February 29, 2008
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has an unparalleled resume. By attacking top companies and preaching justice to the people, he has made himself into something of a public superhero. Pursuing Facebook predators, Comcast, top banks, officials at elite universities, health insurance companies and even the infamous Gambino mafia crime family, each of his investigations is worthy of a motion picture.
After taking a short break from the student-loan investigation, Cuomo is back, and he comes bearing new subpoenas. This time, he is targeting--among others--credit card companies and the colleges and universities who conduct business with them. Of particular concern is the marketing of credit cards with college logos.
If you’re a college student who hasn’t received a ready-to-go credit card laminated with a picture of your alma mater, you haven’t paid sufficient attention to your junk mail. “So what’s wrong with logos?” you may ask. According to Cuomo and his entourage, it’s a mental thing. He believes that students who may not have otherwise signed up for multiple credit cards, or ones who used them sparingly, are swayed by their new and creative options. These students are at a greater risk of hurting their credit rating (which is adversely affected each time someone applies for a credit card) and spending extra money. The last thing the growing number of indebted students need is another credit card.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Cuomo has also expressed concern about students who may be choosing their credit cards based on logos rather than optimal interest rates or good repayment options. Now I'm not saying that I haven't considered a logo card. It truly is "cute" and therefore bears great influence on college students. Still, I have faith that most students are too lazy to go through with the transaction.
For some, the credit card investigation may seem like a bit of a stretch. That may be a fair statement, but I'm all for Cuomo putting schools under the microscope. After discovering that many college and university officials agreed to place lenders on preferred-lender lists in exchange for money, they deserve a turn in the hot seat.
February 28, 2008
Students eager to work for multiple degrees deserve some credit--the financial kind. Paying for graduate school is difficult, and many students leave burdened by debt they cannot realistically pay off. The federal Pell Grants students may have received as undergraduates are no longer available, and suddenly, graduate school may no longer seem plausible.
The situation is particularly problematic for students interested in receiving a doctor's degree because many such programs take an average of six to seven years to complete. Most students cannot afford to work and study full-time, so completion of school often hinges on one's ability to afford it. To help graduate students pay for their living and research needs, many universities and financial aid providers offer annual research grants, scholarships and fellowships. To get you started, we have listed a few examples below. For additional information about financial aid for graduate students, you may conduct a free college scholarship search.
AMAF Valuing Diversity Ph.D. Scholarship
This scholarship was created by the American Marketing Association Foundation (AMAF) and the AMA Academic Council to assist students from underrepresented populations in their pursuit of a marketing-related degree. African American, Hispanic American and Native American students enrolled in a full-time AACSB-accredited marketing doctoral program are eligible for this award.
Society of Pediatric Psychology Student Research Award
The Society of Pediatric Psychology Student Research Award is available to current student members of the Society of Pediatric Psychology (SPP). Research projects leading toward a master's or doctor's degree, or ones conducted for independent study, will be considered. Work must be relevant to the subject of pediatric psychology. Collaborative Research Grants
Collaborative Research Grants are awarded to students working in teams of two or more to complete work that cannot be funded by a one-person grant. Eligible projects include research or conferences that contribute to understanding of the humanities, archaeological research, translations of important works into English and humanities research used to enhance knowledge in science, technology medicine or the social sciences. Grants may be used to fund up to three years of work.
The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation (HFG) Research Grants
Awards typically ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 per year for one or two years are awarded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation (HFG) to students who participate in research that increases the understanding of causes, manifestations and control of violence, aggression and dominance.
The National Network for Environmental Management Fellowship Program
The National Network for Environmental Management (NNEMS) Fellowship can be used to fund a project that directly relates to environmental research. About 20 to 30 awards totaling $300,000 are awarded annually. Individual grants will vary depending on the level of education, location and the length of a fellowship.
Environmental Public Policy & Conflict Resolution Ph.D. Fellowship
Two one-year fellowships of up to $24,000 will be awarded to doctoral candidates by the Udall Foundation. Applicants will have to conduct research on the topic of U.S. environmental public policy or environmental conflict resolution. Students must be entering their final year of dissertation work.
Department of Homeland Security Graduate Fellowship
Undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing a doctoral or master’s degree and working on a thesis dealing with homeland security may be eligible for this federal award. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.3. Full tuition and a stipend of $2,300 per month for 12 months will be awarded. In addition to a 10-month internship, one-year of homeland security-related work is required.
This award is granted to undergraduate juniors who intend to enter a master’s or doctor's program in the arts, humanities or social sciences. To be eligible, students will need to be nominated by their school. (Interested students should contact their college counselors.) Preference is given to students with financial need.
February 27, 2008
Another victim of the student loan crisis, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) announced that it will suspend its student lending program. PHEAA, a federally-insured lender, has followed in the footsteps of the Michigan state loan program by pausing—indefinitely—its lending services.
On February 21, PHEAA hosted an emergency student loan funding summit to, “address a potentially devastating shortage of loan funds for students and families.” At the summit, State Representative and Chairman of the PHEAA Board of Directors William F. Adolph stated that like many homeowners, “millions of college students may now face foreclosure on their plans for a higher education.”
Days later, PHEAA announced that it had no choice but to pause its loan program. Loans to out-of-state students have already been suspended, and those to in-state students will be paused on March 7. Students who borrowed money prior to that date will not be affected.
The remaining Pennsylvania students will have to turn to banks to meet their student loan needs. Unlike lenders who participate in the federally-subsidized, price-regulated Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program, private lenders have more leeway in setting their prices and creating stipulations.
Though Chief Executive Officer and PHEAA Interim President James Preston stated that students can receive comparable rates by borrowing from banks, somewhat higher rates and additional restrictions are to be expected. Aside from loan suspensions, numerous lenders have had to add new eligibility criteria and to reduce lending benefits to stay in business. Lenders that could not compete have closed their doors entirely.
February 26, 2008
After being sued by College Board, the makers of the SAT, Karen Dillard’s College Prep LP, a student test-prep company, announced its intent to file a countersuit. Last week, College Board filed charges against the Texas-based company accusing it of illegally obtaining, circulating and selling their PSAT and SAT materials.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the company was said to have acquired the unreleased PSAT tests from a high school principal whose brother worked for Karen Dillard, the owner of the test-prep company After conducting a four-month investigation, College Board decided to take the case to court. In addition to filing charges, College Board threatened to cancel the scores of students who had access to official test material prior to the SAT test day.
Soon after the College Board lawsuit was filed, Karen Dillard, the owner of the test-prep company, filed a suit of her own. She claimed that College Board had unlawfully obtained private information from a previous, disgruntled employee and that such information could not be legally used against her. She also complained that College Board was trying to drive her company out of business.
In past years, College Board had sold previously used SAT exam material to private companies, and Ms. Dillard stated that she had paid for such material. College Board eventually stopped this practice and began to offer tutoring services. According to Ms. Dillard, the lawsuit was an attempt by the company to monopolize the tutoring market and to eliminate small companies such as her own.
Though Ms. Dillard did not deny having acquired some test material without College Board’s authorization, she maintained that the information was obtained after tests had been taken.
February 25, 2008
Students who selflessly volunteer their time to help others will soon have the opportunity to receive assistance themselves. Through the Kohl’s Kids Who Care Scholarship, students ages six through eighteen can compete for more than two thousand prizes at the local, regional and national levels. To apply for this corporate scholarship, students must be nominated for having made a significant, positive impact on those around them. Applicants from two age groups will have the chance to receive $50 Kohl's gift certificates as well as college scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
1. More than one thousand nine hundred store winners will receive $50 gift cards to Kohl’s. 2. One hundred and ninety regional winners will receive $1,000 college scholarships. 3. Ten national winners will receive $5,000 scholarships as well as a $1,000 donation to a nonprofit organization on their behalf.
1. The applicant’s work must be thoroughly described and must reflect an effort that is above the normal expectation for an individual of their age. 2. The applicant must have made a positive impact on someone in the last year. 3. The applicant must not have graduated high school as of March 15, 2008. 4. The applicant must be between the ages of six and eighteen. 5. The applicant must be nominated by someone over the age of twenty-one.
March 15, 2008
1. An online nomination form.Further details about the application process and contacting the scholarship provider can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search. Once the search is completed, students eligible for the award will find it in their scholarship list.
February 22, 2008
As much as they would like to, not all students can afford to study abroad. Those with jobs at home or bills to take care of may consider travel a luxury, one they have neither the time nor the finances to afford.
If the Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act is passed by the Senate, students with financial problems may receive new federal assistance for travel. Until then, students can look to study-abroad scholarships for help. Regardless of their financial situations at home, students who receive financial aid may be able to overcome obstacles caused by fund shortages.
Check out the study-abroad scholarships below for some options that can help you travel at a margin of the cost. For additional information about college scholarships and grants, try conducting a free college scholarship search.
Study Abroad AIFS Scholarship
Each year, the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) awards more than $250,000 in scholarships to students who demonstrate academic achievement and submit exceptional scholarship essays. Six different scholarship options are available to students who study abroad during the school year or summer term.
The Fulbright scholarship program is the largest U.S. international exchange program. During the 2006 year, nearly six thousand grants were awarded to U.S. students, teachers, professionals and scholars interested in studying or conducting research abroad.
The Gilman International Scholarship Program
The Gilman Program awards 820 scholarships of up to $5,000 to undergraduate students who are citizens of the U.S. The program was created to help students with financial difficulties afford travel abroad. Students with financial need, diverse backgrounds, disabilities, those who attend community college and those in under-represented fields (sciences and engineering) are given preference.
The RTKL Traveling Fellowship
The RTKL Traveling Fellowship was created to encourage travel for the purpose of a professional degree. One fellowship of $2,500 will be awarded each year to the student who submits the best itinerary as it relates to his or her educational goals.
ESAC Scholarship Program
The Europe Study Abroad Center awards scholarships for four-week trips to Prague. The trips are for college students and recent graduates interested in business, marketing and entrepreneurship. Students from any college, major and country are eligible to apply.
February 21, 2008
The idea that Ivy League schools are reserved for the rich and the richer may soon be a thing of the past. In fact, after unveiling its latest financial aid package, Stanford will become one of the most affordable schools in the country.
According to The Stanford Daily, undergraduate students whose parents make less than $60,000 will soon be spared the tuition, the room & board and other educational expenses. Those whose parents make less than $100,000 will have to pay for the living expenses, but tuition will still be taken care of. As far as the rest are concerned, tuition will soon increase.
The price for a year at Stanford will jump to $47,212 during the 2008-2009 school year—a ludicrous amount for the average family. Thankfully, the average family does not have to worry about it.
However, families whose liquid funds are much smaller than their paychecks and graduate students who do not reap the benefits of this news are less than thrilled. What seems like a large income on paper may not translate into spending money for a number of families affected by the tuition hike. Students whose parents have large mortgages or investments will have a difficult time setting aside money for the new cost of Stanford. The same is true for graduate students who don’t receive federal Pell Grants to begin with.
Still, Stanford is keeping those who need aid the most in mind, and that's the bottom line. Okay, okay, there is more to that bottom line. In recent months, a number of distinguished schools have announced large increases in financial aid, and Stanford must worry about keeping up with the Joneses. After Duke, the University of Pennsylvania, Tufts, Haverford, Swarthmore and Harvard each stated their intent to make schools more accessible to all, others colleges and universities have been struggling to keep up.
Of course, most students aren’t headed for the Ivy Leagues, and the above only constitute a small minority of all colleges and universities. For most students dealing with financial woes and fears of burdensome student loans, scholarships are still an option. By conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com, students can find the money they need to complete their education—regardless of the school they attend.
February 20, 2008
People tend to associate high school booster club organizations with raising money to support sports programs and other extracurricular activities at the high school level. Parents who belong to booster clubs are often seen selling refreshments at high school sports events, collecting donations for silent auctions, and selling tickets for fundraisers.
It is true that high school booster clubs exist for the purpose of boosting funding for student programs. Many clubs also earmark some of their fundraising efforts to fund scholarships for deserving student athletes, band members and participants in other school-sponsored activities.
t is true that high school booster clubs exist for the purpose of boosting funding for student programs. Many clubs also earmark some of their fundraising efforts to fund scholarships for deserving student athletes, band members and participants in other school-sponsored activities.
High school booster club scholarship programs are school-specific, so criteria and awards vary greatly from one organization to the other. When you are researching scholarships based on extracurricular activities, don’t overlook the booster club at your school. Contact a booster club officer to find out details about scholarships offered, deadlines, and application procedures.
February 19, 2008
Despite investigations into shady business practices of study-abroad programs across the nation, Congress continues to support the idea of travel for college students. Last June, a bill to increase study-abroad funding was passed in the House, and a similar version was approved last week by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The initial version of the Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation bill was passed by the House in June, 2007 and introduced to the Senate by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Norm Coleman (R-MN). If passed, it would allow Congress to appropriate $80 million each year towards a foundation awarding financial aid to study-abroad students.
The bill would encourage one million students to study abroad, especially in non-traditional settings. According to Senator Durbin, the travel will, “allow students the opportunity to grow and gain skills to help our nation compete in the globalized world.”
Now that the bill has been approved by the Senate committee, it will move to the Senate floor for a full vote. Approval seems likely as positive feedback has been expressed by both parties.
The proposal is particularly aimed at assisting minority students with scholarships and grants. Senator Coleman stated that, “The goal of the Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act is to make study abroad in high-quality programs in diverse locations around the world the routine, rather than the exception, for American college students.”
Over the past year, study abroad programs have received more publicity for their troubles than their benefits. Inquiries into the actions of program representatives who received free trips and money for meeting student traveler quotas have marred the image of numerous programs. If the appropriations are approved, increased financial accountability is likely.
Students interested in studying abroad need not wait until this bill clears both chambers. By completing a free college scholarship search, students can find information about numerous college scholarships and grants that can help them afford school. Both study-abroad scholarships and awards based on different criteria are available.
February 18, 2008
Each year, the Humane Education Network (H.E.N.) awards scholarships to high school students whose essays best promote the humane treatment of animals. H.E.N. hopes that by awarding “A Voice for Animals” scholarships, creating newsletters, contacting businesses and communicating with legislators, they can put a stop to animal cruelty.
Students interested in applying for this essay scholarship will have to write an original paper examining the mistreatment of one animal species. They will also need to propose methods for the prevention and control of such behavior. Four essayists demonstrating the greatest originality and analytical thought will be awarded scholarships ranging between $100 and $1,000.
1. $1,000 first prize 2. $500 second prize 3. $100 third prize 4. $750 prize for the greatest personal involvement or project directly impacting animal welfare
1. Applicants must be high school students. 2. Essays must be original. 3. All sources must be cited.
March 10, 2008
1. A completed online application form 2. A double-spaced essay no longer than 1,500 words
Further details about the application process and contacting the scholarship provider can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search. Once the search is completed, students eligible for the award will find it in their scholarship list.
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