ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted April 17, 2019 by

Why are your interns and new grad hires so strapped for cash?

The student debt that Millennials and now Gen Z have and are incurring is crippling and, long-term, could financially devastate an entire generation.

Those who went to college in the 1980’s or earlier simply can’t relate as the cost to attend college then could be covered by working part-time as a waiter or bartender and any debt they graduated with could be repaid within a handful of years working at a job that paid well but not even great.
Today’s students are often attending schools which charge $25,000 or more per year plus another $15,000 in related costs such as traveling to and from school each semester, rent, food, and books. A four-year degree, therefore, often costs $160,000.

Part-time jobs typically pay about $10 per hour. At 20-hours a week, that’s $41,600 over four years, so about $120,000 needs to be financed. Student loans often carry interest rates of eight percent or more, so over 20-years the average student is going to see about half of their gross wages disappear to repay the principal plus interest on their student debt.

The end results is that the average graduate of a four-year college or university is effectively being asked to live on about $25,000 per year. If they run into any unexpected, significant expenses like the need to replace a car or have surgery, then there is a very real possibility of them falling into delinquency. Many of the student loans then charge huge penalties, including significantly higher interest rates. So if you miss a payment one or two times, your already exorbitant interest rate of eight can easily escalate to 16 percent and then 24 percent. Before you know it, you’re paying 24 percent interest on a six figure loan that is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.

If that’s not a recipe for financial disaster, I don’t know what is.

Guidance counselor talking to a teenager. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted January 09, 2019 by

What colleges don’t want high school students and parents to consider during the application process

A friend of mine recently posted to Facebook that the guidance counselor at the high school her kids attend recently indicated that “most” colleges require at least three years of a second language in order to consider the student for possible admission. I called b.s. on that statement and then outlined some additional information that high school guidance counselors and college admissions representatives often either don’t know or, for whatever reason, often fail to communicate:

I know you and I are on the same page, but the guidance counselor is providing terrible guidance and needs to be more careful about accurately guiding her students. 

There are 8 Ivy League schools. There are 3,000, four-year colleges. There are another 4,300 one- and two-year colleges. 

Ivys represent 0.267 percent of four-year colleges. Hardly representative.

More important words of advice: Talk openly and honestly with your kids about the financial impact of college. 

Here is the reality: if a family is wealthy and can pay out of pocket — including savings — then the cost isn’t as important.  (more…)

Posted April 23, 2016 by

Financial aid secrets for college students

Financial aid web browser sign concept courtesy of Shutterstock.com

alexmillos/Shutterstock.com

With graduation season looming, high school seniors throughout the country are receiving their college acceptance letters and celebrating their impending sense of freedom. At the same time, parents are studying financial aid options and scratching their heads trying to figure out how to pay for the upcoming four (or more) years.

As the costs of attending college rise, it’s important to consider scholarships, grants, and student loans to assist with the hefty fees. There are also some innovative tricks that can help reduce this cost. Here are some insights gleaned from real university financial aid employees, parents, and former college students all high school seniors and their families should know.

Use your FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an important financial aid document college students shouldn’t skip. Even if they don’t think they’ll qualify for any money, it’s important to fill this form out annually. This is how the federal government and schools determine what type of aid to give students. There are many subtle things that can impact the grants offered, many of which are unknown to the average person, and may change the amount a family qualifies for.

Attend class

Many universities have strict attendance and truancy policies to prevent abuse of the grants offered. If a student withdraws from a class due to non-attendance in the first few classes or consistent unexplained absences, their course load may drop below the mandatory credits needed to qualify for certain grants. If you have a scholarship or grant already, make sure you know the terms and what’s expected from your end.

Become a Resident Advisor (RA)

Aside from tuition, room and board are the most expensive costs incurred during college. With the average college student paying $8,535 a year just for a place to stay, it makes sense to try to skimp on this fee. Students who work as a Resident Advisor often wind up with free or significantly reduced room and board in exchange for their services, making this one of the most lucrative student jobs available.

Learn to cook

While Top Ramen may be students best friend those first few months, anything prepared at home is bound to be more affordable than college meal plans and eating out at restaurants. Even if a student’s cooking skills need some brushing up, this is one of the easiest ways to save money. Don’t be afraid of the kitchen.

Find freebies

So much of an average college student’s budget is spent on personal expenses, which often includes entertainment. Seek free options available through the university instead. Campuses are loaded with free amenities, from swimming pools and libraries to dorm dinners, guest lecture speakers, and student clubs.

Join a credit union

Since credit unions are run as cooperatives, they can afford giving customers extra perks that wind up saving them a lot of money. They typically feature lower credit card interest rates, higher interest rates paid out on savings accounts, and reduced-fee ATMs and online banking services.

While the term “starving student” has origins in truth, it doesn’t need to be a reality for all. Instead, research financial aid opportunities and spend wisely to save money and stick to a good budget throughout your academic career.

If you’re interested in more information on financial aid, please visit our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Brooke Chaplan, guest writer

Brooke Chaplan, guest writer

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information on first time budgeting, see what a Bountiful Utah Credit Union might recommend. Brooke is available via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Posted November 11, 2015 by

Three tips for military service members enrolling in higher education

Three tips for military service members enrolling in higher education

Tracey Thomas, making a difference in military service members' lives  at UACCB since 2003

Tracey Thomas, making a difference in military service members’ lives at UACCB since 2003

Understanding VA Educational Benefits

Military service members are often on “information overload” after exiting the military, so they may bypass or misunderstand information given to them. The best thing veterans can do after discharge is talk to a School Certifying Official about the process of accessing VA (Veterans Affairs) Education Benefits. Understanding how to access their benefits, the rules and regulations required for maintaining their benefits and how their benefits payout will help eliminate any misunderstandings and stress. This also allows service members to make informed decisions when presented with options and when deciding how best to juggle school, family, employment, and finances. Active, Reserve, and National Guard members face these same challenges plus a few more because they may qualify for tuition assistance and/or a state funded benefit, so learning the regulations and processes of multiple VA Education Benefits can be especially overwhelming. Navigating this process is not something students should attempt alone.

Don’t rush the process

Trying to jump into school a few weeks after discharge may cause unnecessary stress. It takes time for the Department of Veteran Affairs to process a new application, as well as other types of financial aid, so this will cause a delay in receiving financial assistance. Sometimes it’s better to delay enrollment for one semester, allowing service members adequate time to submit all required documents for college admissions offices; this also ensures all available financial aid is in place when enrolling. This prevents undue stress and frustrations, so service members and veterans can fully concentrate on successfully completing their classes.

Overload of courses

Since VA Education Benefits are limited (36-48 months), some service members try to take an overload of courses to complete their programs quickly. About a month into the semester, service members realize they took on too much when trying to juggle employment, family, and school. If classes are dropped, this may lead to overpayments of financial aid and/or their VA Education Benefits. Service members need to remember it is better to take an extra semester to successfully complete all courses stress-free than to fail or drop courses due to overload and possibly end up in overpayment as well.

Above all, service members should keep in touch with their local School Certifying Official(s) to receive prompt answers to questions, to avoid miscommunication regarding benefits, and to receive support and encouragement while on campus. We’re here to help.

 

Tracey Thomas, Assistant Registrar/School Certifying Official at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB) since 2003, provides daily assistance to service members and their families in accessing their VA Education Benefits, informing them of VA requirements, certifying enrollment to the VA, providing academic advising, tracking attendance and progress, and offering a listening ear when they become frustrated or want to share their stories of success and accomplishment. Tracey also serves as a mentor for the School Certifying Officials in Arkansas. She says the best part of her job is helping service members and their families. “I feel we owe them for their sacrifices, so it’s important for me to give a little back.”

 

Posted October 17, 2015 by

Grueling FAFSA application process leaves money on the table, hurts students

directly above photograph of a grant application

Directly above photograph of a grant application. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

As the cost of college tuitions skyrocket, the world of academia is constantly growing more competitive, which is causing a large number of students to second guess their options for college. Today, a college education can be financially intimidating, especially when your main form of payment is through some sort of government aid, student loan, or the hope for a potential scholarship. With college costing an average student more than $30,000 per year, students are actively seeking any monetary help possible to ensure they are not haunted by a mountain of debt after graduation. (more…)

Posted October 07, 2015 by

Getting into the job search routine after vacation

Job search career hiring opportunity employment concept

Job search career hiring opportunity employment concept. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Late summer and early fall brings many things. The welcome scent of pumpkin spice wafts through our favorite coffee shops, department stores inexplicably begin decorating for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and college students begin returning to school after a restful summer vacation. If you are one of these college students, you are probably just beginning to get back into the groove of things. You’ve probably begun adjusting to a new sleep schedule, memorized where your classes are, and otherwise made the transition back to school. This is great, but have you also gotten your job search on track? After all, if you are like most students, looking for a job was probably not a high priority over the summer. Now that you are back in school and getting back to business, why not kick your job search efforts into high gear? (more…)

Posted April 03, 2015 by

5 Ways to Ease the Transition from Community College to University

Illustration depicting a roadsign with a future concept. White background.

Illustration depicting a roadsign with a future concept. White background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

In recent years, students and parents have increasingly found the lower tuition costs associated with community colleges to be a big draw. For many families, the cost of a four-year university simply isn’t feasible and many students are not willing or able to borrow the student loans needed to cover the costs. With that being said, eventually students do have to make the transition from community college to a university, should they decide to continue pursuing a bachelor’s degree. (more…)

Posted January 27, 2015 by

7 Steps to Choosing the Right Master’s Program for You

3d image of mortar board with degree against white background

3d image of mortar board with degree against white background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Going to graduate school to work on a master’s degree is an exciting way to expand career options for the future. The first challenge is to find the best master’s program for you. Here are a few considerations that may help.

Requirements.

It is usually a good idea to compare graduate programs to find the one that best suits your learning style. Some require a thesis or thesis essays to be written. Others include an internship or practicum. The courses required and delivery style will also be worth noting. (more…)

Posted January 20, 2015 by

How to find a good accredited online college?

Young man relaxing on the sofa with a laptop

Young man relaxing on the sofa with a laptop. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Finding a good online college is not an easy task. There are many scam colleges available online that trap people in their scam programs. Their motive is just to earn money. They don’t provide any kind of education, but waste people’s time and money. This is why, it is suggested to you to choose a good accredited college while looking for an online education institution. If you have no idea how to find a good accredited online college, then this article will be of great help to you. Given below is a guide about how to select a good accredited online college. (more…)

Posted November 24, 2014 by

Really Costly Mistakes That Parents Tend To Make When Saving Money For College

Jeremy Biberdorf

Jeremy Biberdorf

Based on how many children you have, the expenses associated with college are the most expensive except retirement payments. With this in mind, it is obvious that problems can appear and mistakes can be done. The huge problem is that most people do not actually consider subscribing to the top finance blogs and this automatically means a lack of knowledge, which can lead to mistakes. Learn all that you can about the topic and never make the following mistakes when saving money for college. (more…)