Graduating with Student Loans Part III – Consolidating Loans

If you have decided that consolidation is right for you.  It is important to understand that you can consolidate your student loans for free. One of the biggest scams in student loans are companies that consolidate your federal student loans for you and charge you a fee.  These companies charge $200, $400, or even up to $800 to consolidate your federal student students.  Depending on your student loan payment each month that could be several months worth of payments.

Most federal student loan can be consolidated together.  The most common type of federal student loans are the Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan, Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Perkins Loans and Graduate PLUS Loans. Loans from your undergraduate and graduate programs can all be consolidated together as well.  Consolidating your federal student loans is easy and free.  It can be done online at www.studentloans.gov.

There are five sections to the loan consolidation application process.

1. Choose Loans & Servicer
2. Repayment Plan Selection
3. Terms & Conditions
4. Borrower & Reference Information
5. Review & Sign

But wait! We haven’t talked about selecting your repayment plan. Do not consolidate yet! Our final part in this series is going to discuss student loan repayment options. Generally, you will want to wait until after you have graduated but before your grace period has expired to consolidate.  The grace period on your Stafford Loans is 6 months and Perkins Loan is 9 months and it is a period where you do not pay on your student loans.  Look for our final part in this series next week.

If you have not already, sign up for SALT to learn more about student loans, scholarship opportunities, and other money matters topics at www.saltmoney.org/washburn.  Join us next week as we discuss your student loan repayment options!

 

Graduating with Student Loans Part II — Is consolidation right for you?

Welcome back for part II of Graduating with Student Loans.  In our first part, you explored where to find your student loan information in order to know your overall student loan debt and who services your student loans. If you missed the Part I, check it out here.  During this part, we are going to explore federal student loan consolidation and if it is right for you. If you have more than one student loan, it might be to your benefit to consolidate your student loans into one student loans versus having multiple loan payments.  Deciding whether to consolidate is right for you can be heavy decision which is why the Financial Aid Office invites you to play The Biggest Chooser: Why Consolidation is a Heavy Decision”. (See below)

If you have not already, sign up for SALT to learn more about student loans, scholarship opportunities, and other money matters topics at www.saltmoney.org/washburn.  Join us later this week as we discuss how to consolidate your students without paying for it!

 

biggest-chooser-infographic

Graduating with Student Loans? — Part I – Where are your student Loans

 

Graduation is coming up soon.  Do you know if you have any student loans?  Join us over the next few weeks to learn about where to find your student loans, how to consolidate your student loans and how to select the best repayment option for you.  If you are not graduating this semester, it is never too early to learn about your student loans. Depending upon your student loan debt, knowing your student loan repayment options could be the difference of several hundred dollars each month.

With the help of SALT, we are going to explore federal student loans and your repayment options.  As a student loan borrower, you must first find out, “Where in the world are your student loans?”

If you have not already, you should sign up for SALT to learn more about student loans, scholarship opportunities, and other money matters topics at www.saltmoney.org/washburn.

WhereCanYouFindYourFederalStudentLoanInformation

Academic Scholarship Application Available for 2015-2016

The 2015-2016 scholarship application for Washburn University now is available online.

  • Login at this site using your MyWashburn username and password.
  • Select the “Academic Scholarship Application.”
  • Also select any other applicable scholarships previously received, located in the scholarship section on the application.

February 15, 2015 is the priority deadline for this application. Any application received after this date is considered late and only will be considered if funding is available.

This application must be completed and submitted by the priority deadline to be considered for renewal of the academic scholarship and/or any other specialized scholarships listed in the scholarship section of the application. Scholarship renewal requirements are based upon the original award criteria, as defined by the award notification letter sent by the Office of Admissions upon your entry to Washburn University.

If you have questions, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 785.670.1151.

Updated Regulation on Financial Aid Disbursements

Greetings from the Financial Aid Office,

The Financial Aid Office would like to provide all Washburn University students with an update on how Federal Direct Student Loans will be disbursed in the future as not all Federal Direct Student Loans will be disbursed immediately at the beginning of a semester.  Traditionally, Federal Direct Loans were disbursed at the beginning of the semester or within 7-10 days of accepting them on your MyWashburn account. This change in Federal Student Aid regulations affects first-time, first-year undergraduate borrowers and any Washburn University students who will be attending Washburn University for one semester.

Effective immediately:

1) Disbursement of the first installment of any Federal Direct Student Loans to a first-time, first-year undergraduate borrower will be delayed until 30 calendar days after the start of the semester.

2) Disbursement of the first installment of any Federal Direct Student Loans to any student whose loans are processed for a single payment period will be split between 2-equal disbursements. The first disbursement can be made at the beginning of the semester while the second disbursement cannot be made prior to the midpoint of the semester.

Please read the following Q & As for details.

Q1. Who is affected by this changed?

A1. The following types of students are affected by this change:

  1. First-time, first-year undergraduate borrower – This applies to you if, you are a first-year undergraduate borrower and you have never taken out one of the Federal Direct Student Loans stated in Q2.
  2. Students who are attending Washburn University for one semester. For example:
    1. You are graduating during the Fall semester at Washburn University.
    2. You are starting at Washburn University in the Spring semester.
    3. You are receiving one of the Federal Direct Student Loans during the summer term.

Q2. What are the Federal Direct Student Loans affected by this change?

A2. The Federal Direct Student Loans affected by this change are:

  1. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  2. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan
  4. Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan

Q3. Is the Federal Perkins Loan affected by this change?

A3. No, Federal Perkins Loans are not affected by this change.

Q4. I am a first-time, first-year student undergraduate borrower, what is the change?

A4. The date for your first disbursement of a loan will be delayed 30 days. Any subsequent loan you receive after this first disbursement will not be delayed.

Q5. I am attending Washburn University for one semester, what is the change?

A5. Your student loan disbursement will be divided into 2 equal disbursements throughout the semester.  The first disbursement will be at the beginning of the semester and the second semester will be after the midpoint of the semester.

Q6. I attend Washburn University during the Fall and Spring semester and will be attending during the summer term, does this apply to me?

A6. Yes, financial aid for the summer term is awarded and processed as a single semester. Disbursement dates for the summer are yet to be determined and will be posted on the Financial Aid’s and the Business Office’s website.

Q7. How does this impact my refund?

A7. If your loan disbursement is impacted by these rules, you will not receive your refund until your disbursement date.

Q8. I am affected by these changes and need to pay my balance, what can I do?

A8. You can sign up for the new payment plan created by the Business Office.  It allows you to establish a 3 part payment plan.

Q9. I am a previous borrower, does this affect me?

A9. If you are attending Washburn University for the Fall and Spring semesters, this does not affect you.  It would only affect you if you attend Washburn University during the Summer semester or if you are graduating in the Fall semester.

 

2014-2015 Federal Stafford Loan Interest Rate Change

Effective, July 1, 2014, the interest rates for the Federal Stafford Loans have changed. The table below provides interest rates for Direct Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2013.

Perkins Loans (regardless of the first disbursement date) have a fixed interest rate of 5%.

Interest Rates for Direct Loans First Disbursed on or After July 1, 2013

Loan Type

Borrower Type

Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/13 and before 7/1/14

Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/14 and before 7/1/15

Direct Subsidized Loans

Undergraduate

3.86%

4.66%

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Undergraduate

3.86%

4.66%

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Graduate or Professional

5.41%

6.21%

Direct PLUS Loans

Parents and Graduate or Professional Students

6.41%

7.21%

All interest rates shown in the chart above are fixed rates for the life of the loan.

Note: The interest rates for federal student loans are determined by federal law. If there are future changes to federal law that affect federal student loan interest rates, we will update this page to reflect those changes.

Heads Up, Students: You Could Win $500

Sweepstakes Details

First things first: Have you set up your SALTTM account yet? Your school got you free access! Once you’re registered at saltmoney.org, all you have to do is complete a My Money 101TM module or SALT lesson. There are 13 different money lessons to choose from, so you can earn up to 13 chances to win.

Q: What’s SALT?

A: SALT is a free, nonprofit-backed educational resource that provides simple, personalized ways for college students and recent grads to take control of their student debt and manage their finances. SALT was created by American Student Assistance® (ASA), a nonprofit with 50+ years’ experience helping people make better decisions about financing their education and repaying student loans.

Q: How do I access the My Money 101 lessons?

A: First, register your account at saltmoney.org and make sure you select your school. Then choose “Lessons” under the Sort By tab and “Find even more money with My Money 101.”

Q: How do I enter to win the $500?

A: You’ll get one entry into the sweepstakes for each My Money 101 module or SALT lesson you complete. Just remember to complete the quiz at the end! One completed lesson equals one entry, so you can earn up to 13 total chances to win.

Q: When do I find out who won?

A: The sweepstakes winner will be announced and contacted on April 20, 2014.

Scholarship Renewal Criteria

Applied for your academic scholarship renewals? Do you remember your renewal criteria? Listed below is the renewal requirement for Washburn University Academic Scholarships.

 Washburn Academic Scholarship

Initially awarded in the 2011-2012 School Year—You must successfully complete 24 hours between the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters and maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.  Please remember that this scholarship is limited to 4 years/8 semesters of continuous enrollment.

Initially awarded in the 2012-2013 School Year and each year after — You must successfully complete 24 hours between the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters and maintain the minimum cumulative GPA corresponding with your award amount.  Please remember that this scholarship is limited to 4 years/8 semesters of continuous enrollment.

Scholarship Award Amount and Corresponding Renewal GPA

$500-$1250—3.0 Cumulative Renewal GPA

$1500-$3500—3.25 Cumulative Renewal GPA

$4000-$5000—3.40 Cumulative Renewal GPA

 

 

Specialized Scholarships

Finnup, Hindman, Wiseman, Woodbury/Ramskill, Glatt, Kissinger Scholarships— You must successfully complete 24 hours between the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters and maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA.  Please remember that these scholarships are limited to 4 years/8 semesters of continuous enrollment.

 

Presidential/Bryden, Garvey Scholarships— You must successfully complete 24 hours between the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters and maintain at least a 3.25 cumulative GPA.  Please remember that these scholarships are limited to 4 years/8 semesters of continuous enrollment.

 

Richey Scholarship— You must successfully complete 24 hours between the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters and maintain at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA.  Please remember that this scholarship is limited to 4 years/8 semesters of continuous enrollment.

 

Shaw Scholarship— You must successfully complete 24 hours between the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters and maintain at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA.  Please remember that this scholarship is limited to 4 years/8 semesters of continuous enrollment for those awarded as a freshman.  Transfer students receiving the Shaw are limited to 2 years/4 semesters of continuous enrollment.

Transfer and Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships— You must successfully complete 24 hours between the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters and maintain at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA.  Please remember that these scholarships are limited to 2 years/4 semesters of continuous enrollment.

 

SALT Ambassadors Wanted!

 Washburn University’s Financial Aid Office is looking for 6 – 7 excellent students to be members of our SALT Ambassador Program.

What’s SALT?

SALTTM is a program that helps give students money skills for life. SALT helps you track and manage student loans, get free financial advice, find scholarships, jobs, and internships, and plenty more. Washburn University has partnered with SALT to offers its services for free to all students.

Why we need you:

We need to spread the word about SALT—and we need some insanely awesome students to be SALT Ambassadors at Washburn University.

What you’d do:

  •    Promote student registration with SALT, and increase awareness by:
    •    Hanging posters and flyers around campus
    •    Visiting popular spots around campus to talk with students about SALT
    •    Promoting SALT on social media networks
    •    Handing out SALT swag to students
  •    This position will be 2 hours per week for a 6-week period during the spring semester.

Leadership positions are available:

  •  Head Ambassador                                                              
  •  Social Media Chair
  •  Events Chair
  •  Club and Organization Outreach Chair

Who we’re looking for:

  •  Outgoing, friendly students
  •  Students who are highly involved on campus
  •  Those who are interested in tackling student debt

What you’ll get:

  • $150 stipend, plus the chance for an additional $150 in bonuses!
  • Excellent experience for your resume
  • SALT swag (cups, bags, etc.)
  • The chance to get paid just to hang out with other students. (Do the math. That’s over $12 per hour, just to talk to people!)

How do I apply?

If you’re interested in this position, please send an email to Tom Stuart @ tom.stuart@washburn.edu with your resume and a paragraph about why you should be a SALT Ambassador. The deadline is February 8, 2014.

Financial Aid — and YOU!!!

Ever wonder what Sockabod and Danny Funk, the Washburn University’s Scholarship Coordinator, would be doing during this month if it was the 1940’s? Check it out on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICCUc9WguMU.

Don’t forget the priority submission date is February 15, 2014.