New Program Offers to Help with Higher Education Costs - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/13/04

New Program Offers to Help with Higher Education Costs

It's a struggle for most parents of college-age students, finding the money to pay for school without incurring a large debt. The average loan cost is now $27,000 and that debt could increase now that Texas' new deregulation policy is in effect. But now, there's a way for Texas students to get through school debt-free.

It's called 'B-On-Time', and it's a program to provide eligible students no-interest loans to attend colleges and universities in Texas. Then if the student maintains a 'B' average and graduates on time, their loans will be forgiven.

"I get probably two or two calls a day about scholarship and grants and loans," said Gale Latimer, Monterey High School Counselor.

Latimer, says the price of higher education is the biggest obstacle students and their parents face, but she adds, help is out there. "I see hundreds of scholarships that come across my desk, so they are available. Sometimes it's difficult to have a student apply to take the times to fill out the paperwork. Or write that essay but there are plenty of grants and scholarships available."

'B-On-Time' is a new loan program for Texas students. "From a policy standpoint we want as many college graduates as we can get in Texas. It makes us more competitive in the world market, it creates more opportunities for the next generation," said State Representative Carl Isett.

Isett says 'B-On-Time' is the states' effort in helping that happen. "It's just a small part of their education package but it gives them the encouragement to move through the process in a timely manner," Isett said.

So here are the requirements:

  • You must be a Texas resident and attend a Texas school.
  • You have to have graduated high school in 2003 or later.
  • You couldn't already have a bachelors degree.
  • You have to enroll full time in an undergraduate degree at at eligible institution.
  • Be eligible to receive federal financial aid.

"I think that's a really good program, because instead of giving students money before they go to college, that gives them a reward for what they did in the end," said Stephen McDonald, a MHS Senior.

"My mom has heard about 'B-On-Time' and so she's getting everything ready for that and we're definitely planning on taking advantage of that and making good grades and getting out on time," said MHS Senior Kate Park.

Loans must be reported as taxable income when forgiven.

For more information on the Texas B-On-Time Student Loan Program just (click here).

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