I Found Another College Scholarship by Dr. Kuni Beasley In a previous article I wrote about scholarships for "C" students. Lo and behold, I found another similar scholarship for students with slightly above average ACT and SAT scores. Will the wonders ever cease? There is hope for the average […]

More Scholarships For "C" Students - I Found Another College Scholarship
by Dr. Kuni Beasley

In a previous article I wrote about scholarships for "C" students. Lo and behold, I found another similar scholarship for students with slightly above average ACT and SAT scores. Will the wonders ever cease? There is hope for the average student.

College B - a state college located in a different southern state:

This is the "President's Endowed University Scholar's Program." Requirements are:
1. 25 ACT or 1150 SAT
2. Academic seal on a high school transcript
3. References and an essay

Award Amount: $2,500 a year for 4 years

Put into perspective, the ACT/SAT requirements are higher than the previous, but there is no GPA requirement. The ACT requirement is actually higher than the relative SAT score. A 25 ACT is 7 points above the average (18), or about 2/5th of the way to a perfect score (36). Given the 1150 number, I assume this college only looks at the SAT Reading and Math scores. Average for SAT is 1000. 150 points above average is 1/4th of the way to a perfect score (1600). If I was counseling a student who wanted this scholarship, I would emphasize taking the SAT because the additional 150 points equates to about a 10 question swing in the actual testing (10 more correct; 10 fewer incorrect). The swing would be tougher on the ACT.

So, technically, a student with a low GPA but with a decent ACT or SAT score, some good references and a good essay could get this scholarship. This belies logic in awarding scholarships, but each college makes its own rules.

This goes to prove that there are many secret, hidden scholarship opportunities out there. It just takes some digging. However, I also want to caution you that there are also many scholarship scammers out there, too, who will take your money and promise you your mailbox will be filled with checks. I've never seen that played out in my three decades of doing this work.

As always, in dealing with college funding, always deal with a professional. Make sure they have letters (either degrees or professional designations) behind their name and can give you actual names of people who received funding due to their efforts. (see the testimonials page, under 'What People Say' tab). If at any time you feel pressured into writing a check or giving them a credit card number, or if they say the offer is only good right then, run away!

Kuni Michael Beasley, Ph. D., College Professor, High School Dean, and College Counselor.
There is a lot of little known information about getting money for college. If you want to know what college this is and get some free information on college prep and money for college, contact us to see how we can help 1-888-237-2087 ext. 2.

 

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Scholarships For “C” Students

March 1, 2012
Scholarships For "C" Students - Believe it Or Not, It's True! by Dr. Kuni Beasley In my three decades of advising students about scholarships and warning them about scholarship scams, one of my slogans was "There aren't a bunch of people sitting around wanting to write checks for "C" students." My latest research proves that […]

Scholarships For "C" Students - Believe it Or Not, It's True!
by Dr. Kuni Beasley

In my three decades of advising students about scholarships and warning them about scholarship scams, one of my slogans was "There aren't a bunch of people sitting around wanting to write checks for "C" students." My latest research proves that statement to be wrong! Indeed, there are colleges that offer scholarships to "C" students and scholarships to students with low College Board scores. Doesn't make sense, but it's true.

For more than three decades I have been emphasizing good grades, high class rank, and high SAT and ACT scores as the foundation to finding scholarships. Although I will continue to chant that litany, I will also share that there are colleges that actually offer scholarships to people who have a good, solid "C" average and very strong "average" SAT and ACT scores.

In a public forum such as this, I am reluctant to simply blurt out the names of these colleges, but I will give you links to the websites if you contact me. I'm in the college prep business and I don't want to make any colleges angry with me if I publicize this kind of information, so I'll present the particulars and keep the names to protect the innocent.

College A - a state college located in a southern state:

Graduated from (name of the state) public high school and achieved a 2.50 high school GPA or 19+ ACT composite or equivalent, or graduated from a private, home-school, or out-of-state high school or earned a GED and earned a 19+ ACT or equivalent.

Award Amounts: $5,000 for 4-year University; $2,500 for 2-year institution.

Let's understand this in perspective. A 2.50 is a middle "C" average which could mean the student made enough A's and B's to balance out some D's and F's. Or it could mean the student was a consistent "C" student who made a few B's to move halfway in the 2.0 - 3.0 scale.

Any way you interpret this, we are not looking at a scholar. But I am not going to judge because there are a lot of students who goofed off in high school, grew up, and did great in college. Indeed, I work with a lot of adults who dropped out of high school who returned to college and did very well. In fact, I helped one get a Harvard scholarship.

The ACT score is one point above 18, considered to be the "average" ACT score. So we have a 2.50 (slightly above average) GPA and a 19 (slightly above average) ACT score combined that will get the student a potential $5000 scholarship.

This is strange for me because I often work with students who have fair to mid-line GPAs, who are otherwise intelligent, just bored in school and didn't put a lot of effort in. I can usually help them jump their SAT or ACT scores and mitigate less than spectacular GPAs. This scholarship throws a pretty heavy wrench into my paradigm.

The kicker here is that to maintain the scholarship, the student must maintain a 2.50 average in college, take at least 15 hours each semester, and be continuously enrolled. Not a significant challenge. The scholarship continues until the student graduates, completes 130 hours, or 8 semesters.

This goes to prove that there are many secret, hidden scholarship opportunities out there. It just takes some digging. However, I also want to caution you that there are also many scholarship scammers out there, too, who will take your money and promise you your mailbox will be filled with checks. I've never seen that played out in my three decades of doing this work.

As always, in dealing with college funding, always deal with a professional. Make sure they have letters (either degrees or professional designations) behind their name and can give you actual names of people who received funding due to their efforts. (see the testimonials page, under 'What People Say' tab). If at any time you feel pressured into writing a check or giving them a credit card number, or if they say the offer is only good right then, run away!

Kuni Michael Beasley, Ph. D., College Professor, High School Dean, and College Counselor.
There is a lot of little known information about getting money for college. If you want to know what college this is and get some free information on college prep and money for college, contact us to see how we can help 1-888-237-2087 ext. 2.

 

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Colleges look for these things in a student

February 22, 2012
Colleges look for these things in a student 1. Curriculum A rigorous class schedule shows intellectual curiosity, a willingness to challenge yourself and that you are comfortable with hard work. Strong grades in honors and AP courses are typically more impressive than perfect grades in regular classes. Colleges are a place of higher learning so […]

Colleges look for these things in a student

1. Curriculum

A rigorous class schedule shows intellectual curiosity, a willingness to challenge yourself and that you are comfortable with hard work. Strong grades in honors and AP courses are typically more impressive than perfect grades in regular classes. Colleges are a place of higher learning so it makes sense that colleges look for students who want to learn. Starting early on in middle school asking questions in each of your classes can help you develop a love of learning.

2. Grades and Class Rank

Junior year is most important followed by first semester senior year. Freshman and sophomore grades are typically less significant especially if there is a pattern of improvement. Along with the transcript, high schools provide colleges with a senior class profile. Admissions officers review the profile of your high school to gain perspective of your academic achievements compared to other applicants from different high schools. Increasing class rank is a planned strategy that starts on the first day of the high school freshman year. Taking AP, Honors classes AND getting a great grade will help with your class rank. Students who take a lot of AP, Honors, IB, etc. while maintain a high GPA have the highest class ranks.

3. Standardized Test Scores

SAT/ACT scores are a major admissions factor at most colleges. Impressive scores will put you in a higher category. Scores provide a standard measure to compare applicants from different schools and backgrounds. Get on a Testing Strategy plan early can help increase your scores and increase your scholarship eligibility. Check out the excellent Test Prep material here.

4. Extracurricular Activities, Athletics, Avocations & Summer Experiences

In past years, most successful applicants were well-rounded high-achievers. There is a growing preference, especially at the most selective schools, for high achievers who are also “angular” or “focused” or “passionate” candidates. These successful students typically possess a special activity or unusual characteristic that sets them apart from other applicants. This is commonly referred to as a “hook”. Admissions officers look for quality over quantity. Depth, not breadth, of experience is most important as most colleges now prefer to see fewer activities that really interest you and where you are involved in a significant way. Evidence of passion, leadership, initiative, commitment and making a real difference is critical. Review the information on How to Develop a Passion.

5. Community Service

Few colleges have a community service requirement, but volunteering is considered an excellent venue to show character, compassion, and self-fulfillment through helping others. Evidence of increased responsibility and dedication over time is especially impressive. That said, community service is often a criteria for obtaining scholarships. There are several colleges that have “Community Service Scholarships” for students who meet the criteria.

6. Work and Entrepreneurial Experiences

Part-time work experience, an internship or summer job, even starting your own business can provide excellent essay material to showcase your maturity, initiative, work ethic as well as interpersonal and time-management skills. Having a job and maintaining your high GPA is looked upon favorably by many colleges. This is especially true if your parents are high income earners. However this could backfire if you have a job that was given to you at (for example) a law office because your father is a partner. Some students get these types of jobs to impress the colleges. It is more impressive if you got a job on your own at Burger King.

7. Application Essays

Application essays are a prime opportunity to stand out with well-composed essays about what makes you a truly special candidate — your passion, personality, character, personal achievements, background, special talents, sense of humor, inner resilience, writing ability as well as your reasoning for choices you have made. Colleges look for articulate, well-written, thoughtful essays providing insight into your personality, values, and goals. A well written essay is not something that can be ripped out in half an hour. Write your essay, read it out loud, have other people review and critique it. Then, rework and rewrite your essay. Some students rewrite the essay 4, 5 and more times to perfect it.

8. Recommendations

Admissions officers rely on letters of recommendation to round out and confirm their picture of you as a candidate. It is important to cultivate good relationships with your guidance counselor, teachers, coaches, employers and others who can recommend you highly. Develop relationships with these people over a period of time can turn these people into your advocate.

9. Interview

Your meeting on-campus, or with an alumni interviewer (typically in your local area) is usually the only in-person data point that colleges have to evaluate you. Colleges value this input to corroborate their picture of you from other sources. It is also an excellent opportunity to convey your genuine interest in a particular college or university, to ask insightful questions and show your good sense of humor, maturity and interpersonal skills. However, do not base the entire college fit on this one person. They are there to “sell” you on the college, they should do a good job at that. Some interviewers are not good or may have a dull personality, again, don’t base everything on this one interviewer or recruiter. It is always a good idea to give it a second look then evaluate whether or not you are going to keep the school on your short list.

10. Level of Interest & Potential Fit

Admission officers have a preference for applicants who appear knowledgeable about their college and seem highly motivated to attend. Colleges care about their yield (percentage of accepted applicants who enroll). All factors being equal admissions officers typically favor the applicant most likely to attend, not necessarily the one with the highest score and GPA. Review the College Touch Points for further insight.

11. Other Factors

There are numerous other factors that can play a role in the admissions decision including: geographical diversity, athletics, legacy, ethnic heritage, socio- economic background and ability to overcome adversity and other factors. If there is something unique about you that you can use to separate yourself from the rest of the application pool, it could be to your benefit. Colleges look to fill voids in their student body, identifying yourself as someone who would fill the void could be beneficial.

 

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Vote

February 10, 2012
VOTE! AZCollegePlanning.com will be hosting two ALL NEW Boot Camps. How to Market Yourself to Colleges Boot Camp Athlete’s Boot Camp Which date and time would work best for you and your student.   E-mail Address: * Student Name * High School Graduation Year (YYYY) * How to Market to Colleges Boot Camp Monday 7:00 […]

VOTE!

AZCollegePlanning.com will be hosting two ALL NEW Boot Camps.

  • How to Market Yourself to Colleges Boot Camp
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Which date and time would work best for you and your student.

 




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Colleges will do anything to get your money

February 9, 2012
Colleges will do anything to get your money, including lie, cheat and steal. In a recent article published February 7th 2012 in the Washington Post, the Claremont McKenna school system was caught falsely inflating SAT scores. Why would a college do that? The answer:

Colleges will do anything to get your money, including lie, cheat and steal.

In a recent article published February 7th 2012 in the Washington Post, the Claremont McKenna school system was caught falsely inflating SAT scores. (http://goo.gl/M97Fn link to article)

Why would a college do that? The answer: the original sin – greed.

Higher SAT/ACT scores increases rankings in the “Best Colleges” publications. With higher rankings comes more publicity. More publicity results in more people (high school counselors, parents and students) being aware of theses college. More awareness results in more student applications.

This last application season UC Berkeley had over 54,000 students apply at $70 per application. That is a whopping $3,780,000.00. Colleges WANT more students to apply because they will make more money.

Now that you know that colleges do anything (and everything) to increase their rankings, you can position your student with these different colleges. As colleges identify potential college students, they are asking if we recruit this student will it increase our rankings? If the answer is Yes, that is when the magic happens. This is where I come in. We will help identify the right types of colleges for your student.

 

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Taking Advantage of Summers Separate GREAT Students From Good Ones

February 6, 2012
Taking Advantage of Summers - What Separates GREAT Students From Good Students by Dr. Kuni Beasley One thing that clearly separates the GREAT students from GOOD students is how the GREAT students strategically use their summers. Although some students have to attend summer school and some get summer jobs, most students simply "goof off" during […]

Taking Advantage of Summers - What Separates GREAT Students From Good Students
by Dr. Kuni Beasley

One thing that clearly separates the GREAT students from GOOD students is how the GREAT students strategically use their summers. Although some students have to attend summer school and some get summer jobs, most students simply "goof off" during the summer, as if summer is some sort government entitlement or constitutional right.

In the educational system in the United States, we might have a good, solid six months of actual educational advancement for each 9-10 month academic year. This is because of summer vacations.

About the middle of April (around Tax Day), students get "Spring Fever" and begin to shut down academically. It takes about six weeks to decline into total academic brain death around Memorial Day. During this time the majority of students coast through the last six weeks, doing the minimum. Come August or September, teachers have to re-teach most of the last year because the academic brains have been unplugged for the summer months and have been operating on "dim" for the month and a half before that. So with an extensive review, the school system manages to get the academic brain back to its April 15th state in about six weeks - around Columbus Day. For the six months between Tax Day and Columbus Day, the light is on, but no one is home... academically.

As I look through the Valedictorian and Salutatorian lists in the newspaper, I notice a significant number of children from what I assume to be first generation parents who have come to the US. Many of these people bring with them a value for education and a dedication to work that our population has seemed to have lost, not just in education. As I observe many families new to the US send their children to special summer programs and have their children fully engaged in advancing their education. This shows up in the classroom, on tests, and ultimately on college admissions and scholarships.

The choices, the options, and the opportunities are there for everyone. It just takes those who have not had the privilege and luxury of the opportunities we have here in the US to really appreciate and take advantage of what we have.

To be academically competitive, it takes about 4 hours a week in the summer to gain an advantage. Indeed, a student who does anything academic in the summer will certainly have an advantage over anyone who does not, the 4 hours may be an arbitrary figure. I know from my own experience, a little application in the summer went a long way for me.

I urge you as parents to not think about summer as "vacation" because it shouldn't be. We have summers off schools because a hundred years ago we needed the kids to work the farms. We don't have that need anymore, yet we still take three months off like it was in the Ten Commandments or in the Constitution. The rest of civilized world moved forward.

The United States is the only industrialized country that has to send its students to college to finish high school. As we look at the number of students requiring remedial courses in simple arithmetic and grammar while in college, we should wonder why students have to do this. We can blame the school system, and they have a lot of blame to bear. But we also have to blame ourselves because for 12 years we wasted one-quarter of our year goofing off during the summer.

Do something with your students this summer that will move them ahead. Need some help with coming up with a summer game plan, contact us today.

Kuni Beasley, Ph. D., College Professor, High School Dean, and College Counselor.
No matter what I wrote above, it doesn't mean anything if you don't get into the college you want or have to go into debt up to your eyeballs to do so. Contact us to see how we can help 1-888-237-2087 ext. 2.

 

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Do You Know How Need-Based Aid Works

January 30, 2012
Through proper positioning some six figure income families have been able to qualify for need based aid at some colleges. Talk to us, we’ll let you know if you might be able to qualify for need based aid. There is more in the formula than just financial numbers. Check out the FAFSA guide Line-by-line instruction on maximizing need based aid qualifications.

Money For College - Do You Know How Need-Based Aid Works?
by Dr. Kuni Beasley

Need-Based College Aid is a simple mathematical formula:

The amount it costs to go to a particular college MINUS your Estimated Family Contribution or EFC.

Simple enough, but somewhat more complex when you get into the details. Let's start with EFC.

To determine your EFC, you have to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. The window to file this starts January 1 prior to the Fall semester you expect to get funding based on that particular application. This means that if you plan to start college in the fall of 2012, the FAFSA submission window starts January 1, 2012 and goes, theoretically, to the 30th of June, 2012 -- to accommodate the entire school year. It is theoretically possible to apply for aid based on the FAFSA into the second semester of the initial year. I don't suggest you push the theoretical bounds.

Based on the FAFSA data -- which most of which is extracted from your previous year's tax return -- you get a dollar figure for the EFC. This figure is what the FAFSA people compute to be what the family should be able to "contribute" towards the cost of education based on some secret government formula. Now, I don't know anybody who ever agreed with the EFC they received, but that's irrelevant to this discussion.

Now, each college has a "cost" figure computed for it. This figure includes tuition, fees, books, room & board and other living expenses. A separate figure is used for those on campus and those not, based on what you submitted on the FAFSA.

You take this cost figure and subtract the EFC and you get the "Need," the amount of money you "need" to attend that particular college. This "need" figure will vary from college to college based on the established cost for that college.

Examples: If your EFC is $6,000 and the cost of the college is $12,000, your "need" is $6,000. If the cost of the college is $25,000, your "need" is $19,000.

At this point the Finical Aid office at the college assembles a "need" package of financial aid consisting of a possible mixture of grants (you don't have to pay back), loans (you have to pay back, maybe), and/or Student Work/Study where you work and get paid while going to college. The actual composition of the package is based on a whole different set of criteria, where there is some wiggle room you can work with the folks at the college financial aid office.

Regardless of your financial situation, you need to file a FAFSA and see what you might be able to get. Far too many people feel that they won't qualify, so they simply bypass the FAFSA and probably pay a lot more than they should have. FAFSA information is available at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Side note: through proper asset positioning some six figure income families have been able to qualify for need based aid at some colleges.  Talk to us, we’ll let you know if you might be able to qualify for need based aid. There is more in the formula than just financial numbers. Check out the FAFSA guide Line-by-line instruction on maximizing need based aid qualifications under the Parents Tab.

Kuni Beasley, Ph. D., College Professor, High School Dean, and College Counselor.
No matter what I wrote above, it doesn't mean anything if you don't get into the college you want or have to go into debt up to your eyeballs to do so. Contact us to see how we can help 1-888-237-2087 ext. 2.

 

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Everybody is Entitled to Government Funding For College

January 28, 2012
Money For College - Did You Know Everybody is Entitled to Government Funding For College? by Dr. Kuni Beasley EVERYBODY (citizens and legal residents) in the US is entitled to some sort of federal aid -- EVERYBODY! It doesn't matter how much you make or how poor you are, you are entitled to some form […]

Money For College - Did You Know Everybody is Entitled to Government Funding For College?
by Dr. Kuni Beasley

EVERYBODY (citizens and legal residents) in the US is entitled to some sort of federal aid -- EVERYBODY! It doesn't matter how much you make or how poor you are, you are entitled to some form of government aid. Many people feel they make too much money to qualify for government aid and forgo their entitlements and spend way too much of their own money for college.

Federal student aid comes in three forms: grants, loans, and work/study programs.

Most people have heard of the Pell Grant -- originally called the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant (BEOG) and named after Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, who passed away January 1, 2009 (bit of trivia here). The Pell is aimed at lower income students. Statisticians use the Pell Grant as a marker to determine the economic diversity of student at a particular college (a bit more trivia). Next in line is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), issued to students with extreme financial need.

Three other lesser known grants are also available: the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant a.k.a., the National SMART Grant, and a new one, the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education or TEACH Grant. The ACG is for students who completed a rigorous high school curriculum with distinction and is applied to the first two years of college. The SMART grant targets math, science, technology, and engineering students in their last two years (third year if in a five year program). Both of these are awarded on top of the Pell Grant. The TEACH grant targets students who are training to be teachers and are willing to work in a high-need field in low income areas.

These are grants and do not have to be repaid.

The Stafford Loan is the predominant loan program for students and the PLUS Loan for parents and graduate students. These Federal loans are the confluence of two loan programs, the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) and the Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

Now, get ready for little shell game to help understand these loans. There is kind of a matrix with the FFEL and Direct Loans across the top and Stafford and PLUS along the side. The FFEL and Direct Loan programs are differentiated by where the loan is made. Under the FFEL, the loan is made by a commercial lender (bank, credit union, etc.); under the Direct Loan, the loan comes directly from the Federal government. The Stafford and the PLUS can come from either the FFEL or the Direct Loan sources.

The Stafford is further divided into subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans are awarded based on need and the government pays the interest while the student is in school. The unsubsidized is not based on need and the interest accrues while the student is in school.

PLUS loans are made based on the credit check of the parents. These can be paid back 60 days after the loan is disbursed or 6 months after the student finishes or leaves school.

Everybody is entitled to at least the unsubsidized Stafford Loan regardless of income.

You have to file a Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for any Federal grant or loan http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

Loans are a good thing if you cannot afford the cost of college. However, I am not a big advocate of borrowing. The student could easily end up with a loan payment as big as a mortgage payment and have no house to show for it. I don't think any school in the country is worth that much. But, I have had parents disagree with me and borrow upwards of $150,000 (combined parents and student) to put their kids through a high priced college.

Wouldn't had been easier just to make better grades and higher SAT and ACT scores?

Kuni Beasley, Ph. D., College Professor, High School Dean, and College Counselor.
No matter what I wrote above, it doesn't mean anything if you don't get into the college you want or have to go into debt up to your eyeballs to do so. Contact us to see how we can help 1-888-237-2087 ext. 2.

 

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Four Sources of College Funding in Plain English

January 28, 2012
there are four places to find money for college, and one place you must avoid at all cost.

Money For College - Four Sources of College Funding in Plain English
by Dr. Kuni Beasley

Here are four sources of college funding:

1 -- Merit Aid is "money" the college awards you based on your academic, athletic, or artistic abilities. There is really no such thing as a football scholarship. These are officially grants-in-aid where a dollar figure is credited to the students' account. Merit Aid is simply the college waiving normal costs to the college in exchange for the student's attendance or participation in college activities.

2 -- Need-Based Aid -- This is calculated based on the information submitted using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Need is defined as the difference between what the FAFSA people determine what your Effective Family Contribution (EFC) should be and the total annual cost for the college. The difference between the two is the Need and you can access federal, state, and college based programs to fulfill the Need amount.

3 -- Entitlement Aid -- This is often missed because many people -- including those who are supposed to know -- don't know. You may have entitlements based on your geographical location (in-state tuition vs. out of state), past military service (like the GI Bill), special category (like the blind, hearing impaired, foster children or children of deceased fire, police, or military members), and special status (mothers going back to college, Native Americans, people training to be teachers). Beyond these categories lie the vast gamut of government loans that virtually anyone in the United States (citizens and legal residents) qualify to receive.

4 -- Private Source Aid -- One of the big tools scholarship scammers use is the abundance of private scholarships that "go unused" every year. There are many thousands of private scholarships awarded each year. Many are made through a particular college, or, like the National Merit Scholarship, awarded to the student, but dispersed through the college, or, in several cases, a check from the private provider is simply presented to the student. Most of these are tied to academic performance, but many are targeted to specific groups -- ethnic, gender, national origin, activity, etc. For example, the National Achievement Scholarship parallels the National Merit Scholarship, but targets African-American students. See Scholarship Scam Articles here.

Conceptually, we seek multiple methods of college funding to reduce the amount of your money that comes out of your pocket in order to pay for college. We seek more ways to pay less through grants and scholarships, to defer for payment later (loans), or to get costs discounted or waived, in order to keep more of your money in your pocket.

Kuni Beasley, Ph. D., College Professor, High School Dean, and College Counselor.
No matter what I wrote above, it doesn't mean anything if you don't get into the college you want or have to go into debt up to your eyeballs to do so. Contact us to see how we can help 1-888-237-2087 ext. 2.

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