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Wake Tech has partnered with Single Stop, a non-profit organization, to provide students with easier access to a wide range of resources and benefits.

Housing, child care, health insurance, finances, and all kinds of issues can create barriers for students trying to complete their academic programs and graduate. Single Stop helps by partnering with colleges to provide a wider array of student services, so students can stay focused on their academic goals.

Now, students can get screened quickly and conveniently for benefits. Wake Tech Single Stop uses specially-designed software to complete screenings rapidly. Staff members assist students in applying for benefits – and follow up to make sure they’re getting all that they qualify for.

  • Free tax preparation
  • Benefits counseling
  • Financial counseling
  • Legal advice and representation
  • Referrals for other campus and community resources

Services are free for Wake Tech students who qualify and their family members. 

…………..Becoming A Better You!

Previously six simple steps were shared to help you elevate yourself to the next level of success in 2017. As we draw to the end of the series I suggest that you print, keep and frequently read each of the …BECOME A BETTER YOU blog posts. In this, the conclusion of the series, I want to encourage you to seek to elevate yourself to the next level of success in 2017 – and in each of the years to come.

The principle of stretching is about constantly pressing forward; making every effort to live up to your potential. I encourage you to never be satisfied with past successes. Always aspire to be more, do more and achieve more than you have previously. Each year strive to elevate yourself. You can achieve higher elevation by reading and applying the steps in the …BECOME A BETTER YOU blog series.

In closing, expand your vision of who you are and what you are capable of achieving. Exchange behaviors that are liabilities (holding you back) for behaviors that are assets (elevating you). Ask yourself “What is negatively affecting me?”Be aware of negative affects and replace them with positive ones.

Our environment and the people we spend time with have a major impact on our lives. To elevate yourself to the next level you must clearly understand that:
• You are at the affect of your environment. Ask yourself “What are my environments (home, work, where I hangout) making of me?” If an environment is not contributing to your betterment, make a change.
• You are at the affect of the company you keep. Ask yourself “What am I becoming as a result of my relationship with this person?” If a person in your life is not contributing to you becoming better, make a change.

Elevate your environments and your relationships and you will be well on your way to elevating yourself to the next level of success in 2017 and beyond. Please know that I wish for you success in all your present and future endeavors.

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William “Scott” Holloway is a Wake Tech Student Success Coach committed to helping others elevate to the highest levels of success personally and professionally. You can contact Scott by phone or email at 919-866-6193 or wsholloway@waketech.edu. He will be happy to hear from you.

………..Become A Better You

Previously six simple steps were shared to help you elevate yourself to the next level of success in 2017. The sixth of the six steps is:

Be confident. Have faith in your ability. Persevere. Persist. Sacrifice. Be Resilient. Do whatever is morally and ethically necessary to make your definite desire and ultimate aim in life your reality.

No matter your current circumstance or situation you have the ability to become a better you by building your confidence, having faith in your ability, persevering, persisting, sacrificing, being resilient and developing a “whatever it takes” attitude. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States, said:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men [and women] with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education [alone] will not; the world is full of educated derelicts (people who disuse or neglect their education). Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent (all powerful). ”

While persistence and determination are important, education is a powerful tool used alongside the pillars of confidence, faith, persistence and a “whatever it takes attitude” to equip you to more effectively and efficiently pursue your dreams and goals.

Applied education elevates your thinking and behavior helping you to generate new patterns of thinking and behavior that result in high productivity and leads to a life of success and significance. Persistence plays its role in that when you are determined, you become unstoppable, and you come to understand that there are no unrealistic dreams or goals, only unrealistic timelines. Be persistent.

Take this sixth and final step in the …BECOME A BETTER YOU series. Have confidence, faith, perseverance, persistence, sacrifice, resilience and do whatever is morally and ethically necessary to achieve your ultimate desire in life. It’s possible! You can be more, do more and have more in life. The choice is yours.

………..Become A Better You

…BECOME A BETTER YOU!

Previously six simple steps were shared to help you elevate yourself to the next level of success in 2017. The fifth of the six steps is:

Prioritize your goals and create a strategic plan for the execution and achievement of each of your S.M.A.R.T. goals.

To prioritize your goals means to organize them so that the most urgent goal is managed first, then the second, then the third and so on. As a principle, to prioritize means doing ‘first things first;’ as a process it means evaluating your goals and ranking them in their order of importance/urgency. Prioritizing requires the strategic planning of the activities required to achieve your S.M.A.R.T. goals.

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey identifies Habit 3: Put First Things First. Habit 3 is about life management as well as your purpose, values, roles, and priorities. What are “first things?” First things are those things that you, personally, find of most worth. When you put first things first, you will prioritize and plan your time and activities according to your personal priorities.

Wake Techs Academic Success Counselors can assist you with prioritizing and planning; they can help you organize and balance your workload. Please visit waketech.edu/student-services/counseling-services/academic-success-counseling to learn more. Academic Success Counselors also offer workshops to assist students with time management, motivation, stress management and more.

Take this fifth step in the …BECOME A BETTER YOU series. Set yourself on the path to elevating to the next level of success in 2017. You are worth it!

Single Stop Tax Preparation: Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Earned Income Tax Credit

Interested in receiving hundreds if not thousands of dollars simply by filing your taxes? The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) exists to help working families and individuals struggling to make ends meet. Continue reading to see if you qualify!

AM I ELIGIBLE?
□ You worked during the prior calendar year (January-December) and did not earn more than the amount described in the table provided on the next page.
□ You have a Social Security number that is valid for employment.

□ You are a U.S. citizen or were a resident alien for the whole calendar year.

□ You are not filing Form 2555 or 2555-EZ (for Foreign Earned Income) with your tax return.

□ You are not using the married filing separately status on your tax return.

□ You have a child that meets all of the qualifying child rules OR you meet the rules for those without a qualifying child, outlined below.

Qualifying children must:
✓ Be your son, daughter, adopted child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, half-sibling, step-sibling or a descendant of them, such as a grandchild or niece/nephew.
✓ Be under age 19, or a full-time student under age 24, AND younger than you (or your spouse, if you are married) at the end of the tax year; OR any age if totally disabled.
✓ Live with you (or your spouse if filing jointly) in the U.S. for more than half the year.
✓ Not file a joint return for the tax year, if the child is married, unless the child
and their spouse did not have a separate filing requirement and filed jointly only to claim a refund.
✓ Have a Social Security Number that is valid for employment.

✓ Not be the qualifying child of another person.

If you do not have a qualifying child, you must:
✓ Have lived in the U.S. for more than half of the prior calendar year.
✓ Not be claimed as a dependent or qualifying child on anyone else’s return.
✓ Be at least 25 and less than
65-years-old at the end of the tax year OR have spouse who is.
HOW MUCH CAN I EARN?

 

Qualifying Children

Earned Income and AGI Limits*  

Maximum Credit

Single Married, Filing Jointly
0 $14,820 $20,330 $503
1 $39,131 $44,651 $3,359
2 $44,454 $49,974 $5,548
3 OR MORE $47,747 $53,267 $6,242

*Earned income includes wages, salaries, and tips. Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is calculated on a tax return and includes some unearned income and some deductions.

Single Stop offers free tax preparation services. To find out more, contact your Single Stop Office or click the image to schedule an appointment.

Single Stop Tax Preparation: Education Tax Credits

The American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit are two tax credits for people who pay expenses for college, and may help get money in your pocket to help with education and living expenses.

Continue reading to see if you qualify!

AM I ELIGIBLE?

You can receive the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) if you meet all of these requirements:

 Your tax household contains a student enrolled in an eligible institution of higher learning at least half-time for at least one academic period during the tax year.
 The student is in the first four years of his or her post-secondary education.

 The student is pursuing a degree or other recognized educational credential.

 The student does not have any felony drug convictions as of the end of the tax year.
You can receive the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) if you meet all of these requirements:

 Your tax household contains a student enrolled in an eligible institution of higher learning in at least one course.

 The student is in any year of his or her post-secondary education or enrolled in a course to acquire or improve job skills.

Additionally, for both Education Credits, you must meet all of these requirements:

 The student has qualified expenses during at least one academic period in the tax year and/or the first 3 months of the next year. If the student’s education expenses are covered by grants and scholarships such as Pell, the student will need to claim the grants as income covering living expenses when filing a tax return to claim an Education Credit.
 The student (or his/her spouse) is a U.S. citizen or a resident alien for whole tax year or chooses to be treated as a resident for tax purposes.
 The student is not claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return (other than the person claiming the credit, if applicable).
 Married couples must file jointly.
If you are eligible to claim both credits for the same student, you cannot claim both, and must choose which one is better for you. You can, however, claim both credits on your tax return for different students.

For a side-by-side comparison of AOTC and LLC eligibility rules, view http://www.eitc.irs.gov/Other-Refundable-Credits/ educompchart.

QUICK TIPS

Education Tax Credits & Other Benefits
If you do not pay tuition because you receive a Pell Grant, you may still receive a credit if Pell is counted as income.
While filing taxes, you may choose whether to claim all or part of Pell as income or whether to apply it all toward
qualified education expenses.

Even if the student’s school applied the grant to tuition and fees, you may still claim it as income covering the student’s non-qualified expenses such as living expenses and transportation. You may be able to increase the value of your education credit and therefore reduce the amount of taxes you owe or increase your refund if you choose to include all or part of Pell in your income. For more information, see IRS Publication 970 (http://www.irs. gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf) or speak with Single Stop.

Qualified expenses are tuition, fees, and course materials required for enrollment. Course-related books, supplies, and equipment need to be purchased from the institution in order to qualify for the LLC, but they do not for the AOTC.

An eligible educational institution is any college, university, vocational school, or other post-secondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

Single Stop also offers free tax preparation services. To find out more, contact your Single Stop Office or click the image to schedule an appointment.

Single Stop and the College Student: What resources can we assist with

 

Hey Students! There are some special rules for college students when they access public benefits. The following blog post provides information on six types of resources that you could potentially be eligible to receive.

Food Benefits

FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES (FNS)

Students who are on a meal plan that covers half or more of their meals are not eligible for FNS. Other students between 18 and 49 who are enrolled at least half-time (as defined by the institution) and are physically and mentally fit must meet one of the qualifications below to be eligible. Note that student status is retained for college students during normal school recesses until there is break in enrollment status. The student eligibility requirements include:
• Working an average of 20 hours per week (or 80 hours per month)
• Participating in a state- or federally-financed work study program during the regular school year
• Caring for a dependent household member under the age of 6
• Caring for a dependent household member ages 6-11 and lacking adequate child care to attend school and work 20 hours per week or participate in work study
• Being a single parent caring for a dependent household member under age 12 and being a full-time student
• Receiving Work First Family Assistance
• Being assigned to or placed in college as part of certain government programs including Workforce Investment Act, the FNS Employment & Training program or a government-sponsored employment and training program for low-income households equivalent to an employment and training component, the Trade Act, Work First Employment Services, and the North American Free Trade Agreement.
• Participating in an on-the-job training program.

These 18-to-49-year-old students are exempt from the work requirements for FNS. People who are under 16, 60 or older, or 16 or 17 and not the head of household are also always exempt. However, 16- and 17-year-old students who are the head of household and students 50-59 must be attending school or an employment training program at least half-time to be exempt. Educational assistance used for living expenses such as room and board is counted as unearned income. Other educational assistance used for tuition is not counted,.

WIC

There are no special rules for college students. They must also go to a WIC Center to be screened for eligibility and cannot have it done at their campus health clinic.

Educational assistance used for expenses related to cost of attendance are excluded from income, but assistance used for room and board and dependent care expenses is included.

Cash Benefits

WORK FIRST FAMILY ASSISTANCE 

Most educational assistance is not counted as income; however scholarships offered by civic groups or the institution and sports scholarships are counted. Learn more at http://info.dhhs.state.nc.us/olm/manuals/dss/csm-95/man/WF114-02.htm#P126_8506.

Post-secondary education is considered at state work activity for the Work Requirements. Typically, state work activities supplement federal work activities in an employment plan, but counties have great flexibility to combine state and federal work activities to meet the required hours.

Recipients will have their 24-month time limit waived for up to 36 months when participating in post-secondary education with at least a 2.5 grade point average or its equivalent. This does not affect the 60-month time limit or counting toward the Work Participation Rate.

Housing

Many college students under the age of 24 are restricted from applying for Section 8 housing, but college students are generally able to apply for other available housing resources. Younger college students may benefit from referrals to youth shelters where available.

Tax Credits

ALL CREDITS

One way for a person to be considered a tax dependent is if they are a “qualifying child.”The age requirement for those dependents increases from under 19 to under 24 for full-time students.

CHILD TAX CREDIT (CTC)

There are no special CTC rules for college students. If a college student meets all of the requirements, s/he may claim the credit.

EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT (EITC)

For the purposes of the EITC, qualifying children include children who are younger than the head of household (or spouse) that are under age 19 OR under age 24 and a full-time student.

EDUCATION TAX CREDITS

Only students and those who claim students as tax dependents are eligible to claim educational tax credits. For the American Opportunity Tax Credit, students must be enrolled in a program pursuing a degree or another recognized credential, and must be enrolled at least half-time.

The credit may only be claimed for the first four years of post-secondary education. For the Lifetime Learning Credit, students do not need to be pursuing a degree or another recognized credential, and can be enrolled in one
or more classes. The credit may be claimed for all years of post-secondary education and for courses that are designed to help students acquire or improve job skills.

****Click HERE to schedule a FREE tax preparation appointment****

Financial Aid

PELL GRANTS

Pell Grants may be awarded to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s or professional degree, and some students enrolled in post-baccalaureate teacher certificate programs. Students may only receive Pell for a lifetime total of 12 semesters.

Health Insurance

MEDICAID FOR ADULTS UNDER 65 AND CHILDREN/NC HEALTH CHOICE

Scholarships, awards, or fellowship grants used for education purposes and not for living expenses are not included in the income calculation.

MEDICAID FOR AGED, BLIND, AND DISABLED INDIVIDUALS
Grants, scholarships, and fellowships that is not used to pay current tuition or other educational expense but will be at a future date is excluded from resources for 9 months after receipt. All financial assistance received by undergraduate/graduate students for educational purposes made under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) or Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) student assistance programs is excluded from income and resources regardless of use.

SUBSIDIZED QUALIFIED HEALTH PLAN (SQHP)

Scholarships, awards, or fellowship grants used for education purposes and not for living expenses are not included in the income calculation. College students may choose to purchase a subsidized qualified health plan even if they have access to a student health plan.

Utility Assistance

Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)
Countable income for LIEAP does not include educational assistance used for tuition, mandatory fees, materials and supplies related to the course of study, books, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses including, but not limited to, professional membership dues, journal subscriptions, meals for commuting students, and clothing. Educational assistance used for room and board expenses IS counted.

For more information about how to enroll into these above resources, email us at singlestop@waketech.edu.

 

….Become A Better You

…BECOME A BETTER YOU!

Previously six simple steps were shared to help you elevate yourself to the next level of success in 2017. The fourth of the six steps is:

Be sure to coordinate support and resources and then set concretely S.M.A.R.T. (Stretching, Meaningful, Action-oriented, Results-oriented, and Timely) goals.

By now you should have thoroughly researched the many resources available at Wake Tech. Armed with that wealth of information, it is imperative that you begin to coordinate the following:
• Support from the different individuals such as family, friends, your Success Coach and/or Success Counselor, etc. who are willing to help you. This is your “A” team. Their role is to help you succeed.
• Available Wake Tech resources you identified that are relevant to your needs.

Next, you want to set concretely S.M.A.R.T. (carefully considered) goals that consist of the following:
• Stretching goals that demand more from you and require you to challenge yourself to perform above average.
• Meaningful goals that give your life a sense of purpose and increase your sense of personal power (self-esteem).
• Action-oriented goals that require you to begin developing yourself in select key areas, building yourself up; moving/progressing daily in the direction of your dreams and goals (becoming who you need to be and doing what you need to do morally and ethically to achieve success).
• Results-oriented goals that require you to begin with the end-in-mind; goals that require you to measure your daily results to determine your movement/progression toward the achievement of your dreams and goals.
• Timely goals that give you a sense of urgency toward their attainment, but does not make you anxious or frustrated.

Take this fourth step in the …BECOME A BETTER YOU series and you will be well on your way to elevating yourself to the next level of success in 2017. You deserve it!

…BECOME A BETTER YOU!

 

Previously six simple steps were shared to help you elevate yourself to the next level of success in 2017. The third of the six steps is:

Search out and utilize Wake Technical Community College’s available resources.

What becomes of your future depends heavily upon your determination to use every resource available to best ensure your success. One of the major keys to personal and professional success is the ability to be resourceful (being skillful at finding and acting promptly on solutions to challenges). Being resourceful involves being flexible (being able to modify your plans and actions in response to altered circumstances or conditions). Being resourceful means never giving up or quitting, but, adapting quickly to circumstances and conditions – persisting single mindedly with unrelenting determination until you achieve your dream(s) and goal(s).

To help you succeed, Wake Tech provides a wide variety of resources; but, it’s not just Wake Techs available resources that you need, it’s your resourcefulness to seek them out and use them wisely that will ultimately make the difference in your success. Zig Ziglar, a world renowned motivational speaker, stated “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” Develop the attitude that you will become a resourceful person and that you will be flexible in your pursuit of success. See opportunity where others only see challenges. Take the opportunity today to seek out and use Wake Techs wide variety of resources.

In step one of this blog series five resources were introduced to readers. Now I invite you to research the many additional resources available to you at Wake Tech. Visit www.waketech.edu. At the top of the main page click Student Services. There you will find an array of services/resources designed to assist students like you who wish to enhance their college experience and achieve more in life. Explore the extraordinary resources that are available to help you succeed. Be resourceful and flexible. Utilize Wake Techs available resources to achieve the results you desire. Elevate to the next level of success in 2017. You can do it!

Free Tax Preparation At The Single Stop Tax Site

Let Single Stop Prepare Your Taxes For FREE!!

Did you know that FREE tax preparation services are now available here at Wake Tech!

Tax Services will be located in SSB-206 on Main Campus and NB-162 on the Northern Wake Campus!

Tax Site Hours:
Main Campus: Monday -Thursday 11am-3pm Friday 10am-2pm

Northern Wake Campus: Mondays Only, 10am-2pm*

Are you Eligible?
To be Eligible for free tax services your annual salary must be $60,000 or less.

What Should you Bring?

–    Proof of Identification
–    SS Cards (ITIN may be substituted)
–    Wage and earning statements from all employers
–    All 1099 and 1095 forms
–    Proof of routing and account numbers
–    For joint filing both spouses must be present to sign
–    Total paid for daycare provider and their tax Identification number
–    Copies of income transcripts if applicable.

The tax center will be operational from February 1, 2017 until April 14, 2017. Walk-ins are accepted but appointment are strongly encouraged. To make an appointment at the main campus tax site, click here.

*Please note that the Northern Wake Campus site will operate as a drop-off service only. Students will drop off their tax documents and will pick up their completed filed taxes the following Monday.

For additional questions about the tax preparation site, please call 919-866-5059 or email singlestop@waketech.edu.

New Week, Same Goals

Hey Students,

We are almost through the month of January! It just seems like yesterday we were welcoming you back into classes. We wanted to take some time to reflect on this past month and inform you about some exciting things we have coming in February.

January is National Mentoring Month and we were able to learn more about how Pathways Male Mentoring Services provides information and resources to you all as students. William Kincy, the Pathways Program Coordinator, is an excellent resource and a great ally to have as you continue your journey towards academic success.

We learned some vital information about tips for being successful from Scott Holloway, one of the Student Success Coaches here at Wake Tech. These “Motivational Monday” are to serve you as food for thought and inspiration to continue toward your goals here at Wake Tech.

February 1st will be the grand opening of the Single Stop Tax Site. All Students will be able to have their taxes prepared for FREE. To be eligible, your annual salary must be $60,000 or less. Things to bring with you for tax preparation:
• Proof of Identification
• SS Cards ( ITIN may be substituted)
• Wage and earning statements from all employers
• All 1099 and 1095 forms
• Proof of routing and account numbers
• If married and filing jointly, both spouses must be present to sign
• Total paid for daycare provider and their tax identification number
• Copies of income transcripts
Remember to connect with us on Twitter and Instagram @wtccsinglestop and join our remind class to get information sent directly to your phone.

Keep soaring and remember that Single Stop is here to assist you in your ascension to success.