Rising cost of college: How to overcome student loans and income inequality

Student loans

Day 3 of the protest Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of us were more worried about getting into our college of choice than we were about paying for that education. But the cost of college has risen dramatically in recent years. According to the National Center of Education Statistics, between 2000-01 and 2010-11, prices at public institutions rose 42 percent. As a result, of the 20 million Americans that attend college, 60 percent borrow money to pay for it. But without a college degree, people earn much less, leading to greater income inequality. So, what’s the answer?

Student loans

For many, student loans have become the go-to solution. As the cost of college has risen, so has the amount of student loan debt. According to the American Student Assistance (ASA) organization, in Student Loan Debt Statistics, “There is roughly somewhere between $902 billion and $1 trillion in total outstanding student loan debt in the United States today.” The average balance owed is just over $24,000. Read more

Enter our March Madness “Shoot and Score” photo contest for a chance to win $500!

Shoot and Score a Chance at $500

March Madness Are you the ultimate college basketball fan? Do you find March Madness less of a catchy tag-line for a college basketball tournament and more of a lifestyle commitment? Does your pre-game prep include your lucky jersey, face paint, and hair dye?

Then you are EXACTLY who we’re looking for!

Enter the CengageBrain March Madness “Shoot and Score” Photo Contest by uploading a photo of you in your most enthusiastic and outrageous fan get-up for a chance to win a $500 Visa gift card! Read more

College student loans and credit score: Protect your good credit and financial future

Student loansFor those of us college students (as well as recent graduates), student loan payments are probably not something at the top of your to-do list. I mean, come on, this is money that is (or was) helping you get through college. There is a reason why you aren’t expected to repay this debt right away. What you may not know, however, is that there is a direct link between student loans and credit score — something that helps determine whether you have good credit or not. Based on this fact, these loans can make or break your financial future. Read more

Tax season 101: First-timer’s guide to 2012 taxes

It’s about that time — time to file2012 taxes your 2012 taxes, that is! If you’re a first time taxpayer, don’t fret; there are many resources out there to help with tax filing for students. So, grab a notebook and get yourself organized; in no time at all you should be able to cash that first refund check!

First time ‘round these parts?

Tax filing can be very confusing, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. First things, first: get yourself organized. Read more

Scholarship hunting? Now accepting applications for The Dan Coiro Scholarship by CengageBrain!

America's Top TA by CengageBrain: Dan Coiro, Organic Chemistry at Rutgers University

America’s Top TA, Dan Coiro

America’s Top TA

In May of this year, we at CengageBrain introduced our national competition, America’s Top TA, as part of our ongoing dedication to education. College students from across the U.S. were given the opportunity to recognize the teaching assistants (TAs) who have had the greatest impact on their education. For the grand prize, we pledged to establish three $2,500 scholarships in the winning TA’s name, and our winner earned the duty of determining the scholarship criteria and ultimately selecting the scholarship recipients.

After much anticipation, the time to apply for The Dan Coiro Scholarship by CengageBrain has finally arrived! Read more

Why study abroad: Save money on international programs and graduate on time

Study abroad

Study abroad info (© Al Goldis/AP Images)

According to a recent report published by the Institute of International Education, more American students are studying abroad than ever before, however, overall numbers show that only 14 percent of college students as a whole participate in a study abroad program. In addition, findings show that the majority of students who choose to study abroad head to a European country, and male students are much less likely to take the study abroad leap. The study abroad sphere is widening though, and for those who are looking to take part, there is no time like the present to cash in on some good deals. Read more

America’s Top TA scholarship coming soon: The Dan Coiro Scholarship by CengageBrain

America's Top TA by CengageBrain: Dan Coiro, Organic Chemistry at Rutgers University

America’s Top TA: Dan Coiro, Organic Chemistry at Rutgers University

In May of this year, we at CengageBrain excitedly introduced our first ever national scholarship competition, “America’s Top TA.” College students from all around the country nominated their favorite teaching assistant by telling us why their TA deserved to be named America’s Top TA. For the grand prize, CengageBrain, the premier destination for purchasing college textbooks, agreed to establish three $2,500 scholarships in the winning TA’s name, and the reigning Top TA got to be part of the integral team determining the scholarship criteria and ultimately selecting the scholarship recipients. For those of you on the hunt for scholarships, stay tuned! Scholarship entries will be accepted starting in December.

After all the nominations were collected from students, a group of CengageBrain Student Ambassadors then narrowed them down to our 10 finalists. Read more

College scholarships: Begin your search here and you’ll be ready to hit the ground running this school year!

Scholarship researchLet’s face it: college isn’t getting any cheaper and loan rates are rising whether we like it or not. Why not alleviate some of that unnecessary stress by applying for scholarships to help pay for your education now? Need a kick in the pants to get started? Keep reading on to learn where to begin, get tips from the pros and apply for some very unusual college scholarships! Read more

Federal student loan repayment plans: Get in the know with what you’ll owe!

Paying off student loansWhether you’re an entering freshman or a first-year grad student, being in the know with what your federal student loan debt looks like is a good way to stay ahead of the game for when the time comes to begin repayment. Did you know you have several different options for repayment? You might even be eligible for loan forgiveness. So, what exactly are your options, you ask? Well, read on for more info. And then visit your school’s financial aid office for ways to be proactive before you accept your diploma. Read more

Poll: Stafford loan interest rate increase, students consider cheaper education alternatives

Unless Congress acts quickly to stop it from doubling, the federal subsidized Stafford loan interest rate is scheduled to revert back to 6.8 percent on July 1 from the current 3.4 percent, affecting millions of students across America.

Effects on college students

In an effort to better understand how current students would react to this change, we at CengageBrain.com, the premier destination for purchasing discount college textbooks and part of Cengage Learning, polled 500 college students on everything from the drastic actions they would take if rates increase, to how it might affect their voting in upcoming elections. Shockingly, 23 percent of the students we polled said that they would consider dropping out of their school if rates doubled, and 66 percent of students that were planning on getting an advanced degree said they would be less able to pursue graduate school. And, the effects don’t stop there.

Check out our infographic for the complete results on how increased student loan rates would impact students’ education.

Students Weigh in on Student Loans Debate

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