Debt-Free College Can Happen When You Understand The Various Options You Have
Getting a debt-free college education begins with a deep understanding of the different types of colleges and universities. There are many different types of colleges you can attend, and it is important that you know the difference between them. Not all colleges and universities are good for all people.
You must know which is best for you, both financially and academically. I will start with a brief explanation of junior colleges, (also called community colleges), and end with for-profit colleges.
Junior Colleges Your Best Value for Debt-Free College:
If you want to get a certificate or a 2-year AA (Associates of Arts) degree in something that has high job value, the community college is a best value. If you are poor, low income or a struggling single parent you may be able to attend with a Pell Grant, avoiding loans. If you do have to get loans they may be minimal.
Do your research, and work out your best solution. You must keep yourself motivated if you attend a community college. Some find it difficult to focus since you are no longer in high school, but also you don’t have the attention of a four-year college.
You can also later transfer to a four-year college to complete a bachelors’ degree if you decide to get it sometime in the future. Transfers are allowed at most four-year colleges.
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State Colleges and Universities:
Your absolute best value for colleges and universities, under junior colleges, are your state colleges and universities. These colleges and universities have the lowest cost of tuition and fees for a four-year degree for most colleges. The books and room and board, as with all colleges and universities are extra.
If you live at home or with a relative a state college or university can be a real value and leave you with little or no loans. Most employers in local towns gives preference to their local state college and university students for employment, since they usually know the quality of those schools.
For poor and lower middle class students many can go to their local four-year college with a Pell Grant and part-time job, leaving them with no school loans if they live at home. This is huge. Most HBCUs are priced similar to state colleges, a few are priced as expensive private colleges or universities, so remember to do your research.
Private Colleges and Universities:
This includes famous and not-so-famous colleges and universities. Some of the colleges that fall into this category are expensive Christian schools, some are ivy league schools and some are small little known colleges and universities. They all have one thing in common, and that is enormous costs.
Enormous costs that will leave you with school loans of $40,000 to $200,000. This is a near tragedy for poor or middle income students, these loans could take 30 years to repay. No college graduate should be braced with that much of a load on their backs for so long.
These schools have enormous hidden costs, so it is imperative that you research costs at the schools’ website, otherwise you could be left with severe sticker shock after you start. You can get a good job if you go to an inexpensive school, as well as an expensive school, so why not protect yourself, your finances, and your future, with a low-cost college or university.
For- Profit Schools, Colleges, and Universities:
In for-profit colleges, the learning is usually quick, the courses are short, and the costs are high. How do you know if a school is for-profit? They do a lot of advertising on TV, they are usually located in a strip mall, business park, office building or online only – they don’t normally use college campuses. When you research for-profit schools the graduation rates are usually very low and the student loan pay-back is also very low.
They offer short, quick programs and degrees. You may have to do a lot of research to find them listed as for-profit online. Some of them claim to be non-profit, but they are not. Many of them give college degrees in a little as 1-2 years, or certificate programs in as short as 6-8 months. Some employers don’t recognize degrees from for-profit colleges. Since for-profit colleges have been accused of and found guilty of numerous problems against students, some are now calling themselves non-profit. But, they are still for-profit with another name. Most are located in office type buildings, or store fronts, they offer quick classes and very poor financial aid packages, with education that is not always recognized by employers.
The biggest problem with these schools are that most of them include loans for even the poorest students, the courses are often times quick, they offer a lot of certificate programs that require the passage of an exam to get your certificate.
Many kids don’t pass the exam because the courses are so quick, so they don’t get their certificate, and now they have loans with no ability to get work. This is usually the most difficult way to get debt-free college.
The government has recently cracked down on for-profit schools since the default rate on exams, including board exams is high. One for-profit nursing school had a pass rate on board exams of zero. None of the students passed the nursing board exam, but they all had loans they could not repay.
One type of for-profit school that was closely scrutinized was found to brace students with near $80,000 in school loans, this was the Corinthian Colleges.
After petitions and media attention, the government forgave all their student loans with forgiveness, this is rare. The problem was that students could not get jobs after attending. The employers told them they did not recognize the school as adequate for job placement.
The students were told they would have no problem getting jobs when they enrolled. Itt technical Institution was recently shut down due to its predatory methods against its students.
It is a part of the government crackdown on predatory for-profit schools. You can search google for a list of for-profit schools that have been closed by the government. Understand the current student loan debt crises to keep your student loans at 0 or very low.
Financial aid packages in for-profit colleges almost always includes loans, and for many who can’t get jobs, it is not possible to pay the loans back. These loans can leave students with a lifetime of poor credit.
Your best bet for debt-free college:
The best way to get debt-free college is 1. Go to a junior (community) college on a Pell grant, work part-time, and live at home. 2. Go to a state college or university with Pell grant, work part-time, get a relative to help, and live at home. 3. Go to a state college or university with the help of a relative or on a full scholarship. 4. If you decide to go to an expensive private college or university, go with the help of a relative or a guaranteed full scholarship or fellowship for graduate school.
Understand that cost is the most important factor when it comes to choosing an education with debt-free college. It is absolutely essential that you know all cost and academic programs of your chosen school, by reading their online catalog. A last reminder, that if you do not pay off student loans you have signed for, and you get behind, the government will catch up with you, and garnish your check.
Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
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You Can’t File Bankruptcy on Student Loans, Understand College Without Student Loans, and Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized Loans.
There are many reasons you should strive to go to college without student loans, one is the crushing pain of debt, another is that you are not allowed to file bankruptcy on student loans due to hardship.
If you start a business with any amount of money and your business fails, you can file a business bankruptcy on your loan balance due and later start over with replenished credit. If you buy a home and fail, you can short sell your home or let it go into foreclosure and you can later buy another home, once your credit clears.
This is not the case with student loans, politicians have rigged the system, so no matter what, you have to pay. You only have a short grace period after you graduate, but your grace period, if you don’t have a job, you still have to pay. If you don’t have a relative who is willing to step up and make the payments until you get a job, your life can be ruined forever with bad credit.
The unpaid school loan balance grows exponentially due to collection agency cost and interest on interest overdue charges. The balance can double every 3-4 years until one day you open a letter and find you owe $100,000 on an original $5000.00 student loan. It has happened to many and it does not have to happen to you or anyone else.
Recent New Programs to Save College Students Credit
The new programs the Obama Administration created for college students with student loans has made payback easier, but you must apply for them, and even though your payments are decreased to an affordable rate until you find a decent job, you must still make your payments. There is no hardship benefit for most.
The program is called the income-based repayment program. There are others as well. This program is mostly for government subsidized loans, but there are programs for private or unsubsidized loans, but they are more difficult to get them to help you. If you delay regular student loan payments with an income based repayment plan, the delay in paying interest can raise your balance two to three times the original loan balance. So, it is recommended that you do EVERYTHING in your powers to make your reglalar payments. The situation is direr for unsubsidized loans; these lenders can be brutal.
It is better to find an actual loan forgiveness program. There are different types of programs listed at Consumer
They charge interest while in school, and you don’t get the benefits that come with government subsidized loans. Subsidized loans don’t charge interest while you are in school and therefore cost much less than unsubsidized loans, sometimes as much as half.
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I Went to College with Almost no School Loans
I went to graduate school with a horrible amount of school loans so I know the difference. I had unsubsidized and subsidized, it seemed to take forever to pay off my unsubsidized loans. In college, I had one very small subsidized loan that took only a couple of years to pay off. I figured out why my unsubsidized loans took so long to pay off, but by then it was too late, I just suffered and eventually, they were paid. It took me a total of 12 years to
pay off my loans, it would have been sooner if I figured out the game they were playing with interest and time.
When it comes to graduate school, most of the financial aid is student loans, and some the predatory unsubsidized loans. Focus on scholarships or fellowships if you plan to go to graduate school.
I Was Lied to About the Cost of my Private University Graduate School Up Front
It is extremely important to research each and every school you consider attending before you apply. I attended a state university for undergraduate school and had no problems with loans. I only had to take out a tiny loan, which I paid back quickly after graduation. I researched every school I considered attending graduate school.
The one problem I had with the graduate school I actually attended was that I did not include current students in my research. I was given an estimate of the cost of attendance for four years by the student affairs office. It turned out the actual cost was double what I was told, and that was after I lived like a pauper in graduate school.
At one point I planned to leave because the costs were getting out of control, but after a lot of introspection, I decided I was half way there so I should finish. I don’t recommend you go to a private school unless you have a full scholarship, full fellowship, rich parents or family members who can pay for your college.
If you are poor or middle class your financial aid package will be lop-sided with huge loans, and in some cases bad unsubsidized loans. You have to ask yourself; Do I want to spend the rest of my life paying on school loans? It could very well happen if you attend a school too expensive for your budget.
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Do Your Research Before You Apply to Colleges That Interest You
Every college and university catalog is currently, online. If you have a computer at home, you are all set. If you do not you can go to your local library and use the computer there. Here is what you do. First of all, look at the cost, many of the more expensive colleges have their cost hidden, so don’t give up, it’s there. Search total cost to attend college X (substitute the name of each in the X field).
You should find a grid. In that grid, it will explain all of the costs for four years, down to the paperclip. I have looked, and it is the norm, I did not find a single college or university without the four-year cost of college grid. The private schools will display outrageously expensive costs, some of them I looked at a cost between 200.000-300,000 for four years.
Those costs are definitely for rich kids or the lucky few who get guaranteed scholarships. It makes no sense at all to go to a school like that with a financial aid package that includes school loans.
Your loan bill at that school could definitely scar you for life. You will have either a lifetime of loan payments or have a good chance of a lifetime of loan default if you become ill, disabled, or can’t find a job that pays enough to make the payments – there are no guarantees. Coming Soon, Part 2 of this article.
As of 2017 we now have a new administration. They have not said what they will do with student loan fulfillment problem, but have hinted toward doing nothing, and taking down the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau website. Because of this, the student loan crises could hit epic proportions if students continue to have more debt than they can pay with low job opportunities including, no job or low paying jobs.
Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
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Find Out What a Successful Resume Should Look Like for a New College Graduate
New college graduates have a challenge, but the challenge gets easy when you understand the most important thing you can do is is to create an outstanding resume displaying all of your best attributes. Some of you will have full-time job experience, some volunteer experience, others intern experience, and some part-time job experience.
Ask friends who have graduated and were hired with a new graduate resume if you can see their resume for ideas. Make sure they have similar experiences and job interest.
Get your resume professionally written, or study professional resumes online. Make sure you have multiple reviews of your resume by professional friends and family, and ask if they would consider hiring you based on
your resume. Be painfully honest, everything you have done is transparent.
Successful College Graduates Look Jobs in Multiple Places
Start with your university job placement center, follow up that search with online job portals. Then talk to your friends who have graduated and work at places you are interested in. The friend connection can be great, since they usually know the most important people in the company who hire new graduates.
Of course, another is the family connection. Some family members may have a business where they can hire you, even if it is temporary.
Find Out When School Loan Repayment Starts
It is absolutely necessary to know when your first school loan payment is due, understand your school loan payment grace period. If you don’t think you will have a job by the time your school loan payments come due, you need to look into the income based repayment plans.
The income based plans (IBRPLAN) are based on 10% of your income going to monthly payments. The government gives you a few years to start regular payments after you start your job with regular income, but you must apply for it, through the IBRP.
Find Out if You Are Interested in Non-Profits
If your regular school loan payments will take you well past a repayment period of 10 years, you may consider working for a non-profit. The government allows you to stop your loan payments at 10 years if A) you never miss a payment, and B) you work for a non-profit
Take a look at my eBook: Live Rich Save Money! From Student Loans to Car Maintenance in 9 Wonderful Ways
If You Don’t Immediately Get a Job in Your Field, Take Something but Keep Interviewing and Researching
If you don’t get a job in your designated field, consider taking something that pays income until you get a job in your field. Working shows potential employers that you do have a work ethic. It will also supply money for job searches, interviews, and the purchase of proper interview clothes.
Some of you will have parents who can fund the essentials, but others will not. But, most important, it looks good that you are doing something until you get a professional job.
Don’t Get Depressed, Eat Right and Exercise
Don’t get depressed. Some of you will be hired quickly, but for others it will take some time. But, what’s important, is that you keep looking, no matter what.
Talk to parents and friends about research tools. Spend time with family and friends having fun so you don’t get depressed. Hearing the word, “no” repeatedly, will be difficult, so be prepared, and keep moving toward your goals.
Research Every Single Company or Organization You Plan to Apply for and Dress Right
Apply with employers that you have a lot in common with, look for the skills you have in their job descriptions. Example: If you are an art major, don’t apply for a computer science job, you are wasting your time and that of the company.
A friend of mine is a manager who interviews new recruits, and says a lot of people do just that. Lots of resumes and applications get reviewed and tossed because they have no qualifications for the job. So, focus on jobs in your field so you don’t waste your time or the company’s.
With online job portals, college graduates can access a wide variety of jobs, they can research the company they apply for in a google search.
Releated Link 1: School Loans eBook
Related Link 2: Job Interview Tips
Releated Link 3: Easy Budget Planner
Small Business Ideas
The United States of America is a unique nation in the world in allowing individuals the freedom and opportunity to start a business using small business ideas they have collected for years. If done right they can increase their standard of living and overall standing in life. Individual ambition, motivation, and determination, combined with hard work, will lead you to your own rewards in life, but the U.S. provides the place to do it. No other nation on earth guarantees individual rights, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press for its citizens.
So what’s wrong with our country today? More and more, I am disturbed by what I see on the news. It has been said that there are two types of politicians. Those who are altruistic; who truly fight for what’s in the best interest of the American people and the constituents they represent. Then there are the others.
Our wonderful economic climate and land of opportunity is systematically being ruined by politicians who, once they are elected, do whatever they need to do to please their campaign contributors (businesses) instead of the people whom they are elected to serve. Nancy Pelosi is a perfect example. She granted a special favor by excluding American Samoa from the recent minimum wage hike, because that is the home of StarKist Tuna, one of her biggest campaign contributors. Obviously this exemption benefits StarKist Tuna Corporation, rather than its employees who are individual citizens.
I believe that our elected officials have either forgotten or don’t care that they are elected to serve the public. But politicians rarely do what’s best for the public and the interests of the American people anymore, do they? You may have to go all the way back to the days of Teddy Roosevelt to find a President who truly did what was best for the United States as a country and its citizens.
The United States provides opportunity not only for us, but also for future generations of Americans. Call me naive, but why on earth can’t all politicians do what’s best for “we the people” (as in all the people), rather than just what’s best for their corporate contributors?
What has happened? Many politicians today are just that – politicians – not leaders. They are beholden to their campaign contributors rather than their constituents, and it is destroying this country. I see it in the small businessman who can’t get a SBA loan because the tax money that previously supplied grants or loans isn’t available anymore (because companies have moved their corporate headquarters overseas to avoid paying those taxes). I see many non-profit and governmental entities competing for the same shrinking pool of grant money. It doesn’t matter what your small business ideas are, the political climate makes it difficult to achieve success.
I see the governors in Texas and Illinois trying to sell off their respective state lotteries, assets which were originally funded and built with taxpayer dollars. I see it in New Jersey, where the state is considering selling off the New Jersey Turnpike. Yes, the one made famous in the Simon and Garfunkle song. Other states are also trying to sell off their roads, or have foreign companies collect tolls on new roads so they can keep the profits for themselves. Today (2/21/07) I heard that the cities of Austin, Texas and Chicago, Illinois are trying to sell their city-owned airports (ABIA and Midway, respectively). What will become of us when foreign companies and countries own our assets, infrastructure, and ultimately our land itself?
I see it in NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT and other so called “free trade” agreements that have set up the United States for record trade deficits with other nations and disastrous national trade policies. NAFTA alone has caused nearly 1 million jobs to leave this country. Did you know, that through our own tax code, corporations are able to defer and sometimes never pay taxes that are earned on overseas profits? Moreover, some companies are actually subsidized with federal tax dollars as an incentive to move their operations overseas to cheaper markets!
You may be asking exactly what does this have to do with career (what my column is supposed to be about)? In my last two columns, I tackled the issues of starting your own business and also offshoring (the devastating practice of shipping American jobs overseas to markets that have cheaper labor costs). All of these things are related. You can’t create a climate that provides opportunities (economic, career, or otherwise) in a country where the elected “leaders” are not looking out for the people.
Economists were surprised when the American economy did really well in the fourth quarter of 2006. It grew by 3.5%, mainly due to consumer spending and business activity, even in spite of a slight housing slump. But it’s too easy to believe that the good times will go on like they always have.
We have inherited a great legacy in this country. Businesses and nations want to sell their goods and products in the American market, regardless of where they were manufactured. Why? The American middle class and the United States economy have created a unique marketplace. Nothing like it exists anywhere else on the planet for small business ideas. Let’s take care of it, shall we? Understand the basics every business needs with coaching.