Friday, January 27, 2012

Is it really Friday....Already?

I am in no way, shape, or form complaining that it's Friday, because who in their right mind would actually complain of that? TGIF! I hope everyone is doing well. I know it's been 2 weeks since my last post, but it's been a hectic two weeks, but I am alive & well! To think we were preparing for a snow storm last Friday night, the snow is just about completely gone! Woo hoo! It was nice to have some snow because we've made it through a good portion of winter without any major storm issues & quite frankly, it didn't feel much like winter! We just need to get through the rest of February and I think we will be good!

On Facebook I've been seeing some of my Berkeley friends posting about how there are only 8 more weeks left to the Winter Quarter and it makes me think about how I use to do the same exact thing. It's funny looking from the outside this time around! Well, there may only be 8 more weeks left, but for those of you who will be continuing students, you will need to revisit the lovely FAFSA and make sure you get the financial aid you need for the upcoming quarters in 2012! My biggest piece of advice I could offer those of you who will have to go through the FAFSA fun, is to DO IT EARLY! If you wait until the deadline, you are really pushing it because it is a very involved process and you will need to spend the time going through it!


Here are some "Quick Tips for Filing Your FAFSA," which I want to share from this following website:

"Identify Yourself

* Use your legal name as it appears on your Social Security card. Nicknames or aliases will cause a processing delay.
* Read the questions carefully. The words “you” and “your” on the FAFSA always refer to the student, not the parents.
* To be considered a veteran, you must have served on active duty and been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. If your service was only for training purposes (e.g. National Guard or Reserves, or ROTC), you are not considered a veteran for your federal financial aid application.
* Remember to count yourself, the student, as one of the people in your household who will be a college student during the award year.

Your Parents and the FAFSA

* If your parents are divorced or separated, the parent with whom you lived the most during the past 12 months is the parent responsible for filling out the FAFSA. This is not necessarily the parent who has legal custody.
* If the parent responsible for completing the FAFSA has remarried, the new spouse must report their income and assets on the FAFSA. Prenuptial agreements have no bearing on this requirement.

Your Dependents

* A legal dependent is a person for whom you provide and will continue to provide more than half of their support. Support includes money, gifts, loans, housing, food, clothing, automobile, medical and dental care, and payment of college costs. If you have a child who is supported by your parents or someone else, you should answer “no” to the question that asks about legal dependents other than a spouse.
* If you have an unborn child who will be born before or during the award year (July 1 through June 30) and will be your legal dependent, that child should be counted as a member of the household.

Given the Option

* In the question that asks about your interest in different types of aid (e.g. work-study and student loans), answer “yes” to each question. Answering “yes” does not obligate you to accept a loan or work-study position, nor does it guarantee you’ll be offered either. Answering “no” to these questions will not get you more grant aid.
* Even if you qualify for the simplified needs test, you should still complete the asset information section of the FAFSA. Some states and schools use this information for computing their own financial aid awards.
* By submitting the FAFSA, you give permission to release your information to the state aid agency. You cannot apply for financial aid without releasing this information.

What Counts as Income?

* The Earned Income Credit is considered “untaxed income” on the FAFSA. Other types of untaxed income include retirement plan contributions made during the year and military food and housing allowances.
* Taxable earnings from work-study jobs as well as any grant or scholarship monies that were reported on your income tax return are counted.
* Prepaid tuition plans should be reported as assets on the FAFSA.

Before You Submit Your FAFSA

* Whether filing online or off, sign the form (you’ll use your PIN online) and get all the other required signatures. If you don’t sign the form, you will receive an SAR, but you will not receive aid.
* Do not include anything with the form when you mail it; any enclosures will be destroyed. Likewise, do not write comments or notes in the margins of the form. If there are unusual family financial circumstances, you should contact the school’s financial aid administrator to ask for a professional judgment review.
* Make a copy of the form before mailing it. You can print out your online FAFSA before you submit the application.
* Submit the form on time.

If you don’t understand a question or are having trouble filling out the form, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center."

I thought this was a great article to share and remember, NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP! You just need to take your time, read everything that is being asked of you, and just make sure you are filling things out entirely, and not skipping over things here and there!

You can always reach out to Berkeley directly for any questions you may have!

Well, with 8 weeks left to go, that means mid-terms will be approaching shortly and you will need to prepare all those papers that may be due or get to studying for those big bad tests! Regardless, I want to wish you all the best!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Monday Blues...


The most hated day of the week....Monday, Monday, Monday! As I logged on Facebook this morning, I could not believe the amount of status updates pertaining to: "Oh Mondays, I hate you!" It's no surprise that we have such hatred for Monday's because it only means the weekend is over and we are back to our work week. Since I was a little overwhelmed by these hating on Monday statuses, I decided to look up what other reasons there are for hating Monday so much!

I came across an article, "Mondays Are More Depressing Than We Thought," by The Huffington Post. Let me start off with this quote in the article: "According to researchers, Monday mornings are so depressing that, on average, we don't crack our first smile until 11:16 a.m., reports The Telegraph." ( That means by the time you finish reading my post this morning, you should have cracked that first smile or at least I hope you did! Everyone has their bad days and yes, Monday seems to be the biggest downfall to the week, you just have to pick yourself up and do something you love! It could be treating yourself to a nice lunch or buying yourself something you have wanted for some time now, just try to be optimistic and look forward to the weekend that lies ahead!

I feel that Monday is a great day to sit down and analyze your weeks schedule and to figure out what you are going to do and what you are going to accomplish. A new week means a fresh, new start. This could help take away the depressing factor that the weekend is over, and that you can find things to keep you busy to get through the rest of the week and then have the rewarding factor of enjoying the weekend once again!

For example, you're a continuing Berkeley student, who has a term paper due in 2 weeks from now. You typically wait until the last minute to start the paper because procrastination has taken over your mind and you just assume you can finish it the weekend before. Let me ask you this though...Do you really want to spend a weekend, (keeping in mind you worked all week, and went to school all week), working on a paper that may lack a lot of information because you haven't had the time to do ALL of the research? I didn't think so! Here is a simple solution...You are probably going home with either a reading assignment or some piece of homework to complete for your next class. After completing that assignment, take a half hour or even an hour if you can, to do some of the research and lay out an outline that will make sure you hit every point you need to hit within your paper. If you do a little bit each and every day, it will make writing your paper that much easier. At least the research will be done, and all you need to do is think out how you want to phrase the information you have and make it a very appealing, yet effective paper.

There is a method to my madness here, but you have to be willing to tackle this task and get things done! Instead of hating Monday even more after spending a weekend working on a last minute paper, you will find Monday to be rewarding because you would have finished the assignment and can again, set new goals for the week!

With all that said HAPPY MONDAY and think about what you want to do this week to make the weekend come even faster and be even more enjoyable!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year....New Changes!


Happy New Year to all and welcome back to all continuing students! It's time to kick off the Winter Quarter the right way and stick to that goal of getting your work done on time! Every year we come up with all these resolutions, but a week or two go by and we find ourselves drifting away from them. How about making 2012 the year you don't lose motivation to obtaining your resolution and just stick to it? Sounds pretty easy and harmless if you ask me!


I remember when I was in school, I set a goal for each quarter. Those goals included staying on top of my work and working towards the grade I deserve. Now that I am graduated, my goal is to find a job that I LOVE and using my creativity to create some new ideas that will be beneficial for the company all together. Once you graduate, you get into a mind set where you can't give up and you just have to take every new experience with pride. Whether it's an interview or speaking to someone within your career field, you learn from it all and you are able to apply it to whatever else comes your way.

We can all sit here and complain how big of a pain school can be and how we can't wait for it to be over, but there are times where we just need to step back and analyze how lucky we are to be given the opportunity to go to school and obtain a degree. All the knowledge and skill set we obtain in school, not only benefits us personally, but will benefit a future employer, who may not have employees with that skill or may be looking to expand. We are all in school for a reason and it all pays off. You can't ever give up on something or else you are just giving up on yourself and when you do that, what good does that do?

So what are some of your resolutions for this wonderful year of 2012? Let's all stick to it this year!!

Look for my updated postings throughout the year! I am going to start coming up with some exciting topics and maybe incorporating a new twist to my blog! We shall see...

Best of luck to everyone this quarter! May these next 12 weeks be the best they can be!