The “MAN” is keeping our students down

November 30, 2008

The foul hands that caused the economic meltdown are far reaching. Now reaching into our children’s future. It was once thought a privilege to attend college. Only the elite and wealthy were well educated.

No longer is this the fact. College is attainable by any who have the desire to attend. It is just a matter of knowing how and where to be able to qualify for financial aid. Harvard and Stanford (and most of the Ivy league colleges) are making it easier for families who earn $50,000 or less to attend their school with generous open handed scholarships and grants. (Yes, your student does have to get good grades to be admitted.)

So it would seem that the lower class has the means (if the grades are there) to attend college for pratically nothing. And the ultra rich, well, they never had a problem to begin with. $200,000 for college costs shouldn’t be an issue for these folks.

Where does that leave the middle class, those that make more than $50,000 AGI but can’t write a check for $200,000. Squeezed out. Or worse made into financial debt slaves.

Like this article

excerpt from article... Graduates’ burden: Student-loan payments, Debt accrued over years of study often surprises, and straps, borrowers “Why would they give some kid $60,000? What gave me the privileges to take out loans like that?” These are the questions Eric Jones, 24, has been asking, to no one in particular, since he graduated two years ago from The Art Institute of Las Vegas with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design — and a heap of debt. A graphic artist for a national firm headquartered in Las Vegas, Jones earns about $33,000 a year before taxes. His monthly student loan payments total more than $700. In all, Jones owes more than $80,000, including loans he took out to pay tuition, and interest that has accumulated.

Or this one

excerpt from article... Students' need to take out loans on rise amid slumping economy, Average debt for Isle students grows, but still among lowest in U.S. University of Hawai'i graduate student Nolan Kido says he's lucky "Granny" loves him. "She allows me to live in her basement so I can afford to eat," said Kido, 29, of 'Aiea, who is in his second year pursuing a doctorate in accounting at UH-Manoa. He relied on scholarships to pay for his undergraduate studies at UH but couldn't go for a master's degree and doctorate without borrowing. "Unless you have outside money, I can't see how you would graduate on the graduate-student level without debt. It's almost universal that you have to take out loans," Kido said. Rising tuition and living costs are squeezing college students while a declining economy is reducing parents' ability to help.

Or this article

excerpt from article... College students not getting enough financial aid forced to drop out Rheannon Gustafson, 19, of Salem has to drop out of Winona State University in Minnesota after her first semester because she can’t get loans to pay the remaining $3,200 in tuition and other costs. Even after receiving federal loans, the 19-year-old freshman from Salem still owes about $3,200 for tuition and expenses at Winona State University in Minnesota this semester. Her parents can't afford to fill the gap - they filed for bankruptcy this year. Neither Gustafson nor her parents can get private loans, because lenders have tightened standards during the credit crunch. Gustafson couldn't find a job near school that could cover the bill.

This is a tragedy that students (and their parent who) want to better themselves by getting a great education are forced to drop out of college cause the piggy bank done went dry. 

Knowledge is power. The kings and monarchs and religious fanatics of ancient times knew this. By keeping the peasants and serfs ignorant and uneducated it was easier to rule and control them.

It is imperative that you know now more than ever how the financial aid system works. Do you know what EFC is? How it is calculated and how to adjust it so that your student can qualify for more aid? Or how to position your student to be a top college candiate and qualify for non need based aid?

One last article talks about the financial aid form called the FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This article in the Wall Street Journal discusses the idea of changing the form to an EZ form, so that those families that make lesser incomes can fill out this form easily. My question again is what about the middle class, where does it leave these people?

excerpt from article... College-Aid Season Starts Jan. 1 Currently, students can't file a FAFSA form before Jan. 1, which makes it difficult to gauge their financial situation, says Lauren Asher, vice president of the Institute for College Access and Success. The deadline for filing the federal form is June 30, but many states have earlier deadlines, so parents are encouraged to complete the application as quickly as possible. Many students finish applying for colleges before Christmas but they're clueless about how much financial help, if any, they will receive at the schools they wish to attend, she adds.

Unless you can write a check for $100,000 to $200,000 for each of your future college students you are doomed to take out loans and become a servant to the banking empires and federal government.

Educate yourself on how the financial aid system works so that you can get more of this free scholarship money, know that the banks and federal government isn’t ripping you off with giving you less scholarships and more higher interest loans AND know how to position your student to get into their chosen career quickly. This is a must do, A-1 on the list.

AZ College Planning is working on a new project so that we can get this information out to everyone. It is called CollegeTV®.

CollegeTV® is an interactive searchable video based platform on hot topics like

College planning, where do we start,
how are assets counted in the financial aid structure,
what major or career should I go into
related documents, PDFs and web links.
and much much more.

And of course strategies on how to not go broke paying for college.

So here how it works. Click collegetv  and send me an email with a college related question you’d like answered. I will answer as many as I can and post them on the site.

Together we can tell your friends, family, coworkers anyone and everyone about the pre-launch of CollegeTV®. If they want to get on the emailing list, click on free e-book or send me a college question or register for a local Phoenix AZ workshop.

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