ED Celebrates Public Service Recognition Week with #AskFAFSA Office Hours

Teachers, firefighters, police officers, government employees, military—day in and day out these public servants work tirelessly for citizens across the country. To celebrate Public Service Recognition Week (May 6th-12th) and the positive impact these individuals’ work has on our lives, we are dedicating this month’s #AskFAFSA Office Hours to our nation’s public servants.

Were you aware of these government-sponsored programs that help current and future public servants fund their higher education?

    • Income Based Repayment: Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is a repayment plan for the major types of federal student loans that caps your required monthly payment at an amount intended to be affordable based on your income and family size.
      Note: Income-based repayment is not just for public servants. Have federal student loans? Find out if you qualify: http://1.usa.gov/GR2V2X
    • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program encourages individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on their eligible federal student loans after they have made 120 payments on those loans under certain repayment plans while employed full-time by certain public service employers.
    • TEACH Grant: The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families.
    • Post 9/11 GI Bill: The Post-9/11 GI Bill is an education benefit program paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs to those who served in the military on or after September 10, 2001. You can receive tuition and fee payments, a monthly housing allowance, and a books and supplies stipend of up to $1000 per year. Visit www.gibill.va.gov to learn more.
    • The Federal Student Loan Repayment Program: The Federal student loan repayment program authorizes agencies to set up their own student loan repayment programs to attract or retain highly qualified employees.

In an effort to help you better understand how to take advantage of these programs, on Friday, May 11th at 1pm ET, the U.S. Department of Education and our special guests, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Partnership for Public Service, will answering your questions live from the @FAFSA Twitter account.

Here’s how it works:

    • Have questions about the above programs? You can start submitting your questions on Twitter today. Be sure to include the #AskFAFSA hashtag in your tweets. We’ll continue to take questions throughout the week and during the live event.
    • On May 11th at 1pm ET, follow @FAFSA or the #AskFAFSA hashtag on Twitter to join the conversation. The Department of Veterans Affairs, The Partnership for Public Service and the @FAFSA team will be answering your questions live.
    • Can’t make the live session? A summary of #AskFAFSA Office Hours, including the full Q&A, will be posted on Storify and the ED.gov blog following the event.

Public servants—Thank you for working diligently on our behalf. We hope you will join us on May 11th to learn about some of the programs that are available to help you fund your education.

FAFSA Hosts #AskFAFSA “Twitterview” on Life After College

Graduation season is upon us. In an effort to help students across the country prepare to make the transition from college to career, @FAFSA hosted a Twitter Q&A session with career expert, Lindsey Pollak yesterday. Lindsey provided great advice on researching and applying for jobs and @FAFSA jumped in with information and tips for managing and repaying your student loans after graduation.

You can see the entire Q&A below:

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Duncan & Mills host #GradStartup Twitter Q&A

Small Business Administrator Karen Mills made her Twitter debut yesterday as she and Secretary Arne Duncan hosted an online Q & A responding to questions about how to start a new business, the loan repayment and forgiveness plans available to student loan borrowers, and how to find resources for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Check out the entire Q&A below:

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ED & SBA Host Twitter Chat: Connecting Grads to Resources to Help Them Startup

Cross-posted from SBA.gov

Graduation season is right around the corner and to help grads that are looking to start a small business, SBA and the U.S. Department of Education will host a Twitter Q & A Session on April 25 at 2pm EDT connecting soon-to-be grads or recent grads to resources to help them startup, succeed and create an economy built to last.

Startup logoI, along with U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, will answer your questions about starting a business and  highlight the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan, which supports young college grads that are looking to start a business, join a startup, or work in a public service job by making Federal student loan repayment manageable.  IBR helps to keep loan payments affordable by using a sliding scale to determine how much you can afford to pay on your Federal loans—empowering you to take risks with new opportunities like starting a small business.

Submit your questions now and follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #GradStartup.

What: Twitter Q&A Session: Connecting Grads to Resources to help them Startup with SBA Administrator Karen Mills and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan

When: Wednesday, April 25 from 2:00pm–3:00pm EDT

Where: Follow the Q & A on Twitter and submit your questions now, hashtag #GradStartup

– Karen Mills

Karen Gordon Mills is the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Join @FAFSA for #AskFAFSA Office Hours with Career Expert, Lindsey Pollak

In honor of National Financial Literacy Month, @FAFSA will hold a special #AskFAFSA Office Hours with guest host Lindsey Pollak, a bestselling author, keynote speaker and internationally recognized expert on next generation career trends.

We’re excited to have Lindsey join us at such an important time. Not only is it National Financial Literacy Month, but with graduation season a short time away, Federal Student Aid wants to help students think about getting a job, earning a salary, and of course, repaying student loans.

This month, we’re switching things up a bit. Instead of our traditional #AskFAFSA Office Hours, on April 25th at 4pm ET, Lindsey (@LindseyPollak) will join @FAFSA for a “Twitterview”, or an interview on Twitter. We’ll ask Lindsey for advice on researching and applying for jobs and @FAFSA will give you information and tips for managing and repaying your student loans after graduation.

Before the Twitterview, we need your help coming up with questions for Lindsey! Whether you have questions about finding a job you’ll really love or making your student loan payments more affordable, we want to hear about it.

Here’s how it works:

  • Starting today, you can send us your career and loan repayment questions on Twitter. Make sure to include the #AskFAFSA hashtag in your tweet.
  • On April 25th at 4pm ET, tune into the live event by following the #AskFAFSA hashtag on Twitter.
  • At the end of the hour, Lindsey will answer questions from our virtual audience. You can send your questions to @FAFSA starting today.
  • Can’t make the live session? A summary of the “Twitterview”, including the full Q&A, will be posted on the Storify and the ED.gov blog following the event.

We hope you’ll join us on April 25. In the meantime, check out these 40 money management tips every college student should know (pdf).

Duncan & Posny Join CEC for Twitter Town Hall

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), Alexa Posny, joined the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) yesterday for a Twitter town hall to address topics ranging from IDEA funding, social inclusion and ensuring that all students have accessible technology.

Check out all the questions and answers below, or at Storify.com/usedgov.

For more information from OSERS, click here.

Duncan and Posny Join CEC Convention for Twitter Town Hall

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Alexa Posny, will join the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) during their 2012 Convention and Expo, for a Twitter Town Hall on Wednesday, April 11, at 3:00 pm ET.
 
Duncan and Posny will discuss and answer questions via Twitter on the importance of early learning, great teachers and leaders, high student achievement, and college and career readiness as we strive to improve results and outcomes for all infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.
 
CEC’s Annual Conference and Expo in Denver will bring together experts and stakeholders in the field of special education to share and discuss current topics, research and practices related to children and youth with disabilities.
 
How to get involved:

    • Ask your questions before and during the event using the hashtag #CECTownHall.
    • Follow the conversation on April 11, at 3:00 pm ET, with the #CECTownHall hashtag and by following @usedgov, @arneduncan and @CECMembership

If you miss the Twitter Town Hall, a summary of the event will be posted on the Department’s Homeroom Blog following the town hall.

@RuralED’s John White Answers Questions During #AskFAFSA Office Hours on Twitter

Did you know that completing and submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) increases the likelihood that a student will enroll in some form of post-secondary education?

Students in rural communities are least likely to enroll and complete postsecondary education and career training. In an effort to help rural youth and adults with the financial aid process, I hosted #AskFAFSA Office Hours live on Twitter last night. The audience definitely kept us busy! ED’s Rural Outreach Team and the FAFSA Team worked together to get the audience’s toughest financial aid questions answered.

We had some great questions come in on a variety of topics:

Completing the FAFSA

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#AskFAFSA Hours with @RuralED’s John White

For students in rural areas who may need help paying for college, it’s important that you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA.)

FAFSAWe understand the financial aid process can often be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never gone through it before. That’s why the @RuralED team wants to know what questions you have about the financial aid process and the FAFSA.

On March 27th at 6pm EST, @RuralED & @FAFSA will be hosting Office Hours live on Twitter to answer all your financial aid questions – especially the tough ones!

Here’s how it works:

    • Follow @FAFSA & @RuralED on Twitter for information and tips.
    • Start submitting your questions today using the hashtag #AskFAFSA. We’ll continue to take questions throughout the week.
    • On March 27th at 6pm EST, the FAFSA team and I will be on hand to answer your #AskFAFSA questions on Twitter. Follow the Q&A live through the @RuralED and @FAFSA Twitter accounts.

If you can’t make the live session, a summary of the live chat including the full Q&A will be posted on the ED.gov blog following the event.

The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s the form to fill out in order to apply for student grants, work-study, and loans. To receive federal student aid for the 2012-13 school year, you must complete the 2012-13 FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov.  Some financial aid is first-come, first-served, so we encourage all potential and returning students to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. Remember, four-year colleges and universities aren’t the only schools that accept the FAFSA. Community colleges, trade schools nursing schools, online schools, and career schools do too.  So check your FAFSA deadline and complete the FAFSA today: www.fafsa.gov

John White is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach

Note to schools: Did you know that you can now access FAFSA submission and completion data for your school? 

#RuralED Chat Addresses Partnerships and Community Resources

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach John White joined W.K. Kellogg Foundation CEO Sterling Speirn recently in a discussion on Twitter about using partnerships and other resources to address the needs of high poverty rural schools. A snapshot of the dialog is provided below. White will be hosting frequent Tweet-ups on pressing issues facing education in rural communities. Follow @RuralED on Twitter to join the conversation.

Geographic Barriers 

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#AskFAFSA Office Hours with Loyola New Orleans’ Cathy Simoneaux

Ed. Note: Cathy Simoneaux is the Director of the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at Loyola University New Orleans

To celebrate Financial Aid Awareness Month, I hosted @FAFSA’s February #AskFAFSA Office Hours last night. Many students took advantage of the extra day they got this leap year by asking questions about the financial aid process and participating in the discussion with @FAFSA and @loynofinaid live on Twitter.

February is one of the busiest times in financial aid offices across the country, because many school and state FAFSA deadlines occur in February and March. February is also one of the most popular times to complete school financial aid applications (which include the FAFSA), so as you can imagine, I had no shortage of questions to answer.

Deadlines

There are many state deadlines approaching. In fact, if you live in Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma or Rhode Island, your deadline is today (and you’re tomorrow, California). It is important to be mindful of both your state AND school financial aid deadlines. Find out which deadline is earlier and complete your FAFSA before that date. But remember, some aid is first-come, first-served, so it’s best to complete your FAFSA today at www.fafsa.gov.

https://twitter.com/#!/xLadyDreezy/status/173126905984319488

Who Gets Aid

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Financial Aid Awareness Month: Join ED for February #AskFAFSA Office Hours

It is an especially exciting time for us here at Federal Student Aid because February is Financial Aid Awareness Month. With many state financial aid deadlines approaching, now is a great time to complete that FAFSA you’ve been putting off.

FAFSATo help answer your financial aid questions, Cathy Simoneaux (@loynofinaid), The Director of the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at Loyola University New Orleans, will host this month’s #AskFAFSA Office Hours on Twitter. She may be off celebrating Mardi Gras now, but on February 29th at 6pm EST, you’ll have her undivided attention as she joins @FAFSA on Twitter to answer your toughest financial aid questions.

Here’s how it works:

    • Follow @FAFSA and @loynofinaid for financial aid information and tips
    • Ask your questions now and during the live event on Twitter using the hashtag #AskFAFSA.
      • Sample tweet: “How do I apply for a Pell Grant? #AskFAFSA”
    • On February 29th at 6pm EST, follow the Q&A live through the @FAFSA & @loynofinaid Twitter accounts
    • Can’t make the live session? A summary of the live chat, including the full Q&A, will be posted on the ED.gov blog following the event.

The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s the form to fill out in order to apply for student grants, work-study, and loans. To receive federal student aid for the 2012-13 school year, you must complete the 2012-13 FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov. Some financial aid is first-come, first-served, so we encourage all potential and returning students to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. Since our last #AskFAFSA Office Hours, we have launched the IRS Data Retrieval Tool which allows you to transfer your tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA, making the form easier than ever to complete.

We know the financial aid office can be busy at this time of year, so skip the line by joining us on Twitter, February 29th at 6pm EST. Remember, you can complete the FAFSA online today at www.fafsa.gov.

Federal Student Aid New Media Team