SOURCE: NextStudent

August 30, 2007 13:15 ET

Undergraduates Can Help Pay Their Way Through College With Stafford Loans From NextStudent

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - August 30, 2007) - When undergraduates are searching for ways to meet their college expenses themselves, Federal Stafford Loans from NextStudent, a leading Phoenix-based education funding company, could provide the financial boost they need. Available to undergraduates in their own name and awarded both with and without consideration of financial need, Stafford loans provide eligible undergraduates with a flexible, self-help financing option that makes more money available to them each year they're in school.

Stafford loans are low-interest, federal student loans available to both undergraduate and graduate students for education-related expenses. While subsidized Stafford loans are awarded on the basis of financial need, unsubsidized Stafford loans are non-need-based, so eligible students can qualify for unsubsidized Stafford aid regardless of their own income or their parents' income. With a subsidized Stafford loan, borrowers don't pay any interest while they're in school, in deferment, or in a grace period. With an unsubsidized Stafford loan, interest accrues even when borrowers aren't making payments (for example, while they're in school, in deferment, or in a grace period), and that interest will be added to their student loan amount once repayment begins.

Federal Stafford Loans feature several borrower benefits:

--  No prepayment penalties
--  Fixed interest rate
--  No payments while in school, so students can focus on their studies
    instead of on repaying their Stafford loan
--  Forbearance and hardship deferment periods during repayment
--  Six-month grace period before repayment begins
--  Consolidation benefits, so borrowers consolidating their Stafford
    loan(s) can take advantage of all the benefits of federal student loan
    consolidation, including extended repayment terms that give them more time
    to repay
    

Eligible undergraduates qualify for different Stafford loan amounts, depending on their year in school and whether they're classified as dependent or independent undergraduate students. A dependent student -- an undergraduate who is under 24, single with no dependents, and who isn't a ward of the court, a military veteran or in the military -- can take out up to a maximum of $23,000 in Stafford loans during his or her college career. Independent undergraduates can borrow up to a cumulative Stafford maximum of $46,000.

Students applying for a Stafford loan must file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). To be eligible for an undergraduate Stafford loan from NextStudent, students must hold a high school diploma or GED and must be enrolled or accepted as at least a half-time student in an eligible undergraduate program. They'll also need to meet satisfactory academic progress standards set by their school. Stafford applicants must also be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and they may not be in default on any federal student loans.

Undergraduates interested in a Federal Stafford Loan from NextStudent should contact their school's financial aid office for the Stafford application deadline.

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 5.9 million scholarships worth $16 billion.

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

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