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Checklist for February

7 Feb

While you have probably completed all college applications and are in the throes of scholarship applications (do at least one a week, seniors), don’t also forget to do the following:

  • Make sure you have listed all your colleges on your FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov). California has a March 2nd deadline for consideration for the Cal Grant — but “the sooner, the better” will help you get your financial aid offer back more quickly.
  • Some colleges require the CSS Profile for financial aid consideration (http://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile).
  • Make sure your school has sent your transcript to schools that have requested one.
  • Check your college portals every single day–you may have tasks to complete before your acceptance and/or financial aid package can be sent.
  • Some colleges may request copies of your family’s returns before they send financial aid offers.
  • Take any requested placement tests (English, math) that your colleges of choice may require.
  • Double-check that you listed your applied colleges with College Board (SAT) and/or ACT. Not doing that can delay your acceptance . . . or worse, sent you down the rejection path.

Staying on top of your to-do list will help smooth out your decision-making process!

 

I’m super-excited about this new book coming out with Worthy Publishing in April–a perfect one-stop-shopping idea for all the graduates on your list, both high school and college grads. It’s available now for pre-order and early delivery to you on all online bookstores, including here at this Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Lessons-Grads-Graduates-Succeeding/dp/1683970462/ref=sr_1_1?

 

Good deal for future teachers

1 Feb

Thinking about teaching? GREAT! There will be many teaching jobs available as the baby boomer generation continues to retire in the next handful of years.

Federal TEACH Grants can provide up to $4,000. To qualify you must do the following:

  • Be enrolled in, or plan to complete, coursework to begin a teaching career.
  • Maintain a cumulative 3.25 GPA or better.
  • Sign an agreement to serve as a paid, full-time teach in a high-need field serving low-income students.
  • Agree to teach at least four academic years within eight years of completing your program of study.

One caveat: If you fail to complete your obligation, the grant converts to an unsubsidized Stafford loan that you (the student) must repay with interest.

However, for those determined to go into teaching, the TEACH Grant is a great help.

For more info, you can go to this government website: www.studentaid.ed.gov.

 

I’m super-excited about this new book coming out with Worthy Publishing in April–a perfect one-stop-shopping idea for all the graduates on your list, both high school and college grads. It’s available now for pre-order and early delivery to you on all online bookstores, including here at this Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Lessons-Grads-Graduates-Succeeding/dp/1683970462/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517506230&sr=1-1&keywords=50+life+lessons+for+grads

Student loans can make it happen

16 Jan

Are you or your parents freaking out about the possibility of student loan debt?

The media have been having a field day the last few years with horror stories of students who are graduating with student loan debt  of $100,000 or more.

The over-sensationalism of this issue has actually had a negative effect on many of my students and parents over the last several years–to the point where they are determining to work first, THEN go to college with the projected savings.

There are several facts that students and parents should face in regard to post-secondary education, its benefits, and this student loan issue:

  1. Most students have some student loan debt leaving college. Nationally that figure is about 70 percent of college graduates. In California, the percentage is 55 percent — and the average loan debt is $21,382 (the average is about $18,000 for the California State University system–a good deal!). The cost of repayment for this amount will be about $200 per month — less than the cost of the average car payment, with that car depreciating by the moment.
  2. It is very difficult for a young person to save enough money to fund the cost of a college education, especially since college costs are increasing on a yearly basis. A minimum-wage job would have gross pay of $13,720 a year. Subtracting money for taxes, transportation, and living expenses, I have computed that it would probably take nine or more years to earn enough to pay for four years of college.
  3. Financial aid in the form of grants could decrease if the student works first. If a student qualifies for federal and state grants but chooses to work, access to those grant funds could completely disappear.
  4. When students work before going to college, they often are detracted from savings by the lure of a nice car or apartment and rack up debt that would make college challenging financially.
  5. A college graduate’s income will be significantly higher than a young person’s income who went directly into the work force.

Completely free rides are about nonexistent these days. Typically, the student is expected to commit to about $5,000 in student loan debt per year. That repayment plan will not be difficult with the post-college salary the graduate will earn.

Be wise about your college decision:

  • Lay out your financial aid offers side by side before deciding on your college.
  • Be diligent to submit every single scholarship application for which you are eligible.
  • Read the fine print on the colleges’ financial aid pages. Some schools will cancel out GRANT money if you get scholarships, while other schools will cancel out loans. This was the main reason my daughter chose UC Berkeley over UC Santa Barbara.
  • DO choose Work Study if you can get it–it won’t count as income against next year’s financial aid package and you won’t have to pay taxes on it. It’s like working for a grant.
  • Be careful not to incur other debt during college (live cheaply and don’t take on a car payment).

And go for the degree: it will pay off in the short and long term.

 

I’m super-excited that my book, 50 Life Lessons for Grads, will be out in April–a great gift for both high school and college graduates. Here’s a link for pre-orders:

https://www.amazon.com/Life-Lessons-Grads-Graduates-Succeeding/dp/1683970462/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516145049&sr=1-2&keywords=50+life+lessons+for+grads