(UPDATED) Join Education ‘Taking Learning Outside’ on the 2017 Green Strides Tour!

UPDATE August 18, 2017 and August 21, 2017: The schedule for the second day (September 20) has been updated. Please see below.


As my toddler son grows, I’ve become intrigued by the outdoor and forest preschool movement. In fact, so convinced have I become of the benefits of outdoor play and learning at his age that I’ve made a point to get Íñigo out every day of his first two years — swimming, hiking, running, biking, camping, climbing, and skiing.  There’s not a day or a temperature at which I don’t bundle him up and get him out, and Íñigo absolutely loves it.

This is just one of many reasons I’m especially thrilled to share that we’ll conduct a fourth iteration of the Green Strides Tour, which spotlights our U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools honorees’ work, this year to Georgia, and focused on the importance of outdoor learning.

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3 Ways to Get Out of Student Loan Default


If you didn’t make payments on your federal student loans and are now in default, don’t get discouraged. It may seem like an overwhelming situation, but you have multiple options for getting out of default. Remember, it’s in your best interest to act quickly to resolve the default, because the consequences of default can be severe.

If you have a defaulted federal student loan owned by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), immediately contact ED’s Default Resolution Group. They will help you figure out the best way to resolve the default based on your individual circumstance.

Default Resolution Group
1-800-621-3115
1-877-825-9923 TTY for the deaf or hard of hearing

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8 Things You Should Know About Federal Work-Study

If you’re looking for another way to help pay for college, Federal Work-Study may be a great option for you. Work-study is a way for students to earn money to pay for school through part-time on- (and sometimes off-) campus jobs. The program gives students an opportunity to gain valuable work experience while pursuing a college degree. However, not every school participates in the Federal Work-Study Program. Schools that do participate have a limited amount of funds they can award to eligible students. This is why it is so important for students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form as early as possible, as some schools award work-study funds on a first-come, first-served basis.

Here are eight things you should know about the Federal Work-Study Program:

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President’s Education Awards Program (PEAP): A Celebration of Student Achievement And Hard Work in the Classroom!

President’s Education Awards Program (PEAP) student recipients are selected annually by their school principal. This year, PEAP provided individual recognition to nearly 3 million graduates (at the elementary, middle and high school level) across the nation at more than 30,000 public, private and military schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Outlying Areas: American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Students received a certificate signed by President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Schools also received letters signed by the President and the Secretary.

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7 Options to Consider if You Didn’t Receive Enough Financial Aid

 

The reality of paying for college is that many families find themselves struggling to cover the entire college bill, despite having already filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and receiving federal, state, and school-based financial aid and scholarships. If you find yourself in this position, here are some ideas to consider and places to look to help fill the gap between what your financial aid covers and what you owe your school.

TIP: The financial aid office at your school is an excellent resource. If you didn’t get enough financial aid, contact your school’s financial aid office. They can help you explore your options.

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The Leadership Imperative

During my tenure as the Washington Principal Ambassador Fellow, I have found myself frequently reminded of a hard truth: teachers do not quit students or schools, they quit leaders. Teacher shortages are a national concern within the educational landscape. According to the Learning Policy Institute report, 40 states, as well as the District of Columbia, reported teacher shortages in mathematics, science and special education.  Another study suggests ”school leadership… [is] independently associated with corresponding reductions in teacher turnover.”

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The Ability to Inspire: U.S. Presidential Scholars National Recognition Program from an Advisor’s Perspective

Who are we and what did we do?

We are Nina Srivastava and Andy Trattner, and we had the honor of serving as the Executive Advisors for this year’s National Recognition Program (NRP) honoring the 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars.** We are alumni of the program ourselves (2014) and rising college seniors at Harvard (Nina) and MIT (Andy). We helped run the NRP events for this year’s Scholars, arriving in DC two weeks before they did, and preparing with the Department of Education (ED) staff. Simone Olson and Caryn Kuzner at ED have been at the helm of this program for years, and we were grateful for their experience and guidance.

As you can imagine, coordinating the logistics of transporting over 150 high school seniors to recognition events around our nation’s capital is an intricate task. We did everything from vehicle orchestration to board game selection to security checkpoint choreography.

Our primary role, however, involved leading a team of twenty recent alumni who return to NRP each year to staff the program, the Advisors. Each Advisor serves as the primary point of contact for the “cluster” of 6-8 Scholars they are assigned.

Clusters move together from event to event, come up with group cheers to help with attendance, and bond through facilitated group activities during free time. It sounds very organized and boring, and although it is organized, the activities are far from boring!

We were Advisors for the past two years before becoming Executive Advisors, so we can say with certainty that meeting diverse folks from all over the country is a fun adventure every year for all of the Advisors.

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Something Borrowed: How Marriage Impacts Your Student Loans

Recently married? Getting married soon? Congratulations! Weddings can require a lot of planning, and you probably already have a ton on your plate, but there is one item you may not have on your to-do list that I recommend you add—figuring out how getting married can impact your student loans.

Now that you’ve read the title, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Wait. Getting married impacts my student loans?” If you’re enrolled or interested in enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan, it sure can.

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Student Chefs Cook up Nutrition and Great Taste at ED

Seven teams of student chefs from across the country converged on the U.S. Department of Education (ED) headquarters recently to be judged on their efforts to create innovative and healthy menus for school lunches that would appeal to their fellow students.

The teams were national finalists in the Healthy Schools Campaign Cooking up Change competition. It recognizes and rewards students who develop tasty and nutritious meals that meet the same strict monetary and dietary standards that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets for real school lunches.

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ED in the Field ~ School Visit: Imagine Andrews

It is not every day that ED staff is granted the opportunity to enter into a classroom and observe elementary students engaging in lesson plans and sharing thought-provoking discussions with their classmates. For several ED staff, the opportunity presented itself through the ED in the Field ~ School Visit program.

ED in the Field ~ School Visit

The ED in the Field ~ School Visits have become a staple engagement effort adopted by staff throughout the Department of Education who wish to learn more about the impact of their work through practice and theory. The program is intended to increase interactions among department personnel, school educators, and administrators to better inform decisions made on policy as it relates to real-world impact.

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9 Myths About the FSA ID

The FSA ID is a username and password that students, parents, and borrowers must use to log on to certain U.S. Department of Education websites such as fafsa.gov, StudentAid.gov, and StudentLoans.gov. The FSA ID is a secure way to access and sign important documents without using personally identifiable information.

Log-in options on fafsa.gov

Log-in options on StudentAid.gov

Log-in options on StudentLoans.gov

As with any new process, there are some myths floating around about creating and using an FSA ID. Let’s tackle some of those myths right now…

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John F. Kennedy Centennial Celebration an Opportunity to Strengthen Civic Engagement

“Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You – Ask What You Can Do For Your Country.” – President John F. Kennedy, 1961

This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the birth of one of the most celebrated presidents in our nation’s history, John F. Kennedy. To commemorate the occasion, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation has launched a year-long initiative to honor his legacy by encouraging youth to get more involved in their communities, and to better understand how government works.

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