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Story Ideas for Media 2/25/09


Simplifying the financial aid process. Families across the nation are busy this time of year filling out the federal financial aid applications for college. Simplifying the process is the goal of a new program to assist parents in filling out the complicated Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
The FAFSA is the federal application for financial aid and it is also used to apply for aid from other sources including state or school funds. Parents are encouraged to apply early before funds run out.
Parents can get an early start on the financial aid process with the FAFSA4caster, a step-by-step program to provide an early estimate of eligibility for federal student aid.
The FAFSA4caster also explains the financial aid process, including deadlines, jargon other sources of aid.
Ohio State's Economic Access Initiative is working with the junior class at Franklin Heights High School to get all families to fill out the FAFSA4caster. Tally Hart, who leads the Economic Access Initiative, says the early results are very promising. Hart says for many families, answering the "how do I pay for college?" question comes before any college planning. Hart says the goal is to improve access to college since families will know their financial picture early.
Paul Sarver, a counselor at Franklin Heights High School, says the partnership is a great benefit to the community. "Through previous experience working for high school seniors and their parents in preparing for college, I had found many families waited until the end of the school year to apply for the FAFSA. With the help of Ohio State's Economic Access Initiative, the juniors that I am working with this year are far better prepared for their senior year by knowing realistically how much Federal assistance they may receive. Parents who have attended the financial aid sessions hosted by Tally Hart and Laura Kraus have been exceptionally pleased with the information they received and the expert assistance. MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385.

From Wuhan to Columbus to learn about student life as a Buckeye. A delegation of 13 from Wuhan University in China will visit Ohio State for three weeks (February 22 – March 13) to learn more about how Ohio State works with students outside of the classroom through the Office of Student Life. The delegation will have an opportunity to tour the campus, meet one-on-one with experts in the field who manage Ohio State's residence halls, campus dining services, recreational facilities, and student union operations, among many other areas. They also will engage in shadowing experiences to learn first-hand how Ohio State best meets the needs of its students. CONTACT: Maureen Miller, (614) 247-2462, or Ruth Gerstner, (614) 292-8424.

Ohio State named to national honor roll for community service. The Ohio State University has been recognized as an "Honor Roll member with Distinction" in the third annual President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Five of the 83 institutions achieving this designation are in Ohio.
The award recognizes the impact of community service by Ohio State students during the 2007-08 academic year:
• More than 12,500 students engaged in 384,280 hours of service.
• Of these students, 2,328 were enrolled in service-learning courses.
• More than 40 percent of students and 30 percent of the total hours were devoted to high school completion (dropout prevention) and college readiness support services for youth in disadvantaged circumstances. CONTACT: Sandra Kerka, kerka.1@osu.edu, (614) 247-4429. SEE: http://service-learning.osu.edu/spotlight.php.


Ohio State study: Previous work experience not always a positive for new job. Employees with previous work experience bring valuable knowledge and skills to their new jobs – but some of what they learned may actually hurt their work performance.
A study of telephone call center employees is one of the first to suggest that previous work experience isn't all positive for new employees. Workers may keep some old habits and ways of doing things that hurt performance in their new roles.
"Organizations pay a premium for workers with job experience that will allow them to just step in and start contributing immediately," said Steffanie Wilk, co-author of the study and associate professor of management and human resources at Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business.
"But what employers don't realize is that some of what their employees learned in previous jobs will end up being a negative." CONTACT: Stephanie Wilk, (614) 292-0311; SWilk@fisher.osu.edu. . SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/workexperience.htm


Professor takes engineering to high school students – Feb. 25. Betty Lise Anderson, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is taking the initiative to bring engineering into local high schools.
Anderson is hoping to interest more students in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) by providing them with opportunities to experience the fields firsthand. On Feb. 25, Anderson will travel to Metro High School, 1929 Kenny Rd., from 2:45 p.m. to approximately 4 p.m. to conduct a program where students will build working audio speakers — using only paper and magnets. Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the Feb. 25 visit to the Metro Early College High School, 1929 Kenny Road. CONTACT: Joan Slattery Wall, (614) 292-4064, wall.107@osu.edu

The person listed as the CONTACT will have the most current information about the story. Call on our media relations staff for help with any Ohio State story: Liz Cook, (614) 292-7276, Shelly Hoffman, (614) 247-4748, Jim Lynch, (614) 247-4110, or Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385.