Consolidating into direct loan program

Paying for college places extraordinary financial burdens on families; especially in light of continually rising higher education costs.

Unless your college fund is well-stocked, you’ll be scraping for student financial aid along with your school-mates.

Family size, and the number of members who are attending college influence federal financial aid awards.

Students may apply as ‘dependent’ candidates, or as ‘independent’ FAFSA filers.

Whenever possible, pay for college with financial aid that doesn’t get paid back; but when free-money gift aid doesn’t cover all your bills, turn to student loans to bridge your higher education affordability gap.

College-aged individuals are not exemplary credit risks.

As part of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Barack Obama and the 111th Congress cut out the middlemen and ended the private lender subsidy arrangement.

The move designates the student assistance effort as the only U. Government-backed lending program, and leaves the Federal Government as the sole administrator for Federal Direct Student Loans.

Direct subsidized student loans are reserved for the neediest applicants, and interest payments are guaranteed by the Federal Government during certain periods of the life of each loan.

Direct subsidized loan participants do not pay interest on student loans: Important change to subsidized loan repayment policy: For loans issued after July 1st, 2012, the Department of Education will not pay interest due during the six-month grace period following school.

Grants and scholarships provide assistance that is not repaid.

Generally, grants help those with the highest levels of financial need, while scholarships cover college expenses for students who exhibit high standards in academics and athletics.

And maximum financial aid awards, including Federal Direct Loans, are higher.