Exploring Careers, Colleges and Scholarships with educationplanner.org - PEN Webinar

Uploaded by parentednet on 20.03.2012

(Jackie) Good afternoon, this is Jackie from the Parent
Education Network, and I'd like to welcome you to today's lunchtime webinar. And our
presenter today is Marla Kane, and she's with the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance
Agency, also known as PHEAA. And she will be presenting on the website "Exploring Careers,
Colleges and Scholarships." So without further ado, Marla, thank you so much for being with
us today.
(Marla) Very good, thank you. We will get started.
I will let you know that the website we are at is EducationPlanner.org. It is a free website,
sponsored by Pennsylvania state, so it is able to be used anywhere you have Internet
access. What we will do today is I will take you on some of the highlights of our website,
but as on all websites, you'll find that the more you use it, the more you play with it,
the better that you get. So, without further ado, we will start into our student section.
What I plan on doing is showing you first some self-assessment that a student can take.
If you are a counselor on the line with us, that you could provide your student if you
were interested. If you're a parent, you could go in and take the assessments with your student,
just to better understand some items and some things with them.
So, in this section, you can see we just tab over areas, and it allows for a dropdown to
occur. So if we go to the self-assessment area, you'll see that we have four different
types of assessments that students can do. There's the assessment that is called, "What
Kind of a Student Are You," and it just goes through and it asks them to answer questions
about themselves: what they care about doing in school, about their homework, how well
they get along with teachers. And they simply answer them over here with the little radio
buttons, with "Mostly True," "Sometimes True" and "Not True," and then "Get Results" for
their answers.
The next is what's called your "Learning Style." What I like about this one, is that I feel
it's great to use it with any age student, because each student has their own particular
type of learning style. Whether it be visual through looking, auditory through hearing
or tactile through learning. So what the students can do is answer 20 questions about themselves,
and you can see it kind of whips right by us, kind of like the iPod and the iPad, how
things whip by. We kind of put it together like that because I guess kids like to see
things. And what you would do is students would answer 20 questions about themselves,
the first one being, "What kind of book would you like to read for fun?" And they would
answer: a book with pictures, with words, or with searches or crosswords. Then you click,
the radial button, and you'll see an apple appears where they hit the next question.
I'm not going to take you through every single one. I'd hope that you could go through and
actually yourself even go take your learning style. It's always fun to see the way that
we learn. And how you can use that is that it's good in the classroom; that if your student
understands that, "hey, I learn through seeing; I should sit in the front of the classroom;
I shouldn't sit near a window because I'm going to look at squirrels jumping around."
It's just a good tool for them, using it that way.
Go back up to the self-assessment, and you'll see that there's two other assessments that
are available. One is "Study Habits" and one "How Strong Is Your Character?" And I'm not
gonna go through those. I'll recommend that you take your student or yourself to go through
and just take a quick look at them when you have the opportunity. 'Cause again there is
a lot to cover on our EducationPlanner.org website.
So back up to the student section, we're going to spend some time in the "Career Planning
Area." And when you click on the "Career Planning," you're going to see we come back to the splash
page, where we have four different areas. I always spend the most of my time, whether
it's with middle school students, high school students, and even college students, in the
"Find Careers" section. And again when you click on that "Find Careers," you're going
to see tons more information. Where I tend to use a lot of my time is starting first
in the "Career Cluster Activity." And this is an activity that I will actually go through
with you and show you how this works.
What we've done is we've put careers into clusters now, basically that are careers that
have common themes and common attributes and abilities for students to look at. And the
reason why we did that is because we had found by students taking just normal personality
tests, that our students were coming out and staying, "Well I want to be a nurse; I want
to be a teacher; I want to be a lawyer." And while there's nothing wrong with that, we
just feel that there are so many other jobs that are out there in those career clusters.
In terms of "I want to be a nurse," well what about our rad techs? What about our pharmacists?
What about our phlebotomists? We have kids that didn't realize those jobs were out there,
so we wanted to include them, so maybe they could go a different route. Especially because
of the demand that we're seeing in the nursing industry starting to fall.
So what your student would see, when I click on that tab to move forward and to the activity,
is that, here at the bottom, if you follow along you'll see that we have a little task
bar that just shows how long; how many sections it's going to take. Because we know students,
they basically want to know what they're getting into. I know I do as well.
So here the activity says "I am." So what they do is they go through and they click
what they are. So, I will click a few just to show you. You do have to click at least
one in order to move forward, but they could pick more than one if they were interested.
I wouldn't pick all of them.
Umm, I think that's good. And you can see our red apple at the bottom. We'll hit continue
to move it across for us to the next section. This section says, "I like to." So these are
things that they like to do. So maybe they like to be in charge, maybe they like to help
others. You can even see we have things like hunt or fish. Here's my favorite: "shop."
Speak in public, travel, maybe they like to work with people, so you'll see that there's
many things for them to pick of the "I like to--" something easy and simple. When they're
done, click the apple to move forward. Here they'll say, "I am good at," so what are some
things that they're good at? And they just go through and they can click on those things
that they feel that they're good at. And we'll pick a couple, just so that we get enough
answers for you. Click the apple again.
And you'll see we ask what are their best subjects in school? So they can go through;
they can take a look, whether they're good at them or whether they like them, and again
I'm just going to pick a few here. Moving forward to our results section. So
here are our results, and this is what the students will see. So they'll see, usually
five to six, depending on how many answers, we normally put the top five, but sometimes
you'll see six or seven if they picked a lot of answers. And what the students can do next
is they can take a look at some of those jobs that are available in those career cluster
activities. And let me show you what I mean.
As you can see, each of these is a link. Students click on the link. It will take us to another
window where we'll be at O*Net Online, which is provided by the Department of Labor and
Industry. But take a look back here, and you'll see that Education Planner is still in the
background. So all we are doing is moving our students to O*Net, which is used by our
local Career Link, and what they're doing here, is they are taking a look at all the
jobs that are available under marketing, sales and services. What they can do now? Well they
can do a multitude of things. They can take a look at these "bright outlook" jobs, which
are jobs that'll be up and coming, where there's going to be job openings. There are some Green
jobs that are available. If you click on that, it actually shows you what a Green job is
and what it means. It talks about Green occupations will likely change as a result of the economy.
So just some little good conversation pieces.
Back to our marketing and services, what can students do here? Well, they can take a look
at all of the jobs that are available. But then what they can do--I like this one because
it's a bright outlook and it is a Green job with a future: solar sales representative
and assessors. Who would have thought would be around, huh? You click on that, and what
it will do for us, it'll tell us what is the task of the job, broken down into bullet points,
because we know students--and even myself I'm guilty of this; I don't read a whole lot
of paragraphs anymore, I kinda skim through things. So I tell the student to go through
and to read. They get to the third, fourth one and say, "Ehh, I don't like it," well
then don't waste your time. Hit the back button and look at a different job. Hopefully the
student will like it.
And what they can do, is they can look at things like the tools and technology that
will be used in the job. They even get to use digital cameras--that's pretty cool. Then
we get to see they get to use e-mail.
And where our students tend to go most of the time is to the wages and employment trends.
And this is where you can have a conversation as I highlight that, it'll tell the students
how much they would make hourly, and then how much they would make annually. A lot of
times students will say, "Well nationally? I don't care what we make nationally, what
do we make here in Pennsylvania?" So, if you look right here, to the left, you'll see that
we have a state and national section, with a dropdown where all the student has to do
is look for our state, or whatever state they may want to live in (we'll pick Pennsylvania).
Hit the "Go" button, and I warn you we move out to another area, which is our CareerOneStop,
also done by our Department of Labor and Industry. CareerOneStop is a fun place for students
to go, because this is where we house career videos for students. So when they're looking
to see what a job is--it's great to read and we know students like--well, we hope students
like to read, but we also know that they're visual. So they can take a look at this video
and see what actually the job entails and sees what someone is doing in that particular
They can also take a look and see what the state and national wages. So, here in the
United States, it may say it's the ten percent mark, set at $17.66 an hour. Let's take a
look here in Pennsylvania; we do pretty much--we do better at $21.23 an hour, for our students,
whoever is coming out for the job in that particular area. They also talk about the
state and national trends. Looks like, in the United States, ten percent change in Pennsylvania;
only a two percent change in an increase for position.
By minimizing the window--remember you can see that Education Planner is still back there
in the background. So students can move freely through and go and take that activity. Then
go through, take a look at the jobs that match up with their activity. They can go through
and they can see the education requirements--that's something I did not show you. But you can
actually see the educational requirements that go along with that job, the salaries
and the skills, abilities--all of those things. Back under the career planning, does anybody
have any questions on that before I move forward?
Okay, we'll then we'll continue onwards. If you do, feel free to type in the box and I
will get to them at the end of each section.
So if we go back to that "Find Careers" area where we first were, so that's one way of
looking at careers. The second way is which careers match your skills. I'm not gonna take
this test; it's pretty easy and simple, but all we're doing is looking at a different
way where students can take a look and see what is it--what career would they be interested
in. My little thing when we're looking at careers when I'm teaching students and I'm
talking to counselors, is that I don't necessarily want a student to walk out and say, "I want
to be a doctor; I want to be a lawyer." I want a student to walk out and say, "I don't
want to be working a cash register because I don't like numbers and I don't like money.
I don't want to be a lawyer because I don't want to have to stand up in front of people.
I don't want to be a doctor because I don't like blood." Those to me are almost as important,
if not more important, than actually knowing what they want to do. So, it's a good way
to start.
Maybe you just want them to go in and take a look at career videos. Maybe your student
is coming home and saying, "I want to be a CSI." We hear that a lot. Or a crime scene
investigator, we hear that a lot. You can take them and just look directly at career
videos that go along by clicking at that "Go to the Career Videos" link.
You can also just search directly with a career search, where they go directly to our O*Net
Online, where we were before, but it's a different way to search. So if I type in, and excuse
my spelling--I'll see if that comes up, if I spelled that right. And hopefully if I didn't--[laughing]
very good! So if you take a look here, and I know this from experience, I have lots of
students tell me that they want to do that criminal investigative special agent. So right
away, I'll take students to that section. We can look it up and see well what do they
do? There's the tasks that they need, and we have a summary, the tools and technology
like I showed you before, but then, if we go further, we can take a look at the knowledge
that the student needs: law, public safety, English, education and training, psychology.
There's all of the skills, any things that they need to go along with that particular
type of job. The abilities that go along with the job. What are some of the work activities
that they do? So it takes it a step further, in letting the students know exactly what
is required of this job before making that decision.
We'll hit the back button. And there's just some other jobs that go along with just being
an investigator. So maybe they thought they wanted to be a criminal crime scene investigator;
well they can know that there's some other--forensic science technicians are out there, retail
loss prevention specialists. There are some other jobs that are out there if they really
have that investigative type mind. Remember that our Education Planner is still always
right there in the background for students to look at.
Some other things in that "Career Planning" section. You see how I could go back that
way, if I use the back button. If you look along the left-hand side of your screen, you
see that you can move around. Hot jobs for the future, where we go when we talk about
those up and coming jobs that are available. Here's a section that talks about it's not
all about the money. Making sure that students just basically find a good fit. And then we
have tools for their careers. We have majors and career profiles, and actually we'll take
you there to that section next, but we won't go that way. Instead, we'll go back up to
the "Student" section. You can go this way, where the preparing for school is at the top,
or you can move along the left-hand side to this area where it says "Preparing for School,"
that's highlighted in red. When you click on the "Preparing for School," couple different
things are out here in this section. We have some checklists if you like to go through
and review them with your student. There's a middle school checklist--I'll just quickly
open these up so that you can generally get an idea. The little talking points: do well
in school. Well why, why should I do well in school? Well, because when you're a freshman,
your grades contribute to your overall grade point average, and it's hard to bring them
up if you don't do well the first little bit that you're in school.
So you'll see that there's just a little talking points that we have for you as students to--as
parents--to talk to your students. We also have a high school one. So you can see, we
talk about doing well, visiting colleges, comparing colleges, admissions, ACTs, ACTs,
and I can show you all of those things next.
Continuing hitting the back button gets us right back to where we were on our "Preparing
for School" section. We have a section on standardized tests for your student. If I
click on that for you, you'll see that we talk about the GED tests, the PSATs, the ACTs,
SATs, GREs. I'll just click on the SAT tests quickly to show you what I mean by that. Just
let you know as parents, and for your students, what the overview is. It gives you some information
on getting ready for taking these tests. Here you'll see that we provided links for practice
questions. We have a full practice test. We also have the official SAT question of the
day. I know many of my friends actually quiz their students on this, and they've actually
started doing this at a young age, which I found interesting. A lot of times you'll see
our juniors and seniors are going in and trying to cram for the SAT. Basically studying for
hours upon hours. But what we're finding is, and I'm finding with a bunch of my friends
with their students, is that they're pulling this SAT question of the day starting at basically
when their students are freshman. And what you're finding is--you're doing is you're
studying for four years for a test that they'll need to take during the senior year.
We talk about scores to aim for. A lot of people don't realize that the SAT score can
range from 600 to 2400. It's 200 to 800 for each section. When I was in school, it wasn't
that high--thank goodness, 'cause I didn't do too good. But it'll just tell you an explanation.
Also you can see things under the "Want to Know More" section. We always refer students
and new parents out to the SAT website for more additional information. I'm going to
use our back button to get us back to the standardized test, so again you can see--and
we do that for every section, whether it's the ACT or the SAT. We'll go next to the find
schools section. Here you can see there's a group of information, the first being what
to look for in a school. So when you're looking at colleges for your student, this is something
your student can go through.
Wow, I'm going a little fast, I apologize for that. At this checklist that your student
can actually answer, what type of school are they actually interested in? Is it a technical,
trade school, two year, four year. Is it public or private? So you can see do they want to
live in the city or do they want to live in the country? In state? Out of state? So you
can see there's lots of questions, lots of interactive things for your student to answer
questions about. They can print this page, then when they're going through and looking
at colleges, they can compare, "Well does this college match what answers I provided
for myself in this questionnaire.
I'm going to use the back button again. And here we have what's called a "College Matchmaker."
The College Matchmaker, again, what Education Planner does--and I don't think that I stated
this in the beginning or not--but Education Planner, what we do is we make sure that we
are branching out to the best of the best websites that are out there, instead of recreating
the wheel. There are tons of wonderful websites, such as O*Net, such as CareerOneStop that
are available. So that's why we've decided instead of making our own, we take students
out to those [inaudible]--parents and students, I'm sorry, out to those [inaudible] sites
that are out there. So I'm going to take you to the College Matchmaker now, by just clicking
on that link, and it will open. And where we've taken you and the students to now is
what's called the College Board. A lot of our students are very familiar with this.
Reason for it is this is where students go to register for the SAT. Counselors are used
to it as well. I'm going to expand the screen for you and show you how this college search
actually works.
So you'll see here on the College Matchmaker, this area that I highlight has 3,920 colleges.
Well that is a lot of schools to be looking at. So, what can we do? Well, we can--we can
hone them down a little. So let me show you what I mean by that. Well, let's take a look
at the type of school. Maybe I don't want a four year college, I want a two year. So
I click two year. Do I want a public or do I want a private institution? I'm going to
go with a public school. How about the size? Well, let's see, I don't mind too much, we'll
go medium. The setting, well, urban, suburban, rural; uh, I don't really seem to care, so
I'm going to leave it at no preference. I can do a couple of things. I could save my
start search, I could start over, I could instantly see my results, or I could submit
and continue. I'll show you two things what you can do. First we'll do "See Results."
So remember, up here, 3,924 colleges. See results. Instantly by answering just those
few questions, I've broken it down to 638 colleges. Well that' still an awful lot, don't
you think? I do, so I'm going to use my back button, again, because I like the back button
it seems.
Oh, maybe I won't. We're going to start over. We'll get us back to our 3924 colleges that
are there and are available. I'm going to answer my questions again: two year colleges,
public, medium size. This time, instead of seeing the results, I'm going to submit and
continue. And then, it's going to ask mere well where do I want to go? Let's see. We
can pick some areas. I could pick the whole entire west if I wanted to, the whole Midwest,
or I could pick by just each state. I'm going to stay close to home, I'm going to pick the
Mid-Atlantic region. I need you to see how it highlighted over there, I'll unclick it.
I highlight click it, and it highlights up there. It shows students well this is a region,
this is a region. I like that functionality.
I could also go down here to where it says distance from home. I could find a college
less than, more than miles [inaudible]--miles away from home (use my zip code). Or I can
say I don't have a preference. So I'm going to submit and continue. Now it took it down
to 71 colleges. I can continue on or I could just see my results. Maybe I'm good, maybe
I say, "That's it, I just want to look at those 71 colleges that I have picked, but
that are two year, public, medium size.
Excuse me as I move back there. Oh no...Bear with me, guys. Or maybe not. We are going
to go back, excuse me for a moment, as we go back here I'll move through quickly. Technology
was--there we go--which is nice, so even though I--something happened to my page, which sometimes
does happen with technology, what you can see happened there for our students is that
it still saved it at my 71 colleges, so I continue on, I submit and continue. We've
already answered that question. Submit and continue. Now we can answer some information
about majors. If I was interested, I could put in all the information about what I wanted
to go to school for. I'm not going to put any in, I'm going to continue onwards and
see what happens. We can take a look and see what financial aid--a lot of times students
aren't available of what financial aid is or how much a school costs, or how much a
school should cost, as you can see. Also, they could pick or they could not pick, often
I tell them just no preference for right now. A lot of times they don't know what this thing
means, non-need based or need based aid. Students don't really understand that, so we just move
We talk about admissions, so here's the student's GPA. Well I'm going to pick 50 to 75%, a 3.0.
Oh, let's see. I could see all high school grads accepted or more than 75% accepted.
We can talk about the SATs, maybe I know what my SAT score is; I could put in that information.
Or I could just continue onward. A lot of times students will just do that. Here's the
section, well, do they have my sports? They can click, and there's some pretty interesting
sports that are listed here, I will let you know: rugby, sailing, skiing, squash, for
those of you that are average squash fans, cricket. So you can go through and there's
a quite a few things that are listed there. There's also things such as activities, so
maybe there's something that they were interested in high school and they want to make sure
that they have that listed here.
Let's just pick a couple. Fraternities and sororities is also something's that listed.
Hit submit and continue. Uh-oh, look at that, I had zero colleges listed. So what does that
mean? Well what you would have to do then is have your students go back, and there may
be some questions that they've answered or that they've chosen too many. Sometimes that
can be a problem, and I think I did pick a two year institution. Well, I have three colleges,
so I'm really homing down on what schools are out there. So if I just go through and
I take a look, just because of the amount of time we have, I could continue to play
in here as you can see, you can keep going--housing and programs up here at the top and specialized
options. You can continue onward and onward of all of these search ways of things to look
I'm going to take a look at this one now. You can see these are all highlighted links.
I can go and I can see the profile. I can compare, I can find similar schools, I can
just click on that link, that's gonna give me information about Suny College of Technology
at Alfred. It gives me the information on the address, what type of school it is, degrees
that are offered. You can see that it's rural, you can see the size. So it just gives basic
information that's at a glance. There's admissions, there's costs and financial aid, academics,
sports, housing, majors. You can actually go straight to alfredstate.edu if you're interested
in taking your student out directly and looking at the website. [inaudible] Load there, there
we go. So you can see, and that's a way that students can go through and they can start,
begin their college search. And always remember in the background is where Education Planner
So, we have any questions on that section? You can--If you have a question again feel
free to ask in that little chat box area--
(Jackie) --in the question box, can you read the question
or would you like for me--
(Marla) Alright, let's move forward.
I can't see the question box. Is there a question there?
(Jackie) It says, "I noticed that non-academic extracurricular
are important, how important overall?" And I think that might have been back when you
were doing the--
(Marla) Okay.
(Jackie) --the--one of the makers or the student screens.
(Marla) Okay, yeah. I can't see questions, so I guess
if you could help me with that, that would be great?
(Jackie) Can you hear me?
(Marla) For that---I can hear you now, yeah.
(Jackie) The question was regarding--the attendee had
asked, "I noticed that non-academic extracurricular are important."
(Marla) Mhm.
(Jackie) "How important overall is that?"
(Marla) Alright, I can answer as best as I can from
my perspective. Normally answering post-secondary schools would. But what we're finding is yes,
extracurricular activities are great. We encourage all students to be involved in something.
I wouldn't recommend that a student gets involved in 12 extracurricular activities just to say
they're involved. What we're seeing happening more often with our post-secondary schools
is that they're looking for students that are involved deeply. So, being that they're
involved and they're the class president or that they're holding a committee position,
such as secretary, or that, you know, they're in the speech and drama club for four years
or three years, not that they're just going and joining their senior year to say that
they've joined an extracurricular just to join it. They are very much important.
I can tell you from my own personal background with going to school, I came--neither one
of my parents graduated from high school, so therefore, neither one had gone on to college.
I was involved in many, many things, and I had very good grades; however, I did terrible
on the SATs. So what my colleges that were looking at me, paid more attention to my grades
and my extracurriculars, because I was involved deeply in those extracurriculars. So, to make
a long story short, extracurriculars are important, but making sure that they're picking ones
that they are actually interested in, that they are going to actively participate in,
instead of just being involved in a bunch that they really don't care about. Hopefully
that answered that question.
Do we have any other questions out there?
(Jackie) --time.
(Marla) Are we okay?
(Jackie) No more questions.
(Marla) Great, we'll move forward then.
So then again, remember, you can go back up to the student section, but I'm going to go
right back over here on the left-hand side. So that was one way that the students can
go and search for a college. You can also search from A to Z. Again, we link you out
to the best of the best. So where are we going to take you next? Is back out to College Board.
So maybe you're just initially starting the college search process and you don't really
want to home down on anything, instead you just want to look at all schools that start
with the letter 'A.' Some people think this is crazy; I have students that do this all
the time, just because they're interested. They're like "Wow, there's 214 with the letter
'A?'" And they just go through and they start looking at the different types of schools,
just by clicking on and reading the information.
One other way that you can search: I closed out of that; back out to Education Planner
on the left-hand side under "Find Your School," on the fourth tab down, "Comparing Schools."
First we're gonna go back out there again, we're going to compare colleges, and we do
go back out to College Board. So students actually could go through and they could type
in a school. I'm going to expand this box for you, and see if I can add these information
in. It worked one day for me and then the other day it didn't, so, I'm going to look
for Bloomsburg, so there we go. Yeah it kind of doesn't look real fancy there, I apologize.
So I want to take a look at Bloomsburg as my school one, and then let's take a look
at another school, how about Kutztown. And it added Kutztown in there for me. And, let's
see, one other school, what--how about West Chester. So, which West Chester do I want,
they want to know. Well, I want this one, "West Chester University of Pennsylvania."
So I add it, and you can see they've added all my schools, one, two and three. This is
especially helpful when you have a student that's not sure which school they want to
go to; they have a top five, top four, you can compare the schools by hit "Compare Now,"
and it gives me a nice little chart that tells me where, the school names, where they're
located, if they're public, you can take a look that'll tell me, the settings, the enrollment,
the admissions, what the application requirements are in terms of SATs, you can see them all
down there. You can take a look at the cost, right listed here. So you can see we're pretty
much on track here at all of them, with Kutztown being a little bit more expensive, it looks
like, for the in-state tuition information. So just again, another way of searching and
looking at schools, because there are tons and tons of informational sites out there.
So we'll 'X' out of there. Back over to the left-hand side under "Visiting Campus," and
all we have here is just some tips and hints, some information about scheduling a visit,
preparing for a visit, getting the full college experience. You can see that these little
buttons, they expand. Just little arrows. Alright.
Then back over again to the left-hand side, we have "Campus Life," where we click on the
"Campus Life" and we talk about things, kind of question them. Do you want to live on campus?
What do you need for an apartment? These are some things you should talk to people about.
Well tell students, you know, do you have access to doing your laundry? Does your student
know how to do their laundry? That might be a good question to ask tonight over the dinner
table. Some other things that we put in there, things like money management. I'm getting
around school [loud beep in background], being busy, coping with stress, because our students
really do undergo a lot of stress when going off to a school, talking about will they go
homesick, what do you do if you get homesick, what do you do if you're stressed out? And
we've provided some of those types of questions.
And they're nice little pieces, you know, we hope that our students will go to them
and take a look at these on their own, but I think as counselors and parents, that if
we look at this and maybe print this page off and have a conversation, you know. Hey,
you know, well how do you feel about a roommate? How are you going to handle a conflict with
the roommate? Are you going to make sure you eat healthy? Are you going to remember to
eat? Those little simple questions that I think we take for granted when we have our
students and our kids home with us, once they go away. So nice little conversation pieces
for you to have with your students.
So any questions about that? Are we okay?
So we talked about career planning, we talked about preparing for school, and the final
section I'll take you for and to is the "Paying for School." And that's where many, many parents
have tons of questions and information that they need answered for them. So once you hit
the "Paying for School" section, remember on the left-hand side you'll find lots of
information. Where I'm going to take you first--I mean we've got checklists, we've got "Dollars
and Sense," we've got "Student Aid 101," "Ways to Pay," "Finding Grants," "Student Aid Packages."
So what I'll do is I'll quickly go over each of them for you, so that you can see what
they look like. I won't spend--that's middle and high school, remember I showed you before--I'm
not going to spend a large amount of time in all of them, except in the grants one.
You can see here under "Dollars and Sense," we have tips to getting started teaching students
how to save. We have another area called "YouCanDealWithIt.com." That's a money management website that talks
about free money, tools, tips and resources for students. We have "Student Aid 101;" I'll
click on that for you so you can see. So we've got ten tips for students. We have the importance
of the FAFSA, which is wonderful for students and parents to understand. And then we have
the role of financial aid office, so that students and parents both understand what
that financial aid office--I'll click on that just quickly for you--and letting you know.
So again, it is just a matter of getting on here. Some of these are quick and easy reads--as
I click back quickly, I apologize for that. Click back again. And where I wanted to spend
the next couple minutes was in the "Ways to Pay" section. So in the "Ways to Pay" section,
there's some things that you can take a look at: "10 Ways to Reduce College Costs." And
again, just nice, quick and easy to go through and to read. So start off at a community college.
Well why should I? Well, here's some reasons why. Because it's a lot less expensive than
a four year school, you can take your general education classes and transfer them over to
a four-year institution where you can take those specific ones.
Compare your housing options. Choose the right meal plan. I run into this one all the time.
As parents, we want to see our kids--I know me with having two little ones, I'm constantly
forcing them to eat and telling them to "clear your plate." But do our students really need
the largest meal plan that's out there? I can tell you, just from my experience being
in school, I didn't eat in the dorm and the meal hall, the mess hall--whatever we used
to call it--I didn't eat there on Saturdays and Sundays. If I was at the mall, I was eating
Burger King. If I could get to a diner, that's where I was going. So, something to think
about: do they necessarily need the biggest meal plan out there? 'Cause you can save money.
I say all the time, and AT&T will probably yell at me some day, but they're not like
rollover minutes. If you don't use those meal credits, you actually lose them. So be aware
of that as a tip.
Don't buy new textbooks. That seems almost self-explanatory, but for some reason students
think they need new. You don't need new. What you'll find is that textbooks are very expensive.
When they try to sell them back they don't get back as much money as what they paid for
them. So they can rent them, they can buy used ones, they can find a friend and share
a book. They can also work while they're in school. So you can see there's all of these
ways of cutting costs. So, if you would just take the time, click through and read them,
and then have a general discussion with your students, that would be beneficial.
We're going to go back. We'll go to our grants section. And so we talk about grants that
are available. We don't go into too much detail here. We link you to your state agency to
find grants that are available in your state. And you do know with us, with PHEAA, we administer
the Pennsylvania State Grant for the state of Pennsylvania. So when you complete a FAFSA,
which is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is done the student's senior
year of high school, after January 1st. When they complete filling out that FAFSA, it goes
to the federal government; it comes to us at PHEAA. It also goes to any schools, colleges,
trade, tech, whatever it is they have listed on that FAFSA. That information comes into
all of those sources, and is evaluated for whether they will be eligible for grants.
So you can see there is more information listed here about eligibility, how to apply and all
of those. And that's a whole 'nother discussion, filling out the FAFSA, that we're not going
to be able to get into today.
So the last area that I really want to take you to is the scholarship section, which is
listed on the third arrow down: those scholarships. We have an overview of what a scholarship
is; we talk about eligibility, how to apply. We also have an area where we talk about scholarship
scams--very important to take a look at that. Know that you should never pay for a scholarship.
That you should never provide a checking account, bank account, credit card for a scholarship.
Scholarships are free money. Sadly, Ed McMahon, that--you know--the big check, the big giant
check with balloons and flowers, they don't come and deliver your scholarships that way.
But scholarships, you need to be very careful when applying for them, making sure that you
find out the contact information and making sure that it's legitimate. So if you click
on that "Scholarship Scams." We have just some common things that we've run into. "For
a small fee, you can access hundreds of exclusive scholarships," well that's not true. "Act
now or lose this opportunity." "Win a scholarship," you don't win a scholarship. So, some things
that you should take a look at, of being suspicious. "This offer guarantees that you will be given
a scholarship." Be suspicious if the word scholarship is spelled incorrectly, it is
a scam.
And sadly, we have seen lots of people that are taken advantage of through scams. Even
if the scholarship wants you to pay one dollar, please do not pay that dollar. You want to
make sure you don't even apply for that scholarship. The reason for it is, we had a couple years
ago a scholarship that was made available online. You'd go in and you'd Google it, and
I don't even remember what it was, but the scholarship asked students to pay a one dollar
fee. And what that one dollar fee would do would be to regenerate money for future scholarships,
which sounds good if somebody actually did that. However, if you read the fine print
at the bottom, the disclaimer stated that one $500 scholarship would be made available
across the United States to one student. So what they found out happened with this scam
artist, he actually made, I think it was about $500,000 that he made, gave out one $500 scholarship,
closed up his scholarship site and moved out of the country. So please don't fall for any
of those types of scams in terms of scholarships.
A scholarship--one of two things will happen. The scholarship will be, if the student winds,
a check, depending upon the size of the scholarship and the organization, could be made out to
the student and sent to their home. Most likely, what will happen is the scholarship will be
sent to the school that the student is attending. And then that would come off of the student's
Let's go back and I'll show you where we are going for scholarships. We go to the "free
scholarship search" out on FastWeb. Now I'm not going to be able, unfortunately, to take
you through this scholarship search, because you do have to register. Again, we link out
to the best of the best. And we have found that working with post-secondaries, working
with our high schools and with our students, that FastWeb is the preferred search engine
that students like to use.
And if this opens up for me--oh no, please respond.
Is everyone still there? It looks like I'm having some problems on my end. Jackie are
you still there?
(Jackie) Yep, we're still here.
(Marla) I don't know what's happening here Jackie,
but why--because as you can see I'm kind of paused, but I'll keep talking. So, FastWeb.com,
you will have your student go there and they do have to register. Once they register, they
answer questions about themselves--will answer things such as what they're involved in, what
they like, what their hobbies are, their grade point average, their class rank, where do
they want to go to school, what do they want to go to school for? They have to enter in
a valid e-mail address, and what would happen then is that the students would receive scholarships
that are specific to those items that they placed, answers, in this database system.
And then they can go forward and they could apply--there we go, oh we're good. And then
what they can do, by joining today, is they would get those scholarships sent directly
to their e-mail.
There are some really interesting and weird scholarships out there. I'm--I personally
like weird things, so I'm always intrigued when I find new ones. There are your traditional
scholarships where they're going to ask you to name in 5,000 words or less why you want
to be a neurosurgeon and why. Boring, right? But there's also scholarships out there where
they'll ask you, "if you could change on thing in your life, what would it be and why?" and
you write an essay. There may be some scholarships where there's drawing scholarships, creative
writing scholarships. The "superhero superpower" scholarship is one that's out there, and that
scholarship would say "if you could create one superhero with a superpower and how it
would change the world for the better, what would it be and why?" So, you'll see different
types of scholarships are available.
Pay attention to items that you buy in the store. Things like Doritos, you flip over
the box--the bag--and you will see that there's scholarships listed there. My kids are addicted
to the Disney channel. I see scholarships popping up all the time, not only for the
Disney channel, but for things such as Danimals Crush Cups, for your yogurts, on the boxes
of cereals. So really be aware and pay attention to your surroundings. I was in Kentucky Fried
Chicken--I know--I was in Kentucky Fried Chicken and I looked down and there was a little sticker
that said "win a scholarship." You don't necessarily have to work at the place that's providing
the scholarship. It's basically a corporate responsibility that these places, these industries
are doing for our students. And a lot of students don't take the time to research them or to
apply for them. And because of that, many scholarships do not even get awarded.
And speaking in terms of employers, if you are currently working, if your student is
currently working, I strongly recommend asking whomever it is that you work for to see if
a scholarship is available at your place of employment. I know of places like in our area
here where I live, I have Weis Markets, and they give scholarships away. We have many
students that work as cashiers and stock shelf employees, and they get scholarships. Even
somewhere like Knoebels, we have Knoebel's Grove. I'm sure that you guys have a Dorney
Park down there, I think. You might want to check, if the student works there, whether
or not a scholarship is available for your students or not. Scholarships are everywhere.
If you belong to a union, that would be something else that I would look into, in terms of scholarships.
Let me show you a featured scholarship that's listed on the site. As it slowly loads up,
I'm hoping. And then I can take you to one other place before we're done. So you can
see there are some featured scholarships. Take a look here, we have the "Footlocker's
Scholar Athlete Program." The deadline for this is January 9, 2012. And you'll see that
they're giving away 20, $20,000 scholarships--pretty amazing. So you can see the Heart of America
Foundation "Christopher Reeve's Award." This is someone--the deadline is October 31, and
if you take a look here, "an extraordinary youth who has demonstrated tremendous courage,
compassion and caring in serving his or her community." It's $1,000.
And I know a lot of times parents will be like, "Oh it's only this, it's only $200,
it's only $500." The way that I look at scholarships is that when I go shopping at the grocery
store, I use coupons. So you take a look at your total bill and you subtract those coupons
to get a savings, which then results in you reducing your bill. So scholarships, I look
at them as coupons for college. You get a $200 one, you get a $500 one, you get a $300
one, ultimately you're reducing the cost of the student's education. So no matter what
the size of the scholarship, I always recommend going after it, because you never know when
you could actually just win that scholarship.
One last place that I'll take you and show you--so that was FastWeb.com. I am going to
actually move away, and pardon my Google search, but we are going to. We're going to go to
one other section, because--
Alright. One other place that I will show you--I would always be careful with Googling,
but I have to get to this section--is that there are those unique scholarships that I
mentioned to you already. If you go out to College and Finance's website, they have 32
weird scholarships almost anyone can get. You can see what I normally do with students
when I go into a classroom is take them to places like this. If you have a student that's
a male and he's 6'2" or taller, he could qualify for the Tall Clubs International scholarship.
And all he has to do is write an essay "what being tall means to me," and he could win
$1,000. If you have a left-handed student that wants to go to Juniata College, well
there's a scholarship available for them. Does your student know how to call rabbits?
I didn't come up with this [laughs].
What scholarships are is that people can create a scholarship fund, maybe it's a passion they
have. Me, my passion is singing and music, so when I win the Powerball Wednesday, you
have to sing me a song on YouTube, and if I like it, I'm going to give you $5,000. Now
that's hypothetical, right? But see how that could happen if a person has a passion or
an interest and they have money that they want to back behind that scholarship; that's
how scholarships are created. So there are legitimate, fun, interesting ones like the
"Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest." I clicked on that, and I did not want to.
So basically, a student would make a duck sound [laughing] in order to get a scholarship.
We have the "Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year." If any of your students are
skateboarders, we have the Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarship, and it's available for students
with a 2.5 GPA average. So you can see there's just tons and tons of scholarships that are
out there. And basically what it takes is time, because they're going to request something.
Whether it be a photo of some student, some scholarships will require a photo. Some scholarships
want letters of recommendation. Some scholarships want references. Some scholarships do want
those essays. Some scholarships do want a YouTube video. So just being able to make
sure that meet you the criteria, make sure that you meet the deadline of all these scholarships,
and making sure that they are legitimate.
And that's basically what I have for you. It looks like we're doing good on time at
12:55. Does anybody have any questions on the material that I covered?
(Jackie) --being posted at this time.
(Marla) There are?
(Jackie) There are no questions at this time.
(Marla) No questions, okay. Very good, well if you
come upon any other questions that you might have, I would refer you to the Parent Education
Network. I know that they have the contacts of your Higher Education Access Partners in
your area, which is basically what I do, but there's a group of us that are down in York
County. So if you don't have any other questions, that will conclude our webinar. Jackie?
(Jackie) Thank you so much Marla for presenting for
us today. This was an awesome webinar and thank you for all the attendees who came out
to participate over this lunch hour. I am getting some comments saying this is a wonderful
resource and they are thanking you, Marla. So thank you again. And everyone have a great
(Marla) You're welcome.
(Jackie) Buh-bye.
(Marla) Great, thank you, you too. Buh-bye.