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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 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 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 for an update, or questions. 

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

For more info, contact Nick River.  a at 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  on Thursday, November 6th, DePaul University Center, Loop Campus. The time is  8am-10:30am.(You can also call/text 872-222-8008 or e-mail for an update.) They hope to update the website at and they ask to please RSVP by sending an e-mail to     

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

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 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