Rhode Island Student Loan Authority
USA Today notes that the days of a quasi-affordable college degree are in the past, with current tuition rates for a private, non-profit four-year institution averaging $40,917. So how are students coming up with this money? In short, someone else is, and they’ll be paying for it in the long-term as lenders attempt to recoup their losses over the first post-graduate decade. Financial aid is the primary source of payment for college expenses for the vast majority of college students.
There are four popular avenues of college aid; they are:
- Private loans
- Federal loans
Student loans make up a significant chunk of the payments to American colleges. The majority of loans are need-based. Such financial need is determined by the Expected Family Contribution reported on a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Around $100 billion in federal educational funds were distributed to higher education students this year, per the Federal Education Budget Project. In Rhode Island specifically, the Project on Student Debt reports an average total debt amount of $31,156 among students graduating from four-year private, non-profit and public facilities.
The Rhode Island Student Loan Authority
Some loans — like Stafford Loans — are regulated directly by the federal government, but others may come from the same place and be managed by a different source. These smaller entities, like the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority, serve to educate college students and their parents, supply funding options, and manage the repayment of such.
The RISLA offers several loan-based funding options, the most common being federal student loans. They also render refinancing loans, parent loans, and bar review loans, too. However, the RISLA Student Loan will be our focus for now. The most appealing factor about this loan is often the 4.99 percent interest rate, which won’t change ever. Students can opt for a deferred payment until after graduation, or they can pay on their interest during enrollment to keep their overall costs down to a degree. Those who sign up for automatic debit payments can benefit from a 0.25 percent reduced interest rate. Likewise, interest paid is tax deductible for certain students.
Some can benefit even more from a RISLA loan, like nurses and nurse educators, the latter of which can receive up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness annually over four years, per the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority. Some internships can also qualify for certain discounts and benefits. This loan is unlike the typical federal student loan most are familiar with. Good credit is required, as is attendance at a qualifying school; those attending an out-of-state school must be Rhode Island residents.
As of late 2013, the Ocean State actually held fifth place in the rankings for which state produced the most student loan debt, per Go Local Providence. To combat this problem, the RISLA has recently proposed a plan to offer incentives for grads who take jobs with startup companies or who venture out into the world of entrepreneurship. Such incentives would most likely come in the form of decreased monthly payments.
The online application process for a RISLA loan is pretty straightforward. For more information on student loan options, keep browsing our site. We’re happy to be the premiere online resource for advice and information on student loans.