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The 2021-22 FAFSA Is Open

The 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as the FAFSA, which U.S. universities use to determine what, if any, financial assistance for families, opened on October 1, 2020. Parents and students can submit the form online, only requiring some time and patience to complete, what can, on first glance, be reminiscent of a complex tax form. Furthermore,…

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The Shrinking American Middle Class, Part 5

Caption: Jen Grantham/Getty Images/iStockphoto Although the causes behind the shrinking of the American middle class are complicated, the interdependent, economic relationship with the modern American educational industrial complex is not in doubt.  As academic achievements plateau at the average, middle class families are spending more funds to supplement educational experiences, like extracurricular activities. Additionally, greater middle class wealth is spent…

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Is The Golden Ticket Tarnished?

In the current economic backdrop, where the median view of economists predict a near 5% year over year decline in GDP (total amount of goods and services produced in the American economy) for 2020 (officially a recession), where both initial and continuing unemployment claims stubbornly loom above their longer run average, and though the economy seems to have bottomed, a…

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Student Loan Interest Rates for 2020-21

Federal student loan interest rates for the upcoming 2020-21 school year will be set lower than the 2019-20 school year. The 2020-21 rates will be as follows: Undergraduate Direct Loans: 2.75% Graduate Student Direct Loans: 4.3% Parent PLUS Loans: 5.3% Student loan interest rates are set annually and apply to any loan taken during that school year. The interest rates…

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Student Loan Payment Pause

On Friday, March 27, 2020, Congress and President Trump passed the CARES Act [Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act], and millions of student loan borrowers gained a temporary reprieve from making payments until September 30, 2020. Additionally, as President Trump promised two weeks ago, student loan interest is also waived until September 30, 2020. Mark Kantrowitz of SavingForCollege.com, recommends:…

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Trump Waives Student Loan Interest Until Further Notice

Updated: March 14, 2020 at 9:45 pm PST On Friday, March 13, President Trump worked to provide some fiscal relief for the 44 million Americans who’ve borrowed Federal money to attend college, including the thousands of college students attending colleges where normal university operations were suspended this past week: “To help our students and their families, I’ve waived interest on…

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The State of A College Education, Part 2: The (Un)Fulfilled Promise of a College Degree

As I posited in Part 1, although an exact date is impossible to state, sentiment amongst college graduates is set to decline (as seen in the graph above), testing and possibly exceeding the 2009 lows. As the last of the Millenials graduate college this year (2019), many are disgruntled that the financial prosperty promised by previous generations is not their…

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The State of College Affairs, Part 1

In the chart above, the confidence amongst college graduates has steadily increased during the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. Yet, as said sentiment drops with each recession and economists now predict recession within the next twelve months, I’d posit that sentiment amongst college graduates is rolling over and will revisit the 2009 lows. I will argue over the next…

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Is College the New Speculation?

Often students earn college degrees to increase their likelihood of future financial stability.  Yet, as college costs are rising, students and their parents subsequently are borrowing more to earn said degree, thus students “spend” the equivalent of a few years’ of post-graduation wages while parents may delay retirement, the question is, “Is college worth the cost?” According to a recent…

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Tuition Surging at California Public Universities for 2017-18

University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) students will pay more tuition for the 2017-18 school year.  For the first time in six years, both the UC and CSU boards have approved tuition and fee increases.  At the same time, Governor Jerry Brown proposes to phase out the state-sponsored Middle Class Scholarship program for students starting college for the first…

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Does a Free Lunch Exist?

Here’s how to borrow $127,000 in student loans, only repay $87,000 over twenty years, and have the U.S. Government pick up the tab for the $450,000 still owed at the end of the repayment period.  [Notice the quadrupling effect on the total balance owed because of the interest that accrues in the two decade long repayment period? ]