Archive for November, 2013|Monthly archive page

5 Things Today’s Teens Don’t Know About Money

In Money and Finance on November 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm

by CNBC Nov 11th 2013 1:50PM
By Kelley Holland

teens and finance

You know your teens can be illogical, unreasonable, and occasionally malodorous, but isn’t it at least reasonable to assume they know the basics about money?

Apparently not. Surveys show that teens are failing at financial literacy. And while financial institutions like PricewaterhouseCoopers are investing significant resources in changing that, the problem is persisting.

From those in a position to know best — personal finance and business education teachers — here are some of the most gaping holes in teens’ money knowledge.

1. Bank account basics

“My students had no idea how to figure out online banking,” said Keith Newman, a personal finance teacher at Bodine High School for International Affairs in Philadelphia. Part of the problem, he said, is that there are no high-quality, up-to-date teaching tools to help students learn about bank accounts, so he is hoping to take his students to a bank to open accounts and learn banking nuts and bolts.

2. Budgeting

Students’ “parents just hand them money, and they just burn through it,” said Newman. His students are far from wealthy, but he says many of their parents are wary of financial institutions and prefer to do everything with cash. “I have students who have fathers who take care of their daughters very well, giving them $15 or $20 every day.”

Kim Zocco, a business education teacher at Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy HIgh School in Southwest Ranches, Fla., has many students from families at the other end of the economic spectrum, but says that just creates another problem. “Their parents take care of everything for them. They are oblivious because they can just have and get,” she said.

3. The power of compounding

Maggie Wohltmann, a business education teacher at Teaneck High School in New Jersey, likes to explain to her students that they all have the potential to be millionaires someday — but the odds of reaching that goal increase sharply if they save early. She demonstrates what can happen if someone puts away a reasonable amount every month. Her goal, she said, is “getting across that it’s the 22-to-32 age range, before you have the house or the family, that’s when it’s key to really invest the money.”

4. Keeping credit reports clean

Many teens are stunned to learn that financial behavior over an extended period will affect their ability to borrow money or even obtain a credit card. “It’s really eye opening,” said Wohltmann. “Ten years is a long time to these students.”

5. Rainy day savings

Whether teens come from affluent households or more modest ones, the idea of putting money away in case something happens if often novel, teachers say. “Savings shock them,” said Newman.
Zocco and Wohltmann drive home the importance of a financial cushion with a role-playing exercise. They pair up their students, have them form “households,” and assign them real world jobs. The students have to live within their means and deal with financial setbacks the teachers dole out: Their car may break down, they may suddenly have twins, and so on.
“In the end, they’re pretty shocked at what they’re left with” after taxes, and “what they need to save,” said Zocco.

There is another life lesson as well. The teens see first hand that money issues can be really, really stressful. “The students bicker in their households like couples do — and these are pretend things,” said Wohltmann.


Applying For Multiple Positions At One Company: Smart Or Set Up For Failure?

In Top This on November 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Oct 22, 2013 By Rashida Maples, Esq

lady on computer

Looking for a job is a job in and of itself. I do not know many people who actually enjoy the process of applying for multiple positions, only to be turned down or not receive a response altogether. Couple this angst with the state of the economy the past couple of years and you have many people applying for as many jobs as possible.

Must Read: 5 Ways To Succeed At Work & Still Be The Cool Mom

Sometimes out of frustration, but most times out of desperation, numerous job candidates have applied for more than one or two positions with the same company. Is this strategy of going for everything you can smart or a set up for failure? Here are the top three pros and cons of applying for numerous positions within the same company.


1) You in fact may be qualified for each position that is posted so why not go for it? Just because you are qualified for one position should not negate the possibilities of being an asset for another position. You may increase your odds of being called back by applying for more than one position.

2) Applying for more than one position may positively display your persistence. If you applied for one position and did not receive an interview, applying for another one which you qualify for within the same company has been noted by some HR executives as sign of persistence and desire on the part of the candidate.

3) In larger companies, there may be two different hiring managers for the different positions. While one HR manager may feel you are not a fit, the other may be interested in what you can offer.


1) Rushing. Each resume and cover letter should be specifically drafted for the position you are applying for. It has been noted that some candidates disperse multiple applications and resumes in such a rushed manner that they fail to specifically highlight their qualifications for each individual position.

2) Coming off as desperate. Some HR managers sense the desperation of an applicant by their unappealing cover letter and lack of necessary qualifications. It is easy to spot the candidate who is just “going for it” as opposed to the candidate who is perfect for the job.

3) You may start a bidding war within the company. Companies do not want friction between their departments. It has been suggested that you focus on one position and I it turns out to not be a good fit, speak with your HR department about moving into another one.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates ( She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

Colleges May Penalize Students Over Preference on Financial Aid Applications

In Money and Finance, Top This on November 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm

by Reuters Nov 11th 2013 7:18AM

By Liz Weston

admissions office
LOS ANGELES — College applications aren’t fraught enough, so here’s something else to worry you. The order in which you list your preferred colleges on federal financial aid applications could be used against you.

Colleges are keenly interested in what’s known as “FAFSA position” — the order in which high school students list their prospective institutions on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students can list up to 10 schools to receive their financial aid information, and the ones they list first strongly predict which enrollment offers they’re likely to accept, college consultants say.

The Department of Education releases each student’s line-up to all of his or her prospective colleges. That allows the institutions to see how they rank with students and exactly which schools they are competing against.

Most applicants don’t realize this information is shared, and they have no idea their lists could be used to affect their admissions offers or their financial aid packages, said David Hawkins, director of public policy and research for the National Association for College Admission Counseling in Arlington, Virginia.

“The idea that what students may be offered could be significantly altered by the use of the FAFSA position is highly problematic,” Hawkins said.

A recent Inside Higher Ed article detailed some of the ways that information can be used against students. A university concerned about its “yield” — a closely-watched measure that tracks how many accepted students actually enroll — may not extend an admission offer if the university is near the bottom of an otherwise qualified student’s list, for fear the offer will be rejected.

A college at the top of a student’s list, on the other hand, may not feel compelled to offer generous financial aid, since the student is seen as likely to accept without it.

Colleges don’t admit to these tactics publicly, but consultants who advise families on college selection say it’s an open secret that they occur.

“All colleges have the goal of admitting the best students they possibly can at the best price they possibly can,” said Deborah Fox of Fox College Funding in San Diego, which advises affluent families on ways to reduce their college bills. “I strongly believe that FAFSA position … is just one of the tools they use.”

College officials and consultants who advise them insist that such practices aren’t widespread. Schools are far more likely to use FAFSA position to size up their competition and to predict enrollment, they say. But even the defenders acknowledged other ways in which FAFSA position could negatively affect prospective students.

Withholding Offers

Several of those I interviewed were skeptical that colleges would routinely use FAFSA position to withhold an admissions offer, since FAFSA data is generally transmitted to schools in February and March — late in the admissions process.

“The information is not available at the time it would be particularly useful,” said W. Ken Barnds, vice president of enrollment at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., who wrote about FAFSA position as part of a recent Huffington Post article about “big data” and college admissions. “And it would be completely inappropriate to use this information in the admissions decision-making process.”

Hawkins, who agreed an outright denial was unlikely, said his college admissions sources have told him that FAFSA position can be used along with other indications of student interest — such as a campus visit or a consultation with a school representative at a college fair — to put students on a waitlist rather offering admission “to see if they’re still interested.”

Colleges with limited resources for recruiting students may not try as hard to persuade students to enroll who don’t rank them highly, said Galen Graber, an associate vice president for financial aid services at enrollment management consultant Noel-Levitz of Coralville, Iowa.

“If I’m 10th on someone’s list, should I call that person and try to persuade them to move us nine positions ahead,” Galen asked, “or should I call that person that has us in the second position instead?”

Noel-Levitz is among the consultants who have convinced colleges to pay attention to FAFSA position. A college listed first by a student will have its offer of admission accepted 64 percent of the time, according to the consultant’s study of 153 private and public colleges. The acceptance rate drops to 22 percent for colleges listed second and 16 percent for those listed third, Graber said.

Augustana College, a Noel-Levitz client, uses FAFSA position to help prioritize its offers of financial aid, Barnds said.

“I want to get [highly interested students] a financial aid offer as quickly as possible,” Barnds said, “so we don’t leave a student who’s listed us as No. 1 waiting forever.”

Expressions of student interest also are used by some colleges to craft financial aid packages, especially those involving “merit aid” that doesn’t require demonstrated need, Hawkins said. Eager-to-attend students may not receive the same generosity as those on the fence.

“The fact that colleges are differentiating between students on anything other than income very much implies … these packages are based on student interest, among other things,” Hawkins said.

Fox, who advises families on the often-complex strategies of “strategically” listing colleges on the FAFSA, is among those who wish the Department of Education would simply stop sharing FAFSA positions with schools.

“I think this is private information,” Fox said. “It should be kept private.”

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