This is the transcript forEpisode 3 (September 14-21, 2017) of the “Title IV + More Podcast for Utah Counselors and Educators” from Katie Wornek, Jacob Newman, and Bryan Lee at StepUp to Higher Education Utah. To listen to this episode or any other episodes of the podcast, please visit this link.
Please be advised that the FAFSA and federal student aid are subject to change. While we ensure all the information we share in each episode is accurate at the time of the episode’s release, our statements are not insulated from future changes. If you have questions, we encourage you to call us at 801-869-5701 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bryan: “You’re listening to Title IV + More, StepUp Utah’s podcast for counselors and educators.”
Katie: Alright, welcome listeners! I am Katie Wornek and I am a Paying for College Expert with StepUp Utah.
Bryan: And this is Bryan Lee, I am the digital media marketing coordinator for StepUp Utah.
Katie: That’s a mouthful. Bryan is awesome at managing our website and our social media. So, welcome to episode three of Title IV + More, the StepUp Utah podcast for counselors and educators. We’re going to go ahead and get started with some news headlines for this week. And, the big one of course that I’m sure all of you have heard about is the fact that the Trump administration is calling for the end of the DACA program. There’s a lot of information out there. I would encourage you to read up on it. But the essential announcement delivered by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last Tuesday was that the Trump administration would start repealing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which is the Obama-era program that granted undocumented students the ability to stay in the country and obtain work permits on a rolling two-year basis if they were brought to the country before the age of 16. So, President Trump mentioned that he will wind down the program over the next six months, and he put out a call to action for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform by March of 2018. This announcement, while pretty definitive, also leaves a lot of gray area. So there’s not a lot of direction on where we’re headed right now, but we did want to bring this up this week because there are some implications for students. There are going to be a lot of questions from students, from counselors, from educators, so we wanted to talk a little bit about what this means for Utah. The first thing I want to mention is just that we do have House Bill 144 here in Utah, so undocumented students who live in the state can still attend our institutions of higher education. If they attended a high school in Utah for three years and graduated from that high school, they also are eligible for in-state tuition, so I would encourage you to read up on this, but there is kind of a silver lining there for your students who might be undocumented in terms of enrollment and paying for college. As far as financial aid goes, however, undocumented students, whether they’re in the DACA program or not, do not qualify for federal student aid at this time. And so that is something where your students should still fill out the FAFSA because there’s a lot of private scholarships that require that, but in terms of federal student aid, state aid, or aid directly from institutions of higher education that are publicly funded, these students are not eligible to receive that sort of funding. So it is important to know that there are private scholarships out there that undocumented students can qualify for. You’re welcome to contact us to get some good websites to start with for your scholarship search. Or, if you have questions about helping undocumented students in general, you can of course call us, you can email us. And there are also representatives on college campuses that are willing to help with that as well so you can instruct your students to definitely reach out to the school that they’ll be attending.
Bryan: Awesome. Thank you very much for that information, Katie.
Katie: Yep, of course.
Bryan: Just a follow-up question, just because I think it was a really important part of what you spoke to that I wanted to reiterate – what was that House bill called one more time just so people could…
Katie: Yea, so it’s House Bill 144. That is the bill that allows undocumented students to attend college in the state of Utah and receive in-state tuition if they meet certain parameters.
Bryan: Thank you.
Katie: Yea, no problem.
Bryan: It’s good that we still have that in Utah.
Katie: Yes, definitely. And not every state has that, so I think we’re fortunate to have those resources available to our undocumented population. So I’m going to pass it over to you, Bryan, for our event calendar for the month.
Bryan: Ok. Well, we don’t have too much going on this month. The UESP Make Your Mark Contest started at the beginning of September. That’s their annual contest they do each year awarding several $1,000 college savings scholarships to Utah students for designing a bookmark. And that’s’ available to students K-12. So if any of your students would be interested in that, just encourage them to look that up on UESP’s website, which is UESP.org. They can also find information on that on our blog at stepuputah.com/blog. And that’s running from now until the 29th of this month. And then on the 29th is actually the USHE (Utah System of Higher Education) Counselor Conference. And we’ll learn more about that in just a bit with our guest, Richard Gonzalez, who is here with us today. And then we have our FAFSA Nights, our FAFSA Completion Open House Nights, that are starting in October. And of course, the FAFSA itself, the 2018-19 FAFSA, opens on the 1st of October. And our FAFSA Night schedule starts on the 2nd with an event at Morgan High School. We have another on the 3rd at Venture Academy. And then on the 4th we have three different FAFSA Nights going on at Delta High School, Spanish Fork High School, and Green Canyon High School. And then we’ll just go through October 5th for the start of the FAFSA season, but on the 5th we’ll be at Woods Cross High School and Skyline High School. And that’s the start of our FAFSA Nights. If you’re interested in any of the other FAFSA Nights we have coming up or you want to see if we have one that’s near your school or your community, then you can just visit stepuputah.com/events and see all those there by the way. And then, last on the events list for this podcast we have, on October 12th and 13th, is the Utah School Counselors Association Fall Conference. And Utah’s counselors can learn more about that conference or register at utschoolcounselor.org. And then, now that we’ve covered all the events, we will go over our FAFSA Tip of the Week with Katie.
Katie: Awesome, thanks Bryan. So, just to review, our theme this month for September will be creating the FSA ID, or the Federal Student Aid ID, which is the username and password required for students to submit the FAFSA. And, it’s also required for parents who are documenting their financial data in the FAFSA, if they want to digitally sign they do have to create their own separate FSA ID. Which brings us to the tip of the week – create your own account. So, there are lots of issues that we run into when students create accounts for parents, when parents create account for students. We want both the student and the parent to create their own, especially because this requires using the Social Security Number, so it’s definitely important that you get this right the first time because having to amend an FSA ID can be really difficult.
Bryan: I can barely remember my passwords that I set for myself…
Katie: I know, right?
Bryan: …let alone passwords other people set for me.
Katie: Exactly. It’s tempting to allow students to create an FSA ID for their parents or vice versa because it would save time, but for the purposes of resetting those passwords, like you said, Bryan, or verifying security questions in the future, it’s always best to have each individual create their own account. Perfect. So now I’m going to hand it over to you, Bryan, because we are interviewing Richard Gonzalez, who is one of our Outreach Coordinators for StepUp. So, without further ado, here is Bryan and Richard.
Bryan: Thanks, Katie. Alright everyone, well, please join me in welcoming Richard Gonzalez here to the Title IV + More podcast with me today. He is an Outreach Coordinator with StepUp Utah and he is with us today to talk about the USHE Counselor Conference. But first, Richard, if you wouldn’t mind, please tell us about your role here at USHE and what you do.
Richard: Thank you, Bryan, for having me here. Thank you, Katie. I appreciate it. I’m super, super excited to be here. I like to think of my role with USHE as fun. It is really exciting to be part of the StepUp team and to represent the Outreach and Access department. As far as what I do, my role with USHE is not only I get to talk to students at booth events, at presentations, and so on at high schools and open houses and so on, but I also get to talk to parents. And that’s super exciting for me because I not only get to bring everything together with the parents and the students, and also help counselors.
Bryan: And you’re a parent, too, yourself right?
Richard: I am. Yes, we just left our youngest up at Utah State, so it’s super, super exciting.
Bryan: Yea, that’s awesome.
Richard: Yes, thank you. Now, one of the biggest projects that I have is the USHE Conference for school counselors and administrators. That one is happening Friday the 29th of this month and we are super excited about it. It’s the 9th year of it, the conference, but also we have prepared really a huge agenda, a fun, fun agenda, that includes topics about mental health, how to motivate initiative, FAFSA, ways to pay for college, Regents’ Scholarship, the StepUp Utah Scholars Program, and advice for undocumented students.
Richard: Thanks. Exactly. So we’re really excited.
Bryan: So if there are any counselors out there, Richard, who still want to sign up to attend the conference, is it possible for them to? Is there somewhere they should go to do that?
Richard: So we’re really excited to say that we are full. But, we do have a waiting list going. So they need to contact me, quickly, and they can do that at my office phone number (801-321-7115) or they can email me, which will be the best way, and it’s email@example.com. And Gonzalez is spelled with a “z” at the very end.
Bryan: Alright. Is there anything else that you wanted to include about the conference in today’s podcast, Richard?
Richard: Uh, no, no, we have fun, fun activities and a fun agenda so I’m super excited for it and hopefully everybody will join me there.
Bryan: Awesome. Yea, we’re excited too. I’ll be doing a presentation on using social media to help college access at your school and then I believe Katie and Jacob will also be doing presentations at the USHE Conference, as well. So we will all be seeing you there. And I just want to say thank you, Richard, for coming on the Podcast today and sharing the info about the USHE Counselor Conference.
Richard: Thank you for having me.
Katie: Alright, well, we’re grateful Richard could take the time out of his busy day to come and talk to us about the USHE Conference.
Bryan: Yes indeed.
Katie: Yea, so, what to expect next time on our next episode – we’ll do a new FAFSA Tip of the Week pertaining to the FSA ID. We’ll cover more news and events and we will spotlight our first counseling team, so be sure to check that out. In the meantime, we do encourage your feedback, your questions, any suggetions that you have, any nominations that you might have for the counselor spotlight for the month of OCobter. Please let us know about the good work an individual counselor or a counseling team is doing that you would like to recognize. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call me directly at 801-321-7245. Thanks for listening.
Bryan: This has been the StepUp Utah Title IV + More podcast. Special thanks to Bensound for the royalty-free music. See you next time.