Saturday, March 17, 2012

Technical School For Prime

One of the best things in today's time is that education is easier to get. Back then a technical school didn't exist; instead mentors did all the teaching. In olden times the only to be educated in a specific art is to find a mentor that has mastered the said art. The problem with this is that there was a severe lack of mentors back then however this is easily remedied because there was also a severe lack of mentees because children would just follow their father's trade.

It today's time it may be easier to get but the problem is the amount of time it takes to complete a trade course. Regular college courses take up to 4 years before you can graduate whereas in a community college it only takes 2 years; sure 2 years is shorter than 4 years but we are talking in years here.

Luckily there is a way to actually get all that education for a shorter amount of time; people now have the option to go to a technical school. So what is a technical school? A technical school is basically an educational institution wherein technical knowledge about real jobs is taught.

The only downside to this kind of education is that there is a lack of practical knowledge because only the concepts and how to use them are taught; students won't essentially receive prior training in their technical course. So then why do people still enrol with such schools?

The reason why people still opt for such schools as compared to a regular college is primarily due to time and money. Technical schools only take a few weeks to a few months at most to complete one course whereas a regular college would take up to 4 years; as stated previously.

The other reason is pretty much easy to understand: it's because of money. Colleges cost tens of thousands of dollars to enrol to each term whereas a technical school only takes a few thousand at most, usually a few hundred, for the whole course itself.

But what is the actual use of technical knowledge in the job industry? Technical knowledge may be useless to most but technical knowledge about a specific field will surely interest companies that are in that specific field. Companies see such kind of people as walking work manuals because they know everything that they need to know while only lacking the experience to use it.

So why would they hire such people in the first place if they don't have prior experience? Companies will hire them because employees with experience tend to demand a higher salary as compared to technical schools student. The experience will come once that manual-like knowledge is put into use. A technical school is definitely the way to go if you're pressed for time and short on money because they offer what you need and only what you need for a great price.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Some Rules to Getting The Most Financial Aid

You hear you will be offered loans but other than that, you will get nothing. This is what everyone says who you think might have similar assets. That however, is not necessarily the case. Just because someone who upon casual inspection seems to be in a similar situation to you didn't get much of a financial aid award doesn't mean you have to have share the same fate.

The first thing you should understand is how the government determines need. The formula is very complex Need = Cost of Attendance (COA) - Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

Rule Number One- Report only what you are required to as assets on the FAFSA.

Cost of Attendance is fairly straightforward, but you are probably thinking "how does the government know how much I can afford? The short answer, you tell them. They use the information you provide on the FAFSA.. They decide how much you can afford taking into account income, assets, number of children and number of children in college, to name a few. However, just like with taxes, there are certain types of assets you do not have to disclose and should not. For instance, qualified retirement plans such as 401k or IRA's are exempt. Your primary residence and any equity that exists also need not be reported. However, all-to-often people report money they do not have to and ruin their chances at receiving aid.

Rule Number Two- Put as much of your money as possible in investments and assets that you do not have to report, or if you do at least it should be a lightly weighted asset class.

To discuss these options you should find a trusted college finance planning professional so they can let you know what the best options for your situation.

In their calculations, the Government, puts weight to different pools of money. For instance, they will weigh money in the students name very heavily. Lets say that there is $20,000 in an account set up by grandma and grandpa for Jr's college. The government will look at that as cash on hand with no other purpose than to pay for college. Basically, they will say, "there is $5,000 per year for college and drop that right into the EFC. You are now $5,000 less in need. However with proper planning, that same $20,000 could be placed in an investment that need not be reported, but may be accessed for use during college, a few examples are Whole Life Insurance and certain Annuities.

Rule Number 3- Don't Procrastinate
Procrastination is truly your worst enemy. There are so many deadlines and many of them are different with each college and each could cost you your award. Because there ware so I can not go over them all. But I will go over the biggest one. This one you should never miss. The first and most important one is the FAFSA priority filing date. You should never miss this. The FAFSA is your Admission Fee" into the financial aid show. If you don't have it done when the show starts it goes on without you and you can lose out on a lot of money you would have otherwise received. A Key misconception people have and one of the most common reasons given for missing this deadline is " I did not have my taxes done so I can't do the FAFSA." You don't need to have them done. You are allowed to estimate based on the previous year. If, when you get your taxes done it is significantly different you just file an update. I always tell people to get their FAFSA done as close to, but after Jan 1, of the year you are doing to school.

While this list is far from inclusive of all strategies to getting the most out of financial aid, I hope you now can see that there are proactive things you can do which will substantially increase your chances at getting aid you thought was not available to you. The reality is is you may be eligible for if your adjusted gross income is up to $180,000 for both parents combined! And the more you make, the more you need to employ strategies to ensure you get your share of the financial aid offered.