It Make$ Cents!

Welcome back everyone! I hope you all had a good start to your school year. I am glad to say I have completed my first two college classes, strength conditioning and dance appreciation! Seems like a good way to start college to me! 

Now that I’ve rid myself of my nerves, or a few of them at least, I was curious what I can do on campus in my free-time. I then came across It Make$ Cents! This program on campus is UWL’s own financial literacy program emphasizing everything personal finance. Their goal is to prepare students for success by helping them learn money and management skills including: budgeting, managing credit, student loans, banking, identity theft, savings, and investing. They have an incentive program that includes 15 weeks of interactive nights to help teach you financial literacy life-skills. The incentive part of this event is, if you get 25+ points, you get placed in a raffle for $250!  

“Carlie, did you say points?” Yes reader, I did. Each week throughout the semester, there are different events held, from game nights, movies, and speakers. Each of these events range from 2-4 points. For each event you attend, you gain the points for a chance to get placed in different raffles! 10-15 points awards 3 winners $25, 16-19 points awards 2 $50 winners, 20-24 points will earn one person $100, and if you attend the right 9 out of 15 events, collecting 25 or more points, you could win $250! 

All events are held in the Student Union, most starting at 6 p.m. You can bring your roommate(s) to get together for a little bonding, learn about money, and some events will even provide FREE pizza and beverages! Their first event, Price is Right-Style Game Night, is on Thursday, September 7th, 5-7:30 p.m. in the Miller Bluff Room. You will be playing games, learning about the basics of managing your personal finances with the It Make$ Cents! Money Management Team, and yes, pizza and beverages are available, along with a table of amazing prizes! 

Put that dreaded homework away and come on down! Let’s be real… we are college students and we need all the financial help we can get, especially that $250 prize! Click here to find the 2017 Fall It Make$ Cents! event incentives calendar. See you Thursday! 

-Carlie 

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Have you started packing?

Move-in day is right around the corner! Have you started packing yet? If not, a great place to start your planning is on the Residence Life UWL page! There, you can find information about your hall, desk, DVD, and laundry, in addition to the guide for moving in.

It is very important to note what you should and should not bring, in addition to what you are permitted to bring. Therefore, leave that toaster at home, unless you are in Reuter Hall. It is very easy to pack your entire house, so it is important to remember the dorm room you will be in is most likely smaller than your room at home – and it’s for 2-3 people. Yikes!

Dorms can easily become crowded and messy if you do not plan accordingly. To start, check out what your hall has to offer specifically to you. Depending on the hall you are in, you could have carpet, shared bathrooms, and AC. It is very unlikely you will need a Space Heater or Air Conditioner for your room, so you can plan to leave those at home. If you would like, you can bring a box fan or a personal fan for your room, but first check with your roommate(s) to see if they are bringing one.

Communication with your roommate(s) is very important for move-in day. Doubling up can be very common, and it can cause unnecessary packing. Message your roommate(s) as soon as you can to decide on who is bringing what. If you are planning on bringing a Futon, first, check to make sure your partner is not, second, check to make sure it is the right dimensions, and lastly, that you will have space left in your dorm room for it. Futons can be very beneficial in creating a seating space, but must be 79″ or less in length (to fit under a lofted bed). While talking with your roommate(s), you can also decide if you want a microwave and/or rug in your dorm, and if so, who is going to bring it. You will not be needing to bring your own refrigerator, as each room has one, and it costs more money to bring your own! Also, you can keep your personal printer at home, as you are able to print to the front desk whenever you would like.

Of course, you will need some personal items – hangers, towels, clothes, and bathroom supplies. Be careful what you pack, you should not pack your entire closet! If you are able to, pack a few summer outfits, fall outfits, and some cold clothes for the first part of the year. You can always go home at Christmas break and switch out your wardrobe! Also, there is no need to go on a shopping spree to get ‘new school clothes’. You have done that enough these past few years, and if you’re anything like me, there is not room for those new clothes in the closet. Instead, you can save that money for food, college costs, or for a future goal.

For bathroom supplies, you will most likely need a shower box (something to carry your shampoo, conditioner, soap, shavers, etc.) when you go to the bathroom. You can save money by buying off brand bottles, buying supplies in bundles, and evaluating closely what you truly need. I am sure we have all bought a bathroom supply that we have never once used. I would recommend to pack the limited amount you think you need, and if you need to get something more, there are shops close by where you can purchase what you need.

Living on campus is not what movies make it out to look like. Your rooms are pretty small and can be dull. But, if you stay busy, you should really only be in your room to study and sleep, therefore, it doesn’t have to be decked out. Do not go out spending lots of money on furniture, supplies, and appliances. You do not need them and it will only cause a cluttered room. Overall, it is important to talk with your roommate(s), evaluate what you really need, buy things wisely, and SAVE MONEY!

-Carlie

 

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Ok, you REALLY shouldn’t wait any longer…

Each month, I will be highlighting 15 scholarships for the following month to allow you easy access to a few scholarships. 

Here are just a few of the many scholarships we have on our Scholarship Database for you to apply for with deadlines in September. Some only take a few minutes, so check them out! Right-click on the scholarship title for a direct link to the scholarship’s website. Remember, time is money!  

EGC’s Scholarship for Gamers – $1,000; September 1, 2017 

Create a game-play video of you playing your favorite game, all while discussing what components you’d buy if you were building a $1000 gaming computer 

YourWorkoutBook Scholarship – $500; September 1, 2017 

Submit an essay answering the following question: What are your career objectives? Do you plan to pursue a career in the field of sport or fitness? List your extracurricular activities as the relate to sport and fitness. What teams have you played on or volunteered with? Have you won any awards or organized any events in this field? What kind of impact or influence do you hope to have others as a result of your education? 

VidgoTV Scholarship – $2,000; September 1, 2017 

Write an essay about how virtual reality affects television. 

Youth Forward Scholarship – $1,000; September 1, 2017 

Submit an essay of less than 500 words, answering questions about your volunteering work . 

Apartment List Scholarship – $2,500; September 1, 2017 

Offered to outstanding students who exemplify one or more of Apartment List’s core values: bold while pragmatic, endlessly helpful, making an impact, driven by data, succeeding together or forever learning. 

Love Your Career Scholarship – $1,000; September 11, 2017 

Submit an essay of 1000 words or more outlining at least 3 steps that you plan to take in the next year to start a path toward having a career that you love. 

CareerFitter.com Scholarship – $500; September 15, 2017 

Submit a 1000 character essay on what the perfect career is for you and why. 

BabyMonitorLab Scholarship – $500; September 15, 2017 

Write a 500-1000 word essay on the topic: “The Impact of Technology on our Health”.  

Olshan Building Strong Foundations Scholarship – $1,000; September 16, 2017 

US students who are 16 years or older are encouraged to apply. Must successfully complete the application form, written essay, and video submission. 

Alcohol Addiction Awareness Essay Contest – $3,000; September 30, 2017 

Submit an essay of up to 1200 words answering the questions “How alcohol abuse and addiction affects the modern society? What steps can be taken to decrease the impact of alcohol abuse and addictions on people and society? 

Don’t Text and Drive Scholarship – $1,000; September 30, 2017 

Submit a 140-character statement that completes this sentence: I pledge to not text and drive because… 

Aaron Seever Sales Scholarship – $500; September 30, 2017 

Fill out an online application that includes two questions that you must answer in 50 words or less as well as providing other basic information. 

ZipRecruiter Scholarship – $3,000; September 30, 2017 

Submit a 250-500 words essay on one of the following three topics: 1. Give a brief overview of your city and what makes it unique. 2. Provide an overview of the job market that is unique to your city. 3. Write about how ZipRecruiter can help you find a job in your city. 

Shout It Out Scholarship – $1,500; September 30, 2017 

Have something on your mind? Let it out, or better yet SHOUT it out. Give your thoughts a voice and earn free college money at the same time. 

Top Reveal Scholarship – $500; September 30, 2017 

Submit a 700 or more word essay that relates to any of these ideas: How a particular gadget made a difference in you or a loved one’s life. How devices can improve education. Stories such as apps to enhance focus or devices to improve study habits work well here. The advantages and disadvantages of smart home technology and why you believe they are good for our future. 

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August Staff Member of the Month!

If you have stopped in the Financial Aid Office, you have probably talked with our Staff Member of the Month, Tammy Haakenson! Tammy has been at the front desk, as the Financial Aid Office’s Receptionist, since February of this year. Prior to working in our office, she worked in the College of Liberal Studies, beginning in August of 2012. She has an Associate’s Degree in Human Resources from Western Technical College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Viterbo University. Tammy enjoys helping students with their financial aid issues and questions. She enjoys providing students/families with advice and says, “Students, as well as parents, are very appreciative when they are given resources to check out.” in addition to learning new things. Tammy is very passionate about genealogy. She even recently traveled to Norway with her sister-in-law to search for their ancestors’ birthplaces! If she were to provide one piece of financial advice to students, she would tell them to be sure to check out the Scholarship Resource Center (SRC) on their webpage, www.uwlax.edu/scholarships. There are numerous scholarships that all students can apply for and the SRC is working to continually add to this resource. If you have any questions about financial aid, stop by and see Tammy as she is sure to provide you with assistance. 

Tammy Haakenson SotM

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July Staff Member of the Month!

With July comes fireworks, parades… And our July Staff Person of the Month! Meet Ka Lia Smith! One of our Financial Aid Counselors and Student Service Coordinators, Ka Lia has been apart of the UWL family since 2010 when she entered as a Graduate student after finishing her undergrad at UW-Madison. However, it wasn’t until February of this year that Ka Lia joined the Financial Aid Office crew! When asked about her favorite part of her job, she had this to say, “I enjoy meeting with students and learning about their unique story while knowing that every day will be different.” When relaxing at home, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Tim, her two dogs, Sophie and Levi, and her cat Lionel. She also loves putting together a puzzle or two and visiting local rummage sales and thrift stores. (Don’t we all?) Interestingly enough, Ka Lia is the second youngest of ten siblings! What a full house! When prompted for an important piece of Financial Aid advice, Ka Lia said, “Utilize our office as a resource; we are here to answer your questions and to help you navigate the oftentimes confusing and overwhelming financial aid process.” Excellent advice Ka Lia! If you have questions about Financial Aid, come on in and talk to Ka Lia. She is primed and ready to help you find your way in the chaos that is college costs.

Ka Lia July Staff

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Building a Budget

Now that college has consumed much of our money, how are we supposed to know how much ‘extra’ money we have? To spend or save? That is the real question; you may never have the opportunity to travel about the world, but also, you want money saved for retirement.

The answer? Saving money! You always need to keep in mind your needs, wants, and priorities, but along with that comes mental strength, the ability to say no. You need to have the ability to say no to that new shirt – the money is for the future. But, maybe you NEED that shirt because you have never seen anything like it. Walk away… do you want the shirt, or to have a little extra spending money for that summer vacation? When you create a budget, you are able to estimate your income, subtract your expenses, include what goes to savings, and you are left with, hopefully, a little money! Yesterday, I found a budget online and according to the website, if I keep spending like I do, I am going to be $55 in the hole by the end of the month. You should always overestimate your expenses, so I probably have roughly $100 extra to spend on ‘fun’ activities this month.

My ‘fun’ activities include seeing Billy Joel at Lambeau Field this past weekend, and leaving for New York City tomorrow morning! $100 ahead is going to be more like $100 below in just a few days. It is amazing how quickly money can “disappear”. That is why it is beneficial for everyone to create a budget so they are aware of how much they are truly spending.

So, to build a budget, you must first determine a financial goal: a trip, college, house, car, retirement, etc.? Of course, every month, you can put money aside for each savings goal you have – some being more important than others. Next, you need to find a budgeting tool that works best for you. There are hundreds of them on the internet, or you can visit your bank and I am sure they would love to help you out. UWL also has a resource center, It Make$ Cents! where they will walk you through the steps on how to make a realistic budget. They also have budgeting calculators available to you, along with some budgeting tips. Although the It Make$ Cents! Office is closed throughout the month of July, their website is still available to you and is very useful to first time budgeters.

Tonight, I have a list of items I need to buy (maybe more of a girly want) before I leave tomorrow. Maybe I can talk myself into taking a few things off that list – will power (or maybe won’t power)! After creating my budget yesterday, I should be living in a hole and giving someone else my plane tickets, but life is meant to be enjoyed, therefore, I am going on the trip and will probably spend a few too many dollars.

Budgeting is a very important factor to being financially successful, and it can take many, many years to reach the point of ‘happiness’ with money, that is, if money is your happiness. Or, maybe it’s the satisfying feeling of saving money to enjoy that goal you have been working hard to reach. Everyone has goals that need to be set, followed, and obtained in life to be happy, and creating a budget is the first step towards that goal.

Carlie

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Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

I would like to welcome the incoming freshmen to the university and also to the Scholarship Research Center (SRC), where I hope you spend lots of time because it can benefit you in many, many ways.

I, too, am an incoming freshman – exciting! In fact, today is my first day working in the Financial Aid Office located in Graff. I have been hired to work on the SRC to help you save money throughout your years here! Our mission is to encourage you to focus on alternative funding options that match up with your personal achievements and unique personalities. We also work to help students locate scholarships that fit their unique qualifications, educate them regarding submitting high quality applications and ultimately, see students further their education by receiving scholarships to fund their future goals through education.

Originally, my goal was to work three jobs this summer to save money to provide for my college education, life, and career, but mainly, my college education, because current costs are unlikely to leave me debt free after I graduate. After several months of preparing for a summer low on fun and high on work hours, I decided to look into scholarships offered in my local community. After applying for nearly fifteen different local scholarships, I can say I am a proud recipient of four scholarships totaling close to $3,000.00. I worked very hard to earn these scholarships, but the work paid off!

Now, I am on the other side of the computer, encouraging you to take the time to apply for the multitude of scholarships available to you. I have been working for a total of four hours at this job and I am overwhelmed with the abundance of opportunities this campus provides as an option for you to receive financial assistance. Once you are on the welcoming SRC website, the different scholarships available are laid out to best fit your interests. You can search by department or do an external database search to find the different scholarships available to you which are organized by the deadline date. You can also take part in the “Get Scholarific!” Survey on the home page of the SRC website and you will receive an email back from us with specific scholarship options for you!

If you have any questions, stop into the Financial Aid Office or call (608)-785-8604. I hope you will join me in my search on the Scholarship Research Center website to find a scholarship that suits you best, in hopes of saving your hard earned money for the future.

Carlie Burkhardt

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June Staff Member of the Month!

It’s that time again! Meet our June Financial Aid Person of the Month! Karen DeSchepper is part of our Support Staff and if you’ve ever called in or stopped by the Financial Aid Office, it’s not uncommon for her to be one of the first people you talk to! Karen has been a part of UWL staff since 2004, although initially her work was in the Office of Continuing Education and Extension. In 2015 she joined the Financial Aid Office, and has been a major player here ever since! In 1991, Karen earned her Office Computer Specialist Degree from Western Tech, but she also has what she describes as a degree in “Life” thanks to all the things she’s learned up to now. When asked what her favorite part of her job is, she’ll tell you she loves working with and helping students directly. Being able to provide encouragement and multiple financial options to concerned students warms her heart. When she’s not helping students with college funds, you can find her singing karaoke, or playing with her two dachshunds, whom she is obsessed with! An interesting fact is, every single day she works, she goes to Global Grounds just across the street from the Financial Aid Office and gets an Iced Americano. (Shout out to Alina and Demi!) When asked for a piece of Financial Aid advice she would give to readers, Karen said, “Don’t be afraid to ask questions yourself (vs. having your parent ask us and then hearing the answers secondhand).  We’re here and want to help….really!” She also wants students to know how helpful and driven our staff is in helping students: “The people in our office really care about our students and want them to be successful here at UWL!” I couldn’t agree more, Karen! If you’re someone struggling with Financial Aid issues, stop by our office and talk to Karen. You’ll not only learn a lot, but chances are, you’ll also come away feeling much better about any issues you may be facing.

kdeschepper

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Transfer Troubles?

As the year winds down, some students may have plans to transfer to other Universities. I am no exception. In June, I’m moving halfway across the country. So what’s next? If you’re like me, moving to a whole new university next fall, there are some important steps to follow to ensure that you’ve got everything ready!

First off, double check with your new school’s Admissions Office that your UWL credits transfer, as this can set you a bit behind. Some schools are especially picky with what does and doesn’t apply. There are also schools that require you to finish your general education credits before you can qualify for transferal to their school. Others require you to have a certain amount of general education credits left so you can specifically take them there. It can all seem a bit confusing, but the Admissions Office of a college is there to help you.

Next, you need to get your Financial Aid information handled. If you, for whatever reason, haven’t filled out your FAFSA for next year, do so now! And while doing so, make sure to change your school code from UWL to whatever the code is for the school you will be transferring to. If you’ve already filled out your FAFSA, make sure to go back and change the school code as well!

After you finish fixing up your FAFSA, you need to send an email to the UWL Financial Aid office, telling them you are transferring, as this is important for our files. Our email is finaid@uwlax.edu. If you have a Perkins loan, you will also need to send an email to the Cashier’s office cashiers@uwlax.edu, letting them know you plan on transferring. This should help assure that your Financial Aid is all set for transferring!

The final step to remember is to finish Exit Loan Counseling. This is a federally required process for anyone who borrowed loans while at UWL. You may remember doing a similar process when you first applied for loans with the Entrance Loan Counseling. The process is simple enough, and you can get started here.

Transferring may seem a bit daunting, but it’s a process thousands of students go through every year. Follow these steps, and you’ll be on the right track to successful transferal in no time!

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May Staff Person of the Month!

Terry Micks. Photo by University Communications

Terry Micks. Photo by University Communications

Meet our first Financial Aid Staff Person of the Month! Terry Micks is the UWL Loan Programs Coordinator. She first came to UWL in 1972 for school, but when she got married took a break, caring for her two children, who have since grown. In fall of 2001 she came back and finished getting her Bachelors degree in Political Science in Spring 2002. She has one grandchild, and has worked in Financial Aid for almost 20 years! Interested in genealogy, she studies her family history, and otherwise loves to pass the time reading and cooking. In her time at UWL in the 1970’s, she was involved in student government, and was part of a committee of three who wrote the original UWLSA constitution! What a fun fact! Her Financial Aid advice is simple: “Only borrow what you need! You wouldn’t take out a bank loan to buy a pizza, so why would you take out extra student loans for spending money?” Come stop by our office if you have any issues with loans, and she is ready and able to help you out!

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