Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
 
Related Sites

 

Alum Success

Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell
Mechanical Engineering '06

Ben Mitchell grew up in a devout household in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan where emphasis was placed on helping others. He traveled with his father to places such as Kenya and Peru on short-term medical missions. When he was in Kenya, a missionary explained that engineers have the greatest potential to influence the largest number of people. During high school, Ben participated in a youth mission trip to Tijuana. A result of the mission trips, his family decided to adopt three Vietnamese children when he was a junior.

All of these experiences had a great influence on Ben’s outlook on life. He decided to major in mechanical engineering and enrolled at Lake Superior State University. Near the end of his senior year, he decided to volunteer for the Peace Corps to help others.

His two-year commitment began in the fall of 2007 and took Ben to Burkina Faso in western Africa. He resides in the village of Tansila, population 3,000, approximately 10 km from the Mali border. His host organization is the local cotton growers union. It works cooperatively with other villages to improve and expand their production techniques. He serves as an agribusiness advisor as a part of the Small Enterprise Development program which helps create market linkages and assists with the advancement of business skills.

Parents at Lake State

Loan Consolidation Could Save You Money

Last chance. If you are thinking about consolidating a Stafford or Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS loan), experts suggest that you do it before July 1, 2006. After this date, the loans that used to have annual variable interest rates will Loan Savinglock in higher percentage rates that will be in effect through 2012.

That's because Congress cut $12 billion from the student loan program this year, according to The Baltimore Sun (April 2, 2006). As a result, variable interest rates will disappear come July 1 and be replaced by fixed rates on new loans. For instance, new Stafford loans will go for a 6.8 percent interest rate while new PLUS loans will go for 8.5 percent.

The current variable rate for student loans is 4.7 percent and 6.1 percent for parent loans. The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Office of Financial Services suggests the following when it comes to consolidation:

  • Students currently in school can consolidate their student loans now to fix the interest rate at the in-school rate for loans they've already borrowed.
  • Students and parents who didn't borrow money this academic year but think they'll need to borrow next year are advised to borrow now so they can consolidate the new loan into a fixed rate package.
  • Parents who have already borrowed loans can consolidate these parent loans now to fix the interest rate.

The JHU Office of Financial Services also advises students that using Direct Loan consolidation will provide them with the best market rates instead of going with private consolidation lenders. More information is available at http://loanconsolidation.ed.gov.

Encourage your student to talk with his/her financial aid counselor about these changes to get the best personal advice. Just keep in mind that the July 1, 2006 deadline is right around the corner.
Sources: "Game over July 1 for student loan rate lock-in," Baltimore Sun, April 2, 2006; Johns Hopkins University Office of Financial Services at www.jhu.edu/finaid/

Consolidation

When you combine multiple federal student loans with various repayment schedules into one loan so you can keep better track of your finances and just make one monthly payment.

Eligible Loans

According to the Federal Student Aid web site, the following federal education loans are eligible for consolidation into a Direct Consolidation Loan:

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans and Federal PLUS Loans **
  • Direct Consolidation Loans and Federal Consolidation Loans
  • Guaranteed Student Loans
  • Federal Insured Student Loans
  • Federal Supplemental Loans for Students
  • Auxiliary Loans to Assist Students
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • National Direct Student Loans
  • National Defense Student Loans
  • Health Education Assistance Loans
  • Health Professions Student Loans
  • Loans for Disadvantaged Students
  • Nursing Student Loans

** PLUS loans are eligible for in-school consolidation only if the parent borrower also includes other eligible, non-PLUS loans in an in school period.

Source: http://loanconsolidation.ed.gov/

Impact in the real world...

Rachel Claucherty-Arnold

Rachel Claucherty-Arnold
Environmental Health

What made Rachel's Lake Superior State experience so unique was the practical research she did with top-notch faculty.

"I really enjoyed working with environmental chemistry professor Judy Westrick and biologist Deb Stai," Rachel says. "For my senior project, we evaluated a lab method for cultivating a fungus that causes infections in humans."

[ more ]

Apply Today!

Home » Loan Consolidation
Share this page with your friends: