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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

FAFSA opening date has changed to THIS October 1!



The FAFSA opening date has changed! "Traditionally" the opening date was January 1. But things have changed,

The main trouble will be for families who have returning students. They will think “Didn’t we just fill this out?”  And that feeling is justified, as it may have been 8 months or less when they filled out the FAFSA.  That is going to require a change in mindset. For years, Do-Gooder Consulting has advocated FAFSA completion sessions at the beginning of the year. We have worked with churches to do such a session following their service on the first Sunday of January.


Now, we encourage churches to hold such a session in October or if needed, November. Nonprofits can work with families with holding evening sessions, or also during the day if the families have Columbus Day or Veterans’ Day off.  It’s a huge shift in scheduling, and may conflict with other activities. But if going to - and graduating - college is a priority, then lifestyle changes need to be made.

So please, plan accordingly, so your student can get the best financial aid possible. If you are part of a church or nonprofit (or even business that wishes to maximize help for your employees, customers and their families), please contact us at Do-Gooder Consulting, and let’s see how we can work together for the best interest of students. We would be happy to help you organize a coalition of organizations to maximize resources and impact. Feel free to call or text Do-Gooder Consulting at 872-222-8008 or e-mail at  blog@do-gooder.us



Thursday, March 17, 2016

Guest Post = 8 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out

This week, we invited a friend of Do-Gooder to share information that could helpful for your clients, members, employees, and even yourself. Krystal Lamb is a human resources professional, LinkedIn certified, and Founder/CEO of Career Tips with Krys. We would love to hear how these tips have helped your LinkedIn experience!


Krystal Lamb
With all of the different tools available to find a job, searching online has become the most convenient route. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home and you can privately apply to any company at any time. You can upload your resume to these job search sites and apply with just one click. There are many different job search sites available but the top site, in my opinion, is LinkedIn.

For the past 5 years, I have been a huge advocate of LinkedIn. The popularity has soared and millions of companies have joined looking for top talent. As a Certified LinkedIn Professional Recruiter, I am constantly sourcing and finding the best candidates, whether they are looking for a new job right now or not! Since I am logged on all day, I can spot the best LinkedIn profiles easily. Here are the top eight ways to have an All-Star LinkedIn profile!
  1. The Headline is Creative and Stands Out
    One surefire way to have a company contact you on LinkedIn is to have a great headline. You should make sure to include keywords about your specialty. Keep it short and sweet!
  2.  A Professional Photo
    Your LinkedIn photo should be a headshot. You should be the ONLY person in the photo and it should be clear and recent. I understand this is social media but this could be your first impression to your next employer!
  3. Make Connections
    It is a great idea to make tons of connections on LinkedIn! The point of connecting is to make sure that you show up in LinkedIn searches. You also may be able to network with a 2nd or 3rd degree connection at that dream job you want!
  4. Brag About Everything
    LinkedIn gives you the ability to add items to your profile such as Certifications, projects, volunteering, past or current school courses and patents! There are employers who are very interested in knowing what type of interests you have outside of work.
  5. Tack on Those Recommendations
    You have the ability to add recommendations to your profile from past employers and colleagues. If you left on good terms or worked with an awesome team, connect on LinkedIn and ask for a recommendation. Be prepared to write one in return!
  6. Add Contact Information
    An employer or recruiter should not have to conduct a deep investigation to find your contact information. Make sure you have an email address and/or a phone number near the top of your profile. Adding your different social media connections are an option as well.
  7. Join LinkedIn Groups
    These are great ways to connect with other like-minded individuals. There are many conversations happening daily in these groups. Make sure you join groups that are relevant to your interests and specialty.
  8. Stay Up-to-Date and Current
    Share articles that you read, like different posts on your timeline and keep your work history up-to-date. You must stay engaged in order to be seen. Think of your LinkedIn profile as your resume. If it’s outdated, how will you ever find your dream job??

 
Krystal Lamb is a Sales Recruiter/Human Resources Representative at a Telecommunications company in Chicago, IL. She is also the Founder/CEO of Career Tips with Krys, where she provides resume editing, resume writing, career counseling and interview etiquette services. Contact her through email at krystherecruiter@gmail.com , on Instagram @careertipswithkrys or Like her www.facebook.com/careertipswithkrys/.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Your student needs to fill out the FAFSA -- NOW!!!


We at Do-Gooder Consulting really want to implore anyone with a student going to college - whether high school senior, returning student, or an adult even thinking about going to college - to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) NOW! Don’t wait! 



Back in our day, the FAFSA was filled out by hand. The financial aid officer also had to calculate by hand, which made the process long and strenuous. Any revisions would be equally as long , so it was suggested that students wait until taxes were done before submitting the FAFSA. That allowed families to make copies of tax forms, and provide accurate information. Financial aid programs like the Illinois Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) grant were able to provide money up until classes actually began.



However, technology, especially through the web and computers, has completely changed the process - for the better.  Using www.FAFSA.gov families can quickly input (and change) information.  Most people send their taxes in online, whether by using an application at home such as Turbo Tax, or going to a professional such as H & R Block, or even most independent accountants.  That information can then be easily downloaded via the IRS Retrieval Tool. That one click often replaces the photocopies and mailings and calls to the financial aid office of the past.



The downside of the technology upgrades is that since it makes it easier to fill out applications for financial aid, more people know about the opportunities and are rushing to take advantage of it.  We talked about the shrinking MAP deadlines in the past. Even though the state of Illinois is having problems now with disbursing MAP funds for the current year, in order to possibly funds for the next school year (2016-2017), Illinois residents need to fill out the FAFSA within the next week.



We previously wrote about MAP deadlines, with 2015 running out by approximately Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14). Below is our projections for when MAP money will run out not just for the upcoming school year, but the school year following.






In looking at the graphic, you may have noticed that our projection for the end of MAP money is the middle of this November. That’s because of some major changes with the FAFSA for the next school year. Do-Gooder Consulting documented these changes in an earlier blog.

There are some good reasons for this change.  The earlier deadline, which now coincides with many college application deadlines. This allows students to make a timely decision to see if a college is a good fit not just academically but also financially. See our graphic below for details on the need to have both a completed FAFSA
and a college application that is not just completed, but accepted by the college.



The main trouble will be for families who have returning students. They will think “Didn’t we just fill this out?”  And that feeling is justified, as it may have been 8 months or less when they filled out the FAFSA.  That is going to require a change in mindset. For years, Do-Gooder Consulting has advocated FAFSA completion sessions at the beginning of the year. We have worked with churches to do such a session following their service on the first Sunday of January.



Now, we encourage churches to hold such a session in October or if needed, November. Nonprofits can work with families with holding evening sessions, or also during the day if the families have Columbus Day or Veterans’ Day off.  It’s a huge shift in scheduling, and may conflict with other activities. But if going to - and graduating - college is a priority, then lifestyle changes need to be made.

So please, plan accordingly, so your student can get the best financial aid possible. If you are part of a church or nonprofit (or even business that wishes to maximize help for your employees, customers and their families), please contact us at Do-Gooder Consulting, and let’s see how we can work together for the best interest of students. We would be happy to help you organize a coalition of organizations to maximize resources and impact. Feel free to call or text Do-Gooder Consulting at 872-222-8008 or e-mail at  blog@do-gooder.us

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Illinois College Access Network February 2016 meeting = Feb 9


Illinois College Access Network


Where?  Chicago Scholars – 247 S State Street – Chicago IL

When?   Tuesday, February 9, 2016

8:00 – Light Breakfast and Networking
8:45 – Onset of Mental Health Issues During the College Years
  • Coalition of 80 national private and public colleges (4 in Illinois) proposing innovative approach to processing applications
  • BRING YOUR OWN QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS
Announcements and additional discussion until adjournment +/- 10;30
Membership or Renewal:  www.illinoiscan.org.  Current members, categories, fees, and applications are at the website under “Membership.”

There are a lot of changes in the world of college access & financial aid. Come get updated!



You can also call/text 
872-222-8008 or e-mail blog@do-gooder.us for an update. Updates for the event are at this link and  the website at www.illinoiscan.org   


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

JP Paulus on V103 THIS Sunday

Do-Gooder Consulting President JP Paulus will be on V103's Sunday call-in show "Chicago Speaks with Darryl Dennard".

He should be on some time between 6:30pm - 7:30pm (depending on topics and guests) on Sunday, February 7.

You can listen by tuning into 102.7 FM, or online by clicking this link. V103 is part of the iHeartRadio network, and can be found on their app and website, if you'd like to listen online.

2 weeks ago, Chicago Speaks featured the MAP Grant crisis in Illinois, where the current state budget crisis is preventing the Illinois Student Assistance Commission from disbursing funds to colleges. Because of Chicago State University's current budget issues, the lack of MAP (Monetary Assistance Program) money is causing even larger problems, which is prompting quicker action.

That inspired JP to share his recent blogpost about 2016 MAP Deadlines and the new FAFSA opening date. Despite the current crisis, students will still have to plan for next year, as ISAC won't suspend their normal process. Also, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will have an earlier deadline.  JP will talk about those issues on this Sunday's show.

Now, breaking events could bump JP from the lineup, but plan to hear him some time between 6:30pm - 7:30pm

We hope you can tune in. You can also call in with questions at 312-591-8103.

Darryl M. Dennard, host of "Chicago Speaks" on V103, 102.7 FM in Chicago

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Did you know we do graphic design and Powerpoint Presentations?

Did you know we can do basic graphic design and PowerPoint presentations?

If you are a speaker, teacher or preacher, you have a lot of great things to say. But you probably don't the time or the technical expertise to create an appropriate visual complement, to help your listeners absorb that information.

We can also use PowerPoint to help you set up detailed professional flyers for events. JP Paulus of Do-Gooder did this promotional card for Oakdale Covenant Church's recent Men's Week:





We've also helped their Women's Ministry as well




What are your needs? Let us know how we can help you! Contact Do-Gooder Consulting by phone or text at 872-222-8008 or by e-mail at blog@do-gooder.us

We are also contemplating doing a webinar with about 7-10 Powerpoint tips to help you maximize your use of Powerpoint. Let us know!