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Local company offers financial aid help

Scholarpoint utilizes Web to pull resources together

It’s tougher to get student loans these days, but they are still available - and still affordable.

Chris Studer, CEO/founder of ScholarPoint Financial Inc., a national online consumer lending company specializing in student loans with its headquarters at 3252 Holiday Court wants to get that message across.

“Yes, the credit crunch and the economy has made student loans a little more difficult, and paying for college a little more difficult,” he said. “But there are still a lot of resources, and we are one of those.”

ScholarPoint aids families with the challenging task of securing student loans. The company accomplishes that via its Web-based system that allows users to apply for, procure or refinance student loans without having to leave their homes or offices.

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“It’s a great use of the Internet,” said Studer, “providing the lowest-cost product, but also providing the highest level of service.”

Leveraging technology

Referring to the Internet as a “facilitator,” Studer said it creates the perfect medium in which to leverage available technology to provide both the best price and service as costs spiral upwards.

“The cost of both public and private schools is outpacing inflation,” said Studer, “averaging 6 or 7 percent in 2007-08.”

Kathleen Johnson, a certified college planning specialist and author of “The Parents’ Guide to Financial Aid and College Funding,” noted the average cost of college is now $20,000 to $40,000 per year, with private universities easily costing $60,000 to $80,000 per year.

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Studer said he believes the “return on investment” is more than worth the price.

Million dollar deal

“What you get back from a college degree far outweighs the expense, even if you have to go into debt to do it,” he said. “Four-year, college-degree grads make $1 million more than high-school graduates over their working career.”

While the current credit crunch has forced many lenders, such as the federal government earlier this year, to temporarily halt doing student loans, it hasn’t precluded scholarships and private student loans.

“We have scholarship and grant guides that rank all the top scholarship Web site sources,” said Studer, who added ScholarPoint can combine that information with the very latest information on private student loans to find just the right custom “financial fit” for its clients.

Studer cautioned student-loan applicants not to get overwhelmed by the “sticker shock” of the stated cost of higher education.

“It never ceases to amaze me just how much misinformation, and misunderstanding, there is about how to pay for college and the cost involved,” he said. “People see the sticker price (of schools) and say, ‘Oh my gosh, we can’t afford that.’ But people just don’t understand there is so much aid available.”

For more information about ScholarPoint call 1-877-561-8042 or visit

www.scholarpoint.com

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