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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MAP Grants deadlines are shrinking

Why fill out the FAFSA on (or around) January 1, New Year's day?? Look at our infographic, followed by our explanation.


We have 4 dates listed, with 3 being approximately the same time every year:

  1. FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)  is open on this date. This is always January 1.
  2. The Federal Tax deadline is almost always April 15 (with a couple of exceptions, usually April 16 or 17 at the latest)
  3. The first day of college (for many colleges on the semester system), approximate the 2nd Monday in August or so.
  4. The cut-off of the MAP grant. We will explain this below




In the"old days" of the FAFSA (back when the FAFSA was exclusive filled out on paper), we were told to fill out the FAFSA after taxes were done. This was because recalculating financial aid was done by hand, and so by giving estimated information created a lot of lot of work and time delay for the financial aid officers.

With the wonders of the internet and computer automation,  this process is much easier. Results can be done within days, if not hours (as opposed to several weeks "back in the day"). Verification can be done with a click of a button (where the FAFSA can verify info in the IRS database).

So now, you are not making it hard for financial aid officer to give you an award.

Because of the early submission of financial aid information, many grants and scholarships are running out of money much earlier in years past. Illinois, for example, offers the MAP (Monetary Assistance Program) grant, worth up to $4,800. For many years (even up to 2007),  this grant was available to some students even up to very close to start of school in August.  But over the years, that deadline has been pulled back. In just a few short years, that deadline was just before taxes were due on April 15.  This calendar year (2014), the deadline was February 28. For 2015 (a few months from now), that deadline could be even earlier.

Next time we'll talk about setting up a FAFSA completion event, with thoughts on how to best schedule it and who to partner with.

Please contact us at Do-Gooder Consulting at 872-222-8008 or web@do-gooder.us to see how we might be able to help.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Where we will be in September 2014 and Beyond

Here's where you can find us in the months of September and beyond. Call or text us at 872-222-8008 or e-mail us at  blog@do-gooder.us if you have questions or would like to meet! (Also, see the bottom of this post regarding an opportunity to help your students with financial aid!



Urban Youth Network

Updated! September 4 (Thursday) , 2014 @9am. Join fellow youth workers for fellowship & growth.  The next meeting location is Park Community Church  at 1001 N. Crosby (2nd Floor).  You can also call/text 872-222-8008 or e-mail blog@do-gooder.us for an update, or questions. 

Free breakfast (includes doughnuts, fruit, juice and coffee) is provided.

For more info, contact Nick River.  a at nick@gripyouth.com or see the Urban Youth Network Facebook page. The October meeting is planned for October 2.


Business First Friday @ Flecks Coffee 

Meet at Flecks Coffee for their First Friday networking event. See you at 343 E. 79th St., Chicago (South Side neighborhood of Chatham) on Friday, September 5 at 8am.

We have begun some great partnerships through these meetings.

Flecks is near 79th (#79 bus route) and King Drive (#3 bus), and short walk from the 79th stop of the Red Line, as well as the 79th street exit of the Dan Ryan (I-94, south side of Chicago).

***SPECIAL MEETING with Governor Pat Quinn***
Jump Start You Weekend and Your Business at First Friday @ Flecks This Friday September 5th at 8:00am Sharp! Join this high powered group of successful business owners and soon to be's for one-to-one networking and our unique business building information exchange. Make It Your Business to Be Here! It Works, When We Work It! Let's Work It, TOGETHER! Make This Your Summer of Success! 




Chatham Business Association 

We'll see you at the next Chatham Business Association meeting on Tuesday, September 9 at the QBG Foundation Building, Meeting Room, 806 E. 78th St. Chicago, Il 60619 .The Monthly Membership Meeting held by Chatham Business Association, Small Business Development Inc. is held to inform current members and prospective members about issues and activities going on in Chatham and the City of Chicago.  You do not need to be a member to attend.  Breakfast is provided for a small fee. See their webpage for details on this event.



Silas Purnell College Expo 

Sponsored by the Chesterfield Community Council, held at Tuley Park Fieldhouse on Saturday, September 13. We will revise this entry as more details appear. 

 

42nd Tutor-Mentor Conference 


We are planning to have a workshop at the November 2014 Tutor-Mentor Conference. JP Paulus will be presenting on "4 Steps 2 College". Whether or not you join JP for his session, please consider being a part of the conference. (We will post details for those interested in presenting). The next conference will be Friday, Nov. 7, 2014 at Metcalfe Federal Building, 77 W. Jackson Blvd. in Chicago. Look for updates here on their website.


Illinois College Access Network


The last Illinois College Access Network Meeting of 2014 be will meet in November.(You can also call/text 872-222-8008 or e-mail blog@do-gooder.us for an update.) They hope to update the website at www.illinoiscan.org and they ask to please RSVP by sending an e-mail to  illinoiscollegeaccessnetwork@gmail.com     




FAFSA Completion sessions


We're also scheduling FAFSA completion sessions for the first week of January, where we help families correctly fill out the FAFSA. The first that we have planned is one at Oakdale Covenant Church, 9440 S. Vincennes after the 10:30am service on Sunday, January 4, 2015. We will utilize Oakdale Christian Academy's computer lab to allow up to 20 families to fill out their FAFSA at a time. Check our blog for details and updates.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

FAFSA PIN number will be phased out into a NEW system

The Department of Education (Ed) is phasing out the P.I.N. (personal identification number) for the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which is used to access your FAFSA information.

Ed is replacing it with username/password setup in April of 2015. This is a major change in how students will be able to access their FAFSA...almost as big as the changeover form the paper FAFSA to FAFSA on the Web. Ed has stated that they are switching systems in order to provide more security for users.

The PIN will be used exclusively from now until March. 2015. This phase-out of PIN to Username/password for FAFSA applies to new (1st time filing out FAFSA in 2015) AND current.returning students.  So students who are currently in college, and will renew their FAFSA next year, will do so in the same way as they have before.

Students who will be filling out the FAFSA for the first time (such as current high school seniors who will enter college in August or September of 2015) will also use the PIN login system, but have to change over to the system.

Current high school juniors and others who will fill out the FAFSA after August 2015 (in most cases, starting January 1, 2016) will not use the PIN system at all, but rather the new username/password system. 

This new login system will not only affect your FAFSA login, but also other information regarding federal student aid, such as the NLDS (National Student Loan Data System) system for Student Loans. Note that this will not affect access to information on private scholarships, or private loans, which are not run by the federal government. Loans through Sallie Mae, Discover and other organizations will have their own login information.

If you are NOT currently a student, but have used the PIN for using FAFSA on the Web in the past, it is also recommended that you create a username and password as well, as you may still need to access information, such as on student loans.

More details on this transition are expected by February 2015.


Other information from their recent announcement included a change on parental information - FAFSA will focus on parents relationship with children.  So  it doesn’t matter if parents are married or not, same sex couple or not; all of this information will be used for FAFSA.

For more information on these and other changes, visit the Department of Education website for National Training for Counselors and Mentors (NT4CM) at www.Financialaidtoolkit.ed.gov/nt4cm

NT4CM is a comprehensive training program that delivers up-to-date information regarding federal and state student aid programs, scholarship searches, and financial aid fraud. Participants also learn how to access free resources such as fact sheets, brochures, and PowerPoint presentations that can be used in outreach to students. After the training, participants will receive ongoing information and support.



Do-Gooder Consulting provides an affordable year-long consulting service that includes 3 seminars (The Financial Aid Process – for families; The College Going Process – for youth workers; FAFSA workshop – for families), as well as coordinating professional help to your soon-to-be college students with a FAFSA completion session (recommended during the 1st week of January).
Contact us at college@do-gooder.us or call us at 872-222-8008 for details on the free and paid services. We look forward to hearing from you. Find out more about us at www.do-gooder.us

Monday, July 28, 2014

Agenda for Illinois College Access Network 2014 conference



JP Paulus of Do Gooder Consulting will be a part of the 2014 Illinois College Access Network conference, co-leading the Social Media Basics workshop. (We made this announcement last week).

We now have the schedule of events, with all of the workshop sessions available. There are many helpful choices, and we won't take it personally if you choose the financial literacy workshop.

However, if you missed the registration deadline, please take a moment RIGHT NOW and contact Illinois CAN by e-mail at illinoiscollegeaccessnetwork@gmail.com or by calling Renee Tucker Martinez at 773-244-5575

Please invite your friends and colleagues to be a part of this event.

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Illinois College Access Network

5th Annual Mini-Conference

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

8:00 am to 2:00 pm


Click Here to RSVP by Friday, August 1, 2014


8:00 – 8:30
Registration and Continental Breakfast
(Hamming Hall)
8:30 – 9:00
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Mike Dessimoz, ICAN Chairperson
(Hamming Hall)
Room C-33
Room C-34
9:15 – 10:15
Best Practices in Supporting Students Through College
John Horan, President, North Lawndale College Prep Charter High School
Khair Sadrud-Din, College Years Counselor, Link Unlimited
ACT/SAT Testing Updates: A Collaborative Presentation
Marc Geslani, Senior Education Manager, The College Board
George Schlott, Client Relations Account Executive, American College
Testing Program
10:30 – 11:30
Effective Transitioning to College for Students with Disabilities
Tanya Cox, Director of Special Needs, Malcolm X College
Raynette Clark-Gully, Disability Director, Olive Harvey College
Creating the Framework for Institutional Marketing Success
Leslie Millenson, President, The Millenson Collaborative
11:45 – 12:45
Social Media Basics for the College Access Professional
JP Paulus, President, Do-Gooder Consulting
Rusty Wimberley, Web Consultant, Severity Design
Financial Literacy: Managing Student Loan Debt
Russ Goeltenbodt, Financial Literacy Experts
12:45 – 2:00
Lunch and Keynote Address with Q&A
(Hamming Hall)
Courtney Logan
Author, Attorney, and ICAN Alum
Author of Shaped by Fire: My Escape from Poverty’s Pit, Mr. Logan will speak of his youth in East St Louis, and how his experience in
ACI’s College Readiness Program helped him reach for greater heights and beat the odds.
Stay for a book signing after lunch with this impressive young man seeking to bring support to the college access cause.


The conference fee is $50 for Illinois CAN members and $100 for non-members. 

Annual memberships ($75 for individuals, $150 for organizations) can also be paid (check or cash) on August 6th; the discounted fee will then be applied to the conference charge.


Free parking is available in the lot at the southeast corner of Foster (5200 north) and Kedzie (3200 west). The conference will take place in building #12, Hamming Hall.

For a campus map please follow the link below:



Click Here to RSVP by Friday, August 1, 2014

North Park University * 3225 W Foster Avenue * Chicago, Illinois




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Presenting at the 2014 Illinois College Access Network conference

JP Paulus will be a co-presenter for a workshop during the Illinois College Access Network conference in Chicago on Wednesday, August 6. He will join another colleague to present "Social Media Basics", to help Illinois CAN members how to best utilize this technology.

The aim of the conference as a whole is to help those who work with youth (and adults) get them to college, and to connect resources together to help our whole state improve our college graduation rates.

There is a cost (see the announcement below). Please send an e-mail to illinoiscollegeaccessnetwork@gmail.com if you have any questions.

The conference is on Wednesday, August 6, from 8am - 2pm at North Park University, 3225 W. Foster Avenue (in Hamming Hall, connected to the gym).  Free parking is available at the lot on the southeast corner of Kedzie and Foster.



Here is the official announcement:
2014 Illinois CAN Summer Conference on August 6th

Good afternoon, colleagues.  The 2014 Conference will be at North Park University, with the usual light breakfast at 8am and program starting at 8:30.  Lunch will be served and the conference will conclude at 2pm.Interest sessions will include
  •   Financial literacy for students, with special emphasis on college loan debt 
  •   Mentoring students through their college years
  •   Testing update from ACT and The College Board: a collaborative presentation 
  •   Transitioning to higher education for students with special needs
  •   Marketing for non-profits: institutional advancement
  •   Social media as a marketing tool: for students and for organizational visibility 
At lunch, our keynote speaker will be Courtney Logan, attorney and author of "Shaped by Fire: My Escape from Poverty's Pit."  Mr. Logan will speak of his youth in East St.Louis and how one of our members (Associated Colleges of Illinois) assisted him through its College Readiness Program.

The conference fee is $50 for Illinois CAN members and $100 for non-members.  Annual memberships ($75 for individuals, $150 for organizations) can be paid (check or cash) and the discounted fee will be applied at the conference.  Please let me know if you need a copy of the Network application and a list of the member categories and accompanying fees

Here's the planned schedule:

Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 – 9:00am          Welcome and Opening Remarks, by Mike Dessimoz & Leslie Millenson
9:15 – 10:15am       Break-out Sessions:
·      
10:30 – 11:30am     Break-out Sessions:
·      
11:45 – 12:45pm     Break-out Sessions:
·     
12:45 – 2:00pm       Lunch& Keynote Presentation by Courtney Logan:
                                    "Shaped by Fire: My Escape from Poverty's Pit."

For more information, go to the Illinois College Access Network website.

If you are at the conference, please come to see JP Paulus. If you don't see him, call or text 872-222-8008.

We look forward to seeing you!


Friday, May 16, 2014

2014-2015 Direct Student Loan rates announced

The Department of Education has officially released the borrowing rates for Federal Student Loans. The official announcement can be found at this link.

See our infographic below for details on the changes. (Please feel free to share it)



Please note, that there are several type of loans students can use for borrowing money for college. While it's always best to avoid loans whenever possible,  loans are necessary if they make the difference between you completing your degree, and you dropping out.

Of all the loans possible,  Federal Student Loans are best types of loans to get. They offer protections, repayment plans (if one is not able to make the standard payment), have a grace period and require entrance and exit counseling, so borrowers have an understanding of how student loans can affect their lives.
The above rates are for Federal loans. If the loans you are offered (for the school year starting August/September 2014) do not match the rates above, please re-consider or even turn down those loans. They may become hazardous to your financial health!

Other types of loans include the following:

  • Institutional Loans - these are provided by the college, through their own resources. They are not necessarily the best loans, but depending on the college, might be helpful. They may also not have the protections Federal Student loans provide.
  • Private Loans - These may come from banks or other sources. They do not have the protections and rules that Federal Student Loans have, and interest rates will vary.  Note that banks used to provide federal student loans, and parents paying back federal student loans may be paying them back to a bank. But ALL current student loans are issued through the United States Government's Department of Education (also known as dept. of Ed. or most simply "Ed")
  • Payday Loans - People may be desperate if they find out they don't have money to pay for the semester. We suggest you avoid these at all costs. Interest rates are enormous, and the overall cost is general not worth it. Consider alternatives: deferred admission (where you can wait 1 year before actually going to the college), payment plans (where you can pay off your tuition in monthly installments)




We hope this helps as you or your student begins this tough-but-helpful process. 
Please leave a comment if you have a question about student loans, the FAFSA or the financial aid process.
JP Paulus of Do-Gooder Consulting works with churches and nonprofits, and even businesses to help them integrate college access training into their programs. We can do personal consulting as well as coaching for your staff.  More information is available at www.do-gooder.us or call us at 872-222-8008 or by e-mail at web@do-gooder.us for more information.