Monday, April 26, 2010


Winning scholarships is not the only option for getting money for college.

Have you heard of U-Promise? U-Promise is a free service that helps you get money for college bills and student loans from the things you do all the time: buy groceries, shop online, fill your gas tank and much more.

One of the fastest ways to grow your U-Promise savings is to take advantage of the multiple programs offered (dining, grocery, online shopping, etc.). Everyday purchases can earn a percentage which is saved for your college expenses.

Check it out.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Identity Theft Tips 13 & 14

13. Never give your credit card number or personal information over the phone unless you have initiated the call and trust that business.

14. Subscribe to a credit report monitoring service that will notify you whenever someone applies for credit in your name.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Identity Theft Tips 10 to 12

10. Order your Social Security Earnings and Benefits statement once a year to check for fraud.

11. Examine the charges on your credit card statements before paying them.

12. Cancel unused credit card accounts

Monday, April 19, 2010

Identify Theft Tips 8 & 9

8. Do not mail bill payments and checks from home. They can be stolen from your mailbox annd washed clean in chemicals. Take them to the post office.

9. Do not print your Social Security number on your checks.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Identity Theft--Tips 5, 6 & 7

5. Add your name to the name-deletion lists of the Direct marketing Association's Mail Preference Service used by banks and other marketers.

6. Do not carry extra credit cards or other important identity documents except when needed.

7. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Copy both sides of your license and credit cards so you have all the account numbers, expiration dates and phone numbers if your wallet or purse is stolen

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Identity Theft--Tips 3 & 4

3. Shred all old bank credit statements and "junk mail" credit card offers before
trashing them. Use a crosscut shredder. Crosscut shredders cost more than
regular shredders, but are superior.

4. Remove your name from the marketing lists of the three credit reporting bureaus
to reduce the number of pre-approved credit offers you receive.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Simplify Your Life

"You know it is time to simplify your life when you can't make it to the end of the month without using your credit card."

---Elaine St. James

Avoid Identity Theft--Tips 1 to 2

The following tips are by Frank W. Abagnale for

Identity thieves rob more than 500,000 Americans every year. Credit can be damaged, and fixing it can cost you hundreds of dollars and take hundreds of hours of your time. These steps will help you reduce your risk of identity theft.

1. Guard your Social Security number. It is the key to your credit report and banking accounts and is the prime target of criminals.

2. Monitor your credit report. It contains your SSN, present and prior employers, a listing of all account numbers, including those that have been closed, and your overall credit score. After applying for a loan, credit card, rental or anything else that requires a credit report, request that your SSN on the application be truncated or completely obliterated and your original credit report be shredded before your eyes or returned to you once a decision has been made. A lender or rental manager needs to retain only your name and credit score to justify a decision.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pell Grant 2010-11

Please note that the maximum Pell Grant for the 2010-11 award year is $5,500 which is more than 2009-10.

An eligible part-time student can receive a Pell Grant, but the amount will be less than for a full-time student.

An applicant may receive only one Pell Grant in an award year and may not receive Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Changes to Federal Financial Aid

The stimulus package will significantly augment spending for higher education by enhancing financial aid, expanding work-study programs and creating a new tuition tax credit. The federal law will provide students with the following additional financial assistance for student expenses.

Maximum Pell Grant benefits will increase from $4,850 to $5,350 for 2009-10

The package would create a tax credit of $2,500, up from $1,800. Students and parents may be able to claim a credit against their federal taxes that could increase their federal tax refund. Eligible expenses would include books and other course materials. Currently, only tuition and fees are eleigible expenses.

These new tax credit provisions are specific to tax years 2009-10 for the first four years of post-secondary education and are subject to phase out for taxpayers with the adjusted gross incomes in excess of $80,000 ($160,000 for married couples filing jointly).

The tax credit could be taken when filing federal taxes for the year in which the student was enrolled in college.

Student employment will be assisted by the addition of $200 million in funding to the Federal Work-Study Program, a program that provides jobs to students for their educational expenses. Federal Work-Study jobs will be made available by the student's school.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Urgent Scholarship Deadline

The deadline for this one is tonight, BUT if your portfolio is in order, that shouldn't be a problem. It is the same format as the COD scholarship so you should be ready to go.

They are offering ten (10) $10,000 for 2 year students and twenty-five (25) $500 for two year students.

The contact is

Good luck!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Need-based Institutional Grants and Scholarships

Need-based grants are awarded as one component of a student's financial aid award package, to students who lack the financial resources to cover the cost of attending college. Regardless of the type of educational institution, an inverse correlation generally exists between family income and the grant amount you receive. The lower your family's income, the more institutional grant funds you're likely to receive from the awarding institution.

The amount of grant money available varies from institution to institution and between institutional types. The Instituion for Higher Education Policy reports that in 1995-96, the average need-based grant aid amounts from all sources were ususally highest at private four-year schools and lowest at public two year institutions. However, the grants tended to fund about the same proportion of student expenses, with 30 percent covered at public two-year institutions, 29 percent at private four-year colleges and universities and 27 percent at public four-year schools.

Many institutions also have need-based scholarship programs, often funded by alumni or local services organizations. Contact your school for information and a scholarship application.

Merit-based Institutional Grants & Scholarships

A merit-based grant ort scholarship requires the demonstration of excellence in some area. Particularly high GPAs and SAT scortes are the most common mark of distinction and are the deciding factors for most merit-based awards. Additionally, discipline-specific, community service and skill-based awards may be offered. You could write an essay and win a school's writing competion, for example, and receive a grant or scholarship ffrom the English department.

Some of these funds are awarded to incoming feshman only but, others are open to students further along in their studies. All institutional grants and scholarships require that students be enrolled at the awarding institution. Merit-based grants and scholarships sometimes have a need-based component. For these, you have to exhibit exceptional performance in some area and have demonstrated financial need.

Top Sources of Free Money for College

The main sources of student grants (free money that does not need to be repaid) is from federal, state amd institutional. The avenue for the federal and state grants is through applying for FAFSA.

An institution awards grant and scholarship funds to students enrolled in that school. Institutional grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid and come in two varieties: merit-based and need-based.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Education Tax Credits

April 15th is just around the corner. Please be sure to claim either the American Opportunity Tax Credit, HOPE Scholarship or Lifelong Learning Credit. You can read about it in my March posts.

If you have a tax preparer, remind him/her. If you are filing your own taxes, become familiar with these wonderful education credits. Remember, it is not just receiving scholarships but, saving the money you have and applying for credits when you qualify.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Scholarship Class

I will return to campus on Tuesday, April 6th, therefore, there will be no class on Monday. Please use the time to catch up.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Alternative Ways to Cut College Costs #5

Pay lower prices at out-of-state schools:
If you would like to attend an out-of-state college, but cannot afford the higher tuition, check out NATIONAL STUDENT EXCHANGE and WUE (Western Undergraduate Exchange).

If you are registered at CSU, San Bernadino, you could possibly study at the University of Hilo for a year.

Worth looking into if you need or want a change of pace.