Tag archive for "students"

Federal Loans, Money, Private Loans, State Loans

How to Help Borrowers with Unpaid College Debts and Defaulted Student Loans

No Comments 17 November 2016

Students sometimes encounter roadblocks because they owe money to a college or have defaulted on their student loans. Low-income students are more likely to be affected by these problems. These tips will help counselors help them overcome these obstacles.

Problem: Colleges may legally refuse to provide official transcripts to students who owe a debt to the college. This can prevent the student from transferring to another college to continue their education. But, the student can’t afford to repay the debt until they graduate and get a good job. Or, the student may need financial aid to pay off the debt.

Solution: A counselor can help the student by advocating on their behalf with the college. Maybe the student can finish their degree at the original college, with just a little more financial support. Maybe the college can accept a payment plan instead of payment in full, and release the transcripts after the student has made a few consecutive monthly payments. Maybe the counselor can convince the new college to conditionally accept unofficial transcripts and let the student enroll with a promise to deliver official transcripts later. Colleges may be more willing to compromise when a counselor intercedes on behalf of the student. (Counselors should get the student to sign a FERPA waiver so that the college can discuss the situation with the counselor.)

Problem: The student wants to repay his or her student loans, but circumstances have overtaken them. By the time the student loan bill is due, they’ve already spent their paycheck.

Solution: Sometimes, students just have trouble managing their money. Ask them to track their spending for a month using a program like Quicken or Mint.com. Increasing awareness of how they spend their money is the first step in exercising restraint. It will also help them plan for their bills. Encourage them to enroll in auto-debit, where the monthly student loan payment is automatically transferred from their bank account to the lender. Not only will this help ensure that they make the payments on time, but many lenders offer a slight interest rate reduction as an incentive. Asking the lender to change the due date to a few days after they receive their pay check may also help. These problems can also be prevented by providing students with access to financial literacy mini-courses while they are still in school.

Problem: The student is getting harassed by collection agencies. They are afraid to open their mail or answer the phone. They need someone to help them figure out a way out of this mess.

Solution: Avoiding the problem will only make it worse. The simplest solution is to talk to the lender and ask about their options. If they are actively engaging with the lender, the flood of letters and calls will stop. They can also exercise their rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to tell the lender to stop contacting them, which will end most of the calls and letters, except for notices about specific actions the lender is taking, such as filing a lawsuit. But, this will not address the underlying problem, which is the difficulty dealing with the debt. There are options for dealing with financial difficulty, such as suspending or reducing the monthly loan payments, and for rehabilitating defaulted student loans.

Problem: The student doesn’t know the status of his or her student loans, just that it is bad.

Solution: The problem might not be as bad as the student thinks. If the student is just a few months delinquent, as opposed to being in default, making a few payments might be all that is necessary to bring the account current. Start by compiling a list of the loans and the lenders. If the student doesn’t remember any of these details, have them login to the National Student Loan Data Systems (NSLDS) to check on the status of the federal loans. Information about private student loans, as well as federal loans, may be found in the student’s credit reports, which may be obtained for free at www.annualcreditreport.com. Then, have the student call the lenders to learn about their options.

Problem: The student wants to continue their education, but has learned that they are ineligible for further federal student aid because they are in default on a previous federal student loan.

Solution: Borrowers can regain eligibility for federal student aid by rehabilitating the defaulted student loans. There are two main methods. One is to make 6 consecutive, full, voluntary, on-time payments on the defaulted student loan. The other is to consolidate the loans into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan and agree to repay the consolidation loan with an income-driven repayment plan. This is a one-time opportunity, so if they redefault, they will have no choice other than to pay off the debt in full.

Undocumented Students

Updated for 2016: Scholarships for Undocumented Students

2 Comments 08 July 2015

For many undocumented students, finding accurate and reliable scholarship information is exceptionally difficult. The vast majority of scholarship providers require applicants to have a social security number or proof of citizenship, limiting the number of good opportunities available to undocumented Americans.

To try and help these hardworking students, we’ve combed our scholarship database to find awards for undocumented, international, and immigrant students. In addition, we’ve listed many great scholarships that our partners and friends have created specifically for undocumented students. This list features these scholarships for undocumented students in chronological order, starting with the scholarship with the deadline that is coming up the soonest, as well as a separate list of scholarships for undocumented students with specific areas of interest.

Please note that many of these scholarships have not yet been updated with 2015 application deadlines, so they may list as “expired” in our database. Additionally, this list features scholarships that may not accept applications or have a deadline until next year. If you are interested in a scholarship with a deadline that has passed, make sure to take note and apply when it reopens which, for some may be later in 2015!

If you know of any scholarships that are not on this list, please send an email with a link to the scholarship to our content manager. 

 Golden Door Scholars

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for DACA and TPS (Temporary Protected Status) the wish to attend one of their partner schools.  The scholarship provides four-year tuition and room and board.

Platt Family Scholarship Prize Essay Contest

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for undergraduate students attending American colleges and universities. American citizenship is not required.

A Voice for Animals Contest

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This contest is for high school students who have participated in projects that promote the humane treatment of animals. Students are eligible regardless of nationality, citizenship, or country of residence.

La Unidad Latina Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for Hispanic students enrolled in an eligible bachelor’s or master’s degree program. Applicants must reside in the United States. Undocumented students and non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This essay contest is for 12th graders, college undergraduates, and graduate students worldwide; there are no citizenship requirements. To apply, applicants must submit an essay on the book, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

Point Foundation Scholarship Program

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for students who are involved in the LGBTQ community. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Foster Care to Success Scholarships

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for orphans and/or students who have been in foster care while living in the United States. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Ayn Rand Anthem Essay Contest

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This essay contest is for 8th, 9th, and 10th graders worldwide; there are no citizenship requirements. To apply, applicants must submit an essay on the book, Anthem by Ayn Rand.

TheDream.US Scholarship Program

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for undocumented students who are DACA eligible and have applied for or received DACA approval. Applicants must attend a partner college.

Davis-Putter Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for students who are active in movements for social and/or economic justice. US citizenship is not required.

Ayn Rand The Fountainhead Essay Contest

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This essay contest is for 11th and 12th graders worldwide; there are no citizenship requirements. To apply, applicants must submit an essay on the book, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

Momeni Foundation Financial Assistance Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for students of Iranian descent. Scholarships are available regardless of citizenship or country of residency.

National Peace Essay Contest for High School Students

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This essay contest is for high school students in the United States and its territories. Students attending high school in the United States are eligible regardless of citizenship.

Los Hermanos de Stanford Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for graduating high school seniors of Latino/Latina descent who are attending any two- or four-year institution of higher learning. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest

Deadline: December, 19 2016

This essay contest is for full-time college juniors and seniors attending colleges or universities in the United States. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Scholarships for Specific Fields of Study

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for Hispanic students who are majoring in science, technology, engineering, math, or a related field, and are members of SHPE. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Earl Warren Scholarships

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for college graduates who are planning to attend an accredited US law school. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Great Minds in STEM / HENAAC Scholars Program

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for Hispanic students who are majoring in science, technology, engineering, or math. Non-US citizens are encouraged to apply.

Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for rising college juniors and seniors who are studying television and film production. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Women in Aerospace Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for women of any citizenship or nationality who are interested in pursuing a career in the aerospace field.

American Nuclear Society John and Muriel Landis Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for students pursuing a degree in nuclear science, nuclear engineering, or a nuclear-related field. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

National Sculpture Society Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for students studying sculpture art. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

 


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