STOP! Don’t Turn the Tassel Yet!
By Dr. Cheryl Minnick, Ed.D, Internship Coordinator & Career Advisor
It’s a tough economy and scary time for college seniors as unemployment for new graduates is 8.9%, according to the New York Times (January 5, 2012). More unfavorable data was released by Pew Research Center indicating slightly more than half (54%) of college-aged Americans (ages 18-14) have jobs; the lowest employment rate since 1948 for this age group.
The good news is the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports college graduates fare better at a 4.1% unemployment rate. It’s true, a college degree has a vaccination-effect against unemployment, but it’s still a tough job market. So, before your clients turn the tassel, here are a few critical reminders:
• Remove “Confidentiality Hold” on transcripts so universities can verify for prospective employers or loan companies the degree earned and graduation date. If the confidentiality hold remains, the university cannot release any information and will report there is no record of your attendance. Confidential holds must be released in person with a signed authorization and official identification.
• Update “Diploma Mailing Address” that was provided by seniors at their freshman orientation, along with permanent and local mailing addresses. Empty diploma covers are received at commencement and diplomas mailed after final term grades and degrees are posted a few months later. Diplomas are official documents and critical to have, as sometimes employers will request a copy prior to hire or require a copy to be on display in your office.
• Confirm “Student Loan Servicer,” the organization handling student loan billings, to explore repayment options and confirm they have a current address. The National Student Loan Data System (www.studentloans.gov OR http://www.nslds.ed.gov) lists servicers, grace periods, loan types/totals and outstanding principal/interest. If a graduate fails to make her repayment schedule, she could wind up in default, which has serious consequences. It is a rare employer who wants to hire someone who cannot manage his/her own finances.