Posted On: 2005-10-26
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Thank you for joining us. You're listening to the Financial Aid Podcast with Chris Penn. Welcome folks we have made it to episode 100 of the Financial Aid Podcast. My name is Chris Penn and I welcome you to our, it's not really a centennial because it hasn't been 100 years but a pretty significant landmark. I'm pleased to have you join us today for our 100th episode. We got a lot to do today. We got a lot of stuff to cover. First things first, the iPod Nano contest is on. In celebration of today, our 100th episode, we are giving away a free iPod Nano with the lanyard headphones or a $300 student loan payment towards your student loans. Either prize you can win by going to financialpodcast.com and looking for our contest. It's free to enter, you will automatically be entered if you apply for a Stafford Loan at staffordloan.com or a Parent Plus Loan at parentplusloan.com, and ACT acteducationloan.com or student loan consolidation at studentloanconsolidator.com, or you can use the free no purchase necessary form on the website at financialaidpodcast.com. So I definitely encourage you to enter. Give it a shot and refer as many friends you would like to, because referring a lot of friends increases your chances of winning. So, that is the iPod Nano contest. Alright, now let's get to the news.
Topping the news today, Nelnet buys Chela, it's a California-based financial aid provider. Nelnet, one of the largest financial providers outside of Sally May, has announced its intent to purchase the entire portfolio of Chela's loans, $2.2 billion in loans. So, if you have loans through Chela, you now are going to be paying your bills to Nelnet instead. Under the agreement, Nelnet is paying $109 million in cash over the value of the student loan portfolio related to accrued interest. It is anticipated that the transaction will be integrated by 2006 sometime. So expect to get a different bill in the mail if you have Chela loans.
In other news, from The Daily Free Press in Boston University's student newspaper, the College Board released new figures about the 2004/2005 academic year's student aid. According to the College Board, more than a $120 billion of student aid was distributed last year. More than $14 billion of which was from private lending institutions, like the ACT Education funding program. For the 3rd year in a row, the total percentage of undergraduate aid in the form of grants, or money that does not need to be repaid, decreased. Undergraduates now receiving only 46% of their aid in the form of grants. The rest of course come from student loans. This is generally a bad trend, because the more debt a student has to carry, the harder it is for them to get a solid financial footing immediately out of college and succeeding graduation. So, like we've talked about in past episodes, if you would like to see the government have a more active role in actually funding college, not so much on the loan side but on the grant side you definitely need to get in touch with your representatives and let them not that the number of loans and the increase in the percentage in the form of loans, definitely needs to be altered in favor of grants instead. Those are some of the top topics right now in the morning paper.
As part of episode 100, kind of taking a quick look back, let's do some of the greatest hits in terms of Podsafe Music. We'll start off with Cruisebox with On a Podcast, the summers, probably hottest Podsafe Tune.
On a Podcast from Cruisebox. That was the squeaky clean version which at the very least meets the whole PG13 idea. Alright, from the mailbag today, Kyle Long says, "What's this? What is the William D. Ford Loan Program?" He's kind of confused, understandable so. The direct lending program is the student loan program which is operated by the Department of Education directly, hence the direct loan program. It differs from the Family Federal Direct Loan Program in that no third party organizations involved. Under the Family of Federal Education lending programs, we've talked about this and the structure of student loans a few podcasts back. You have the Department of Education that serves as the guarantor or the backing agency for the loan, but the money comes from a lender which is usually a bank of financial organization of some kind. There is a servicer which provides the billing and the paperwork, there is a guarantor which works with the Department of Ed agency, and there's usually a marketing partner like the Student Loan Network. So, for example, if you were going to get a Stafford Loan through the Student Loan Network, we would be the initial lender. If you looked at our application and you could see our lender code and then we would get that backed by one of our banks, and we would use the Education Lending Servicing Center as our servicer, and of course the guarantor ultimately would be the Department of Education. So, there's a lot of organizations in that mix so it can be very confusing. With the direct lender program, the William D. Ford Direct Lending Program, the Departments of Education did everything from soup to nuts. So, they are the servicer, they are the guarantor, they are the paperwork provider, they are the marketing partner. In terms of one stop shopping they are everything in loans.
Schools generally have the option to participate in one or the other program. A few schools participate in both, but most don't. Schools that participate in the direct lending program, the students who go there must use the Department of Education as their lender. They don't really get an option for it, at least not for Federal Student Loans you do for Private Student Loans. When it comes to consolidating your student loans, if you have direct lending exclusively through the direct lending program, you can't get those loans consolidated fairly easily because the Department of Ed is not actually a lender, at least not in the traditional sense. So, what happens is that instead of your loans being squabbled about by different lenders, the Department of Ed essentially wants you to get rid of those loans and will gladly sell them off to any consolidating agency that is federally accredited. So, while it's harder for you to get choices when it comes to your student loans if you go to a direct lender, when it comes to consolidating those loans after school, it's actually easier for everyone else. So that is the direct lending program in a nutshell. For more information you can visit www.ed.gov, that's the Department of Education's website and they have a whole bunch of information about all sorts of different federal loan products. It's a good resource. Kind of hard to navigate, not to be too cynical, but that's what you would expect your tax dollars to buy.
Alright, the next piece of Podsafe Music is a perennial favorite here, Natalie Brown with I Wonder.
That was I Wonder from Natalie Brown via the Podsafe Music Network. Natalie is one of the many, many artists that The Financial Aid Podcast has brought into the podcasting world. We're very proud of that fact. The fact that there are at least 16 groups on the Podsafe Music Network who have gotten a lot of airplay, I eventually I think they would have gotten to Podsafe Music because it's becoming such a phenomenon, but I'm pleased to say we kind of facilitated their entry. Including Eudore, Courtney Jones, Alice Marie, Breed of Moss, Amy Aris, Natalie Brown, Isintiller, Rebecca Loebe, Marlena Randall, Shirlby Inglehart, Amun Ra, Inner Frequency, Rachel Rossis, Sarah Black, Holland Steel and the Raygun Girls. Tons of good musicians out there, tons of artists, tons of bands and I'm very, very happy that the Financial Aid Broadcast brought them into the mix and brought them into the podcasting community. So, that everyone could enjoy them not just someone who might have stumbled upon them in My Space.
So let's look back, because it's fun to look back. The Financial Aid Podcast was originally a weekly podcast. It started on April 11, 2005 so, we are six months and some odd days into the podcast. It's a relative in terms of time but it's 100 episodes since then. The first episode; wow did it suck. It was literally reading one web page after another. Since then we've had 100 episodes and 275 new Podsafe Songs, 125 scholarships worth over $5 million, one E-book that we've published, one video podcast that we've published and we've made it as far as #65 on the top 100 podcasts as measured by Feedburner. So, we've come a long way since the beginning and I thought, just for fun, since it's not in the RSS feed anymore, I'd play a chunk of the original...the first podcast ever from The Financial Aid Podcast so you can see just how bad it was.
So, here we go with Episode 1:
Welcome to the Student Financial Aid News podcast, a publication of The Student Loan Network. The Student Financial Aid News Podcast for the week of April, 11, 2005. My name is Christopher Penn and I'll be your host for The Student Financial Aid News Podcast.
This week's sponsor is studentloanconsolidator.com. consolidate your student loans today and get interest rates as low as 1.25% locked in for the life of the loan. Most people will save hundreds of dollars a month. Lock in today at www.studentloanconsolidator.com.
I'm going to cut in here, as just a reminder in case anyone's just started listening to this, this is from last year so actually those rates do not apply anymore.
This week's topic is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA, a multi-page form issued by the Department of Education to asses the financial health of a family and determine how much Financial Aid they're qualified for.
As you can tell by listening to it, I'm clearly reading off of a web page and the site I was reading off of was our FAFSA site at fafsaonline.com. That first podcast, I go back to it and I just cringe. But, everyone has to start some where. We're not going to play any more of that but if you want information about the FAFSA, if it's actually a topic of some interest to you, we did a FAFSA podcast a couple of shows ago and you can also get more information at our FAFSA website at fafsaonline.com. So we've come a long way in 100 episodes and I'm very pleased that we've done as much as have. We've had a few contests, given away some iTunes music cards, done some surveys, done a whole bunch of relatively new things in the podcasting world. I'm very pleased to say that of the 16 artists we've brought into the Podsafe Music Network, most of them have gotten a fairly good amount of airplay. Not just on this podcast but on some other one's as well. It's been a fun run so far and I'm looking forward to the next 100 episodes. If you've got suggestions, comments or things you'd like to see on The Financial Aid Podcast and our next 100 episodes, I am always more than happy to at least listen to the suggestions and try and implement them the best way that I can. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org you can also leave me a message on the Gizmo Project, username financialaidpodcast, all one word, all lower case.
Alright folks, let's do one more greatest hits from of the Financial Aid Podcast. One of my favorites from the band Isontilla called Sin.
Alright folks, that's going to wrap up the 100th episode of The Financial Aid Podcast. I want to take a moment and thank a whole bunch of people that have helped The Financial Aid Podcast get this far. Without there encouragement and support it wouldn't have happened. First of course would be the official sponsor of the Financial Aid Podcast, The Student Loan Network, and the guy who runs it, Joe Crownen, who is very, very generous in terms of the things he will let us try in terms of new ways of reaching out to people, new ways of communicating with people. There are so many companies out there that would just hear podcasting and new and just dismiss it out of hand without giving it a try. So thanks of course to Joe and everyone hear at The Student Loan Network who have been very encouraging and very supportive of The Financial Aid Podcast and its incarnations. Second of course would be my fellow podcasters, especially Adam Curry, Rob Walch at Podcast 411, CC Chapman at Accident Hash, the entire New England podcasting group, which you can find at newenglandpodcasting.com, really the whole podcasting community is really a great, and it may sound cheesy, but brotherhood if you will, sisterhood too, the whole podcasting family is very supportive of each other. And I encourage you if you don't know of a lot of other podcasts, I want you to go out there and check out what's available, here are so many podcasts, some of them are incredible, some of them are awesome, some of them are not so good, but it's that way with anything. You won't unless you listen to them. And don't rely on the iTunes Music Store. You know, I've been a very big proponent of iTunes because of its ease of use, but its directory is not the be all and end all of podcasting. There are many other good directories like: podcastalley.com, podcastpickle.com, and there's a directory of directories and podcast411.com. So, definitely go check those out because they're good entertainment. There is so much stuff out there that you will never hear on mainstream radio, some of it is pretty obscene, so just be warned. If you like that kind of thing you'll get more of it in podcasting than it any other type of media. So enjoy it for what it's worth.
Another thing I'm going to do is play our original Podcast 411 interview, that will be in the feed separately ass well. Well, enjoy your day. It is a lovely Wednesday here. It has stopped raining. I'm going to go out and try and get some work done now and try and get this podcast out the door. Thank you for being with us for the first 100 episodes I hope you stick around for the next 100. If you're not subscribed, if you're listening to this on a website or by any other means other than podcast, get subscribed. It's really easy. Just go to financialaidpodcast.com. Three easy steps to get subscribed. No fuss no muss, easy clean up. If you really like this podcast, let a friend know. Help them get subscribed because if you're subscribed you'll automatically get the latest and greatest everyday. We publish them five days a week ideally, sometimes six it depends if I've got something to do on Saturday or not. It's just great fun. What else, show notes. If you're new to podcasting, it's basically the notes that went on in that show. Fairly straight forward, show notes are available through financialaidpodcast.com as well. Be sure to enter the contest to win free iPod Nano with the lanyard headphones or a $300 student loan payment towards your student loans. Other than that, stay tuned. Stay subscribed and we'll see you next time for episode 101. Bye bye.