Killing Our Future

Last week the American Life League ran an ad in the Washington Times. At the top of the ad, “President Bush: Protect Social Security.” Beneath that title an elderly man in a rocking chair holds a young child. The ad states that the current problems with social security would not exist if over fifty million babies had become part of society – instead each one was aborted.In a hospital the proof of life, or more correctly the proof of death, revolves around the existence of a heartbeat and brainwaves. In times of less medical advancement the presence of life was determined by a pulse and a breath. That’s how we determine when life has left this mortal coil, when all that is left is an earthly shell.But when does life start? When are we given the breath of life? When does man become a living soul? At conception? At the first discernible heartbeat? At a baby’s first breath? There is no machine – no instrument – that can divine the presence of the human spirit. So for now let us forget the question of ‘when’.Would social security be more viable if those fifty million babies had lived? It would seem logical because in that group is a potential work force. A potential of tens of millions of workers that will never be. For the past few decades we have debated whether or not those potential fifty million lives were actual lives at that point when their potential was removed. Yet no one argues that the potential – up to the time it was forcibly removed – didn’t exist.No one argues that Sarah Smith had any more potential than her twin brother. Both had the potential to be born, to go to school, to live a life. If the natural course of things was not interrupted, that’s probably what would have happened. Except one day in November, Sarah’s brother Andrew was aborted. He was never born, never went to school, never lived a life, but she did.Heidi Huffman didn’t have more potential life than others the day her mother went to have an abortion. The abortionist just missed. Gianna Jessen wasn’t different from any other aborted baby the day her mother when to the clinic. She just survived.We can argue over what human life exists and when it exists, but it cannot be denied that each conception contains the same potential. As a society we are killing our future, because we have let individuals remove the potential of another.We’re concerned with potential in other areas. How many potential George Washington Carvers will never be because of school violence? How many Einsteins have been lost to drug use? How many Condoleezza Rices had their potential removed by racism?We fight passionately against these things because when a life is lost more than just a mass of living cells dies. When a human life is extinguished, so is influence and the potential change that could have been made on this world. But has anything had greater effect on the potential future of this world than abortion?Where’s the Louis Pasture of the 21st century? Could he have been aborted last week? Who’s the Thomas Edison of the next 50 years? Maybe he was aborted a few months ago. The next Jefferson and Lincoln might have been aborted just last year.What about the group that holds abortion higher then their own right to life? Liberals complain about a lack of real leaders. Where’s the candidate that could have beaten President Bush? Maybe he was aborted. Where’s the liberal who could dethrone Rush? Maybe she was aborted. Where are the next generation of liberal leaders? Maybe they were aborted.Obviously these possibilities cannot be proven, and that is my point. We’ll never know what potential was lost. We’ll never know who we’ve killed. We’ll never know what could have been. We are killing our future.If a student was denied the chance to fulfill his full potential in science, or law, or athletics, there would be cries of outrage. The ACLU would sue for something, and the media would question how anything like that could happen in America. Yet abortion takes potential that exists – a potential life, yes a potential failure, but at the same time a potential success – and puts it in the hands of another. Abortion allows someone else to chose whether that potential will ever be realized. Where’s the outrage?In the end I have to come down firmly on the side of choice. I think every kid deserves a chance at life. I think every kid should be able to chose a life. Becoming a doctor, teaching a class, working at a bank, building houses, writing software, publishing newspapers. I think every kid should have the chance to choose. Because one day, when some young man decides to become the next Hitler, there should be others becoming the next Churchill and Roosevelt.Unless they were aborted.

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Having a Financial Aid Consultant Is the New Best Way to Pay for College.

Having your very own personal financial aid expert continually looking out for your interest is as valuable as having a very good defense attorney. Throughout our society we have become increasingly depended upon the services of experts to advices us on the most complex and challenging parts of our lives. Just like a tax professional helps prepare our taxes, a personal trainer help us get in shape, a nutritionist picks our meals, a financial planner help us with our finances or even a realtor help us find our dream home. A personal financial aid consultant works on their client’s behalf helping them and their families navigate through the constantly changing and often complex financial aid process.

To understand the value of a Consultant and why so many families are turning to them for help, you must first understand the cost to obtain a college education. According to a recent College Board report, college tuition has risen all across the country. According to the report the average in-state public college tuition grew to $22,261 per academic year while private college tuition rose to $43,289 per academic year. While only two-thirds of full-time students receive grants or federal tax breaks, many are left to foot the bill themselves. According to another report by the Institute for College Access & Success Project on Student Debt, two-third of the class of 2011 held student loans upon graduation, and the average owed was $26,600. According to the U.S. Department of Education 13.4% of those borrowers will default on their student loans within three years after graduating.

Traditional Help Resources

Historically, 1 in 7 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) forms has errors or inconsistencies which are one of the major reasons students lose some or all of their financial aid. With regard to additional grants and scholarships outside of the FAFSA, many families simply don’t know where and when to look, how to look or have no time and energy to look and they just end up getting frustrated trying of compete for the free aid. Most of these issues could be avoided by using a consultant but unfortunately most students and families rely on traditional resources which offer limited support in trying to get financial aid.

Traditionally, families get their financial aid information and help from four main sources:

High school guidance counselors – for many families of college bound students their guidance counselors are their first source of information and help. Unfortunately, most counselors are so over worked and are usually not adequately trained and up to date with the constantly changing policies and regulations in the college funding process. These inadequacies can cause family thousands of dollars in aid.

Your financial aid office – maybe the best place to information, with adequately trained staff with up to date knowledge of policies and regulations, however they have their challenges too. Most Colleges don’t provide information on additional grants and scholarships outside of what their school provides. Their biggest challenge however is the huge workload of thousands of students who apply or reapply for aid every year. This huge volume of students weakens the ability of advisors to spend adequate time with each student which leaves the student and their family to fend for themselves in the application process.

The internet -The internet can be a good source of help but without an expert to decipher all the information and protect you there is a risk of errors and even fraud.

Parents and Friends – yes parents provide the support and insights which are helpful but may don’t have up to date information. While family can spend hours in front of a computer screen and hours more around the dining room table filling out forms they may never really know if the information they are providing is helping or hurting their eligibility.

Why a Financial Aid Consultant?

There are several benefits to having a consultant none more significant than the fact that the consultant is your employee whom you have hired and can fire. His or her sole job is to be constantly looking out for your interest and making sure that you are in the best financial situation during and after you have graduated from college. Many families are finding it economically smart to invest a few bucks now in a consultant who can help them save thousands in student debt in the future.

These are some of the services that a financial aid consultant provides:

Assists you in the filling out financial application forms.
Ensures you meet all deadlines.
Helps you in your search for more grants, scholarships and loans.
Ensures you receive the maximum aid you qualify for.
Guides you step-by-step through the entire process.
Saves you time and money by helping you receive financial aid.
Helps determine your eligibility.
Determines if you are receiving a fair financial aid offer.
Offers you relevant information on all different types of aid.
Provides an estimate of your expected family contribution.
Recommends schools that offer you the best package.
Assists in appeals.
An independent advisor provides you that peace of mind of knowing that you’ve received the best financial aid you’re entitled to.

If you decide that a financial aid consultant is right for you, you should take some precautions. Like everything, using a consultant has its own sets of challenges so here are 5 tips that you should use:

Even though there are tremendous benefits in using a consultant, remember the FAFSA application is free so you should never pay excessive fees for a consultant service.
Choose a consultant that is well versed in the laws and availability of each type of government and private education programs – preferably an insider with tremendous experience.
Choose a consultant that been recommended by a friend or family member who can vouch that the consultant offered great value to them.
Avoid any consultant that is not honest, ethical or completely open with you.
Make sure your consultant is willing to sign the FAFSA, as any professional will sign the document that they prepare for clients – this ensures that they will stand behind and back the application if further issues or question should arise and remember to get a detailed receipt.
Dealing with the financial aid process for college is overwhelming for many students and parents. More and more students and their families are finding comfort in knowing that they have an expert on their side. As the cost of college continues to rise they know that they have a trained professional who they have employed to help them navigate the financial aid process. A personal consultant is the resource that ensures families and students get all they can when it comes to loans, grants and scholarships.

Rosezza Miller is one of South Florida leading financial aid expert. For over 12 years

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