Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Use Tax Credits To Help Finance Your College Education

By P. Nash

Students are always on the lookout for ways to help pay or offset the cost of their tuition. There are various government grants and scholarships available to you if you qualify. But what if you don’t qualify for these government programs? Don’t loose hope there are still options available to you that can help offset those tuition bills.

Did you know that tax credits are another way that Uncle Sam can help you finance your college education? Well it’s true and it has come to my attention that there are many students, old and new alike, who are not taking advantage of these educational tax credits that they are entitled to. Specifically the tax credits are the Hope Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. These two tax credits will reduce the amount of Federal Income Tax that you would pay dollar for dollar, unlike tax deductions that are used to lower your taxable income. It’s like someone saying to you “if you spend your money on college, I’ll give it back to you.” The tax credits are based on the amount of qualified educational expenses that students pay.

What are these qualified expenses? Qualified expenses are tuition and fees that are required to pay to an accredited college, university, or vocational school as a requirement for attendance. Fees that are not included are room & board, personal living and family expenses. Other expenses that may also qualify are expenses for books, supplies, student activity fees, and equipment if they are required to be paid to the school as a condition for enrollment.

Who is eligible for these tax credits? Anyone can claim these tax credits; you can claim these credits for yourself, your spouse and anyone you can legally claim as a dependant on your tax return.

The Hope Tax Credit is worth up to a maximum of $1,500, depending on how much the qualified educational expenses are, 100% of the first $1000 and 50% of the next $1000. To be eligible for The Hope Tax Credit the student need to be enrolled at least half time (6 credits) in at least one semester and meet certain income requirements. The Hope Tax Credit is available for each and every student, on the same tax return enrolled in a qualifying college program. This credit can be taken for the first two years of post secondary education (undergraduate degree or vocational school) for each student. A family with three students with qualified expenses of $2,000 each on the same return equals a $4,500 reduction in the taxes you owe.

The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit works a little bit differently, the credit is based on 20% of the of the first $10,000 of educational expense up to a maximum credit is $2,000 per return not per student. This credit can be taken for any and all years that a studennt takes even just one class that will improve or aquire job skills (undergraduate, graduate and professional degree courses included). If you have qualified expenses of $2,000 then you get a tax credit of $400 (.20 X $2,000).

Consider this, these tax credits can bring down the tax that you owe on April 15th, and money that you don’t have to pay in tax can be used to pay for the education you want and deserve. Other limitations are that both of these tax credits may not be used for the same student in the same year. Students that have been comvicted of a felony drug offense can not claim the Hope Tax Credit, but they can still take advantage of the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit.

This is just a breif overview of these tax credits that all students should know about and tahe advantage of. I reecomend that you do refer to IRS Publication 970 and IRS: Topics for Students for further information or discuss these tax credits with your Tax Professional.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

A COLLEGE LOAN MAY BE UNNECESSARY IF YOU GET SCHOLARSHIPS OR

A COLLEGE LOAN MAY BE UNNECESSARY IF YOU GET SCHOLARSHIPS ORGOVERNMENT GRANTS


Author: Chris R

A college loan is often necessary in order to pay for higher education. There are also scholarships and federal government grants that students can get financial aid from. This kind of aid can help keep your college loans from becoming too high tomanage. As a student you will need to have money to pay fortuition, books, travel expenses, dorm fees, unexpected costs,and last but not least, your everyday living expenses. Most college programs are anywhere from three to seven years or longer.
Annual expenses can amount to $10000.00 to $20000.00 per year,and this is probably an under estimation. Do the math and youwill see that getting an education is going to cost you. Knowing what kind of credit you have is very important, as lenders willsurely check out your credit report before giving you a loan. Know what your credit rating is before approaching a lender bygetting a free credit report online. Try checking out a fewscholarships or getting a federal government grant before applying for any loans. Get your free credit report online inseconds. Taking on education debts should be secondary toscholorships and federal government grants. Be sure to exhaustall avenues of gift aid before applying for any student loans. After all, you don't have to pay back scholarships and grants! Check any and all sources of gift aid in your area. Schools,colleges, financial institutions, churches, and community groups often offer this type of thing. Scholarships are usually givento those with high academic or athletic achievement, or entering a particular field of study. Federal government grants are for those who are experiencing financial difficulties. Federal and state governments decide who qualifies for these grants. Rest assured that if you don't qualify for a federal grant orscholorship, you still have options. You can get a federal college student loan, or a private loan tailored specifically for students. There are even student credit cards at great rates with no fees. Apply for your student loans online where you can find great rates and start preparing for your future. If you are already dealing with large payments on several student loans then you may want to consider consolidating them at a lowerrate. This can make a huge difference in your monthly paymentsand save you hundreds.


Feel free to reprint this article provided that a live link towww.online-finances remains active on your site.


About the author:

Chris is the webmaster of www.online-finances.com. A websitedesigned to help find solutions to your financial needs.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Title: Financial Aid for Online Education

Title: Financial Aid for Online Education

Author: Matt Norman

Article:
You've made the decision to pursue your degree online and you've
been accepted to an online program. Now what do you do? The next
step in realizing your dream is to secure the funds needed for
your education.

If you haven't already done so, now is the time to complete your
Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FASFA, for short.
This is a straightforward application published by the
Department of Education, which gives lenders an idea of what
sort of funding you are entitled to. The application process is
fairly simple and can be completed online in minutes. Once
you've filled in the necessary information, you should receive,
within a matter of a few days, a confirmation letter, of which
programs you are eligible for. This process is free and simple
to do, and it is the cornerstone of securing financial aid for
your college program.

Once you have this information, you need to contact the
Financial Aid office at the college that you want to attend.
There are many types of financial aid packages available,
ranging from work study programs to government aid. The
financial aid officer will be able to provide the necessary
forms for the different lending institutions and should be able
to guide you through the decision making process.

After you have completed your loan applications, they will need
to be sent to the school for verification and processing. Many
banks will not release the funds directly to the student, only
to the college at the start of the term. This makes it easier-
and safer- for both the college and the student.

Securing funds for college is a fairly easy process that needn't
be stressful. The key to the whole process is being well
organized and making sure that you meet all of the loan
deadlines specified by both the Department of Education and your
college's financial aid office.

About the author:
Matt Norman is the founder of Easy Distance Learning a website providing information on learning online

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Scholarship Search Engine

Scholarship Search Engine
by: Vanessa McHooley

Getting scholarships for college is not the hard part – but actually going out and finding scholarships that fit your requirements is! For years, high school guidance counselors used to suggest possible scholarships to students or give them large booklets filled with hundreds and thousands of college scholarships. Going through these books and actually finding a scholarship became a task all in and of itself. With the popularity of the internet though, finding a scholarship for college through a search engine has never been easier and has even been made simpler through the usage of specific search engines tailored just for college scholarships!
Starting Your Scholarship Search

The first thing to do before using a search engine to find college scholarships is to make a list of all of the skills or qualities about yourself that might appeal to someone handing out a college scholarship. Are you athletic in some sport that some colleges offer? Do you write poetry that would make Walt Whitman smile? Can you name all of the states in America in alphabetical order in under 2 minutes? Chances are, if you have some talent or skill, someone will be offering a scholarship that could put you into college.

Finding Your Scholarship Matches

Next, go into any search engine and start searching for web sites that offer scholarships. You may be able to find entire sites devoted to finding and searching for scholarships that are tailored around your needs. Try and be fairly specific, as the term “scholarship” is likely to bring up thousands of sites that do not apply to you. If you want a scholarship for those interested in writing, type in something like “creative writing college scholarships.” This should at least bring up some more options for you.

Apply For The Scholarships Now!

Finally, start applying for scholarships that you find through a search engine. Sign up for more information from sites that host advertisements for various scholarships. These sites will then e-mail you the latest scholarship opportunities in your field of interest. The scholarships may be out there somewhere for you. Just make sure to turn to your favorite search engine to find out exactly where they are located.
This article is distributed by NextStudent. At NextStudent, we believe that getting an education is the best investment you can make, and we're dedicated to helping you pursue your education dreams by making college funding as easy as possible. We invite you to learn more about Scholarship Search Engine at http://www.NextStudent.com.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Paying for College

Everyone knows that a college education is the key to a sucessful future. Also known is the fact that the costs of getting the education that one needs to attain success keeps going up. As and adult student looking at providing my own son with the educational opportunity he deserves, I can offer a little bit of insight into how to offset the increasing cost of a college education.
There is a way to get an affordable education and save time in the process. Students can earn credit for the knowledge that they already posess through credit by exam programs that are available at most colleges and universities. In many cases, through these programs, students can earn up to 30 college credits which is equal to 1 year of college. One program in particular is the College Level Examination Program or CLEP*. As of this posting the cost of a 3 credit CLEP* exam is $50.00 + an administrative fee of $15.00 to $25.00 for the testing center. At our local community college the cost for a 3 credit hour course is $189.00. On just one class there is a potential savings of about $119.00. Complete 30 credits and the savings are substantial. If your student is planning on enrolling in a four year state university, which are more expensive then the savings are even greater. Private universities are even more expensive, which will generate more savings.
The CLEP* exams covers what an introductory college level course would cover, so you need to be familiar with the material and put some time in studying from college level text books and there are resources available on the internet. Some of the exams are on the same subjects that are covered in a typical high school class, but at a college level. I would encourage high school students can take the exams soon after taking high school courses with a little extra studying.
There are 33 subject exams available which cover Composition and Literature, Foreign Languages, History and Social Sciences, Science and Mathematics, and Business. A few of these exams are worth 6 credits which will save more time and money. Takeing as little as 6 CLEP* exams (some exams can earn you 6 credits) can earn your student 30 college credits, saving lots of time and money.
Before taking any CLEP* exam contact the college that you plan to attend and check with an academic advisor about which CLEP* exams they give credit for.

* CLEP is a registered trademark of The College Board.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

MARS OR BUST

I just read an article about the space shuttle Discovery. It has been 2 ½ yeas since the Columbia disaster and during take off another piece of foam has peeled away from the fuel tank and this time has missed the shuttle. Discovery has and will be inspected extensively to make sure that there will be no problems during re entry. Many people think NASA is a waste of taxpayer money. I am proud to say that I am not one of those closed minded individuals. People complain and say that we are putting the lives of these brave people at risk; well the fact is we are. There are inherent dangers associated with space exploration and we, those who have vision, accept them and try to minimize them. These daring individuals are aware of the risks too, and make an informed decision to head off into that vast frontier. There are risks in everything we do, mistakes are going to be made, and people die as a result of these risks every day. Human beings are explorers plain and simple, and what left have we to explore except space. The world is a very small place as we have really come to realize with the advances in technology and communications. Our world is the tip of the iceberg and we are still in the infancy of space exploration. Some believe that there is intelligent life in the universe in addition to us, but how will we ever know if they are in the same point in their evolution as we are. Better yet maybe there is no other intelligent life beyond earth and we are supposed to put it out there. I wish god speed to the crew of Discovery.
MARS OR BUST.

Friday, July 15, 2005

New Items

New at MYtSIGN.com

We have a couple of new design that we would like to announce:

First we have a Crab design.

Second we have added an "OPEN" design.

Ckeck the sidebar.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Hurricane Havoc

Well I guess they were right, we’re having an active hurricane season so far. With Dennis passing us by Here comes Emily, kind of looks like she’s following Dennis, only time will tell. Out further in the Atlantic, halfway between the Caribbean and the coat of Africa, there looks like we could possibly have some Tropical cyclonic formation over the next 36 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center. Now is the time to get ready, get those supplies just in case you fall victim to one of these monstrous storms. Be sure to stay informed check out the links to the National Hurricane Center.

Friday, July 08, 2005

New Feeds

Just finished adding some new RSS feeds that I hope everyone will find interesting.
As you can see at the top of the blog there is the feed from the National Hurricane Center which will keep you up to date of the information about what’s happening in the Atlantic.
Down the page in the sidebar you will find a feed about Alternative Energy, which will help to keep you abreast of breaking developments. Also there is a feed from my shop, MYtSIGN.com, featuring t-shirt designs that are inspired by all kinds of signs hence tsign.
Also at the bottom there is a feed announcing new DVD releases.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

RSS Mess

Since the first post I decided that I wanted to add some content to my blog, what a nightmare. I had heard about rss feeds, an rss feed is a way to syndicare content on the net, and thought that it would be cool to get one on my site. What I found is that if you have never done anything like that before it takes a little time to get the hang of things and of course, you should be comfortable with pasting code fragments into your web page or blog.
After searching the net for about an hour I figured out how to add a feed to my blog. It is pretty straight forward, now that I’ve done it. In an effort to help out someone else out there in the vast cyber abyss, I will explain how I got my feed to work the best that I can. I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert or anything close, so if this helps you great, if not then I guess I screwed something up.
First you need to find a feed, you can get feeds from your favorite web sites just look for a small orange badge that has xml in it and click. You should see some code in your browser, this is not of much concern to you, what you want is the URL for that feed which is in the address bar, right click in the address bare and copy the URL.
Second, go to http://jade.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/feed/index.php?s=build and paste the URL into the URL valuator box, then press preview feed. Once the feed is validated, go through the options or you can skip that part and just click the Generate JavaScript button.
Third, this generates the JavaScript code that you can cut and paste into your web page or blog, like I did. If I botched this up too much for you then you can read over the info from the link above. I hope in the end this is able to help someone as green as I was.
If you read my first post you know that I have an online t-shirt shop. I wanted to create my own feed for the shop that I could add to my other site and blog. Well I figured out that one too as you can see by looking in the right side bar. My next post will explain how I was able to accomplish that tricky feat. So, check out how it works and come back for the explanation.