January 27, 2009

Stimulus Package in House or Representatives

Posted in Grants, Legislation Affecting Students, Saving for College, Student Loan News, The Financial Aid Process tagged , , , , , , , at 1:46 PM by Joe From Boston


The version of the stimulus package currently before the House of Representatives has the following higher-ed related provisions:

  • Increase the Pell Grant¬† by $500 from $4,850 to $5,350;
  • Increase work study funding by $490 million;
  • Increase student loan limits on unsubsidized Stafford Loan by $2,000;
  • Provide $50 million to the Department of Education to help them administer student aid and loan programs.

January 26, 2009

Stimulus bill includes education tax credits

Posted in Legislation Affecting Students, Student Loan News, The Financial Aid Process tagged , , , , at 1:04 PM by Joe From Boston


I thought you’d want to know of the proposed tax cuts in the economic stimulus bill currently being floated around the Senate:

-Create an American Opportunity Tax Credit that would provide a $2,500 higher education tax credit that is available for the first four years of college; it would phase out for individual taxpayers with adjusted gross income above $80,000 ($160,000 for couples married filing jointly).

-Allow computers to be included as qualified education expenses in 529 Education Plans.

January 22, 2009

President’s official higher education agenda

Posted in FAFSA, Legislation Affecting Students, Parent PLUS Loans, Stafford Loans, Student Loan News, The Financial Aid Process tagged , , , , , , at 7:16 AM by Joe From Boston


There’s no change to report in President Obama’s agenda from what it was 3 days ago on hi campaign website, but I thought I should point out that his higher education agenda is now official and listed on the White House’s website:

  • Create the American Opportunity Tax Credit: Obama and Biden will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students. Recipients of the credit will be required to conduct 100 hours of community service.
  • Simplify the Application Process for Financial Aid: Obama and Biden will streamline the financial aid process by eliminating the current federal financial aid application and enabling families to apply simply by checking a box on their tax form, authorizing their tax information to be used, and eliminating the need for a separate application.

January 20, 2009

Congratulations America

Posted in Misc tagged , , , at 3:44 PM by Joe From Boston


Today our 44th President took office. There will definitely be changes ahead – President Obama has already made clear that he wants to change much about our education system in general and higher education specifically.

It will be a very interesting next four years watching the changes. As always, here’s hoping that all changes will benefit students, the ones who need it most.

January 15, 2009

File the FAFSA!

Posted in FAFSA, The Financial Aid Process tagged , , , , at 11:51 AM by Joe From Boston


It’s January, and that means you should get your FAFSA in NOW!

The easiest way is to do your taxes first, then copy the numbers over to the FAFSA as the FAFSA directly references the IRS 1040 form.

If you don’t have all your data yet, that’s OK – you can file based on what you have, such as your pay stubbs if your W-2s haven’t showed up yet, then file an amendment later.

I highly suggest you read the FAFSA Guide eBook, offered free from the Student Loan Network. It goes over the FAFSA line by line and explains it in terms we can all understand. It also has great tips on how to make sure you’re getting the most aid you qualify for.

January 13, 2009

What can we expect from Obama?

Posted in FAFSA, Legislation Affecting Students, Saving for College, Scholarships, Student Loan News, The Financial Aid Process tagged , , , , , , at 9:25 AM by Joe From Boston


The website of President-Elect Obama’s transition team outlines some key strategies and plans for higher education in the next 4 years:

  • Create the American Opportunity Tax Credit: Obama and Biden will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students. Recipients of the credit will be required to conduct 100 hours of community service.
  • Simplify the Application Process for Financial Aid: Obama and Biden will streamline the financial aid process by eliminating the current federal financial aid application and enabling families to apply simply by checking a box on their tax form, authorizing their tax information to be used, and eliminating the need for a separate application.

January 2, 2009

Senator Pell, famous for Pell Grants, dies at age 90

Posted in Grants, Student Loan News at 8:50 AM by Joe From Boston


If you ever were awarded a Pell grant, then you owe a lot to former Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell.  He served 6 terms in the senate and considered the Pell Grant his greatest achievement.

He served in the Coast Guard during WWII, vehemently opposed the Vietnam War, helped draft the charter for the United Nations and helped create the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

Click Here to learn more about Senator Pell in this article from WBZ.com.

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