You are previewing The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Paying for College.
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The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Paying for College

Book Description

A higher education without falling deep in debt.

With the lack of financial aid, grants, and scholarships available today due to the economic climate, parents and students need serious help in finding ways to pay for college. Savings plans and resources have disappeared. Loans seem impossible to pay off. That's where The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to Paying for College steps in. It helps develop an action plan for people to budget and pay for college right now, and if necessary, strategize repayment after graduation. It also explains how to:

*Find ways to lower the cost of tuition and room and board

*Find honest-to-goodness free money

*Discover more affordable options like college credit for military service, peer-to-peer lending, or attending nontraditional colleges and universities

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Dedication
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Introduction
  5. Part 1 - Getting a Grip on College Costs
    1. Chapter 1 - The Math Behind College Costs
      1. Your College Cash Strategy
      2. Determining Your College Costs
      3. The Direct Costs of College
      4. The Hidden Costs
    2. Chapter 2 - Lowering Your Direct Costs
      1. Lowering Tuition Costs
      2. Lowering Your Room and Board Costs
      3. Cutting Costs on Books
    3. Chapter 3 - Lowering Your Indirect Costs
      1. Hacking the High Price of Technology
      2. Travel Expenses
      3. Medical Expenses
      4. Falling in Love
      5. Inflation Is Not Your Friend
    4. Chapter 4 - Tapping Your Assets Wisely
      1. Calculating How Far Your Assets Will Go
      2. The First Assets to Go
      3. Bye-Bye, College Accounts
      4. Other Assets to Consider Tapping Early
      5. Tapping Your Retirement Funds
      6. Using Your Home Equity
      7. Whole Life Insurance
  6. Part 2 - Strategies for Borrowing
    1. Chapter 5 - Student Loans Made Easy
      1. The Truth About Student Loans
      2. Stafford Loans
      3. Perkins Loans
      4. PLUS Loans
      5. State Loan Programs
      6. Student Loan Landmines
    2. Chapter 6 - Loan Repayment Strategies
      1. Federal Repayment Programs
      2. Choosing the Best Repayment Plan
      3. Buying Yourself Some Time
      4. Student Loan Consolidation
    3. Chapter 7 - Loan Forgiveness Programs
      1. How Loan Forgiveness Works
      2. Qualifying for Loan Forgiveness
      3. Forgivable Loans Versus Loan Forgiveness
      4. Tax Consequences of Loan Forgiveness
      5. Loan Forgiveness for Teachers
      6. Loan Forgiveness for Medical Professionals
      7. Loan Forgiveness for Volunteers
      8. Other Loan Forgiveness Options
    4. Chapter 8 - Increasing Your Aid Eligibility
      1. Understanding the Aid Formula
      2. Getting Your Assets in Gear
      3. Intelligent Income Planning
      4. The CSS Profile and Institutional Methodology
      5. The Non-Nuclear Family and Financial Aid
  7. Part 3 - Free Money for College
    1. Chapter 9 - Scholarships: Truly Free Money
      1. Scholarships Myths
      2. Finding the Right Scholarships
      3. Your Scholarship Battle Plan
      4. Grabbing Their Attention
    2. Chapter 10 - Grant Programs
      1. The Basics of Grants
      2. The Pell Grant
      3. Other Major Federal Grants
      4. State Grant Programs
    3. Chapter 11 - Free Money on Your Tax Return
      1. Federal Income Tax Credits
      2. Federal Tax Deductions for Education
      3. State Tax Deductions and Credits
      4. Tax Tricks for Your Assets
      5. Keeping Your Eye on Taxable Aid
    4. Chapter 12 - Tuition-Free Colleges
      1. Is Free College for Real?
      2. The Top Tuition-Free Colleges
      3. Not Everything Is Free
      4. Getting the Invite
  8. Part 4 - Best-Kept Funding Secrets
    1. Chapter 13 - Tuition Reward Programs
      1. The Basics of Tuition Reward Programs
      2. UPromise Could Be Worth $500 per Year!
      3. BabyMint
      4. SAGE Scholars Program
      5. Tuition Reward Credit Cards
    2. Chapter 14 - Challenge and Employer Programs
      1. The Basics of Challenge Programs
      2. Major Challenge Programs
      3. Employer Tuition Programs
      4. Large Employers with Substantial Programs
    3. Chapter 15 - College for Military Service
      1. Your Uncle Sam Is Rich!
      2. Tuition Assistance for Full-Time Military Service
      3. Loan Repayment for Active-Duty Personnel
      4. Military Benefits for Reservists
      5. Transferability of Benefits
      6. “Opting Out” of Classes
    4. Chapter 16 - The Peer Lending Alternative
      1. The Basics of Peer-to-Peer Lending
      2. When to Use P2P Lending
      3. Potential Problems with P2P Lending
      4. Finding a P2P Lender
  9. Part 5 - Thinking Outside the Box
    1. Chapter 17 - Nontraditional College
      1. The Shift Toward Nontraditional Educations
      2. Types of Nontraditional Educations
      3. Vocational Schools
      4. Traditional Aid for Nontraditional Educations
    2. Chapter 18 - Short-Term Savings Strategies
      1. Revisiting Your Budget
      2. The Best Short-Term Investments
      3. The Best Accounts for Short-Term Savings
    3. Chapter 19 - Working Your Way Through College
      1. The Lost Art of Working Your Way Through College
      2. Working Part Time at School
      3. Making the Most of Your Summer Break
      4. Say Hello to the New Maid
    4. Chapter 20 - Avoiding the Biggest Mistakes
      1. Denial and Procrastination
      2. Recruiting Help
    5. Chapter 21 - Rethinking College
      1. Is Your College or Major Really Worth It?
      2. The Value of Skipping College
      3. Grad School Is No Guarantee of Success
      4. The Amazing Value of Community College
      5. Presidential Game-Changers
  10. Appendix A - Glossary
  11. Appendix B - College Cash Strategy Worksheet
    1. Unique Costs and Resources
    2. Spending and Savings Strategies
    3. Funding Strategies
  12. Appendix C - Resources
    1. General Resources
    2. Resources for Lowering Your College Costs
    3. Assets and Investments
    4. Financial Aid and Student Loans
    5. Scholarship Resources
    6. Tuition Reward Programs
    7. Military Benefits for Education
    8. Nontraditional Educations
  13. Appendix D - Directory for State Financial Aid
    1. Alabama
    2. Alaska
    3. Arizona
    4. Arkansas
    5. California
    6. Colorado
    7. Connecticut
    8. Delaware
    9. District of Columbia
    10. Florida
    11. Georgia
    12. Hawaii
    13. Idaho
    14. Illinois
    15. Indiana
    16. Iowa
    17. Kansas
    18. Kentucky
    19. Louisiana
    20. Maine
    21. Maryland
    22. Massachusetts
    23. Michigan
    24. Minnesota
    25. Mississippi
    26. Missouri
    27. Montana
    28. Nebraska
    29. Nevada
    30. New Hampshire
    31. New Jersey
    32. New Mexico
    33. New York
    34. North Carolina
    35. North Dakota
    36. Ohio
    37. Oklahoma
    38. Oregon
    39. Pennsylvania
    40. Rhode Island
    41. South Carolina
    42. South Dakota
    43. Tennessee
    44. Texas
    45. Utah
    46. Vermont
    47. Virginia
    48. Washington
    49. West Virginia
    50. Wisconsin
    51. Wyoming
  14. Appendix E - The Best Scholarship Programs
    1. Heritage and Gender-Related Scholarships
    2. Academic or Subject-Related Scholarships
    3. State, Regional, and Geographic Scholarships
    4. Health-Related Scholarships
    5. Military-Related Scholarships (Family)
    6. Essay Scholarships
    7. Other Scholarships
  15. Appendix F - Directory of State Section 529 Plans
    1. Alabama
    2. Alaska
    3. Arizona
    4. Arkansas
    5. California
    6. Colorado
    7. Connecticut
    8. Delaware
    9. District of Columbia
    10. Florida
    11. Georgia
    12. Hawaii
    13. Idaho
    14. Illinois
    15. Indiana
    16. Iowa
    17. Kansas
    18. Kentucky
    19. Louisiana
    20. Maine
    21. Maryland
    22. Massachusetts
    23. Michigan
    24. Minnesota
    25. Mississippi
    26. Missouri
    27. Montana
    28. Nebraska
    29. New Hampshire
    30. New Jersey
    31. New Mexico
    32. New York
    33. North Carolina
    34. North Dakota
    35. Ohio
    36. Oklahoma
    37. Oregon
    38. Pennsylvania
    39. Rhode Island
    40. South Carolina
    41. South Dakota
    42. Tennessee
    43. Texas
    44. Utah
    45. Virginia
    46. Washington
    47. West Virginia
    48. Wisconsin
    49. Wyoming
  16. Index