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Over $2.9 Billion in Free College Money Unclaimed by Students – Why?

The best way to snsure that history doesn’t repeat itself by students missing out on free financial aid is for both graduating seniors and, of course, parents, to fill out their FAFSA forms ASAP!

According to a recent study* by NerdScholar, the Higher education team as NerdWallet, high school graduated in the U.S. left more than $2.9 billion in free federal grant money unused over the last academic year.

Sounds crazy, right? Crazy but true. How is that even possible? Well, according to the study, their only mistake was not completing the FAFSA.

If you’ve been hiding under a rock, the FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it’s the form you fill out to qualify for federal aid and, additionally, a lot of state and college aid programs as well.

Unlike student loans, filling out the FAFSA can qualify students for aid that doesn’t need to be paid back, like, Pell Grant money, for example.

And, according to NerdScholar’s findings, 47% of all 2013’s high school graduates didn’t even complete the FAFSA, which is the first step to finding out if you qualify for financial aid.

In response to low FAFSA completion rates, President Obama and the First Lady have issued a FAFSA Completion Challenge Initiative, in partnership with the Department of Education.

Key Findings

  • S. graduating high school seniors who were eligible to receive Pell Grants in 2013, but neglected to complete a FAFSA, missed out on $2.9 billion (2,955,475,413 to be exact) in potential Pell Grant aid.
  • The state of Utah was home to the largest percentage, 40%, of high school seniors who were eligible to receive Pell Grants but missed out because they neglected to complete and file their FAFSA forms.
  • Over 100,000 high school seniors in California could have qualified for Pell Grants – if they had filed their FAFSA.
  • Students in the state of California alone lost $396,401,205 in Pell Grant dollars because they simply neglected to fill out their FAFSA forms (according to NerdScholar Data & Findings).

Financial aid distributed on a first come, first served basis. The best way to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself by students missing out on free financial aid is for both graduating seniors and, of course, parents, to fill out their FAFSA forms as soon as possible. Like, now.

If you’re unsure of where to begin, good news!

Fastweb’s FAFSA headquarters can help you with everything you need, now, from start to finish.

Deadlines: Being intimidated by a financial form is understandable, but it’s not an excuse to miss out on a lot of money that can help you pay for school.

Remember, free answers can always be found but free tuition money? Well, that isn’t quite so easy to come by!

Source: Fastweb

3 Ways Low-Income Students Can Tackle College Costs

At this point, it’s old news that student loan rates have doubled. It’s also nothing new to hear that student debt is higher than ever, surpassing $1 trillion.

Student loan debt inflicts one out of five Americans over the age of 20; two out of three college seniors (2011). The average amount is over $28,000 – not a small amount by any standard.

If you’re worried about the student debt you’re going to have, currently have or are currently accumulating, you are not alone.

Student debt spans the population and affects all groups across age, race, ethnicity and gender.

Recent graduates being faced with larger-than-life debt bills are, according to economists, being forced to delay major spending decisions, such as saving for retirement and buying a home, and their household formation.

Plainly stated, people are putting off the usual rites of passage into the next stages of adulthood as a result of their debt burdens.

The recession is, of course, a factor in the equation. Recent graduates are searching for work in weak labor markets and older loan recipients find repaying difficult with the decline of other assets and earnings potential.

The cycle of debt also may be a factor that lowers overall financial accumulation for those with student debt, causing them to start behind and continue to lose money to their debts.

The delinquency rate alone, roughly 11 percent, demonstrates that many are struggling to repay their student loan debts.

It’s clear there’s a student debt issue, but it’s unclear how it’s affecting people. That is, it was unclear.

A study from the Urban Institute offers perspective on those that worry most about their student debt.

Some of the study’s findings were common sense, like those with lower income tend to worry more than those with high incomes. Other findings, however, were a little more insightful to the worries of debt.

Here are some of the key findings, as derived from the study:

  • More than half (57 percent) of people with student loans are worried they may be unable to repay their debts and the concern spans both economic and demographic groups.
  • The percentage of people worrying about student debt more than doubles (86 percent) for those with household incomes less than $25,000.
  • People who have obtained college degrees are less likely to worry about repayment, likely due to earning potential.
  • Although women are not any more likely to have student debt than men, they are still more concerned about paying back their debt – around 8 percent.
  • African Americans (34 percent) and Hispanics (28 percent) are twice as likely to have student debt than whites (16 percent), which is not surprising since white families, on average, have six times of wealth of African American and Hispanic families.
  • People with financially dependent children worry more than those without.
  • Even though younger workers are more likely to have student debt than older workers, the worry of paying it back is fairly even across all age segments.
  • People with graduate degrees have an increased repayment stress, likely as a result of having loans from both college and graduate school.
  • People who reside in the Northeast are especially concerned about student debt, likely because states within that region have a higher average of student debt per borrower.
  • People without full-time jobs are more concerned about debt, even after household income is taken into account.
  • Race, ethnicity and household structure are not significantly related to the level of concern regarding debt repayment (after controlling for personal and household characteristics).

It’s not all doom and gloom: those who earn degrees do reap the benefits while in the workplace.

In fact, college graduates actually earn up to 84 percent more than those with a high school diploma.

It’s clearly an investment that pays off. Many college graduates are able to manage debts, given their higher income earnings, thanks to that college degree.

Source: US News

Student Debt Worries

Student debt spans the population and affects all groups across age, race, ethnicity and gender.

At this point, it’s old news that student loan rates have doubled. It’s also nothing new to hear that student debt is higher than ever, surpassing $1 trillion.

Student loan debt inflicts one out of five Americans over the age of 20; two out of three college seniors (2011). The average amount is over $28,000 – not a small amount by any standard.

If you’re worried about the student debt you’re going to have, currently have or are currently accumulating, you are not alone.

Student debt spans the population and affects all groups across age, race, ethnicity and gender.

Recent graduates being faced with larger-than-life debt bills are, according to economists, being forced to delay major spending decisions, such as saving for retirement and buying a home, and their household formation.

Plainly stated, people are putting off the usual rites of passage into the next stages of adulthood as a result of their debt burdens.

The recession is, of course, a factor in the equation. Recent graduates are searching for work in weak labor markets and older loan recipients find repaying difficult with the decline of other assets and earnings potential.

The cycle of debt also may be a factor that lowers overall financial accumulation for those with student debt, causing them to start behind and continue to lose money to their debts.

The delinquency rate alone, roughly 11 percent, demonstrates that many are struggling to repay their student loan debts.

It’s clear there’s a student debt issue, but it’s unclear how it’s affecting people. That is, it was unclear.

A study from the Urban Institute offers perspective on those that worry most about their student debt.

Some of the study’s findings were common sense, like those with lower income tend to worry more than those with high incomes. Other findings, however, were a little more insightful to the worries of debt.

Here are some of the key findings, as derived from the study:

  • More than half (57 percent) of people with student loans are worried they may be unable to repay their debts and the concern spans both economic and demographic groups.
  • The percentage of people worrying about student debt more than doubles (86 percent) for those with household incomes less than $25,000.
  • People who have obtained college degrees are less likely to worry about repayment, likely due to earning potential.
  • Although women are not any more likely to have student debt than men, they are still more concerned about paying back their debt – around 8 percent.
  • African Americans (34 percent) and Hispanics (28 percent) are twice as likely to have student debt than whites (16 percent), which is not surprising since white families, on average, have six times of wealth of African American and Hispanic families.
  • People with financially dependent children worry more than those without.
  • Even though younger workers are more likely to have student debt than older workers, the worry of paying it back is fairly even across all age segments.
  • People with graduate degrees have an increased repayment stress, likely as a result of having loans from both college and graduate school.
  • People who reside in the Northeast are especially concerned about student debt, likely because states within that region have a higher average of student debt per borrower.
  • People without full-time jobs are more concerned about debt, even after household income is taken into account.
  • Race, ethnicity and household structure are not significantly related to the level of concern regarding debt repayment (after controlling for personal and household characteristics).

It’s not all doom and gloom: those who earn degrees do reap the benefits while in the workplace.

In fact, college graduates actually earn up to 84 percent more than those with a high school diploma.

It’s clearly an investment that pays off. Many college graduates are able to manage debts, given their higher income earnings, thanks to that college degree.

Source: Fastweb

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