Housing in the City of Syracuse

A recent report by CNY Fair Housing reported on the state of housing in Syracuse and Onondaga County, and the implications, particularly, for certain groups or “classes:” those include minorities, the disabled, seniors, refugees and immigrants, large families, and those receiving certain kinds of public assistance.

Of particular note is a previous assessment of Syracuse as “hyper-segregated,” the ninth most racially segregated metropolitan area in the country. It’s evident not only in how the city is divided, but in the school system as well. The CNYFH analysis reveals that this finding is reinforced in how and where people live here.



Student can borrow an additional $4,000 if Parent is Denied a Parent Plus Loan

If a Parent PLUS loan application is unsuccessful, a student may request to borrow additional funds through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program.
You, the student, may only apply for the additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan if your parent(s) have been denied. If the Parent PLUS Loan is later approved, the student will no longer be eligible for the additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
The PLUS Loan denial must be on file with your school’s financial aid office before an increase to your additional unsubsidized student loan can be processed. To make a request to borrow the additional funds through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program, you may need to complete your school’s Parent PLUS loan decline form if they have one.
Once your school is advised that you are not pursuing the PLUS loan, and you’d like the unsubsidized Loan funding offered to you, the PLUS loan will be cancelled and a supplemental direct unsubsidized loan will be offered to you.
The maximum additional amount you may request is $4,000 per year for freshmen and sophomores, and $5,000 per year for juniors and seniors.

Federal Parent Loans (PLUS)

Federal Parent Loans (PLUS)
Parents of dependent students deemed by the FAFSA application may apply for loans to supplement their child’s financial aid. The parent may borrow funds to cover up to the full cost of attendance. Parent PLUS loans are the financial responsibility of the parents, not the students. Also, it should be noted that students who are selected for verification, must complete the verification process before any aid, including the PLUS loan, can be applied to their account.

Parents may apply for a PLUS loan if:
They are a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen
They are not in default on a federal student loan
They do not owe a refund on a federal education grant


Eligibility for a Direct PLUS loan is determined by a credit check. Parents determined to have adverse credit will not be approved. Parents who are denied a PLUS loan may apply with a qualified endorser. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the loan if you do not repay it.

Only one parent needs to apply for a PLUS loan. If a parent is denied a PLUS loan, a student will be eligible to receive the additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan that an independent student would be eligible for.

The custodial parent and the noncustodial parent are eligible to borrow from the PLUS loan program, provided the combined amounts borrowed do not exceed the cost of attendance.

Legal guardians, siblings and grandparents are not eligible to borrow from the PLUS loan program.

Interest Rates

PLUS loans have an origination fee of 4.276% and a fixed interest rate of 7.00% for those loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2017.

Loan Type

Loan Year Fee Gross amount Net amount
Direct Parent

PLUS Loans

FY 2018
First disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 and before
July 1, 2018 has an interest rate of 4.276 on a $10,000 loan

$427.60 fee amount

$9,572.40 Net loan amount after fee.

This is what will actually be disbursed to the

student’s account For a $10,000 loan that

the parent applies for.


Repayment begins within 60 days after disbursement. Parent PLUS loan borrowers may choose to have repayment deferred (postponed) while the student, for whom the parent borrowed, is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after that student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Interest that accrues during these periods will be capitalized if not paid by the borrower. The repayment term is up to 10 years. Unless requested, there is no six month grace period. Payments can be deferred if the parent is in school themselves. Please note, since the interest rate is not subsidized, it will continue to accrue and will be capitalized when the loan enters repayment.


The student must complete a FAFSA application to be considered for Federal aid including the Direct Parent PLUS Loan.

Please note, the student must be enrolled in school at least half-time (minimum 6 credits a semester) to be eligible for the PLUS loan.

REMEMBER: The loan has a 4.276% origination fee so if you are looking to cover the exact balance of the tuition bill, please make sure to apply for 4.276% more than the exact amount or you will be short by this percentage.

The PLUS loan is a 2 step process:

Go to www.studentloans.gov, and the Parent must sign in with their FSA ID
Select “Apply for a PLUS loan”
Under the Direct PLUS Loan Request for Parent Borrowers section towards the bottom, select”Complete PLUS Request for Parents”
Make sure the Parent is the borrower and the Student is in the student section.
If the Parent is approved, that parent must complete a master promissory note as well
Select “Complete MPN”
Under the PLUS MPN for Parents section, select “Complete PLUS MPN for Parents”
Make sure the parent’s information is in the borrower section

a. If the Student is the borrower on the PLUS application, the application is invalid and nothing will happen with the application.
b. Please note the PLUS loan credit expires 180 days after the approval date.
c. In order for the approved loan to be certified by our office, we must have
the approved PLUS application and signed MPN completed before the end of the semester in which the PLUS loan applies to.

Refund Checks:

If you have received a refund after all your loans have been disbursed the following options are available:

1. Students can keep the refund and use for winter or summer classes and/or spring books.
2. Student can cash the check and then repay the lender or servicer in the same amount or a lesser amount (if you need some of the funds for educational expenses).
3. Student can request a reduction of the loan for the upcoming semester.

Regulations Enforced by the Office for Civil Rights

The versions of 34 C.F.R. Parts 100, 104, 106, and 110 linked from this page incorporate the amendments made in the notice of Final Regulations published in the Federal Register on November 13, 2000 (65 Fed. Reg. 68050).
See Notice to Readers below for more information.

34 C.F.R. Part 100
Implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in all programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance.
34 C.F.R. Part 104
Implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance.
34 C.F.R. Part 106
Implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance.
34 C.F.R. Part 110
Implementing the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, which generally prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in all programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance.
28 C.F.R. Part 35
Implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities.

Your child’s protections under the Clery Act and Women’s Against Violence Act

For parents of college students, the day their children depart for school is one of exhilaration and pride, but it also comes with unspeakable worry about campus safety. The Jeanne Clery Act — a federal law named for a Lehigh University student hideously murdered in her dorm room in 1986 — empowers the families and loved ones of students with knowledge and resources that allow all involved to be safer.

To be specific, the Clery Act mandates that all colleges and universities receiving government money must collect, maintain, and publicly share information regarding crime on and around their campus areas.

In addition, the Clery Act demands assistance for victims. Schools must maintain resources to aid anyone on campus who falls prey to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking. The law demands that victims should be offered any type of change to their personal situation as it relates to housing, transportation, or workplace arrangements. All learning institutions are also required to maintain a record of their crime information for a minimum of seven years.

In 1990, Congress enacted the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 (Title II of Public Law 101-542), which amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). This act required all postsecondary institutions participating in HEA’s Title IV student financial assistance programs to disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The act was amended in 1992, 1998, 2000 and 2008. The 1998 amendments renamed the law the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act in memory of a student who was slain in her dorm room in 1986.
It is generally referred to as the Clery Act and is in section 485(f) of the HEA.
On March 7, 2013, the Violence Against Women
Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) (Public Law 113-14) was
signed into law. VAWA includes amendments to the Clery Act.
These changes require institutions to disclose statistics, policies and programs related to dating violence, domestic violence,sexual assault and stalking, among other changes. Specifically,these changes added or modified requirements related to
• disclosure of statistics of the number of dating
violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and
stalking incidents;
• disclosure of statistics of new categories of Hate
• implementation by institutions and disclosure of
programs to prevent dating violence, domestic
violence, sexual assault and stalking, including
– primary prevention and awareness programs for
incoming students and employees; and – ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns
for students and employees;
• disclosure of procedures victims should follow if a
crime of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual
assault or stalking has occurred; and
• implementation by institutions and disclosure of
procedures for institutional disciplinary action in
cases of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual
assault and stalking, including
– descriptions of each disciplinary proceeding
used by the institution, the standard of evidence
used during each disciplinary proceeding,
possible sanctions imposed following the
results of disciplinary proceedings, and the
range of protective measures that the institution
may offer a victim;
– provisions to ensure that proceedings will be
prompt, fair and impartial;
– provisions that state that proceedings will be
conducted by officials who receive annual
training; and
– ensuring equal opportunities for the accuser
and accused to have others present during
proceedings, including an advisor of their


Cannot have Adverse Credit to Qualify for a Parent Plus Loan by Lindy Madill

When planning for your child’s financial aid for college you may consider taking out a Parent Plus Loan. A parent plus loan is credit based however your credit score or your income are NOT taken into consideration. There is also no limit in the amount that you can take out.

Sections 428B(a)(1)(A) and 455(a)(1) of the Higher Education Act provide that to be eligible to receive a PLUS
Loan the applicant must not have an adverse credit history, as determined pursuant to
regulations promulgated by the Secretary. The applicable regulations are 34 CFR 685.200(b) &(c)

What is adverse credit history?

Pursuant to 34 CFR 685.200, an applicant does NOT qualify for a parent plus loan with out an endorser or approved extenuating circumstances if the applicant:

has one or more debts with a total combined outstanding balance greater than $2,085 that are 90 or more days delinquent as of the date of the credit report, or that have been placed in collection or
charged off (written off) during the two years preceding the date of the credit report; or
• during the five years preceding the date of the credit report, you have been subject to a
o default determination,
o discharge of debts in bankruptcy,
o foreclosure,
o repossession,
o tax lien,
o wage garnishment, or
o write-off of a federal student aid debt

Charged off means a debt that a creditor has written off as a loss, but that is still subject to collection action.

In collection means a debt that has been placed with a collection agency by a creditor or that is subject to more intensive efforts by a creditor to recover amounts owed from a borrower who has not responded satisfactorily to the demands routinely made as part of the creditor’s billing procedures.

A question for the lender if you are having difficulty getting approved for the Parent PLus Loan is how are collections or chargeoffs that are older than two years old viewed? For example, you may have a collection that has existed on your credit report for longer than two years. What is the significance of the two year date?

For more information about the ways you can qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan, contact Student Loan Support
at studentloansupport@ed.gov

information on adverse credit

What Competencies Should a Human Resources Professional Have?

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates.

Earning your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP credential makes you a recognized expert and leader in the HR field—and a valuable asset to your organization, keeping you and your organization more competitive in today’s economy. This professional distinction sets you apart from your colleagues, proving your high level of knowledge and skills.

The SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK™) is the basis for the SHRM credentials. The SHRM BoCK describes the behavioral competencies and HR knowledge which HR professionals need for effective job performance. The SHRM BoCK organizes eight behavioral competencies into three clusters: Leadership (Leadership & Navigation, Ethical Practice), Interpersonal (Relationship Management, Communication, Global & Cultural Effectiveness), and Business (Business Acumen, Consultation, Critical Evaluation). Additionally, the SHRM BoCK organizes 15 areas of HR knowledge which comprise the technical competency HR Expertise into three domains: People (HR Strategic Planning, Talent Acquisition, Employee Engagement & Retention, Learning & Development, Total Rewards), Organization (Structure of the HR Function, Organizational Effectiveness & Development, Workforce Management, Employee & Labor Relations, Technology Management), and Workplace (HR in the Global Context, Diversity & Inclusion, Risk Management, Corporate Social Responsibility, U.S. Employment Law & Regulations*).

SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK™)

Lindy Madill of Syracuse Legal News documents law to empower people and educate readers on court cases, legal news and legal issues.
This is not legal advice. If you need legal advice contact a Syracuse Lawyer or Attorney

How do I qualify for a Free Credit Report?

Free Credit Reports

You are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You can request a copy from AnnualCreditReport.com .

You can request and review your free report through one of the following ways:

Online: Visit AnnualCreditReport.com
Phone: Call 1-877-322-8228
Mail: Download and complete the Annual Credit Report Request form . Mail the completed form to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

Although you can order all three credit reports at one time you could order them at separate times. By law, a credit reporting company can charge no more than $12.00 for a credit report.

You are also eligible for reports from specialty consumer reporting companies.

Besides the free annual report, you may obtain a free credit report if any off the following apply to you:

1. If you received a notice that you were denied credit,
2. If you received a notice that you were denied insurance,
3. If you received a notice that you were denied employment
4. If you received a notice that you experienced another adverse action on a credit report.

You must request the free credit report from the credit reporting company identified in the notice. To get the free report you must request it within 60 days after you receive the notice. Other types of “adverse action” notices you might receive include notice of an unfavorable change in the terms or amount of your credit or insurance coverage, or unfavorable changes in the terms of your employment or of a license or other government benefit.
5. You believe your file is inaccurate due to fraud.
6. You have requested a credit report from a nationwide credit reporting company in connection with the placing of an initial fraud alert (you may request two free copies for an extended fraud alert).
7. You are unemployed and intend to apply for employment within 60 days from the date of your request.
8. You are a recipient of public welfare assistance.
9. Your state law provides for a free credit report.

How to Calculate Student Loan Repayment under REPAYE

Before you have to pay anything under the repayment options, the government lets you keep 100% of your salary up to a certain amount. That amount is based on what the income guideline is for 150% of the poverty level for your family size. The poverty guidelines are updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 9902(2).

According to the Department of Education, the portion of your income that equals 150 percent of the poverty guideline for your family size is considered non-discretionary.


2017 Poverty Guidelines for the 48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia

Size 150%
1 $18,090
2 24,360
3 30,630
4 36,900
5 43,170
6 49,440
7 55,710
8 61,980

How to Calculate Discretionary Income

For the purposes of your student loan payments, your discretionary income is every dollar (pre-tax) that you make above 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines (the numbers listed on the table). Once you determine your discretionary income, divide that number by 12. The new number is your monthly discretionary income.

Although you can use your last two paystubs to verify your income with your student loan servicer, most borrowers use their most recent income tax form. If you use your most recent tax form, yoru discretionary income will be based upon your Adjusted Gross Income.

Disadvantages of the Department of Educations Discretionary Income Calculation

Unfortuantely the DOE’s calculation of discretionary income does not take into consideration your actual household expenses such as your mortgage or rent, your vehicle payments, medical bills, child support or private student loan debt.

Since discretionary income is based on your adjusted gross income from your 1040, to help lower your student loan payment it is suggested that you investigate ways to lower your adjusted gross income.

As stated above, with the REPAYE program, payments are capped at 10 percent of your discretionary income. Your discretionary income is calculated using your adjusted gross income minus 150 percent of the state poverty guideline for your family size.

Although it’s possible to qualify for a monthly payment of $0, there is also no cap on payments — a major change from the original PAYE and IBR programs. So if your income increases significantly, so could your payments.

Another potential drawback of the REPAYE program is that if you’re married, your spouse’s income and existing federal student loan debt are considered when determining the monthly payment. This is true even if you file taxes separately, although exceptions are made for domestic abuse victims.

When is remaining student loan debt balance forgiven?

Balances for undergraduate degree loans are forgiven after you make 20 years of eligible payments. Balances for graduate and professional degrees, or a combination of graduate and undergraduate degrees, are forgiven after 25 years of eligible payments.

According to the IRS, forgiven student loans are considered taxable income. So if you qualify for student loan forgiveness under REPAYE, plan ahead and prepare for the potential tax bill you will end up with.

If your payment is low the Government will assist in paying interest on loans?

Another concern with any income-driven plan is the fact that your interest can keep accruing at a faster rate than you pay down your balance. With REPAYE, though, you have a bit of relief through the federal loan interest subsidy.

If your monthly payment is so low that it doesn’t cover the monthly interest charges, any excess interest on subsidized loans will be paid by the Department of Education for up to three years. After that time period, the Department of Education will cover 50 percent of unpaid interest.

The government also covers 50 percent of accrued interest charges on unsubsidized loans throughout the REPAYE repayment period.

If you leave the REPAYE program, interest will capitalize. That means it will be added to your balance and you will have to repay that amount as part of your loan.

Tax season is obviously important for a number of reasons, but few people realize the tremendous impact that your tax return can have on your yearly student loan payments. Each year, borrowers enrolled in the IBR (Income-Based Repayment) and PAYE (Pay As You Earn) repayment plans, must submit evidence of their yearly income.

Most people use their most recent tax return as evidence of their income. The loan servicer calculates your required payment based upon your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income). Therefore, the lower your AGI, the lower your required minimum student loan payments will be for the following year, assuming you are on REPAYE, IBR or PAYE.

How do I Lower My Adjusted Gross Income

Tax breaks that lower your AGI are commonly known as Above-the-line deductions. With each above-the-line deduction that you get credit for, your AGI is lowered, and in turn your monthly student loan payment is lowered.

Here are a few examples:

Contributions to a Traditional IRA
Interest paid on student loans (this would include private student loans)
Health Savings Account contributions
Certain moving expenses

A Special Consideration for Married People
If you are married and on the REPAYE, IBR or PAYE payment plans, it is very important to consider about your student loans when you do your taxes. If you file as married filing separately, your spouses income will not be considered when calculating your monthly student loan payments. However, by filing jointly, you will qualify for tax breaks especially for couples. As a result of these competing interests, it is critical to do the math and weigh the pros and cons of each option.

If you are unsure about starting a traditional IRA and wondering whether or not you can afford it, think about it in terms of your student loans AND your taxes. Putting some money away in that IRA not only will lower your taxes, but it will also lower your monthly student loan payments.

What does adjourned in Contemplation of Dismissal mean in New York?

Adjournments in Contemplation of Dismissal
If a case is Adjourned in Contemplation of Dismissal pursuant to §170.55 of the Criminal Procedure Law, it is not considered “dismissed” until six months or, in the case of certain family offense matters, one year has elapsed following such adjournment.

Many times the judge will ask the defendant if they can explain what adourned in contemplation of dismissal means in their own words to make sure the defendant understands the plea that they are accepting in court.

The case will be then labeled as “170.55 DISMISSED.” Because these cases are dismissed they must be sealed.

Marijuana cases Adjourned in Contemplation of Dismissal pursuant to §170.56 of the Criminal
Procedure Law are not considered to be dismissed until the period of adjournment prescribed by the court (notto exceed one year) has elapsed. The case will then include the case disposition as “170.56 DISMISSED.”