March 7, 2008
With all this talk about colleges hoarding snowballing endowments, it may come as a surprise that sometimes, college funds do dry up. Such is the case at numerous universities receiving business scholarship money from the Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Foundation.
Indiana University at Bloomington, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University at University Park, St. Edward’s University, Texas A&M University at College Station and Texas State University at San Marcos (which even has a building named after the founders) each received annual financial support from the multi-million dollar fund.
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the foundation was worth $26 million in 2006. The loss was said to be caused by a stock market downturn, but there are suspicions that it may also have something to do with the founders’ son, Scott Mitte. A past article published by The Boston Globe stated that Mr. Mitte’s compensation had increased by $189,000 and his spending on travel and meetings grew by more than $180,000 in just one year. The article dated November 3, 2003 also mentions that a sexual harassment case against Mr. Mitt had cost the foundation $139,000 in legal fees.
Rather than leave their students without promised aid, most of the schools have decided to use their own funds to support them. Texas State University, the alma mater of the founders, will continue to receive scholarship money from the foundation, but other schools must dig into their own pockets to cover the expenses.
During the post-Inconvenient Truth months, I couldn't help but steadfastly pursue an eco-friendly lifestyle. Sure, I sporadically recycled before, but, regardless of attacks on film's accuracy, it made things happen for me. Thanks to a great deal of nagging and a plethora of guilt-tripping orations, I even convinced my mom to recycle--on occasion.
If you haven’t been swayed as of yet, here’s another good reason to go green: it pays. To encourage students to learn about the environment, alternative energy and about keeping the land and ecosystem safe, numerous scholarship providers have created eco-friendly scholarships. Check out the awards listed below for options you may benefit from, and conduct a free college scholarship search for additional information about college scholarships and grants.The Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship
Each year, the Vegetarian Resource Group gives away two $5,000 awards to students who promote vegetarianism in their schools and communities. Judges will look for essays that best demonstrate the student’s compassion, courage and commitment to promoting a peaceful world through vegetarianism. To be eligible, students must be high school seniors.
Beulah Frey Environmental Scholarship
Students residing in Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Beaver, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties may be eligible to win scholarships from the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania (ASWP). High school student who plan to major in a subject that relates to the environment can win $1,000 by applying.
Volo Bog Offers Scholarships
Two awards in the sum of $1,000 will be awarded to students interested in pursuing a career related to the environment. Applicants must be high school students with a minimum 3.0 GPA and must reside in select Illinois counties.
Action For Nature International Young Eco-Hero Awards
The Action for Nature International Young Eco-Hero Award was created for environmentally-aware students between the ages of 8 and 16. Young kids and teens who have taken action to protect the environment will be recognized for their efforts.
Ben Meadows Natural Resource Scholarship To be eligible for the Ben Meadows Natural Resource Scholarship, students must be juniors or seniors working towards a bachelor’s degree in majors that include agro forestry, urban forestry, environmental studies, natural resource management, natural resource recreation, wildlife management, wood science, fisheries management and related subjects. Two scholarships in the sum of $2,500 each will be awarded.
March 5, 2008
Helping someone is a reward in itself, but I guess college scholarships and grants couldn't hurt. After all, you can't control when good karma decides to stop by with financial aid.
To promote volunteer work and help students who help others, scholarship providers have set up the following volunteer awards:
BR!CK Awards Scholarship
Think of the BR!CK Awards as the Oscars for volunteers. Nine winners who have committed exceptional acts of kindness will receive a scholarship of $5,000 as well as a $5,000 reward to be forwarded to their charity of choice. They will also get to participate in an award show where celebrities present their prizes.
Discover Scholarship Program
This corporate scholarship was created for current high school juniors who have demonstrated accomplishments in community service and leadership, faced a significant challenge and maintained a minimum 2.75 GPA. Up to 10 scholarships of $30,000 each will be granted.
Kohl’s Kids Who Care Scholarship
With the help of this scholarship, student volunteers between the ages of 6 and 18 can earn $5,000 toward their college education. Other prizes include $50 Kohl’s gift certificates and $1,000 scholarships.
A Voice for Animals Scholarship
The Voice for Animals Scholarship, an award provided by the Humane Education Network (HEN) gives students the chance to speak out against animal cruelty. Awards are offered to students who submit the best essays and to those who have worked to improve animal welfare.
Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship
To be eligible for the Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship, high school seniors must first be nominated by their principal. Those who demonstrate leadership skills within the community and who work to engage youth in activities that boost self-esteem and encourage an ethic of service can win $1,000 scholarships.
Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program
The Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program was created in memory of Jesse Brown, a member of the Marine Corp who dedicated his time to assisting disabled American veterans. Students who volunteer at local VA medical centers for a minimum of 100 hours will be able to receive a scholarship from this provider.
For additional information about volunteering scholarships as well as awards based on different criteria, try conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.
March 4, 2008
In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, students across the nation celebrated the eleventh annual Read Across America day on March 3rd. Though most festivities were aimed at the elementary and middle school crowd, plenty of high school students joined in to encourage the young and old to read on a regular basis.
Their support was both appreciated and needed. In 2005, a report published by the National Education Association (NEA) revealed that reading frequency dropped significantly for people of all ages. Those who struggled the most, individuals between the ages of 18 and 24, experienced a reading drop of 28 percent. To stop this trend from continuing, students are being taught that reading can be fun--really.
A list compiled by the NEA offers a few interesting examples of things students and educators have tried in an effort to encourage reading. They include:
o High school cheerleaders and athletes from Hamler, Ohio who challenged students to become active readers by leading them in reading spirit cheers.
o A Dr. Seuss Party thrown by the Central Lafourche High School Performing Arts Club. The event included a Dr. Seuss show, an appearance by the cat and a cake.
o The school-wide Braxton County High reading celebration in which all students, faculty and staff had to drop everything to read during first period.
o A Washington County event in which all elementary, middle and high school students read every day for a week. In addition to a skit performed by students from a high school drama class, prizes were awarded to the 100th person who entered the library.
o The foreign language event in which students from Edmond Santa Fe High School translated and read “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham” in three different languages—English, Spanish and Latin.
But the award for the most interesting (and least appetizing) example goes to the Washington Elementary district which served its students a breakfast of—yuck—green eggs and ham.
The Prosperity Scholarship Fund, a foundation providing Florida scholarships for low-income students residing in the Jacksonville area, received its biggest donation when AT&T announced its $100,000 contribution. According to an AT&T press release, the company was responsible for granting a total of $4 million to Florida philanthropy organizations in 2007 alone, and it was ranked among the top corporate philanthropy foundations by Forbes.
AT&T's contribution to the Prosperity Scholarships Fund matches that collected by all other contributors combined during the foundation’s inception in 2006. The new scholarship money will go towards an endowment to be supplemented by the state, individuals and additional corporations. During the 2008-2009 school year, more than 200 students who attend Florida Community College at Jacksonville, the University of North Florida, Jacksonville University and Edward Waters College will be able to use the endowment money to afford a college education. Students who win can receive up to $1,000 per year, to be renewed annually.
Those who graduate from Duval County high school and those who are customers of JEA--the Jacksonville energy, water and sewer system company responsible for administering the fund--may begin applying in May. For additional information about financial aid, scholarship funds and corporate scholarships, students may conduct a free college scholarship search.
March 3, 2008
Got milk? Well if you do, you may be eligible for a hefty scholarship. For ten years, milk providers have been awarding scholarships to young athletes across the country. The awards are promising, so if you quality, it’s worth a shot. Twenty-five high school seniors will have the opportunity to win $7,500 in scholarship money as well as a trip to the award ceremony. In addition to the money, winners will be commemorated with a spot in the Disney World Milk House Hall of Fame. Some may even appear in a Milk Mustache advertisement. To apply, students will have to write an essay of no more than 250 words about how milk has helped them in their academics and/or athletics.
1. Twenty-five $7,500 scholarships and paid trips to the award ceremony 2. A spot in the Disney World Milk House Hall of Fame 3. The chance to appear in a Milk Mustache advertisement
1. Applicant must be a high school senior in good standing. 2. Applicant must be a legal resident of the 48 contiguous U.S. states or the District of Columbia as of November 25, 2007. 3. Applicant must have participated in a high school sport or club sport in the 2007-2008 school year. 4. Applicant may not be on suspension nor can they have a record of an arrest, charge or conviction for any crime. 5. Applicant must enroll, full time, in a state-accredited college or university during the 2008 fall semester. 6. The person nominating the applicant must be a legal resident of the 48 contiguous U.S. states or the District of Columbia and must be at least 18 years of age. The applicant cannot nominate himself/herself. 7. National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board members, workers or their immediate family cannot nominate a student.Deadline:March 7, 2008 (by 11:59:59 p.m.)
1. An essay of no more than 250 words describing how milk has helped the applicant in his/her academics and/or athletics 2. A completed nomination form
Further details about the application process and about 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 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.
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