Monday, October 24, 2005

Federal PLUS Loans

Federal PLUS Loans

As a student entering college, it is very unlikely that you have a few spare checks lying around that you can cash and magically use to pay for college. Most college-aged students, ranging from late teens through mid-twenties, have no line of credit and cannot receive much money in loans if they need to do so in order to attend college. Therefore, a loan like the federal PLUS loan through the federal government and U.S. Department of Education makes it easy for you, as a potential college student, to use your parents line of credit in order to gain financing options for your higher education.

How Your Parents Can Help You Apply

If your parents have good credit and you obtain them a copy of the Direct PLUS loan application, you are well on your way to cracking the college books and arriving on campus in the fall. Keep in mind that in order to receive a federal PLUS loan, you must be a dependent potential undergraduate at any college or university in the U.S. You also must be planning on attending college for at least half-time during the upcoming semester. If these all apply to you, obtain a Direct PLUS loan application and promissory note, fill them out with signatures completed, and hand them in to the financial aid office at your college or university.

Fill Out A FAFSA Form First!

Have you tried filling out your FAFSA form yet? If not, you may already be entitled to financial aid and/or loans and scholarships that could benefit you! While it is not required for you to fill out the FAFSA form to receive a federal PLUS loan, be aware that you could receive thousands of dollars without even having to use your parents credit in the first place. Still, if you are not eligible for any other scholarships, the federal PLUS loan will enable you to receive financing for any portion of your college or university bill not covered by other financial aid (i.e. If college costs you $5000 a year and you already receive $4000 in financial aid, a PLUS loan will lend you the other $1000). Federal PLUS loans can help put you through college, even if you do not have a solid line of credit yet.

This article is distributed by NextStudent. At NextStudent, we believe that getting an education is the best investment you can make, and we're dedicated to helping you pursue your education dreams by making college funding as easy as possible. We invite you to learn more about how to get Federal Plus Loans at

About The Author

Vanessa McHooley

My goal is to help every student succeed - education is one of hte most important things a person can have, so I have made it my personal mission to help every student pay for their education. Aside from that, I am just a pretty average girl from SD.

The Stuff E-mail Query Letters are Made of

Your mother always told you how first impressions were extremely important. That s why whenever you go to meet an editor, you dress impeccably, walk confidently and talk as if you just got out of training with Oprah Winfrey.

But as you sit down to write that email query, you forget everything your mother told you and send editors a query that couldn t have lacked any more even if you wanted it to. The subject line reads Query or something in close proximity with the language spammers use Become Debt Free Today . You write your email address and Web address, but leave out other information such as your address and phone number. And of course, since it s an email query, you don t include clips. After all, the editor explicitly mentioned no attachments, right?

After sending out a dozen queries of this sort, you sit in front of your computer, reading rejections and crib about the state of the publishing world.

But you know what, there s a better way. You don t have to be rejected all the time. You can write queries that can melt the toughest of editors and have them begging you to write for them.

For starters, get the subject line right. You re a writer so be creative. Instead of writing query or submission or even the name of the magazine, how about using the title of your article? And I don t have to tell you that the title you choose should be informative, witty and creative. It doesn t always have to be funny, but it has to be interesting. Here s the format I usually follow for my subject lines:

Query: Creative Article Title

Try to avoid titles that read like spam. Lose Weight Easily can be rephrased as 10 Ways to Keep Fit . Similarly, Discover Singles in Your Area is a line spammers love to use, so you could use something more attention-grabbing and less spam-seeming such as The Top 10 Places to Find your Soul Mate. Notice the difference?

Write your email query as if you were writing a normal query. Induce in it, the same passion, the same commitment and the same confidence that you would like to project in a query sent by snail mail. Forget the mantra that editors will delete long queries. Not a chance. If you ve sparked the interest of an editor, do you think she s going to stop reading simply because it s too long? Nope.

Like in a mailed query, take the time and space you need to get the editor s attention. But refrain from rambling. Generally, your query (email or otherwise) should fit into two pages or less. More than that, and you re giving away too much. One page queries are even better. They re succinct, to-the-point, and if you ve done your job well, you ll have the editor asking for more. Always include your address and phone number should the editor feel like calling and giving you the assignment.

Remember how editors are busy people? That s why, instead of sending them hyperlinks of all the articles you ve ever written, send in three or four relevant clips of your best work. And yes, attachments are strictly prohibited. Instead, include your article as text in your email. But what about the pretty pictures and the beautiful fonts, you wail. Well, that s why, above the article, include the link to the article. If the editor has the time or the inclination, she can go online and view it in its full glory. If not, you re sending the material in the email so she doesn t have to wander around cyberspace looking for your great creations.

Email queries aren t much different from snail mail ones. If your query is professional, presented in an original style and makes the editor sit on the edge of her seat, you ve got a winner. And always remember what mom preached first impressions do count.

About The Author

Mridu Khullar is the editor-in-chief of, a free online magazine for writers. Sign up for the free weekly newsletter to get a complimentary e-book with 400+ paying markets. Also check out her e-book, "Knock Their Socks Off! A Freelance Writer's Guide to Query Letters That Sell," available at