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Kids in college? Loan program can help

By Fred Reich

Educational Finance Group

Under the provisions of the U.S. Higher Education Act, parents may

be eligible to receive their student's total cost of education, including

living expenses, less any other financial aid awarded. This money is

available through the Parent Loan for Under Graduate Student (PLUS)

Program, regardless of income and assets and with no collateral requirement.

Many families have found the PLUS to be an attractive alternative to

depleting their savings, paying out of pocket, or borrowing against their home or 401K.

Who is Eligible?

All U.S. citizens and resident aliens are eligible, regardless of

income level. Your family qualifies if you are the natural, step or

adoptive parent of a dependent undergraduate student who is under age 24,

single with no dependents and going to school at least half-time.

Which Schools Participate?

Most universities, colleges, trade and vocational schools participate

in the Federal Family Education Loan Program. Educational Finance

Group (EFG) will confirm your school's participation at (800) 480-0392. This

call is free.

How Much Can a Parent Borrow?

You may be eligible to borrow up to the total cost of your child's

education including tuition, room and board, books, travel and administrative

fees. School costs vary, but EFG will provide you with an estimate of

your school's costs. Contact EFG even if you are considering several

schools, or are uncertain about the amount you'll need. Because processing

time of PLUS applications varies from school to school, it is best to

inquire as soon as possible.

What are the Terms of the Loan?

The Federal PLUS is a simple interest, noncollateral loan with a

variable interest rate that is capped at 9 percent. EFG will provide

details about current interest rates. The Federal PLUS is government

guaranteed and offers a variety of repayment plans including deferrals in the event of

financial hardships, no prepayment penalties and loan forgiveness in

some circumstances.

Some Repayment Examples

$5,000 - $64/mo.

$10,000 - $127/mo.

$15,000 - $190/mo.

$20,000 - $254/mo.

$25,000 - $317/mo.

What Credit Requirements Apply?

Credit standards for the Federal PLUS are more lenient than most

private loans. Many families with negative credit histories qualify.

Is the Interest Tax Deductible?

In some cases yes, under the provisions of the U.S. Taxpayer

Relief Act.

I've Already Paid the College Bill, Can I Be Reimbursed?

Under the Federal PLUS Program, a parent may be reimbursed for

educational costs already paid that academic year. Deadlines for

reimbursement vary from school to school. EFG will provide current information

to your school.

How Do I Get a PLUS?

Call EFG at (800) 480-0392 or check out www.schoolfunds.net.

Fall City's Silvia appears in college production

Jonathan Silvia, a 1998 graduate of Mount Si High School,

recently appeared in the Lawrence University opera theatre production of

Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro."

Silvia played the character of Antonio, the comical drunk gardener.

A sophomore at Lawrence, he is the son of Phillip and Yvonne Silvia, of

Fall City.

Founded in 1947, Lawrence University is a leading national liberal

arts college with an associated conservatory of music. It has produced

seven Rhodes Scholars and was cited by U.S. News and World Report in its

1999-2000 Guide to American Colleges as one of the country's top 40 "best

national liberal arts colleges."

Enjoy spuds

at Chief Kanim

The Chief Kanim Middle School P.T.S.A. will host a major

fund-raising event on Wednesday, March 29.

From 5 to 7 p.m., parents will be serving up baked potatoes with all

the fixings along with a salad and a drink. Dinners are $2 for children and $3

for adults.

There will also be a Barnes & Noble book fair in the school's

library from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The proceeds from the sale will benefit the library.

For more information call Chief Kanim Middle School at (425)

831-8225.

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