The Financial Advisor
The Russell Conwell Center Money Management Newsletter Issue 2 of 4
Deciphering Your Financial Aid Package
inancial Aid packages are coming in from different colleges and the government, but what do they mean? There are two categories of aid; the type you need to pay back, and the type you do not (“gift aid”). Financial aid that needs to be paid back comes in the form of loans. “Gift-aid”, or aid you do not need to pay back, can be grants or scholarships. However, there are loans of all different names, each with varying benefits and stipulations; the same goes for scholarships and/or grants. Need-based Loans will appear as either Federal Perkins Loans or Federal subsidized Stafford Loans in your financial aid package. Loans that are considered subsidized do not start accruing interest until after the student graduatesthe government pays the interest until that point. Non-need-based Loans are called unsubsidized Stafford Loans or Parent PLUS
Loans. Unsubsidized Loans collect interest, and must be re-paid before the end of college. PLUS Loans work a similar way, but allow parents to borrow the full amount of college tuition. Loans may also be offered by private institutions, or from the university itself, at a lower interest rate than the federal loans. Refer to the chart below to see a breakdown of the various types of loans. Gift-Aid is comprised of grants and scholarships. Scholarships can be given by a college, the state government or private institutions. Eligibility for a scholarship is heavily dependent on the source from which it comes. When colleges offer scholarships they are focusing on merit, athletic or artistic abilities. Generally a scholarship provided by a college will require students to maintain a strict GPA and/or academic guidelines. State scholarships are given out when a student attends an in-state college.
To receive a scholarship for a state school, students often demonstrate a high level of academic achievement, but can be awarded a need-based scholarship as well. Private institutions allow students to get the highest amount of money based on their achievements in school and in their community. See “Private Scholarships” for more information about paying for your college education with scholarships. The other kind of “gift aid” is grants. Grants are need-based and can be presented by the college, or by the state. The state government is the largest source of this funding, since grants are need-based. The most common grant is the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant is calculated with financial aid awarded and cost of attendance in mind, and the amount awarded varies. Colleges give grants based on need, and attempt to take ethnicity, gender and family situation into con-
Need to Talk to Someone in Financial Services? Call: (215)204-5897 or E-mail: email@example.com sideration. Filling out the FAFSA is essential for attaining grants, so if you have not done so, finish your FAFSA now at http://www. fafsa.ed.gov/. It is important to note that just because aid is offered, you are not obligated to accept everything. All offers may be declined, so take into consideration all of your finances when deciding what to accept and what to defer. To learn about any of the awards mentioned here, log on to www. bigfuture.collegeboard.org/. -Christina Betz, Editorial Intern
Private Scholarships A
s college tuition continues to increase, more and more students must take on loans in order to graduate. But loans must be paid back, and with interest, putting students even farther in debt. For exactly this reason, finding “free money” and scholarships has never been more important. It is a time-consuming process, yet applying for scholarships can more than pay for itself in the long run. Google searches can get you started on your scholarship search, but there are websites strictly dedicated to making this task more efficient and beneficial to the student.
A Warning about Scholarship Scams • 99% of the time you won’t need to pay for a scholarship application (don’t give out credit card or bank info) • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. You have to dedicate time to scholarship searches, and even more to applying for them • Money is never hidden or “unclaimed”, so don’t let websites that tout these taglines pull you in.
Some of the best websites include: • www.fastweb.com • www.collegeboard.org • www.collegenet.com •www.studentscholarshipsearch.com/ • www.zinch.com These websites compile scholarships from across the country into one database. While a keyword search is good for quick scholarship matches, continued on page 2 www.temple.edu/rcc | Page 1
Living Learning Communities
The Russell Conwell Center’s Housing Option H
ousing Selection is one of the most exciting, and important, parts of college. Temple University is a city campus, and it can seem intimidating to move into a new style of living. So why not ease yourself into the experience by living in a University-owned Residence Hall? In addition to the safety that residential housing supplies, students can find a place in the tightknit community that is encouraged by University Housing. In order to further facilitate these relationships, Temple boasts a number of Living Learning Communities (LLC). Living Learning Communities are very much what the name implies. Students live with peers that have similar interests or majors on a floor in a specific residence hall. The LLC is a great place to get in touch with faculty in your selected area of interest and get acclimated to the rigors of college life. By making the choice to be part of a Living Learning Community, students are also making the choice to have a positive academic experience and connect with the Temple and Philadelphia community.
Requirements to Join the LLC 1. Open to all RCC or Emerging Scholars in STEM majors or interested in a STEM major 2. Register for a Fall 2013 1-credit freshmen seminar designed on STEM study strategies and major/career development 3. Attend a monthly floor meeting or committee meeting with RCC staff 4. Participate in leadership and programming development training (once per semester)
The Russell Conwell Center is proud to offer a Living Learning Community. Located in Johnson Hall, the LLC is open to all Emerging Scholars and Summer Bridge students who are in a part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) major. Historically, students in the RCC LLC will achieve a high grade point average their freshmen year. Among the many benefits of living on the floor are the opportunity to network with students, staff and faculty in STEM majors, engage in career related exploration and trips to better understand their future careers, form as a core group of RCC freshmen leaders that learn programming and leadership skills, and design and implement programming for the RCC throughout the year. Students on the RCC floor will also have access to tutors in the evenings to assist them with their STEM and writing projects and homework. Additional benefits include the opportunity to map out their undergraduate education and take part in a graduate school planning program that will assist them in planning their careers after graduation. The benefits of becoming a part of the Russell Conwell Center LLC include: •
Academic success/Dean’s List (the college version of being on the Honor Roll)
Career development and networking with upper-class STEM students, staff, faculty and industry personnel Success strategies in STEM majors
Programming skills and opportunities
the majority of these websites have the option to construct a “student profile”. The profile allows you to search numerous categories at once. On websites like FastWeb and Zinch, scholarships are recommended for you based on your activities or academic qualifications. By creating accounts and profiles with the website, you can mark the scholarships you are eligible for so you can go back and apply for them at a later time if necessary. When building your profile, make sure to include every activity you have done-some scholarships are obscure and you never know what you might be eligible for. After finding scholarships comes the hard part. Many scholarships will require essays or
Opportunities to provide service in areas of your interest
In the event your housing assignment was booked in another accommodation, submitting the request for this LLC will allow University Housing and Residential Life to cancel any previous bookings in order to assign you to this LLC. It is very easy to become a part of a Living Learning Community. There is an application, separate from that of the normal housing process that must be filled out; you can find it at http://www.temple.edu/studentaffairs/housing/ Housing costs for the 2013-2014 year are also posted on the website, so parents and students can see what they will be expected to pay per the Residence Hall. For more information about the RCC LLC, please contact: Michael Stokes, Director Russell Conwell Center firstname.lastname@example.org or James Sellers, Assistant Director Tutorial and Academic Support Russell Conwell Center email@example.com. -Christina Betz, Editorial Intern
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Increase Your Chances of Winning
• Read the Requirements- Don’t waste time on a scholarship you are not eligible for • Keep track of deadlines- Senior year moves quickly so don’t miss out on any opportunities. • Pay careful attention to everything you submit. If reusing essays or cover letters double check that anything related specifically to a scholarship has been changed to reflect the right information • Follow directions! Strictly adhere to stipulations about word count and supporting documents
writing pieces of some sort. These are the most important parts to winning a scholarship, and should be treated as such. As many students are familiar with writing an essay for class, the same guidelines should be followed. It is important to make sure you answer all the questions that the scholarship asks. Extensive edits and revisions are necessary, because there are hundreds or even thousands of other students trying just as hard to win. Dedicating time is necessary to winning a scholaship. -Christina Betz, Editorial Intern www.temple.edu/rcc | Page 2