Time to Think About How to Pay for College
“For many families, the right financial aid package can make or break a student’s dream,” said Kevin Walker, CEO of SimpleTuition, Inc., a company dedicated to helping students and parents make sense of education financing choices. Borrowing is a reality in many of these packages, and SimpleTuition can help families make sense of complex financial aid information with an apples-to-apples comparison of more than 50 loans from over 25 student loan lenders.
SimpleTuition, Inc. understands that the costs associated with higher education – together with resources made available to cover these costs – are a critical factor in making your final college choice. With so many different financial aid options available, SimpleTuition recommends that parents and students take the time necessary to understand the specifics of each award letter before making a final decision. Walker gives these examples:
- Financial aid packages vary and may include only tuition, fees and room and board.
- Expenses related to travel, books and materials may not be included. Make sure to consider these legitimate expenses in your financing calculations.
- Apply for government grants and scholarships which do not require repayment.
- Offset some tuition expenses with work-study, part-time jobs available at many colleges and universities.
- Students should max out on low-interest loans offered by the federal government (look for names like “Perkins,” “Stafford,” “Ford”) before borrowing from private sources.
Understand the difference between all the various federal and private student loan types. And note that even federal loans may differ from one lender to another. Another study by UCLA found that one-third of college-bound students do not attend their first choice of schools due to cost. As an independent online resource, SimpleTuition, Inc. has helped thousands of families analyze, assess and apply for the right student loans to meet their individual needs.
The company currently offers research and comparison information for Private, PLUS, GradPLUS, Federal Consolidation, and Private Consolidation. Results can be sorted by monthly payment, a number of payments, the total cost of the loan and annual percentage rate (APR). With direct links to a financial institution’s online application, the entire process can be completed online or via a toll-free call.