Posted On: 2005-11-14
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Good morning everyone it is Monday November 14, 2005. This is the Financial Aid Podcast and my name is Chris Penn, I hope you had a great weekend, I certainly did. I was at a seminar all weekend learning all sorts of really exciting new stuff. So we have a lot to talk about today as well. It's actually one of my days off, I took today off as a vacation day but I still want to get a podcast out because there are some stuff going out that probably it could wait but it shouldn't wait. Let's get right into it with the news.
Topping the news today, talking about the Higher Education Act and the Budget Reconciliation news from Washington D.C. Basically what's happened is this the Bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act and to do the Budget Reconciliation has more or less stalled in the House of Representatives and this is a good thing. It's not dead but it's also not going for a vote either. The House leaders, the Republican leaders in the House have acknowledged that they lack the votes to pass the Budget Reconciliation Act. If you are just joining us, this is the Act that talks about basically increasing lender fees, increasing student fees and then taking all the extra taxes on Higher Education and voting it to other national priorities. Like fighting wars in sandy places and rebuilding after hurricanes rather than taking the savings or the additional funds I should say from these things and plowing it back into higher education. This bill the Budget Reconciliation and stuff is temporarily derailed and the emphasis is on temporarily if you are interested in letting your House of Representative know that you would like to see this permanently squashed by all means please contact them. You can do so by going to www.House.gov or just giving them a call directly at 1-202-224-3121 is the number of the House Representatives and just make sure you specify where you are calling from which district.
An interesting thing from inside at www.highered.com points out that if this bill, this Budget of Reconciliation Act is delayed for at least another week or so the Senate's intent on basically on concluding it's business for the year at the end of this week. If the House doesn't bring their Budget Reconciliation Act in Higher Education Act Reauthorization to a vote by the end of this week, basically or main stalled and Congress will adjourn the year, which means that the Higher Education Act Reauthorization will not go through. And that is not necessarily a bad thing, there has already been an extension passed to the existing one. We acknowledge the current system is kind of broken but when the fix to what's broken is even worse than what's broken, you've heard of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Well if the fix is worse than the current problem, then leave it as it is until you find a better mechanic. That is what kind of what I think people are hoping for and certainly what would be best for students is to leave things as they are until you get a better mechanic, until you get Congressional Representatives a more on board. That is a good thing as well, because if you remember next year in 2006, is a mid-term year. Mid-term elections, they're called mid-term elections because they basically don't occur during a Presidential Election year. So in 2006 there will be a number of Representatives and a number of Senators whose terms are up and the lobbying power of students, of graduates, of everybody will be greatly increased because people will really start to get focused on winning elections. Those who are in office whose terms are up and those who are competing for those offices, they want to get into office and if people are vociferous enough, if people are active enough to put Higher Education really on the map as an election issue next year, I think you will see a lot more positive results in the year and the year after to come, until the Presidential Elections in 2008. Continue to be active; continue to be aggressive in letting your Representatives know hey, they need to get on the ball with Higher Education or they will not have jobs at least for the ones who are up for re-election. Do as the people you are representing have asked you to do or hey I guess hit the unemployment line; although I think most Representatives go on speaking tours or private sector jobs, they won't be unemployed for long. All right let's do a little bit of Podsafe music to kick this week off, to get it going let's see what we've got the que here from the Podsafe Music Network. We did Brother Love recently; we did Planet of Women recently, how about we do "All I Want is You," again from Matthew Ebel. I really like that song that is a fun song, the vocals are great. So here we are Mattew Ebel, "All I Want is You."
Podsafe music from Matthew Ebel, "All I Want is You," from the Podsafe Music Network. All right for today's scholarship update I wanted to talk a little bit about your family history. It's not a specific award but if you haven't read our Scholarship Search Secret Guide yet it's important that you do so and you can get it by subscribing to our RSS feed. The importance of family history is something that you shouldn't over look because you can find little things in your family's past that can help you get scholarships. There are scholarships out there for just about everything but especially if you have interesting characteristics about your family, about you, about your family about things you've done or about things they've done in the past. For example, there are some railroad companies that have scholarships for not only employees but for families of employees as well, so if your great grandfather happened to work on the B&O Railroad or the Pennsylvania Railroad, you maybe eligible for scholarship money. Now that is not going to be a full tuition ride of course because a lot these separate special interest scholarships tend to be lower dollar amounts but at the same time when it comes to these special scholarships because the criteria for them are so much more narrow, you have much less competition which means you have a greater chance of winning. If you have the opportunity to win ten $500 scholarships or you have the opportunity to win one $5,000 scholarship and eight people apply for the $500 ones and 80,000 apply for the $5,000 ones of course you are going to make out better by getting the ten $500 scholarships. It's important to talk to your family, talk to your parents, talk to really anyone in your immediate family, or anyone in your relatively immediate family tree about things that they've done about things that are unique to the family. If you are in the United States of America virtually everyone in America with the exception of Indians are Native Immigrants. Everyone had to get here at some point because only the Indians were here first, also there are scholarships for Indians, and if you are an Indian there are number of scholarships available for you there as well. So check your ethnic heritage, check your activities and the activities of your parents and your grandparents and so on and so forth. Check to see where people work, what companies they worked for and make a list, this part of developing that profile that search profile that we talked about in the E-book. Make a search profile of everything in your families' background and then start making inquiries. For example, my grandfather worked for Diamond Paper Corporation. If I was looking for a scholarship for school I might give them a call. Give their corporate development office or if they have a philanthropy office talk to them as well and say hey, do you have any scholarships for family members of Diamond Employees? The worst thing they are going to say is no. The worse they are going to say is not really no, but we might have these other opportunities if they do then obviously you would want to take advantage of those as well. Today's scholarship updates, Scholarship Search Secret is take a look at the history behind your family. Not only will you get to know your family better, not only will you get to know your relatives better about what they've done in their lives, but it will very possibly get you extra money for college. That is today's scholarship update. All right let's move onto more Podsafe music here let's do another one from Skyless Spencer, let's do "Oh What a Day."
"Oh What a Day," from Skyless Spencer new from the Podsafe Music Network. All right let's tap into the mailbag here real quick, got a couple of good questions, one from Matthew Barlowe asks, "After I graduate is there any way I can switch the balance of a Parent PLUS loan into my name instead of my parents?" The short answer is no, and in fact the most of the answers on that is going to be a no. The reason for that is that your parents are the borrowers, the parents are the one's who have signed out that loan, it is in their name. There really is no way for you to take over with that particular loan. There is an option, actually there are a couple of options, the first option and probably the one that will work the best for you is to take out another loan, take out an ACT Education loan which you can take out for in any one year you can take out up to $30,000. If the PLUS loan is less than that, you can take that loan out, take it out in your name, your parents may have to co-sign it but it will be in your name and then you can use the proceeds of that to pay off the PLUS loan; and that's the first way to do it. The second way to do it would be to really just for you to make payments to your parents, obviously if they want to get that obligation off of their credit that is probably not going to work best them; but if its just a question of managing payment that you would need to just make payments to your parents. If you want to actually get the obligation off of your parent's records you need to get a second loan, pay off the PLUS loan with that. If you got a PLUS loan, if you are looking for a PLUS loan you can get one at www.parentplusloan.com but if you want to go the ACT Educations loan route you can go to www.acteducationloans.com and you can get a loan there or can call us a 1-866-229-8900 for the ACT Education loan.
That is how you get it off their record. The second question, "Can an American get a Stafford loan for a graduate study at British Universities?" It's from Elizabeth Quade, possibly. It depends on the University and whether they are a Title 4 school or it depends on whether you are attending an American University now and they have a tuition exchange program. The best thing to do would be to check with your schools financial aid office and see if they have a tuition exchange with that University, if they don't then you will need to get a study abroad loan, which would be a private student loan rather than the Stafford loan if the school is not a Title 4 Certified and you're American school does not have a tuition exchange program. You can find out more information about the study abroad loan at www.studyabroadloans.com but check with your schools financial aid office first make sure that they don't have those programs set up.
Finally Pam Hutchinson write into say, "I've been an Occupational Therapist since 2001 and still have $73,000 in loans, what can I do? Well there are a couple things that you can do Pam, first of all if you haven't already, consolidate your student loans. That will at least give you a break in terms of the monthly payment, in terms of the money you are shoveling out the door each month. It gives you a bit of a breather so you can re-assess your situation. You can do that by going to www.studentloanconsolidator.com or calling us at 1-877-328-1565. Once you've consolidated your student loans it would be a great time to start looking for loan repayment programs. Any kind of programs check with the school you went to, check with their financial aid offices to see if they know of any loan repayment programs for Occupational Therapy. Check government websites, check the grants we've talked about the National Institute of Health sponsoring a loan repayment programs for medical professionals. Mainly those were centered in research but there is no reason that they wouldn't have grants for other medical professions as well, so it's important to check back with them. The third things you can do is, just start to Google around and look for loan repayment program for Occupational Therapy and see if there are any out there that will compensate you for your degree and your experience making student loan payments in exchange for some work that you are doing. Make use of Google, make use of the search engines on the internet and the key phrase there would be "loan repayment program." Almost a scholarship update but not quite. Consolidate your loans, check with your financial aid office and look for loan repayment programs would be the three suggestions I would offer to your situation. That is going to do it for the mailbag today. Let's close out today's show with "Moving On," from Amy Aries.
"Moving On," from Amy Harris from the Podsafe Music Network. Well that is going to do it for today's show folks from my lounge chair here in Metro West Boston not too far from C.C. Chapman, let's see, show notes you can find today's show notes with all the links to the different sites we've mentioned in our website www.financialaidpodcast.com feel free to check us out, if you have feedback about anything in today's show firstname.lastname@example.org is the e-mail address to write we'll gladly answer questions, takes suggestions and so on and so forth. Even listen to dirty jokes. May not be able to air them depending on their content. Reminders, oh yeah we forgot to do the iTunes cards thing on Friday, all right you know what tomorrow morning, Tuesday morning we are going to do the iTunes give away, I'm real sorry about that folks, last minute notice I guess fill out the survey, if you haven't already you can still get in and win one of the five iTunes $15 gift cards from the Financial Aid Podcast. Make sure you check this month's newsletter go to www.financialaidnews.com for that Ipod Nano contest give away is still on and it will be drawn on December 1, 2005. Make sure you are subscribed; stay subscribed because you get this information any other way. If you liked today's show, or you like the show in general get a friend subscribed, information on how to do it is at www.financialaidpodcast.com and I think we'll see you tomorrow, and I promise we will do the iTunes gift cards give away, I did not mean to forget that on Friday I was just really ill. Unfortunately just did not get to it and I did not remember until just now, so tomorrow morning iTunes gift card give away, all right folks we'll see you tomorrow, take care.