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How Students Can Obtain Tax Information

How College Students Can Obtain Tax Information for Financial Aid Purposes We received some very helpful information we want to pass along to you… The IRS has advised college students and families that, when filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, they can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to obtain tax information necessary to fill out the form. Other options are also available to obtain tax information (IRS Tax Tip 2019-82). The federal government offers various forms of financial aid for college students, including loans and scholarships. To be eligible for such aid, students must fill out a FAFSA form each year, which contains financial and other relevant information on the student and the student’s family. Students filling out the form must provide information from their most recent federal tax return. Students should, therefore, keep copies of their returns. If copies of the most recent return are […]

Sorority Recruitment – Four Rounds and You’re In!!

Rush Around and Get Ready for Sorority Recruitment! I remember my daughters going through sorority recruitment. The first one was convinced that her outfit selections were the reason she got dropped from many of the houses. That is very hard to hear from your daughter especially when you have spent much of their lives trying to teach them that beauty comes from within. I did not want them so focused on brands or trying to dress in a way that was not representative of who they were. But, recruitment is one of those times when you are judged on appearances. I am not suggesting that those going through sorority recruitment should dress in a way that does not make them feel comfortable. They can show their personality through their outfit choices and accessories. And I don’t think you have to spend more than you are budgeted for. We have found that there are [...]

New Student Shopping Guide – You need this!

Top 7 Categories of What They Need! Shopping for your soon-to-be college student is exciting, exhausting, expensive. HaveUHeard how much there is to shop for? Look at the college checklist from the top retailers and you will see an average of 126 items. It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement of shopping with your student for college; the lists can get overwhelming so we tried to break it down for you. The average traditional dorm size is only about 130 square feet and most likely, that is shared space. It is hard to think that all of your student’s belongings will find a rightful place, but there are some practical, multi-functional products out there that will allow your student room to walk/sleep/study in their room. Now let’s go shopping!  Let your student help with picking everything out; most will want to at the very least pick out their […]

Sorority Recruitment

Almost as soon as the first acceptance to college came in, so did the idea of actually having to pay for their tuition and room and board. When they were small it was something we always envisioned we would do and planned accordingly.

New Student Shopping Guide

Almost as soon as the first acceptance to college came in, so did the idea of actually having to pay for their tuition and room and board. When they were small it was something we always envisioned we would do and planned accordingly.

What to Expect From the Transition to College

Congratulations! Your baby is becoming an adult. Did that sentence make you a little queasy? Sending your student off to college is bittersweet. For that matter, being a parent is bittersweet. It’s a constant tug of war amongst your emotions. On the one hand, you’re bursting with pride when your precious one meets milestones (you know, like high school graduation) and on the other, you’re saddened that they are growing up too fast (like heading off to college). College is an amazing opportunity for your student. It’s an outstanding place for your student to blossom from the teenager that’s been eating all of your food and keeping you up at night to an emerging adult poised to go out into the world and experience greatness. But like any new phase of life, the transition from high school to college, from teenager to emerging adult, from dependent to independent is full of growing […]

Smash Stress! Send Exam Care Packages

To Help Ease Their Stress During Exam Week Midterm and finals can be some of the biggest stressors for your student. Don’t expect too many calls from your student during exams. I typically do not speak to my daughter during finals or exam weeks. My calls usually get a “sorry I cannot talk right now” text response followed by an “I’m at the library mom” text. I also know that she is not going to eat healthily and probably going to consume any form of caffeine she can get whether it is coffee or energy drinks and late-night snacks most likely consisting of pizza and junk. Everything from eating habits to sleep habits, from study skills to exercise changes during exam time. I hate to say it but I had my share of all-nighters when I went to UF and, no matter how good a student you may have, when there is a […]

Why are we writing this informative blog?

Here’s why… Over the course of the four years, our kids were at college, we had so many “I wish I would have known,” or as we commonly refer to as “huh?” moments starting their freshman year and all through their graduation. This included “We wish we would have known when to book a hotel for a football game, we wish we would have known where to send our kids when they were sick; we wish we would have known what the good local places to order cupcakes for their birthday since we would not be there, and the list goes on and on. So our why are we doing this? To make the way easier for other parents.  As working parents, we did not have the time to search for information inside and outside the walls of UCF and UF yet alone get answers from our kids. A few years into […]

Minimizing Risk for Collegiate Women on Campus

Safety for Collegiate Women, What’s the Risk? There is a lot of talk about safety on college campuses right now, and rightfully so. The risk seems right around the corner. With more reports of sexual assault, recreational drug use, and hazing deaths, it’s no wonder parents have concerns about sending their kids off into these environments without curfews and social supervision. According to College Moxie’s focus-group feedback from thousands of collegiate women nationwide, female students (perhaps now more than ever) need parents and mentors who will listen to and support them without judgment. They crave a safe space to talk about their “stuff” and recognize a need for face-to-face connection with their peers and mentors that allows for that. Shame and perceived judgment are severe impactors of women, and this often results in women trying to work through things alone. To further complicate matters, these women also made it clear that “adult” […]

Meal Plans

Almost as soon as the first acceptance to college came in, so did the idea of actually having to pay for their tuition and room and board. When they were small it was something we always envisioned we would do and planned accordingly.

Orient Yourself, Guide to Orientation

Almost as soon as the first acceptance to college came in, so did the idea of actually having to pay for their tuition and room and board. When they were small it was something we always envisioned we would do and planned accordingly.

Home Sweet Dorm

Almost as soon as the first acceptance to college came in, so did the idea of actually having to pay for their tuition and room and board. When they were small it was something we always envisioned we would do and planned accordingly.

Teaching Them to Budget

My Best Advice as a Parent Three times the charm. Well, I suppose that isn’t fair; all three of my kids are charming and adorable. The difference is that not all three are very good with money and frankly I blame myself a little for that. I am not one to preach, but since you asked, the best advice I would give to a parent of a new college student is to give them a budget and make them stick to it. With my first college student, there was no real budget. She called and said she needed more and I supplied. Her requests never seemed too unreasonable. I paid her rent, credit cards, car expenses, food and so on. It all seemed so logical. Why then, as a college graduate in the real world, did she have such a tough time navigating bill paying and budgeting? Because she never had to. […]

IRL Mom – Debbie Friedman

Mom Blogger Debbie Do you know what IRL means? I bet you do because you have post-millennials kids, In Real Life. HaveUHeard has only IRL bloggers and interns to get your university specific info. Here is one of our mom’s who blogs about FSU & UNF. She is the mother of two Noles and one Osprey. Debbie is a Coral Springs mom. She moved to Coral Springs in 1994 so she’s seen it grow and has raised three awesome kids, all who attend, or have attended Florida state colleges. Her oldest son graduated from FSU in 2017 and her younger son is currently at FSU. Her daughter is currently at UNF. Besides adjusting to being an empty nester, Debbie enjoys exercising – cardio and yoga, baking (including the best chocolate chip cookies in the world) that’s why all the exercising! Relaxing includes reading, spending time with her friends and fiancé, who also […]

IRL – Catie Kuter

Blogger Catie Do you know what IRL means? I bet you do because you have post-millennials kids, In Real Life. HaveUHeard has only IRL bloggers and interns to get your university specific info. Here is one of our bloggers about FAU. Most of our bloggers are moms but Catie is an all-around FAU alumnus She is the and is active in many current events on campus. Not a mom but a super aunt of five nephews…five! Catie is a south Florida native, she graduated with a degree in history from FAU. An active alumnus at her alma mater, and with her local sorority alumni association. A real FAU specialist she is immersed in FAU details. Boca history fact: did you know that in the beginning, there was an airbase – the Boca Raton Army Air Field. This facility, one of the few radar training schools operated by the U.S. Army Air Corps […]

IRL Mom – Susanne Jacoby Hale

Mom Blogger Susanne Do you know what IRL means? I bet you do because you have post-millennials kids, In Real Life. HaveUHeard has only IRL bloggers and interns to get your university specific info. Here is one of our mom’s who blogs about FSU & UCF. Susanne Jacoby Hale is a former high school teacher who focused on dropout prevention. She is presently a family mediator and has earned her master’s degree from New York University in education and creative writing. Susanne also constructively critiques and edits college application essays. She also used her creative writing skills in her contemporary romance book that draws upon her own years teaching at-risk students at a New York City public high school. The plot is about a teacher reaches out to the children the educational system has left behind—all while desperately wanting children of her own. Check out her debut novel, Shades of Gray. Want to be […]

Out-of-State Internship?

Where Will They Live? Did they get an out-of-state internship? Both of my daughters interned during the summer between their junior and senior year. And both ended up interning in New York City. Since they did not get their internship until early Spring, some of their housing options were quite limited. And, not being familiar with interning out of state, we grabbed what was available. You can read about interning in New York City here. But what if their internship takes them to another large city? Some of the housing options are very expensive. You can look on Craigslist or in Facebook groups – but be careful because there are some scams. They don’t have to live on a college campus, many of which open their dorms for summer interns. They can rent from another student in an apartment. You can check the Uloop Housing section to find sublets. Many apartments open up […]

Interning in New York City

Who doesn’t want to live in New York City? Ok, I am a little partial. I am a born and bred New Yorker, living in S. Florida for 25 plus years, and I still love it. And so do many of our students, which is why New York is so popular for summer internships. They will need a place to live. Where to look for housing? There are many options. Most interning students live in dorms in various colleges throughout the city. New York University – is the most popular and fills quickly. My daughter lived downtown on the border of Little Italy in an NYU dorm one summer. The dorm wasn’t very fancy, but the security was tight and the living space was huge, well for NYC. NYU has multiple dorms in a few parts of the city. To save money living in the NYU dorms students can share a room. […]

Move out!

Almost as soon as the first acceptance to college came in, so did the idea of actually having to pay for their tuition and room and board. When they were small it was something we always envisioned we would do and planned accordingly.

Florida Prepaid

What Does It Pay For? Many of us who have lived in Florida, planned for our students’ education by taking advantage of the Florida Prepaid program. The program allows families to prepay for their child’s education at a guaranteed fixed rate. Many of us, also, were practically in shock when our last payment came due, possibly because that meant that college was right around the bend. If you are anything like me you made your payments habitually, but when it came time to actually register my kids for a university in the state of Florida, we weren’t completely sure what all those years of payments were going to cover. Now we know. We will admit we learned along the way. For instance, we did not pay for dorms for more than one year as we were advised not to since many students choose not to live in the dorms beyond freshman year. […]

Types of Student Loans

What are your options? When I attended school back in 1979, my Dad had four of us in college at the same time. It was through student loans that my parents were able to manage the costs of all four of us attending school along with some parental financial support. Unfortunately, as far back as I can remember, many students including myself, have used their student loans for entertainment, shopping, vacations, etc. The Department of Education loans money for school and it is imperative for your student to understand that student loans should not be used for frivolous spending. Trust me, I learned the hard way. The loans and interest (depending on the type of loan you have) add up very quickly. Repayment of said loans can be a huge monthly cost; therefore, understanding all the terms of student loans is, in my opinion, essential. In all cases, you must begin with […]

Credit Cards for College Students

What Every Student Should Know Recently I told my daughter to go pay something with a check. She responded by asking me if she had those somewhere. She literally had never written one. In a day of Venmo, Zelle, debit and credit cards, people, students included, just don’t seem to carry cash anymore and checks are becoming more and more archaic. Credit cards, though, can be scary for students; particularly when they see the word “limit” and somehow skip over the fact that those balances have to get paid. Given that we made some serious errors with our oldest regarding money management, we decided to approach things differently with young adult #3. As she entered her sophomore year, we actually encouraged her to get a credit card. We began by explaining the reasons why: Establish credit Learn to manage money Provide ease and convenience when paying for things Take advantage of offers […]

Safety Tips For Using Rideshare

Important  Reminders I remember when I first heard about Uber and thought it was a brilliant concept for so many reasons; one of which was that it should cut down on people driving after drinking and provide a way that my college kids didn’t walk home late at night or alone. I still think the idea is great and encourage my kids to continue to use Uber, Lyft, Wahi Ride or whatever their choice may be; however, before more scary stories show up in the news, we have had to create some new rules to be sure that they remain safe. Of course, the first rules are that whenever possible ride with a friend and when you feel the slightest bit uneasy, do not hesitate to call for a campus police escort. Simple rules: Confirm the name of the driver, make of the car and license plate. In other words, make sure […]

The First Few Weeks

We completed the drop. We unloaded the car in the treacherous Florida heat and we set up their rooms. The bed was made, everything had been put away and it only took two trips to Target for things we didn’t realize we would need. We said our see-ya-laters and shed the appropriate amount of tears. It was when I got into the car without our new college freshman, all the advice we meant to give them about those first few weeks lay dormant somewhere between the big lump in my throat and my empty heart. Forgive me if I sound dramatic, but the truth is there is a great deal to be said at that time. Whether or not they take to heart is another story. Perhaps starting the conversation a few weeks before drop-off is a better idea. Getting Started Those first few weeks of college are a crucial time for […]

I Wish I Would Have Known

I didn’t know, did you? Have U Heard was an idea born when our older kids were at the University of Central Florida and the University of Florida. As working parents, we did not have the time to search for information inside and outside the walls of UCF and UF yet alone get answers from our kids. We had so many “I wish I would have known,” or as we commonly refer to it as “huh? ”moments over the four years our older kids were at college. That is when we thought, “What if there was a one-stop place for parents to get not only detailed information about the university but also the surrounding community? Recognizing how stressful the college process is, from orientation through graduation, we created HaveUHeard to provide the inside scoop from current students and parents; a been there, done that approach from trusted sources… A place to get information […]

GAP Year

Should Your Student Take a Year Off Before Graduate School? I remember when I started graduate school and on the first day of class, we were assigned to read over 300 pages and write a paper before the next class. My jaw dropped and I wondered if the professor was serious. Not every class is like this, but after four years in college, some students may choose to take a break before jumping into graduate school; whether it’s medical school, law school, an MBA or just about any other advanced degree. Graduate school can be a grind. There are other reasons students choose to take a break; or gap year, before going on to pursue an advanced degree. Many graduate programs prefer students to have some time out in the working world before grad school. It is not uncommon for students to partake in internships that will provide them with experience in […]

What is  – FAFSA?

First Applicants Find Substantial Assets, of course! FAFSA is the national Free Application for Federal Student Aid but, based on how aid is distributed. Because aid is distributed on a first come, first serve basis, every student that hopes to receive aid for college must fill out this form to even be considered. Every college has their own deadline. Beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students were able to file the FAFSA using prior-prior year (PPY) tax data. As a result of this change, you now can submit the FAFSA for the 2019-2020 academic year on October 1, 2018, using your 2017 tax and income information. (Summer applicants for 2018 need to submit a 2017-2018 application). If you have not done so already, you will also need to complete that year’s application as well. The IRS link for a tax return is no longer available for the 2017-2018 application and will have to […]

What Are Your Legal Rights With Your Student?

HaveUHeard that once your child is 18, they are considered a legal adult? It was close to 10 p.m. when I received the call from my daughter, now a junior in college, that she had fallen during an intramural soccer game and was pretty sure she broke her elbow. Her friend was driving her to the emergency room. Here I was, over 350 miles away, it was late at night and I would not be able to do much of anything but worry. I told her to put me on speaker phone when she saw a doctor so I could hear what was going on. I had not given any thought to the fact that my daughter was over 18 years of age, so legally, I was not entitled to the same level of information, or access, that I had been for her first 18 years. I am a CPA with elderly parents. […]

First Time Student Loan Borrower?

You’ll Need to Do This. What is Entrance Counseling? In July of 2016, the U.S. Department of Education made it a requirement that, in order to have student loans disbursed, all students must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling. This counseling includes information needed to successfully repay the federal student loans they will be receiving to help pay for college costs. You can get more information here. If you have not previously received a Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), the federal government requires you to complete entrance counseling to ensure that you understand the responsibilities and obligations you are assuming. You must complete entrance counseling before you can receive the proceeds of your first Direct Loan. If you are completing entrance counseling to borrow a loan as an undergraduate student, then the entrance counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. If you are completing […]

Orientation and What You Don’t Need to Bring

Ok, here you go on the big new adventure! Orientation and moving into a dorm. Here is what we’ve found to be the most helpful suggestions. Let us know if you have anything to add!

Is Their Stuff Safe?

One more thing to worry about, is the stuff safe? Right up there with the call from my college daughter that she lost her phone, keys, student ID, (fill in the blank)

Fanatics! Special Discount Days! July 30 & 31!

HaveUHeard's Fanatics Special Discount Days! July 30 & 31! Use code HAVEUHEARD25 Are you full of team spirit? Well, show it! Outfit yourself and the whole family in your school-branded merchandise for the first game of the season! Tailgate in style, cheer for the team and look great while doing it! Fanatics is your go-to place for licensed sports merchandise from your favorite team apparel and jerseys to memorabilia and collectibles. You’ll definitely want to check them out! AND get 25% off! Use our code HAVEUHEARD25 on July 30 & 31 and get your special discount!  HaveUHeard is your guide to getting to know your student’s University and surrounding community. Filled with insider tips and info from IRL parents and students. Note - Excludes special event products (ex: any new championship product), or new product launches (ex: Nike sideline for upcoming season), and some brands.

Send a Little Halloween Love…

Have Some Halloween Fun! When my daughter left for college, I sent her a Halloween care package.  It was nothing fancy; just some dollar store decorations, candy for her to share with her suitemates and some fun things that could be used for a makeshift costume. Remember that UPS shipping within the state of Florida is typically overnight at no additional cost; a perk I have often enjoyed. If you are creative,  Pinterest has some great themed care package suggestions.  Some sayings you can put inside include: I Miss you Boo (with a ghost next to it) No tricks just treats! Hey Pumpkin, you deserve this Going batty without you Well… you get the point. We’ve taken the guesswork out of what to send and went right to the source… our interns. They may be adults but they are still not too old for a good, old-fashioned Halloween gift. Here are the most […]

Twas the Night before Holiday Vacation

And So the Story Goes… Winter break, visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, family time and maybe a family vacation; and having your student home. But your vision and your student’s vision of winter break may just be polar opposites. Hanging out with you on vacation every day may not be what your student is planning on doing.  And while we are all excited to have our kids home, there needs to be a mutual meeting of the minds, so to speak. Yes, some have had very stressful semesters and may need this downtime. If that is the case, definitely give them a few days to get used to being home. Expect that they have changed; just as you too have changed as you both adjusted to a new family dynamic. You may notice a new sense of independence and self-sufficiency. And that is something to be excited about. Of course, how […]

Mother’s Day Gift Guide, You’ve Got This!

Ready for Mom’s Important Day? Mother’s Day only comes once a year, so you better believe the pressure is on to show your mother just how much she means to you. If you’re anything like me, your mom is your absolute best friend and #1 fan so you should know exactly what to get her, right?… Wrong! Being a college student on a tight budget puts a bit of a restriction on the “world” you think your mom deserves. And even though my mom, and the other moms we checked in with, overwhelmingly say all they want is to spend time with us, we can still get them a little something to show how much we care (recruit any siblings to pitch in for a gift). Luckily we’re here to make it a little easier to pick out a great gift for your mom while making sure you don’t have to be […]

Father’s Day Deals

Cash-Strapped Students Here is Your Answer to Father’s Day! My sister and I are daddy’s girls so Father’s Day was always important, but not in the way you would think. We grew up playing sports and having him as our coach. He would bake cookies with us, rough house with us and talk to us in the same way he would talk to my brother. That was until we were teenagers wearing makeup, dressing in what he would consider too short dresses and skirts and showed an interest in boys. Then he became a protective dad. No matter the relationship, the one thing my brothers and I had in common is that we have a very limited budget when it comes to picking out a Father’s Day gift. Many college students are in the same position. So we pooled our money together to come up with one great gift. We’ve always managed to […]