Keeping the Cost of College Down

A small, black paper graduation cap and tassel sits on top of paper dollar bills.

Between the high costs of tuition, living expenses, meal plans and textbooks, it is easy to see why college students are increasingly stressed about their finances. A 2015 survey  found that around 70% of college students feel stressed about their personal finances in general. As a current student at UCLA, I too have felt the financial strain of an undergraduate education. Luckily, I have found that there are many simple actions college students can take to reduce the cost of postsecondary education. Here are 5 tips from a current college student on how to make college more affordable:

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Student Loan Forgiveness (and Other Ways the Government Can Help You Repay Your Loans)

Here’s a question a lot of people may be wondering… Is it really possible to have my federal student loans forgiven or to get help repaying them?

The answer is: Yes!

However, there are very specific eligibility requirements for each situation in which you can apply for loan forgiveness or receive help with repayment. Loan forgiveness means that you don’t have to pay back some or all of your loan. You never know what you may be eligible for, so take a look at the options we have listed below. The first three options focus on loan forgiveness programs. The next two options are government programs based on your service.

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How to Deduct Student Loan Interest on your Taxes (1098-E)

Student loans, interest payments, and taxes: three things that have scared many people for years now. Read on to learn how these things can benefit you.

If you made federal student loan payments in 2018, you may be eligible to deduct a portion of the interest paid on your 2018 federal tax return. This is known as a student loan interest deduction. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to make the money you’ve paid work for you! Below are some questions and answers to help you learn more about reporting student loan interest payments from IRS Form 1098-E on your 2018 taxes and potentially get this deduction.

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3 Ways to Spot a Scam

You Don’t Have to Pay for Help with Your Student Loans!

You’re at home about to start cooking (or microwaving, no judgment here) dinner when you get a phone call from an unknown number. The person on the other end of the line is promising to help you pay off all of your student loans. All they’re asking for is some of your personal information and an upfront fee. It sounds too good to be true, right? It probably is.

Even if you haven’t gotten a phone call exactly like that, you have probably seen the countless ads on social media offering to help you manage your student loan debt. While the U.S. Department of Education (ED) does offer some legitimate student loan forgiveness programs and ways to lower your student loan payments, they are all free to apply for through your official loan servicer. Don’t pay for help when you can get help for free!

Here are some signs that you’re talking to a student loan debt relief company instead of ED:

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The 5 Most Helpful Federal Student Aid Blog Posts

Not attending the FSA conference this week? Learn from home using these resources.

With Federal Student Aid’s (FSA) Annual Conference in full swing in Atlanta, we understand that not everyone is able to attend and learn from financial aid experts. However, you don’t have to be a financial aid professional to become a FAFSA expert.

Here are the Top 5 FSA blog posts to help students and parents become FAFSA ‘pros’:

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Secretary DeVos Warns of Student Debt Crisis

Secretary Betsy DeVos delivers opening remarks at the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Training Conference in Atlanta. She stands at a lectern to the side of an American flag and a U.S. Department of Education flag at the left of the photo. In the background is a large banner with "Federal Student Aid An Office of the U.S. Department of Education" written on it.
Secretary DeVos delivered the opening remarks at this year’s Federal Student Aid Training Conference, raising “a warning flag with American students and American taxpayers.” While noting that “our higher ed system is the envy of the world,” she also cautioned, “if we, as a country, do not make important policy changes in the way we distribute, administer, and manage federal student loans, the program on which so many students rely will be in serious jeopardy.”

In addition to her warnings about the looming student debt crisis, the Secretary also recognized administrators for their valuable work and shared some of the ways the administration is rethinking financial aid.

If you missed the Secretary’s speech, here are the three greatest takeaways for financial aid administrators.

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How to Fill Out the FAFSA® Form When You Have More Than One Child in College

Having one child who is heading to college can be stressful, but having to help multiple children at the same time can feel like too much to manage. While I can’t save you from a forgotten application deadline or the “how to do your own laundry” lessons, hopefully, I can help make the financial aid part of the process run more smoothly with these tips:

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