Posted On: 2005-11-15
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Good morning it is Tuesday November 15, 2005 this is episode 115 of the Financial Aid Podcast and my name is Chris Penn, welcome if you are just joining us welcome back if you are a long time listener. Got a lot to talk about today some interesting little tech news, segue way into what a bunch of PhD's can do, Higher Education, got a full tuition scholarship today talking about how you can go to college for free for a year and some mailbag stuff as well of course Podsafe music, wouldn't be the same without the Podsafe music. Let's dive right in with the news.
Has nothing to do with financial aid, but still cool none the less. Google, our good friends at Google have decided to open up their analytic software package to anyone with a website for free. It used to be called Urchin, and now it's Google Analytics, if you have a website say if you were a podcaster and you wanted information about your visitors, you can sign up at www.google.com/analytics and get--you're not downloading software because its' a service but you get the code, put it on your website and in 12 to 24 hours later you have some of the most advanced really nice analytics when it comes to understanding who is visiting your website. You can get it for free at www.google.com/analytics, I just thought I would mention that because I'm going to be putting that code onto the Financial Aid Podcast, it's really amazing, I know why Google is doing it mainly because they want additional information about how the web is being used and who is using the web. In exchange for getting access to your statistical data, like who visits your website, they will do all the slicing and dicing and all the mathematics and all the really detailed analysis. Kudo's to a bunch of guys PhD's.
Which is kind of a segue way into my next topic which is subjects about why tuition is so expensive. A couple of different approaches the inside www.insidehighered.com and a couple of other papers are reporting basically that one of the main reasons tuition is so expensive is salaries especially of top college officials seem to be exploding. The American Thinker which is a political magazine says that the San Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Globe are both reporting that no fewer than 2,275 people at the University of California system earn more than $200,000 a year while 496 got more than $300,000. In the Boston Globe, they are reporting that a number of College Presidents, 23 public Presidents are making more than a $1 million a year, and the reason for this apparently is because colleges are looking for experienced leaders as their current generation of college Presidents retire. They are looking to hire Presidents who've already been Presidents somewhere else. What's happening then is of course you have a fairly small supply of experienced college Presidents and an enormous number of colleges who are looking for people with experience. In basic market forces, supply and demand, supply is low, demand is high the price per commodity which is in this case is the college President is much higher. The article does point out that most Presidents at the nations 3,500 colleges-we've assessed that is around four thousand something, earn far less. Other figures from the Chronicle Higher Education show the average Chief Executive of a single institution earns a salary of about $181,000 which when compare it to what CEO's of corporations earn is considerably less. It's still high and is one aspect of transparency that colleges are desperately needing to work on in order to prove not only that they need continued funding from the public but also to prove that tuition is actually going somewhere that your tuition dollars are returning measurably benefits to the school which in return, returns measurable benefits to your education.
Which is yet another segue way into an article inside Higher Ed called, "Solutions for our Future." Administrators at Monday's meeting of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges are trying to figure out how to improve Higher Education's public image. Specifically-apparently when a lot of people surveyed about the state of Higher Education and the state of funding for Higher Education, they don't place it very high on the national priorities list of things that the country as a whole needs to take care of. Some people have the impression that colleges have enough money, they don't need any more, the tuitions are so high that they clearly must be floating away on money and obviously we don't need to spend any more money on that. Others see priorities at the lower education levels like K-8 and high school being more important. The Commission is coming up with a conclusion I think of a lot of us in financial aid reached a long time ago, which is basically that colleges need in some ways to stop marketing to the individual. To say that your degree is worth "X" number of extra dollars in your salary every year, your degree is worth "X" number of promotions, because it's true that a college degree does improve your earnings potential, it's true that a college degree does improve your promotion potential, you can get higher up on the corporate ladder; in general. There are obviously exceptions to every rule and a college degree is certainly no exception to that. What they do point out and what we've reached as a conclusion is that colleges are also good for the country, college educations; and the more people who get access to a college education is good for the country. Think about what a bunch of PhD's in a room can do. Well the answer is Google. I mean Google has revolutionized how you use the internet, how you find things on the internet and what you can do both as a person who is just using it, and as a person who is running a website. Clearly Google can't do this with a bunch of people who just graduated from high school because they don't have the advanced mathematical and statistical skills to create software that is really cool.
A lot of America's edge is in technology; a lot of America's growth is in technology and has been for the last 20 years. If we don't continue to invest in education like we have been over the past 30 or 40 years then the number of people we have available who can a s a whole for our country come up with new innovations, come up with new ways to improve the quality of life will decrease. The corresponding decrease in quality of life and things will make it that much harder for the country as a whole to make progress. In return obviously if you have lowering salaries and lowering wages, and lowering innovations and lowering competitiveness of the country as a whole, your tax basically gets smaller so your taxes have to go up, the currency has to be devalued even more, it's a chain reaction of things because everything is inter-connected. It's a little early in the morning on a segment on Buddhism but one of the key principles is everything is connected, everything you do in your life is connected to something else and what you do in your life impacts what other people do in their lives impacts you. By continuing to fund Higher Education, by continuing to fund and support Higher Education, the benefits of what comes out of Higher Education comes from research and development in terms of what you can do in your own personal life are worth the investments. A long winded way of saying that Higher Education funding is important. The trick is for colleges to be able to prove hey your tuition dollars are going towards something good. Your tuition dollars are not just being used to line the pockets of a few lucky individuals but as a whole, they are being invested back into the institution, they are being invested back in you. That is the news in Higher Education this morning that is the news in Higher Education Finance, not too much else going on right now. Still no word out on Washington on what's going on with the legislation there. Let's move on to a piece of Podsafe music we will start off this morning with-I want to go back to Audio Farm, with "The Groove."
That was "The Groove," from Audio Farm from the Podsafe Music Network, we've played them before, I really like that whole acoustic vibe. It's terrific. All right let's do a scholarship update, let's do some really money today as opposed to just a search term. Let's talk about going to college for free nest year. Microsoft the Corporation everyone loves to hate does have some redeeming benefits, and one of those benefits is the Microsoft Tuition Scholarships. These are scholarships that are advertised as "Free Rides," they are looking for four types of technical scholarships to current undergraduate students, general scholarships, women's scholarships, under represented minority scholarships and scholarships for students with disabilities. That put up a half a million dollars for these scholarships in the upcoming year. The 2006-2007 requirements you must be an undergraduate an eligible institution in the United States, Canada or Mexico. Now what is interesting about the Microsoft Scholarship is that they are restricting to citizenships so as long as you are an eligible students at these institutions, you can get in, you don't necessarily have to be a U.S. citizen or Canadian citizen and so on and so forth. The scholarship payments are made to the designated school and are not transferable to other academic institutions. The funds are to be used for tuition only. So you can not use them for cost of education, meaning that if you win these scholarships you will still have to fund some out of pocket expenses or take out an additional student loan to cover expenses that are not part of tuition. All recipients of the scholarship will be required to complete a salary to summer internship of 12 weeks or more at the Microsoft Corporation in Redmond Washington. Students applying for scholarships must be enrolled in a bachelors degree program and must be enrolled full time in making satisfactory progress towards undergraduate degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering. Because the scholarship is merit based the student must maintain a 3.0 accumulative average out of a possible 4.0, or a 4.0 on a scale of 5.0. How to apply, go to the Microsoft College Careers Scholarship website. You will need to enclose a copy of your resume, a transcript and answer to some essay questions, enclose a letter of referral from a faculty member in the field you are studying and you may additional include things like gender, ethnicity or disability if you are applying for the specialty scholarship. You can find more information at how to get there from our Student Scholarship website at www.studentscholarshipsearch.com just search for the Microsoft Scholarship or check the show notes today at www.financialaidpodcast.com we will have a link to the scholarship in our show notes. Today's scholarships update the Microsoft Tuition Scholarships. Time now for some more Podsafe music, let's-I'm back in the office and want to get things moving, let's do "There She Goes," from Brother Love from the Podsafe Music Network.
"There She Goes," by Brother Love from the Podsafe Music Network, really just a terrific song. I love that song. All right let's do some mailbag here, we have an e-mail from Brian Parson from the Around Town Sports Podcasters said, "I did my graduate study in 2001-2002 in Australia and I qualify for Federal financial aid from the U.S. how I did it the school in Australia has a U.S. Federal Code, a new development at the time from what I can gather and not available in all schools down under. Things worked a little differently for me as my lender paid me and I paid the school but it worked out. People looking to study overseas using U.S. Federal Financial Aid might want to determine whether it has the requisite U.S. Federal Code." That is a good point the Federal Code is part of what is called the Title 4 Higher Education Act Certification. A Title 4 School is basically any school that has gone through the certification process to receive Federal Financial Aid funds from the United States. So you can find out either from the schools financial aid office or from one of our websites whether a school has a certification either for the Title 4 Higher Education Certification. If you are looking for Federal Financial Aid or if you are looking for alternative student loans, or private student loans there is a TERI code that goes with that as well. You can find the Federal Codes on our website at www.studentloannetwork.com and if you are looking for the TERI codes for private student loans, you can find those at www.alternativestudentloans.com you can find those there. Thank you Brian, for the input about how to study abroad with U.S Federal Financial Aid.
Let's see what else is in the mail bag this morning, oh my goodness look at all that spam, I swear Hormel needs to just open up shop right in my mailbox and dig in because there is so much spam in here it's not even funny. I have recently mailed out a request for the Stafford loan when will I be notified or not whether I will receive the loan? This is something that happened a lot during the summer. It's a valid question but it's a question that presumably that I think was covered in the application process but I will answer it anyway. Stafford loans the school will tell you what the status of it is, because the school is required to certify you. What that means is if you apply for a Stafford loan without having done your FAFSA or whatever the school will not be able to pull your FAFSA results and therefore your Stafford loan application will be declined. The Stafford loan is contingent upon filling out the FAFSA's and contingent upon having completed the FAFSA if you haven't done that you need to do that in order to get a Stafford loan. Once you've applied for the Stafford loan the school then certifies that you are enrolled there and that your tuition bills are basically going to exceed the expected family contribution. It's basically the schools way of making sure that you are not just going to get a Stafford loan and not pay what it perceives your fair share to be. Federal Student loan, Federal Financial Aid in general funds are limited so the school wants to try and make sure that as many people get as many funds as possible. The schools certification process takes any where from a day if the school is processing a lot of applications on a regular basis any where up to 30 or 60 days depending on whether and when the school checks their in box for the Stafford loan certification thing. It's a good question, its' a long answer to a short question but that is how you figure out the status to the Stafford loan.
One other person writes in to say-Christopher Johnson writes into say, "I have a loan and I'm not sure who it's through, I lost my payment coupon booklet and I think I have to be making payments soon, what do I do?" Okay, if you don't know who your loans are through, if you have some paperwork that you might have misplaced, what you can do is go to the loan locator at www.studentloanconsolidator.com and on there you will find the ability to sign up for the National Student Loan Database Systems ID system. Once you've signed up, it's free; it's not run by us it's run by the Department of Education. Once you sign up for that you can pull a copy of your entire Federal Student loan portfolio. You can find out who your lenders are, how much you owe, even the balances and possibly payment information and payment instructions as well as of course the customer service number for your lender. So that you can call them and say, "Hey I need another payment coupon booklet." Go to www.studentloanconsolidator.com the loan locator is located under No.2; there is five numbered section on the homepage, No. 2 under there is the loan locator and you can find what you owe, and who you owe it too through that service. Answering Christopher's questions and hopefully the next payment coupon booklet will not get misplaced. That is the mailbag for today, let's close out today's show with another piece from Matthew Ebel, we did one yesterday, we are going to do "Drive Away," today. I've played this song a lot, I realize I play this song a lot, I realize I play a lot of the songs I play a lot, because I really like them and I do apologize if you don't but they are so much fun to listen to at least for me. Here we are Matthew Ebel, "Drive Away."
"Drive Away," from Matthew Ebel from the Podsafe Music Network. Now I know what you are thinking, you are thinking, "Wow it's the end of the show and he still hasn't done the iTunes music store gift card to a winner so what's going on?" I have not forgotten, I have not forgotten, I was pulling the stuff up as we were listening to that last song. Let's do the gift card winners five people will win the iTunes music store gift cards from us, for answering the survey in this month's newsletter. The first winner is going to be Sarah Pernick from North Western University, so Sarah Pernick e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and claim your card. I remind everyone you have seven days, so you have until next Tuesday to claim this, after that I am going to give it away in the office. No.1 Sarah Pernick. All right No.2 Matthew Woodward from the University of Louisiana Monroe, Matthew Woodward congratulations. No.3 Brianna Finnegan from the University of Virginia from UVA Brianna Finnegan, No.4 Jamie Grayson from Denver University, Jamie Grayson congratulations and No.5 Tanya Newman from the University of Wisconsin Madison, Tanya Newman congratulations. To the five winner, Sarah Pernick, Matthew Woodward, Brianna Finnegan, Jaime Grayson, and Tanya Newman congratulations you have seven days to claim your cards, iTunes Music Store $15 gift cards. E-mail me at email@example.com let me know where to mail them to because they will have to come in U.S. Postal service mail and we'll get them out to you right away, so congratulations. That is going to do it for today's show folks until next time, stay tuned, stay subscribed if you are not subscribed get subscribed it's really easy at www.financialaidpodcast.com show notes are also at www.financialaidpodcast.com. If you like today's show, get a friend subscribed. If you have any questions or comments or feedback, firstname.lastname@example.org other wise we'll see you next time take care.