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Should You Consider a Gap Year?6/26/2020

Student Loans

Many colleges have announced they plan to have students return to campus for fall semester; others have indicated they will be taking an online learning approach. In some cases, schools are adjusting their break schedules to potentially lessen the spread of COVID-19 following holiday travel.

But while colleges are trying to finalize their plans, many graduates and families are weighing the options for themselves. If you are planning to attend a college that is now offering only online courses, should you consider attending a different school for an on-campus experience? Or if your school is welcoming students back to campus, do you feel comfortable with that decision?

Pros and Cons of Considering a Gap Year in 2020-2021

Pros

More time to wait COVID-19 out: No one knows exactly how long this will last - and it may well change things in the fall semester. So if you wait a year, you’ll be more likely to have the traditional residential college experience. Plus, you can save money and stay closer to home in a time of uncertainty.

Expand your options: A year off allows you to get new experiences and potentially reapply to colleges that weren’t previously in reach.

Reduce your costs: Use the time to take courses online from the college, attend a community college, or use an online provider to earn college credits that can transfer to your eventual college of choice. These are credits you wont have to pay for later - so your overall cost of college can be reduced.

Cons

Living expenses don’t go away: Just because a student is living at home doesnt mean they wont have any expenses. They still need to eat! And some things like health insurance can be cheaper through a school than through parents.

Losing momentum: There’s a risk that students who don’t continue to go to college now won’t have the initiative to do so when school is farther in the past. Make sure you assess motivations and make alternative plans that won’t derail your educational path.

Whatever your plans are for this coming fall, you don’t have to worry! Health Advantage is here to help you through life’s great adventures. Once you’ve exhausted options for scholarships, grants and federal aid, a private student loan from your credit union could help fill in the remaining gaps in funding your education.

What is a credit union?

Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members rather than maximize corporate profits. Like banks, credit unions provide a variety of financial services, but as member-owned cooperatives, they focus on providing a safe place to save and borrow at reasonable rates while returning income to their members in the form of dividends.

Why choose a credit union?

Credit unions operate to serve their members and communities. One way they do that is by offering competitive rates with a focus on the best interest of the borrower - in this case students. When you choose your credit union to pay for college, you'll benefit from great rates, low fees, convenient repayment terms, and most importantly, a life-long relationship with a lender you can trust.



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