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January 8, 2012

@ 8:53 pm | Permalink | Topic All

Reputable University Scams Students and Government?

It has come to light that Kaplan University, owned by the Washington Post, may have bilked both students and the US government out of tuition fees – perhaps intentionally, through a practice known as “Guerilla registration”.

Guerilla registration has been part of a concerted effort by the university to keep students enrolled as long as possible in order to harvest more of the federal financial aid dollars that make up nearly all of the company’s higher education revenues, according to former Kaplan academic advisor Sheldon Cobbler, who described the practice in detail.

Most advisors had access to a company database that allowed them to view students’ e-mail correspondence without their knowledge, said Cobbler, who worked at Kaplan’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., corporate office from 2007 through July of this year. The advisors routinely searched through students’ e-mails to look up their user names and passwords for Kaplan’s enrollment system, and then they used that information to sign in using multiple student identities, enrolling them in classes they never intended to join, he said.

Read full Huffington Post article

December 22, 2010

@ 7:08 pm | Permalink | Topic All,Student info

Black son, (gay) white dad & their experiences

What an interesting article. Gay white man who leads workshops about racial justice adopted a Black infant 7 years ago. He shares thoughts and experiences.

Though we live in a racially diverse neighborhood, I didn’t expect the sight of a middle-aged white man carrying an African American infant peering out from a colorful chest-worn sling to be such an attention grabber.

Read full article

@ 5:38 pm | Permalink | Topic All,Social Justice

Highlights of Student Loan, Financial Aid & Health Reform

Update October 26, 2011 President Obama is pushing for two further changes to help students by enhancing the student loan programs he was able to get enacted in 2009. The changes are:

  • Effective this January, if you’re someone who has different kinds of loans – guaranteed and direct – you’ll be able to roll them both into one direct loan and bring down your interest rate. You’ll only have to write one check a month, and you’ll see a discount. This switch adds no cost to taxpayers across the board.
  • You might remember that, as part of last year’s student loan reform, borrowers’ loan payments could be no higher than 10 percent of their disposable income. This is a big deal – but it wasn’t going to help anyone enrolling before 2014. Today, the President announced that he’s speeding up this program so it will affect students next year – helping over 1 million students. This will have huge consequences for people struggling to make their student loan payments.

Original post on 30 July 2010
A couple of months ago Ms. Estina Baker, president of the Bergen County NAACP, joined the Kokokidz at a meeting to explain some of the newly enacted laws of benefit to students. The new laws will both protect students’ access to healthcare and also help them protect their credit scores. Protecting your credit is important because over 50% of bankruptcies are due to medical bills. And, your credit profile may determine if you qualify to get a job, rent an apartment and even what you pay for car insurance.

Here’s a White House flier listing the immediate benefits of student aid reforms.

Benefits include

  • Pell Grant awards increase to $5500, effectively 2010-11
  • Interest on student loans down to 4.5% for 2010-11 and to 3.4% for 2011-12
  • Caps on student loan payments at 15% of discretionary income (10% after 2014) and after 25 years balances are forgiven
  • Student loans will now be made directly by the government, saving taxpayers an estimated, “$61 Billion over the next 10 years”
  • Students can remain on parents’ health insurance policy through age 25 and
  • Effective immediately, insurance companies cannot discriminate against individuals under age 19 whom have pre-existing conditions

What has been the case with students loans made by banks, is that students are hit with sky high student loan payments that kick in immediately after college ends. Before they’ve had a real chance to scout out the great job opportunities that match with their education and interests, many students been forced to take any kind of job in order to avoid defaulting on their student loan payments. The restructuring of the student loan system means a much brighter, and productive future for students who need this help to finance their educations.

Interested in other aspects of the health care and student aid reform? There’s a mountain of good information available at the Committee for Education and Labor’s website.

If you like these reforms, and what they’ll do for your family, remember to cast your votes in November to elect the Democratic Congressmen and federal Senators who will help President Obama continue to pass legislation that benefits the majority of Americans, which is help we so urgently need. You can vote at the polls or by absentee ballot.

July 30, 2010

@ 7:51 am | Permalink | Topic All,Student info

18-24? Get paid for IT training

Free IT Training for 18-24 year olds who live in the DC, MD, or VA, Providence, Boston, New York City, Atlanta or San Francisco Bay Area. If you know any one with a high school diploma or a GED who is between the ages of 18-24 yrs old and has an interest in IT, refer them to this site yearup.org to learn more about this free program. This program asks for a 1 year commitment between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm. They provide the student with a stipend and after six months, internships at companies such as Freddie Mac and AOL to name a few.

Sent in by Yulie Peña. Send in excellent info you come across too!

May 28, 2010

@ 3:27 am | Permalink | Topic All

Who’s up for a weekend of outdoor fun this summer?

At the general meeting on April 3 2010 we decided it would be perfect to get together over the summer for an adventurous outdoor crazy, clean fun weekend. It just happens that one of the Weiboyz friends suggested just the right place for us, a woodland retreat where staff trained in group dynamics and outdoor skills will guide the kokokidz through outdoors activities all weekend long. They can guide us through “bonding experiences” too if we want.

Our group can choose to stay in cabins or tents, participate in high and low rope climbing exercises and go canoeing. If you’re interested in participating too give us a holla. We want to hear your ideas for fund-raising activities and getting sponsors. Share them here in talk back.

We’re being offered the chance to volunteer at Bergen County’s beautiful, new, facility for homeless men and women in Hackensack. If you’re interested in helping out contact Ivan by email or phone 862.203.8814.

Many thanks to Rev. Jackson and Mount Olive Baptist Church for hosting us!

April 4, 2010

@ 11:32 pm | Permalink | Topic All
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