Class of 2014: What’s Next for Your Student Loans?


I’m not afraid to admit that being a college senior was a little frightening (okay, slight understatement  it was extremely frightening!). As you, the Class of 2014, prepare to say goodbye to the comforts of your college community and say hello to the real world, you’re faced with many realities. Where will I live? How am I going to find a job? Will I make ends meet? Will I be happy?

And with all these new exciting challenges, one of the last things on most of your minds is repaying your student loans. Yet it’s one of our responsibilities and you need to be prepared for when the first bill arrives in the mail.

I will be honest in saying the repayment process is a little intimidating, and before writing this post I was at a loss on where to begin. Luckily, the Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) has tools available to walk soon-to-be grads through the loan repayment process:

  • Exit Counseling: Redesigned to be more interactive, Exit Counseling provides important information to student borrowers who are preparing to begin student loan repayment. Exit counseling is required when you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, so talk to the financial aid office at your school about completing it.
  • Federal Loan Repayment Plans: Understanding the details of repayment can save you time and money. Find out when repayment starts, how to make your payment, repayment plan options, what to do if you have trouble making payments, and more!
  • Repayment Estimator: Federal Student Aid recently launched a Repayment Estimator that allows you to compare your monthly student loan payment under different repayment plans to help you figure out which option is right for you. You can either enter your average loan amount or log-in to have your current federal student loan information automatically pulled in so you can compare repayment plans based on your specific situation.

So with all of these great resources, I’ve found that things were clearer, and not quite as scary. Class of 2014 you are about to embark on a new adventure. Best of luck to each and every one of you!

For additional information and tips, visit Federal Student Aid on Twitter , Facebook, and YouTube.

Kelsey Donohue is a 2013 graduate of Marist College (N.Y.)


  1. Interesting post right here. One thing I would really like to say is that most professional domains consider the Bachelor Degree as the entry level standard for an online education. Although Associate Qualifications are a great way to start out, completing your current Bachelors reveals many doorways to various occupations, there are numerous internet Bachelor Diploma Programs available through institutions like The University of Phoenix, Intercontinental University Online and Kaplan. Another issue is that many brick and mortar institutions make available Online editions of their certifications but normally for a substantially higher charge than the companies that specialize in online college degree plans.

  2. Dear Sir/Madam

    I am a South African, teacher, who has been teaching for the past 26 years, at Pescodia Primary School, in Kimberley. I have improved my teaching qualifications, to be able to teach more effectively. I am enrolled at Walden University, for an Online Master’s Degree in Education, with my specialization being Elementary Reading and Mathematics. I have chosen this online course because it would not interfere with my teaching. I have also chosen this specialization course because of the weak results obtained by learners, in grades 3,6 and 9 in the Annual National Assessments. Thus far, I have completed two courses, obtaining an A grade in
    The Teacher as a Professional, and a B grade in Design Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment. At the moment I am busy with Learning and Teaching of Mathematics for Elementary and Middle School.

    I have obtained a $2000 grant from the university, but still need to pay an amount of $2800, by the 27 April 2014, or else I will be withdrawn from the course. The complete course costs $13800, but my priority now is to pay the due amount of $2800.
    I am writing this email, to beg of your organization, to subsidize the outstanding amount. I would be indebted to your organization, and would volunteer my time to assist with anything that contributes to the education of children, especially girls and women.
    I have also inserted the invoice from the University, to proof to you that I am authentic. I have pursued, many avenues, including approaching our education department and government , but to no avail. As a last resort I have decided to ask assistance from your organization.

    Any assistance would be appreciated.

    Thanking you in anticipation.

    Yours Truly
    Sharon Martin

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