With the addition of the Financing Your Education section to the michigan.gov/mistudentaid Web site we are addressing the student and attempting to provide a guide for planning a successful experience, preparing both academically and financially for higher education. We have combined various elements that are important to consider over the long range course of planning, preparing, choosing, and completing an education and the repayment of any loans.
A timeline that starts with activities beginning in the seventh grade helps the students understand that choices made throughout middle school and into high school. This can have an impact on opportunities for higher education and receiving funding for college.
We then present a chronological checklist of important planning and research that should be followed the year before college. This includes financial aid application preparation and academic testing.
The new enhanced site encourages communication with high school counselors and proper college prep courses that should position students for college entrance requirements. We also encourage seeking other options to fund their education.
We devote a significant part of this site to helping students choose the type of school that creates the best fit based on their goals and needs. We encourage comparing offers and what rights and responsibilities are involved when borrowing for educational expenses.
Successful repayment and the options available are outlined along with the rationale for establishing good credit and avoiding delinquency and default. The consequences of default are emphasized.
Lastly, we use our guarantor relationship with Mapping Your Future that features the Ten Steps to Financial Fitness--that is aimed at educating high school and college students about personal finance. This section is chock-full of interactive modules that help with areas such as budgeting, checkbook balancing, savings calculators, and a loan wizard.