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Archive for February 21st, 2011

Free advice on scholarships for college

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

(From the Better Business Bureau)                                                                                                                                    

 

CHICAGO, IL – Millions of people depend on grants and scholarships to pay for college. Navigating the process of applying for financial aid can be confusing and some companies claim they can help, but only end up providing information and assistance the student can already get free elsewhere. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends doing your research before paying a company to find financial aid for college.  

According to the College Board, during the 2009-2010 school year, $94 billion in grants was made available to college students to help cover education costs. Sources of the funding included federal and state government, institutions, private entities and employers.

 

“Times are tight and many families desperately want to tap into the well of scholarships and grants to help their kids go to college,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “While some companies are trying to take advantage of struggling families looking for funding, the good news is that all of the information you need is already available.”

 

Every year, the BBB receives complaints from parents who paid money upfront to a company that promised to find scholarships and grants for their child but ultimately didn’t deliver. In the past twelve months, there have been nearly 1,400 inquiries to the BBB about companies in the “Scholarships & Financial Aid” category in Northern Illinois.

 

One such company, Edifi-College Financial Aid, sends prospective college students a letter explaining they have been selected for a personal interview. Students who call for their interview are scheduled for a financial aid seminar along with other students and parents.

 

Deon Giles of Harvey, IL said, “I signed a contract for my son and they told me that I could cancel within 5 days. I cancelled in around 4 days but around two weeks later they took a payment from my debit card-the $300 that I had available. They claim that they have no record of me cancelling and said it would cost $500 to cancel! My mother has worked for the board of education for 30 something years and she told me that I could get the same information from other resources and not pay.”

 

The BBB recommends listening for these red flags when receiving the sales pitch from a financial-aid finder:
  • “The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.” In reality no one can guarantee that they will get you a grant or scholarship. The refund guarantees that are offered usually have so many conditions or strings attached that it is almost impossible for consumers to get their money back.
  • “You cannot get this information anywhere else.” Scholarship information is widely available in libraries, financial aid offices and on the Internet, if you are willing to search for it.
  • “We will do all the work.” Only parents and students can really determine and provide the financial information needed to complete the forms.
  • “You have been selected by a national foundation to receive a scholarship.” If you have not entered a competition sponsored by the foundation, this claim is highly unlikely.
  • “May I have your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship?” This is never a requirement for a legitimate scholarship offer.
  • “The scholarship will cost some money.” Legitimate scholarship offers never require payment of any kind.

For more information on finding financial aid for school, visit www.fafsa.gov; the BBB has advice for everyone on managing personal finances and avoiding scams at www.bbb.org

 

Chicago Plan Commission approves major Lakefront Trail project

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS
 
(From the Active Transportation Alliance)

 

The Active Transportation Alliance applauds bridge that will improve trail safety and relieve congestion near Navy Pier

 

Chicago, IL – The Chicago Plan Commission approved a major Lakefront Trail project commonly known as the Navy Pier Flyover. The Active Transportation Alliance said the cutting edge bridge design will create safer conditions and provide congestion relief for cyclists, pedestrians and other trail users on the trail near Navy Pier.

“We’re so pleased with the Chicago Plan Commission’s approval of the Navy Pier Flyover, and we applaud the Chicago Department of Transportation for their hard work creating a project that will improve transportation choices for Chicagoans,” says Ron Burke, executive director at the Active Transportation Alliance.

Thousands of Chicagoans use the Lakefront Trail daily for commuting, recreation and accessing neighborhood services. Serving as a critical piece of Chicago’s infrastructure and a centerpiece for the Chicago Park District, the trail’s peak daily usage reaches up to 30,000 at its busiest points. “The Lakefront Trail is important to Chicago’s residents and visitors for transportation, recreation and exercise,” says Burke. “It serves as a link between our parks, beaches, neighborhoods, downtown and tourist attractions.”

The Navy Pier Flyover project will address a confusing and dangerous stretch of the Lakefront Trail starting just north of Navy Pier south to where the trail is forced onto a tight sidewalk over the Chicago River. Current conditions on the trail include blind corners, narrow right-of-ways and traffic conflicts that severely limit trail traffic and create an often hazardous experience for pedestrians, motor vehicles, bicyclists and other trail users. The Navy Pier Flyover will address those problems, improving trail capacity and making this area safer for all users.

Active Trans has been involved in this project since the initial project meetings 10 years ago. The organization has worked with the city to provide input on the project concept and design, participated in public meetings with our members and worked to resolve concerns from nearby residents about the project.

“The city’s thorough process has resulted in a strong project plan worthy of the Chicago Plan Commission’s approval today,” said Burke. “With funding for two of three phases of the project in place, we look forward to seeing construction start next year, but we will continue to advocate for funding to complete this important project.”

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by nearly 6,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 40 full-time staff.

For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.

 

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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