Friday, January 29, 2010

Not all private colleges are worth the cost

Among talk of expanding the federal Pell Grant programs available to help students pay for college, some attention could be paid to whether or not such funds are being spent efficiently by sending students to expensive private colleges that offer little or nothing that much cheaper public universities and colleges are able to provide.

Every year, billions of dollars in aid and subsidized student loans are provided, and much of this money finds its ways to relatively expensive schools with admissions policies that aren't exactly restrictive.

State and local public universities already receive assistance from those respective governing bodies that authorize them, and in many instances they provide a better value per student dollar than any but the most elite and competitive of ivy league universities. With an affordable alternative already available, should the federal government continue to fund the profitability of private institutions? Are the accreditation policies relevant to our nation's educational needs?

It would be hard for the government to get involved in the business of rating the worthiness of various colleges and universities, but they're already in the business of paying for them!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Remember to Apply for Financial Aid

It is January again and that means applications for Federal Financial Aid are once again available online for students to complete for free. All applications are time sensitive, so even if you complete your submissions prior to the final deadline, you may have already waited too long! Schools receive a certain amount of funding to disburse in the order applications were received, so even if you're eligible and complete everything on time there might not be any funds left by the time you get to the front of the line.

The first step to applying for federal financial aid is to complete your taxes from the last year - so if you need documentation from your employers be sure to get in contact with them to remind them and let them know! Once you've got your IRS forms complete, it is easy to migrate this data into the FAFSA website and before you know it, you'll receive a report in the email confirming your aid eligibility and estimating the amount of money available to help you fund your college costs.

There's no reason to procrastinate - be sure to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid as soon as possible! The process is free and easy, so don't worry about all of those "specialists" who want to charge you tons of money to complete the forms. Thanks to some reforms and rebuilding of the online system, its never been easier or quicker to apply.