Financial Tips

The White House Initiative On Educational Excellence For Hispanics Announces ¡Gradúate! A Financial Aid Guide To Success

 

MAY 2, 2014
 

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH) has announced the release of "¡Gradúate! A Financial Aid Guide to Success" to help support Hispanic students in their efforts to enroll and afford a postsecondary education.

The guide, available in English and Spanish, includes recommendations on how to prepare a college application, helpful tips on how to choose the right college, and types of financing options, including resources for students granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and non-U.S. citizen students.

Determined to help the country reach the President's 2020 goal, the Initiative has prioritized college access among Hispanics as a key issue. Recent research indicates that the national Hispanic high school graduation rate is at 76 percent—an all-time high. Additionally, a record 69 percent of Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college that fall, two percentage points higher than the rate (67 percent) of their white counterparts, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The dropout rate for Hispanic students has also been cut in half. Despite these tremendous gains, only 15 percent of Latino adults hold a bachelor's degree. A significant barrier for Hispanic postsecondary attainment is a financial one.

"We developed the guide in response to feedback that we received directly from students and parents across the country. Our goal is to continue providing the Latino community with the resources and tools they need to be successful from cradle to career." said Alejandra Ceja, executive director of the WHIEEH.

Access the guide online at ed.gov/HispanicInitiative. The guide will also be housed on the U.S. Department of Education's new online resource page designed to help the immigrant community navigate the U.S. educational system.

In order to improve opportunities for Hispanic students, President Obama signed Executive Order 13555 on Oct. 19, 2010, renewing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. This executive order demonstrates the president's strong support for the critical role Hispanics play in the overall prosperity of the nation and highlights the administration's commitment to expanding educational opportunities and improving educational outcomes for all students.

 

 

Monthly Financial Tip: Giving Up a Few Things to Get More in Return


Lisa Rogers-Cherry pic


by Lisa Rogers Cherry
 
I am constantly searching for ways to save money.  Since it’s the Lenten Season, my Mom, some friends and I have decided to give up a few things. During Lent, I am only drinking water, I am not eating certain protein items, nor dairy products during the week.  It’s amazing how much money I have saved, how much energy I have gained, and surprisingly, I have even lost a few pounds in the process.  Even if you are not the most religious person in the world, I am sure that you can think of at least one thing that you can give up between now and Easter that can save you a few dollars along the way.  

Lisa Rogers-Cherry is the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt: A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track (2005; $14.95). Lisa writes monthly financial tips forwww.bloggingblackmiami.com and writes articles for various newpapers and magazines. If you have a question or for more information go to www.redpenpress.com, e-mail her at LisaHKDST@aol.com, or write Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Red Pen Press, P. O. Box 1196, Dania Beach, FL 33004.


October's Financial Tip by Lisa Rogers-Cherry

Yoga
Don’t spend money just to de-stress.  I used to spend money just to wind down from a stressful day at work. Instead, I’ve found that I quite often feel much better by talking a quiet walk around my neighborhood, picking up my journal or taking 20 minutes to sit and meditate. I end up feeling much more together, happy, and ready to face an evening with the kids in the right mindset than I ever would by just blowing some cash after work on something that I probably didn't really need anyway. Instead of spending to de-stress, try some basic meditation techniques, stretching, or yoga and see how you feel.

 

Lisa'spic_pdf[1]Lisa Rogers-Cherry is the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt:  A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track (2005; $14.95). Lisa writes monthly financial tips for www.bloggingblackmiami.com and writes articles for various newpapers and magazines.  If you have a question or for more information go to www.redpenpress.com, e-mail her at LisaHKDST@aol.com, or write Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Red Pen Press, P. O. Box 1196, Dania Beach, FL 33004.

 


July's Financial Tip: Five Ways to Save Money in the Summer

by Lisa Rogers-Cherry

Summer 
 

It's summer time and the living is easy...or so they say. Here are five ways to save money during the summer months:

1.  Cut your lawn yourself. Generally it rains more in the summer which means that your grass will grow faster. By cutting your own lawn you save money and get some exercise.

2. Instead of using the stove, fire up the grill outside. Invite some friends over and tell them to bring something along.

3. Lower your electricity bill by hanging your laundry outside, instead of using the clothes dryer.

4. Replace your air conditioner filters, that way your AC unit doesn't have to work as hard.

5. Instead of buying pricey drinks, try drinking water only. It's healthier and cheaper.

 

Lisa Rogers-Cherry is the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt:  A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track (2005; $14.95). Lisa writes monthly financial tips for www.bloggingblackmiami.com and writes articles for various newpapers and magazines. If you have a question or for more information go to www.redpenpress.com, e-mail her at LisaHKDST@aol.com, or write Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Red Pen Press, P.O. Box 1196, Dania Beach, FL 33004.

 


April’s Financial Tip: Is FREE really free?

by Lisa Rogers-Cherry

 

Free 

 

Make sure that free checking at your bank is really FREE. Although many banks offer free checking, some banks tack on all kinds of fees and costs when you look closely at your statement. Carefully review your monthly bank statement and make sure that you are NOT paying a fee for: not maintaining a minimum balance; overdraft fees; ATM fees; or fees for paying your bills online.  If you can’t get your bank to waive these fees, then switching banks might be your best option.

 

Lisa Rogers-Cherry is the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt:  A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track (2005; $14.95). Lisa writes monthly financial tips for www.bloggingblackmiami.com and writes articles for various newpapers and magazines.  If you have a question or for more information go to www.redpenpress.com, e-mail her at LisaHKDST@aol.com, or write Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Red Pen Press, P. O. Box 1196, Dania Beach, FL 33004.

 


March Financial Tip: It's Spring Cleaning Time!

Spring 

by Lisa Rogers-Cherry

It's time to do some Spring cleaning. After cleaning out the house, take a few minutes to review your bills to make sure that you're getting the best deals possible. I recently called my cell phone carrier and found a new plan that saves me about $50. per month. Now I'm making a list and checking every bill and bank statement to make sure that I am getting the biggest bang for my buck.


Lisa Rogers-Cherry is the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt: A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track (2005; $14.95). Lisa writes monthly financial tips for www.bloggingblackmiami.com and writes articles for various newpapers and magazines. If you have a question or for more information go to www.redpenpress.com, e-mail her at LisaHKDST@aol.com, or write Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Red Pen Press, P. O. Box 1196, Dania Beach, FL 33004.



Student Financial Aid Assistance and Action in Miami-Dade

   

Student Financial Aid Assistance and Action in Miami-Dade

 

February 6-12, 2011 has been designated Financial Aid Awareness Week in Miami-Dade County and in a number of other communities around the U.S.  Catalyst Miami (formerly the Human Services Coalition) is helping to lead this initiative, which is part of Financial Aid U, a national effort to provide low-income students and their families with the information and assistance that they need to access financial aid resources to help them pay for college.  

 

Now in its third year, Financial Aid U, run by the National Community Tax Coalition (NCTC) with support from the Citi Foundation, has assisted students in receiving $10.7 million in federal assistance and an additional $4.3 million in low-interest student loans in order to enable them to afford post-secondary education. This year Financial Aid U has expanded to 10 of the largest markets in the United States.

Studies have shown that higher education consistently leads to higher levels of employment and wages for graduates of two - to four-year colleges compared to high school graduates. Among full-time workers, students graduating with a four-year degree earn 74 percent more than high school graduates.  

 

Even in this time of high unemployment, companies are struggling to find the qualified and trained workers that they need, which is one of the reasons that President Obama has made college completion for more Americans a priority for America to remain competitive in the global marketplace.  

 

However, this bridge to financial stability is beyond the reach of low-income high school graduates and older students who lack awareness of and access to federal, state and institutional aid programs to pay for the growing cost of college.

In the past five years, college costs have increased by almost 40 percent. According to the College Board, a coalition of higher education institutions across the country, public and private institutions raised tuition in 2009 at an average rate of 6.5 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.  These increases in college costs far exceeded the one percent growth in median family income from 2008-2009.  

 

But there is help available and Catalyst Miami's Prosperity Campaign is providing help county-wide. The first step is for prospective students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid, or FAFSA, form. The FAFSA is a complex document that often keeps students who most need this funding from receiving it.  Yet students who fill out the FAFSA form are 50 percent more likely to attend college.  

 

Most of the information to complete the FAFSA comes from the student's or his or her parents' income tax returns.  Fortunately, our financial coaches at Catalyst Miami's Prosperity Campaign have been assisting low-income individuals file their income tax returns for nine years.  We are now using that information to help our clients complete the FAFSA as early as possible in the year as some federal and state financial aid is allotted on a first come, first served basis.

 

This week we will provide services at sites throughout Miami-Dade in partnership with local government agencies, Miami Dade College and a network of area nonprofits. We are also part of the College Goal Sunday on February 20 with six locations throughout the County.

 

This is the time for our elected leaders, community-based organizations, schools and government agencies to come together and raise awareness about the financial aid support services that are already in place.  Working together, we can help give students and families the assistance they need to attain college degrees for a brighter future for themselves, our state and our country. Visit our website to learn about ways you can help: www.catalystmiami.org and www.prosperitycampaign.org

 

Francoise Penha

Prosperity Director,

Catalyst Miami

 



Florida's New Foreclosure Fix: Pre-File Mediation

Tallahassee, Fla.- The Collins Center's successful mortgage mediation program is expanding to include pre-file foreclosure cases. The new pre-file program is available to certain homeowners with delinquent and defaulted mortgages that are approaching the foreclosure filing stage.

 

"This pre-file program is a game changer," said Ned Pope, director of the program. "We're bringing together homeowners and mortgage lenders before a foreclosure filing, saving homeowners, lenders, and our overburdened state courts time and money."

 

Fannie Mae has mandated that its servicers participate in pre-file mediation on its Florida loans that are eligible for the program. As a result of various court administrative orders, a loan is eligible for the Collins Center's Fannie Mae pre-file mediation program if the property is homesteaded and located in one of the judicial circuits in which the Collins Center also performs post-file mediations.

 

How Pre-File Mediation Works:

 

The Pre-Filing Mortgage Mediation program will be initiated by the lender upon the 65th day of delinquency, at which point the lender will refer the loan to the Collins Center for a determination of the loan's eligibility for the pre-file program. If eligible, the Collins Center arranges financial counseling for the homeowner and schedules a mediation appointment with the homeowner and the lender's representative. The mediation sessions are facilitated by civil court certified mediators.

 

About the Collins Center's Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program:

 

The Collins Center for Public Policy is a statewide nonprofit organization. It also manages foreclosure mediation programs in the 1st, 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th, and 19th judicial circuits.  Since the Center's foreclosure mediation program began in March 2009, the Center has managed more than 11,000 mediations. The post-file mediation program will continue in concert with the new pre-file program, operating in the same judicial circuits, with no up-front costs to borrowers or to Florida taxpayers.

 

"The foreclosure crisis hit our state like a ton of bricks," said Rod Petrey, President of the Collins Center. "Through this innovative program we will reduce the amount of foreclosure filings in our state and give more Floridians an opportunity to try to stay in their home."

 

For more information, visit www.CollinsCenter.org

 


November Financial Tip: Here Come the Holidays

By Lisa Rogers-Cherry
 
ThanksgivingFeast 
The holidays are right around the corner. If you haven’t started planning already, begin making your lists right now!  Pay attention to sales ads and start making purchases for your Thanksgiving Dinner. Last year, I found our turkeys on sale for five cents a pound and was able to buy a few extra for family and friends.  Invite family and friends to have dinner with you and don’t be shy when they ask what they should bring.  Even the ones who don’t cook can stop and pick up desserts and drinks. Every little bit helps. Enjoy your dinner and start preparing for Christmas!

 

Lisa Rogers-Cherry is the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt:  A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track (2005; $14.95). Lisa writes monthly financial tips for www.bloggingblackmiami.com and writes articles for various newpapers and magazines.  If you have a question or for more information go to www.redpenpress.com, e-mail her at Lisa@redpenpress.com, or write Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Red Pen Press, P. O. Box 1196, Dania Beach, FL 33004.