College Loans - Easy Money


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Today a check came in the mail… $5,338.00.

The check came in my daughters name. She'll be a senior at St John's University this year in September.

But, she needs to go to summer school. She will be taking 2 classes. . . Spanish Level II - 3.0 credits and Public Speaking Col - 3.0 credits ……… for a total of 6.0 credits.

Language Lab Fee………… $25.00 Tuition: St Johns College……$5,238.00

University General Fee………$50.00. … Total - $5,338.00 …

That's how much the check was for… $5,338.00 It was from her favorite lender Sallie Mae.

The envelope with the check was addressed to my daughter, not me. I didn't even know she had applied for the loan. She didn't ask my opinion or advice or permission. She's 20 years old, no longer my little girl. Old enough to borrow $5,338.00 on her own. Damn!

There will come a time when that $5,338 will have to be paid back. There is a price to be paid for this “easy-money".

At about $50/mo, it will take about 10 years to pay that off. … Not so easy to pay back! My daughter owes $28,973.13 in student loans so far. She still has at least 1 more year to go for a bachelors degree.

Plus she has to go to grad school for at least another 2 years if she wants to find a job in Psychology. . .

And she's talking about going for a doctorate degree. Another 2 years. If she keeps borrowing at the same rate over the next 5 years, to get her PhD, she'll owe $72,432 in student loans.

$72,432 in student loans - Easy Money!

And that doesn't take into account inflation and the increasing cost of higher education each and every year.

Most students (and their parents) will end up taking out student loans. However, if you can get some scholarship money, that is money you don't have to pay back. Since ALL schools are inundated with too many applications for scholarship money, emphasis is placed on the scholarship essay to determine who will get the available scholarship monies.

Unfortunately, many students and parents don't know how to apply for scholarships. Here is a quick but important tip for winning scholarship money. Set yourself apart from the thousands of other applicants by being specific about what you have done in your life. If you've achieved, tell the judges. Put your best foot forward.

If you have family responsibilities, tell them what you do. Otherwise the judges don't know. Write about what you have actually done and you will be remembered by the committee members and increase your chances of winning scholarships.

Carl Willoughby has worked as a Licensed Registered Representaive for the Prudential Insurance Company, a Computer Programmer for the New England Telephone Company, and a Computer Sales Consultant for SEARS.

He writes a near daily blog about Money and College at:


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