This is the transcript for Season 2, Episode 1 (August 31, 2018) 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.

Listen to the “Title IV + More Podcast for Counselors and Educators” on iTunes

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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 outreach@utahsbr.edu.


Bryan: Welcome, and thank you for listening to StepUp Utah’s Title IV + More Podcast for counselors and educators. This podcast is brought to you by StepUp to Higher Education Utah – helping Utah’s students and parents prepare and pay for college. Find more about us at StepUpUtah.com.

Katie: Welcome, listeners. My name is Katie Wornek and I am a paying for college expert with StepUp Utah.

Jacob: And I’m Jacob Newman and I’m also a paying for college expert with StepUp Utah. We would like to welcome you to season 2 of Title IV + More, the StepUp Utah counselor and educator podcast. We are so excited to bring you another season of interesting and relevant material to help you as you develop professionally, so that you can help your students access higher education. So, for those of you who are not familiar with StepUp, we are an outreach initiative of the state of Utah and we provide a lot of great resources for Utah students, parents, families, and counselors. So I’m going to give you a little bit of a rundown of what we provide. We provide events and programming in schools and communities. So whether that be a Utah College Application Week event (where students can get assistance applying for higher education), or whether it’s a FAFSA Completion Event (where students can get help filling out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid), or a presentation about preparing or paying for college, we provide a lot of great programming to help your students understand the pathway they can take toward higher education. We also produce a lot of publications and print resources that we can ship to you for free. Our Paying for College Guide or our College Guide details how students can prepare for college and how they can prepare for those college costs that are coming up in their future. We have a strong online presence, including social media. We produce blogs and other content to help you talk to students about financial aid and about college readiness. We send email newsletters for students and parents,  educators and counselors, and in addition to all of these great materials that we provide, we also provide professional development opportunities for counselors and educators – whether that be training on the FAFSA or that be training on college access in general, we’re here to help you develop professionally so you can help your students better. And our podcast will highlight a lot of the great resources that we provide, as well as some of our partner resources that help your students in a variety of settings and contexts, so we’re super excited to be joining you for season 2 of our podcast!

Katie: Yea! I can’t believe it’s season 2 already. We started last year and, to kind of get some context behind what this context is for, this is a component of the professional development that we offer for counselors and educators, college access professionals. We just thought it was kind of a short and interesting platform for getting out information where you can kind of digest that on your own time. So, what we do on each episode is that we cover education-related news as it pertains to Utah high schools. We bring to light some events that might be coming up that you might be interested in participating in. We provide financial aid tips and cover kind of frequently asked questions about the FAFSA and financial aid. And we also bring in guests for interviews. So, for example, last year we had – one that comes to mind is – Utah Futures. A couple of the staff members from Utah Futures came on to talk about the resources they have. So we try to partner with our community and education organizations to get information out about their programming, as well as our own. And you can expect new episodes twice per month. If you’re interested in listening to the archive of our season 1 episodes, you can find them on SoundCloud, iTunes, and Google Play. Just search for “StepUp Utah” or “Title IV + More”.

Jacob: Awesome. And I’m going to start us off with some news headlines.  So, the biggest news headline that we have – and this is actually very exciting –  there are some updates to the FAFSA we wanted to make you aware of as counselors. And you can read more on Federal Student Aid’s website. They have a news release about this. But, the exciting news is that FAFSA is finally going mobile! We are very excited about this. The FAFSA mobile app is now available and it’s called “myStudentAid” and you can find that on the Google Play store or the Apple Store as well. And some great features about this is that the student will be able to fill out the FAFSA on their mobile phone. For those who are not able to download the app, they can also do it in just a web browser – the FAFSA is now mobile optimized. Some other updates in terms of that is that the questions are grouped slightly differently on the form. The language of the questions is pretty much the same, but it’s much more user friendly for students to be able to fill out their FAFSA and get through the process relatively quickly. The 2019-2020 FAFSA will be opening up on October 1, 2018, which is just around the corner. And we will be providing a lot more updates in terms of ways that we can help students prepare for the FAFSA and maybe also some ways that this will change your FAFSA intervention strategies because, now that FAFSA is mobile, that makes it so you can reach your students in a different way and hopefully help them access that money that they need for college as well. So we are very excited about that.

Katie: It’s excellent news. I know that Utah historically has struggled a little bit with FAFSA completion, so hopefully this is just one more method to get students to complete that really vital step toward getting the help they need for higher education. And then I will wrap us up with our last segment and that is upcoming events. The big one that we are really thrilled about is the Utah System of Higher Ed or USHE Counselor Conference. We’re changing it up a bit this year. That is actually happening a little bit earlier – it’s September 14th this year – and rather than downtown Salt Lake City as it was last year, it is now being moved to the Provo Marriott. We’re going to be down in Utah County September 14. I believe at this point registration is closed, but if you are registered, just know that we will be there giving breakout sessions. We’ll have a StepUp booth so you can pick up some of our materials. And we’re excited to meet and interact with all of you.  The other things on our agenda this month, for the month of September, is we have several FAFSA Boot Camps throughout the month. So these are our Boot Camps where we cover information about the FAFSA, how to host a FAFSA completion event and help students year-round. If you are ever interested in getting that information, we actually have an online option. So if you’re interested in signing up for the online FAFSA Boot Camp, go ahead and give us or send us an email – it’s outreach@utahsbr.edu and we can see what we can do to get you in on one of those trainings.

Jacob: Awesome. We will see you next week. We are super excited. We will have some additional news headlines and some event updates, as well as some useful tips for you for your professional development. Thanks for joining us!

Katie: Thank you.

Bryan: StepUp to Higher Education is an outreach initiative of the state of Utah that empowers 8th-12th grade students and their families to prepare for college. We believe every Utah student should pursue education after high school, whether that be a 1-year certificate, a 2-year degree, a 4-year degree, or beyond that. We provide programs and resources to encourage college prep and success, as well as training and materials for school counselors like you. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Title IV + More podcast for counselors and educators. You can find more about us, order access and outreach materials, or request a StepUp Utah event at your school at StepUpUtah.com. And last but not least, be sure to follow us on social media. You can find us at Facebook.com/StepUpUtah, also on Instagram and Twitter by searching for “@StepUpUtah”. You can also follow our Outreach Officers on social media as well. Just search for “@StepUpKatie” and “@StepUpJacob”.


Listen to the “Title IV + More Podcast for Counselors and Educators” on iTunes

Listen to the “Title IV + More Podcast for Counselors and Educators” on SoundCloud

Listen to the “Title IV + More Podcast for Counselors and Educators” on Google Play

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 outreach@utahsbr.edu.