This worksheet supports Common Core State Standard CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1 and CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3

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Cause and Effect - Informational Texts (Grades 11-12)

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Cause and Effect - Informational Texts

The U.S. Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad. This includes the tens of thousands of
U.S. students who travel abroad every year for Spring Break.

Unfortunately, spring break travel can sometimes include unforeseen problems like a lost passport or a missed flight. Students may also encounter more serious problems, like arrest, injury, or even worse. That's where the State Department can help, with a number of resources to aid in keeping students safe and connected to their families.

Smart travelers are safe travelers. Before they travel, we encourage students to learn as much as possible about their spring break destinations at our website dedicated to student travelers: Students can find out about entry requirements, crime, health precautions, and road conditions; and, if trouble does occur, contact information for U.S. embassies and consulates. Consular sections at these embassies and consulates provide a full range of services to U.S. citizens, from replacing lost or stolen passports to emergency services such as help in arranging medical evacuations, responding to arrests, and assistance in natural disasters.

Smart travelers stay connected. The State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) keeps students up-to-date with important safety and security announcements. Enrolling also helps the Department provide critical assistance in emergencies. To make it easier than ever to stay connected, the Bureau of Consular Affairs launched a mobile version of STEP that is accessible by students through their mobile devices. In the airport lounge, at the mall, even poolside at a hotel - students can enroll in STEP and update their travel plans to stay connected.

Informational (source:
What is the main purpose of the state government's interest in students going away for spring break?
  1. Making sure students stay safe while traveling
  2. Monitoring students to keep track of their locations
  3. Relaying natural disaster information to all students
  4. Updating travel plans so students can make wise decisions
What is the main reason the state government encourages students to enroll in STEP?
  1. So the Bureau of Consular Affairs knows how many students are traveling to which countries.
  2. In order for parents to be able to contact their children during the course of Spring Break.
  3. To encourage the use of mobile devices for monitoring and reporting travel plans.
  4. To keep close track of all safety issues and have a program to use in case of emergency.
How would finding out a potential destination help prevent problems?
  1. Students could make sure they bring their identification papers.
  2. Students could prepare for possible emergencies by learning about the location.
  3. Students could better understand the cost of travel and bring enough funding.
  4. Students could discover ways to stay in closer touch with people back home.
Need money for college? Doesn't everybody? With tuition bills skyrocketing, and room and board going through the roof, students and their families are looking for creative ways to finance a college education. Unfortunately, in their efforts to pay the bills, many of them are falling prey to scholarship and financial aid scams.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, unscrupulous companies guarantee or promise scholarships, grants or fantastic financial aid packages. Many use high pressure sales pitches at seminars where you're required to pay immediately or risk losing out on the "opportunity."

Some unscrupulous companies guarantee that they can get scholarships on behalf of students or award them "scholarships" in exchange for an advance fee. Most offer a "money back guarantee" - but attach conditions that make it impossible to get the refund. Others provide nothing for the student's advance fee - not even a list of potential sources; still others tell students they've been selected as "finalists" for awards that require an up-front fee. Sometimes, these companies ask for a student's checking account to "confirm eligibility," then debit the account without the student's consent. Other companies quote only a relatively small "monthly" or "weekly" fee and then ask for authorization to debit your checking account - for an undetermined length of time.

Other companies claim they have programs that could make you eligible to receive financial aid, including grants, loans, work-study and other types of aid. For a processing fee, they'll handle all the paperwork. But experts caution: The only application that will determine eligibility for all programs is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - a form you can complete and submit for free.

What is the main reason people are taken in by scam scholarships?
  1. They believe they are filling out a FAFSA form.
  2. They are trying to make their money stretch as far as possible.
  3. They know that paying an advance fee is part of the entire process.
  4. They have been told by the government they are eligible for financial aid.
What is the most likely outcome of providing a student's checking account information to an unfamiliar company?
  1. The student will not get the full scholarship as promised.
  2. The student will only receive a very limited list of potential sources.
  3. The student will find a number of unauthorized debits on the bank account.
  4. The student will not get accepted into the top colleges of his or her choice.
What are some families told at scholarship seminars in order to get them to cooperate?
  1. They must sign up immediately or miss their chance.
  2. They have to file a FAFSA form before being considered.
  3. They have to agree to a monthly payment to qualify.
  4. They have an ironclad money-back guarantee for everyone.

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