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New Student Resources

This past week, Federal Student Aid launched it’s new website.  It is much more streamlined and is packed full of good information, interactive tools and FAQ’s to help students understand more about what it means to borrow Financial aid. 

Go to www.studentaid.ed.gov to check this all out!! 

Also they have launched many social media properties on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in order to offer students, parents and borrorwers another avenue of communication to learn and understand the student aid process.  Be sure to check them out!

Refund Checks!!!

If you have accepted your financial aid already and will be expecting to receive a refund check for living expenses for your fall 2012 semester, you can expect to pick up your check from the BUSINESS OFFICE after 12pm on August 17th!!!

3 Steps Before Fall!!!

If you are an admitted student for the fall 2012 semester, there are a few things to keep in mind that you will need to do BEFORE August 1st, if you haven’t already:

1.  Fill out your FAFSA!  do this online at www.fafsa.ed.gov  Stetson COL’s school code is E00342. 

2.  Log on to your banner web account:  Accept the Terms and Conditions for Receiving Financial aid and accept, decline or partially accept your loans!
***Be sure to accept the lowest interest rate loan first: Unsubsidized Stafford loan is a 6.8% interest rate and 1% origination fee.  Then accept only WHAT YOU NEED of the higher interest rate loan: the Graduate Plus at 7.9% and 4% origination fee.***

3.  Do you Loan Entrance Counseling and sign your Master Promissory Note(s) online.  You will sign TWO MPN’s if you are taking both Stafford and Graduate Plus loans out. 

Please do this all as soon as you can before August 1st to ensure that your financial aid pays out onto your account in a timely manner.  :)

Sallie Mae Introduces Fixed-Rate Private Education Loan

Sallie Mae, the nation’s No. 1 financial services company specializing in education, announced a new fixed interest rate option on its private education loans for academic year 2012-13. The new fixed interest rates, available to undergraduate and graduate students at degree-granting institutions on May 21, will start at 5.75 percent with no origination fees. Sallie Mae will continue to offer variable rate private education loans at rates starting at 2.25 percent for students at degree-granting institutions, with no origination fees.

 

Mark Kantrowitz’s Take on Financial Aid

If you are unfamiliar with Mark Kantrowitz, he is a financial aid expert and publisher of Fastweb.com and Finaid.org and also the author of “Secrets to Winning a Scholarship” so he knows his way around the world of financial aid, to say the least. 

In the New York Times he has published 5 parts worth of questions and answers regarding financial aid to give college students the best advice and help answer what seems like impossible questions when it comes to loan and budgeting advice. 

Some questions that are asked include:  the effect on a sudent’s financial aid package when they receives a private scholarship, advice for paying for private school, Graduate Plus co-signing advice and much, much more! 

Check out this Q and A series at: http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/fafsaq-and-a/

 

Tuesday Tips

We just finished up our Exit Counseling sessions for our May 2012 graduates!  This is one of our most informative and beneficial financial aid sessions that we offer on-site which every student will attend before they graduate.  It gives you all the information you will need to realize your overall loan debt, pick a repayment plan, consolidate your loans or defer payment.  Currently, the Executive Director of Admissions and Student Financial Planning, Laura Zuppo holds these sessions and gives her first-hand knowledge on many of the subjects talked about.   

Here are the Top 10 Tips for upcoming graduates: 

  1. Direct Stafford loans have an automatic 6 month grace period.
  2. Direct Graduate Plus loans have an automatic 6 month deferment.
  3. To postpone payments: you can choose a Deferment or Forbearance. 
  4. You are eligible to change your repayment plan once a year. 
  5. A standard repayment plan is a 10 year fixed or graduated (amount gets larger with time) monthly payment.  NO pre-pay penalties!  This plan results in the lowest interest paid. 
  6. Extended repayment plan is up to 25 years and can be either fixed or graduated payments per month.  You pay a high amount of interest with this plan. 
  7. An income contingent plan is based on income, family size, and loan amounts.  It is a 25 year repayment plan and changes in income impacts the monthly payment amount!
  8. Income sensitive plans are for FFELP loans only.  This plan is based on income and total loan amount. 
  9. Income-based repayment plan (IBR) payments are determined by income and dependents and NOT only the debt amount.  Payments can be as low as $0 per month in some cases.  For an online calculator visit:  http://www.ibrinfo.org/calculator.php
  10. If you choose to consolidate your loans, you will only have one payment to one lender and takes about 2 months to complete. If you plan to consolidate, do the application now but don’t file too early to lose the benefit of the grace period. 

Money, Money, Money…

Money… more specifically, free money.  Are you struggling with the cost of Law School and looking for some extra ways to pay for school this fall or to reduce the amount of Financial aid that you currently borrow, you can look into some of the newly available outside scholarships that we have posted:

 Richard D. Hailey AAJ Law Student Scholarship
Award: Up to six $1,000 scholarships
Deadline: May 1, 2012
Eligibility: Current African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Native American and Bi-Racial AAJ Law student members

 Warren E. Burger Prize Writing Competition
Award: $5,000
Deadline: June 1, 2012
Eligibility: Current students

In addition to these, we have 100’s of outside scholarships listed on our website for you to search through check it out at: http://www.law.stetson.edu/admissions/financial/scholarships-outside-opportunities.php

My suggestion would be to copy and paste this whole page into a WORD document to easier search for ones that are applicable to you and delete out the ones that aren’t. 

*Reminder: if you haven’t already filled out your 2012-2013 FAFSA, do so as soon as you have completed your 2011 taxes to receive Financial aid for the fall 2012 semester!

Changes to Summer Semester

Hello!!!  I wanted to keep you all up to date with the most recent changes to important dates for the summer semester here at Stetson College of Law. 

Bidding for summer classes will start around 10 a.m. on MARCH 16th.  The deadline to enter and adjust your bids will be MARCH 28th by 6:00 p.m. 

After you have made your class selections and they are final, you can send the Summer Request Form for financial aid to our office. 

 

Summer Financial Aid

It’s that time again!  We are getting closer to the summer and we wanted to let you know that the Summer Financial aid Request Form has been emailed out to the student body.  If you didn’t receive it, please contact the Office of Student Financial Planning at finaid@law.stetson.edu to request one or if you have any questions about it. 

  • Forms are due April 27th, 2012.  You can drop it off, email or fax it back to us once you are 99.9% sure of the classes that you will be taking.  
  • Please don’t drop it off if your schedule is tentative, wait for it to finalize. 
  • Be sure to talk to the Registrar’s Office about residency credits and possibly graduating early by taking summers. 

In addition to a variety of classes and lengths, this summer there are study abroad trips to China, Argentina, Spain and more!  You can receive Financial funding up to the cost of attendance for these trips as well!

Tuesday Tips

We all could use some tips regarding our finances.  It’s one area of our lives that we can benefit from continual learning.  One great resource is mymoney.gov which is a government supported website aimed to educate Americans about all aspects of their finances in order to help them make more informed decisions towards a more financially secure future.  Here is a list of our favorite articles on their website to get you started!

1.  5 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

2.  Money Smart- A Financial Education Program

3.  Top 11 Tips from 2011

Tell us what you think!


Stetson Law

Stetson University College of Law is Florida’s first law school. It has educated lawyers for more than a century. The law school is located in the Gulfport/St. Petersburg area with a satellite campus in downtown Tampa.

Stetson University

Stetson University’s historic campus, founded in 1883 in DeLand, is home to the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business Administration and School of Music. Stetson also has a satellite center in Celebration that offers advanced degrees.