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Cancer Survivor Seeking Financial Aid Advice

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 04/27/2012
Points: 20

Hello All,

I've recently been accepted to a graduate school in Seattle, WA to study for my MBA. After speaking with my financial aid adviser this afternoon, I discovered that there aren't many federal grants for grad students and I would need to take out unsubsidized student loans to pay for school.

As I mentioned in the subject line, i'm a cancer survivor of one year so money is a little tight since i'm still paying off some of my medical bills. I was looking online for possible scholarships or grants for cancer surviving students, but I haven't found very many.

I do want to go to school, however i'm trying to not rely strictly on loans to fund it. Does anyone know of any scholarships or grants I may qualify for, or a website that may by useful.

Thanks in advance,

Jason Hinojosa

Joined: 05/02/2012
Points: 220
Trying to help everyone....

Hopefully my post about this isn't removed like it was in the past - Robert doesn't seem to want people to know about legal options that will actually help them....

First of all, I would like to introduce myself; my name is Mark Sadowski. I have a bachelors in Architecture from SUNY Buffalo (2006), a Masters in Construction Management from NYU (2011) and a Masters Certificate in Real Estate from NYU (2012). I finished undergrad with about $28k in student debt, and have now tallied another $72k at NYU, even whilst working full time during my studies. $100k total for people who are too tired to do math after a long day trying to fathom their student loan debt calculations. (-:

Just consolidated (all federal loans....You have to do what is smartest. More protection on fed loans) and chose IBR which I barely qualify for, but due to having a son, business expense deductions and max allowable IRA contributions, my determining AGI is below the cutoff. Fine.

I have a steady, good job which provides me enough income to make my IBR (~$700/month) payment or extended (~$790/month) payment for 25 yrs. I also started a consulting business which I intend to gain business from ( I live in NYC, so I know these numbers all seem high, but it is all relative, I assure you - I came from a poor family in Buffalo, NY looking at $28k as a daunting amount of debt. Now, $100k doesn't even phase me.

The problem, as we all know, is that by paying this sum of money to the DofEd each month, it does not allow me (us) to save for anything - referring to real property. This inherently deters growth, hence, controlled inflation, and ultimately, the real estate market. The last thing people with student debt will do is try to buy a house, yet alone, start saving for a house - especially those indentured to a 25-year plan.

So if the government isn't going to help ease the burden, we should come about a more intuitive way to ease the burden on ourselves. Obviously under IBR, your balance is forgiven after 25 yrs, but 25 yrs is a lifetime, and will be detrimental to this economy. That lengthy term will only add to the growing income/wealth gaps with age and class.

The other method, working for a "public service agency, such as a state, federal or
local entity," OR working for a "certified tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization," will allow the federal loan borrower to achieve forgiveness in just 10 years!

Now I know you are saying; "501(c)(3) organizations pay nothing" or "how would I even begin to find a job at a 501(c)(3) organization." Well, it is easier than you think.

YOU SET UP THE ORGANIZATION YOURSELF OR UNDER SOMEONE ELSE's NAME AND FILE FOR 501(c)(3) status through the IRS. @RobertApplebaum just filed for (c)(4) status - if he wanted to create a way out, he should have filed as a (c)(3).

How does this work? Well, let me tell you that after sitting on the phone with the Dept. Of Education, Great Lakes Student Loans Borrower Services, Direct Loan Consolidation and the office for the Secretary of Education, there are NO stipulations within the Dept of Ed that do not allow you to do this!!!! I had every single person on the phone baffled over my inquiry. They were all speechless.

Details: I am already filing a new Corporation as a (c)(3) sometime in the next month or so, after which I will start paying myself minimum wage at the required 30 hrs/week mandate that is outlined in the forgiveness clause. I will be an "educational/charitable"entity dedicated to (here's the best part) educating and making students or grads aware of the student loan lending world, repayment plans, as well as a link to other great/helpful sites such as Robert's. More details to come, but I will have a website set up soon.

How and why will this work? The D of Ed doesn't set the 501(c)(3) standards, the IRS does. D of Ed doesn't determine which (c)(3) organizations qualify, because if you achieve that status, they all do. Done.

Math: In my example, by paying myself minimum wage ($7.25/hour) at 30 hrs/ week x 52 wks a yr = $11,310/year (yes, this is additional taxable income, but you can "donate" these funds back to your (c)(3) each yr to avoid tax). Now, under IBR, that additional $11,310 above and beyond my other (normal) income will have a sum taken out for the IBR payment. ($11,310 x .15 = $1,697/12 months = $141/month additional payment for 10 yrs).

So, $141 x 12 months x 10 years = $16,920 extra payment over 10 yrs WITH FORGIVENESS DUE TO PROOF OF EMPLOYMENT FOR A 501(c)(3)

Beats the hell out of the original option: additional/remaining 15 years under IBR NOT working for a (c)(3) = $700 x 12 months x 15 years = $126,000

$126,000 - $16,920 = $109,080 savings

Yes, I would rather save $110,000 And according to the way the loan terms, repayment terms, promissory note and D of Ed mandate is written, it is the current, legal law.

I would also like to say that I am by no means "complaining" about my student debt; I would do it all over again if I had the chance. I am just trying to come up with legal ways of "paying off" the debt, and/or utilizing the current systems in place to get some of the debt thrown out.

Hopefully Robert Applebaum doesn't delete this post like he did the last one - it seems like he is trying to hide something from his followers by NOT allowing this post to show up on the blog, even though it is a LEGAL route and HELPFUL for many.

Links to many of your questions below:

1) Loan Forgiveness Fact Sheet

2) Dear Borrower Letter

3) Instructions for Employment Certification

4) Employment Certification Form


Joined: 10/15/2011
Points: 520
If you can afford to, pay the

If you can afford to, pay the interest on the unsubsidized loans while you're in school!

As for will help you find some scholarships for cancer survivors, but also google your specific type of cancer for more specific scholarships. Contact your Oncologist, your oncology clinic, or a social worker to help you find more scholarships. Fastweb is the site I used to apply for scholarships all the time...I never won any, but maybe you'll be lucky!

Joined: 04/27/2012
Points: 20
I forgot to mention that not

I forgot to mention that not only am I a cancer survivor, I'm also Hispanic, from the inner city, and I'm the first person in my immediate family to attend and finish college.


Joined: 04/27/2012
Points: 20
I forgot to mention that not

I forgot to mention that not only am I a cancer survivor, I'm also Hispanic, from the inner city, and I'm the first person in my immediate family to attend and finish college.