Students going back to school in 2010 will see higher college grant amounts and better student loan rates. In response to increasing tuition rates and rising unemployment, financial aid initiatives were included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. To help qualified students pursue their educational goals, the Department of Education increased the amount of funding available through Hope Scholarship Credits and Federal Pell Grant programs. Additionally, interest rates for some educational loans – which tend to be very high – have held at 5.6 percent for the past five months and are expected to fall by July of next year.
“Funding, and sustaining funding, for educational endeavors can be a rigorous but worthy task,” Tressa A. Brush, director of student financial services at South University, told
the Osceola Sentinel-Tribune. “If you do the work well, great payoffs can happen, and of course, the biggest payoff is the investment you will make by getting an education,” she added.
While many students may be wary of putting themselves in a great deal of debt in order to enhance their qualifications with education, the government has also added many options to its federal loan repayment programs, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Because many individuals are out of work, trapped in low-paying jobs or returning to school in response to the recession, debtors now have several options to postpone repayment and avoid defaulting on their loans. “If students are conscientious about it and they explore their options, there shouldn’t be any reason they would be in default, even if they don’t have a job,” Mark Lindenmeyer, director of financial aid at Loyola University Maryland, told the newspaper.
Individuals who wish to return to school may take advantage of government leniency and financial aid programs at campus-based and online universities that can help them attain high-paying positions and avoid debt.