Which colleges have the highest and lowest tuitions?
Many factors determine the cost of tuition at a school. Is the school you want to attend a vocational school or a four-year university? Is it public or private? Is it in-state or out-of-state? Those and other factors will determine the tuition you will be paying. For more information, visit this website: https://collegecost.ed.gov/catc/.
Saving for college
What is an Edvest 529 college savings accounts?
Edvest is the State of Wisconsin’s 529 college savings plan, which permits Wisconsin residents to save money for college expenses free from federal taxes. Wisconsin also offers a state income tax deduction for contributions to an Edgest 529 account. Withdrawals are tax-free at both the federal and state level when used for qualified higher education expenses. You can use the money for more than tuition. You can also use it for required fees, certain room and board costs, books, supplies, as well as computers and related technology costs such as Internet access fees and printers. For more information, visit this website: https://www.edvest.com/plan/details.shtml.
Where can I find information about scholarships (free money for education) to help pay for college?
There are thousands and thousands of scholarships available to qualified college students. You just have to make the time to look for them. If you are in high school, it might be advisable to speak with your academic counselor, who quite likely can direct you to sources of information about scholarship availability. Remember to check on the availability of scholarships at the local level, too. Here are two resources that you can use as a starting point to research scholarships: https://www.scholarships.com/ or https://www.moneysavingpro.com/blog/ultimate-guide-to-college-scholarships/.
Applying for a federal student loan
What is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application form; and why and when should I fill it out?
The FAFSA is the first step you should take to be considered for federal aid for post-secondary education. By filling out and submitting the FAFSA, a prospective student will automatically receive consideration for federal grants, loans and work study. http://lookforwardwi.gov/parents/#fafsa
What happens after I fill out the FAFSA?
Your FAFSA information is shared with the colleges and/or career schools you list on the application. The financial aid office at a school uses your information to figure out how much federal student aid you may receive at that school. If the school has its own funds to use for financial aid, it might use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for that aid as well. (The school might also have other forms it wants you to fill out to get school aid, so check with the financial aid office to be sure.) For more information please click here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/next-steps
What’s a master promissory note (MPN)?
The MPN is a promissory note that can be used to make one or more loans for one or more academic years (up to 10 years). There are two types of MPNs in the Direct Loan Program: one for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans and one for Direct PLUS Loans. To find out more about these loans please click here: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/faqs.action
Repaying federal student loans
What are my options in paying back my loans?
This tool provides information and advice for optimizing how you pay off your student loans based on some basic information about your situation. While we can’t give you advice for your exact situation, we hope it can point you in the right direction and help you learn about some of your options. http://www.consumerfinance.gov/paying-for-college/repay-student-debt/#Question-1
What are the five direct loan (federal) programs?
There is the Standard Repayment, Graduate Repayment, Income Contingent (ICR), Income Based (IBR) and Pay as you Earn (PAYE) plan. For more information about these programs please click here: http://lookforwardwi.gov/resources/#repayment-plan
What is a direct consolidation loan?
A Direct Consolidation Loan consolidates (combines) multiple federal education loans into one loan at no cost to you. Through your completion of the free Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note, you’ll confirm the loans that you want to consolidate and agree to repay the new Direct Consolidation Loan. Once the consolidation is complete, you’ll have a single monthly payment on the new Direct Consolidation Loan instead of multiple monthly payments on the loans you consolidated.
How do I request an income-driven repayment plan?
Before you apply for an income-driven repayment plan, contact your loan servicer if you have any questions. Your loan servicer will help you decide whether one of these plans is right for you.
To apply, you must submit an application called the Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request. You can submit the application online at StudentLoans.gov or on a paper form, which you can get from your loan servicer. The application allows you to select an income-driven repayment plan by name, or to request that your loan servicer determine what income-driven plan or plans you qualify for, and to place you on the income-driven plan with the lowest monthly payment amount. https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-driven
Can I really get my loans forgiven?
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. To see if you qualify visit : https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service or http://lookforwardwi.gov/students-2/#post-college
Repaying non-federal (private) student loans
What are my options in paying back my loans?
This tool provides information and advice for optimizing how you pay off your student loans based on some basic information about your situation. While we can’t give you advice for your exact situation, we hope it can point you in the right direction and help you learn about some of your options.
Where can I refinance student loans in Wisconsin?
Many of the Wisconsin credit unions and banks that offer student loan and/or student loan refinancing products are listed on this page: http://lookforwardwi.gov/wisconsin-loan-providers/. Contact information and a link to each institution’s website is provided in the list on the page.