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Outbreak postpones graduation, cancels migrant school, opens door for online summer learning | Ga Fl News

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MOULTRIE, Ga. — Coronavirus continues to take a toll on cherished annual events.

The Colquitt County School System announced Wednesday that Colquitt County High’s graduation ceremony has been postponed until sometime this summer.

Graduation was scheduled for May 23 at Mack Tharpe Stadium.

“Current guidelines in place and health concerns for students, faculty, and families have led to the cancellation of graduation on May 23rd,” county School Superintendent Doug Howell said in an email to The Observer. “Graduation will be held at a later date during the summer when it is safe to do so. The plan will be to hold a full-scale graduation at Mack Tharpe Stadium on a date to be announced later.”

However, students have already ordered graduation supplies. Herff Jones representatives will distribute those supplies — including caps, gowns and  the stoles and cords for honor and merit graduates — from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, May 5, at the high school.

Students should bring their ID.

Students will stay in their cars and drive through the car drop-off/pick-up line, and Herff Jones representatives will hand the senior supplies through the car window.

Anyone who still owes money for senior supplies should contact Herff Jones at www.highschool.herffjones.com or (229) 382-6837, or pay with cash or money order on the date of pickup.

Migrant school

Also canceled by coronavirus was Colquitt County’s Migrant Education Program.

The session was originally scheduled for June 1-19, but continued concerns about the health of both students and faculty have prompted the school system to cancel it for this year, the system said in a press release.

The Colquitt County Migrant Education Program — the largest migrant education program in the state — typically funds a three-week summer school for migrant children 3-years old through fifth grade, according to the county schools website.

More than 400 children across the county are eligible, and about 320 enroll and attend at least one day. Transportation is provided. Students receive breakfast and lunch.

The focus of the summer school is writing, the website said. All students are given a pre-test and then after at least 12 days of instruction the students are given a post-test. The goal is that at least 85% of the students with both a pre- and post-test will demonstrate at least a 5% increase in their score. 

The young children are assessed on their developmental level – the early stages of writing are drawing, adding details, labelling, and being able to tell about the topic. Older students are expected to write sentences, follow a logical sequence, develop paragraphs, and have appropriate grammar.  All students study a topic – they have a speaker come to visit their class, have books on the topic, and teacher-designed activities on the topic.  

Each grade has one certified teacher who teaches a daily lesson to all the students in the grade. There are also two or three paraprofessionals per grade who conduct activities with the students who are not with the teacher for the lesson. 

Students in grades 6-12 are invited to attend a two-week “writer’s workshop” where they are presented with essential skills for success in writing.

Summer learning

All is not lost, however. The school system’s expansion of online learning will carry over into summer learning opportunities, the system said in a press release earlier this week.

“The Colquitt County School System will capitalize on the system’s online learning opportunities provided to students since the March 13, 2020 school closures due to COVID-19 through a similar online summer program of enrichment in English Language Arts and mathematics in grades PK-8,” the release said.

Students will be able to access lessons and resources provided by Colquitt County teachers twice a week (one lesson in English Language Arts, one lesson in mathematics) through July 3. All lessons will be posted and housed on the district’s website; families can extend learning to different grade levels as needed by choosing a variety of links. 

More than 1,800 lessons have been produced and recorded during the time schools have been closed, and they’ll also be available for 24/7 access throughout the summer, the school system said.

Students in grades 9-12 in need of credit repair will continue to have access to the online content in order to accrue credits as well. C.A. Gray Junior High School and Colquitt County High School will provide information via the schools’ websites for students to sign up and/or continue online credit repair through July 3.

During the month of July, Willie J. Williams Middle School, C.A. Gray Junior High School and Colquitt County High School will provide links to virtual experiences and information geared toward a smooth transition to each school for rising sixth, eighth, and 10th graders. These resources will be provided through each school’s website and social media accounts, the school system said.



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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?

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When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances

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Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit

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Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.

 

 

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