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The Higher Education Act Reauthorization

Posted On: 2005-09-28
Length: 24:40

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Good morning everyone, it is Wednesday, September 28, 2005. Welcome to the Financial Aid Podcast, episode number 77. Got a great show for you today. Got a lot of stuff to cover. I'm going to have some Podsafe music, news, and the fun scholarships. So, let's get started right away of course with the news.

The Higher Education Act reauthorization has been pushed back at least 60 days by the House of Representatives. They've put it off because Congress is currently busy with hurricane relief and Supreme Court nomination. So the future financial aid for, federal student aid anyway, has been pushed back. The Deadline was September 30th but that's not going to happen. What's likely to happen right now, is at least 60 days out, possibly more than that and Congress has in the interim, passed an extension to the existing Higher Education act to allow students and the financial aid programs to continue functioning as they are currently written. So, it looks like Higher Education Act back-burned again.

In other news, the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a Bill to provide more flexibility in campus-based aid programs in colleges that have been affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Bill would extend certain deadlines, allow colleges' needs to be evaluated in light of the hurricanes and allow for the distribution of additional funds to these institutions. Unfortunately the Bill only allocates an additional $36 million which has to be spread over a geographic area, you know, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, so unfortunately the money is not really, really a large amount of money. Of course no one's going to say no because every dollar helps. But, the House Bill, not quite as much as colleges were certainly looking for.

As a bit of a rant, and I know I've made political rants before but, really it's amazing how fast the education of America has been pushed back and pushed to the back burner really by all of our elected officials of both parties. It's a bipartisan rant because both parties do certainly hate to be held accountable. Education is probably one of the most important investments we can make in our country besides basic infrastructure. Like things like roads, electricity. Education is what keeps the country running in terms of people getting good training and getting ready for the work force. Education is what keeps America competitive in the global marketplace. It's very, very tempting, and I can understanding when you're pinching pennies in a budget it can be very tempting to kind of cut corners here and there, education is not one of those corners that needs to be cut because it always comes back to bite you. It may not be this year. It may not be next year but 10 years, 20 years out you're basically cutting America off at the knees if you are cutting out education or cutting down on education in lieu of other things. Now is that to say that hurricane survivors certainly are not entitled to aid? Of course not, but there are other priorities in the national budget. For example, the Trans Alaskan Bridge, which is unclear if anyone, will actually use it. I'll try and dig up some links for tomorrow's show. But things like that, little pork projects that consume a tremendous amount of resources and don't provide a measurable benefit to the rest of the nation. These are the things that we need to maybe think of cutting back. Not education as a whole, certainly not education funding for the entire country. Just another rant, it's not really much of a rant because it's nothing that I haven't said before.

If you are concerned about the way education, especially higher education, is being treated by your elected officials, absolutely positively write them, email them, fax them, phone them, you know, mail them things. Don't mail them anything threatening or you'll go to jail, but let them know that you as a voter, you as a citizen of the country, are concerned about what's going on with higher education and how it's being given seconds if there are any at the table but it doesn't really get in line of the main buffet. That's a terrible analogy, but you know what I mean. It's certainly not getting the good stuff which is what education needs in order to thrive in America. It doesn't just benefit a few people. It doesn't just benefit only people in California or only the people in Boston, for example the big dig was paid for with federal money but only benefits people in Boston. Even then it only benefits people who are commuting from north to south on I93. That's a project that probably should have never been funded with federal dollars it should have been funded with State dollars and actually the city of Boston and those communities affected probably should have spent the majority of the money on it. So, clearly Boston's big dig is one of those projects that should never have gotten federal funding and that $14.5 billion that we spent on it should have instead gone to federal financial aid which can go to everyone. So federal tax dollars go to everyone in the country, it just makes sense.

Alright, let's move on to some Podsafe music. We'll up the tempo a little bit here and we'll do something from Amun Ra and Flat Lining from The Podsafe Music Network.

(Music)

Flat Lining by Amun Ra from The Podsafe Music Network. A link to their website of course will be in the show notes which you can locate at financialaidpodcast.com or financialaidnews.com/blog. Either one will get you to where you want to go. Alright, time for a scholarship update.

Today's scholarship is a fun one especially if you happen to be a little on the nerd side or a little on the Star Trek nerd side which of course I was when it was still on. It's a really great, fun show. Well enough about that, enough about the personal stuff. Today's scholarship actually does exist, it really is a scholarship. It's a real scholarship with money involved. Like I said when we were doing our wacky scholarships update a while back, it doesn't matter how wacky or crazy the scholarship is as long as the money is real. Apply for it because hey, that money, no matter where it comes from, will pay down the bills.

Today's scholarship is the Klingon Language Institute Core Memorial Scholarship. The purpose of the Core Memorial Scholarship is to recognize and encourage scholarship in the field of language study. Familiarity with Klingon or other construction is not required however creative and innovative applicants are preferred. This scholarship is a $500 award bestowed upon an undergraduate or undergraduate student each year. Final determination is made by a committee including the director of the institute and a changing selection of qualified language specialists; a linguistic scholarship. Criteria: all nominees must be full-time students at the time of the award and enrolled in a program leading to a degree of language study. Nominees must show evidence of academic accomplishment and enjoy the high regard the high regard and respect of their supervising faculty. The materials for this, the applications have to be done by June 1st. So this won't be awarded till next year. But, it's still a fun scholarship and I'll put a link to it in the show notes as well so you can apply. The requirements are listed there. The Klingon Language Institute Core Memorial Scholarship is today's scholarship update.

Alright, let's move onto another piece of Podsafe music. Next up we're going to do Rebecca Loeb with There Tonight from the Podsafe Network.

(Music)

New Podsafe music from Rebecca Loeb.

Alright let's move on now to some Mail Call. We had an interesting piece of mail come in by the mailbox here. Someone, Nolen Makodo was wondering if student loans, either federal or private, can be used for test prep classes for a for profit organization like Kaplan, Kaplan Test Prep if you're not familiar with them.

The short answer is, maybe sometimes but usually not. That's probably not the short answer but it's an answer. Here's the deal, when it comes to private student loans, federal student loans as well, they have to be certified through a school, usually. Even a direct consumer loans which is what the Act Education Loan is. You still need to show proof of enrollment in a school; an eligible institution. So, if you were say a junior at Boston University and you wanted to get a loan for your GREs or your GMAT test prep then you would apply for that loan but it would almost show up as a loan you took out to attend Boston University, it would be attributed to that school. Now that's not to say that you couldn't use it for that, because you certainly could. However, if you were not enrolled in a school you wouldn't be able to get the loan because you wouldn't have that school affiliation, you wouldn't be able to show enrollment and that's really how this kind of breaks out. With federal student loans they are even more restrictive. It has to be a Title 4 school and the money is dispersed to the school so it's not dispersed straight to you. And that's also true of what are called School Channel Loans in the private student loan world. So those loans you would basically need to take a loan out from the school and the school it's financial aid office would very likely decline the loan on your behalf because, assuming that you had already met your tuition and expenses there would be no need for you to take out that loan, at least from the school's perspective. So, the answer to that question is maybe, kind of, no. If you are enrolled in a school, in our case in an eligible for Act Education Loan than yes you could get it out and then take that money because Act Education Loans are dispersed straight to you , the consumer as apposed to being dispersed to the school which of course which then they give the money to you. So Act Education loans would be sent to you and you could use those proceeds for test preparation as long as you are enrolled. If you are not enrolled then you would not be able to get that loan. A very good question from Nolen. Hopefully Nolen is tuned into the podcast and heard this answer.

Alright, let's move onto one last piece of Podsafe music and then I think we're going to call the show. We're going to do another piece from Natalie Brown called You Make Me Feel.

(Music)

You know when it comes to the sound as in he sound that is very popular right now, commercial radio, Natalie has really, really captured the essence of the sort of strong back beat and everything. Really, really good Podsafe music from the Podsafe Music network. And of course, with all the artists in today's show, I'm going to provide links in the show notes to their individual websites. All of them I've actually found on My Space so you can probably find them that way as well if you were to look directly, but I'll provide links in the show notes for that.

Alright, well, that's going to do it for today's show. A little bit shorter than normal but that's ok. Tomorrow of course more news, mail call, scholarship updates, and Podsafe Music. Also, be on the look out for our email news letter. I'm getting ready to crank out the October edition which is going to have a whole bunch of the credit card tips including some stuff we've never published before about FICO scores. Your credit score really and what it means to you in terms of interest rates and getting loans or not getting loans. If you're not subscribed, check it out: financialaidnews.com you can find the subscription box there. Likewise, if you are subscribed and you've decided that you no longer wish to receive it because you've graduated or whatever you're done with financial aid, that's fine you can also go to the website to unsubscribe there as well. Until next time, we'll see you. Stay tuned, stay tuned, and stay subscribed. If you're not subscribed get subscribed. It's really easy. Instructions are at financialaidpodcast.com. Until next time, take care.

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