There are two main types of loans:
1. Federal Perkins Loan Program (demonstrate financial need, 5% interest for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled min of part-time, no fees, loan re-paid to university) and the
2. Direct Loan Program a/k/a William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan. The program has four sub-programs or options which include: Direct Subsidized Loan (demonstrate financial need, deferred while for undergraduate and students enrolled min of part-time, loan re-paid to U.S.), Direct Unsubsidized Loan (undergraduate, graduate, and post-grad students enrolled at least part-time, does not have to demonstrate financial need, interest is not deferred, paid to U.S. Dept of Education) Direct PLUS Loan (parents of undergraduate students, graduate, and post-grad students enrolled at least part-time, does not have to demonstrate financial need, interest is not deferred, paid to U.S. Dept of Education), and Direct Consolidation Loan (Student or parent’s of student can combine all eligible federal educational loans). Regardless of the type of loan, all of them must be repaid.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact Nadine at 713-447-0064 or via email.
Nadine Underbrink, M.Ed
College & Scholarship Counselor
There are four main types of grants which include:
1. Federal Pell Grant- Created for low income students seeking an undergraduate degree.
2. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant - Offered to extremely low income students; it can be combined with the Pell Grant.
3. Iraq and Afghanistan Grant - Created for a student (under 24 years old) seeking an undergraduate degree but does not qualify for the Federal Pell grant, and parent or legal guardian died while serving in either the Iraq and Afghanistan deployments.
4. Teacher Education Assistance for College & Higher Education Grant- Offered to undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students. Student must teach full-time in a low-income school in particular fields; this must occur within the first eight years of receiving the degree. As long as the student fulfills the work requirement, the grant is not repaid. If the student does not fulfill the work requirement, the grant amount is converted into a Direct Unsubsidized Loan and must be repaid with interest. Regardless of the grant, as long as qualifications are met, it does not have to be repaid.
The world of college expenses can be both overwhelming and confusing. Students and parents receive only parts of the puzzle, so to speak. Since they are unable to identify the process from beginning to end, its difficult to ascertain what a student needs. So, let’s begin with the basics; there are four basic sources to fund college expenses which include: Scholarships, Grants, Educational Loans and Work- Study. Here’s bit about each….
Scholarships: There are two types of scholarships for college students and graduate students seeking a master’s degree which are merit-based scholarships and need-based scholarships. Some are both merit and need. Need-based scholarships require financial assistance qualification. Merit is about achievement. While some may think straight “A’s” are required, thats not always true. However, what the student lacks in academic merit, he must show another area of achievement such as high test scores, etc… these scholarships come from universities, colleges, college departments, professional societies and foundations. In other words, a student must shine in some way. Think about it, if you established an educational foundation to award students, what types of students would you award?
Grants: They are also known as “gift aid.” While they qualify as financial aid, they generally do not have to be repaid. There are four main types of grants which include the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, the Iraq and Afghanistan Grant and the Teacher Education Assistance for College & Higher Education Grant. A university will determine grant eligibility based on the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) score generated by the annually submitted FAFSA (Federal Application for Financial Student Aid).
Loans: In contrast to grants, student loans must be repaid. However, the terms of the loans can vastly differ. Some are subsidized loans; others are unsubsidized loans. In other words, some accrue interest while the student is enrolled, but others do not accrue interest during enrollment. There are two main types of loans: Federal Perkins Loan Program and the Direct Loan Program. The second type has four sub-programs or options which include: a Direct Subsidized Loan, a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, a Direct PLUS loan, and a Direct Consolidation Loan. Regardless to the type of loan, all of them must be repaid.
Work-Study: There are two types of programs that allow a student to work on a college campus and earn money to pay for tuition expenses. The programs include a Federal Work Study Program (based EFC) and a University Work Study Program.
In summary, there are different methods to pay for college expenses. Do YOU have an expert guiding you?
Nadine Underbrink, M.Ed.
College & Scholarship Consultant
Junior PSAT... To do or not to do...
As I was speaking to a family about test scores, I quickly realized their senior never sat for the junior PSAT. At first, I thought it was an error. Did she forget ? Was she sick that day ? Then, I was told the unfathomable., “I didn’t take the test because we were given an option, and I didn’t want the hassle. Plus, I skipped the $14 test fee.”
Needless to say, I was dumbfound. As a private college counselor, I use numerous sources to identify good scholarships. The junior PSAT is a very critical component because it can generate tremendous scholarship opportunities in the ballpark of tens of thousands of dollars if not more. More often than not, very well meaning dedicated parents are unaware of the significance of the test because they were never informed.
What is it?
The PSAT is known as the PSAT/NMSQT which stands for the Preliminary Scholastic Achievement Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Often, the name is shortened and only referred to as the PSAT. While it is helpful to refer to the
shorter name, it often skirts the most critical element of the test…it generates scholarships hence the NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test).
The PSAT is a test administered in the sophomore year and junior year. Neither the sophomore PSAT nor the junior PSAT are used for college admission. Instead, the sophomore PSAT is truly a practice SAT. The junior PSAT, albeit a practice test for the SAT, is also used to determine if a student qualifies for the National Merit.
Yes. The College Board administers and manages both the SAT I, SAT II also known as SAT subject tests and the PSAT/NMSQT. Hence, the College Board oversees the registration and test distribution. However, the National Merit Organization reviews the national scores and determines if a student qualifies as National Merit Student…this means $$$. Money in the form of the National Merit Scholarship worth $2,500 and institutional scholarships…a/k/a money from a university which could translate into a full ride worth up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Which Students Qualify?
All students qualify to take the Junior PSAT. While some schools schedule every student and pay the fee on behalf of their students, some schools allow each student to elect participation and then charge the students a fee. Needless to say, take the exam. Prepare for the exam. It can create tremendous scholarship opportunities.
How does a Student Qualify?
A student qualifies according to an index score. An index score is the total of the sub-scores in math, reading and writing. The process begins in October of a student’s Junior year, he will take the PSAT. If he receives a high index score (240 is the highest), he may be entered into the competition for the National Merit Scholarships.
During September of his senior year, he will receive a letter of commendation or qualification as a semifinalist in recognition for his high PSAT index score. Then, the student must take his SAT by December of his senior year. The semifinalists who meet requirements will advance to finalist standing. Finally, in March of his senior year, scholarship winners are notified. Many universities are very interested in these students and offer tremendous scholarship awards to attract them.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Nadine at (713)447-0064 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nadine Underbrink, M.Ed.
Private College & Scholarship Counselor
Nadine Underbrink, M.Ed.