Sunday, February 1, 2004

Package of aid puts student through school



By Karen Gutierrez
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Jamie Feltner, a freshman at University of Dayton, with her mother Sue Loebker in their Sayler Park home.
(Craig Ruttle photo)
SAYLER PARK - Jamie Feltner has loans, grants and scholarships to pay for the University of Dayton, which costs $23,000 a year. Her case shows how middle-class students are able to attend private colleges.

Jamie is a UD freshman and Walnut Hills High School graduate. Her mother works for Montgomery Inn. Her stepfather is a deputy sheriff. Together, they make about $60,000 year.Jamie's annual aid package, arranged by UD, includes:

• A need-based grant of $1,500.

• A $5,000 UD scholarship for high-school academic performance.

• A $1,000 award from the Cincinnati Scholarship Foundation.

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• Two federal loans totaling about $4,300, with interest deferred until after graduation.

• A state grant of $1,002.

• An $11,000 private bank loan at 4.25 percent interest. Jamie's mother, Sue Loebker, recommends against spending hours researching and writing essays for national scholarships. Jamie did that and received just $1,000.

To get the rest of her college money, she followed the usual process of filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. UD used the information from that form to offer her the rest of the package.

Loebker also wonders whether she should have delayed her remarriage until after Jamie's college graduation. If she were only dating, her husband's income wouldn't have counted against Jamie in the hunt for aid.

"You either have to be really poor or super-rich to afford college," Loebker says.




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