Friday, August 24, 2012

Controversial Issues Regarding Education Of Undocumented Immigrants

In a suburban area of wealthy and working class families outside of New York City, a growing number of immigrants are settling in. It's gotten so diverse that nearly 25 percent of all residents in this area are born outside of the United States - in places such as Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Asia and the Middle East, according to a July 2010 article in The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. Throughout the country, Latinos particularly represent a growing number of students at Associate's degree-granting institutions, such as community, junior and technical colleges.
Latinos also happen to comprise the largest number of undocumented immigrants in the country, according to the Pew Research Center. While undocumented immigrants are able to attend public schools at the K-12 level for free, a Journal News article in suburban New York City noted, some 65,000 of them graduate high school each year. These high school graduates might have problems finding jobs, entering the military and paying for tuition at even community colleges, which are often the most affordable of Associate's degree granting institutions.
The federal government since 2001 has been considering a Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, Act that, in its most recent version, would have allowed immigrants who came to the United States when they were younger than 16 the opportunity to qualify for citizenship. To qualify for citizenship under this latest version, immigrants would have to demonstrate good moral quality and either complete two years of military service or participate in college or university studies for at least two years, whether or not they obtained an Associate's degree.
The US Senate voted the DREAM Act down in December. A statement on the website for Kay Bailey Hutchison, a US Senator from Texas, notes that she couldn't support it because it "expanded the scope of the bill beyond the intended individuals who were brought here as children and grew up and were educated in the United States." John Ensign, a US Senator from Nevada who also voted against the DREAM Act, noted that it "does nothing to further secure our borders... (and)... goes as far as granting legal status for criminal aliens, creating a safe harbor for illegal aliens facing deportation, and does not require the completion of a college degree or military service as a condition of amnesty."
The Pew Research Center in October reported on how Latinos are a diverse group and how they can became even more divided - and concerned about immigration - as a result of a backlash against illegal immigration. On the issue of undocumented immigrants, a small majority of Latinos (53 percent) suggested that these immigrants pay fines without having to be deported. They were nearly evenly divided three ways as to whether illegal immigration positively or negatively affects the United States or doesn't affect the country at all. Where a good majority of foreign born Latinos - 70 percent - say that discrimination against them prevents them from succeeding; slightly under half of the Latinos born in the United States agreed, according to the Pew Research Center.
The Migration Policy Institute in July 2010 came out with a "DREAM vs. Reality" report suggesting that, in part because of language and financial barriers, fewer than 40 percent of the slightly more than 2.1 million total potential DREAM Act beneficiaries, the majority of them Mexican, would become legal citizens. The Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education works to increase the visibility of issues surrounding immigrant education, particularly as they relate to Associate's degree-granting community colleges. In an interview with the National Center for Refugee Employment and Self Sufficiency, consortium director, Jill Casner Lotto, suggested that the ability for immigrants to gain an education in the United States is important to their personal success as well as to the country's economy and social fabric. The consortium is now exploring how the law might affect certain aspects of Associate's degree-granting community colleges - aspects such as English as a Second Language and financial aid, for instance.
Information from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that nearly half of all Latinos who attended colleges and universities in 2008 were enrolled in Associate's degree-granting community colleges. New York State is one of only 10 in the nation where undocumented immigrants attending public colleges and universities pay a reduced tuition rate that's set aside for state residents, according to the Journal News article. Undocumented immigrants otherwise don't enjoy the government scholarship, grant and low-interest student loan opportunities that American citizens do, either.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Scoop On Educational

It's no surprise that children love computer and video games, and preschoolers are no exception. But in spite of the large number of games that have little or no educational value, the good news is that are many educational computer games for preschoolers available on the market. 21st Century preschoolers and kindergartners are very knowledgeable about computers and video games and the manufacturers of many well-known toys and educational television program makers have now become aware of this.
Children will find these sorts of games fun and many times are not even aware that they are learning at the same time. Parents like them because they are safe knowing that their kids are being taught news which also reinforce things they are learning at school. While preschoolers won't be able to type much, some of the best educational games will have them using the mouse to point and click like a pro.
Some of the best games for preschoolers will have them learning the alphabet, numbers, shapes and colors, while they have fun and give momma a break. Some games help a child learn to match objects or develop early reading skills. These games serve a two purposes of teaching kids about the topic, a well as teaching valuable computer skills.
It's easy to find educational computer games for preschoolers with your child's favorite TV characters online. There are games available with PBS favorites, Berestain Bears, Arthur, Dora and Diego - all through Amazon. Computer games are a great way for your child learn new things and possibly even do better in school. Go ahead and treat Lil' Johnny to a new computer game - he'll have loads of fun feeling like a big kid and won't even realize it's teaching him to read.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

ducation Expenses Can Be Paid From Roth IRA Penalty Free

Many parents struggle with how they are going to save for their kids' college expenses while saving for retirement at the same time. Roth IRAs are very flexible investment vehicles, making them a good choice for parents who are juggling saving for college and retirement.
As always there are some rules to follow when using your Roth IRA to pay for college expenses, so make sure you understand the rules before you take a withdrawal.
Roth contributions can be taken out at any time for any reason. This makes Roths not only a great vehicle to save for retirement, but also to save for college expenses. While I recommend that parents put their retirement goals ahead of college savings goals, it's nice to know that you can withdraw your contributions to be used for college expenses, without worrying about paying taxes or penalties.
If you need more money than you've contributed to your Roth account, you still have options. Normally, distributions taken from a Roth before you reach age 59 ½ are subject to taxes and a 10% penalty (on the earnings only). However, there is an exception for withdrawals that are taken to pay for college expenses.
The early withdrawal penalty is waived if you use the funds to pay for qualified higher education expenses for yourself, your spouse or your dependent children. Qualified higher education expenses include tuition, room and board, fees, books, supplies and equipment. Unfortunately, withdrawals taken to pay back student loans do not qualify (I wish!).
The ability to use your Roth account to pay for college expenses is a huge benefit. However, the withdrawals taken from the Roth could affect your eligibility for financial aid. The good news is that Roth IRAs are not counted as an asset for either the student or the parent in the financial aid formula. The bad news is that withdrawals from the Roth IRA are counted as income in the financial aid formula. So you'll need to weigh the pros and cons before dipping into your retirement accounts for education expenses.
In addition, if you take Roth withdrawals to pay for education expenses, it could disqualify you from other education tax incentives such as the Hope or Lifetime Learning credit.
Please note that while the early withdrawal penalty is waived for withdrawals that are used for education expenses, you will still need to pay taxes on any earnings withdrawn before you reach age 59 ½. This is true regardless of how long the account has been open.
Bottom line, Roths are very flexible investment vehicles, which makes them a great tool for saving for retirement and other financial goals such as education expenses. However, there are rules to follow, and just because you can take a Roth IRA withdrawal to pay for education expenses doesn't mean that's the best option for you. You should consult with a tax professional before taking any withdrawals to determine if that's the best strategy for you.

Friday, August 3, 2012

How to Deal With a Lack of Education on Your Resume

I get lots of clients that are concerned about their lack of degree on their resumes. It is very common and is one area that is a sensitive spot. When beginning the process of resume writing, what to put under 'Education' can be daunting.
The good news is there are ways to camouflage minimal or lack of education.
If you started college but never finished, you can list the name of the school, years you attended and major. If you want to focus on some relevant coursework taken while there, list the classes.
Adding any professional development courses or training always looks great on a resume and fills in the space that lack of degree left behind. Certifications for seminars, webinars, etc. should also be listed on the resume, if they are relevant to the position you are seeking.
In the unusual case of no education or training at all, omit the section completely and concentrate on making sure your accomplishments stand out.
Whatever you do, don't fabricate a degree. We've all seen the news and watched top execs be publicly stoned and dethroned after being "found out" that their big degrees were big lies. Telling lies may seem like the best way to overcome your lack of education, but the consequence of being found out could be detrimental to your future employment opportunities.
Something important to consider: not every employer is looking for education... or will exclude a candidate because of lack of it. Remember: BILL GATES DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL.
The majority of the time, employers are more interested on your contributions or accomplishments. If your work history is impressive, then you don't have to worry about education because your accomplishments speak for themselves. You will have to portray yourself as successful WITHOUT the degree. Not all self-written resumes do the trick. That is where a resume writing service comes in. At the risk of sounding pitchy, a certified resume writer knows how to bring out your best qualities and focus on what the employer wants to see-- with or without the education.
Remember how hard you've worked to get to where you are today. THAT is what you will sell on your resume... what you did for one company, you can do for theirs. THAT is the bottom line.
Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW, BS/HR, is a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant and President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 9+ best-selling career books. She has achieved international recognition following yearly nominations of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Erin has written thousands of resumes for executives and professionals.