Category Archives: Uncategorized


The holidays have ended and high school students are back at school. Seniors are awaiting their acceptance letters or finishing up last minute admissions applications. But that does not mean that the college planning workload is over. In fact the second phase of the process has just gotten underway. The FAFSA became available January 1st.

These tips will make he process smoother for students and parents.

1. Know the deadlines for filing for financial aid for es h college you apply to for admissions. Generally they are anywhere from February 1st to March 1st.

2. The student AND one parent must apply for a FAFSSA ID at before you can complete the inline application.

3. If you do not have you W-2s or your federal tax teturn completed for 2015, estimate with your last pay stub for 2015. If your income is fairly consistent estimate based on your 2014 federal tax returns. You WILL need to update the application once your 2015 tax returns are filed.

4. Keep a file with all documents and correspondence from the financial aid offices you are dealing with.

5. Be sure to print the students’s name and social security number on any documents submitted, especially if the student’s last name is different then the parent’s.

6. If you have an usual family situation —loss of a job, foreclosure, bankruptcy, divorce/separation or death of a parent, contact each individual college AFTER the FAFSA is submitted to ask what their Professional Judgement or Appeal Process is.

7. Read your Award Letter carefully. Know what action you must take. Do you need to accept and return a copy of the award letter? Do you need to complete a Federal Student Loan Promissory Note online? Do you need to complete a Student Loan Entrance Interview?

Follow these tips and you should have a little trouble with applying and receiving financial aid for which you are eligible.


“Grandparents tell the best stories”: Get ready for the Great Thanksgiving Listen

Grandparents do tell the best stories. The holidays are a great time to learn about your family’s history, what inspired them, what struggles they overcame. Encourage your children, teens and young adults to engage with their elders. It can be a wonderful bonding and learning experience! Check out this wonderful piece by StoryCorps.


Source: “Grandparents tell the best stories”: Get ready for the Great Thanksgiving Listen

Top Engineering US Colleges for 2015

If you are considering a degree in engineering the. You have to take a look at the USAToday article reporting on the top engineering colleges in the US. When looking at a potential engineering program, though, you need to go further than the highlights given on a y of these lists.

Questions to consider:

1. What courses and grades will I need to take in high school to be competitive in the college’s admissions process? Think sciences and math.

2. What opportunities are there for internships?

3. What is the job placement in my field at the colllege and at what companies /organizations are graduates hired?

4. Does the career I aspire to require a graduate degree? If so,  I should put this college on my graduate school list and see what undergraduate colleges their grad students graduate from? This could save you money if you attend state college or university for your ungrad degree and receive your graduate degree from a top ranked college or university.

REMEMBER where you receive your graduate degree will carry more weight than your undergraduate degree, as it will be focused on your profession/career field.

Direct Loan Rates for Academic Year 2015-16 Set

The latest Federal Direct Student Loan rates have been set. For the 2015-16 school year the rates are as follows:

Undergraduate Subsidized & Unsubsidized  Direct Loan —  4.29% (down from 4.66%)

GradPlus Direct Loan — 5.84% (down from 6.21%)

Parent Plus Direct Loan — 6.84% (down from 7.21%)

When borrowing through the  Federal Direct Student Loan Program keep your borrowing as low as possible. Exhaust all funding options prior to borrowing.  Check with the college’s Bursar’s Office regarding monthly payment plans which tend to be interest free.

Savy Saturday: Tips for Organizing Your Dorm Room

While perusing Pinterest I found an excellent Pin from the site,, for college students or those looking for an idea to help out their college student.  The post includes organizing ideas dorm groceries , kitchen supplies/tools, etc. Check out the Pin here:

What great tip do you have to make a dorm room more comfortable and functional?



Measles student no longer infectious, but officials wait for signs of spread

Are you or your students protected against the measles? What’s going on at your college campus?

Along with studying students on campus need to take precautions regarding their health. Especially at this time of the year with colds and flu season in full swing. In addition there is an increase in Measles compounded by the fact that larger numbers of individuals have not received the Measles vaccination.

It will be another week before health officials will find out if the confirmed case of measles at the University of Minnesota has spread elsewhere.

The Minnesota Daily reports that the 20-year-old student, identified as the first confirmed measles case in Minnesota in 2015, passed the infectious stage of the highly contagious disease on Wednesday night.

The student is recovering off-campus, with health authorities now waiting to see if any more cases are confirmed, saying that residents of Sydney Hall may have been exposed between January 20 and 28.  He also attended class between January 20 and 23.

“The people who are most at risk from this particular case would be those who may have been in classes with this student, or lives with this person,” Lynn Bahta, of the Minnesota Department of Health, told WCCO. “It can include people in the building, because the measles virus is small…

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Dishonor Code: Rape, Reputation, and Repercussion at UVA


This is a guest post by Willa Hammitt Brown, a doctoral candidate at the University of Virginia, where she is finishing her dissertation, “Gentlemen of the Woods: Manhood, Myth and the American Lumberjack, 1860-1920”. She is a teaching assistant in the Department of History and the Women’s and Gender Studies program.  Content note: this article mentions sexual assault.

“I have worn the honors of Honor

I graduated from Virginia” – :The Honor Men”, James Hay Jr, 1903

“Nobody wants to send their daughter to the rape school” – Rolling Stone, 2014

This morning I got an email from the President of my University, the University of Virginia. In it, she quotes Thomas Jefferson, and invokes tradition, honor and idealism. She harks back to the long history of a storied institution. “Honor and tradition inform our thinking,” she explains, but where “success is demanded as much as it is sought” we…

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