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Going to College

The benefits of a college degree are obvious, but college debt statistics are intimidating.

U.S. Student Loan Debt:

  • grows at a rate of $3,345 per second
  • surpassed credit card debt in 2010
  • exceeded auto loan debt in 2011

Do Your Homework before Heading to College

Are there ways to reduce the cost of a college education? There are many choices that impact college costs, explore any options that can lead to significant savings in college costs.

Here are some ideas:
  1. Consider attending a community college for two years or choose an in-state school instead of an out-of-state school.
  2. Live at home during college, a large amount of money can be saved on room and board when you live at home during the college years. Or evaluate the cost of living on campus versus living off campus.
  3. Get involved in the AmeriCorps program. A student can earn education awards in exchange for national service. There are also some loan forgiveness programs in fields such as teaching, medical service and some police and firefighting fields.
  4. Explore the many military options that are available.
  5. Become a Resident Assistant to pay the cost of room and board for each academic year that you’re hired into that position. If you want to live on campus, you can become involved with leadership activities on campus, be a model citizen in the resident hall and obtain financial reward at the same time.
  6. Decide whether you will go to school full time or part time.

Student Loan Counseling

Student loans are a large investment in your future. Consider a free discussion about your entire budget and how student debt will impact your other future financial goals. If a deeper dive is needed into your individual existing loans and you'd like help contacting your lenders, GreenPath can provide those services for members at a very reasonable cost.

Whether you are just applying for loans, are in deferment or have entered a payment plan -- we’ll help you understand and explore student loan options. Learn the pros and cons of each strategy so you can make an informed decision.

If you would like some help, talk to one of GreenPath’s caring, certified professionals. They help you:
  • Understand your financial situation and goals
  • Develop a customized budget
  • Explain your options and offer recommendations
  • Develop an action plan for moving forward

The session usually takes about an hour and can be conducted over the phone at your convenience. No appointment is necessary, but scheduled appointments are available if you prefer. GreenPath counselors are available Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EST), Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. To use this service, simply call 1-877-337-3399 or visit them on the web at

ScholarHelp - Your Academic Assistance Resource

Whether you're planning ahead for college, filling out your FAFSA, want some help understanding your award letter, or would like us to review your essay, ScholarHelp is for you.

iGrad, a service provided through our partnership with CU Student Choice, is your FREE one-stop resource for expert opinions and review on everything financial aid. Below are just a few of the areas we cover:
  1. FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Help
  2. Award Letter Review
  3. Scholarship Essay Review

When Federal Loans Don't Cover the Costs, What now?

The rising costs of a college degree means many students have a funding gap between Federal Student Loans and the cost of attendance. Private student loans are meant to fill the gap in financial aid that is left between the Cost of Attendance (COA) and the Federal loans/aid you've received. These loans are in the name of the student but require a co-signer. They are not guaranteed or subsidized by the government. Instead, they are based on the credit score of the student and/or the credit score of any co-signer they have on the loan.

Apply for a Private Student Loan

ACMG's CU Student Choice Private Loans offer:

  • zero origination fees
  • low interest rates
  • flexible deferment and repayment options
  • an easy application process

You'll also want to make sure that the loan is certified through the school - which means the school verifies the amount you need to borrow to prevent you from borrowing too much or too little. Funds should be given directly to the school and any difference back to the borrower for books, transportation, technology and other necessities.

Once you've accepted all your Federal Loan options, consider our Private Student Line of Credit.

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