Congratulations to Makruma Islam for winning our third MONEY Magazine Scholarship last week. Makruma recently graduated from high school and will be a freshman at George Washington University in the fall. She plans to major in International Relations. The MONEY Magazine Scholarship was set up to teach students about financial literacy. Those who attended College Cash 101 back in March were eligible to apply for the scholarship by writing an essay about the event. Read Makruma’s winning essay below. Stay tuned to find out who will win the first place MONEY Magazine Scholarship. The announcement will take place at our Annual Student Awards Ceremony.
The Central Scholarship and Money Magazine College Cash 101 event on March 31 of 2012 was a very useful event for undergrad and graduate students that are in the search for money for their education either through loans or scholarships. This event was really helpful and significant. I am truly grateful that I had the opportunity to attend this event.
One of the most important things that I learned at this event is about student loans. My family never took out any loans so I never really understood much about loans. At this event I learned that there are different types of student loans. There is the federal government sponsored student loan and private student loans. Government student loans are usually offered as part of a student’s total financial aid package that generally includes scholarships, grants, and work study opportunities. The amount of money a student can borrow depends on certain circumstances such as the student and the parents’ income level. Income level and other financial situations are all considered when deciding the amount of money a student is allowed to borrow under the federal student loan program. The private student loans are from private banks. Most student loans usually have interest that accrue over time which is why people end up paying a lot more money when they repay the loans than what they initially took out. However, most banks usually attach more amount of interest then the government loans, which is why it is best to stay away from taking out private student loans from banks if possible. There are two types of programs, unsubsidized and subsidized. The unsubsidized program lets the students borrow the money with interest accruing while they are still attending school. But the subsidized loans let the students to put off the interest accrual until they are no longer in school. But if one had the money available while they are still in school, it is best to pay these student loans off so that they don’t have to pay interest. Interest for the subsidized program usually starts after six to twelve months after graduation. Sometimes there are ways for extending the repayment period but that also means that the student will end up paying more amount in the total interest. Students end up paying monthly with the interest attached. One of the most important piece of information about loans that I learned from this event was that if a person pays their loans on time for a long period of time, about 10 yearly payment, then the rest of the loans that is left, is forgiven and the person doesn’t have to repay that amount.
Another impactful information that I learned from this event is to take every opportunity available. The opportunities include any jobs and internships because you never know what is going to be helpful in the future. If there is a job available to you and it is the only job that is available, even if it is not something that you want to do or is related to your career/major, you should still take that job because it will give a different experience. Also you will be making money, which most students need to repay their loans with.
I also learned that it is important to make connections with people so that they can refer you for jobs or internships. In order to make connections you need be presentable and make a good first impression with everyone that you meet. Also, to keep those connections, you need to be nice and friendly with your colleagues. You never know who will like you and refer you for an opportunity that will make a difference in your career or life.
Information about loans, taking every opportunity that is available, and making connections are all very important for students or young people who are starting to build their career. This information resonates with me because next year I will be a freshman at George Washington University. Because my financial package includes loans, it is important that I know everything about student loans and how to repay them. Also in order for me to start building a successful career I need to know how to make connections so that I can have opportunities available to me. I also need to take every chance and every opportunity that I have available and not waste time by waiting for something perfect.
Though the Central Scholarship and Money Magazine College Cash 101 event gave some very important information about how to survive financing for college, they didn’t talk about one issue that I think is very important. They didn’t exactly say what a person can do if he or she graduates from college and can not repay the large amount of student loan, because they do not have a job, due to the economic situation right now. The amount of interest will keep on accruing, while the person is jobless. I think this information is very important because the economy right now is not at a very good place right now and many students are getting out with great degrees but yet they can not find a job. Other than this bit of information, Central Scholarship and Money Magazine College Cash 101 event did an excellent job informing students how to find money for college.