Tag Archives: money

Ask the Students: How Do You Make Money Off Campus?

“I’m a freelance photojournalist and I primarily work with the San Francisco Bay Guardian. It’s an exciting job and my assignments range from photographing kittens to sex fairs. However, I still babysit to occasionally supplement my income.”

Amanda Rhoades | Senior Media Studies major

“I’m the Administrative Assistant at INgrooves— a leading provider of digital distribution, marketing and promotion to the global music and video clients via its ONE Digital platform, including for Universal Music Group in North America and for hundreds of independent labels and thousands of artists globally. My main job is screening our artist submissions!”

Élan Bailey | Senior Media Studies major

“I buy and sell ‘80s and ‘90s designer vintage clothing on my website, http://dopevintagesf.com/. This entails sourcing the goods, coordinating photo shoots, putting together looks, website maintenance, customer relations, and marketing. It’s a lot of work but I love it!”

Laura Reilly | Senior Media Studies major

“At Benefit Cosmetics, I help plan events to educate makeup artists at our boutiques how to use our products! I also help the training department plan our new product launches throughout the year. Most of Benefit Corporate is made up of women— it’s so inspiring to see so many powerful women around me.”

Molly Grey | Senior Sociology major 

“On the weekends, I work at the Black Hawk Gallery. I participate in designing seasonal art exhibits!”

Jeffrey Chen | Freshman Art History/Arts Management major

“I work at Starbucks to help pay for my loans. When the high school rush comes in, the demand for frappuccinos is crazy!”

Anjelica Zamora | Freshman Psychology major

“I just started a new job at Starbucks, and I also babysit off campus.”

Jessica Erickson | Junior Sociology major

“I work at the City Target over yonder – it’s been exactly a month! It’s nice because it was close to school and just opening, so I knew that they needed people.”

Katherine Nguyen | Freshman Psychology major

Changes in the Way We Pay For College: Who to Believe

In the last year, USF students have found available funds for college dwindling and sometimes nonexistent.  At the same time, incomes and job opportunities are decreasing at alarming rates. While the media concerns itself with the public health care program, the government’s quiet but determined attempts to reform the student loan system have escaped the press. In such turbulent times, what new hurdles should USF students expect when it comes to financing their education in the coming years?

The student loan market operates outside the conventional loan framework.  The government plays a large role in guaranteeing money to students by offering fixed, below-market-rate loans that are not dependent on the complicated structure used by private lenders.  These private lenders directly compete with the government loan program enticing students with superior customer service and competitive rates.

But due to the increased number of loan defaults in 2008 and the resulting bank failures, private lenders have been less inclined to loan funds to students, especially considering the depleted job market available to expected graduates.

As banks find it harder and harder to release credit to potential students, government loans become a larger source of student financing.  In 2008, a temporary restructuring of the student loan market occurred wherein the government started buying up student loans from private lenders. The current student loan bill intends to make the government the sole financer of student loans, totally wiping out competition from the private lenders.

USF students can expect to see a more inefficient, harder to navigate student loan system in the coming years, according to many analysts. Government programs are implicitly inefficient and the current popular bill designing a student loan system entirely run by the government would be no exception.  The disintegration of the private student loan market would wipe out all competition, allowing the government to monopolize the market for student loans.

But the government claims a simplified financial aid process will result from the student loan overhaul, which means that USF students will spend fewer hours struggling with endless FAFSA forms.  Due to the streamlining of the system, the government reports it will save $87 billion over 10 years, half of which is intended to go to the Pell Grant program for low-income students.

Jessica Zuzik, a graduate student in economics at USF, has had many problems garnering financial aid from the school, despite her excellent academic record.  “I feel that USF has forsaken financial aid because they are a private institution.  They have not made it a priority because they feel that students can afford the excessive tuitions.”  Frustrations such as these leave students relying primarily on the government for financial aid, and soon they will add student loans to this list.

Michelle Schaeffer is a graduate student in the economics department at USF.  She writes on economic issues in her blog at http://economicinquiries.blogspot.com.

How Much Would You Pay for News?

We live in a frenzy of information, bombarded with the whos, hows, and whats of every Tom, Dick and Harry. Some of the information is superfluous and irritating. However, there are a lot of other facts and formalities that serve to inform, educate, and even inspire an entire society of people. We depend on this information on a daily basis; and as of right now, it’s almost completely free.

Where does all of this free information come from? Simply put: the Internet. Some of it originates from the fingertips of Twitterholics who fit tidbits of information into 140 characters. Some of it develops in greater detail on one of the 800-million-some blogs floating on the net. Some of it is even exposed on the websites of news organizations who give the world a free peep show of information they would charge for in another medium.

With so much information buzzing around like swarm of blabbering bumblebees, another problem has arisen: how much of it can we actually trust? This topic is frequently discussed in news debates, and interestingly enough, comes up often when the notion of paying for online news is brought up. People respond, “Well I would pay for the news if I trusted it.”

To me, this is a completely counterproductive statement. After all, the facts don’t find themselves. How can we expect journalists to produce robust news at robot speed for a salary that decreases everyday and is almost completely dependent on minimal funding from advertisers? The reality is, we can’t.

The Internet created a get-everything-for-free-with-the-click-of-a-button standard that is definitely convenient, applauded by the masses, and also unsustainable—at least in terms of the news industry. The number of people who subscribe to the newspaper is increasingly low. Why would they subscribe? It’s all easily accessible online from the comfort of their homes or on their BlackBerrys while commuting to work.

It’s even sent via email with personalized daily and weekly news feeds. Broadcast news is also vulnerable to the Internet dilemma—the best news clips hit YouTube faster than the words came out of the reporter’s mouth. Any news topic can be spit into a search engine like Google, instantly found, and organized by relativity. It’s just that easy.

The time has come for us all to start making a sound investment in the information we depend on. The question is, what is the tangible value of this information? The Internet completely turned the economic platform of the news industry upside-down, and while this issue has been previously ignored, it’s time to address it.

So, how much are we willing to pay for news? Will we pay per story? Per topic? Will we subscribe to just local news or just politics or sports? Will we care enough to pay for the sensationalized crap that sneaks its way in? This question of the “tangible value” of news is one that we have not had to ask ourselves in a long time. As a journalist, I know my response.

Much like how I pay my 99 cents per song I download from iTunes, I would gladly pay per article that interests me. I would also pay for a subscription to my favorite news websites.

Unfortunately, this news-for-free online quandary does not end with simply asking for a few more nickels and dimes. What it also comes down to is regulating what information gets copied and regurgitated onto other portals of the web. A problem that no industry affected economically by the Internet has seemed to figure out, and one that I certainly wish I had the answer to.

Rare Books Could Become Financial Safety Net

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Stacks of antique books line the walls of the Donahue Rare Book Room. Some professors worry the books may be pawned off to meet financial obligations, a claim which University President Rev. Stephen Privett, S.J. does not foresee happening. (Melissa Stihl|Foghorn)

The USF administration is undertaking a plan to protect itself from being further impacted by the nation’s deep recession, though some faculty members are wary of this plan and the practices it would entail.

According to University President Rev. Stephen Privett S.J., USF is sifting through a range of university assets and compiling a list of items that may be expendable in an economic emergency.

“We are not selling anything right now,” said Privett, responding to a group of faculty members upset over the rumor that historic items were being consigned to auction houses to combat economic woes. “Let’s dispel that rumor right now,” he said.

The possibility of selling items from the Donahue Rare Book Room in the Gleeson Library has garnered the strongest responses from faculty members.

USF history professor Martin A. Claussen is one of several faculty members concerned about the future of USF’s collection of historic items, noting that USF has already consigned a collection of prints by Renaissance artist Albecht Durer to an auction house.

“Selling parts of the library collection in order to pay current costs is like burning the furniture to keep warm,” Claussen said.

Privett insists that, if the items compiled from the Rare Book Room were ever sold, they would be “non-book items, duplicate volumes, or single volumes, not part of a series or collection.”

As for the Durer collection, Privett said, “They (the prints) were discovered by accident. We have an art gallery, not a museum. We didn’t have a place for them.”

The Durer collection has not been sold yet, but Privett said the money would go to an endowment to support the library, and much of the money made from the Rare Book Room items, if ever sold, would go towards renovating the room and protecting its items. Claussen however is not satisfied with this reasoning.

“Selling items in the Rare Book Room to pay for renovations that would keep them safe? That logic sounds odd,” he said.

Claussen is also concerned with items being sold that were given to USF as gifts, a problem not unique to USF.

According to an April 23 article in the Wall Street Journal, cash starved colleges are selling their radio stations’ frequencies and pawning off paintings to pay their way through financial plights.  The journal also reported that in extreme cases, some colleges are using endowments for purposes not originally intended by the donor, another concern Claussen expressed.

Trinity College Professor of Business Gerald Gunderson took his complaint to the Connecticut attorney general’s office when he learned that the college planned to use part of a $9 million endowment from  investing tycoon Shelby Cullom Davis to fund scholarships for international students, a move that Professor Gunderson believes is a violation of the late Mr. Davis’ wishes. According to Gunderson, he was summoned into the President’s office where he was called a “scoundrel” and his job was threatened.

Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. is involved in litigation concerning plans they had to sell paintings donated to the university by acclaimed artist Georgia O’Keeffe.

USF has not reached the private meeting, name-calling stage that Trinity College has, but the university has taken note of such events and prefers preparation over future predicament, though Privett says USF is doing well at the moment and will never disregard the wishes of donors.

“I have a moral and legal obligation to honor the wishes of the donors,” said Privett, who jokingly added that he wished he had Georgia O’Keeffe paintings to sell.

The concern over the list may have more to do with USF’s recent actions in similar situations. Years ago, a former USF library director discarded a number of science and math books from the Gleeson collection without input from the faculty. This led to a faculty uprising that gave birth to a coalition of librarians, faculty, and staff who set procedures for weeding through collections. The procedure allows professors from effected departments to view and make amendments to the list.

Professor Claussen believes any books from the Rare Book Room should follow this same procedure; Privett cautiously agrees.

“What [professors] don’t know  is I know when and how often these books are checked out and used,” said Privett in support of his point that professors who have never used the materials should not require consultation.

“Should professors who use them have a say? I think so,” he said. “I’ll leave it to the library to handle that.”
In response to the Foghorn’s request for an interview, Gleeson Library Dean Tyrone Cannon said Father Privett would be speaking for the library in this matter.

Father Privett also questioned how many students visit the Rare Book Room.  In a poll conducted by the Foghorn of 43 USF students, 53% (23 students) said they have visited the Rare Book Room at least once, though less than half of those 23 students said they have visited the room more than once.   Of the 20 that responded no, six of them said they did not know what the Rare Book Room was.

As it stands the list is being compiled and according to Privett the possibility is always there. “Never say never,” he said. “It’s possible that they could be sold one day. It’s also possible that one day we may sell Lone Mountain.”

LinkedIn for Recent Grads and Students

If you’re looking for a job, you can’t NOT be in LinkedIn. It positively shocks me that every college and university is not making this clear to today’s graduating class.
- Pure Visibility Blog author

What you know is very important, but who you know can get you the job. Accordingly, I am a big fan of LinkedIn.com. An employer found me for my current public relations job via that site, and I have discovered personal connections at other companies that I have been interested in working for. I created a profile on LinkedIn two years ago, grew a large network, and I have been reaping the benefits ever since.

Recently, I invited more of my friends to join my network on the site. Though many people wonder, “What on earth is LinkedIn?! How is it different from other networking sites, such as Facebook? Why should I bother joining?” The LinkedIn staff presents a comprehensive answer in their guide for upcoming grads (and young people, in general): grads.linkedin.com. Included is a crafty video that uses paper cut-outs to illustrate the advantages of LinkedIn (check it below).

- Courtney Parham, USF alumna 2008
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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myGxNhGO4x0[/youtube]

The views express herein may not be those of the Foghorn Online. This content has been submitted by the greater online community and reviewed for basic discretionary content by our editors.

Dons Dollars and Cents: Economic Stimulus Package

Hated by Republican congress members, and business owners , and loved by Democrats and the unemployed, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 seems to have polarized the American public, and even economists, who cannot agree on whether the bill will pull the economy out of tailspin or just greatly increase the size of government, as well as government debt, for years to come.

For college students, who would have hoped for the Democrat-controlled government to aim stimulus money at making college more affordable, there is disappointingly little in the enormous package to get excited about.

Less than four percent of the $787 billion economic relief effort will be spent on college students, in the form of expanded Pell Grants and Federal Work Study and increased tax credits for education spending.

The bill calls for $15.6 billion to increase Pell grants from $4,731 currently to $5,350 in 2009 and to $5,550 in 2010. Pell grants do not have to be repaid and students who qualify will receive anywhere from $400 up to the maximum amount depending on their level of need as determined by their FAFSA.

However, these grants go to only the poorest college students; 90 percent of Pell grants awarded in 2008 went to students whose families made less than $40,000 per year, according to a report by the New York Times.

The stimulus package also calls for about a 17 percent, or $200 million, increase in funding for the Federal Work Study program which subsidizes the cost of hiring student workers by chipping in part of their wages. Work study allows employers, especially campus departments and non-profits, to hire more workers, or workers they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.

This is important at USF, where campus departments are facing tighter funding and some are reducing student hours or laying student workers off all together. Non-work study student workers are also seeing their hours cut more dramatically than those with work study, as was reported in the Feb. 19 issue of the Foghorn.

In the bill, Congress also increased tax credits for education spending, up to a maximum of $2,500, made the credits refundable, meaning tax payers who owe less in taxes than their education credit will get a refund, and increased eligibility to families making less than $180,000, up from $116,000 last year. The credit will go either to students or to their parents if the student is claimed as a dependent and is up from a similar $2,000 credit last year.

Total spending on college funding in the bill comes to just $29.8 billion, a small fraction of what has been set aside for other programs including Medicaid spending and tax cuts.
While students should support efforts to increase economic activity in hopes of securing well-paying jobs upon graduation, there is little in this bill that increases federal support for higher education or reduces the incredible cost of obtaining a degree.

However, the Obama administration plans to include further support for college students in its fiscal year 2010 budget, including making some of the programs mentioned above permanent.
The impact of Obama’s budget changes on college students will be profiled in a forthcoming Dons Dollars and Cents column.