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Student Loan Consolidation Information - What Is Financial Aid?

Oct 8, 2007
At the time of researching your student loan consolidation information options you need to look into the types of financial aid available.

Over the past 40 years just as with all other costs of living, the cost of education has risen considerably, general tuition increases of over 6% per financial year are common today, an example of this is, in 1973 the cost of registration for a student at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) was $208.00 per quarter it's now well over $2,300.00 per quarter.

That ten fold increase is not too uncommon, as a large proportion of items cost ten times what they did a few decades ago, but wages on the other hand have risen only three fold in the same period, from approximately $15,000.00 to $30,000.00 per financial year to around $39,000.00 to $42,000.00, these numbers may vary with gender, age and other issues , however as a general guide the lower range of 3 to 1 ratio is about right.

The good news is there are more forms of financial aid available today to students and parents than there ever has been in the past, financial aid as the name indicates is funds that students and their parents are able obtain from scholarships, either from Federal and private lenders or a couple of other sources to aid students in paying for their education.

In the past students would have depended nearly totally on Pell Grants and Stafford Loans to finance education costs, even if not completely coving living items, Pell Grants are still provided, however they are need-based and represent a limited percentage of the education cost today, Stafford Loans are also need-based and can range from 25% to 40% of the normal cost of financing tuition, Perkins Loans are the same, however are reserved for the lowest income families.

Luckily, PLUS Loans are now available, which was not an option to students 35 years ago, these are loans to parents not students, to assist paying for the students education, the interest rates are less than perfect, and there are many restrictions and charges, nonetheless with many students they still form some part of the total package.

A word of warning about fess and charges, a large proportion of loans are nominally for a specified total, say $4,000.00 per year, disbursed in two payments one per semester, however it is not uncommon for up to 4% in fees to be deducted from that amount before any money is distributed, that 4% on $4,000.00 equals $160.00 you will never see yet still have to re-pay, be sure where possible to seek low or no fee loans, and whilst Federal loan programs like the subsidized Stafford and others, have no credit check and low fees and interest is paid by the government, they're not the only source of financial aid today.

The general financial aid package today will be a complex mixture of scholarships if possible, grants, Federal and most likely private loans, rates will vary from 5% for a Perkins loan to the more common 6.8% or higher, with the recent considerable increase in defaults on sub-prime lending primarily for mortgages, lenders are going to be far more strict than ever before about credit history and income.

The best method to obtain the information required is to look at the tables of the most general loan schemes, what interest rates and charges they carry along with any eligibility requirements, it's critical to keep this information in mind when considering any student loan consolidation information.
About the Author
Ian Wilkie is a published expert author of many Student Loan Consolidation Information articles and owner of - My Student Loan Consolidation Information your one-stop online resource for Government Student Loan Consolidation.
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