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by Susan Dutca

Scholarships and grants are the number one source of funding to pay for college, according to a recent study by Sallie Mae. Check out these scholarships to help fund your college education:

  1. Kelsey's Law Scholarship

    Deadline: August 31
    Maximum Award: $2,000

  2. One Life Makes a Difference

    Deadline: Varies
    Maximum Award: $2,500

  3. Up and Comer Scholarship

    Deadline: July 4
    Maximum Award: $500

  4. Camp Counselor Appreciation Scholarship

    Deadline: November 1
    Maximum Award: $1,000

  5. SCTPN Undergraduate Scholarship

    Deadline: Varies
    Maximum Award: $1,000

  6. Gracias Music Foundation Scholarship

    Deadline: June 30
    Maximum Award: $2,000

  7. Animal Compassion Undergraduate Scholarship

    Deadline: December 30
    Maximum Award: $500

  8. The State of the American Mind Essay/Video Contest

    Deadline: December 31
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  9. The Anhelo Project Dream Scholarship

    Deadline: Varies
    Maximum Award: Varies

  10. Google SVA Scholarship for Student Veterans

    Deadline: November 2
    Maximum Award: $10,000

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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by Susan Dutca

Don't have the necessary funds to pay your college tuition? That may be a problem if you plan to attend colleges or universities like Haverford College, where they will suspend their admissions office's "need blind" application review policy, at least temporarily. Dropping the commitment to need-blind admissions is a concern among the fairly short list of private colleges; those that historically have had large enough endowments to be able to offer all students admission without the need for the student and/or parent to take out student loans. Some students have spoken out claiming that this isn't a form of diversifying but rather, "financially viable diversity."

Haverford claims the "changes will be modest" and applicants will be reviewed and admitted as they were in the past - without regard to financial need. Once the college depletes its available funds, the last 10-15 students admitted "will be those who can be admitted without going outside the aid budget." Haverford already anticipates it will run out of money before admitting the entire class but students believe that "there will always be money for things [we] value." The college will maintain its commitment to low-income students, according to the Dean of Admissions.

Other changes in admissions include an increase in class size by roughly seven students yearly; without affecting the "prized" faculty-student ratio. Haverford's President Kimberly W. Benston wrote that the changes are due to "financial challenges created by shifts in the college's demographics and the growing financial need of students in recent years" as well as the “economic downturn that hit in 2008."

Haverford is considered a very well-heeled private institution, with competitive admissions and an endowment "just shy of a half a billion dollars." Do you think this is the best possible way to remain within budget while admitting the incoming class? Is there a better way? Leave us your thoughtful comments below.

And remember, there’s no need to rely on expensive student loan options to pay for your college education. For more information on finding free scholarship money for college, conduct a Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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by Susan Dutca

An openly gay student at Dowling Catholic High School decided to transform stigma into success by serving as a leader and advocate for LGBT rights at his school. Even after creating a gay-straight alliance and being awarded the Gold Matthew Shepard Scholarship, he was told that he could not receive the scholarship at the annual senior awards ceremony.

Last April, Tyler McCubbin, a respectable substitute teacher and volunteer track coach had his full time teaching position offer rescinded after a background check revealed he was openly gay. Dowling High school student Liam Jameson was one of the hundreds of students who protested the perceived injustice through a walkout. In an open letter, Jameson detailed his numerous attempted suicides because he felt alone, afraid, and "dreaded having to go to school the next day." He took the decision to help struggling peers and created a "safe environment for LGBT students where they don't feel the need to self-harm or commit suicide." His petition to create a LGBT club/safe space earned 2,000 signatures and is now known as One Dowling Family.

Through his efforts, Jameson earned the Gold Matthew Shepard Scholarship sponsored by the Eychaner Foundation in Des Moines. However, Dowling administration refuses to present the scholarship at the annual senior awards dinner on May 5th. Jameson claims that they manipulated the rules multiple times and took to a Change.org petition, requesting that the school presents him the award this week. Even McCubbin took to social media and urged people to sign his petition.

The school sent a message to its faculty and media stating that they are "proud of all [our] senior students how have received awards and scholarships to further their education," and that they "do not allow organizations who are awarding the scholarship to attend and individually present the scholarship to the student." Furthermore, they are "pleased one of [our] students received the Matthew Shepard Award and he will be honored in the same manner as his classmates." The Eychaner Foundation claims that Dowling changed its policy in recent months to specifically "target" LGBT-associated scholarships.

Do you think Jameson should have his award presented at the awards ceremony? If you are a student like Jameson who has a passion for social action, community service, and helping others - or if you yourself identify with or support the LGBT community - check out our many scholarships to help fund your college dreams.

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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by Susan Dutca

Malia Obama won't be the first child of a president to be accepted into Harvard University, but her decision to take a gap year sets her apart from the traditional college-bound student. As the gap year trend gains popularity in the US, there is still some reluctance in putting pause on a college education. Could it pose some trouble for those who aren’t socialites?

Despite her father's advice to "not stress too much about one particular college," or focus on name-brand, Malia chose to attend one of the nation's most prestigious and expensive universities. Come fall of 2017, she’s expected to add her name to the long line of ultra-wealthy celebrities and American figures who attended Harvard, including John Adams II, Abraham Lincoln’s son, and John F. Kennedy's daughter.

What exactly is a gap year? It is the time students defer from attending college, right out of high school, in order to pursue other avenues such as traveling, gaining work experience, and getting in touch with their inner soul and desires prior to settling into what could be considered a form of adulthood. One person's productive gap year could easily be another's 12-month vacation. There's been no word as to what Malia will do during this gap year, but a survey indicated that many students focus on personal growth, traveling and experiencing cultures, while taking a break from academics. This gap could serve as a good time to increase community service and learn skills you may not otherwise learn during college. Essentially, a way to avoid the "growing rate of student burn-outs."

Taking a year off could be pricey and not ideal for low-income students. According to one study, the "majority of people who do not go straight to college after high school end up having a much harder time completing their degrees...getting married, having a baby, becoming financially responsible for siblings, or losing academic motivation "may truncate one's higher education pursuits. While the American Gap Association boasts success with students who took a gap year, the majority of the students had college-educated parents and came from household incomes of more than $100,000 a year. These students already have a greater likelihood for success; many of them having parents who could pay their college tuition. Furthermore, federal financial aid waits for no one. Students would have to apply for the year in which they would enroll which could consequentially "make it harder for students on aid to plan a gap year." And while Harvard condones a gap year, the trend is not widely-accepted at other colleges and universities.

Do you think a gap year is a good option for students? Trying to find yourself by putting college off may come with a price. While some students take a gap year to work minimum wage and help fund their college education, we believe that you should be rewarded for your academic, athletic, and extracurricular achievements without having to take time off school. Tuition prices are only increasing, and won't remain stagnant even as you take a gap year. The best way to make college affordable is through free money: scholarships.

And remember, there’s no need to rely on expensive student loan options to pay for your college education. For more information on finding free scholarship money for college, conduct a Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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by Susan Dutca

117 underclassmen recently took advantage of the new NCAA rule which allows them to test the NBA waters without losing NCAA eligibility as long as they don't hire an agent. However, talented athletes are stuck between choosing to play on scholarships or play professionally. Division I schools are balling on a tight budget, with only 13 scholarships available per team. With the constant transferring and drafts, there's no telling what will happen to vacant spots for scholarships or if they will deplete far too quickly, leaving some highly-talented players uncompensated.

In Division I basketball, scholarships are based on head count, which means they cannot be dispersed among student-athletes (unlike equivalency sports such as baseball or water polo). In total, there are 15 scholarships for women and 13 for men on a team. If collegiate players join the NBA, the NBA's D-League, or a foreign pro team, "there's a summer-long scramble to replace them," according to Randy Peterson. Last season, a reported 700 college basketball players were lost to various professional leagues. With the new early NBA entry rule, players have a chance to see if they are suitable for the NBA climate but risk losing their scholarship at their college, especially when the scholarship limit is so small.

The NCAA reports that on average, women playing at the Division I level receive more than male athletes – in 2014, women athletes received $15,162 on average in comparison to their male counterparts, who received an average of $14,270. But only 2 percent of high school student-athletes receive athletic scholarship when playing at the Division I and II level, according to the NCAA. Sure, many athletes want to play at the highest division level but recruiting experts urge athletes to consider playing in Division II, III, or at the FCS level. "Even if you're not a full-ride-caliber athlete," states CEO of Go Big Recruiting, "there's a lot of potential to get money."

We offer a wide variety of athletic scholarships - ones for highly-talented athletes looking to compete at a high level and others for students who simply participated in a sport. Regardless of your athletic ability, there are scholarships in place to help fund your higher education goals and athletic dreams.

In your opinion, should the NCAA start offering more basketball, and athletic scholarships in general?

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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by Susan Dutca

The class of 2015 had the largest student loan debt in history and while some students may side hustle to cover their tuition bill, one student has opted to skip the grind and instead, hustle the streets to help pay for her college education.

Star student Emily Stutz wasn't offered the necessary financial aid to attend college, even after she appealed to all of the eight schools to which she was accepted. Her parents, who earn a combined $155,000 as special education teachers, aren't able to "come up with $20,000-$30,000 a year," according to Stutz. So she created a GoFundMe account and panhandled outside a local Target over the weekend, holding a sign that read "H.S. Senior. No $ for College. Anything helps." So far, Stutz has raised over $24,000 via her GoFundMe page, which would cover one year's tuition at a private college - so she considered staying home and going to the University of Massachusetts which costs only $13,500 a year.

While she had many sympathizers, some drivers told her to get a job. Though she has a 4.0 GPA, works two jobs, has been accepted to all eight to which she applied, she claims, "even the smaller cost [of attending college] was unattainable." Most importantly, Stutz wanted to relay her message on the issue of student loan debt and college unaffordability, stating "It's such a big issue with the presidential election...people take out these huge loans and have to pay back like a mortgage on their education."

Merit scholarships at private institutions aren't enough to lessen the burden of the tuition price tag, according to Stutz. While we were unable to discover to which schools Miss Lutz applied, perhaps a community college would be an affordable option. The money she has raised via GoFundMe so far would likely pay for all or most of her undergraduate studies if she spent the first two years at one of the dozens of community colleges in Massachusetts, most of which are around $4,000 per year. There are also ample opportunities out there for students who take the time to search and apply for scholarships. Many high school students start searching for scholarships when they are a sophomore or junior in high school, which is a great idea as well, rather than relying on the colleges to which you apply for all of your financial aid. Applying for more than one scholarship also increases your chances of earning more money towards your college education. Just read the Success Stories of some of our users and see how they made their post-secondary education affordable and occasionally even free.

In your opinion, do you think panhandling for college funds is the best option? Would you do it? What other options would you consider pursuing? Leave us your thoughtful comments below.

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Comments (8)

by Susan Dutca

With Tinder, you can find your future partner, land a hookup, or...earn a scholarship? A female junior at the University of Nebraska Oklahoma was awarded a scholarship and paid internship for defending her use of the mobile dating app.

After Shannon Workman's sorority, Chi Omega, found that she had a Tinder profile picture while rocking a T-shirt with their letters, she was called to a disciplinary meeting. They found the picture to be "disrespectful" and pushed for a "membership revocation," which Workman secretly recorded. Rather than go through an appeals process, Workman opted to left-swipe and bounce. After choosing to exercise her right to use the Tinder app and defy Chi Omega, Tinder CEO and Co-founder Sean Rad reached out to offer Workman a full tuition scholarship to finish her undergrad education. Additionally, she was offered a paid internship at the company because what she did "sends a very empowering message to young women and college students."

Though Tinder has been blamed for creating a modern hookup culture and creating a "dating apocalypse", Workman stated that she defends Tinder because "I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Some people use it for hookups but I don't, and a lot of great things happen through Tinder.” Tinder was started at USC, primarily through the sorority and fraternity realm - which is still the most active group on Tinder. Over 50 percent of users are ages 18 to 24, many of whom are women.

What're your thoughts on Tinder offering a scholarship to the student? You may have your own causes that you believe in - from social action and environmental activism, to simple community service, there are scholarships that award student’s leadership and passion for causes larger than themselves.

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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by Susan Dutca

JetBlue is helping higher education dreams take flight by offering to pay their student-employees' entire tuition bill. College tuition reimbursement is a recent trend by employer-sponsored programs, but this company is allowing their employees to soar through college by paying it all up front.

Some other employer-sponsored college degree programs - like the Starbucks College Achievement Plan - offer to reimburse students once they've earned their degree, help cover a portion of courses costs, or other discounts. The JetBlue Scholars program is offering to pay for employees' associate's degrees. Students wishing to earn a bachelor's degree and who have earned at least 15 college credits will have to pay $3,500 for capstone courses on their own or through scholarships. JetBlue is partnering with Thomas Edison State University - an online, public university in New Jersey to offer the aforementioned degrees. Since its debut in August, 400 JetBlue employees have applied for the program and each student receives in-person coaching and mentorship from one of six JetBlue’s success coaches. Roughly 1,000 of its 18,000 employees are anticipated to participate in the program annually.

Students are able to use their job skills, knowledge, and experience and apply them as learning credits. Though it may not feel like the typical college experience, it is particularly convenient for adults, employees, and nontraditional students. To help those who have been out of school for a while, the coaches "apply to Thomas Edison Sate on behalf of the students" and monitor their credit transfers, provide the different degree options, and create a course schedule for the students. The online program runs through three platforms, including StraighterLine, Sophia Learning, and Study.com.

Is it too good to be true? One professor thinks this initiative is just a way to make the headlines and isn't so much about what's in the student's best interest but rather, it "is being set up on terms favorable for the company." Nonetheless, it's likely that more companies will follow in Starbucks' and JetBlue's footsteps. Other large corporations such as Pizza Hut, Anthem Insurance, and Fiat Chrysler have also jumped on this initiative.

You can pay for any college costs with scholarships. Whether you owe $3,500 or $35,000 there are easy to large dollar scholarships to help reduce your overall cost of attending college. Take JetBlue's advice (and ours) and help foot the rest of your bill with scholarships.

And remember, there’s no need to rely on expensive student loan options to pay for your college education. For more information on finding free scholarship money for college, conduct a Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Comments (16)

by Susan Dutca

After donating $5 million to support college scholarships for Dreamers and undocumented students, and a prospective $120 million donation to Bay area schools, CEO and Founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerburg recently donated $250,000 for scholarships in technology.

The recent donation to Dev Boot Camp - a program that claims it "transforms beginners into full-stack web developers in 19 weeks" - will cover tuition for 20 underrepresented minority students pursuing a career in tech coding. Students must be California residents, interested in tech coding, and be African American/Black, Chicano/Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander, and/or a female. The application period will open April 18 and close May 2.

The announcement came just a day before the f8 Conference, which has a predominantly male developer audience. An even smaller percentage of the developers are ethnically-diverse. As of June 14, 84 percent of Facebook's company was male - 51 percent of which were Caucasian and 43 percent Asian. Only 3 percent were Hispanic and 1 percent was African American. Globally, Facebook is 32 percent female. Through the scholarships, Facebook hopes to "increase [the] diversity of its workforce to better represent their customer base."

Last year, Zuckerburg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced they would donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares - roughly $45 billion at the time - to philanthropic initiatives. By the end of last year, they had donated about $32 million to education reform, including underserved communities in the Bay Area, the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, the Centers for Disease Control Prevention to fight Ebola, and the Newark Public School System.

If you are a female, or student interested in technology or computer science, check out our many scholarships in addition to the Facebook F8 Scholarship.

And don't forget, you should pay for your college education with as much free money as possible! Find as many scholarships and grants as you can before turning to student loans. Visit the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today where you'll get matched with countless scholarships and grants for which you qualify, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Comments (9)

by Susan Dutca

What happens when half a million students are forced to take zero credit, remedial college courses? Parents and students must pay roughly $1.5 million and borrow $350 billion extra a year - even if 74 percent of those students end up delaying college or dropping out. Not only does it break the bank for low-income families, but yes, the affluent families as well. Who's to blame for college unpreparedness?

According to a new report by researchers at Education Reform Now, "American families across all income levels are spending billions each year in extra college costs." Though the common perception is that remedial courses are only available for low-income students or community colleges, it extends to middle, upper-middle, high-income, and many colleges of well. In particular, some of the most affluent students at private nonprofit four-year colleges (the top 20 percent) are taking more remedial courses than students from the bottom 20 percent of national family incomes. Statistics show that over $12,000 extra has been spent by unprepared students from the top income quintile (incomes over $113,440) attending private nonprofit institutions. On average, about $3,000 is paid extra, and $1,000 borrowed to complete remedial courses. Additionally, unprepared students are more likely to delay completing college - or simply drop out. The issue of college unpreparedness is not limited to minority or low-income students, but it penetrates all income levels.

But who's to blame? Researchers point to the "expansive failure of our K-12 education system" and recommend giving secondary assessment when accessing college readiness. Some believe that we are focusing on the wrong topics and should, for example, teach statistics and not algebra since it will be more practical and useful post-college. Others blame the way in which students are evaluated through the "traditional method of scoring." Proponents of the Common Core State Standards, including President Obama and even some conservative allies believe that the "common-sense logic" is premised on the skills necessary to successfully participate and compete in the 21st-century economy and global market. Some schools have already addressed the issue by implementing a "corequisite remediation" model which allows students to take for-credit courses while being enrolled in a "learning support class to help them master the material."

Should both high schools and students be held accountable for their college readiness? Remedial courses are depleting students' financial aid and savings, and have them asking professors whether they know of any scholarships that are intended to help students who have run out of financial aid. You can count on ample scholarship opportunities here at Scholarships.com to leave you financially prepared for college costs. From easy scholarships where you hardly have to do anything to essay scholarships, you have the chance to help fund your higher education dreams.

And remember, there’s no need to rely on expensive student loan options to pay for your college education. For more information on finding free scholarship money for college, conduct a Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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