SOURCE: NextStudent

July 16, 2007 12:19 ET

NextStudent Takes the Guesswork Out of College Student Funding Strategy

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - July 16, 2007) - At the height of summer many parents of college students may be shifting their focus from more leisurely family activities to those of a more serious nature: the future education of their child and the means to make it happen, according to NextStudent, a leading Phoenix-based education funding company.

Colleges are as diverse as the students who attend the institutions. Therefore, it stands to reason that the financial aid award letters from each school are equally diverse. At times, students and their parents need in-depth assistance to fully understand the significance of these letters, including such important details as the actual cost of tuition, room and board, the subsidized and unsubsidized federal funds for which they qualify, and the amount of out-of-pocket funds that they need to have to make attendance a reality.

Once students have a firm grasp of these facts, they can move forward in composing a funding strategy that works best, according to the federal funds for which they qualify and other needs. NextStudent has years of experience in assisting such borrowers through this often puzzling landscape. When borrowers contact the company, they are assigned a personal Education Finance Advisor who will address any questions, clarify any confusion or concerns they may have, and put together a college funding plan that best suits their needs.

There are many different types of federal financial aid for which students may qualify, as designated on their financial aid award letters. These include need-based subsidized Stafford Loans by which the government covers the interest while a student is in school, deferment, or during the grace period following graduation. Another type of Stafford Loan is the non-need-based unsubsidized Stafford Loan, whereby a borrower pays the interest during those periods or allows it to accrue and be added to the student loan balance.

Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loans) are credit-based student loans that enable parents to borrow funds to cover college costs (less any other financial aid) for a child who is attending school at least half-time as an undergraduate student. Many parents take out these loans if their child does not qualify for a large amount of need-based federal funds.

Once federal, state and institutional aid options are fully utilized many parents turn to Private Student Loans to make up the difference if a student still has considerable out-of-pocket costs to cover. These credit-based student loans offered by NextStudent include such benefits as quick preapproval, generous borrowing limits, deferred principal and interest payments (on most student loans), and no prepayment penalties. Many parents are not aware that they may apply for such private student loans at any time of the year, and that the funds may be used for study abroad and distance-learning programs.

Whatever the composition of federal awards for which students qualify, and regardless of the funding confusion that may stand in the way, chances are NextStudent can help students and their families design the perfect financial strategy that leads them to attain the education of their dreams.

About NextStudent

NextStudent, federal lender code 834051, is dedicated to helping students and their families find affordable ways to pay for college. NextStudent offers one-on-one education finance counseling and has a portfolio of highly competitive education finance products and services including a free online scholarship search engine, federally guaranteed parent and student loans, private student loans, both federal and private student loan consolidation programs, and college savings plans.

The NextStudent Scholarship Search Engine, one of the nation's oldest and largest scholarship search engines, is updated daily, available free of charge, completely private -- and represents 2.4 million scholarships worth $3.4 billion.

For more information about NextStudent and its student loan programs, please visit the company's Web site at http://www.nextstudent.com/.

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