- About Congress
- Jim and the House of Representatives
- Congressional Art Competition
- Financial Aid Information
- Just for Kids
- Helpful Links
Do you have any questions about Congress or our government in general? Check out Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government for Kids. It is full of useful information for students of all ages, teachers and parents about what our government does and how it works. You can learn about things like the different branches of government; the difference between local, state and federal government; and how a bill becomes a law.
Jim and The House of Representatives
The state of Tennessee sends nine delegates to the House of Representatives. Jim is honored to represent Tennessee's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Davidson County, Dickson County, and most of Cheatham county. He represents his constituents' interests to Congress and can help navigate federal red tape. Jim also serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Congressional Art Competition
"An Artistic Discovery" is the annual nationwide Congressional High School Art Competition initiated by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives' Congressional Arts Caucus in 1982. This contest has afforded more than 650,000 high school students the opportunity to express their rich artistic talents in a variety of styles, including painting, drawing, prints, photography and computer-generated art. Each Congressional District hosts its own competition.
Each high school in the 5th District will receive a letter of invitation, along with a packet of information and competition rules. The winner's artwork will join the work of other high school artists from across the nation at a yearlong public exhibit in the corridor leading from the House office buildings to the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Please check back soon for updated 2010 guidelines.
Financial Aid Information
Obtaining financial aid for your college education can be a daunting process. The Congressional Research Service prepared this guide for Members of Congress on locating and applying for financial aid. Updated January 2010.
- The Basics: Getting Started
- Student Aid and Where It Comes From
- Targeted Aid for Specific Groups
- Repaying Your Loans
The Basics: Getting Started
- Start gathering information early.
- Free information is readily available from:
- High school counselors
- College and carreer school financial aid offices
- Student Aid on the Web from the U.S. Department of Education
- Other web sites (search terms such as "student financial aid" OR "student financial assistance")
- Ask questions. Counselors may know if you have exceptional circumstances that affect your eligibility.
- Keep copies of all your forms and correspondence: you must reapply for aid each year.
- To parents of students: Save money long before your child attends college.
- Good Overviews:
- Beware of scholarship scams; don't pay for free information!
Student Aid and Where it Comes From
Basic assistance categories:
- Financial need-based
Remember that students and their parents are responsible for paying what they can -- financial aid is a supplement, not a substitute, for family resources.
- Non need-based
Factors include academic excellence, ethnic background, or organization membership. Corporations may also offer assistance to employees and children.
- Provides nearly 70% of student aid under Loans, Grants and Work/Study programs
- Available to all need-based applicants; some loans and competitive scholarships exist for non need-based applicants.
- Free information from the United States Department of Education:
- Loans are the most comon form of federal aid and must be repaid when you graduate or leave college.
- Stafford Loans (FFELs) and Direct Loans include:
- Perkins Loans through participating schools for the most needy undergraduates
- Scholarships and grants are mostly need-based and require no repayment:
- Other grants, scholarships and fellowships that are mostly at the graduate level and can be found in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), under terms such as "Student or Trainee" or "Graduate Student".
- "Congressional" scholarhips:
- Named for Member of Congress or other prominent individuals (like Byrd Honors Scholarships and Fulbrigh fellowships)
- Merit-based and highly competitive
- Members of Congress do not play a role in selecting the recipients
- Work study programs allow your to earn money while in school:
- For questions not covered by the Department of Education's website, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.
States offer residents a variety of scholarships, loans and tuition exemptions.
- Check with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation.
- Consider prepaid tuition and college savings ("Section 529" plans) on the College Savings Plans Network
- Search your Internet browser under terms such as "student financial aid" or "assistance" AND "Tennessee"
Colleges and universities provide some 20% of aid, most need-based. Check the university websites and the institutions' financial aid office when you apply for admission.
Private foundations, corporations and organizations offer scholarships or grants:
Targeted Aid for Special Groups
- Grants for Minorities: Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Latinos, Native Americans and other ethnic groups
- African American students: For Students: Scholarships
- Disabled students: Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities
- Foreign students: Financial Aid for International Students
- Hispanic American Students: Scholarships
- Law school students: Financial Aid for Law School
- Medical students: Financing Your Medical Education
- Native Americans: American Indian College Fund
- Study abroad (for U.S. and non-U.S. citizens): International Financial Aid
- Veterans: Education Benefits
Interested in public service?
Federal assistance programs seek to encourage people to work in geographic areas or professions where there’s a particular need (such as doctors in underserved areas); encourage underrepresented groups to enter a particular profession; and provide aid in exchange for services provided (such as military service).
- AmeriCorps Education Award: Volunteers who complete one year of service receive an education award for current higher education expenses or to repay student loans.
- Army Tuition Assistance: Additional benefits for Army personnel.
- Bureau of Health Professions: Scholarships and loans to needy health professions students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- e-Scholar: Scholarships, grants, fellowships, internships and cooperative education with federal agencies.
- Indian Health Service: Scholarships for American Indian/Alaskan Native health profession students and loan repayment for persons working in IHS facilities.
- Military Service Academies
- Nursing Scholarships: Offered in exchange for two years of service in areas with critical nursing shortages.
- Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC): For students who want to be commissioned as officers after graduating from college.
Aid for private K-12 education: No direct federal assistance exists; check with the schools themselves:
- Coverdell Education Savings Accounts for elementary, secondary and higher education expenses.
Repaying Your Loans
After college, the federal government has ways to help you repay your loans.
- Eligibility depends upon the type of loan, when it was made, and whether it’s in default. Check with your loan officer to find out if you qualify.
- Loan Consolidation lets you combine your federal loans into a single loan with one monthly payment.
- Sometimes loans may be canceled in exchange for public service:
- If you are having problems with your loan and all other approaches have failed, contact the Department of Education's Office of the Ombudsman.
- U.S. Department of Education
- The U.S. House of Representatives
- The U.S. Senate
- The White House
- The U.S. Supreme Court
- Thomas.gov, where you can find past legislation and track pending legislation
- Tennessee.gov, the official website of the great state of Tennessee.