Student Loan Hero is thrilled to announce the first-ever recipients of our $1K Scholarship for the Fall 2016 semester.
We are pleased to award $4,000 in scholarships to six deserving students to help alleviate educational costs. Student Loan Hero granted two finalists the main prize of $1,000 each, and runner-up prizes of $500 to each of four semi-finalists.
Scholarship applicants were asked to submit an essay describing their financial challenges and goals. The submissions were judged by four personal finance professionals.
The Student Loan Hero $1K Scholarship will again grant two awards of $1,000 for the Spring 2017 semester. All students actively enrolled for that semester are invited to apply for the next round of awards. We will accept submissions from Nov. 15 through Jan. 1, 2017.
Meet our six finalists and semi-finalists for the Fall 2016 semester.
Anthony Jones, Roseman University
Main prize: $1,000
Anthony Jones is studying at Roseman University to be a pharmacist, with the goal to be a retail pharmacy manager in an area that serves the poor and socio-economically disadvantaged.
Born and raised in Galveston Island, Texas, in its low-income housing projects, Jones “figured out at an early age that education was my way out of the cycle of poverty and low expectations that I had been born into.”
Once in college, Jones completed 18-hour course loads while working graveyard shifts at a call center so he could cover his college costs and help support his mother and sister back home.
“I wish I didn’t have to worry about money so much in college, but I know that hard work crafted the human being I am now,” Jones says.
“Above all, I am most proud of how I have evolved from a student overwhelmed with family, pressure, and expectations to a husband and a father of four who confronts each with maturity and experience.”
Jones’ children range in age from 3 to 9 years old. His passions include tennis, Southern sweet tea, and his studies at pharmacy school. Jones says if he could have a conversation with anyone dead or alive, it would be a toss-up between Abraham Lincoln and Lenny Kravitz.
Ravand Samaeekia, University of Illinois at Chicago
Main prize: $1,000
Ravand Samaeekia is a first-year medical student at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
He completed his first BS degree in Biology at Bahai Institute for Higher Education in Iran, his MS in Cell and Molecular Biology at Illinois Institute of Technology, and his second BS degree in Applied Chemistry at Northeastern Illinois University.
Samaeekia’s research on molecular pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s at Northwestern University and breast cancer at the University of Chicago has been featured in several scientific publications.
An Iranian refugee and a first-generation college graduate, Samaeekia has pursued his medical studies in the US without family, friends, or financial support.
“Despite having continuous financial struggles to afford my life and education expenses, I have never been distracted from reaching my life goals.”
Having experienced persecutions, human right deprivations, and life as a refugee, he is determined to serve and contribute to the betterment of overall health in underserved communities.
Levi Jessop, Southern Utah University
Runner-up prize: $500
Levi Jessop, a sophomore at Southern Utah University, is studying Finance and plans to minor in Marketing.
He’s passionate about obtaining higher education and becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Jessop hails from a small town in Utah and is a survivor of a polygamous sect, which he says armed him with “an undying appreciation for education and those involved in its administration. I was trapped and education has set me free, and will continue to do so.”
Michelle Nathalie Ramirez, DePaul University
Runner-up prize: $500
Michelle Ramirez, a senior at DePaul University, is double majoring in Latin American and Latino Studies and Sociology, with a minor in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Resolution.
She’s a first-generation Latina college student and credits her mother (from El Salvador), father (from Mexico), siblings, and friends for playing such a crucial role in her academic successes.
Ramirez has overcome significant financial barriers to pursue her education. “These challenges have taught me the power of aspiring to attain a higher education not only for myself and my family, but to serve as a positive mentor for the growing numbers of Latinos in the United States,” she says.
After graduation, Ramirez hopes to work in a nonprofit sector specifically catering to underprivileged youth, and expects to complete her bachelor’s degree in June 2017.
Jennifer Te, Roseman University
Runner-up prize: $500
Jennifer Te is a pharmacy student at Roseman University of Health Sciences. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and Clinical Microbiology.
As a wife and mother with one daughter, Te is a family-oriented person and devoted Christian.
Te hopes her education will help secure a more stable future for her family. “While overcoming … financial challenges has built character among my family, I would like those challenges to end with me,” Te says.
Helen Woldemariam, Roseman University
Runner-up prize: $500
Helen Woldemariam was born and raised in Ethiopia. With the support and sacrifice of her parents, she became a first-generation college student and graduated from a pharmacy college there.
After working in the pharmacy field, she immigrated to the United States. Woldermariam is continuing her studies with the goal to become a pharmacist in the US.
“I am very inspired, dedicated, and honored to get this opportunity because I feel it is my true calling to be a pharmacist,” Woldermariam says.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.30% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.
Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.47% – 6.30%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.51% – 8.09%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.02% – 6.44%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.69% – 7.21%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.79% – 8.39%6||Undergrad & Graduate|