Last-minute college financing options still available by sofiaie


									52 • The Monitor • July 27, 2006

Last-minute college financing options still available
SPM WIRE                                      ed, students should begin to consider
                                              education loans to cover their education
   For many undergraduate students and        expenses.
families, the beginning of college will           The Federal Stafford Loan is the most
also be accompanied by last-minute            common type of student loan for under-
financing needs.                              graduate and graduate borrowers.
   "Finding last-minute money to pay for      However, students are limited by what
college is doable, and parents don't have     they can borrow.
to take a second job or another mortgage          A Federal PLUS loan can help bridge
on their home to accomplish it," says         the financial aid gap. PLUS Loans are
Martha Holler, spokesperson for Sallie        the lowest-cost way to finance a child's
Mae, the nation's leading provider of         education, allowing parents to borrow as
education funding.                            they need, including money for tuition,
   For starters, students should find out     room, board, books, supplies, and even
whether their school offers the option of     travel, to cover the cost of attendance at
making monthly tuition payments over          their child's college of choice.
the course of the school year. This is an         "Parents can borrow for college, but
interest-free alternative to making large,    they cannot borrow to pay for their
one-time payments due at bill time. For a     retirement," explains Holler. "Most fam-      no obligation credit decisions regarding                             Interest rates and fees are usually
small fee, families can reduce the amount     ilies qualify for PLUS loans, and every-      PLUS loans when parents visit                                     based on credit history, so the better the
they need to borrow to cover the cost of      one gets the same low interest rate  online.                                      student's or co-signer's credit, the lower
college.                                      regardless of their credit history."             Another option or an additional fund-                          the interest rates and fees.
   Students should ask their campus bur-          PLUS loans are not based on income        ing source is the private loan. Many                                 For more information on last-minute
sar or financial aid office for more infor-   or assets and do not require collateral.      lenders, including Sallie Mae, offer pri-                         college-financing        options,     visit
mation on this option.                        Moreover, parents can take up to 10           vate education loans, which can address                  on the Internet.
   When looking for educational financ-       years to repay the loan using a wide vari-    last-minute college-financing needs.                              At this Web site students and families
ing, families should first consider fund-     ety of options, including delaying repay-     Such loans can be designed for under-                             will find a number of resources on plan-
ing options that do not need to be repaid,    ment for up to five years while their child   graduate, graduate, health profession stu-                        ning and paying for higher education, as
such as scholarships and grants, said         is in school or once their child leaves       dents and for others attending four-or-                           well as tips on reducing college costs.
Holler. Once those options are exhaust-       school. As such, Sallie Mae offers free,      five-year schools at least half time.

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