This day and age, many students have become all too familiar with the financial aid offices at our institutions and the studentloans.gov website. During my undergraduate studies, I was fortunate enough to receive a merit-based scholarship. Unfortunately, that was not enough to cover my private-liberal arts school tuition that continued to rise all four years of undergrad. So what do you do next? If you are like me, you navigate your way through the studentloans.gov website and prepare to accept the student loan debt you will face after completing your studies.
Fortunately for us here at Maxwell, we have a phenomenal Office of Financial Literacy that make paying off your student loans more understandable and less worrisome! On November 10th, the Office of Financial Literacy conducted a workshop titled “Taking Action on Student Loans”. Derek Brainard, who is the representative from the office, discussed the type of loans that are offered for students and the loans that they can request. Additionally, there was discussion of repayment plan options that students can choose from and the pros and cons of each plan. One of the most relevant topics that came up in the workshop was the Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The system that is in place states that the federal loans you received throughout college (undergraduate and graduate) will be forgiven and will not be taxed after working 120 months in a public service career, as long as your employer qualifies as a public service.
One of the most helpful parts for me during this workshop was the discussion about repayment plans. As I end my educational career in June, it is time for me to start “adulting” and make payments on my loans. I had already chosen a repayment plan after I graduated from my undergraduate institution without doing much research on how the plan would work. After the workshop, I knew I had to change my repayment plan to the one that worked best for me and made the most sense for my future career path, rather than which one sounded easier. There are different repayment plans that differ in the amount you pay and how long it takes to completely pay off your loans. Take a look here! https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/repaymentEstimator.action
If you take a look at 2015 statistics, you will see that a majority of our graduates go in to some form of public service after their time at Maxwell. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness opportunity is especially appealing to students like us who plan on making a career out of public service, whether it is at the federal or local level of government or even a non-profit/NGO work. If you are interested in learning more about the PSLF, visit studentaid.ed.gov.
If you have any questions regarding financial aid, student loans, or repayment plans, you can reach the Office of Financial Aid at (315) 443-1513 or email them at financialaid.syr.edu.