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Quick Reference Guides

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Quick Reference Guides are short 1-4 page documents that provide concise practical information and advice on particular topics.

College financial aid administrators and admissions personnel, high school guidance counselors and teachers, scholarship providers, nonprofit organizations and others involved in community outreach and education efforts are welcome to distribute copies of these quick reference guides to students and their families for free. They are also welcome to link to them from their web sites and to use the PowerPoint presentations in their outreach efforts.

Quick Reference Guides for Students and Parents

  • Quick Reference Guide on Winning a Scholarship.

    This two-page quick reference guide includes a list of the top twelve tips on winning a scholarship, a list of common scholarship application mistakes, a warning about scholarship scams, and a list of key scholarship resources. It also includes lists of the top ten most unusual scholarships, top ten most prestigious scholarships, top ten most generous scholarships, top ten scholarships for children under age 13, top ten scholarships for community service and top ten scholarships that don't need an A.

  • Quick Reference Guide on Choosing a Student or Parent Loan.

    This ten-page quick reference guide includes information and advice about choosing an education loan, minimizing student loan debt, a list of key telephone numbers and web sites, and a variety of useful charts. Topics include interest capitalization, loan amortization, variable interest rates, the impact of increases in interest rates on monthly loan payments, the risks associated with borrowing too much money, It also describes Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), Federal PLUS Loans (Parent PLUS and Grad PLUS), Federal Consolidation Loans, Private Student Loans, Private Consolidation Loans, Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit, Credit Card Debt and Borrowing from Retirement Plans.

    An abbreviated 4-page version of the quick reference guide is also available.

  • Quick Reference Guide on Repaying Student Loans. A PowerPoint Presentation and handouts are also available.

    This four-page quick reference guide includes information and advice about managing student loan debt, a list of key telephone numbers and web sites, and a variety of useful charts. Topics include the student loan interest deduction, consolidation loans, repayment plans, income-based repayment, public service loan forgiveness, dealing with financial difficulty, default, deferments and forbearances, loan rehabilitation, budgeting tips and loan cancellation, and many practical tips.

  • College Power Bulletin. A Spanish language version, Boletin Acerca el Poder de la Universidad, is available, as is a College is Power PowerPoint presentation.

    The goal of the College Power Bulletin is to encourage all students to consider pursuing a college education. It motivates students by discussing why they should go to college and how to pay for college, and also includes a who's who of famous college graduates and quotes about the value of education. The College Power Bulletin presents simplified descriptions that do not assume any prior interest in college or familiarity with student aid terminology.

  • Quick Reference Guide on Evaluating Financial Aid Award Letters.

    This six-page quick reference guide helps students and parents understand and compare financial aid award letters. It includes a discussion of net cost and out-of-pocket cost, a summary of problems and pitfalls with financial aid award letters, a list of questions to ask college financial aid administrators and a glossary of common terms used on financial aid award letters.

  • Quick Reference Guide on Financial Aid Wisdom - Practical Tips on Paying for College.

    This eight-page quick reference guide provides a collection of hundreds of rules of thumb and practical tips about paying for college. It includes tips about saving for college, tips about scholarships, tips about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), tips about negotiation and professional judgment, tips about comparing financial aid award letters, a list of financial aid equations, tips about student loans, tips about consolidating student loans, tips about repaying student loans, tips about student employment, tips about education tax benefits, tips about cutting college costs, tips about graduating quicker (or on time) and tips about budgeting and managing money. It also includes a list of the top ten financial aid tips.

Quick Reference Guides for Educators

  • Quick Reference Guide: Profile of Pell Grant Recipients.

    This eight-page quick reference guide provides information about the characteristics of Pell Grant recipients and their college completion rates, as well as historical information about the Pell Grant program.

  • Quick Reference Guide to Student Financial Aid Statistics.

    This four-page quick reference guide provides information about sources of statistics concerning student financial aid, including key student aid data resources and tools at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and statistical data available from other organizations. It also includes a list of tips for using the NCES data tools.

 

 
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