Paying for College

Student Loan Resources

For those of you Early Decision or Early Action applicants who are fortunate enough to be admitted this fall, your estimated financial aid packages will be arriving in mid-December either with or soon after that fat envelope. That's the good news.

The bad news may be that you'll find yourself needing more money to pay for your dream school. Where can you turn? What can you do?


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Well, one of my favorite Web sites, Consumerist.com, has some answers in its Big List of Student Loan Resources. Here it is:

FinAid's calculators can help you figure out how much school will cost, how much you need to save and how much aid you'll need. FinAid also has basic information about different types of loans, scholarships and military aid.

Student Loan Borrower Assistance, a project of the National Consumer Law Center, provides resources for people who already have student loansfederal student loan rehabilitation (PDF), student loans and bankruptcy, and collections. They also provide information on where to go for help, including legal assistance. and want to know more about their options and rights. This website provides good information for people who are having trouble playing their student loans, and want more information about

The US Department of Education has information for those of your preparing for college, including help choosing a school, and applying for financial aid. For in depth information, check out Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid.

If you are having serious problems with your federal student loans, the FSA Ombudsman is there to help. In addition to personalized assistance, they offer tips for dealing with your loan servicer. To find out who is servicing your loan, use the National Student Loan Data System.

If you're considering applying for a private loan, check out these questions that you'll want to ask your lender, from the Project On Student Debt.

The Project on Student Debt also provides a guide for people already repaying their student loans that covers what borrowers need to know about the changes that take place each July. Expect a new guide each year.

The Federal Trade Commission provides a guide to deceptive student lending offers and how to avoid them. (PDF)

Bankrate has some basic information about financing you education, comparing 529 plans if you're saving for your child. including help

If you're interested in consolidating your loans, check out the US Department of Education: Loan Consolidation site.

For those of you shopping for student loans, MyFICO has information about how it will affect your credit score.

Wondering about the deadline for turning in your FAFSA? Here's a list of the federal and state deadlines.

For some additional insights, be sure to read the comments following the List.

The important things to remember about applying to and paying for college:

(1) Don't be frightened by sticker shock, and

(2) There's usually a way to handle the burden of paying for your dream school . . .

. . . if you can get in!

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Don’t forget to check out all my admissions-related articles and book reviews at College Confidential.