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Comprehensive US Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion

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GMAT Club Legend
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Comprehensive US Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2007, 22:39
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Hey everyone,

I decided to start an area where all the info can be collected in ONE place, and eventually placed into a wiki. Below is a list of good scholarship discussions from the 07-ers to get people started. Please put all scholarship discussions here so one of us mods can fish out the nuggets to put in a wiki later on (I can volunteer to do this once I get an admit and finish my apps, haha)

K

EDIT: Links moved here:

123-t58749
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesVeritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2007, 11:43
Alright, here's a question for all the experts out there. I have not even looked at a FAFSA form yet, so I don't know how this applies. I am getting married in mid/late January. Should I apply as a single applicant prior to my wedding, when I still have a significant amount more money before the wedding expenses and honeymoon....or should I apply after the marriage...or should I apply before the marriage, but fill it out like I'm married, because by the time all of the paperwork is complete, I will most likely be married already.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2007, 13:41
emoryhopeful wrote:
Alright, here's a question for all the experts out there. I have not even looked at a FAFSA form yet, so I don't know how this applies. I am getting married in mid/late January. Should I apply as a single applicant prior to my wedding, when I still have a significant amount more money before the wedding expenses and honeymoon....or should I apply after the marriage...or should I apply before the marriage, but fill it out like I'm married, because by the time all of the paperwork is complete, I will most likely be married already.


I would suggest contacting Emory's office of financial aid. I ran into the same problem last year. What I was told is to fill it out with current information but include a letter about your change of situtation in the near future when you submit your request to Emory (not FAFSA).
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2007, 14:08
well, the FAFSA looks at three main things:

1. Your annual income (your 1040 filed income)
2. Your investments (mutual funds, stocks, investment real estate)
3. Your most recent bank statements

They do not look at your retirement funds, Roth IRA, 401K, or primary household property.

I just funded my Roth IRA for 2007, taking a big chunk out of my bank account, so it sounds like it might be better for you to apply after the marriage. But I could be wrong, so that's why this thread is here for discussion. :)
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2007, 06:01
kryzak wrote:
I just funded my Roth IRA for 2007, taking a big chunk out of my bank account, so it sounds like it might be better for you to apply after the marriage. But I could be wrong, so that's why this thread is here for discussion. :)


I was thinking of doing something similar. Filing after marriage, after spending a huge chunk of money, then funding my IRA to the max for the year. Then my assets look like much less (well, they are much less).
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Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 01 Jan 2008, 20:24
Moved to this thread

I've read of couple of M7 schools offering loans to the extent of the cost of the program.

Any data on these loans, interest rates and how they compare with other borrowing options?
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Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 19:22
I couldn't find the instructions on how to complete FAFSA for the longest time!
I thought I'd save you a lot of free time and post a link here:

http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/attac ... A08-09.pdf
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Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 21:14
the question I have is, they ask for your "most recent" bank statement, investment statements, and tax filing info. I currently owe a few K's on my credit card for some ski cabins I've been reserving for people, thus I also have a few K's more in my savings account than usual. Should I wait until I pay off those CC bills before I apply to FAFSA so that my balance is more like my average, or does it really matter?

Maybe I should call some of my b-school friends and ask them how they did it.
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Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 23:43
whats a reasonable amount of cash to have laying around? is 5k too much? id hate to have less than that at any given time.
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Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 23:47
I generally try to keep at least 5K of emergency cash in my savings, the rest goes into stocks, retirement fund, and other things. I might keep the emergency cash thing lower for the month I'm applying to FAFSA, not sure if that'll work. Not really sure how FAFSA determines things actually... it's been at least a decade since college apps...
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Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2008, 07:11
I also would like to know how much $$$ in your savings would be considered too much by FAFSA and how it determines how much money you need based on your saving/checking balances.
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Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2008, 17:15
I assume FAFSA is only eligible for US residents?

For me, looks like self funding if i go to the USA.
I get a 10% discount from Manchester because of early application, still waiting to hear about scholarships, as they are awarded at the end of each month.
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Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2008, 17:23
I believe FAFSA is only for US Citizens or Permanent Residents.
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Re: [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2008, 18:04
While the FAFSA does not consider IRA's or 401(k) funds, some schools separately WILL consider your IRA's and 401(k) funds in determining need-based aid.

For instance: http://www0.gsb.columbia.edu/mba/home/faq#q3843

kryzak wrote:
well, the FAFSA looks at three main things:

1. Your annual income (your 1040 filed income)
2. Your investments (mutual funds, stocks, investment real estate)
3. Your most recent bank statements

They do not look at your retirement funds, Roth IRA, 401K, or primary household property.

I just funded my Roth IRA for 2007, taking a big chunk out of my bank account, so it sounds like it might be better for you to apply after the marriage. But I could be wrong, so that's why this thread is here for discussion. :)
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Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2008, 18:35
thanks for the tip! If they do consider it, then I will be "penalized" for saving a lot of my salary into 401K and retirement funds, and not accumulating debt like many in the country... :(
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Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 09 Jan 2008, 16:01
some insights from solaris1:

solaris1 wrote:
Your eligibility for subsidized (i.e. no interest while in school) Stafford loans depends on your EFC (expected family contribution) number, which the FAFSA calculates based on a lot of variables. As such, I'm not sure if it's possible to predict how much cash you can have in your savings account and still be eligible for subsidized Stafford loans. Unsubsidized Stafford loans (6.8% fixed rate, but most lenders offer 1.0 % to 1.25% less in discounts) are not based on financial need and can be (and should be, if I'm not mistaken) taken by everyone before applying for Federal PLUS loans or private education loans, which charge higher/variable interests.

However, some schools have their own loan programs that charge only around 5% interest, but these are offered on the basis of financial need.

And you can send your FAFSA to multiple schools.

disclaimer: This is all based on my experience with the FAFSA and financial aid in general while a college student. It obviously applies only to US applicants.


as for age, that is an issue for us over 30's. That's one of the reasons why I decided not to go after the traditional MBA jobs like consulting and banking, or even marketing/brand management.
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Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2008, 11:06
are the fed cuts to the interest rates going to make our loans cheaper?
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Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2008, 11:11
Most federal student loan programs are now fixed-rate, dabots. So the fed rate cuts have no impact. Most private loans however are indexed to the prime rate so their rates will fluctuate based on what the Fed is doing.
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Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2008, 11:24
if that's the case, and the prediction of a 1.5% cut by end of the year is possible, then it's a great time for us to get loans, at least until somewhere in 2009.
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Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2008, 11:42
Well that's a little speculative, but everyone has a different tolerance to risk.

While the Prime rate moves (generally) with the Fed rate, it's obviously much higher than the actual Fed Funds rate. For instance, the current Prime rate is 7.25% while the Fed Funds rate is 4.25%. Only really creditworthy borrowers would get student loans at Prime (others will pay Prime + x%). And until a few months ago the Prime was hovering at around 8.25%.

Compare this to the fixed 6.8% rate (before any lender incentives) of the Federal unsubsidized Stafford loans or the fixed 8.50% (again before any lender incentives) rate of the Federal PLUS loans.
Re: Comprehensive Scholarship/Financial Aid Discussion   [#permalink] 10 Jan 2008, 11:42
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