College Cost Reduction & Access Act: effective today

July 1, 2008

Lower college loan rates start today. Yahoo! We all know the benefits of a college degree, now it becomes slightly affordable as federal legislation laws kicks in for the start of the new school year.

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act initiates lower interest rates on federal student loans. The maximum Pell Grant scholarship will increase and tuition incentives will be provided to prospective teachers in needy public schools.

Starting today July 1, 2008, interest rates on subsidized federal student loans will drop to 6 percent from 6.8 percent for all new loans. While over the next four years, the legislation will reduce interest rates by half, to 3.4 percent.

The average college student starting school in fall of 08 will save about $2,570 over the loan's life.

Among other provisions, the legislation awards tuition assistance of up to $4,000 each year to students who commit to teaching subjects such as math, science and foreign language in public schools in underprivileged neighborhoods.

This aspect of the legislation came as welcome news to those already focused on the teaching profession.

Students, meanwhile, are scratching their heads, thinking about how they're going to afford their loan debts. (They should have attended my workshop. [a shameless advertising plug]).

Ryan B. just graduated from Manhattanville College and is $20,000 in debt.

Ryan B. said the legislation was a step in the right direction, but more still is needed to be done to find a solution to the ballooning costs of higher education.

Very much aware of the need to land a solid job after graduation so he can start paying off his debt, Ryan B. started the job hunt in December. He said he was excited about starting at MasterCard in Purchase in September. (He should have attended my workshop and learned about internships… [another plug]).
Yet even though he has secured a reputable position, he still plans to live with his parents until he can pay off his debt and afford a place of his own.

J.D. Wyczalek founder of AZ College Consulting, LLC says “the first step is to maximize the amount of aid your student can qualify for by strategic planning so that your student doesn’t graduate with tons of debt and move back in with the parents because that is the only option.”

Click the link on the right and register for my "No Bull, College Planning and Financial Aid workshop!"

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