Posted On: 2005-10-27
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Happy Thursday everyone. It is Thursday October 27, 2005. This is the Financial Aid Podcast Episode 101 and my name is Chris Penn. Wow, we've got a ton of news today. We have so much news I don't even know where to start. So I guess the best place to start is gonna be the news.
Topping the news today, a six billion tax on tax on college graduates. That's right. There is a new plan in the house and senate to basically recover an additional six billion dollars in costs, well really in funds that congress can use for those other national priorities or whatever they may be. The plan is to consolidate student loans and make it more expensive for borrowers and the way they are going to do this is by It is adding a one time offset fee for borrowers to consolidate the loans. The fee would be anywhere form one to three percent, it depends, and the committee the legislation is not clear on this. The fee is initially assessed to the lenders who will presumably pass on the fee to borrowers. This would be specifically for students who could consolidate through governor's director lender program. If you were to conciliate through a third party lender like the student network, this fee would not impact you. At least that is the way it's been written so far. The article is not 100 percent clear and it says increases to one percent to half percent of origination fee when lenders initiate the loan. Again, that would be the additional fee that would be passed onto students Congress in order to find another six billion in revenue will be assessing this six billion dollar tax on people who have graduated and looking to consolidate loans. If you have student loans and you want to consolidate them, I would suggest investigating that point now. That is doing before any of this legislation is passed. This is because if you don't it is going to get really ugly next July.
In the debate about the direct loan problem versus the family federal loan program or FELP, the congress has been talking about how the direct loan problem must have hidden coasts to be less expensive and obviously those elected officials receive campaigning contributions, I have been very strong in pushing the direct loan program, so the question is that the congress opposes to the General Accounting office is find out how each individual program is versus the FELP loan program. If the results, as we expect the direct loan would be more expensive, it would be a clear rationale to bring it to an end and have the FELP. Turns out the report that actually shows that everyone 100 dollars the government has loans issued to students, the direct loan program costs 1.70 and the FELP costs 9.20 for the same one. It is interesting the report on this congressional issue said the study was inconclusive, that sounds pretty inconclusive to me.
Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts introduced a piece of legislation to increase the Pell grant awarded the 2006 school year 4050 to 4250 dollars and 200 dollars for students to receive Pell grants. The amendment was not passed as only 48 senators voted for it. It was unfortunate because it is dollars you don't have to pay. It is less money for Pell grants next year.
Finally, the FCC has tried to mandate a very interesting and highly controversial problem. They think it is a problem and most agree it isn't'. The FCC wants college to rewire and redo all their computer networks around the country at a price tag of seven billion dollars which colleges would have to eat. This is to make it easier for the FCC to wiretap college campus network. The FCC is generally not in the business for law enforcement but seems to be the one mandating this. It is not clear why the FCC has jurisdiction over college campus networks. The other thing is this is a seven billon dollar project. You are basically talking about buying very expensive hardware and core routers. If you don't know anything about computer networks, the core router is the traffic cop of intersection of gigantic internet network. You have to upgrade that to support the government ability to tap into a computer network. The reason for this under current legislation, right now you have to, if the FBI wants to do surveillance, they have to go to a judge and get a warrant, go to the campus and drop off a box, plug it into network and put in a disc and record what is there. That is how it works now. Under the new design, they would still need a warrant but you wouldn't have to show up at campus and press a button and instantly the information starts flowing to your local FBI or whoever is wants assess to it. It is less work for them at a seven billion dollar cost. When you think about it, seven billion for the program, three billion for cable TV boxes, now that is 10 billion dollars, if Congress is looking to save money, instead of putting a six billion tax on college graduates, maybe they should cut some of these expenses. I think the savings would be well in hand. That is the news. There was a lot of it and will be links to all these things in our show notes at financialaidpodcast.com. Let's move on to some pod safe music to get the morning going.
That was "Drive Away" from Matthew Bevel by the pod safe network. Was it me or did that sound like "Big Yellow Taxi" by Counting Crows, just a thought.
Let's do some mail bag. We have a piece of mail from Brad Wrongly who asks "Please discussion form undergraduate to graduate school. What finance options are there?" That is a great question. First thing is eligibility for financial aid changes. The PLUS loan no longer applies in graduate school. If you needed a loan of comparable size you would need to take out a private student loan instead the Act Education Loans for Graduate Students. That would get you up to 30,000 dollars per academic year. However, Stafford Loans have changed. In first year of college, it is 2625 for total maximum is 6025 and for a graduate student, you are automatically and eligible for a maximum of 18500. SO putting the two together you got 50 grand of student loans to take out to make transition of graduate school. When I went up to Boston University, one year of graduate school, their Information Systems Program was about 60,000. It was a one year accelerating program so you could get your degree with rest of your life at school. But it was still extremely expensive. On top of those two things, there are graduate schools scholarships so go hunting for those as well. In terms of what to do about you're under graduate loan, if you go to studentloanconsilidation.com/forms, you will find a whole bunch of different deferment forms for about anything. Most important, the first one is called In School Deferment Form. If you haven't used it all ready, you can place your student loans from your undergraduate degree into In School Deferment as long as you are enrolled at an eligible school as a full time student. That will cover about the fist three years of graduate school. If you are in post graduate program, like Medical School, the loans can actually be deferred until you are out of school. And in your residency, there is Education Delayed Deferment and that is also for three years. But that is for anyone who is a graduate fellowship program rather residency or internships. Or if you are teaching in a teaching shortage area, you can use the education related deferment for that as well. In terms of payback and due dates, pretty much when you go back to school you put you under graduate stuff on pause and you take on any graduate obligations in order to get through grad school. After you gradate from graduate school, you have a six month grace period and then it all comes out to repayment at the same time. If you go right from graduate and your loans don't come from deferment, you will be graduating with both your undergraduate and graduate loans in the grace period. That is good especially; the interest rates are lower if you get into graduate. But if reverse is true, maybe consolidate after under graduation. You will get grace period as long as you haven't used it during after you graduated from your under graduate. That is a very good question from Brian Wrongly. I hope that answers it to some degree. Additional questions and answered on the show or in the newsletter, email me at email@example.com and I will be more than happy to answer them.
Let's hit another pod safe music from Adrina Thorpe "Did you think".
Let's do a quick scholarship update. Today is going to be militaryscholar.org and it is for scholarships for militarily students. If you have a child and you are in the active duty military or the reserves or you are retired military personnel, have a survivor of deceased military and you can apply. It is a $1500 scholarship and it is dispersed and applicants need to be enrolled full time undergraduate program of Fall Term 2006. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to apply. There is an essay, transcripts and a letter of recommendation that must be submitted along with application. Apparently it is all done through the commissary and you would get the application on their website. The applications are going to be accepted in November and close out February of 2006 for the Fall Term. The website is militaryscholar.org and I will put a link in the show notes as well. It likes a really great scholarship program. Instead of handing out big ones, they hand out a bunch of small scholarships of 3.2 million dollars worth. So, militaryscholarship.org is today's scholarship update.
Let's finish out today's show of pod safe music by Marlena Randal, "It want be me"
Okay, that was Marlena Randal, "It want be me". Based on the news I have been reading, consolidate your student loans now especially if you are in your grace period, get it done and get it locked down. That is especially if Congress passes this bill. You can consulate your loans at our website of studentloanconsilidator.com or today on todayisave.com either one you do will get that going. If you have comments or questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you like the show, get two of your friends to subscribe and directions on how to do that is at our website. Tomorrow, is Friday and so looking forward to that. It is one of the best days of the week. They are all good days though. Stay tuned, stay subscribed, we will see you tomorrow for Friday. Take care.