Pay for College, Resources

Most College Credit Cards Leave Students Unprotected

No Comments 25 January 2017

Many colleges fail to monitor credit card and financial programs marketed to students, leaving campus officials largely in the dark about whether these programs are in a student’s best interest. The programs can prey on students, costing them hundreds of dollars in fees and penalties.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Student Banking Report, on-campus financial institutions play a significant role in supporting a student’s financial stability. When a college fails to provide support, a student might not be equipped to handle unexpected fees or charges. This could impact a student’s ability to pay tuition and other costs related to higher education.

Many colleges do not take advantage of their rights under credit card and financial partnerships. They usually decline to receive information about student credit card use and the management of financial programs. They also turn a blind eye to student complaints.

Forty percent of college students — more than 10 million — attend a college or university with an on-campus bank.

To help make students aware of the pitfalls of on-campus banks and credit cards, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau called for financial institutions to disclose consumer agreements on their websites. The bureau also launched an initiative to help colleges evaluate the economic effects of on-campus banks and affiliated credit cards.

The market for college credit cards, however, is declining. In 2015, the bureau reported a 21 percent decline in credit-card agreements from the previous year.

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act includes a section that intends to bring greater transparency to the college credit-card market. It includes:

  • Credit-card issuers must submit the terms and conditions of college credit cards
  • Credit-card issuers cannot provide cards to students under 21 who do not provide proof that they will be able to make payments
  • Prescreened offers of credit cannot be marketed to students under 21 without their consent

Pay for College, Undocumented Students

Colleges that Meet 100% of Financial Need for Undocumented Students

No Comments 22 December 2016

College affordability is a big concern for many students and their families. Paying for college is even more difficult for undocumented students. Luckily, there are several colleges that are dedicated to making undocumented students’ college dreams come true. These colleges meet 100% of the students’ demonstrated financial need with grants, student employment, scholarships, and, in some cases, student loans.

We have compiled an alphabetical list of colleges that meet 100% of financial need for undocumented students. If you are interested in learning more, check out these schools on College Greenlight. Please note that these colleges pledge to meet a student’s full demonstrated financial need. Most students will still have an expected family contribution they are responsible for.

Amherst College Amherst is committed to meeting 100% of the full demonstrated financial need of every admitted student, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. Financial aid packages for non-U.S. citizens include on-campus employment and institutional grant aid, without loans. Undocumented and DACA students must submit the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE form and federal income tax returns or income verification to apply for financial aid.

Bates College Bates treats undocumented and DACA students as domestic applicants and meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for those admitted to the college, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. Undocumented and DACA students must submit the College Board PROFILE and provide federal tax returns or other income verification to Student Financial Services in order to apply for financial aid.

Bowdoin College Regardless of citizenship, Bowdoin is committed to meeting 100% of all students’ demonstrated financial need. The college will provide an institutional package comprised of grants and on-campus employment.

Bryn Mawr College The college does not separate undocumented students into an “international” or “domestic” pool. Bryn Mawr will meet the demonstrated financial need of any student, including those who are undocumented.

Brown University As long as students self-identify as undocumented and request aid at the time of their application submission, Brown will meet 100% of the student’s financial need. Eligibility for aid is solely based on financial need.

Carleton College Only students with DACA status are considered among all other legal permanent residents and US citizens at Carleton College. The college only offers admission to students whose need they are able to meet.

Colby College Colby is dedicated to meeting 100% demonstrated financial need of all students, regardless of background. Undocumented students are treated like international students.

Columbia University Undocumented citizen applicants at Columbia University are eligible for the same need-blind admissions policy that applies to US citizens, permanent residents, and eligible non-citizens. The university guarantees to meet 100% of all admitted first-year students’ demonstrated financial need for all four years, regardless of citizenship.

Cornell University – DACA students are recognized in the domestic financial aid pool and Cornell meets the full demonstrated need for all admitted domestic students. These students will be considered in the DACA/domestic aid pool for their entire time at Cornell.

Dartmouth CollegeDartmouth will meet full need of undocumented students with employment, scholarships and/or loans.  Freshmen must complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE and the College Board’s Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC).

Duke UniversityUndocumented students must apply to Duke as international students; counselors can call and inform Duke that the applicant is undocumented. Eligibility is based solely on financial need. The university will meet 100% of demonstrated need.

Emory UniversityEmory considers students who are granted DACA status to be domestic students, and the university meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted domestic students.

Haverford College The college will meet 100% of demonstrated need for all students, regardless their background.

Macalester College Macalester is committed to internationalism and multiculturalism and meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students. Undocumented students who are not permitted by law to work in the US will receive additional student loans to replace the amount typically earned through an on-campus job.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – An applicant’s citizenship status will not have any impact on their chances of admission at MIT or the availability of full need-based financial aid.

Middlebury College – Undocumented or DACA students should follow the same application process as any other student. Middlebury will meet 100% demonstrated financial need for all admitted students. To apply financial aid, just complete the CSS profile by the deadlines indicated on the site.

Oberlin College An undocumented/DACA student indicates their interest in applying for need-based and/or merit-based financial aid on the Common Application. If that student is accepted, Oberlin will meet 100% of demonstrated need.

Occidental CollegeOccidental considers undocumented students to be international students and the college will fully fund 2-4 international students every year. Undocumented students must apply for financial aid at the time they apply for admission.

Pomona College Pomona will meet 100% of need for DACA and undocumented students. The college will provide these students with the support and resources they need in the application process.

Princeton University – Admission to Princeton is offered to students regardless of their ability to pay, and the full need of every admitted student is met regardless of citizenship.

Rice University Rice will meet the full demonstrated financial need of undocumented and DACA students through scholarships, work study, and available loans.

Smith CollegeSmith meets 100% of the demonstrate need for all admitted students who apply for financial aid by the appropriate deadlines. Since federal aid is not available for undocumented and DACA students, Smith will provide institutional, need-based financial aid in its place.

Swarthmore College Swarthmore’s admissions process for undocumented and DACA students is need-blind. The college will meet 100% of demonstrated need with aid awards that do not include loans that need to be repaid.

Tufts UniversityTufts will meet 100% of demonstrated need of all-admitted students. While procedures for financial aid vary between domestic and international applicants, undocumented students are considered domestic and will receive institutional need-based financial aid like U.S. citizens.

University of Chicago All students, regardless of citizenship, will have their full demonstrated financial need met. The university will also assist undocumented students in other ways, such as help with visa status.

University of Notre DameNotre Dame admits and meets the full demonstrated need of undocumented students.

University of Pennsylvania – The university will meet 100% of a student’s demonstrated financial need without loans. Need-based financial aid is awarded when the student is admitted to Penn.

Vassar College Undocumented students are considered international applicants at Vassar. The college will meet the entire demonstrated need of these students for the entirety of their enrollment at the college.

Wellesley CollegeWellesley is committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted undocumented and DACA students. These students are considered international applicants.

Wesleyan University – Wesleyan meets 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted students who apply for financial aid. The college treats undocumented students just like any U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Williams CollegeWilliams College will meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for every admitted student, every year.

Yale UniversityYale admits students without regard to their ability to pay and the institution meets 100% of demonstrated need for all students without loans.

Pay for College, Resources, Scholarships

Improve Your Chance of Winning Scholarships: A Winter Vacation Checklist

No Comments 18 December 2015

Winter vacation is a great time to get some well-deserved rest, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy the holidays, but smart students will also use the down time to get ahead on their college and scholarship search.  This may sound difficult, but you can get some work done while also enjoying your time off!

In order to help get you started, here’s an easy-to-complete checklist that will make sure you stay on track to win scholarships for college while on your winter vacation:

 

  • Research local scholarships
    • Local scholarships, which are typically offered to students who live in a particular area by organizations located in that community, will have a smaller applicant pool than national scholarships.  A smaller applicant pool means you have a higher chance of winning because thousands of students aren’t also trying to apply to the local scholarships you’re eligible for. Check with your high school counselor and search the websites of local non-profit organizations, restaurants, churches, or businesses in your neighborhood or nearby communities to see if they offer local scholarships for students in your city, county, or state.

 

  • Find 10 – 12 scholarships you’re interested in applying to.
    • Once you’ve done you research, make a list of 10-12 scholarships you are eligible for and want to apply to. This may sound like a lot, but you don’t have to apply just yet—the work you’re doing now will prepare you when you get back to school and make completing the applications quickly and easily.

 

  • Learn about the application process
    • Each scholarship may have its own application process and requirements for the materials you’ll need to submit. Take notes about each provider’s mission statement (so you’ll know what they’re looking for) and what materials you’ll need to submit (letters of recommendation, transcripts, essays, short video, etc.) In your notes, include the application deadlines and any other important application information that can help you when you get around to applying later.

 

  • Make a plan of attack
    • Now that you know what you have to do, develop a timeline and strategy to get it done! Create your own deadlines for applications that have multiple application components or might take a little more time and attention to detail. For example, it is common courtesy to give anyone writing you a letter of recommendation at least 3 to 4 weeks to write the letter. Any later than that and your letters might not arrive on time or your letter writers may decide that they don’t have enough time to complete the letter for you.  It is also helpful to plan ahead for any extra time needed to follow up that your materials have been received by the scholarship provider.

 

And don’t’ forget to fill out the FAFSA!

The FAFSA is an incredibly important form that determines how much federal aid you can get (outside of all the scholarships you’ll apply for soon).  The application for FAFSA opens on January 1st, and it’s been proven that the earlier you fill it out, the more aid you can get.  Check out our blog post on the FAFSA to have any questions you have answered.


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