Time for some READER MAIL!!!!!

Hey Guys,

Can you talk about where to look for scholarships/grants/loans? I think that would be helpful for prospective students. I know that there are a ton of sites out there that help but it would be interesting to read firsthand about experiences you guys have had. Thanks.

– Tristam

Note: The following info may or may not be factual. This is just Will’s experience and he’s not terribly bright 😉

Say it with me: “School is expensive!” It’s pretty important to make sure you do your research about financing, mainly because tuition is only one part of paying for school. You also have fees and living expenses. They can get pretty hefty.

If you received some sort of assistance from the school you chose, you’ll (hopefully) get your bill net of those amounts. The school offers scholarships and grants. I cannot tell you how the admissions department comes up with this. I think it has something to do with coffee and darts. After that, it’s up to you. The school estimates your living expenses, books, and fees and submits a total amount that you’re allowed to borrow.

From this you can apply for several types of loans.

Stafford Subsidized – is the stuff dreams are made of. Interest doesn’t accrue until after you graduate. There is a limit to $8500 a year.

Stafford Unsubsidized – This just means that interest accrues. There is a limit on this too. After this, you have to take out private loans.

Private can come from any bank. Schools are not allowed to give you any pointers. Why? Because there was a big scandal about administrators receiving kickbacks to “suggest” lenders. What happened following that was something akin to a “preferred” or “streamlined” process. This just means that the school’s computers can talk to the bank’s computers and things go faster. I have heard that will help you compare lenders…

The key here is to look for someone who doesn’t charge you an origination fee, because that’s like taking your money and using it to balance your uneven desk. After that you can usually find someone who will give you percentage discounts for auto-draft payment and such.

Thanks to George W. your rates, for now, are locked at the astoundingly high 6.8%, which is funny considering the FED target rate is .25%. I’ll leave you your own devices to insert a snide political remark here.

If you can manage to score outside loans and grants, well that’s up to you and your research. Many folks’ jobs will give assistance for something in return. Other people just save up a lot. My financing worked out in a consult-while-you-study strategy, which may have distracted me somewhat, but kept me out of any serious debt. I have heard several arguments against this strategy, which all make perfect sense.