paying college bills

In last week’s episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, host Sally Ganga and her guests addressed a wide variety of topics: economical travel timing and destinations for college students, a check-in on the activities section of the college application during our Application Workshop series, and scholarship and loan scams.

Cheap Travel for College Students

Sally’s guest for this segment was Danielle Dougan, Public Relations Manager at Student Universe, a travel booking service for students and youth. She had real data and advice to share about how to save money on your air travel for college, whether it is traveling to and from school or traveling to international destinations over breaks. And if you haven’t yet booked your plane ticket to get you to college this fall, she was very clear—book it now. Waiting may cost you!

School’s Out! College Application Workshop

Sally’s guests in this segment were college admission expert Zaragoza Guerra and college finance expert Laurie Peltier. Sally and Zaragoza continued last week’s discussion of the activities section of the college application, and also talked about the best way to construct an academic or activities resume. Zaragoza offered some pointers on how a resume can be organized, and Sally added to last week’s homework on the activity template, instructing students to go back to the activities they listed and find descriptive and active words to pare each entry down to 150 words or less. Laurie closed out this segment by describing how resumes are used in the scholarship and work-study processes. She also doled out a homework assignment for listeners: when constructing a college list, research each college’s admissions and financial aid office website to determine deadlines and possible applications required for merit scholarships.

Scholarship and Loan Scams

Sally’s final guest was yours truly (Kathy Ruby, college finance expert). We talked about companies that charge money to do research on scholarships and fill out financial aid forms for you – both of which are activities you can manage on your own for free. We also chatted about other things to watch out for during a private scholarship search. And finally, we discussed debt relief companies that take advantage of anxious student loan borrowers by advertising they will help get their loans forgiven or payments reduced. These companies charge a fee to “manage” student loan repayment, a service that is absolutely unnecessary for federal student loan borrowers. Let the buyer beware—you don’t want to miss this show!

Tune in next week, when Beth Heaton will continue the Application Workshop and have experts on hand to answer both admission and finance listener questions.

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Written by Kathy Ruby
Kathy Ruby is a member of College Coach’s team of college finance experts. Before joining College Coach, Kathy was as a Senior Financial Aid Officer at St. Olaf College and Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.