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Help Finding Scholarships

Posted On: 2005-10-11Length: 27:18

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Thanks for joining us. You're listening to the Financial Aid Podcast with Chris Penn. Good morning it is Tuesday, October 11, 2005. Got a great show for you today, welcome to the Financial Aid Podcast. Our lovely opening announcement there is from Natalie Brown. Again, thank you for that wonderful, wonderful opener. We got a great show today and we got a lot to talk about including some things in Spanish. So you get to hear me butcher some things in Spanish. We got a scholarship update with a brand new way of finding scholarships and stuff. You do not want to miss. So, stay tuned. It will be coming up shortly and of course some Podsafe Music. So, let's get started with the news today.

The student newspaper for Southern Illinois Edwardsville points out that the Higher Education Act Drug Provision is a federal law that denies federal aid eligibility to anyone convicted of a drug offense. Since the law took effect in 2000 more than 160,000 students across the nation have been denied federal financial aid. The House Education Workforce Committee rejected an amendment to fully appeal the Drug Provision and re-instate financial aid to all effected students. This is of course the Higher Education Act Reauthorization which we have been talking about for some time now. The article goes on to talk about how, a fair number of students use some sort of illegal substance and it's perfectly normal and students should not be penalized for it. I have two minds on this. The first is that yes, a lot of these students probably are the one who need financial aid and financial assistance the most, but the second part is that at the moment those particular drugs in question, whether it's pot or coke or crack or heroin or crystal meth, whatever, they are currently illegal and they should not be in use. It's certainly not something, as a parent, I would want my child using. There plenty of legal things I wouldn't want my child using either. Stuff like Ritalin, cigarettes, enormous amounts of alcohol, all those things are perfectly legal but they are also not my first choice of what I would want my child to be using. The bottom line is that education laws are not going to change. I don't see it being appealed anytime soon simply because it would be of no gain to politicians to reinstate that law unless they had so much momentum from the students that they had to. And here's the reality of it, politicians and politics are driven largely by votes. Money as well, of course, because you can't have a campaign without campaign finance. But in the end it's about votes and who is influential at the poles. Because college students, generally speaking, have such a low voting rate, they are not considered a political lobby. College students as a rule do not have political lobbyists in Washington lobbying for them. They do not have anyone looking out for their special interests. They do not have the funding to make contributions to the $500 plate, $1000 plate campaign finance dinners. Until college students have those lobbyists, have those mechanisms to play in the Washington game they will not have a voice. So, if you as a college student are interested in becoming involved with politics, it is good to get involved. It is good to try and rally people to vote and that's important. But also you have to keep in mind that you need the rest of the apparatus too. It's not out of reach. It's not something that you can't do until you're wealthy, that's just not true. We talked about this during the hurricane Katrina stuff, a 1000 people contributing a dollar is just as powerful as 1 person contributing $1000, because at the end of the day a dollar is a dollar. So if you want to get your politicians attention, if you want them to start seeing things from your point of view; whether it's in agreement with the current law or opposite to it, you need to get involved with the lobbying. There's just no other way around that. Something to keep in mind as the 2006 term elections come around. If you want a voice in Washington, please get together, work together and you should be able to find a larger voice.

Also in the news today, a Spanish guide to the Family Federal Education Loan Program. Looks like this organization, The Guarantor Choice, is putting together Spanish language guides for Spanish speaking students. I'm going to provide some links in the show notes to this because I can't read Spanish. This one is called the FFELP Programa de Prestamos Federales para la Educacion de la Familia. Basically the Family Federal Education Loan Program explaining the different types of loans, Stafford Loans, Plus Loans, conditions of them, eligibility. These are direct translations of the documents that the federal government provides in English. So, if you are a Spanish speaking student or you know Spanish speaking students and families who would like information about the Federal Student Loan programs in Spanish, these are great resources and I'll provide links in the show notes.

Ok, let's kick-off today's show with some Podsafe Music

(Music)

New Podsafe Music from Sara Shansky. That was Railroad Car from the Podsafe Music Network. Of course you can find more information about her in our show notes which you can fine at www.financialaidpodcast.com. Alright, let's do just a little bit of mail call.

Dana Haskal asks, "Can a portion of the unsubsidized Stafford Loan be used for living expenses off campus?" Yes they can. The priority in which Stafford loans are used in is for tuition, room, and books, any school expenses first, then any money left over that the school doesn't take is then dispersed to you in the form of a check and you can use that for any education related expenses. Very often if Stafford Loans are your only financing method then you won't really have all that much left over unless you have been doing your homework with scholarships and you've paid for the vast majority of your education with scholarships and the Stafford Loan is just supplemental. In that case then yes, there would be no problem with that. Any education related expense is eligible for Stafford Loan funds. Alright let's do one more piece of Podsafe Music and then we'll move right into our scholarship update.

(Music)

Kickin' it with Brother Love, Lost Weekend from the Podsafe Music Network. Ok, let's talk now about this scholarships stuff. I want to talk now about a whole new way of finding scholarships. If you've never used, there's a website out there on the internet called Delicious and it's Del.icio.us, what this is is social bookmarks. You sign in for a free account and they start tagging the websites that you like. You say, remember this website, remember this website. It's like your bookmarks file in your browser. The difference is that these are then uploaded to the internet and shared with the internet community as a whole. What you do is you basically tag sites with descriptor tabs, for example if you went to www.staffordloan.com you would tag it, obviously, with the words Stafford and Loan but probably also Federal Financial Aid, so that would be three different words, you would probably tag it with subsidized or unsubsidized. Hopefully you would tag it with Student Loan Network because you would be on one of our Student Loan Network sites. What this does is create a searchable index of all these bookmarked sites out there with all these different tags on them. You can try it out and if you pull up your web browser we can actually do this together. It's http://del.icio.us and this will bring you to the Delicious homepage. It's one of the .us domains, someone just cleverly put that together. Here you'll find all the different bookmarks that people have just submitted. Tons and tons of them, topics of every kind. You'll notice there are some links on the right-hand side of some popular tags and you can see the format of the tags. So click on anyone of them, so one would be blog, so you'll see the URL in your browser change to www.del.icio.us/tag/blog and here we have a whole bunch of people's blogs and blog related sites. So what does this have to do with scholarships? Well, it's funny you asked, go to the address bar and delete the word blog. You should see the words www.del.icio.us/tag, now type in the word scholarship at the end and here we have a page full of scholarships. Now remember that scholarship and scholarships are two different words so you have twice the number of tags. You've got everything from Wikipedia, Goodwin's Second Act, the Coca Cola Scholars Foundation, and you can see which one's are popular because they'll say, other scholarships tagged by M1R2K3 and nine other people. You'll see the Google 2006 Anita Borge Scholarship tagged by Soccer and two other people. So here's a list of tons and tons of scholarships all of them linked by people browsing on the web. And you'll also see scholarships in other languages; things I can't even read because they are in languages I don't speak like Arabic.

That's part 1, take any of your scholarship common words, scholarship, scholarships...scholarships brings up different results. You get fellowships, fellowship, so this alone would probably be enough to keep you busy a while. Here's the wonderful thing about the way Del.icio.us works. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you'll see some links and stuff down there but there at the very bottom you'll see the RSS button, the little orange square that says RSS, if you have a feed reader, and just about everyone does now-a-days between Google Reader and Blog Lines, all sorts of different RSS readers out there. Safari, the web browser, has built-in, Fire Fox, Thunderbird. This is where you use the RSS tags. So what you would do is right-click on that RSS icon and chances are you'll have something like, copy link or copy link location, or copy location or copy shortcut, depending on what browser you're using. That will record the URL of the RSS button. You paste that into your feed and now every time someone tags a new scholarship or new award of some kind, you're goings get notified in your feed reader. Now this could build up pretty quickly so you'll have to find one that with the right key words that are targeted toward the specific set of scholarships you're looking for. But if you're looking for scholarships in general, this is a way of finding them real fast in real time; as people find them, as people tag them and they will appear in these tags. Del.icio.us is a powerful tool. You can use it for just about anything for searching online to see what other people are finding and book marking. You'll see, for example, the Student Loan Network tags, the October 6th podcast and I'm sure you'll see today's because I'll tag today's show notes with the scholarship word as well. So that is today's scholarship update. It is supplement to the Scholarship Search Secrets Guide which, if you haven't downloaded, you can download it by subscribing to the podcast RSS feed. We just talked a little bit about how to do it with Del.icio.us. If you're using iTunes there's a three step process. It's very simple. Go to our website at www.financialaidpodcast.com and it will cover how to subscribe to our podcast using RSS and that will get you all connected up and will get you a free copy of the free Scholarship Search Secrets E-book. So any of the search terms that you've developed using our e-book will probably work for Del.icio.us as well and you will have a ton of scholarships to look through. It's awesome. It's a great way of finding new stuff as it happens. Ok, let's finalize today's show with another piece of Podsafe Music. Let's do another piece from Natalie Brown.

(Music)

Alright folks, that's going to do it for today's show. That was Natalie Brown with I Wonder. Great new music from the Podsafe Music Network. You can find more information in our show notes. And since Natalie has been so good to us we will mention her URL specifically it is www.natalie-brown.com. Of course that will be in the show notes as well. That is going to do it for today's show. I can't emphasize enough, when it comes to the scholarship search, combing all these methods that we've covered in our podcast. The methods that are in the Scholarship Search Secrets book, putting them all together will bring in a ton of money for school. It doesn't really matter what your situation is or your economic condition is, if you put everything together and work at it you will find money for school. As much as I hate to hesitate to say it, I guarantee it because it's out there. You just have to be willing to go for it. I want to cover at some point, I'm going to talk about it with a couple of folks around the office because I'm not as familiar with it as I should be, but I want to talk a bit about scholarship essay writing and how to write a good essay, but first you've got to read about it and a find out what people are really looking for. As always, if you are not subscribed, get subscribed. Instructions are on www.financialaidpodcast.com. Information in the show notes are also at www.financialaidpodcast.com or at our blog at www.financialaidnews.com/blog. As always stay tuned. Stay subscribed and we will see you next time. Take care.

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