September 17, 2014 ·
Well, it’s that time of the year again. You’ve probably sent your children off to class in the fall and what do you get in return? The inevitable reminder that you are now in debt thanks to the tuition bill. I mean sure, there’s financial aid out there, such as internal and external scholarships, and federal/state grants. However, what happens if that’s not enough to cover full tuition costs?
According to Betsey Mayotte, director of Regulatory Compliance for American Student Assistance, the Department of Education has issued new “draft rules” that can potentially affect the eligibility criteria for Parent Direct Plus loans and graduate loans. This is all being done with the mentality of not loaning out more money than what can be paid back.
So in that case, what are my options? Here’s a few that we think can benefit you depending on your personal needs:
Tuition Payment Plans:
Always try, if possible, to work something out with the university or college that your child is attending. Maybe a payment plan can be drawn up where you can pay the rest of the tuition debt on a monthly basis over the rest of the school year. Taking this route may save you money from interest fees as well as being debt free by the time of graduation. However, there’s always a catch. If you fall past due on your payment which could happen after any unexpected crisis, then your child may not be able to sign up for classes for the next term, or even worse, not receive his or her diploma until the bill has been paid.
So what’s option number two?
Federal Parent PLUS loans:
The bright side of this option is that there is no limit on the amount of money you can take out for a loan up to the cost of attendance. There is a light credit check, but even if you don’t pass it, you can get an endorser. If your endorser is not “creditworthy” then your child can apply for additional unsubsidized Stafford loans.
So what’s the catch here? Well, you have to look at the big picture. As stated by Mayotte, “A $20,000 loan for freshman year may sound manageable, but multiply that by the number of years you expect your student to be in school and the number of college bound children in the household and suddenly you owe $160,000 in Parent Direct PLUS loans, assuming you only have two children.” This would give rise to a sum of $1,800 a month under a standard 10 year plan. Not to mention, Parent PLUS loans are not eligible for income-based repayment options, unless you consolidate your loans under the Direct Loan program. But even then, for a person with an annual income of $80,000 the monthly payments would still be $1,000/month. This could really poke a hole in your retirement savings.
If you think that your child will pay the loan back to you, remember the loan can never be changed to your child’s name and all deferment options will be based on your situation, not the student’s.
So, is any other option?
Co-signing a Loan:
If you don’t want to take up a loan under your personal name, you can co-sign the loan instead.
Ninety percent of private student loans have cosigners, usually being parents. What many don’t understand is that by co-signing the loan, you are now equally responsible for the debt. Even if all payments are up to date, this can heavily affect your debt-to-income ratio. This could really be harmful to you when trying to refinance your home, buy a car, or involve yourself in anything that has to check your credit and/or income.
The risk is big as Mayotte shares when she relates “As private loans have very few lower payment or other options if the borrower cannot pay, and may not have discharge provisions if the borrower should pass away or become disabled like federal loans have, it can actually be riskier for the parent to co-sign on a private loan than it would be for them to take out the federal PLUS loan under their own name.”
If you end up not having any other option and take out loans, be smart and proactive. If the loan is deferred while at school, try to at least pay off the interest that keeps piling up over time. This could save you thousands! If you can add payments as well, even better! You will be happy you did so as time goes by and you see your friends who didn’t drown in debt. Also, keep in mind that there are always scholarships available at the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation. All you have to do is take short and free online quizzes on a wide range of subjects. No essays, applications, or specific GPAs are required. Log on to www.cksf.org today to register with an account and ge
August 01, 2014 ·
Starting in the month of October, the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation will be offering the High School Biology Challenge! Like all Common Knowledge scholarships, The National Biology Challenge is free to all schools and students in the United States. The individual top scorer will be awarded a $250 scholarship which may be used at the college of his or her choice.
This scholarship will be in the form of an online quiz competition that can be done at anytime, and anywhere. The quiz questions have been made to include AP biology curriculum, making it a very resourceful study tool for students taking the course, and still having the opportunity to earn a scholarship!
Far beyond being just an individual competition, the High School Biology Challenge also has a team component. Each school’s top 20 scorers are combined to create a team score. The highest scoring school in each state advances their top five students to a Championship Round. At the end of the scholarship, the top scoring school will be awarded the CKSF Biology Challenge National Championship Trophy.
The Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation (CKSF) is a non-profit organization that offers no essay scholarships to students. To learn more about all the scholarship CKSF offers, register today on www.cksf.org and get started!
With fronds like you, who needs anemones!
July 18, 2014 ·
The college HELP scholarship is in full effect. The Higher Education Life Preparation (HELP) scholarship will quiz college students on topics they should know before they graduate such as professional protocols, taxes and job search.
The career fact quizzes will run September through December and the financial quizzes will follow in January to April. Only 25% of the top scorers will move on to the championship rounds. If the student wins 1st place on either quizzes they will be the lucky winner of a $500 scholarship.
Common Knowledge Scholarship foundation (CKSF) is a non-profit organization that grants students scholarships without any strict requirements. No essays, no applications, and no required GPA. To learn more about this scholarship register on www.cksf.org.
July 03, 2014 ·
July 2014 - Scholarships and programs at CKSF are starting up full force! Students will once again have the opportunity to participate in the Auto Math Challenge for a chance to win a $250 scholarship and the National Auto Math Challenge Trophy. This time, there is a chance that there will be bigger prizes, as partnerships with different car companies seem to be in the near future.
CKSF’s new math scholarship program was a huge success. Auto Math was piloted in May 2014, and is a quiz with math questions based on cars, focusing on things like gas, car insurance and mileage. Many high school students are looking to purchase a car and need to learn about car maintenance, so finding a subject that relates to the audience is crucial in maintaining participation.
Next fall’s Auto Math Challenge, however, will be new and improved. Due to the success of the pilot, CKSF and our partners at Nova Southeastern University have decided to add an interesting twist. We are now introducing the ambassador program. High school students have been chosen from all over the country to develop the questions that will be in next year’s Auto Math Challenge. These students are also spreading the word about the Auto Math Challenge at their own schools as they volunteer to help create the questions.
Starting in the fall, high school students nationwide will have the opportunity to register for a chance to receive a $250 dollar scholarship, the national trophy, and more, simply by answering math questions created by other high school students.
June 26, 2014 ·
The Catcher in the Rye Scholarship is here and you can be the lucky person to win an electronic Amazon gift card. It doesn’t matter if you read the book once this scholarship is perfect for you. There will be four quizzes. Quiz 1 is chapters 1-7, Quiz 2 is chapters 8-14, Quiz 3 is chapters 15-20, and Quiz 4 is chapters 21-26.
The quizzes start August 4, 2014. 500 points can be won for each correct answer. Points are deducted depending on how long it will take you to answer each question. After the four quizzes there will be a Championship Round. Only 25% of participants make it to the Championship Round.
You won’t find this opportunity in many places. You can be the lucky winner to earn one of the electronic Amazon gift cards. I know I love to splurge on Amazon and now you can too!
June 26, 2014 ·
At the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation, scholarships are not the only programs running. This time, it is the CKSF’s internet safety program, and the winning schools have been determined.
The USA-SOS (Safe Online Surfing) internet safety program was originally created and given at Nova Southeastern University, by a partnership between the Fischler School of Education and CKSF. To this date, over 4,000 students have participated. This is the programs 9th year, and it is still going strong, with about 200 students registering every month. USA-SOS is a free program that teaches students about the dangers of the internet, while still keeping things fun. Students are introduced to topics like privacy, passwords, and “netiquette” through scavenger hunts that keep the learning experience interesting and exciting. Quizzes are given before and after the hunts, with the school’s team score calculated from the top 20 students’ post-quiz score.
This semester there were six winning schools, chosen out of all of the schools across the country, each from grade levels 3rd through 8th.
The following schools held the highest team scores:
3rd Grade: Creekside Elementary School in Spearfish, SD
4th Grade: Nohl Canyon Elementary School in Anaheim, CA
5th Grade: Glenwood Intermediate School in Canton, OH
6th Grade: Scullen Middle School in Naperville, IL
7th Grade: Cerro Villa Middle School in Villa Park, CA
8th Grade: Herbert A. Ammons Middle School in Miami, FL
Congratulations to all of the winning schools, who received a national trophy, and to all of the students who participated. CKSF has again successfully helped students across the country learn about internet safety while still making the learning experience fun and captivating.
June 10, 2014 ·
The Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation, known for developing and delivering free online quizzes, doesn’t take a rest. During the summer, the organization will be running the Common Knowledge Scholarship to give students who weren’t able to apply for scholarships during the school year the opportunity to earn a scholarship.
The Common Knowledge Scholarship offers the unique chance to earn a scholarship without having to go through neither a long application process nor the need to write an essay. The scholarship is available to all High school and college students, as well as out of school individuals.
How does it Work?
Participants will be quizzed on trivia and common knowledge questions. These questions can come from a wide variety of subjects including but not limited to literature, biology, and law. Each quiz takes no more than five minutes to complete and is completely web based. There are a series of challenge quizzes that can be taken up to June 20th. The quizzes are scored on time and accuracy and will be added up for a total score. The top 25% scoring students will then advance to a championship round where a winner will be determined. The winning student will receive a $250 scholarship to the university or college of his or her choice.
How Do I participate?
Participants must do a one-time, short registration with CKSF to take the online quizzes. To do so, sign up on www.cksf.org. Once registered, scholarships will be matched to ones interests and be available for students to take. Year round, CKSF offers many scholarships for all kinds of students, majors, and interest. For that reason, sign up with CKSF and start earning scholarship money today!
May 23, 2014 ·
May 22, 2014—The Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation’s “Think Green – Where Your Trash Goes Scholarship” exposed the hidden treasures found in Waste Management’s website yielding a high participation and registration rate on its debut.
CKSF is known for providing no essay scholarships through the use of fun, online quizzes, and providing financial awards to those who score the highest. Specifically, the “Think Green – Where Your Trash Goes Scholarship” is based on material found on the Waste Management Inc. website, www.thinkgreen.com . The scholarship was open to all high school, college, and out of school individuals in the United States. As a result, Stephani A. Prieto Salinas was able to win a $250 scholarship to the University of her Choice simply by knowing where your trash goes.
When asked about her thought on the scholarship, Stephani replied “[…] I feel like a genius because I know all this info about recycling, and different techniques that are out there when it comes to disposing trash.”
Along with providing the nation with recycling education, Waste Management is also a renewable energy provider and a firm believer in the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle concept. The company offers solutions to communities that will aid them in the goal of accumulating zero waste. CKSF aimed to have 20,000 students register for the quiz and in return had over 31,000 registered students! “Taking this quiz is not only helping a student earn scholarship money, but it is also helping each student who participates the opportunity to become more informed on the environmental issues surrounding them,” says CKSF president Daryl Hulce.
Students have a chance to earn a scholarship without being compared to other students in regards to GPA or essays, as our winner clearly states “The thing I liked the most about the scholarship is how it was such a unique topic. It’s not like any other scholarships out there. It was definitely a breath of fresh air from the common essay scholarships.”
The Think Green Scholarship has made an impact. As garbage comes in, money is coming out. Luckily, the Think Green Scholarship is one of many quiz competitions that the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation has to offer. To get involved, register for an account on www.cksf.org and get started right away!
About Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation
Developed and administered at Nova Southeastern University's Fischler School of Education, the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation (CKSF) creates unique opportunities for students of all ages by awarding scholarships and prizes through the use of Internet-based quiz competitions. Students who answer the greatest number of questions correctly in the shortest amount of time are declared contest winners. Since 2001, CKSF has awarded over $350,000 to 800 participants in the United States. CKSF scholarships can be used at the school of the winners' choice. For more information on CKSF, please visit http://www.cksf.org.
May 15, 2014 ·
The Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation has reached new heights once again thanks to the National Auto Math Challenge! This New scholarship provides so much to the students who participate. Not only does each student have the opportunity to win a $250 scholarship, but they will also learn how to better handle their future car expenses.
The National Auto Math Challenge reached a record turn out! Although fairly new, this scholarship has received an outstanding registration and participation rate never expected. Students contacted CKSF to not only express their gratitude for the scholarship, but also to provide their services in making questions for the math challenge. These students have demonstrated value towards helping others strengthen their math skills as well as strengthening their own.
This scholarship is unique, for it has the power to engage students in math and strengthen their desire to become more proficient in basic math concepts to help them in their future endeavors, such as buying and maintaining their first car.
The challenge is comprised of a short quiz that will test high school students on math problems dealing with the purchase and maintenance of their first car. Being open to all high school students, the quiz has the potential to not only strengthen students understanding of mathematics, but also ease their parents and themselves with the knowledge of solving everyday maintenance questions as their first car purchase approaches.
The feedback received from the scholarship is encouraging. “It’s not just the fact that many students are registering to take the quiz and participating, but that they are so interested in getting more involved with the project,” says CKSF president Daryl Hulce.
With the use of the National Auto Math Challenge, CKSF hopes to guide students towards the path of vehicle financial literacy. All you have to do to get started is register for an account and take the quiz at www.cksf.org!
March 18, 2014 ·
Have you ever wondered where your trash goes? The staff at the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation wanted to know, and thanks to Belen Perez, environmental sciences major and Jennifer Coley, a marine biology major, our fellow CKSF employees, we not only figured it out, but found a way to share it with others. For this reason, CKSF developed the Think Green: Where Your Trash Goes Scholarship that is based on the recycling initiatives made by Waste Management Inc, the largest environmental solutions provider in North America.
"It’s an amazing feeling being able to create a scholarship that is meant to educate people and the importance of sustainability and recycling. With the educational material taken from Waste Management's website, I hope that individuals will enjoy studying for the quizzes as well as the opportunity to learn something new,” says Belen as she talks about her experience coordinating this scholarship.
The Where Your Trash Goes scholarship uses the educational material found on the Waste Management website, and has been made available to all high school, college, and out of school individuals for free without an essay or GPA requirement. This web-based quiz competition scholarship takes less than 5 minutes to complete by simply logging in to cskf.org and registering for an account. The first place winner, which will be determined by the highest quiz score measured by time and accuracy, will earn a $250 scholarship to the college or university of his or her choosing.
There are two 15-question quizzes in the challenge round followed by a championship round to the individuals that score in the top 25%.
In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his or her adult weight in garbage – leaving a legacy of 90,000 pounds of trash for his or her children and if that wasn’t enough Americans throw away enough office paper annually to build a wall 12 feet high, stretching from Los Angeles to New York City. Sustainability, recycling, and bioremediation, are key elements to the continuing function of our landfills.
The time to be informed is now! All it takes is a desire to make our earth a better place to live – today and for future generations – plus a commitment from each of us who feels a responsibility to our shared environment. So log onto www.cksf.org and take the quiz. It’s the first step in making a difference and possibly earning scholarship money at the same time.