Spring Semester Begins With No New Federal Aid, Alternative Student Loans Needed

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The education industry expected that there would be no changes in federal financial aid during 2004 due to the election. Neither party wanted to make major changes in education funding that could backfire and be used as political ammunition during the election, so federal financial aid to students, parents, and families remains unchanged for the spring semester. As many hardworking families know, tuition bills arrive in late November and December for the spring semester. With the holiday season's financial pressures, there's never been a better time to seek alternative student loans.

The spring 2005 college semester has begun - or at least the bills have begun to arrive - with no changes in federal financial aid. The 2004 Presidential Election cycle pushed back the Congressional re-authorization of the Higher Education Act, which means that students who were hoping for an increase in federal financial aid will have to wait until the next academic year for any changes by Congress. As a result, students, parents, and families who need financial aid to cover spring semester education expenses are increasingly turning to alternative student loans to bridge the gap between unchanging federal financial aid and increasing tuition bills.

Christopher S. Penn, director of AlternativeStudentLoan.com commented, "The education industry expected that there would be no changes in federal financial aid during 2004 due to the election. Neither party wanted to make major changes in education funding that could backfire and be used as political ammunition during the election, so federal financial aid to students, parents, and families remains unchanged for the spring semester. As many hardworking families know, tuition bills arrive in late November and December for the spring semester. With the holiday season's financial pressures, there's never been a better time to seek alternative student loans."

Alternative student loans offer low, competitive interest rates and borrowers can receive loan proceeds in as little as five business days. AlternativeStudentLoan.com loan proceeds are sent straight to the borrower's checking account, which allows borrowers to pay tuition bills quickly, avoiding delays and frustration at registration time. Additionally, since alternative student loans are credit-based, more families can qualify for them, as opposed to need-based financial aid.

"One important fact that cannot be emphasized enough is that students generally don't have enough of a credit history - good or bad - to obtain a private student loan on their own. Students who want to apply for a private student loan should do so with a co-signer, who can be any parent, relative, employer, friend, or associate with two years of full time employment, two years of good credit history, and two years of citizenship or permanent residency in the United States. Even people on fixed incomes like retired citizens can be excellent co-signers, and help the next generation achieve their full education potential," said Mr. Penn.

Mr. Penn noted that the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan remains capped at $2,625 per year for freshmen undergraduates, while private student loans for freshmen, with approved cosigners, can provide up to $30,000 in additional funds for the rest of the school year.

Undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students can apply for alternative student loans at http://www.AlternativeStudentLoan.com at any time; students are strongly encouraged to have a co-signer. Parents of K-12 students can also apply for private school loans at http://www.AlternativeStudentLoan.com as well. Students and families can also apply by phone by calling toll-free (866) 301-3637 or (617) 535-6943.

Christopher S. Penn at cspenn@AlternativeStudentLoan.com for more information; students, parents, and families can apply for a private student loan at any time by applying online at http://www.AlternativeStudentLoan.com, or by calling toll-free (866) 229-8900 or (617) 535-7001.

AlternativeStudentLoan.com is a division of the Edvisors Network, a multi-national education services company offering students options for managing the entire education lifecycle, from getting into their college of choice to financing their education and beyond. The Edvisors Network is based in Quincy, Massachusetts, with offices in Quincy and London, England. Visit them on the web at http://www.EdvisorsNetwork.com for more information.

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