Thursday, May 15, 2014

Managing College Debt with Scholarships

The Huffington Post featured an article on May 2 about the skyrocketing debt students are facing. It references a new study published by the Project on Student Debt, which has found that the average student debt has risen to 29,400—up by 63-percent in less than a decade.

What many students don’t realize is that student loan debt generally cannot be forgiven, even in the case of bankruptcy. There are exceptions in the case of extreme circumstances and via loan-forgiveness programs, such as the Teacher Forgiveness Program. Check out the Federal Student Aid site from the Office of the U.S. Department of Education for additional details.

There are a variety of resources to help you pay for college. The most common are grants, student loans, work study programs and scholarships. Students typically use a blend of these resources. A good practice is to apply for at least one or more types of financial aid. The most advantageous of these are scholarships because there is no debt to repay or interest to accrue.

There are a variety of college scholarships and resources at your disposal. For more details about the Rio scholarships available to you, visit this financial aid web page.

Rio’s general scholarship applications are processed through the new Maricopa Community Colleges District Scholarship Application. Students can complete one application and be eligible for multiple scholarships automatically. You’ll see listings for dozens of scholarship opportunities. If you visit that page now, however, you’ll quickly discover that many of these scholarship application deadlines have already ended or are due to expire-- so time and timing is of the essence.

There are other factors that will impact your success in acquiring funding. We highly recommend you visit this My.maricopa.edu web page for tips and a tutorial before you begin the process of submitting your application: https://my.maricopa.edu/paying-college/scholarships.