How Common is a Full Ride?

Every parent wants their child to get a “full ride” or a scholarship that pays the way to school; however, full rides are not very common at all. It is a result of scholarship limits imposed on teams by the NCAA.

Division I programs may award a maximum of 9.9 men’s and 14.0 women’s swimming scholarships. Division II programs can provide up to 8.1 for each gender while Division III institutions may not provide any athletic aid.

With 24-28 athletes on each swim program, the money doesn’t cover too many athletes. “The rule of thumb is: the better the team, the harder it is to get money,” explains former Brigham Young coach Stan Crump. “Fulls are tough to get, but easier as the teams get weaker.”

“If you are not in the top 8 at nationals or an outstanding high school short course swimmer,” explains Florida’s Gregg Troy while talking about men’s swimming, “a full is probably not a reality.”

“Women need to be a top 8 NCAA qualifier or very close to walking through the door,” explains Ohio State’s Bill Dorrenkott, “and even then they need to be able to contribute significantly on relays.”

Dorrenkott broke down the numbers a bit further explaining that “A good scholarship for US National multiple event qualifiers is 30-50% for men and 40-60% for women.” Not a NCAA qualifier as a freshman? You might be as a sophomore, and oftentimes coaches will reward those gains. As SMU’s Eddie Sinnott notes, “At SMU we have a saying ‘If you perform for us we will perform for you’ and we take that very seriously.”

Another coach, who prefers to stay off the record, mentions, “We never give a full scholarship to a high school senior. It’s a $110,000 gamble on an 18-year-old kid. Foreign athletes are another story, though. They’re usually older, more experienced, and you need to pay full to get them.”

Gary Kinkead of Indianapolis explains, ““Championships are not won with 1-3 GREAT swimmers, but with depth and the best way to have depth is to divide up the available scholarships among those talented athletes that you feel can produce the greatest number of championship and consolation finalists.”

Former NC State coach Brooks Teal adds that most schools “will NOT use more than one, perhaps two or three full scholarships” on men. For the women, it’s “very rare, though not unheard of, to have more than four women on full scholarship on one squad.”

So, is it impossible to swim for a top 10 school if you’re not already a top swimmer? Absolutely not! It is very possible to swim there, but you should expect to pay for a significant piece of your tuition.

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc


May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Posted by Melissa Hanan

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 1 in 5 children aged 13-18 currently have, or have once had, a mental health disorder.

Despite the incidence and widespread research of mental health conditions, stigma and misconceptions still surround those struggling with mental health issues. May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month across the nation to help combat stigma and educate others on mental health. One way to show your support is to make a StigmaFree Pledge through the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

From eating disorders and depression to how to help teens cope with stress and live happier lives, the following resources address some of the struggles teens face and how we all can help.

Depression, Anxiety & Other Disorders:

Paying Attention to Teen Depression

Recognizing the Signs of Schizophrenia in Your Teen

Should I Disclose Depression/Anxiety on My College Application?

Robin Williams’ Death Raises Awareness for Depression in Teens and Adults

Study Links Teen Depression with School Dissatisfaction

Eating Disorders:

Teenage Boys & Eating Disorders

Misdiagnosis of Eating Disorders in College

Understanding Bulimia

Substance Abuse:

The 3 Most Common Substances Abused by Teens

How to Seek Help for Your Teen’s Substance Abuse

Residential Treatment: The Next Step to Conquer Teen Substance Abuse

How to Help:

Normal Teen Angst or a Mental Health Issue?

Recognizing the Signs of Adolescents with Serious Mental Health Challenges

How a School Counselor Can Help a Teen in Need

Help Your Teens Build Emotional Health

7 Ways to Help Teens Cope with Stress

For More Information:

Therapeutic Programs & Services

TeenLife’s Guide to Therapeutic Programs & Services

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Mental Health America

Melissa Hanan-profile-picture

Melissa is passionate about all things STEM. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Simmons College and an M.A. in Applied Psychology from Boston College where she became interested in biomedical devices and materials science. She is returning to Simmons College to pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.


Dealing with Early Decision Rejection

Posted by Randi Mazzella

As early decision, early action, and rolling admission results come in this month, it is a time of very mixed emotions. Students receiving acceptance letters will of course be happy, not to mention relieved. But for many more students who receive rejection letters, there will be sadness, disappointment, and doubt.

Lisa Sohmer, Director of College Counseling at the Garden School, says, “For many teens, this is the first time in their lives they have been judged and rejected publically. It can be a terrible disappointment and they need time to take a breath, cry, or be mad.”

How can parents help their teen deal with college rejection?

Give Them Time

Parents never want to see their children hurt and upset. But rejection does hurt and it is part of life. Teens need time to process their feelings and parents need to respect that and give their teen the space to heal. As involved and invested in a teen’s college process parents may be, they do need to remember that the rejection happened to the teen and not the parent. It is the teen’s disappointment and feelings that parents should focus on and not their own.

It is natural for parents to want to console their teen. But rushing in with pat platitudes, such as, “There are lots of great schools” or “Tons of people get rejected” may make a teen feel worse. These sentiments, though true, can come across patronizing and insincere. Christine K. VanDeVelde, college speaker and coauthor of the book College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step, explains, “Teens that have been rejected already feel victimized. They don’t need their parents to further this feeling by treating them like they are 11 years old.”

A better approach may be better to join the teen in some constructive anger. A parent saying, “This really stinks!” or “It’s their loss!” can actually be more empowering for teens than having a parent feel sorry for them. A friend of mine encouraged her daughter and her friends that got rejected from a certain school to get together and destroy the swag they had purchased from the university that had rejected all of them. Cutting up the sweatshirts and pendants was very cathartic and doing it together made all the teens feel less alone.

Take the High Road

In addition to being upset, teens that have been rejected from their first choice school may also be embarrassed to face their classmates especially if some are celebrating their acceptances. Many colleges send out their decisions on Friday evenings to avoid the frenzy but even so, by Monday morning, social media has ensured everyone in the school community knows who got in where and who didn’t.

Try to encourage your teen to take the high road and congratulate their peers who have been accepted. Don’t allow your teen to bad mouth other students—especially not on social media where everyone can see the comments. Parents themselves need to resist the urge to negatively gossip about students that got into the school their teen wanted. Belittling another student’s accomplishments may be hard to resist, but this behavior is unhelpful for both teens and their parents.

VanDeVelde asserts, “Even though this may be the first time a teen has been rejected, it won’t be the last. How to handle disappointment is a life lesson and parents have an opportunity to model appropriate behavior. Parents need to remind themselves the goal is not to raise a child who is a winner in college but a winner in life.”

Review Their College List and Their Application

After a few days recovering, it is important that students make sure that the rest of their applications are completed and ready to be sent in.

Hopefully students have completed majority of their other applications and just have to add some finishing touches. VanDeVelde says, “College admissions offices close for the holidays as do high school guidance staff. Most regular decision applications are due on January 1 so students who need to speak to these offices must do so before the winter break.”

It may be wise for students to review their college list and application. Sohmer explains, “Early decisions are not fortune telling but they are an indicator. Students should look at their college lists to make sure they are not too ‘top heavy’ and that their list makes sense given their grades, test scores, and activities.”

If a student thinks it will be helpful, they can call the admissions office of a college they have been rejected from and ask why. Says VanDeVelde, “Most colleges will not give a specific reason but if the student really thinks it would be helpful to know, it may be worth it to inquire.”

There is a College for Everyone

It is understandable that after being rejected, a student’s confidence may be shaken. But remember this is just one college of over 2,200 four-year institutions.

Famous journalists Meredith Viera and Katie Couric were both rejected by their first choice schools and went on to have very successful careers. VanDeVelde says, “Students get sold a bill of goods that there is one perfect place for them. But the truth is there are many perfect places and they need to keep that in mind as they go through the college process.”

Many teens that get rejected from their first choice college find out that it is the best thing that could have happened to them. Rebecca Bergman, a current college sophomore says, “I applied ED to an Ivy League school just to try and reach a little higher. The school was located in a city, which was not my scene, but I ignored that fact because it was such a prestigious school. After getting rejected, I realized that I probably would not have enjoyed going to school in that environment. I absolutely love the location of the school I attend and could not be happier.”

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Written by Randi Mazzella
Randi Mazzella is a freelance writer and mother of three from New Jersey. She is a Contributing Editor for Raising Teens Magazine and writes monthly for the blog Barista Kids.




Working at McDonald’s or Starbucks: More Than a Fast Food Job

Posted by Suzanne Shaffer

Your friends are making plans for summer. You have chosen to work at a fast food job to save money for college. That’s a responsible decision on your part, but did you know working at McDonald’s or Starbucks can score you college tuition?


In a recent announcement, Starbucks says its workers are now eligible for four years of tuition for an online degree from Arizona State University. Previously, only two years of tuition were covered by the company. Starbucks’ latest decision is part of the latest effort by companies who are rethinking their treatment of low-wage workers. The Seattle-based coffee chain says the decision is part of its commitment to “redefine the role and responsibility of a public company.”

As part of the agreement with Starbucks, ASU is providing an upfront discount or scholarship of about 42 percent of the standard tuition for eligible workers at the chain’s company-owned U.S. stores. That means Starbucks would be responsible for up to 58 percent.

So far, Starbucks Corp. says nearly 2,000 workers have enrolled for the program; the chain has more than 140,000 workers at its company-owned U.S. stores and support centers. Workers can pick from a variety of fields to study and are not required to stay with Starbucks after earning their degrees.


A few weeks ago, McDonald’s also announced it was expanding a college tuition assistance program to workers at its more than 14,300 U.S. stores. The company said it also hopes to assist all of its roughly 750,000 employees, in both company- and independently-owned restaurants further their education by expanding its Archways to Education tuition-assistance program.

The company is offering upfront tuition coverage of up to $700 a year for workers, and up to $1,050 for managers. The money can be used to attend classes online or in-person. McDonald’s provides the tuition money upfront so workers don’t have to pay out of pocket. The company says the check will be made out to the school the worker plans to attend. They expect many of its workers to take classes at community colleges, which it says charge an average of $300 to $350 per class. That means the assistance would cover about two classes a year for workers, and three for managers. Workers can study whatever subject they like and aren’t required to stay with the company.

Lisa Schumacher, director of education strategies at McDonald’s, said about 4 percent of eligible individuals took advantage of tuition assistance when it was previously available to managers at company-owned stores. She said she expects a similar participation rate now that it is available to workers and managers at all U.S. stores.

This might not seem like much, but a student could attend community college classes over the summer before college and save thousands of dollars on 4-year college classes that are traditionally 4 to 5 times higher than the cost of community college classes.

Other Tuition Assistance Programs

Is the food service industry not your cup of tea? There are also other companies who offer tuition assistance to its employees. The Business Insider compiled a list of 15 companies that offer generous tuition reimbursement plans to assist their employees:

  • Apple

  • AT&T

  • Bank of America

  • Boeing Best Buy

  • Chevron

  • Disney

  • Ford

  • Gap

  • Home Depot

  • Intel

  • Procter & Gamble

  • UPS

  • Verizon Wireless

  • Wells Fargo

Why not kill two birds with one stone? Work during high school and continue in college for extra money and earn college tuition. The added tuition benefits can make some “not-so-appealing” jobs more appealing.

Suzanne Shaffer-profile-picture

Written by Suzanne Shaffer

Suzanne Shaffer counsels parents and students in the college admissions process and the importance of early college preparation. Her Parents Countdown to College Coach blog offers timely college tips for parents and students, as well as providing parents with the resources necessary to help their college-bound teens navigate the college maze.



A Scholarship All Teens Should Know About

Posted by Susan Moeller

Sometimes there’s a substantial payoff in computer games.

Budget Challenge, an online simulation game created by H&R Block that teaches teenagers about money, has just awarded $3 million in individual scholarships, classroom grants and cash prizes to students and teachers across the country.

Think of it as wisdom from your financial advisor.

This year’s grand winner is Sean Lawrence, 17, of St. Clair, Michigan. Sean earned a $120,000 scholarship for being the most real-world ready among more than 94,000 game participants. A senior at St. Clair High School, he plans to use his scholarship at community college for two years and then transfer to Western Michigan University.

Of course, financial literacy is more than a game, particularly as parents and teensstruggle with college costs. Among teens surveyed by H&R Block, 58 percent worried about being financially worse off than their parents but only 17 percent had an actual budget. That’s just one reason a realistic exercise focused on money seems like a great idea.

Here are four more reasons we love H&R Block’s Budget Challenge:

1. It’s hands-on and engaging.

This isn’t the same old parental lecture about money, it’s a flight simulator or a road test. Think of it as a way for parents to dodge an eye roll.

2. There’s more than one winner.

Budget Challenge has six cycles throughout the academic year to fit classroom schedules. Each awards 22 scholarships of $20,000 each and 10 classroom awards of $2,500 or $5,000. There is also a total of $35,000 in cash incentives to encourage students not to quit at the halfway point. The grand winner, chosen for skill and participation, earns an additional $100,000 scholarship.

3. There’s a payoff even if you don’t win a scholarship.

The simulation gameimmerses teens in the life of a recent grad who receives a virtual salary and has to make budgeting decisions about rent, utilities, car payments and all that other adult stuff. Students have to demonstrate they are resourceful and smart about financial choices. There are even unfortunate surprises such as a car accident or lost cell phone. If nothing else, students learn financial smarts.

4. It’s free.

Students must participate through a classroom or home-school program but Budget Challenge is available at no cost to schools or home-school teachers. Check it out or pass the information on to an appropriate teacher.

Susan Moeller-profile-picture

Written by Susan Moeller

Susan Moeller is a former newspaper editor and reporter who has directed education coverage as well as written about schools and children. She lives on Cape Cod, has three children and is a veteran of the boarding school and college search process.



ADVICE FOR THE YOUNG ARTIST: Five Survival Strategies for Applying to Art School

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Posted by Steven Vasquez Lopez

I started drawing as soon as I could hold a crayon: first, cartoons from TV and newspaper comics, and later, the music icons from Rolling Stone covers. I always wanted to pursue art, but I was concerned about creating a stable future for myself. As the first of my family to attend a four-year college, I felt I had to pursue a career that would be sensible and lucrative.

What I discovered surprised everyone: artists develop skills in critical thinking, creative problem solving, and visual communication that apply to countless “real-world” opportunities. Going to art school is not just a passion-pursuit; it’s a smart career move.

Here are five survival strategies to help you get through your art school applications:

  1. Debunk art school clichés. Building a case for an art school education can be intimidating. Look for resources that will help you understand your decision and talk it over with your family. Start with SFAI’s The Case for Art School, and then move on to IBM’s study, proving that creativity is the most important skill in the contemporary workplace.
  2. Do the research. Find out about a range of art schools and then narrow your list to a top ten and a top five. Gather as much information as possible by contacting the admissions teams at those schools, subscribing to mailing lists, and scheduling time to attend an open house or tour the campuses.
  3. Develop your portfolio. Take as many art and art history classes as you can. Explore options for summer study that will let you test-drive the college art experience, such as SFAI’s PreCollege Program.
  4. Focus on ideas. Art isn’t just about pretty drawings; it’s about communicating your ideas. Look for an art school that will push you both technically and conceptually. Developing critical thinking skills will help you in whatever career you choose.
  5. Research contemporary artists. Place yourself in a context of artists across time to better understand your interests and how to speak about them as you prepare a portfolio. Look at sites such as Contemporary Art Daily to help you get acquainted with the contemporary art world.

Going to art school is a big step, but if your experience is anything like mine, you will find that your investment pays off. At art school, I found validation from faculty and visiting artists, and I discovered an astounding peer community. I won awards and scholarships and received exhibitions, but I also learned how my failures transformed me and helped me grow. I found a community that supported and challenged me, and I created a life in the arts that engages my creativity and ideas, daily.

My final advice to you: Go for it.

Steven Vasquez Lopez was born in Upland, California, and currently lives and works in San Francisco, where he is Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). Lopez completed his MFA in Painting from San Francisco Art Institute in 2007, and received his BA in Studio Art from UC Santa Barbara in 2000. He has received many honors and awards, and is exhibiting in galleries and museums across the country. He is represented by Carl E Smith Gallery in LA.


Don’t Enjoy Being a Student? These 9 Tools Can Fix That!

School supplies on blackboard background ready for your design
School supplies on blackboard background ready for your design

Posted by Robert Morris

You have probably heard this statement many times before: “there is an app for everything!” If you are a student, you’ll find that this is true. You are fortunate enough to belong to a generation of students who don’t need to think about giving up when they encounter a problem. Start using the apps and websites listed below; your life will become much easier thanks to technology!

1. Unstuck

Are you stuck in one of those moments when everything seems impossible and you’re unable to study, write projects, or attend classes? This is the tool you need! Unstuck will ask you questions with one purpose: to motivate you to stay on track and stop procrastinating.

2. Kno Textbooks

This app, available for iPhone and Android, enables you to save tons of money on textbooks. You can find the materials you need in the form of an e-textbook, and annotate and highlight directly in the app. The content can be synchronized across multiple devices, and you can also share the notes with your classmates.

3. Rate My Professors

If you’re heading off to college and need to start thinking about your course schedule, the information available at this website will help you make the right selection. The professor who teaches the course is a very important factor for your overall success. When you see the ratings and comments provided by real students, you’ll get an insider’s perspective on what a class would look like.

4. 30/30

It’s not easy to create a schedule that balances work and rest in the most effective way, but the 30/30 system works well for most students. The task manager will organize your time into effective sessions of work and some break time in between. When you get used to the productivity system, your planning and self-monitoring skills will be boosted.

5. AP Flashcards

Flashcards seem like outdated studying equipment? This Android app will change your mind. You’ll find flashcards from different AP tests and save a lot of time that you would spend in taking notes and making cards. AP Flashcards offers pre-made cards for tests in biology, statistics, history, economics, languages and literature, geography, sciences, and government and politics.

6. Studious

You’ll find this app effective in many ways. First of all, it will silence your phone during classes, so you’ll never be embarrassed when your parents try to reach you several times in a row. Studious will also remind you of the test and homework due dates; and you can use the app to save notes as well.

7. iFormulas

When you get overwhelmed by the number of formulas you need to memorize, this is the app you should use. The featured categories include algebra, geometry, calculus, physics, chemistry, trigonometry, and electrical.

8. Power Nap

Taking power naps is important when you need to recharge your batteries before getting back to studying. You can enhance your power nap thanks to this app, which enables you to customize wake up graphics, wake up sounds, and other features.

9. The Homework App – Your Class Assignment Planner

With so much homework you get on a daily basis, it’s easy to lose track and forget to complete some of the tasks. This app will prevent that from happening. The convenient, visually appealing design will help you stay on schedule and complete all assignments on time.

Let’s face it: being a student is fun, but it’s not easy to manage all those responsibilities on your own. The tools listed above will turn you into a better achiever.

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Written by Robert Morris

Robert Morris is a freelance writer from NYC. He is currently working on his first YA novel.


Is Canadian-born Ted Cruz eligible to be U.S. president?

By Canadian Crossing

When people joke about a president being from Canada, they usually refer back to the story of Chester A. Arthur, who allegedly was born in Quebec and not Vermont. That tale centered around a border dispute and may have been fodder from Arthur’s political enemies.

The assumption that people born in Canada can’t be president is being challenged, of sorts, by the talk of Ted Cruz running for president.

Cruz, who just got to the Senate in January replacing the retired Kay Bailey Hutchison in Texas, is being talked about as a possible presidential candidate by Tea Party people and TV pundits. Okay, not a whole lot to go on so far. But these groups don’t mention the (GOP) elephant in the room: Ted Cruz was born in Canada.

Cruz certainly thinks he has a shot at entering the 2016 presidential race. On Friday, Cruz made his first trip to Iowa, home of the first presidential caucus. Politicians who are running or thinking about the run make trips to Iowa 3 years before the caucus.

The U.S. senator from Texas placed sixth in Iowa in the Public Policy Polling survey released last week. Cruz was at 10%, 13% among men and 7% among women (among Republicans). The gender gap also is in effect, where men are more than twice to know who he is.

Unlike Arthur, Cruz clearly was born in Canada. He lived there for his first four years. By that standard, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm could be eligible to be elected president. Granholm has lived in the United States since she was 4.

Cruz theoretically has one more element in his column that was separate him from Granholm: Cruz’s mother is an American citizen.

The criteria in the Constitution is “natural born citizen.” Traditionally, that has meant being born to American parents on U.S. soil, though that standard hasn’t been challenged.

George Romney, born in Mexico to U.S. parents, ran for president in 1968. John McCain was born in the Panama Canal zone and ran for president in 2008.

Barack Obama, who is the president of the United States, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but that didn’t stop some of the same people who support Cruz from claiming otherwise.

In fact, the Tea Party people pointed to Obama’s “illegitimacy” citing that being born to an American mother and a father who is a citizen of a foreign country outside the United States doesn’t make for a natural born citizen if that person is born outside the United States. Yet that same exact criteria applies to Ted Cruz.

Yes, Cruz’s mother is American, but his father was Cuban. And Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta and lived there for his first four years of his life.

Whether Cruz is eligible needs to be determined. If the Tea Party people are to argue that point, they need to explain why they didn’t support the same criteria for Barack Obama, if Obama’s life had existed in the Tea Party’s parallel universe.

The United States is more strict on citizenship issues than most similar countries. Being born to an American parent, even on foreign soil, does entitle you to U.S. citizenship. However, this is about being a natural born citizen, and until now, this action required a person to be born on U.S. soil to U.S. parents.

Also, to be president (and vice president) of the United States, you have to be a natural born citizen and at least 35 years of age. Contrast that with the Canadian requirements for prime minister.

Are you a citizen of Canada? Yes. Are you at least 18 years old? Yes. So if you can get elected to the House of Commons, you can be prime minister.

You certainly don’t have to be born in Canada to be prime minister. John Turner, who was born in England, served briefly as prime minister in 1984 after Pierre Trudeau’s reign before Brian Mulroney won election for the Progressive Conservatives.

Turner also didn’t hold a seat in Parliament while being prime minister, but ironically did win a seat in the election that tossed him out as prime minister.

The United States needs to decide what criteria is needed to determine who is eligible to be president. Canadians want to know if they have a shot.

Reference to actual post: click here


Student Loan Debt Collection Assistant


Know your options

This tool provides information and advice for optimizing how you pay off your student loans based on some basic information about your situation. While we can’t give you advice for your exact situation, we hope it can point you in the right direction and help you learn about some of your options.

Get started by answering a few questions below.

Your situation

Are your student loans federal or private (non-federal), or a mixture of both?

Federal loans

Federal student loans are loans made or guaranteed by the Department of Education. They typically have names like Direct Loan, Stafford, PLUS or Perkins. They are the most common type of student loan.

Private loans

Private or non-federal student loans are any other type of student loans. They can be made by a bank, a credit union, a state student loan agency or a college or university. They may have names like “alternative” or “institutional” loans.


Many student loan borrowers have both private and federal student loans. Because repayment options for each type of loan are different, start by selecting the loan type that you are most concerned about. You can always return to the beginning of the tool and select the other loan type here in step one.

For more info please visit Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)


Borrowing: The Parent’s Role

indexMost families pay for college using some combination of savings, income and financial aid. Financial aid is money you receive to help cover college costs. Some financial aid, like grants and scholarships, doesn’t need to be repaid. Financial aid can also come in the form of loans — money you have to repay. While students are usually the ones who take out student loans, family support in the process can make a big difference.

You should involve your family before borrowing money.

Get Your Parents Involved

You should involve your family before borrowing money. Your parents may be able help you in the following ways:

  • Explaining difficult-to-understand language on financial aid forms
  • Discussing which loans to choose and how much to borrow
  • Completing their tax returns early

You’ll need your parents’ tax information to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Filling out the FAFSA qualifies you to receive student loans from the federal government. These loans usually have the best terms, so they’re the ones you want to take out first.

Parents and Private Loans

Because private loans have higher fees, they are more expensive than government loans. But sometimes private loans are necessary.

Here are some things you should know about private loans:

  • Banks and other organizations offer private student loans.
  • Most private loans are taken out by students. This means the student is responsible for repaying them.
  • Because most students have not established credit (proven that they can repay loans), private loans often require a parent or guardian cosigner. A cosigner is someone who will take responsibility for repaying the loan if the student does not.

College Loans for Parents

If there is a gap between your financial aid award and the cost of college, your parents may be able to help by taking out a parent loan for educational costs. The most common loan of this sort is the federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). Consider a PLUS only if your family has run out of other federal loan options that cost less.

Here are some facts about PLUS:

  • The loan can cover the total cost of college (tuition, room, board, books and personal expenses) minus financial aid.
  • It is available no matter how much money your family has.
  • The loan has a fixed interest rate, which means that the amount of the fee you are charged for the loan won’t change.
  • The loan has a flexible repayment plan that allows borrowers to take up to 10 years to repay the loan.
  • PLUS requires a minimal credit check. Your parents only need to show that they do not have a history of bad credit.
  • PLUS has an easy-to-complete application.

This article is intended for informational purposes and is not intended as tax or financial advice.