Advices with loans?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Kensy, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. Kensy

    Kensy Member

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    I am currently a freshmen and took out a loan for 30k; I received some type of scholarship but it is only worth 5k a year. I am enrolling in ROTC as a non scholarship; this is worrying so much because most undergrad students are not in debt like me. Any advices, sorry if this is the wrong thread.

    Embry Riddle
    Item
    Costs
    Tuition* and Fees** $33,318
    Room and Board*** $10,382
    Books (estimated) $1,400
    Total, non-flight students# $45,100
     
  2. paradoxer

    paradoxer Member

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    So you are going to borrow $30,000 x 4 = $120,000 plus your federal loans of 5500+6500+7500+7500= $27000 for a total of $147,000 which does not include extra semesters or cost increases. This means monthly payments of about $1300/month once you graduate. This is a conversation you should have with your parents whether your major, lifestyle, and family circumstances would support this level of borrowing.
     
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  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree this is a family discussion. I also agree that you need to expect the cost to attend to rise every year. My DS started with 28K 4 years later it was at 40K. This is not uncommon. My DD went IS, it was 16K when she entered and almost 23 by the time she graduated. In other words 10% increase annually is not all of the realm of possibilities. In 3 years from now will you be able to swing 55K? If not, than what will you do?
     
  4. BigBillNY

    BigBillNY Member

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    I concur with everyone else that this is a family discussion. Apart from Pima's comments about the tuition costs rising each year, there are some other concerns to discuss/consider. What is your major? Will it require longer than 4 years to graduate? More importantly, when you graduate with your degree can you enter the workforce? Or, will you need to continue and earn a Master's degree to obtain gainful employment? Finally, while Embry Riddle is a great school, what are the average starting salaries for your major? Will you be able to support yourself and pay back your loans?

    Sorry to be a downer and I wish you the best of luck.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I would add to Big Bill's comments.... do you have a plan to make the needed debt payments as a member of the military?
     
  6. Kensy

    Kensy Member

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    My major is Cyber security and ranges from $70,000 to 118,000 after graduation. My thoughts are if I can apply for the ROTC scholarship; can it benefit me more? Its bs that the school costs so much.. Plus what is the range of most students that take out loans for embry riddle
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  7. Kensy

    Kensy Member

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    If I calculate the dorm costs after freshmen year and I move out I will be saving 4k a year.
     
  8. BigBillNY

    BigBillNY Member

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    Cyber security. Sounds like a glorified term for computer programming with an emphasis on security certification. Are you paying for the Embry Riddle name or is their program truly unique? Since you are paying for this yourself, have you looked at lower cost public institutions that may offer a similar program using a different-sounding name?
     
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  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Kensy, one thing to really look at regarding cyber security is the certifications. Those are what are key in the field. I have worked on projects for the last 12 years with cyber folks and I would actually say the majority don't even have degrees. Their certs are what is most important. Make sure you do your due diligence on what certs vs. degrees do for you in this career field. Experience is what is usually need to progress in the certs, not degrees. Cyber is a very hot career field and will only continue to grow. I have no doubt you will land a job. What does Embry's program that others don't have. You are starting down a very long and expensive road. To be totally honest, it is one I would never let me child go down and start their adult life with that much debt. What happens if you don't get the scholarship? I highly recommend that you sit down with mom and dad and have a long chat.
     
  11. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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  12. Zero

    Zero Member

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    Honestly it really does not matter as long as you can qualify for the loans. There are TONS of programs to put off the debt or subsidize it until you can make payments. There are also programs that change the interest rates, payments etc. based on your income. Even more so if your military and successfully completely ROTC. While it is important to make a smart decision now, think about what you want to do (now ROTC wise) and what school will benefit you for that goal. Money is money. You can always make more of it, but a successful career and happy life goes a long way.
     
  13. Akrogan

    Akrogan Member

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    3 letters:

    U.C.F.

    I am part of AFROTC there, and it truly is a great experience. We have a huge number of cadets get commissioned ever year, and the university has a fantastic CS/IT department, along with pretty great Digital Media (Web Design and Game Design, I do web).

    Anyhow I have an AFROTC scholarship and bright futures, and it's a great school and very manageable.

    Most cadets do not have scholarships, and do fine, as it is very manageable to go to UCF, along with the fact that the university legitimately tries to help students.

    We have a few transfers from Riddle that do AFROTC, and they have done well here and really do think that UCF is a better choice. We are one of the best schools in the country for anything relating to computers; the internship opportunities in Orlando are massive as well.

    Go to a community college for a year, do awesome, and apply to UCF as a CS, IT, or Digital Media major. We even have a great minor in secure computing, something I'm looking at adding. You won't regret going to UCF. (I wrote this assuming you still want to come to FL to learn)
     
  14. paradoxer

    paradoxer Member

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    You are mixing apples and oranges with the loans. Only $27000 of the money she would need to borrow would qualify for the federal programs you allude to like Income Based Repayment. The rest of the money she would need to borrow would be private loans and they do not have the flexibility you are talking about like deferment, reduced interest for active duty or subsidized interest.
     
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  15. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Any body with a pulse can qualify for student loans. That's because as long as you still have a pulse you are obliged to repay them.
     
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  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree paradoxer. Additionally, as stated before there is the question of qualifying for the private loans. Yes, they qualified this year for 30K, but what if next year with additional tuition costs it adds up to 35K, and this time they say no. How does he pay at that point without a scholarship.

    A couple of other things.
    1. What branch are we talking about?
    ~ Commissioning via AFROTC or NROTC means you will go AD upon commissioning. From an employment opportunity aspect a lot is going to be tied to those 4 years in the military. Additionally, many officers will use tuition assistance for grad school. Add that to having a TS clearance and many defense contractors will be looking at you when you leave the service.
    ~~ AROTC is the only one that does not mandate AD upon commissioning, so it could be true for employment opportunities that other things play into the employment opportunites.

    2. As great as the suggestions of thinking about other colleges, the OP right now, unless they go to a CC is stuck with ERAU as their only option for this year.
    ~ Additionally there is some confusion whether the OP is attending ERAU in AZ or Florida. The tip of applying for their in state college is a good one, but maybe it is just me....they probably did due dilligence for their IS colleges and decided even with the cost they wanted ERAU over their state colleges.

    Kensy, to answer some direct questions/ posts of yours.
    1. Saving 4K is kind of a fallacy.
    ~ You are probably not adding in things like food, electricity, cable, etc. to run an apartment.
    ~~ Typical apartment leases are 12 months. Just because you look up apartments off campus and they say 400 a month it doesn't equate to 3600, the 9 months in school. It is probably 4800 in the end.
    ~~~ There will also be long days on campus. Are you going to bring lunch? Living on campus you have that food covered, living off you have to think about paying for it.

    2. Benefits of being on scholarship.
    ~ Stipend and book allowances is the biggie.
    ~~ Otherwise we go back to which ROTC program?
    ~~~ AFROTC does not give any edge to scholarship cadets when it comes to summer field training aka EA. The AFROTC scholarship here is known as 2+2. You are guaranteed the scholarship through your sophomore year. Not selected for SFT/EA than all bets are off. NROTC is different, it is guaranteed for all 4 years as long you meet their requirements.

    EDelahanty, I disagree with your post:
    This is true for FAFSA, but not private companies like Wells Fargo, Discovery and USAA. For most applicants they require a co-signer. If the folks don't meet the credit score than the kid is SOL. This goes back to my point about regarding this year they got 30K, but next year they could be denied. Mom and Dad next year might buy an Escalade with a loan, and they can say that the folks are now at the limit as a co-signer. My sister in law saw this happen when her DD was a rising junior. She was forced to cosign for the private loans freshmen and sophomore year. As a cosigner that debt also went against her credit score. She has a 6 figure salary, but when you add in her mtg., car payment and credit cards, if her DD defaulted on the loan they could not be sure she could pay back the private loan.
    ~ The OP in theory, no scholarship in college places the cosigner on the hook for 120K. I own a home, have no car payments and doubt I would get qualified for a total of 120K in college loans as a cosigner. 120K is conservative because we are not placing into the equation of a attendance cost increase.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Kensy,

    JMPO, but how much do you love ERAU, be it Florida or AZ? Do you love it so much that in 14 years from now you will say it was worth the 120K+ loans you are finally making the last payment?

    Let me give you the real clues.
    1. 14 years because you will be in school for 4 and repayment is usually over 10 years after graduation.
    2. There is fine print on the loans. READ IT
    ~ Some loans will accrue interest as soon as the funds are dispersed. Some will not until you graduate.
    ~~ Take 30K with even a 3% interest rate can be huge 4 years later when you commission. It is no longer 30K you owe back, but 35K.
    3. Branch matters. AFROTC grads typically wait 6-9 months before reporting. Loans start to come due 180 days later (6 months). You can be caught with first payment and not yet report to your 1st assignment. They don't care, they want the money 180 days.

    Meanwhile you will also be offered that career starter loan prior to commissioning and probably want to buy a car. You could be 175K in debt before you stepped foot on any base or post.
     
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  18. paradoxer

    paradoxer Member

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    If I could have one wish today it would be that every parent would read this thread and start having this discussion when their children turn 13. This is the sort of diligence that should start before the the first college visit ever happens and hopefully long before the first college visit is even thought about as incomes, number of children potentially in college, college savings and academic ability should already be on the parent radar. Please be proactive parents.
     
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  19. derek44

    derek44 Member

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    DS goes to ERAU and is involved in AFROTC there. He was nominated for and received an In-College Scholarship. It is highly competitive and your numbers get plugged into a computer that decides on a national basis if you get a scholarship or not. It will depend on your CR, GPA, your PFA, and SAT/ACT score. The only subjective criteria is your Commanders Ranking, and that actually plays a large role to the tune of 50% if the PSP (POC Selection Process) order-of-merit system is utilized. Your ranking will be determined by your Detachment Commander, who at ERAU is a Colonel. You will be stratified among your peers, i.e. racked and stacked. It is suggested the ranking be determined "in terms of the "whole-person" concept, focusing on demonstrated leadership and officer potential, motivation to serve, physical fitness and overall academic performance."

    The ICSP is only open to certain majors in the technical and foreign language fields, which account for the majority of scholarships awarded, along with other non-technical majors. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly), degrees like Aeronautical Science are not eligible for nomination. The degree must be mandatory or desired of an AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code, a job) per the AFOCD (Air Force Officer Clasification Directory) and with good reason (the Air Force doesn't want majors that can't be assigned an AFSC). I've included a list of non-technical/non-foreign lanauge degrees that was on the AFROTC website but has since been taken down. Cyberspace Security is listed on there, to include iterations such as Cyber Security. It is always best to check with your APAS (Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies) on which degrees from your school are eligible.

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    The scholarship awards $18,000 a year for however many years you are awarded, $900 yearly book stipend, and a monthly stipend ranging from $300-$500 depending on your year in school.

    My advice to you is to begin working out and get as close to a 100 on your PFA, attain a very high GPA your first semester which at ERAU is attainable, and be a model cadet. Those are the only things in your control right now, unless you wish to retake the ACT/SAT but I don't recommend that unless yours is below a 26/1180, which is the minimum ACT/SAT score to be eligible for nomination.

    Last year, not many people were awarded an ICS, and they were all stellar cadets majoring mostly in technical fields. But it is doable for a non-tech major.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  20. ginko

    ginko Member

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    Kensy,
    Please think again about going into this debt. When I was 18 I got a bank note for $5000 for my first semester of college. My single mom made too much money for me to qualify for aide and had saved nothing for us for college. I watched her struggle with debt. I REFUSED TO TAKE THE LOAN. 26 years later, I have an undergrad and masters that I paid cash for. How did I do it? I worked my butt off and held two jobs while I went to school. It took me twice as long as everybody else but I did it! I have 40+ year old friends who are still paying for their student loans. Now, they are signing loan papers for their own kids to go to private schools. Pick a school you can afford. Swallow your pride and buckle down and get to work! Get in that junior college and sit in the front row. Education is what you put in, not what you pay out. BTW, I am proudly about to start on a PhD at a prestigious private college. I'm studying education. I'll be paying cash after my merit aid comes in. Both of my boys worked hard and are accruing NO college debt. This is America. Go make yourself some lemonade out of every lemon you're given.
     
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