7 Things You Should Know About College Loans

Student loansSo you’re going to take the plunge and go to college, good for you. The next question typically is, how will you pay for it?

There are many options for getting college financing. Some, like grants and scholarships, don’t have to be paid back. But,if you can’t get grant or scholarship dollars, another choice is to check out college loans.

There are a several loan types available. Federal, state and private loans are the most common. Federal and state loans typically provide the best interest rates. They also offer a variety of repayment choices.

You must complete a FAFSA to be eligible. Once you have received your financial package, you can visit www.nslds.ed.gov to keep track of your federal loan information. Private loans will vary from institution to institution.

As well as the types of loans, there are a number of other facts you should know about college loans.

1. Put Together a List of Questions – Loans come loaded with important details that you need to know. Before you start searching, make a list of questions that cover such topics as:

  • The type of interest rate—fixed or variable
  • Total loan cost
  • Available hardship waiver
  • Deferment policies
  • Grace period
  • Pre-payment options
  • Co-sign requirements

It might be worth your time to research general information about how private loans work. Check out these articles as a place to start: Types of Student Loans, Loan Repayment Basics and Understanding Your Student Loans.

2. Think About the Impact of Interest – When you are in the process of finding loans, remember the impact of interest on the amount of money you will be repaying. The longer period of time it takes you to pay back the loan, the more interest you will pay.

In addition to the questions above, you should determine if your loan has an interest rate cap. Federal loans are likely to have lower caps than private loans.

You may find that your lender provides flexible payment benefits, such as automatic debit programs, which can reduce your interest payments. If you pay more than the required minimum or you begin paying during your grace period, you’ll cut some interest out, as well.

The more time you spend researching what your repayment terms will be, the better prepared you’ll be when it’s time to start paying off those loans.student loan checklist

3. Find out If You Have a Grace Period – Many loans include a grace period that allows you to get on your feet financially once you are out of school. The period starts when you drop below full time, leave school or graduate.

The Department of Education Loan Services, Sallie Mae servicing, clarifies which federal loans have grace periods,

“If you have a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized federal loan, your grace period lasts for six months. You must begin repaying your loan(s) at the end of your six-month grace period. If you have a Direct PLUS federal loan, there is no grace period. Payments begin immediately after the final loan disbursement is made. Payment postponement options are available. Contact us for details.”

4. Finding a Cosigner – Having a cosigner increases the chance that you will be approved for a loan. A cosigner legally agrees to be jointly responsible for loan repayment should the first signer (you) fail to make arrangements.

People to ask may include:

  • A parent or guardian
  • A mentor or close friend
  • Another relative (grandparent, aunt, uncle…)
  • Your spouse or significant other

As long as they have a good credit history and understand the responsibilities involved, almost anyone can be a cosigner.

5. You Can Find Loans Online – If you want to look beyond your local bank or credit union, you can check online to find a host of lenders. Here are a few loan websites you might find useful:

These websites can show you the benefit of consolidating your federal loans for easy repayment.

When you find different loan sites, you should carefully examine the fine print to see if there are added fees to the quoted rates.

6. You Can Get Help! – Learning about all the information surrounding student loans can be a bit intimidating, but there are many people available who can help you through the experience.

  • If you need help filling out your FAFSA form, you can chat live in Spanish or English with counselors who can guide you.
  • There are companies that, for a fee, will provide assistance and even file your FAFSA for you.
  • Your school’s financial aid office can provide assistance in understanding which loans are best for your situation.

You may want to talk to other students who have gone through the process before you. They can offer experience and support.

7. Remember ScholarshipsScholarships can reduce the amount of money you need to borrow. They are a great way to help pay for tuition costs because you do not have to pay the money back.

Taking a carefully planned approach to student loans will reduce stress during the process and prepare you for the impact that loan repayment will have on your life after college. Once you have the financial details of your college experience in place, you can focus on enjoying one of the best investments you could ever make—a college degree.


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13 Scholarships You Want to Know About

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” —Abraham Lincoln

No one better embodies this quote than someone who has chosen to go to college. The decision is a life-changing one that will have a lasting positive impact. Not only will a college graduate have higher earning potential with the additional years of learning, they will also reap the benefits of building confidence, learning to be flexible and overcoming challenges.

Paying for college can be a challenge. Scholarships are valuable because they don’t have to be repaid. But how do you find the right scholarship for you? Not everyone is a top achiever in terms of grades or high school success. Merit scholarships that are awarded for academics are also highly competitive.

So does that take you out of the running for a scholarship? Not at all. There are tons of scholarships available and some are even kind of unusual. Yescollege.com has a lengthy list of off-the-wall opportunities including a $25,000 scholarship from Jif Peanut Butter for the most creative sandwich and a $20,000 award from the American Fire Sprinkler Association for a student who submits an essay on fire sprinklers.

But you don’t have to go to there to find a scholarship.

Here are 13 great scholarships IPR offers to its students. Apply for any you think you qualify for. For more guidance on applications, talk to your financial aid or admissions representative:

High School Scholarships

  • Academic Merit Scholarship – Receive up to $3,000 based on your high school GPA and ACT score.
  • Director’s Academic Scholarship – Receive up to $5,000 depending on your Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam (SLE) score (a test which determines a student’s cognitive ability).
  • High School Advantage Scholarship – High schools students who apply for admission to IPR may be eligible to receive a scholarship up to $1940 to help cover the cost of tuition for one course per quarter prior to the student’s official start date at IPR. Students may use the scholarship for up to seven terms, while meeting all other eligibility requirements.
  • Forward Scholarship – Reduced per credit rate of $299 for high school juniors and seniors enrolled in a degree program.
  • President’s Scholarship – Receive up to $5,000 for enrolling early.

Military Scholarship – Qualified military personnel who maintain a minimum credit load are eligible for a $480 scholarship.IPR Scholarships

IPR Scholarships

  • Mary Ann O’Dougherty World Music Scholarship – One student in our World Music course will receive the required books for the class at no charge.
  • Rhymesayers Entertainment Scholarship – A full-tuition scholarship awarded to one student each fall quarter from Rhymesayers Entertainment.
  • IPR Graduate Scholarships (For Returning Students) – Returning students can earn up to $3,000 towards a second A.A.S. degree.

Miscellaneous Scholarships

  • Matching Scholarship – Doubles the value of private scholarships granted by businesses, civic associations and other organizations, up to $1,000 per year.
  • Community Service Scholarship – varying awards for volunteers in the community.
  • Educational User Experience (edUX) Scholarship – Full-time students are eligible for an award that helps fund the cost of a tablet.
  • Professional Certification Scholarship – Reimbursement for students taking certification examinations. Eligibility requirements apply for all scholarships but may vary. Generally they include criteria that is similar to the following:

Whether you are a high school student preparing to go to college for the first time, a transfer student changing schools with credits under your belt or a student who took a break and is returning, scholarship money can help make the next chapter of your life easier.

Want to learn more? Request more information or call us at 877-655-7676.


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DIY is Now Inside Tracks: Check Out Our Lineup This Quarter!

Welcome back to school, everyone!

For as long as any student here can remember, IPR has offered a free lecture series to its students on making it in the media arts industry. We bring in big-name guests once a week to discuss how they carved out their own path, to field questions from students about how they can do it themselves and to offer tips on how to be successful in the media arts industry—and sometimes, to play a few songs. Formerly called DIY, this lecture series is now called Inside Tracks and has a stellar lineup set for Summer Quarter 2014.

This quarter, IPR welcomes guests from all walks of the industry, from jazz performers to music writers to audio engineers.  Swing by Robinson Hall at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays this quarter to hear:

  • Tom Lieberman on July 22: Tom is a jazz guitarist and a singer/songwriter who produces film scores and takes credit for the music on Sesame Street Live’s tour. Come hear more about this eclectic artist (who also just so happens to make his own puppets–how cool is that?)
  • Chris Riemenschneider on August 5: Chris is the music critic for the Star Tribune newspaper. Come hear his thoughts on the local music scene and get the inside scoop on what it’s like to review music for a living. If you’re an artist, you might also want to hear his thoughts on how artists should approach critics with their material.
  • Justin Rieken on August 12: Justin makes his living as a session bassist in the highly competitive Minneapolis music scene, playing with Alison ScottMick Sterling and dozens of others.
  • Chance Howard on August 26: An internationally successful jazz and R&B keyboardist, Chance has worked with everyone from Candy Dulfer to Prince.

    Chance Howard

  • Bryan Mengy on September 2: Brian is a very successful local engineer who has worked at Wild Sound and recently opened his own studio with IPR instructor Colt Leeb.
  • Michael Pink on September 16: Based out of Fargo for many years, Michael now calls Minneapolis home to ply out his sophisticated power pop gems.
  • Mayda on September 23: You’ve never heard anyone like her. Mayda’s pop and hip hop stylings have impressed many people in the Midwest, and she’s worked with top session pros such as Michael Bland.

Get the inside track on success in the media arts industry from these professionals— Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. in Robinson Hall!

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Congratulations Spring 2014 Graduates!

A huge congratulations to all of IPR’s Spring 2014 graduates! This quarter 23 students received their diplomas in IPR’s own Robinson Hall, which proved to be our best graduation ceremony to date.

Emcee Mary Jane Alm (a perennial favorite IPR teacher) kept the ceremony moving with her usual eloquence, and instructor Scott Nelson offered astute observations about the next steps after graduation. He also showed this inspiring clip of a Jim Carey graduation speech in Iowa earlier this year.

Students graduating summa cum laude included valedictorian Roman Pinter (A.A.S. in sound design for visual media) and Mark Straley (A.A.S. in sound design for visual media); students graduating magna com laude included Trevor Murchison (A.A.S. in audio production and engineering); students graduating cum laude included Austin Jones (A.A.S. in audio production and engineering), Jayde Wolf (A.A.S. in audio production and engineering), Jessica Readel (A.A.S. in music and entertainment business) and Brian Garrels (A.A.S. in sound design for visual media).

Valedictorian Roman Pintar

Additionally, three students won IPR’s coveted ICON award for outstanding achievement; the award is voted on by faculty and given to graduating students who will best represent the school when they become professionals in the field. ICON winners this quarter include Trevor Murchison, Lindsie Heitzman and Mark Straley.

ICON winner Lindsie Heitzman

IPR offers associate degrees in audio production and engineeringmusic and entertainment businesssound design for visual medialive sound and show production as well as two new programs, interactive media and graphic design and digital video and media production. Our next class will graduate October 4, 2014—see you then!

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IPR Students Learn Firsthand at SXSW

As the original “distance learning” class, IPR’s South by Southwest course sent 12 students to Austin, Texas, this year to participate in one of the largest music and movie conferences in the world. Close to 50,000 people attend the famous 10-day festival for its performances, which included Lady GagaColdplayLudacris and Chance the Rapper this year, but also for its educational panels on topics such as net neutrality, multi-platform marketing, fair use and copyright, indie music, movie production and hundreds more.

IPR students represent #IPR at SXSW

The South by Southwest Media Conference class is offered once a year at IPR and is clearly a student favorite—each year there is a long wait list of students hoping to register for this two-week intensive course. Through panel discussions and seminars, students learn about current media topics, networking, event management and promotion.

Of course, in addition to learning, students also rocked out at a bunch of great shows. And others who did not go are already planning on trying to register for the 2015 class!

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Meet the Maestro: Bob Jenkins

As he did with all his careers, Bob Jenkins “sort of fell into” teaching at IPR, which he says, is about the fourth or fifth career he’s had. Having worked as a trombone player, a contractor hiring orchestra musicians, a songwriter and a producer, Bob was “bored with retirement” and asked IPR co-founder Tom Tucker if there was anything he could do at the school.

“We’d worked together for 30 years—he was my engineer,” Bob said. “Tom always said I was the best musician he ever knew.”

Bob was hired the second quarter of IPR’s existence. To his surprise, he realized he didn’t care much for teaching at first.

“I discovered I was a better mentor,” Bob says. “A teacher says, ‘here is how you should do it;’ a mentor says, here is how I do it.’”

Although Bob says he eventually became more of a “teacher,” he still takes a mentoring approach to his classes. He believes in helping students learn in a way that is suited to each student’s needs and learning styles. He loves his job, he says, and loves being in an environment where people are always learning.

Likewise, students and faculty at IPR love Bob, too, not only for his ear for perfect pitch but also for being timelessly cool and inspiring. Bob is the “heart, soul and sometimes conscience” of IPR, instructor Scott Nelson says.

“He keeps on you to work harder, and then he gives you a hug,” says student Aaron Knish.

Perhaps Bob himself is such a great teacher because he had many great teachers as he was growing up. He credits his junior high school band teacher and high school band teacher for starting him down a path of musicianship—they were both “musician educators, not music educators,” he says. They were accomplished musicians teaching from that perspective rather than a by-the-book approach, a tradition Bob now carries on.

In college, Bob attended the University of Minnesota and later transferred to St. Thomas. He played in bands and multiple venues around the Twin Cities and very quickly started traveling out of state for gigs. Of course, he met up with fellow musicians to jam all the time. In fact, he recalls playing with other jazz musicians at Campus Pizza on the U of M west bank and telling “little Bobby Zimmerman” to take his guitar and leave for not being good enough.  (Of course, he admits, no one knew then that Zimmerman would later become Bob Dylan and revolutionize popular music.)

Bob himself has had a monumental music career, working in New York, Los Angeles, Stockholm and Copenhagen—yet he’s always returned to his hometown of Minneapolis. Looking back on his proudest moments, he cites the first time a piece of his music was used in a movie, the awards he’s won from the Cannes Film Festival and the CLIO Awards for music he wrote for advertising campaigns. But perhaps his biggest moment, he says, struck him as he was watching television at his sister’s house one Thanksgiving.

“I had just started writing music, and I had just written a commercial for Winnebago campers,” he says. “Then on Thanksgiving, we were at my sister’s house watching football, and on comes my commercial. And I remember sitting there thinking 50 million people are hearing my music right now.”

For students hoping for as successful a career in the music industry, Bob advises them to really consider whether they need to work in music or not. “This is not a job for someone who wants to play around,” he says. “It can be really disappointing if you aren’t serious. But if you really want to do it, you can probably be successful.”

“I can’t imagine doing anything else,” Bob says. “I’ve been so lucky being in the business my whole life. And being here at IPR, I get to pass along my experience and hopefully be beneficial to someone else.”

CLASSES: Bob teaches Audio Production for Visual Media; Scoring for Film and TV; and Arrangement and Orchestration

3 ARTISTS ON HIS IPOD: Actually, Bob doesn’t own an iPod. “I’m a terrestrial radio guy,” he says. His favorites include Beethoven and contemporary film score —“When you take a film score out of the movie and listen to the recording, it’s beautiful music,” he says. “The best classical music being written today.”

ADVICE TO STUDENTS: Life is too short to waste time trying to get stuff. Be receptive to what life brings. Graduate college.

WHAT HE LIKES ABOUT IPR: The faculty. “I know people in the business all over the place,” Bob says, “and we have a faculty that’s unrivaled.”

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Institute of Production and Recording Faculty Members Contribute to Allman Brothers 40th Anniversary Show DVD


Contact: Naomi McDonald, Dir. of Communications
Phone: (
651) 332-8269
Mobile: (651) 785-4171
Email: nmcdonald@globeuniversity.edu


Dik Shopteau and Jeff DesLauriers credited with surround sound audio editorial and mix

MINNEAPOLIS (June 16, 2014) – Dik Shopteau, Institute of Production and Recording audio production and engineering instructor, and Jeff DesLauriers, sound design for visual media program chair, did the audio editorial and audio mix for surround sound on the latest Allman Brothers Band live DVD titled “Allman Brothers 40: 40th Anniversary Show Live at the Beacon Theatre.”

“All our instructors are very talented, and we’re proud to have them involved in such cool projects like this,” says Norbert Kreuzer, campus director for the Institute of Production and Recording.

Shopteau and DesLauriers worked in the on-campus IPR Mastermix Studio where they mixed and edited sound from 80 audio tracks and approximately two and a half hours of material from the live performance to produce the surround sound audio for the DVD. IPR students were also involved in the highly-technical project, which took two years to complete.

“The Allman Brothers are a high-caliber band, and this 40th anniversary DVD was something they wanted to do,” says DesLauriers. “Dik was approached about the opportunity, and we were lucky enough to be a part of it.”

The DVD, which was released in April of this year, captures the Allman Brothers Band’s performance at the Beacon Theater in New York City on March 26, 2009, exactly 40 years from when the band first played together.

To learn more about the Institute of Production and Recording please visit www.ipr.edu.



The Institute of Production and Recording (IPR) is part of a Minnesota-based, family-managed network of career colleges and universities. The schools prepare students for successful careers in a wide range of high-demand professions. Through its We Care mission, the Colleges integrate career-focused education with applied-learning to expose students to real-world working environments. The Colleges offers undergraduate, diploma and graduate degree programs in career fields, including business and accounting, health sciences, legal sciences, technology, creative media and applied arts. More than 30 programs are available online. For more information, visit www.ipr.edu.


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Graduate Success Story: Molly Murray

By Molly Murray

I always wanted to be in the studio. In fourth grade, I started telling people I wanted to be a music producer, and I got a lot of funny looks and suggested career alternatives in return. But I grew up with a musically inclined family, so it seemed natural to want to be in the music business.

I started piano lessons when I was five and was involved with everything music in school: choir, women’s ensemble, band, drumline, full orchestra, musicals, honor band and more. When I started looking for colleges, there weren’t many schools in my area that taught music production. McNally Smith kept coming up in searches, but when I visited the school, I knew it wasn’t for me. So I decided to pursue a piano performance degree at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota, instead.

Between my freshman and sophomore year in college, my aunt had a business trip in Milwaukee, and she offered to take me along. She made connections for me to hang out in a studio for an entire day, and that was when I was first introduced to ProTools. I sat in with a man who was working on a jingle for a hospital commercial and saw another in a different room who was working on sound effects for a Jimmy John’s commercial. Other people I met there were working on recording live orchestras for film, doing voiceovers or teaching music theory. I never knew the music industry had so many possibilities.

Once I got home, I started looking again for another music production school. That’s when I found IPR. I finished my second year at Scholastica and moved to downtown Minneapolis to finally do what I always wanted to do: make a difference in the music business.

While attending IPR, I participated in Women In Music and the AES groups to try and build a network like all the teachers talked about. I volunteered at Club 3 Degrees on the production team and even ran FOH and monitors. It was that experience that influenced me to take IPR’s sound reinforcement classes. I loved it and haven’t looked back since.

I graduated with a degree in audio engineering in October 2009. Right away I began an internship at the Basilica of St. Mary and was soon after officially hired (and I’m still there today). A few months later I received a call from Geoff Walsh, whom I had met through our AES group at IPR. He was hiring sound technicians for the Music and Movies in the Parks series, and I jumped at that opportunity. I worked as a seasonal tech there for two years before they brought me on as a lead tech in 2012; after that season, I was hired to coordinate both Music and Movies in the Parks. I also now assist with other events, such as the Minneapolis Bike Tour and the Red, White and BOOM! celebration.

I can’t say that this was the dream I had as a 10-year-old, but I like to think it’s better. IPR really showed me what a great music scene we have here in Minneapolis, and I’ve always had a lot of support from my family, colleagues, friends in the industry and musicians. I’m not making millions of dollars, but I’m lucky enough to love exactly what I’m doing.

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IPR Raises Almost $1,000 for Syria Campaign

With hard-rocking guitars and vocals, IPR’s first-ever Community Service Day benefit concert raised close to $1,000 earlier this month. Students, faculty and staff came together to support UNICEF’s No Forgotten Children of Syria campaign through donations for raffle prizes, lunch, and admittance to performances by Kevin Bowe and the Okemah Prophets and Alison Scott.

Numerous classes helped plan and host the concert and community service day. Composition students put together a timeline of events to explain the situation in Syria, Desktop Production students distributed fliers to spread awareness of the plight of children in Syria and promote the fundraising concert, and photography students captured the day’s events. No class worked harder, though, than Aneesa Adams’s Global Citizenship class.

Together the students from the Global Citizenship class developed ways of advertising the campaign such as developing posters or pushing the information out on social media. Other students managed the weeklong “swear jar” campaign, placing jars around campus for students and staff to drop spare change into.

Others in the class secured raffle items along with staff members. Among items raffled off at the end of the concert were four VIP tickets to the Soundset hip-hop festival, two Minnesota Lynx tickets, a microphone from Sweetwater, a ukulele from Twin Town Guitars, brunch for two at Ike’s, and even two six-packs of home-brewed beer.

“As college students, we can tend to get wrapped up in all our own activities,” said Global Citizenship student Jenna Rowe. “Between class, homework, work and social calendars, it’s easy to forget that there is a big, wide world out there. A class like Global Citizenship forces us to open our eyes to the world. It’s a reminder that we are part of something much bigger.

“Taking part in events like these help students feel the good created in the world just by lending a helping hand,” Rowe said. “Even a little time will be enough to make a difference in a person’s life, so don’t be afraid to say ‘I can help’ because whatever you have to give, it will be appreciated.”



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IPR Applauds Soundset 2014 Success

One of IPR’s strongest educational partners, the hip-hop record label Rhymesayers Entertainment, celebrated its annual hip-hop festival over Memorial Day weekend. Soundset was held last Sunday at Canterbury Park, just south of Minneapolis, with an incredible turnout—30,000  tickets all sold out. Headliners Atmosphere and Wiz Khalifa ended a full day of live hip-hop shows from 40 different acts.

IPR has been a major sponsor of Soundset each year and this year opted to be a Digital Billboard Partner. IPR gave away 30 tickets to students and raffled off eight VIP passes at a recent school fundraising event.

See you next year at Soundset 2015!

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