Ultimate College Financial Aid Quiz

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About This Quiz

The words 'college tuition' strike fear in the hearts of most parents (and even potential parents). But fear not. There is a lot of financial aid out there, and the federal government is trying to make it easier for students to find it and apply for it. This quiz could help you navigate your way through the financial aid maze.

What was the average cost of a private four-year college for the 2009-10 school year?

According to the College Board, the average cost for the 2009-2010 school year at a private four-year college was $26,273.

What's the most expensive college in the United States?

According to Forbes magazine, the most expensive college for the 2008-09 academic year was George Washington University.

How much did students have to shell out for the 2008-09 school year at GWU?

The 2008-09 school year at GWU cost $40,437, and tuition is only going up, up, up.

What fraction of college students receives financial aid?

Two-thirds of all college students received some kind of financial aid in 2007-08.

What was the total average amount of financial aid received by students at four-year colleges in 2008-2009?

The average financial aid award was $10,185 -- about half in grant aid and half in federal loans.

Most college students attend schools with tuitions that are less than _______.

According to the College Board, 53 percent of college students go to four-year schools with tuitions less than $9,000.

What percentage of bachelor's degree recipients in 2007-08 graduated with some kind of education debt?

According to the College Board, 66 percent had some kind of education debt, and 10 percent had borrowed $40,000 or more.

Take a wild guess: What's the total amount of financial aid out there, waiting to be snapped up by eager students?

There's $168 billion in financial aid up for grabs.

The first thing you need to do in the search for financial aid is fill out this form.

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in the process. It examines your family's finances and eventually will give you the amount you're expected to contribute to your college education.

What's the most sought-after form of financial aid?

This is an easy one -- grants don't have to be paid back.

What's the main federal grant program?

The maximum Pell Grant for the 2008-09 school year was $4,731, and about 25 percent of students qualified for the full amount.

What's the main factor in evaluating if you're eligible for a Pell Grant?

Pell Grants are based on financial need. In the application process, they'll formulate an EFC (expected family contribution). The amount awarded is figured from the EFC and some other factors, like if you're going to be a full- or part-time student.

What are the two main types of federal loans available to college students?

Stafford and Perkins are the two biggies.

In 2008, President Bush signed a bill that increased possible federal loan amounts by ______.

The bill allows students to take out an extra $2,000 a year in Stafford loans.

If you qualify for a federal loan, the government will pay the interest while you're in school.

Yes, that's true. You start paying it back -- with interest -- as soon as you leave school.

What's the maximum standard repayment period for a federal student loan?

Both the Stafford and Perkins programs require you to pay back the loan within 10 years.

What's one of the main benefits of a 529 college savings plan?

There are many, many benefits of 529 plans -- one of the biggest is that you don't pay taxes on the account's earnings.

You can use a 529 plan to prepay tuition at today's tuition rates.

Sounds too good to be true, but it's a fact. You can prepay tuition at qualified schools in the state in which your 529 plan is based.

In some states, your 529 account can grow up to $368,000.

The limit is still pretty high, but it's $268,000, not $368,000.

How many hours per week do students usually work in a work-study program?

Most work-study programs require about 10 to 15 hours on the job every week.

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