Financial Aid Myths and Facts for College Bound High School Students and Parents on Next #CollegeChat

Sharon McLaughlin, a college planning consultant and financial aid expert and founder of  McLaughlin Education Consulting (http://www.headforcollege.com) , will discuss with college bound teens, college students and parents why it is important to know the facts about financial aid and not the myths during the next #CollegeChat on Twitter on November 2, 2010 at 6 pm Pacific/ 9 pm Eastern.

During #CollegeChat, McLaughlin ( http://twitter.com/shashmc) , will dispel the most common financial aid myths including:

  • My parents make too much money to qualify for financial aid
  • Applying for financial aid will hurt my child’s chance to get into a highly selective college
  • Financial Aid is not available for families making over $160,000 a year

In addition, McLaughlin will also address:

  • How to apply for financial aid
  • What financial aid consists of
  • Why it is important to file for financial aid as soon as possible
  • What to do if your parents refuse to fill out the FAFSA
  • How do you consolidate student loans and why is this important
  • What do you do if you can’t make your student loan payment due to a financial crisis

Sharon McLaughlin is a former college administrator with more than twenty years of experience in student enrollment services. Sharon draws her expertise from her work at private and public colleges in New England, both as a college admissions and financial aid administrator. Sharon holds a MEd in Adult Education and was the first professional college planning consultant in Central Massachusetts to receive the designation of Certified College Planning Specialist (CPPS) from the National Institute of Certified College Planers (NICCP). In 2008, Sharon was honored as a “Woman of Achievement” by the Center for Women & Enterprise in Worcester, Massachusetts.

About #CollegeChat

#CollegeChat is a live bi-monthly conversation intended for teens, college students, parents, and higher education experts on Twitter. #CollegeChat takes place on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 6 pm Pacific/ 9 pm Eastern. Questions for each #CollegeChat edition can be sent to Theresa Smith, the moderator of #CollegeChat via http://Twitter.com/collegechat , by entering questions online on the CollegeChat Facebook page at http://ht.ly/1XIqV , or by email. More detailed information about signing up for Twitter and participating in #Collegechat  can be found at  http://pathwaypr.com/how-to-participate-in-a-twitter-chat . CollegeChat can also be found on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/collegechat .

5 Tips to Staying Safe on Facebook

While meeting with students from Wakefield High School in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Virginia, President Obama was asked for advice from a ninth grader who wants to be president someday. Julianna Goldman and Kate Andersen Brower reported for Bloomberg:

Obama offered, what he called some “practical political advice .. saying that “when you’re young, you know, you make mistakes and you do some stupid stuff.”

“I want everybody here to be careful about what you post on Facebook, because in the YouTube age whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later somewhere in your life,” Obama said. “That’s number one.”

Goldman and Brower wrote that Obama also offered “I’ve been hearing a lot about young people who, you know, they’re posting stuff on Facebook, and then suddenly they go apply for a job,” Obama said to laughter.

Obama isn’t the only one offering advice on being safe on FaceBook.  Recently, Sarah Perez of ReadWriteWeb provided great tips to staying safe on FaceBook, no matter your age, in her article “5 Easy Steps to Stay Safe (and Private!) on Facebook”.

According to Sarah:

Unbeknownst to most mainstream Facebook users, the social network actually offers a slew of privacy controls and security features which can help you batten down the hatches, so to speak. If used properly, you’ll never have to worry about whether you should friend the boss and your mom. You can friend anyone you want while comfortable in the knowledge that not everyone gets to see everything you post.

The problem in implementing these privacy options is that they’re just too confusing for most non-tech savvy people to handle. And often, folks don’t want to bother to take the time to learn. To simplify the process, we’re offering five easy steps you can take today to help make your Facebook experience safer, more secure, and more private.

Sarah’s provides five detailed but easy steps to follow steps on staying safe. Briefly, these steps are:

Step 1: Make Friend Lists

This step–although time consuming–according to Sarah “will be one of the most useful things you can do on Facebook.”

Step 2: Who Can See What on Your Profile

In this step, you will need to “think carefully about the sorts of things you want public and the things you want private. Should “everyone” get to see photos you’re tagged in? Or would you like to limit this only to those you’ve specifically chosen as Facebook friends?”

Step 3: Who Can See Your Address and Phone Number

You can also determine who can see your address and phone number from FaceBook. You probably don’t want everyone to have access to your home address and phone number.

Step 4: Change Who Can Find You on Facebook via Search

Step 5: Stop Sharing Personal Info with Unknown Applications

According to Sarah, “Using Facebook’s default settings, you’re unknowingly sharing a plethora of personal information (and your friends’ info too!) with various Facebook applications and the developers who created them. The problem is so bad that the ACLU recently created their own Facebook Quiz to demonstrate how much information an app has access to.”

In this step, Sarah walks you through how to stop sharing your personal information.

You can read the entire article here

What steps are you taking to stay safe on Facebook?

How to Construct an Elevator Pitch Online? Try the Harvard Business School Elevator Pitch Builder

When was the last time you had to describe yourself and what you do in order to get something you wanted? Were you successful? Do you know the key ingredients of a successful elevator pitch?

According to the Harvard Business School, “You have one minute to explain yourself, your business, your goals, and your passions. Your audience knows none of these. Are you prepared? Can you present your vision smoothly, enticing them to want to know more?”

Man on the Mound
Creative Commons License photo credit: Matt McGee

To make it even easier to craft your pitch, the Harvard Business School has an online tool that explains the mechanics behind the pitch and then steps you through creating your own pitch–even suggesting key words for you to use. Once you are done, the Harvard Business School Pitch Builder will  then analyze your completed pitch. Try it out here.