High Debt Burden Threatens Home Purchases

Students and recent graduates could find themselves shut out of the market for home mortgages because of high debt. Bloomberg/BusinessWeek, citing an analysis by the advocacy group Young Invincibles, reports that college loan repayments will be counted by banks in calculating a home purchaser’s debt-to-income ratio. If your ratio is too high, “it can be hard, if not impossible, to get a loan.” At close to $1 trillion and rising rapidly, student loan debt is higher than credit card debt.

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Student Loan Rate Extended, Rules Tightened

Source: FinAid.org

Congress has extended the 3.4 percent interest rate on federally-subsidized loans to undergraduates until July 2013. But the extension comes with tighter rules, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported in late June. For example, a student pursuing a degree at a four-year college will no longer be eligible for an interest subsidy after six years. Get more student loan information from the U.S. Department of Education here.

Hybrid, Electric Car Race Draws 25 Student Teams

A record 25 student engineering teams designed, built and then raced hybrid and electric racecars in the April 29 – May 2 Formula Hybrid International Race, now in its sixth year. IEEE’s The Institute reported that teams from Brigham Young University and Universite de Sherbrooke, in Quebec, jointly won first place in the hybrid category. The Canadian team also won the Ford Efficiency Award for the best engineered and executed energy-efficient design.

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Deadline for NSF Undergraduate Research Awards

Full proposals are due September 12, 2012 for the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, which supports active research participation by undergraduate students in areas funded by NSF. The program aims to “involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program.”