I’m going to college…maybe

My excellent adventure to college

Nickel and diming students into poverty

Education officials will hold in-state tuition rates steady at Massachusetts public colleges and universities for 2009-2010 school year. You’d think that I would be happy, uh? Well then you have to read the small print…. schools are going to sharply rise student fees.  I didn’t know this till now but state-mandated tuition rates are a small part of the overall cost. I read that, for example, students at Worcester State College pay $970 in annual tuition, but $4,894 in fees. While tuition payments flow to the state, fees support the campuses’ budgets.


February 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

$tudent loan$ are getting more expen$ive

The same credit crunch that’s squeezing the mortgage market is crimping student loans as well, so parents and students seeking loans to pay for college this fall will find fewer companies offering loans and may find interest rates and fees higher than expected.
The college-loan market essentially has three parts: The federal government doles out loans directly to schools; there are federal loans with set interest rates and fees, but often handled by for-profit companies; and there’s the private loan market, where companies work directly with borrowers.
Just as mortgage lenders do, some lenders turn student loans into securities to sell on a secondary market, with the money from that sale helping to fund new loans. But thanks to widespread worries in the credit markets, investors are leery of buying those securities right now.
The end result is that private loans, for which interest rates already run as high as 13%, are going to get more expensive and borrowers with low credit scores may have more trouble securing a loan, said Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org, in Pittsburgh, a site offering financial-aid information.


While federal loan interest rates are set by the government — between 6% and 8.5%, depending on the loan — students will see fewer of the discounts that lenders routinely offered until now, such as a break on the origination fees or an interest-rate break for paying on-time for a set period.

credit crunch

February 21, 2008 Posted by | Student loan | | 1 Comment

Medical Student Debt Rises by 6 Percent

Medical students graduating in 2005 confronted an average debt level that was 6 percent higher than that held by 2004 graduates. This percentage increase was the same for both osteopathic and allopathic medical school graduates.

2005 Osteopathic medical school graduates reported average (mean) educational debt of $149,800 per person, an increase of 6 percent over the debt total of $141,500 reported by 2004 graduates. This debt load includes both medical school and undergraduate education debt. The mean is based on all reporting graduates, including those who reported no education debt.

…The corresponding debt load for 2005 allopathic medical school graduates was $105,099, an increase of 6 percent over the 2004 average debt total of $98,801. Debt reported by graduates of osteopathic colleges is 43 percent higher than debt reported by graduates of allopathic colleges. This difference is partially accounted for by the difference in public support for osteopathic medical education. In 2005, 25 percent of osteopathic medical colleges were state institutions, whereas 75 percent of allopathic colleges were publicly supported. Public osteopathic and allopathic medical schools typically have significantly lower tuition than private medical schools.

Reported debt among osteopathic medical school graduates also varied by race/ethnicity, with Asian-American students reporting the lowest mean debt load—$127,000—and underrepresented minority racial/ethnic group members reporting the highest mean debt, at $158,800.

While debt reported by graduates rose by 6 percent from 2003-04 to 2004-05, the tuition increases over the same period totaled 4.4 percent for students at private colleges, 25.8 percent for state residents at public colleges, and 9.4 percent overall.


September 28, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The free GPA dashboard

 So one of the most frustrating things about college is that everyone is always asking “so what’s your GPA?”. My dad created a GPA calculator that helps people list all the classes they enrolled in. It also automatically calculates their annual and overall grade point average. It makes a cool line graph that lets you keep track of your GPA over your entire college carrer. If you like it and find it useful, please share it with your friends, roommates, and familiy! You can download it for free at:   


Grade Point Average

August 26, 2007 Posted by | College, GPA, grade point average | 1 Comment

The Highways and Byways to Medical School

So when it comes to colleges I noticed that there is a definite east coast vs. west coast divide. Check out this map of the top 60 medical schools in United States as ranked by U.S. News and World Report in 2007. It looks like more than likely I’ll need to bundle up for some cold weather since the majority seems to be in north. Looks like Harvard is number one with Johns Hopkins coming at a close second. Both schools have a tuition of about $40,000 per year! Interestinglly, Uof Texas Health Science Center in Houston is ranked at number 60 and has a tuition of almost $25,000 per year.  So it looks like if I go to Texas I can get a medical degree, be called doctor, and have a student loans of about half of that of Harvard and Hopkins. This makes me wonder, does having a medical degree from Harvard make a difference?

Map of Top 60 Medical Schools

 Click to Enlarge!

Click to enlarge!Click to Enlarge! 

August 11, 2007 Posted by | Medical School, US News and World Reports rankings | Leave a comment

My New Email and the Emilia-O-Meter

In case you would like to contact me please use this email: 



I also just created a donation page. All donations small and large will help me achieve my goal. Thanks for helping me out with my great college adventure!

 You can find it at:




Finally, I spent all weekend creating the Emilia-O-Meter. It’s a simple graph that tracks the current status of my college savings goal. From today July 14, 2007 to July 14, 2008, I want to save $100,000 in my college account this year. My dad and grandparents contributes about $50 a month, my mom uses the U-promise credit card everywhere she goes, and  we set up a donation page so anybody in the world can help me. Can you imagin, if 100,000 people donated a $1 each, my life would be changed forever. So far I have $2,770 saved up.



July 15, 2007 Posted by | chipin, College, donation, education, grad school, my email, Saving for college, Student loan | 4 Comments

Are student loan officers racists?

Some student loan providers have been setting rates based on the schools that borrowers attend, a practice New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo reported. 

Cuomo said his office’s investigation of the $85 billion industry found that a “significant number” of lenders rank colleges and universities on the loan default rates of their students and set interest rates on private loans higher for schools with poor records, according to a letter he sent Monday to the chairmen of two congressional committees.

In other words, just as lenders in the mortgage industry once made judgments about credit lending in entire neighborhoods as a whole, so too are lenders making generalized judgments about student and parent credit risk based on a student’s ‘school neighborhood.

So students with “excellent” personal credit histories are quoted an 8 percent rate if they’re going to Duke University and 11 percent if they attend the University of Phoenix, in one of Cuomo’s examples. If their credit is less than “stellar,” Duke students get a rate no worse than 9.25 percent, while Phoenix students would see rates as high as 14 percent. Cuomo said the “disparities remain even if parents co-sign the loan.”. The student loan company Nelnet (based in Lincoln, Nebraska) was used for the above example.

While annual tuition and expenses at Duke tops $46,000, Phoenix — which heavily promotes its online courses — generally costs “much less than” $20,000. Among the issues raised by the “school credit scores” is whether they cause “socially unjust outcomes by unfairly burdening middle class, diverse populations who can least afford to pay extra on their ‘education mortgages,”‘ Cuomo said.

Is this a form a new age racism? The industry views the Ivy League student as clearly “on the path to success,” while the other student presents greater risk, admited John Dean, special counsel to the Consumer Bankers Association.

race and education

Not all lenders use the ranking system, So I think that student consumers and their parents should be given all ranking information upfront so they can shop for providers who don’t consider a school’s default rates. What are your thoughts?

June 30, 2007 Posted by | Student loan | 1 Comment

Student loans gone wild

Choosing a consolidation company for a student loan is an important decision.Many Student Loan Companies Are Not Banks, But Simply Marketing Companies.

You probably receive a lot of solicitations at home and via email from a variety of people regarding your student loans. However, it is probably exceedingly rare that you receive a solicitation from an actual bank. When you do business with someone who just markets loans, what essentially happens is that they get you to fill out an application, and then they call a bunch of banks (or middlemen) to try to get that person to purchase your application from them. They may take $20 or $50 for the application; they do not care. Their only objective is to get the highest price possible for your loan. Issues like how well your loan is serviced simply are meaningless to these sorts of companies. They simply want to get the best price possible for your loan so they can move on to the next one. We would estimate that more than 95% of the marketing you see in the student loan industry comes from companies who are doing only that: marketing.

Many Representatives of Student Loan Companies Are Not Educated About Your Financial Options. Because most student loan companies are simply marketing, the people you speak with about your student loans may have only a vague idea about the specific details of those loans. In addition, because students often have a large number of education loans, the process can be quite confusing, and mistakes can happen. What is best for you and your specific situation? This is an extremely important question to consider when talking about your loans.

Student loan ball and chain


June 21, 2007 Posted by | Student loan | 1 Comment

Please pass the nitroglycerin!

Jeepers, My dad almost had a heart attack today. In researching for today’s post he realized that he forgot to take into account graduate school. This will add another 4 years of financial burden. So he calculated that the total college costs will be $988,776 not the $379,687 we originally posted. That means my dad will need to make monthly contributions of $1,518 to meet this cost.


Here are the assumptions he made to come up with is astronomical number: He thought that I would be attending a college that currently costs $ 35,000 annually (that includes room, books, food and trips home for holidays). He thought that he has 18 years until I leave for college, and I will attend college for 8 years on a full time basis.


He wants to save enough to pay for 100% of projected college costs and wants to meet our savings goal by the time I end college. Thanks to my grandparents, dad currently has $2,663 in a 529 college savings plan and wants to continue making monthly contributions to my college savings. He is guessing that college costs will increase by 6% per year and he is guessing that he will earn 7% after-tax each year in my college savings fund.


So he should be saving $1,518 a month but can only afford $50 a month. No wonder he is clenching this chest and gasping for air. Can someone please pass the nitroglycerin?

Total that needs to be saved each month

June 3, 2007 Posted by | College, education, grad school, Saving for college | Leave a comment

Hello world!

I’m heading to college…maybe. For me to enter college in 18 years, I calculated that I will need $379,687. Based on my Dad’s current savings, I will have $45,986 in my college 529 Fund. I have a shortfall of $333,700. 😦 

But I have a plan! For the next 18 years my dad and I plan to blog me into college. 

I’ll write posts updating you on my progress. I’ll write posts about the people who help me get to my goals. I’ll write posts about money, savings, and college applications. I hope you find this useful and come to read often.

Track me as I raise money for my excellent college adventure.


I can’t wait till I start reading

May 31, 2007 Posted by | College, education | Leave a comment