Keeping Your Kids Financially Safe at College

August 8, 2019

August 19th.  August 26th.  August 27th.  August 28th.  What do all of these dates have in common?  These are the dates that our local colleges and universities start their 2019 Fall Term.  It’s that time of year again when you will see the great migration.  Students are excited about moving to college.  Moms are crying because their babies are leaving, and dads just wish there were more elevators to get stuff to the 4th floor dorm rooms.

Then there are the trips to the stores to get all of the supplies they will need.  Not just supplies for classes, but now you have to have all of the extra stuff like a TV, closet organizer, those little plastic drawer things to fit everything they own into a tiny little dorm room, a shower caddy, and all of those other things to make it home.

Yes, it’s a lot.  But I want to add a couple more things to think about.  I want to talk about keeping your kids financially safe while they are away at school. Read the rest of this entry »

When Helping Your Kids May Not Help

July 19, 2019

Let me tell you about a college student I had in a class once.  At the end of class, nearly everyone had left except for one student.  The way they held back, I knew there was a conversation coming.  Once the other students left, they finally approached me and said, “I have a problem I want to talk to you about.”

This isn’t a terribly uncommon intro in my line of work.  Usually it is in reference to credit card debt, student loan debt, collections, lack of income, or any combination of similar topics.  No, not this time. Read the rest of this entry »

Pre-GED English

January 29, 2019

In December, we rolled out a new class here at the Center for New Americans: Pre-GED English, or as the students call it, Lit 5. This class is for our students with high literacy skills and big educational and career goals. Some of my students, in particular, have plans to go to nursing school, open up a restaurant, or study theater at a liberal arts university. Pre-GED English will help these motivated students achieve their impressive goals.


The morning Lit 5 class. I told them to look extra smart for this picture.

This class is offered in the morning, afternoon, and evening, and so far, the students have read scholarly, academic articles on the topic of health and obesity, learned and used new vocabulary, and studied grammar and mechanics more intensively. I can tell you that they can spot a conjunctive adverb from a hundred yards, no problem. 🙂 Throughout this class, students will read and write about more important and timely topics such as the environment, checks and balances, civil rights movements, poverty, immigration, and higher ed.


Teacher Mary’s evening Lit 5 class, still smiling after a full day’s work.

In Pre-GED English, the students are learning the elements of purposeful writing and analytical reading. Organization, prediction, credible research, and thesis statements are just some of the specifics we are focusing on this class. Once a student leaves our classroom, we want them primed and ready for their next educational step, and Pre-GED English is a way to help them succeed.

By Lindy Obach, ESL Teacher, Center for New Americans

Student Loans – 20 Questions You NEED To Know (and the college may not teach you)

August 13, 2015

‘Tis the season.  Ok, so that line can be used for a lot of seasons.  This one, specifically, is that season studentsof the empty nesters.  Drive by any college campus and you will know what I mean.  There is the happy student that can’t wait to be on their own, the stoic father standing by offering quiet support, and the mom tearing up over her baby all grown up.  Yeah, maybe it’s a little idealized, but you get the point.

It’s also the season of signing.  I’m not aware of any school that will let you attend classes without their knowing how they are going to get paid.  So you have to go sign all of those student loan documents.  I’ve been there.  “Just sign by the X”, and so we do.  With the ever increasing student loan amounts, I wanted to offer up 20 questions you should be able to answer BEFORE you sign by the ‘X’.  You may not think about it for another 4-5 years, but now is the time to make sure you get it right. Read the rest of this entry »

Understanding Financial Aid

February 25, 2013
Flikr Creative Commons | Some rights reserved by Philip Taylor PT

Flikr Creative Commons | Some rights reserved by Philip Taylor PT

February is Financial Aid Awareness Month. This is a time when high school and university counselors and representatives encourage college students and those students college-bound in the fall to complete their Read the rest of this entry »

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