Signing Day: Every Team’s Most Important Recruit

4 students sit at a table signing their commitment to Northeast CC

As spring approaches, thousands of coaches and athletes from around the country get ready for National Signing Day, a day where press conferences are scheduled, coaches’ phones ring off the hook, and star recruits ceremoniously sport the hats of their chosen colleges. For star athletes, it is the day they begin their trek toward what many hope will be professional athletic careers.

In our view, though, every student deserves a signing day.  That’s why we started Academic Signing Day at Northeast Community College.  We take the opportunity to highlight academic scholars who pursue higher education in one of our career and technical education (CTE) programs as they work toward becoming professionals in their chosen career field.

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Apprenticeship – An Unexpected Choice Becomes the Path to Success

Kevin stands outside on graduation day in a red cap and gown holding his diploma

Everyone assumed Kevin King would graduate and head straight to college.

“I was your stereotypical AP student,” he notes. “Straight A’s through middle school, almost straight A’s through high school … I was the guy you would look at and say, ‘He’s going to college.’ It was just a matter of which one.”

As it turned out, Kevin picked a different path – one that perfectly fit his goals and interests. His struggle wasn’t figuring out what he wanted to do – it was coming to terms with the fact that what he really wanted for himself was different than what others expected of him.

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The Most Meaningful Way to Celebrate Your Teacher

In classrooms all across America, long hours of curriculum are taught, thousands of papers are graded each day, yet teachers still find the time to constantly brainstorm strategies to support their diverse student population. They stay up late answering emails and stay after class to help a struggling student. On any given day, a teacher may wear the hat of educator, mediator, cheerleader, advocate, disciplinarian, nurse, counselor, and so much more. For many of us, there is no greater job!

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The Value of Financial Literacy and Self-Advocacy

In my senior year of high school, as college decisions were released, opening the financial aid award letters was scarier than the decisions themselves: the final number, or net cost, could make or break my ability to attend university. To confuse matters, without an understanding of financial aid terms, award letters can be hard to read; each school’s letter can look different and are full of ambiguous terms and unexplained costs. No matter how well a particular award letter was laid out, I was unsure what exactly I would have to pay. If you are a senior in high school planning to go to college, becoming financially literate is incredibly important.

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“Workforce Development for All”- ED Take Your Child to Work Day

Assistant Secretary Scott Stump speaks in front of children and parents in an auditorium.

Rethinking education for the 21st century means recognizing that learning can happen anytime, anywhere – far beyond the boundaries of the school day or a brick and mortar building. Secretary DeVos has challenged the nation to question everything, to ensure that nothing limits students from being prepared for what comes next. Here at the Department of Education, we believe in putting our principles into action – and we’ve taken the Secretary’s challenge to heart. Yesterday, more than 180 children joined their family member at the Lyndon B. Johnson Building to learn about  skills used on the job and to think about where their talents can take them in life.

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Redesigning the Financial Aid Offer Letter at the University of Pennsylvania

Every year, incoming and current college students have to file a FAFSA in order to determine their potential and continued eligibility for federal financial aid. Students may also have to file institution-based financial aid applications every year, along with institution-based or outside scholarships. Offer letters are key tools used by colleges and universities to notify students of their eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid. Students and families use these letters to determine what the cost of attending that particular institution will be.

Recent research such as the “Decoding the Cost of College” joint research report by New America and uAspire, and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Issue Brief on Financial Aid Award Notifications have determined that offer letters are often hard to understand, and can lead students and families to misinterpret financial aid packages. Consequently, students and families end up borrowing more loans than they should, the students decide not to attend a particular institution, or the greatest consequence is that many students do not realize the true cost of attendance, which can lead to negative outcomes like not being able to afford to finish.

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Keeping the Cost of College Down

A small, black paper graduation cap and tassel sits on top of paper dollar bills.

Between the high costs of tuition, living expenses, meal plans and textbooks, it is easy to see why college students are increasingly stressed about their finances. A 2015 survey  found that around 70% of college students feel stressed about their personal finances in general. As a current student at UCLA, I too have felt the financial strain of an undergraduate education. Luckily, I have found that there are many simple actions college students can take to reduce the cost of postsecondary education. Here are 5 tips from a current college student on how to make college more affordable:

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3 Ways Education Freedom Scholarships Could Support Military Families

Secretary DeVos and Congressman Scalise talk with four male students in uniform over a project they are working on at their desks.

April is “The Month of the Military Child,” and serves as a reminder that military children serve our country alongside their parents and face challenges that most other students don’t think about, let alone experience themselves. Each military child deserves the chance to flourish in an education environment that best leverages their unique learning style and cultivates their talents. Unfortunately, while service members fight and defend our freedoms abroad, military families are too often denied education freedom at home.

The Education Freedom Scholarships (EFS) proposal would make a historic investment in America’s students, injecting up to $5 billion yearly into state-based scholarships to empower families with education freedom. Under the proposal, taxpayers who make voluntary contributions to state-identified Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) will be eligible to receive a non-refundable, dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit. Those contributions will fund scholarships that families can direct to the education opportunities that best serve their child.

Here are the top three ways EFS could support military families:

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Student Loan Forgiveness (and Other Ways the Government Can Help You Repay Your Loans)

Here’s a question a lot of people may be wondering… Is it really possible to have my federal student loans forgiven or to get help repaying them?

The answer is: Yes!

However, there are very specific eligibility requirements for each situation in which you can apply for loan forgiveness or receive help with repayment. Loan forgiveness means that you don’t have to pay back some or all of your loan. You never know what you may be eligible for, so take a look at the options we have listed below. The first three options focus on loan forgiveness programs. The next two options are government programs based on your service.

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