This is the transcript for Season 2, Episode 11 (March 14th, 2019) 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

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.


Katie: 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 and I am a paying for college expert with StepUp Utah.

Jacob: My name is Jacob Newman and I am also a paying for college expert with StepUp Utah. I am going to go ahead and get us started with a news headline. So, this news headline is about how USHE institutions provide 74% career and technical education here in Utah. So, you can read more about this at higheredutah.org. But we are going to go through and talk about some of the highlights of this. We are mostly going to focus on the post high schools CTE cohorts here not high schools with concurrent enrollment students, although the issue brief does cover that as well if you want to read additional information. So this is important to note for your students who may want to pursue certificates or associates degrees after high school because there are some students who, based on their career path, will want that kind of training rather than a four year degree. So here’s some of the key findings; so just so you are aware, Utah offers 3 types of CTE credentials. The first type is an associate of applied science; this is a two-year degree/program. The Board of Regents is also releasing an approved bachelors of applied science degree as well. The next type is certificate of completion; this is generally a one year and has general education components and more focused skills for specific occupations. The third and final type is a certificate of proficiency; this is less than one year and prepares students with employment skills. So, the thing that is really nice about these programs is that they are really low cost. Tuition for these programs ranges from about $1,500-$1,800 per year. If they are Pell eligible, some of these programs are not eligible but it depends on the program itself, financial aid can go a long way with that considering the maximum Pell Grant is over $6,000. In terms of job outcome this is also really interesting. There is a 91% job placement for USHE CTE grads and the median wage for grads 5 years after graduation is $35,000. The median wage for CTE associate programs 5 years after graduation is about $51,000. That’s about 13k more than a non CTE associates degree. So these are really great statistics to share with your students who might not consider themselves to be traditionally “college bound” for a 4 year degree because they really do have excellent outcomes.

Katie: yeah I think this is just really good news for Utah as well because when it comes to our employment outcomes and our wages in this state, I know Utah is a really great place to live anyway for quality of life and employment prospects. But, knowing that these low cost programs are out there to help people get a major return on their investment, I was blown away by that $51,000 as the median income for a CTE related associates degree. That is really impressive and it’s a good prospect for the students to follow up on.

Jacob: yeah and so this is why we encourage to complete their FAFSA their senior year. Even if they are considering one of these programs, it’s good for the college to have an idea of their financial need. Because in some of these cases, even if they are not eligible to receive a Pell Grant, the college may use that to determine other aid they might be eligible for at the institutional level.

Katie: yeah, one other thing I wanted to mention about this article, the title was, “USHE Institutions Provide 74% of CTE Education in Utah”. I think this is also good news for students because it’s not just the Utah System of Technical Colleges they must attend if they want to pursue a 1-year certificate or a two-year degree. There are tons of options, although the Utah System of Technical Colleges is an amazing opportunity for students, they are not necessarily locked in to just that option If they want to go to SLCC or go to a university and get an associate’s degree. Excellent, well with that we are going to cover some upcoming events and deadlines that you need to be aware of. First, Jacob has been hosting a “FAFSA Ask the Experts” webinar series, that has wrapped up so he has some really good material he has covered from how to help undocumented students to how to help all students navigate the verification process on their FAFSA. You can view the entire video archive of those webinars and follow along in your own time, just visit youtube.com/stepuputah and all of the webinars are posted on our video page. We are also now accepting event requests for fall 2019, its hard to believe that we are preparing for the fall semester of school already. But we are accepting requests for FAFSA Completion Open Houses. If you would like to host a FAFSA completion event at your school next year for your senior class of 2020, go ahead and visit stepuputah.com, click “for educators”, and then under that tab there’s a “request event” option. We are asking that you please request your FAFSA night by May 3, 2019. As long as we get your event request by that date that gives us the appropriate amount of time to start orchestrating our volunteers. Next up, please remember counselors and educators, that we do a promotion ever year called the “FAFSA Cup” this is a promotion with a trophy and a $750 professional development grant for your counseling team as means of rewarding you for the hard work you have done with promoting the FAFSA amongst your students this year. So, applications for that are due April 15, 2019, you can visit stepuputah.com/fafsacup and we do take a wholistic approach to awarding this competition. If you go in there you can read the rubric and can see FAFSA completion percentage is not the only thing we take into account, in fact, it is a small portion of what we take into account because we know, depending on the demographics of your school, sometimes FAFSA completion is not 100% in your control. So, we ask things like, “what are some innovative strategies you used to engage parents?” or “how to you recognize students who have completed the FAFSA?” Theres a lot of ways to tell your story and demonstrate the good work your school does and you could win that $750 grant plus lunch with the StepUp team, we would love to take you out to lunch to congratulate you on your hard work. Last but not least, we do have a scholarship contest going on for students who are 8th-11th grade its called, “StepUp to College Costs Scholarship Contest”. It does involve an essay, so you’ll want to make them aware of this sooner rather than later so they can prepare their application. Applications are due April 165th, so if you visit stepuputah.com, search “stepup to college costs”, you can find that scholarship opportunity on there and encourage your 8th-11th grade students to apply! And with that, we bid you farewell and we appreciate you joining us this week. If you have any questions, feedback, concerns, or comments please feel free to reach out to us at outreach@utah.sbr.edu. Thanks for joining us!

Jacob: See you next time!

Katie: 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.