Green careers pay green!

May 17, 2010
Do you want to save the planet and make a nice income too? 10 Green Jobs to Jump Start Your Green Career Green is the hot color for this year’s job market. With the Department of Labor promising $100 million in Energy Training Partnership Grants in 2010, green jobs are growing faster than the dandelions […]

Do you want to save the planet and make a nice income too?

10 Green Jobs to Jump Start Your Green Career

Green is the hot color for this year’s job market. With the Department of Labor promising $100 million in Energy Training Partnership Grants in 2010, green jobs are growing faster than the dandelions on your front lawn.

But, you might be asking yourself, what exactly is a green job? Do I have to have a green thumb to get one? And how much green is it going to put in my pocket? The definition is constantly expanding, but in general, a green job is a job that helps protect and preserve the environment and our natural resources. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, traditional green jobs have included:

• Environmental Engineers are responsible for controlling pollution and cleaning up waste.

• Environmental Engineering Technicians conduct tests and operate the equipment that helps prevent, control and clean up environmental waste and pollution.

• Environmental Scientists & Specialists study our environment and indentify sources of pollution that damage our surroundings and our health.

• Environmental Science & Protective Technicians assist environmental scientists by taking samples and conducting lab work.

But don’t let those definitions limit you—you don’t have to be a scientist or researcher to get into a green trade. As concern about our natural resources and global warming grows, so does the number of industries the movement touches.

The result is that new career paths are springing up constantly to fit those demands. Here’s a little taste of what they include:

• Energy retrofitters, also known as building performance contractors, evaluate your home and install new energy technologies to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
• Organic farmers and organic food distributors bring organic and/or sustainably grown agricultural products to businesses and consumers.
• Green carpenters use environmentally certified and recycled wood to create green furniture for homes and businesses.
• Wind turbine operators install, maintain, and service modern wind turbines.
• Sustainability consultants help organizations implement sustainable methods in their everyday business practices.
• Solar installers, also known as photovoltaic installers, install solar panels into homes and businesses.

These are just a few of the hundreds of industries who are “turning green.” And each one of industry doesn’t just need engineers to design their environmentally-friendly products or services, they need workers to build them, advertisers to market them, salespeople to sell them, human resources staff to manage the salespeople and the advertisers and the workers . . . get the picture? There’s a green job out there for everyone, no matter what you’re background is.

So if you’re looking to make a difference and become a part of the green movement, there are more opportunities than ever. And who knows, with some outside-of-the-box thinking, you could even find a way to transform your current job into the hot green career of the year.

“It’s not easy being green” Kermit the Frog

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Worstest Paying College Degrees

May 16, 2010
Half of knowing is knowing what you DON’T want to do. Previously I wrote an article about college graduates who graduated with excessive student loan debt. “Finding  yourself” in college is an expensive proposition. Every time a student changes majors, it pushes out the graduation timeline. An extra year or an extra two years in […]

Half of knowing is knowing what you DON’T want to do.

Previously I wrote an article about college graduates who graduated with excessive student loan debt. “Finding  yourself” in college is an expensive proposition. Every time a student changes majors, it pushes out the graduation timeline. An extra year or an extra two years in college is expensive and even more expensive if it is leveraged through loans.

If your child is unsure of what kind of career they want to pursue, knowing the expected income range for that field might help in their decision making process.

Even if it’s just to eliminate a few careers.

With AZCollegePlanning, we help parents and students estimate the 4 year cost of college and estimate how much student loan debt the graduate will carry (my goal is zero or as close to zero as possible) so that the career field your student is entering will provide the lifestyle they desire.

 Worst-Paying College Degrees

We all know money doesn't buy happiness--and that's good news for these new grads. (From Yahoo Hotjobs)

 There's no denying the value of a college education: According to recent U.S. Census surveys, the median salary for college grads is more than $20,000 higher than that of people with only a high school diploma. And the unemployment rate for people with bachelor's degrees is almost half the rate for people without.

 But some degrees are worth more than others, as PayScale.com shows in its 2010 report on the earning power of bachelor's degrees.

 No surprise, engineering degrees continue to be top earners--and (also no big shocker) you have to go pretty far down the list before you see the liberal arts well represented.

 But there's more to choosing a major than comparing dollar amounts. We salute and congratulate the graduates whose interests (and hard work) have led them to the following degrees--the lowest-earning degrees on PayScale's list.

 10. Drama (starting annual salary: $35,600; mid-career annual salary: $56,600) Some mega-millionaire movie stars with drama degrees (Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep, for instance) may be skewing these numbers upward--for every Denzel and Meryl, there are thousands of thespians struggling to make ends meet. But you don't study drama because you want to get rich--you study drama because you love the theater. (And an ability to act comes in handy in many professions.)

 9. Fine arts (starting annual salary: $35,800; mid-career annual salary: $56,300) Well, it takes an artist to make a thrift-store wardrobe look like a million bucks.

 8. Hospitality and tourism (starting annual salary: $37,000; mid-career annual salary: $54,300) Jobs that include tips may be skewing these numbers downward--and this is an industry that looks to be on the rebound as the economy improves. Plus, the perks associated with jobs in hospitality and tourism may compensate for the comparatively low salaries--many jobs in the industry allow extensive travel (or provide considerable travel discounts).

 7. Education (starting annual salary: $36,200; mid-career annual salary: $54,100) For the right people, teaching is an immensely rewarding career--and it's truly a noble one. The good news is, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment opportunities for primary, secondary, and special education teachers are expected to grow by 14 percent in the coming decade. And there will be plenty of new opportunities in continuing education for adults, as professional skill requirements change ever more rapidly.

 6. Horticulture (starting annual salary: $37,200; mid-career annual salary: $53,400) It seems that a green thumb doesn't necessarily bring in the greenbacks. But when you work among flowers and plants in a nursery or garden, who needs 'em?

 5. Spanish (starting annual salary: $35,600; mid-career annual salary: $52,600) As an old proverb puts it, when you learn a new language, you "gain a new soul." Who could put a price on that? And certainly, knowing Spanish--the language with the second-highest number of native speakers (after Mandarin)--in addition to English opens up a world of job opportunities beyond Spanish teacher or translator (as a plus, you can better enjoy a world of fantastic Spanish-language music, movies, and literature).

 4. Music (starting annual salary: $34,000; mid-career annual salary: $52,000) Hey, if being a musician were easy, everyone would do it. Some of us are guitar heroes; most of us just play the video game.

 3. Theology (starting annual salary: $34,800; mid-career annual salary: $51,500) This is the perfect example of a degree earned by someone who's "not in it for the money": people who choose to study theology often feel they're pursuing a higher calling (and often feel a strong desire to do good in the world, no matter the cost).

 2. Elementary education (starting annual salary: $33,000; mid-career annual salary: $42,400) Specializing in elementary education means a lower median salary than an education degree (number 7).

1. Social work (starting annual salary: $33,400; mid-career annual salary: $41,600) They say that crime doesn't pay. As this list seems to point out, neither does helping people. So it's a good thing that many college students seem to believe that helping others is its own reward--social workers are an indispensable safety net for people who've fallen on difficult times. And the BLS reports that the outlook for opportunities in this field are favorable--particularly for social workers who work in rural areas or with senior citizens.

(Source: PayScale salary survey. Methodology: Annual pay is for bachelor's graduates without higher degrees. Typical starting salaries are for graduates with two years of experience; mid-career salaries are for graduates with 15 years of experience. PayScale also provides salary information by college; for more information, check out PayScale's Best Colleges Report.)

http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/career-articles-1263

Does this mean you should not go into these careers? Absolutely not. You can be successful and happy in any career. It means that you must do your due diligence and graduate with the least amount of debt and earn your degree in the shortest amount of time.

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Scholarship for aspiring film makers & future directors

May 12, 2010
Go on assignment to the Ecuadorian Amazon and have your video broadcast on Nat Geo Adventure! Applications Close August 1st, 2010 Kick start your documentary career by going on assignment into the Amazon with documentary producer Trent O'Donnell (who filmed our Positive Footprints series screened on Nat Geo Adventure Channel). You will take part in […]

Go on assignment to the Ecuadorian Amazon and have your video broadcast on Nat Geo Adventure!

Applications Close August 1st, 2010

Kick start your documentary career by going on assignment into the Amazon with documentary producer Trent O'Donnell (who filmed our Positive Footprints series screened on Nat Geo Adventure Channel).

You will take part in a special project with Gap Adventures, exploring the Amazonian jungle and homestaying with the indigenous Quichua community.

Working alongside Trent O'Donnell as he makes a documentary on Sustainable Tourism, you will be mentored to help you find your story and create your own short video documentary.

You'll also be accommodated by our friends at Hostelworld.com both pre and post trip.

The lucky scholarship recipient will have their documentary considered for broadcast on Nat Geo Adventure! That's right - the holy grail documentary makers work their whole lives to achieve !

Your assignment brief

You will be joining Bruce Poon Tip (Gap's founder) as he revisits Ecuador's spectacular Andean Interior and Amazon lowlands. It's been 20 years since the first Gap Adventures trip was run in the Amazon and alongside Bruce you will gain unique access and insight into the lives of the Quichua community understanding how sustainable tourism has positively impacted their community.

You will also see first hand how the Footprints Network can make a difference to communities in need as Simon Monk (founder of WorldNomads.com and the Footprints Network) visits a project providing schooling equipment to the local Quichua primary school.

Homestaying in the Amazonian jungle with the Quichua community, you will work alongside Trent as he mentors you on how to find and film your own story.

 

What's the deal?

* We'll fly you to Quito, Ecuador from your country of residence.

* You need to be available to travel in the last 2 weeks of September 2010 (exact dates to be finalised shortly) to participate in the project.

* Under the mentorship of Trent O'Donnell you will shoot a video documentary about the experience.

* You will keep a daily diary about your time on the trip and upload this plus pictures you've taken to your World Nomads travel journal.

* You will edit together your 3 minute documentary and submit it to World Nomads within 2 months of your return.

Photo courtesy of NomadicHands

Who can apply

* Anyone can apply - this is open to film students, lovers of film or anyone who's trying to build a career in documentary making!

* Minimum age 18 with a current passport.

* You should be a mad-keen auteur with a lust for adventure and burning desire to be a documentary maker.

* You must be fit and healthy as moderate levels of trekking are involved.

Apply now

If you want it, you've got to show it. To apply you need to:

1. Compile a 3 minute video documentary in English based around the theme; 'Local Encounters'. Your 'local encounter' may be from your travels or somewhere closer to home. You should explore how this encounter changed your perspective on the world. The theme is open to interpretation, so be creative! The documentary may be compiled from previous travel videos you've shot.

It's up to you to convince our judging panel through your video that you have the spirit for adventure and passion for filmmaking to be chosen for this scholarship. Our judging panel will be looking for;

* The ability to convey a strong narrative within a short time-frame
* Originality
* A visually engaging story
* A candidate whose passion for documentary filmmaking makes them an obvious choice to benefit from this professional mentorship opportunity.

We strongly recommend you look at the previous winners (below) to give you an idea of the quality we are looking for. Entries compiled solely of still shots will not be considered, you need to demonstrate your skill with the moving image.

2. Upload your video : Go to Youtube.com to upload your video

3. Add your video to Worldnomads.com: Create a journal and fill in the entry form, then follow the simple instructions to upload your video into the post. In under 200 words tell us about your video;

- What inspired your subject matter?

- How did you plan your piece?

- What challenges did you face?

- What is your ambition as a documentary maker?

You will be judged on what you write as much as your video submission, convince us you are a worthy candidate !

One entry per person.


Watch our 2009 winner's documentary

Watch our 2008 winner's documentary which has been broadcast on Nat Geo Adventure.

Entries close August 1, 2010

(midnight, Australian Eastern Standard Time)


 

CONDITIONS OF ENTRY

1. Information on the scholarship prize and how to enter forms part of these conditions of entry. By applying for this scholarship you agree to be bound by these conditions of entry and all decisions of the scholarship promoter (WorldNomads.com Pty Ltd ) which are final in all matters relating to the promotion. The scholarship and these conditions of entry are void where prohibited by law. Any changes to these conditions of entry will be published on the World Nomads website at www.worldnomads.com.
2. The promoter is WorldNomads.com Pty Ltd of Level 5, 24 York St, Sydney, NSW 2000.
3. Employees of WorldNomads.com, Nat Geo Adventure, Gap Adventures, Hostelworld, their subsidiaries and affiliated companies, and members of their immediate families or households, are ineligible to apply for this scholarship.
4. Entry is free. No purchase necessary. You must be older than 18 to enter and hold a valid passport. To enter, submit an English language short film of three minutes or less in length on the theme "Local Encounters”. You can submit your entry by doing the following:

a) Go to Youtube.com, to upload your video. You must agree to the terms and conditions stipulated by Youtube.com.

b) Go to http://www.worldnomads.com/scholarships/video_scholarship_2010_application.aspxsign up for a journal and fill in the brief entry form. Upload your video into your journal post and tell us in English in 200 words or less; what inspired your subject matter, how you planned your piece, what challenges you faced and what your ambition is as a documentary maker.

5. The scholarship entries can be submitted from 9.00am AEST on May 6 2010 and entries close at 11.59pm Australian Eastern Standard Time on August 1, 2010. Entries are deemed to be received at the time of receipt by WorldNomads.com and WorldNomads.com records are conclusive as to the time of receipt. All dates are subject to change if necessary in WorldNomads.com discretion.

6. The Scholarship recipient will be selected by a panel of three judges including one independent judge judging the best overall entry from a review of all eligible entries. The best overall entry will best interpret both "Local Encounters" and articulate the written component as set out in 4b). The selection will be conducted at World Nomads.com of Level 5, 24 York St, Sydney, NSW 2000 in the week commencing Monday August 2 2010. The final winner will be announced by Tuesday August 17, 2010. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into, including in the event of a dispute. Chance plays no part in determining the successful scholarship recipient. The successful applicant will receive the following;

- 6 day Inland & Amazon Tour in Ecuador with Gap Adventures and mentorship from World Nomads documentary filmmaker, Trent O’donnell.
- trip includes all meals, internal transfers & transport, services of tour leader throughout, accommodation based on twin share and homestay.

-Two nights accomodation with hostelworld.com in Quito.
- Return Economy airfares from nearest major international airport to project destination organised by WorldNomads.com .

7. The scholarship recipient must produce / edit a video documentary using their own equipment of 3 minutes in duration, post participating in the trip. This documentary must focus on the trip and its impact it has on the local community. The recipient must then submit this documentary to WorldNomads.com no later than 2 months after returning from the tour. The scholarship recipient must also keep a daily travel diary and upload diary entries ( no less than 200 words per daily entry) to the World Nomads website, via an online travel journal, no later than 2 weeks after returning from the Gap Adventures Trip.

8. The Scholarship recipient will be notified by email and the recipient's name will be published on the World Nomads website within 14 days after selection.

9. If the Scholarship recipient is not immediately identifiable or contactable WorldNomads.com will make reasonable efforts to identify and/or contact the Scholarship recipient. If the Scholarship recipient has not accepted the prize by August 16, 2010, the next best entry will be selected as scholarship recipient.

10. No responsibility is accepted for late, lost or misdirected mail or any errors or failures in internet or other communications. WorldNomads.com reserves the right to cancel or modify the scholarship promotion if, in its sole discretion, the administration of the scholarship promotion is impaired for technical or other reasons beyond its reasonable control and, in such an event, may select the Scholarship recipient from all valid entries received prior to the impairment.

11. Scholarship prize consists of:
- 6 day Inland & Amazon Tour in Ecuador with Gap Adventures (valued at AU$1279)
- Return Economy airfares from nearest major international airport to project destination organised by World Nomads (valued at approx. AU$2500)
- 2 nights accommodation at hostelworld,com in Quito (valued at approx AU$100)
- Travel Insurance (valued at approx. AU$150)
Total value of prize is approximately AU$4029

12. The value of the prize is accurate at the date of commencement of the scholarship promotion. WorldNomads.com accepts no responsibility for any variation in the value of the prize after that date. The prize cannot be refunded, transferred, substituted or redeemed for cash. WorldNomads.com reserves the right in its sole discretion to substitute the prize with cash or a prize of comparable value if the prize cannot be awarded as described for any reason.

13. The scholarship recipient will be responsible for all personal expenses and any other expenses, fees and costs connected with the prize that are not included in the prize description. The scholarship recipients are also responsible for all transportation to the point of departure, including accommodation costs prior to and following the travel dates in order to meet flight connections and any tips/gratuity during the trip.

14. The scholarship recipient must hold a valid passport. Entry visas will be organised 14 days in advance.

15. The scholarship recipient agrees that acceptance of the prize by the scholarship recipient is conditional upon compliance with all relevant laws, rules and regulations and upon the scholarship recipient releasing WorldNomads.com, Nat Geo Adventure

, GAP Adventures, Hostelworld and their affiliates, subsidiaries, directors, officers, employees and agents, from any and all liability, claims, demands and causes of action for any personal injury or other loss or damage (including but not limited to indirect or consequential loss) suffered in connection with the acceptance or use of the prize, except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law. WorldNomads.com reserves the right to disqualify the scholarship recipient at its absolute discretion in the event of non-compliance or the failure to provide such releases.
16. As the author of your entry, you warrant that your entry is original and your own work.
17. It will be a condition of entry that both scholarship applicants and the scholarship recipient will grant a non exclusive copyright license to WorldNomads.com, Nat Geo Adventure, Hostelworld and GAP Adventures to reproduce the work for subsequent promotion of the World Nomads Travel Scholarships. You can view World Nomads' privacy policy at http://www.worldnomads.com/privacy.aspx

 


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Double down deposit no-no May 1 deadline

April 27, 2010
Dictionary reference –verb dou•ble [duhb-uhl] de•pos•it [dih-poz-it] 1. To strike fear in the hearts of even the most seasoned college admissions officers. 2. Illegal action attempted by parents and/or student to secure two seats at different colleges April is the month that high school seniors have been waiting for to receive the news they have been […]

Dictionary reference –verb dou•ble [duhb-uhl] de•pos•it [dih-poz-it]

1. To strike fear in the hearts of even the most seasoned college admissions officers.

2. Illegal action attempted by parents and/or student to secure two seats at different colleges

April is the month that high school seniors have been waiting for to receive the news they have been anxiously awaiting and the time has arrived for them to make one final decision.

If they have been fortunate enough to gain admission to more than one college, they must decide where they intend to spend the next four (or more) years. And that decision must be made by May 1st, the national reply date for all admitted students.

For many students, this is an easy decision; they have a clear first choice and know exactly where they want to go to college. To guarantee themselves a space at their favorite school, all they need to do is send a non-refundable enrollment deposit check. At some colleges this may be as little as $100, while at others it can be as much as $500 or $1,000.

For some students, the final choice is not so easy. They have two or three colleges that they are considering and aren’t sure about what to do; they love all of their schools for different reasons. And though they re-visit their colleges and look to teachers and friends (and even parents) for guidance, they are racked by indecision. So what do they do? They postpone the inevitable by sending checks to two colleges – that is, they double deposit.

What many of these students and their parents don’t know is that double depositing is a violation of their responsibilities as established by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). The reason many of them don’t know they are in violation is that they have never heard about this or any other “responsibility” and have no idea who or what NACAC is. But heck, students need to understand that double-depositing is wrong.

Colleges dislike double depositing because the practice creates an enormous amount of uncertainty about the size of their incoming freshman classes. They can’t be certain about the number of students who are going to show up for the fall because they can’t be certain that each student who has made a deposit will attend.

Since many colleges don’t require payment of the first semester’s tuition until shortly before the start of the academic year, schools can be left with beds to fill and budget shortfalls that they did not anticipate. Some colleges may find themselves over-enrolled and with a shortage of housing for students. Neither situation is a happy one. In order to prevent double depositing, some colleges actually check enrollment lists at other schools for offenders.

Imagine if your boss gave you a predated paycheck but told you to not deposit it for several months, then only a few days before you deposit this check he tells you it’s no good, there are no funds to back it up so just tear it up. Arrrg! That would totally stink!

You’d feel betrayed, jilted and come up with a bunch of four letter words to describe his character (and maybe even his mother!)

Now check this out. A college that discovers a double depositor is within its rights to withdraw that individual’s offer of admission.

So you (or your student) could lose their coveted spot at XYZ University College. Double bummer.

Equally important, double depositing hurts other students because it wreaks havoc with waiting lists. Colleges cannot offer admission to students on their waiting lists if they are uncertain about the number of depositors who will actually matriculate. Since schools are hesitant to do anything that will lead to over-enrollment, some applicants who would normally be admitted from waiting lists are not. As a result, double depositing prevents deserving students from being admitted to their favorite colleges.

original post here

AZ College Planning is Arizona’s premier college planning firm the place to turn for college consulting in Arizona. Residents of AZ turn to us for the solution to AZ college solutions. Arizona college planning consultants who help families how to qualify for financial aid even if you have a 6 figure income

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Roth Conversions Could Affect College Financial Aid

April 26, 2010
Are you thinking about converting your 401k IRA to a Roth IRA. Roth IRA rules could surprise you. The Roth IRA contribution limits 2010 could severely affect your financial aid package. Here is an article: Financial advisors are finding that clients anxious to take advantage of loosened rules on Roth IRAs aren't anticipating a possible […]

Are you thinking about converting your 401k IRA to a Roth IRA. Roth IRA rules could surprise you. The Roth IRA contribution limits 2010 could severely affect your financial aid package.

Here is an article: Financial advisors are finding that clients anxious to take advantage of loosened rules on Roth IRAs aren't anticipating a possible consequence—losing financial aid for their college-age children.

"It's not just a future tax issue, you have to understand the repercussions today," says Richard Rosso, a financial advisor with Charles Schwab Corp. in Houston. "Anything that is converted and pulled out of an IRA is considered income and that will affect your financial aid.

"No matter what income bracket you're in, you're possibly putting that scholarship in jeopardy," he says.

He recently ran the numbers for a family whose daughter could've lost about 80% of her anticipated scholarship if they had rolled over $100,000 from an IRA into a Roth IRA all at once. They're now thinking about a phased conversion over the next 10 years.

Until this year, only individuals or couples filing jointly with modified adjusted gross incomes of $100,000 or less were able to convert savings from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. That restriction has now been lifted completely.

Growth in a Roth IRA is not taxed, so paying taxes now and moving money there can be advantageous for high earners if income tax rates rise in the future, as is widely expected. Also, owners of Roth IRAs aren't obligated to start withdrawing a certain amount of their savings when they reach age 70 1/2. That can mean more savings for late in retirement or for heirs.

But investors, even wealthy ones, often overlook the immediate impact that a rollover could have on financial aid. "Many middle-class millionaires made their money" and expect their children to pay all or part of the educations, says Rosso.

Someone earning $100,000 may be responsible for $17,000 of a child's college expenses. But if that person rolls over $100,000 into a Roth, the higher income could increase the expected parent contribution to $48,000, says Rosso.

Schools use the data from the FAFSA [Free Application for Federal Student Aid] to determine loan and aid eligibility. The FAFSA number relies heavily on a family's income, and ignores the value of someone's home, small business or retirement assets, says Mark Kantrowitz.

Kantrowitz says that the Department of Education has asked colleges to take into account one-time increases in income from a rollover, but financial advisors recommend that families talk to the schools before making a decision and to let them know if they opt to open a Roth.

Some schools take into account real estate assets in their own assessment. But for those that don't, someone with a million dollar home and large 401(k) account could potentially receive more aid than a family with a higher income but far less assets.

For families that have younger children, this could be the right time for a rollover, since the impact on annual income will be over before any FAFSA filing has to be made, Jeffrey E. Daniher, a financial advisor in Cincinnati. Those assets also would have longer to grow tax-free.

Original article here

J.D. says: you have to understand how the game is played and legally and ethically stack the deck in your favor. Other things to look out for are other big windfalls besides Roth conversions such as inheritance and capital gains. Seeking out professional advice could be the difference between a fat award letter or a paltry award letter.

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Obama Signs Historic Health Care & Education Legislation

April 26, 2010
President Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which delivered a significant down payment on the President’s ambitious agenda to make higher education more affordable and help more Americans earn a college degree. This legislation strengthens the Pell Grant program, invests in community colleges, extends support for Historically Black Colleges and […]

President Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which delivered a significant down payment on the President’s ambitious agenda to make higher education more affordable and help more Americans earn a college degree.

This legislation strengthens the Pell Grant program, invests in community colleges, extends support for Historically Black Colleges and other Minority Serving Institutions, and helps student borrowers manage their student loan debt by capping repayments at 10% of their discretionary income. These efforts will be fully paid for by ending the government subsidies currently given to banks and other financial institutions that make guaranteed federal student loans and free up nearly $68 billion for college affordability and deficit reduction over the next 11 years.

“For a long time, our student loan system has worked for banks and financial institutions,” President Obama said. “Today, we’re finally making our student loan system work for students and all of our families.”

“This legislation is a win for students and parents struggling to make ends meet to fulfill the dream of a college education,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. “By ending subsidies to banks, we can make important investments that increase affordability and access to our nation’s universities and community colleges.”

This historic law:

Invests more than $40 billion in Pell Grants to ensure that all eligible students receive an award and that these awards are increased in future years to help keep pace with the rising cost of college.

These investments, coupled with the funding provided in the Recovery Act and the President’s first two budgets, will more than double the total amount of funding available for Pell Grants since President Obama took office.

 Ensures that Americans can afford their student loan payments by expanding the existing income-based student loan repayment program.

New borrowers who assume loans after July 1, 2014, will be able to cap their student loan repayments at 10 percent of their discretionary income and, if they keep up with their payments over time, will have the balance forgiven after 20 years.

Includes $2 billion over four years for community colleges to develop, improve, and provide education and career training programs.

President Obama also asked Dr. Jill Biden to host a White House Summit on Community Colleges this fall to provide an opportunity for community college leaders, students, education experts, business leaders, and others to share innovative ways to educate our way to a better economy.

Starting July 1, all new federal student loans will be direct loans, delivered and collected by private companies under performance-based contracts with the Department of Education. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, ending these wasteful subsidies will free up nearly $68 billion for college affordability and deficit reduction over the next 11 years.

  • Learn how to capitalize on everything that is rightfully available to you by attending our free workshop Paying for college & making it affordable. Arizona residents register here. AZCollegePlanning is the best Arizona college planning firm, the premier college consulting firm of Arizona, the top dog college planners of Arizona and the pinnacle college planning consultants of Arizona. 'nuf said.
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What the heck does SAT stand for?

April 22, 2010
What does SAT mean, what does SAT stand for, what does SAT test stand for? At one point in history SAT used to stand for scholastic aptitude test which was created by CollegeBoard.com. It was believed that because this was an aptitude exam, you could not study to get a better score. Either you had […]

What does SAT mean, what does SAT stand for, what does SAT test stand for?

At one point in history SAT used to stand for scholastic aptitude test which was created by CollegeBoard.com. It was believed that because this was an aptitude exam, you could not study to get a better score. Either you had ‘it’ or you didn’t. Then people figured out that there was a pattern and you could actually prepare for these tests and do better.

The result of this finding was that CollegeBoard dropped the name of ‘aptitude’ and it became the SAT. There are two incarnations of this test the SAT I and the SAT II (SAT subjects tests).

Many colleges use this as a base on entering college, meaning if you don’t score high enough you may be admitted but have to take remedial classes. Likewise, many colleges use it as a bench mark to hand out merit based financial aid. So it is in your best interest to prepare for the tests and score as high as you can.

My recommendation is to take the test multiple times. Don’t wait until your senior year in high school to start. By starting early you will have a base score. With a base score you can find out what areas need improvement and prepare, study and review, then take the test again and again.

My people have been mislead into believing that if you take the test to many times then colleges will see you as desperate and not admit you or limit your aid. This is untrue. However, if you take it multiple times and do nothing in between by preparing and studying, you will not get a better score.

It is in your best interest to get the best score (and best grades) you can. It could result in a big shiny financial aid award.

So now you know what SAT stands for by College Board.

Create a free account and check out our SAT Test Prep, How to get a perfect score.

Also check out my SAT Question of the Day app for Facebook here add it to your profile now!

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Record low admitted-Harvard-Stanford-Yale-MIT- et all

April 20, 2010
Stanford received more than 32,000 applications to the Class of 2014, and admitted 2,300 students. Stanford Admits 7.2% - Record Low A record-low 6.9% of applicants were accepted to the Harvard College Class of 2014. Applications exceeded 30,000 for the first time ever, Columbia College received 21,747 applications total, up from 21,274 last year and […]

Stanford received more than 32,000 applications to the Class of 2014, and admitted 2,300 students. Stanford Admits 7.2% - Record Low

A record-low 6.9% of applicants were accepted to the Harvard College Class of 2014. Applications exceeded 30,000 for the first time ever,

Columbia College received 21,747 applications total, up from 21,274 last year and 19,117 the year before. This year, 1,805 of these applicants were admitted. Columbia College, combined with the School of Engineering and Applied Science, reported that 9.16% of overall applicants for the Class of 2014 were accepted.

Duke University offered admission this year to 3,972, or 15% of applicants, down from 18% last year.

The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia admitted 14% of nearly 27,000 applicants.

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, admitted 18% of a record 36,337 applicants.

The University of Chicago offered admission to 3,560, or 18% of 19,370 applicants. 27% of applicants were admitted to the Class of 2013.

MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts admitted 9.7% of 16,632 applicants. Last year MIT admitted 11%.

Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire received 18,778 applications for the Class of 2014 and admitted 11.5%.

Northwestern University in Illinois, accepted 23% of applicants well below the 27% accepted last year.

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Who we know we are

April 18, 2010
Quoted on Good Morning Arizona as “local expert on everything when it comes to college.” People all across the United States turn to the premier college planning consultants in Arizona, which can be found at AZCollegePlanning.com, this website.

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AZ College Consulting LLC also known as AZCollegePlanning.com founded by J.D. Wyczalek (why-zall-ick) is Arizona’s premier college planning firm. Quoted on Good Morning Arizona as “local expert on everything when it comes to college.”

People all across the United States turn to the premier college planning consultants in Arizona, which can be found at AZCollegePlanning.com, this website.

If you are looking for a college solution and solutions to college financial aid or have questions to ask when visiting a college, this is your opportunity to browse this site.

If you have questions about AIMS, AIMS scholarships and what to know if they will be around, check out the links found here in the search window.

Did you ask how to finance college and wonder if your ugma, your uniform gift to minor act will be enough or perhaps you have a 529 plan or maybe you are considering using the American opportunity tax credit, child college tax credit, child tax credit on your next tax return only to wonder how it will affect future financial aid award letter.

College success starts with goal setting for college, success in college starts with choosing the right college. Have you asked how to choose the right college or choosing a college major.

Admission requirement vary college to college. While one school may ask for 2 years of foreign language, others ask for 3 years of foreign language and some even 4 years of foreign language. Are you taking the correct class load and requirements in high school to get into college? Many high school counselors are overworked and most definitely under paid.

We had released many press release concerning college solutions.

Visiting colleges, visiting schools and choosing a college is an important decision that should not be overlooked or looked upon lightly. By foregoing the FAFSA, aka F.A.F.S.A. aka Free Application for Federal Student Aid thousands of dollars could be left on the table.

A high income earner who has six figures or even seven figures who does not thoroughly investigate college tax credit is turning his back upon a golden chance an opening in the tax code, a tax loophole. Seeking fafsa advice is prudent when so many millions of dollars go unclaimed.

Barack Obama, George W. Bush and William Jefferson Bill Clinton opened the door on the overhaul student aid reform and the ball is rolling. Do not be mistook the price of college admission is out of control unless families understand how to capitalize and take advantage of hidden opportunities.

The Arizona board of regents agrees that the rising college tuition costs are going up and not down. Choosing the right college can be rewarding.

If you like it click the digg or facebook button.

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Student loan overhaul crammed into Obamacare

March 28, 2010
Are Feds robbing Peter to pay Paul? - Student loan overhaul crammed into Obamacare By J.D. Wyczalek (why-zall-ick) founder of AZCollegePlanning.com The big buzz is the health care bill, the Reconciliation Act of 2010 aka Obamacare. Packed tightly into those 2000 plus pages of convoluted lawyer-speak is the Student Loan Overhaul Proposal or SLOP for […]

Are Feds robbing Peter to pay Paul? - Student loan overhaul crammed into Obamacare

By J.D. Wyczalek (why-zall-ick) founder of AZCollegePlanning.com

The big buzz is the health care bill, the Reconciliation Act of 2010 aka Obamacare. Packed tightly into those 2000 plus pages of convoluted lawyer-speak is the Student Loan Overhaul Proposal or SLOP for short.

The card shuffling begins with the call to end those evil banks stealing our money through commissions, fees and whatever else they can get their paws on. Without the banking industry money would not move from hand to hand keeping our economy moving.

The call to end private origination of federally backed student loans made by banks (No more commission for selling federally backed student loans) is their key selling point. The estimated savings from this is $68 Billion.

But are private banking institutions completely out of the picture? The answer may surprise you, no. Banks can still compete to service student loans, so they will get paid on the backend instead of through the entire process, cutting into their profits which could lead to more layoffs.

Desert Hills Bank here in Arizona is the latest casualty in the banking fiasco. Experts estimated 30,000 bank related jobs will be lost to the already teetering banking industry, as a side dish of this plan.

On the bright side an estimated $10 Billion would go to help poorer students and increase Pell grant monies. By 2017 the maximum annual dollar amount of Pell Grants would increase to $5,975. Currently Pell Grants are capped at an annual maximum of $5,350. Pell Grants would also be tied to inflation, adjusting accordingly.

Of the $68 billon proposed savings over the next 10 years (original estimation of savings was $89 Billion, we’ll see what it actually turns out to be in the coming months and years), $10 Billion would go to boost Pell Grants and $9.1 Billion would be redirected toward the health care plan.

Changes are to go in effect July 1st. Colleges & Universities are nervous that this is too fast for them to make the transition from the old way to the new way. Is one and a half months enough time for colleges to make this transition before the new school year starts? Looks like there will be a lot of over time in those offices to deal with this chaos.

With this change, will the Feds be shooting themselves in the foot trying to get national health care while mortally wounding the already limping banking industry as a side lash from student loan reform?

The key take away point is parents and students need to take the bull by the horns and not just casually apply to college without first exhausting every resource to maximize the amount of financial aid. Graduating with excessive student loans will put a huge burden on our children.

The question remains, are the Feds robbing Peter to pay Paul? Time will tell.

J.D. Wyczalek (why-zall-ick) is the founder of AZCollegePlanning.com, Arizona’s premier college planning firm. His mantra is to help make college affordable by helping with student positioning and helping parents understand how to capitalize legally on the financial aid system.

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