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Jodi Okun

Paying for College Blog


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2012-2013 FAFSA Form Now Available Online

Sunday January 1, 2012

The final version of the 2012-2013 FAFSA form is now available online. The new PDF version of the form includes financial aid deadlines for each state.

The form can be submitted as early as January 1, 2012, but must not be received any later than June of 2013.

To view the form, visit www.FAFSA.gov.

Links to Over 50 Illinois Online Scholarship Applications - March 1st Deadline

Tuesday December 27, 2011

If you live in Northern Illinois, you're going to love this link.

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is now accepting online applications for over 50 different scholarships, totaling over $250,000 in funds.

The deadline to apply for these scholarships is March 1st, so don't waste any time.

Visit www.CFNIL.org today!

Free Tuition for Buffalo Students for Next 20 Years

Friday December 23, 2011

In an announcement whose details have yet to be fleshed out, the City of Buffalo has announced that it will pay for college for most graduates of its public and private schools for the next 20 years.

The expected value of this promise could be well over $100 million dollars, with most of the money coming from wealthy donors and foundations supporting education.

Before you think about moving your high school senior to Buffalo, keep in mind that only students who have gone to a Buffalo school since at least ninth grade will receive tuition assistance.

To learn more, visit the web page for the Say Yes Foundation.

UC Berkeley Financial Aid Creates Program for Middle Class Parents

Thursday December 15, 2011

The UC Berkeley financial aid department has created a new plan to help middle class parents afford the school's $30,000+ cost of attendance. The program, called "MCap," aims to reduce the total cost of attendance to no more than 15% of a middle class parent's income.

How much income does the UC Berkeley financial aid department consider to be middle class? $80,000 - $140,000.

Additionally, parents must have no more than $200,000 in qualifying assets, which does not count qualified retirement plans or the value of their primary residence.

To learn more about the MCap program, take a look at this FAQ from the UC Berkeley financial aid department.

Point Foundation Accepting Applicants for 2012 LGBTQ Scholarships

Tuesday December 13, 2011

The Point Foundation, which seeks to advance the education of students involved in and supporting the LGBTQ community, has opened its 2012 scholarship season. The deadline for submitting an initial application is February 10, 2012.

In 2011, the Point Foundation awarded 34 scholarships to students from varied backgrounds, from around the United States. The average scholarship amount was approximately $10,000.

To learn more, visit the Point Foundation website.

2012 Rhodes Scholars Named - 32 U.S. Winners

Monday December 12, 2011

Think your scholarship application has got some pretty good extracurricular activities on it?

Check out these profiles for the 2012 Rhodes Scholars winners.

Dropping Interest Rates from Wells Fargo Student Loans

Wednesday December 7, 2011

Private (not government) student loans offered through Wells Fargo got cheaper this week, thanks to an announced decrease in rates. The rates for the most creditworthy borrowers will be dropping from 7.75% to 7.24%. Of course, since these are private student loans, not backed by the U.S. Department of Education, their rates can actually go as high as 13.99%.

As I and many other experts have said, these private student loans should only be used as a last resort for students who cannot otherwise get money through more friendly Stafford, Perkins, or PLUS loan programs.

Kiplinger's Names "Best" 529 Plans - Nebraska and Utah

Tuesday December 6, 2011

Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine put out their annual "Best" list of everything personal finance related. Two Section 529 college savings plans made the list.

The Nebraska Education Savings Trust (NEST) made the list for best selection of funds for a 529 plan.

The Utah Educational Savings Plan made the list for being the best overall "low fee" plan.

To learn more, visit Kiplinger.com.

Win $20,000 in Tuition by Tweeting a Photo to Kentucky Fried Chicken

Monday December 5, 2011

Now in its second year, Kentucky Fried Chicken is awarding $20,000 in tuition to a college student with the best photo tweet. The contest runs from December 1 - December 8, 2012.

To enter, students need to tweet a picture  using the hash tag #KFCScholar. The picture should embody Colonel Sander's commitment to education.

To get the full details for the contest, visit www.KFC.com.

Good luck!!

Student Wins $100,000 in Tuition from Dr. Pepper During SEC Game

Sunday December 4, 2011

If Ivon Padilla-Rodriguez wasn't a fan of Dr. Pepper, she is now. That's because Dr. Pepper awarded Ivon $100,000 in tuition as part of its ongoing "$1,000,000 Tuition Giveaway" during last weekend's SEC Championship football game.

Ivon managed to beat another student in a contest to throw as many footballs as possible through a target in 30 seconds. This was the second round of a competition that started with Ivon winning $2,500 by submitting a video essay to Dr. Pepper.

The Dr. Pepper $1,000,000 Tuition Giveaway continues through December 31st, 2012. Current students can enter online for a chance to win anywhere from $2,500 - $100,000 by visiting www.DrPepper.com.

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