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Archive | December, 2011

OASFAA & OCAN – Social Media Presentation

OASFAA & OCAN – Social Media Presentation

To My Faithful Readers – please disregard this interruption to your regular CheapScholar.org programming. 😉

Today I am doing a presentation for OASFAA (Ohio Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) and OCAN (Ohio College Access Network) highlighting how social media can be utilized in the Student Financial Services arena.  As part of my panel discussion, I will be covering the intricacies of Facebook.

To My Financial Aid and College Access Network Friends- Below is some additional information for you to reference and utilize as you move forward in your individual social media projects on your campus. If you encounter any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to drop me a line. Enjoy!

Twitter Stats and Facts (2010)

  • Over 106 million accounts
  • 300,000 new Twitter accounts are opened each day
  • Twitter’s website gets over 3 billion visits each day
  • 55 million tweets are sent each day
  • 61% of users are English (Portuguese take second place at 11%)
  • Twitter ONLY has 175 employees
  • Guide to setting up a Twitter Account (pdf)
  • Connecting Twitter to Facebook (Facebook updates automatically post on Twitter)

Facebook Stats and Facts (2010)

  • More than 400 million active users
  • 35 million users update their status every day
  • 60 million status updates are posted each day
  • 3 billion photos are uploaded to the site each month
  • More than 3 million (Fan) Pages
  • More than 20 million people become “fans” of a Page each day
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • Average user spends 55 minutes on Facebook each day
  • Facebook is most used in the United States followed by the United Kingdom and Indonesia
  • Guide to setting up a Facebook Fan Page (jpg)
  • Start your own Facebook Page here

Blogging Stats and Facts (2010)

  • There are over 133 million blogs on the internet
  • 77% of internet users read blogs
  • 80% of blogs are abandoned within the first month
  • 68% of Bloggers have been blogging for over 2 years
  • 20% of Bloggers update their blog daily
  • Some popular blogging platforms include: WordPress & Blogger

Here is a cool video that displays the impact of social media on the world

Posted in News Room0 Comments

What About The Interest Rate? – Federal Student Loans

What About The Interest Rate? – Federal Student Loans

The following is a guest article provided by J. Randy Green, Director of Financial Aid at Wittenberg University

This morning, a local reporter called me with questions about student indebtedness.  She raised some interesting points on the recent changes made by the Department of Education to ease the repayment burden on federal loans.

For example, the new Income Based Repayment guidelines should not only reduce the financial stress imposed by education debt, but also allow graduates greater flexibility in selecting a job that best fits their skills and preferences.  Someone who will make a great teacher will now be more able to afford accepting that teaching position, rather than being forced to work in a different field for the higher pay it may provide.

But the reporter’s focus was on the level of indebtedness and how that has changed in recent years; this echoes many other stories I have read lately.   Having this focus risks ignoring two important facets of borrowing – the rate of defaults and the impact of borrowing on daily activity – and one looming challenge.

If a student borrows money to attend college, and after completing college is able to repay that money, then the system is working.  The student may choose to borrow more to attend a higher cost institution, or less to attend a lower cost one, but the decision is left to the student and the equation does not change.  A school should prepare a student to repay the loan taken to attend.  One measure of this relationship is the default rate, which is the percentage of students who default within a given period and which the Department tracks for every institution.

Independent of this, the amount a student borrows may impact other aspects of life – the ability to rent an apartment, to be offered a job at a bank, the rate of a car loan – but the most closely felt impact is on day-to-day bills and purchases.  A student shouldering a large monthly loan payment (large relative to monthly income) will be less likely to be able to afford the activity that drives the economy.

An item that has not been discussed recently is the fact that the interest rate charged to financially needy students is set to double on July 1, 2012.  Currently, subsidized Federal Direct Student Loans are made at 3.4%.  Unless Congress or the Department of Education takes action, these loans will carry a rate of 6.8% for 2012-2013 and beyond.  Regardless of debt level, this change will increase the repayment burden students already face, raising the risk of delinquency, default, and diverting borrower income from the economy and into the government’s coffers.

Given the tremendous level of attention given to the cost of education and the indebtedness of graduates, it seems appropriate for some discussion to occur about this pending increase in the cost of that borrowing.

Posted in Financial Aid2 Comments

Free Textbooks & Campus Gear Giveaway – Enter Today!

Free Textbooks & Campus Gear Giveaway – Enter Today!

The end of another semester is slowly creeping up for many. Students are diligently writing their final papers and cramming for those end-of semester exams. Fortunately though, there is light at the end of the tunnel and winter break is nearly upon us.

In an effort to celebrate this momentous occasion, CheapScholar.org has teamed up with eCampus.com to provide some great gifts for our readers. For those that don’t know, eCampus.com is a leading retailer of textbooks and college apparel. They not only rent and sell textbooks but they also provide top dollar for students looking to make some money from their used books.

To help alleviate the impact on your wallets next semester, eCampus.com is providing a $200 gift card that can be utilized on their website. Since textbook rental is much cheaper than buying outright, it is very possible that this $200 prize could take care of all of your textbooks expenses next semester. In addition, if you find that you have any money leftover, you can shop for a number of other items on eCampus.com.

The following represents the many different ways in which you can submit an entry into the giveaway:

Each of the methods above will give you an entry into the giveaway.  So, you could potentially have up to five chances to win the $200 gift card from eCampus.com…

***WINNER UPDATE***

Sarah Walker is the winner. I will send an email out to Sarah so that she can claim her prize. Congrats to all that participated. Be sure to stay tuned for another giveaway that we will be doing in January.

***WINNER UPDATE***

This giveaway will close on Saturday December 10th at midnight (Eastern Standard Time). I will randomly select a winner (using the wonders of technology) from the entries and announce the winner on this article on December 11th.  The winner has a week to contact me and arrange for delivery of the $200 gift card. If I don’t hear from the winner, I will randomly select an alternate.

Hope you enjoy this giveaway. If you know of any deserving people that could make good use of free textbooks or college apparel, please feel free to utilize the “share tab” below to pass this information onto them.

Good Luck! :)

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Posted in Paying For College224 Comments


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