Higher Education News
Have you ever wondered about pursuing a federal career? Are you interested in public service? Would you like to gain valuable work experience and help move the needle on education issues in this country?
The Department of Education may have opportunities that match your interests – and we’re currently accepting applications for interns!
Our Department is a place where you can explore fields like education policy, education law, business and finance, research and analysis, intergovernmental relations and public affairs, or traditional and digital communications, all while learning about the role federal government plays in education.
Our interns also participate in professional development sessions and events outside of the office, such as lunches with ED and other government officials, movie nights, and tours of the Capitol, Supreme Court and other local sights.
One of the many advantages of interning at ED is our proximity to some of the most historic and celebrated sites in our nation’s capital, all accessible by walking or taking the Metro.
ED is accepting applications for Winter/Spring internships through October 1, 2016 (11:59 p.m. EST).
If you are interested in interning during the upcoming term, there are three things you must send in order to be considered for an interview:
- A cover letter summarizing why you wish to work at ED and stating your previous experiences in the field of education, if any. Include which particular offices interest you. (But, keep in mind that – due to the volume of applications we receive – if we accept you as an intern we may not be able to place you in your first-choice office.)
- An updated resumé.
- A completed copy of the Intern Application.
Prospective interns should send these three documents in one email to StudentInterns@ed.gov with the subject line formatted as follows: Last Name, First Name: Summer Intern Application.
An internship at ED is one of the best ways students can learn about education policy and working in the civil service. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to develop crucial workplace skills that will help you in whatever career path you choose. And, it’s an opportunity to meet fellow students who share your passion for education, learning, and engagement.
Click here for more information or to get started on your application today.
De’Rell Bonner is a special assistant and youth liaison in the Office of Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education.
If you’re a parent of a dependent undergraduate student or if you’re someone planning to attend graduate school, you’ve probably heard of the PLUS loan. The Direct PLUS Loan is a federal loan program that’s available specifically for these two groups of people to help cover the remaining cost of attending school after all other financial aid has been applied. Below we’ll explain the requirements, application process, and some tips if you’re considering getting a PLUS loan.Requirements to Receive a PLUS Loan
No Adverse Credit History
A credit history is a summary of your financial strength, including your history of paying bills and your ability to repay future loans. To qualify for a PLUS loan, you cannot have an adverse credit history.
FAFSA Completion and PLUS loan Application
The student going to college (the child of the parent requesting the loan or the graduate/professional student) has to submit a FAFSA before beginning the PLUS loan application process.
Requirements for Parents:
You must be the biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent of the dependent undergraduate student going to college. Your child must also be enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program. Unlike Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans; you, the parent, are responsible for repaying the PLUS loan.
Requirements for Graduate or Professional Students:
You must be enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program.
TIP for graduate and professional students:
If you’re eligible for Direct Unsubsidized Loans, you should borrow those loans before applying for PLUS. The interest rate is lower for Direct Loans.
The maximum PLUS loan amount is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received. If you aren’t sure what your school’s cost of attendance is, contact your school’s financial aid office. If you want to see the average annual cost of a school, look it up on our College Scorecard.How to Apply for a PLUS Loan
In most cases, you’ll apply for a PLUS loan on StudentLoans.gov.
Some schools have a different application process, so check with your financial aid office to make sure you’re going to the right place.
1. Go to StudentLoans.gov
2. Log in using your FSA ID.
3. Select the type of PLUS loan you’re requesting, graduate student or parent.
Before making your selection, you should know the following:
- The award year the PLUS loan is for.
- Parents should have the student’s information, including their date of birth and Social Security number.
4. Fill out the “School & Loan Info” fields.
5. In the section that reads “Loan Amount Requested” you will have a few options.
- Selecting “I want to borrow the maximum amount for which I am eligible” will require you to select the loan period to which you’d like to apply the PLUS loan. This field may be different for each school.
- Selecting “I would like to specify a loan amount” will require you to type in the amount and the loan period start/end dates. If your request exceeds the amount you’re eligible for, the school will contact you.
- If you select “I do not know the amount I want to borrow. I will contact the school” then you should contact the school after your application has been approved, or the school may contact you.
6. Information about the PLUS loan borrower (the borrower is the parent of the undergraduate dependent student or the graduate/professional student):
- Permanent address.
- Mailing address.
- Employer information if the borrower is employed.
7. Credit Check and Adverse Credit History
PLUS loans are the only type of federal student loan that require a credit check. If you are found to have adverse credit history during the application process, you still have options.
Note: If you’re a parent applicant with adverse credit history and you’re unable to get a PLUS loan, your child may be eligible for additional unsubsidized student loans. Check with the financial aid office at your child’s school for details.
Even with adverse credit history, there are two ways you may still be able to quality for a PLUS loan:
- Obtain an eligible endorser and complete PLUS credit counseling.
- Document extenuating circumstances relating to your credit history and complete PLUS credit counseling.
8. Sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
After finding out that you’re eligible for the PLUS loan, you’ll be required to sign an MPN and agree to the terms of the loan. Make sure you read your MPN carefully because it’s a binding legal document that lists all the conditions of your loan.
Graduate students: If it’s your first time receiving a PLUS loan, you’ll be required to complete entrance counseling. Confirm with your school to make sure.
Note: If you have previously received a PLUS loan you may not have to complete another MPN. Check with your school to confirm.
How do I find out how much I can borrow?
After your PLUS loan request is complete, the school will inform you of how much you’re eligible to receive.How and when will I get my loan?
The school will apply funds to the student’s school account to cover tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. If there is a remaining balance, the school will give it to the student to help pay for other education expenses. Parents who have been approved for a PLUS loan have the option of asking the school to pay the remaining funds directly to the student.
Each school has a different schedule for disbursing PLUS loans, so check with the school to find out when you should expect the funds.
Photo by Getty Images
Sandra Vuong is a Digital Engagement Strategist at Federal Student Aid.
Months ago, traveling to Washington, D.C., seemed unbelievable to me, but recently this is exactly what I did. I am a rising senior from Avenal, California, and I want to someday be part of the government to make a change. So, thanks to the Ivy League Project – a program that encourages economically disadvantaged students to apply to the most prestigious universities in America – I was able to travel across the country to visit the Department of Education and several famous schools along the East Coast.
We visited many interesting and famous places where I was able to expand my knowledge about this country’s history. While in D.C., I not only got to tour the Department of Education’s headquarters, but I met the Secretary of Education! It was an honor and a privilege – and this experience was especially powerful for me because I am a student who comes from a low-income family and never pictured myself in that position. Secretary King was more than humble. It felt like I was speaking to a person whom I had known for years. It was a dream come true – and a dream that I never thought I would achieve. We spoke to Secretary King about our struggles that keep us up at night. He was very nice and open with us. His kindness was very meaningful.
After visiting with the Secretary, I had the amazing experience of stepping foot on the most prestigious universities in the world: Georgetown University, American University, Swarthmore College, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brown University, Yale University, Columbia University, Boston University, Princeton University, and Lawrenceville School.
The “university vibe” that traveled through my skin as I walked through the campus made this more than just a motivational trip. It was eye opening. As we continued our tour, I realized that the impossible was possible. In one week I made my dream come true! I traveled to the East Coast and fell in love with this part of the country.
As a first generation, low-income, migrant student, it has been a very long journey. It’s been a ride that started the day I arrived in this country from Mexico to further my education. I have lived here 11 years now and it’s been a challenge. I’ve struggled with knowing that my family doesn’t have as much money as others. I also sometimes worry that I will fail to make my parents proud.
I love education I love learning, but I do feel pressure to do great things because my parents sacrificed so much for me. I live in a house with two rooms and there are six of us. It has been very rough growing up, because as a teen you need your privacy — something I don’t have. That was one of many sacrifices, that although seems like something so small, had an impact. Although I have been through many obstacles, I have never given up or victimized myself. I have conquered my struggles and I have embraced who I am.
I am not afraid to say I am a low-income, first generation, Latina migrant student that has dreams ahead to complete.
Yesenia Solis is a rising senior at Avenal High School in Avenal, California.
The post Making the Impossible Possible as a Migrant Student appeared first on ED.gov Blog.
“Something on the inside, working on the outside. Oh, what a change in my life!”
These words from a song I used to sing in church rang through my ears as I walked through the halls of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. This church, situated on the corner of State and Sturm Roads, houses one of the hidden treasures of the Near Eastside of Indianapolis.
Recently, I spent National Summer Learning Day witnessing some of the work being done by Westminster Neighborhood Services, Inc. (WNS). Summer Learning Day activities happen across the country annually, with events highlighting the importance of keeping all children learning, safe and healthy every summer.
WNS has established relationships with a wide range of partners, such as the public library, museum, churches, local government, the business community, civic groups and many individuals to provide supportive services to families in the community.
Courtney Williams, the Education Director brings the organization, energy, enthusiasm and compassion which is required to keep all of the young people engaged. WNS has also recently added a chaplain to the staff to help with some of the socio–emotional needs of the children.
The activities of the day included a presentation to the middle schoolers from the local prosecutor’s office on preventing gun violence. The pictures were a little graphic for me, so I joined the younger kids in the community garden and on the playground.
My visit ended with observing a Project Esteem roundtable discussion. The students explored appropriate ways to resolve conflict. At the conclusion of the session, I greeted the group on behalf of President Obama and Secretary King and encouraged them to identify people in their lives who help them to develop positive self-esteem. The answers ranged from family members, mother, father, sisters, brothers, to Ms. Courtney and the WNS staff. One young woman drew our attention when she said she had always believed black people could not achieve success until 2008 when President Obama won the election. After that she has been able to see that anything is possible if you believe in yourself. That was the perfect way to end a session on building self-esteem.
To stay up to date on other activities in my office, follow us on Twitter @EdPartners.
To learn more about National Summer Learning Day, please visit this link: http://www.ed.gov/news/media-advisories/ed-celebrates-summer-learning-day-visits-ten-summer-sites.
Blog articles provide insights on the activities of schools, programs, grantees, and other education stakeholders to promote continuing discussion of educational innovation and reform. Articles do not endorse any educational product, service, curriculum or pedagogy.
Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell is the Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education.
The post National Summer Learning Day at an Oasis of Hope in Indianapolis appeared first on ED.gov Blog.
On July, 21, 2016, the Department of Education’s (ED) newest student art exhibit — featuring works crafted by both B.F.A. and M.F.A. students in painting, photography, printmaking and illustration from Georgia-based Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) — was unveiled as opening ceremonies took place at ED’s headquarters.
Throughout the proceedings, SCAD demonstrated the qualities that cement its position as a top-tier college of the arts, and the essence of its mission statement — that the Savannah College of Art and Design exists to prepare talented students for professional careers, emphasizing learning through individual attention in a positively oriented university environment — shone through to all the guests.
If one thing stood out above all else on opening day, though, it was the deep and undeniable impression that SCAD leaves upon its students. In addition to SCAD artists’ mastery of their mediums, unveiled at the opening, they benefit from the college’s full commitment to supporting their continuous growth and aiding them in developing their career paths beyond graduation.
Indeed, although SCAD’s home campus is located in Savannah, Georgia, and a satellite campus is nearby in Atlanta, its global presence is expansive. With flourishing programs in Hong Kong and Lacoste, France, as well as online, students can engage in artistic learning abroad to expand their horizons and find fresh inspiration.
Recent data affirms that SCAD has been successful in its mission to prepare its students for pursuing professional careers. Throughout the U.S. and the world, as pressure on many high school students to pursue careers in STEM-related fields continues to mount, the concepts of ‘art school’ and ‘post-graduate employability’ have begun to drift further apart. Yet, as Lynn Mahaffie, deputy assistant secretary in ED’s Office of Postsecondary Education, informed attendees at the opening, this narrative is far from accurate, “ … based on an IBM study of 1,500 corporate heads across 60 nations and 33 industries, creativity is now the most important leadership quality in business … In fact, 60 percent of the CEOs surveyed cited creativity as the most important quality.”
At SCAD, the goal is to provide an avenue for student artists to excel in a world in which creativity reigns supreme. According to SCAD’s Executive Director of Admissions Jennie Jaquillard, a survey of SCAD’s 2015 spring graduates indicated that “98 percent of our students are either employed, seeking further education, or both, within 10 months of graduation.”
The ceremony proceedings featured an intimate on-stage conversation between SCAD’s head curator of exhibitions Storm Janse van Rensburg and 2007 SCAD graduate and professional artist Lavar Munroe, whose artwork is featured internationally from California and Seattle, to London and Brussels, to Senegal, to Nassau, Bahamas.
When asked to touch upon his growth as an artist at SCAD, Munroe referenced his sketchbook, stating that “it was a real surprise to look at the book from 2007 and see this trajectory that happens, but also this very close correlation between what happened then and what happens now,” thus helping the audience understand what it means to artistically benefit from a SCAD experience.
George Lovett, American Idol finalist and SCAD graduate, wowed the audience with a rendition of Georgia’s state song, Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind,” and became the first ever performer at an ED art opening to be encored. In 2014, Lovett made the trek to the American Idol Season 13 auditions with a SCAD student entourage, and voilá, he had climbed all the way to the show’s top 20 finalists. In an interview, Lovett said “Getting to perform on American Idol was a dream come true.” Although SCAD doesn’t offer a vocal performance major, Lovett said, “ … singing is a part of who I am. It’s my thing.” The audience agreed, calling out “encore” until the star vocalist graced them with his version of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.”
With featured artists Munroe and Lovett proceeding to do the honors of the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, the art exhibit officially opened to the public and will remain at ED through August.
Jackson Paul is a summer intern in the Office of Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education and a current student at Middlebury College.
All Department of Education photos are by Paul Wood. More photos from the event may be viewed on the Department of Education’s Flickr.
The Department’s Student Art Exhibit Program provides students and teachers an opportunity to display creative work from the classroom in a highly public space that honors their work as an effective path to learning and knowledge for all. To visit the exhibits or for information about exhibiting, contact Jackye Zimmermann.
The post A Celebration of Professional Careers in the Arts With Savanah College of Art and Design appeared first on ED.gov Blog.