There are scholarships you can get while you’re still in high school, and of course there are scholarships for undergraduate school and graduate degrees.
But what about money for life AFTER college? That’s what Olga wants to know.
I have $26,000 in student loans for bachelors in org. behavior and leadership. I graduated Dec. 2009
and I have a forebearance until April 2011.
My question is this. Are there grants or other scholarships I can apply for to pay off the student loans? I see many grants and scholarships for students about to attend or attending college/university. Is there any for those of us who have already graduated?
Nope. Well, pretty much no, anyway.
Scholarships are for attending school, pretty much, and if you’re not attending school anymore, you can’t get any more scholarships.
Grants are a different story — barely, though. There are some programs, such as the Americorps Segal Education Award, that gives you about $5k toward paying off student loans. But, of course, you have to have done a year of Americorps service in order to eligible for that.
There are also a lot of government-sponsored programs out there that will pay back some portion of your student loans in exchange for your performing a critical service in an under-served area. You know, go teach in the inner city, go be a doctor in a really rural area, etc.
But nothing that I know of related to organizational behavior, though. Sorry, Olga.
On a related note, though, let me throw in a couple of tips. You CAN actually do a couple of things to save money on student loans.
a) Consolidate your student loans. When you consolidate your loans, you’re rolling them all into one fixed-rate loan. The rate you get will vary depending on what kind of loans you’re have, but chances are it’s going to be a better situation (read: you’ll pay less interest) than what you’ve got now.
This article from Marketwatch is from 2009, but it describes the loan consolidation process fairly well.
To start the process of student loan consolidation, go here — the government’s consolidation website. In addition to getting your consolidation process under way, you can also see what websites used to look like in 1999! Because by the looks of things, that’s when this one was designed.
b) Pay by direct debit from your bank account. You can usually get an interest rate reduction 1/4 of a percentage point if you sign up to have your student loan payments debited directly from your bank account.
Don’t sneeze at 1/4 of a point — it can save you a couple thousand bucks over the life of your repayment period, and the more loans you have, the more you’ll save, obviously. Plus, it eliminates the hassle of making (and remembering to make) payments manually every month.