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May 18, 2010
The economic downturn has shrunk scholarships from state governments and charities relying on endowments. Individual donors who are rushing to fill these new college financial aid gaps say it doesn't take much money or expertise to help a student.
In fact, helping students can become addictive, warns Lt. Col. Terry Owens, who has formed her own scholarship foundation. "You’ll want to help more than you can afford." So, she suggests, "start small."
[Read more about how Lt. Col. Owens created her own scholarship fund.]
Giving also has some surprising paybacks, says Dwight Burlingame, director of academic programs at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University—Indianapolis. "We can all be philanthropists. It is a matter of recognizing the joy of giving." There are plenty of selfish reasons to give, he adds, noting that studies show "people who give and are generous live longer and have healthier lives."
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May 10, 2010
Anyone who borrows—whether for a flat screen TV or a college education—has a moral obligation to pay all debts in full. And taxpayers naturally want all who took out federal student or parent loans to pay back every penny they owe. The government enforces the sanctity of student debt obligations with comparatively draconian laws. Unlike most other loans, federal student loans have no statute of limitations, are extremely difficult to discharge in bankruptcy, and can be collected even from debtors’ Social Security payments after they retire.
So what is a recent graduate who can’t find a good job in this lousy economy supposed to do when big student loan bills come due? Besides following these 11 steps to getting relief, debtors who have fallen behind on their federal student loans can learn what to expect from a collections manual that was temporarily posted in a public section of the Department of Education’s website.