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Scholarships.com Virtual Interns Wanted

by Alexis Mattera

Whether you're putting pen to paper, live tweeting campus events or blogging until the wee hours of the morning, one thing is certain: Sharing information is your passion. And you know what? It's ours, too, so let's join forces through Scholarships.com's virtual intern program!

Over the last 15 years, Scholarships.com has been a go-to site not only for high schoolers in search of financial aid but for college students living away from home for the first time, trying to balance limited money for food and fun, and adjusting to postsecondary academic expectations. We have plenty of information on those topics and more but we want to hear from you about what's going on at the campus you call home for the majority of the year. From parties to politics, from housing to hazing, and from class registration to commencement exercises, let us know what's trending at your school and your musings could be featured regularly on our blog.

If you're interested in becoming a Scholarships.com virtual intern, please send your resume, a 300-word writing sample detailing a campus issue, and links to your blog/Tumblr/Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Pinterest to virtualintern@scholarships.com with "Scholarships.com Virtual Intern" in the subject line.Thanks and looking forward to hearing what your unique voice has to say!


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Alabama School District to Pay Students for High ACT Scores

by Suada Kolovic

In a perfect world, every student would have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and an insatiable passion for learning. Reality check: We don't live in a perfect world and motivating underachieving students to perform well in school and on standardized tests is a serious challenge. What should educators do? The school board in Huntsville, Alabama has decided to try an approach many exasperated parents have considered: cold, hard cash for high ACT scores.

To encourage students to apply themselves while ensuring the district maintains an academic edge in the state, the school board unanimously agreed to pay students for achieving benchmark scores on the ACT. Here’s the breakdown: Benchmark scores will be set and for every component of the test a student reaches a benchmark score, $50 will be earned. If a student gets an overall score of 22 or higher, they’ll get an extra $100 and students will have the opportunity to earn $300 total! "The ACT is important," said Superintendent Casey Wardynski. "It's important for our kids but they may not all realize it because they're taking it junior year, or some may not think they're going to college or want to have that test under their belt for when they do choose to go to college," she added.

With another round of standardized test dates just around the corner, students are praising the initiative while concerned parents are questioning where the funds will come from and if it's a form of bribery. So, future ACT test takers, where do you stand? Do you think providing a financial incentive is right way to motivate students or not? Share your thoughts in the comments section.


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Former UNC Professor to Plead Not Guilty to Academic Felony Fraud

Football Coach and Chancellor Depart Amidst Scandal

December 4, 2013

Former UNC Professor to Plead Not Guilty to Academic Felony Fraud

by Suada Kolovic

The life of the average college student is riddled with deadlines and due dates so when the pressure is on come midterms and finals, there are no sweeter words for those short on time than “class is canceled.” But what if I told you that on the rarest of occasions, you could sign up for a lecture course where attendance wasn't required? Well, that was the reality for a group of student athletes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; we should mention, however, that the professor of said course has been indicted for doing just that and could face 10 months in prison for his actions if convicted.

Julius Nyang’oro, a former chairman of UNC’s Department of African and Afro-American Studies, is accused of receiving $12,000 for a lecture course while holding no classes. Orange County District Attorney James Woodall said Nyang’oro’s 2011 summer course was supposed to have regular lectures but required students to write papers in lieu of coming to class. A defense attorney says the former professor will plead not guilty to the felony fraud charge and that the university recouped the $12,000 but the scandal has contributed to the departure of football coach Butch Davis (who had 19 of his players enrolled in the class) and the resignation of chancellor Holden Thorp. (For more on this story, click here.)


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SOTW: John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

This SOTW is Accepting Entries Through January 6th

December 2, 2013

SOTW: John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

by Suada Kolovic

The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest is the nation's most prestigious honor for elected public servants. The Award was created in 1989 by members of President Kennedy's family to honor President John F. Kennedy and recognize and celebrate the quality of political courage that he admired most.

The Profile in Courage Essay Contest invites high school students to consider the concept of political courage by writing an essay on a U.S. official who has chosen to do what is right, rather than what is expedient. A "Profile in Courage" essay is a carefully researched recounting of a story: the story of how an elected official risked his or her career to take a stand based on moral principles.

Students are asked to write an original and creative essay of less than 1,000 words that demonstrates an understanding of political courage as described by John F. Kennedy in "Profiles in Courage." Students should use a variety of sources such as newspaper articles, books, and/or personal interviews to address this year's essay topic.

For more information on this award and other scholarship opportunities, conduct a free scholarship search today!


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10 National Universities Where Most Students Live on Campus

by Suada Kolovic

If you’re a high school senior, you’ll be faced with a major decision in the coming months: choosing the right school. And while there are myriad factors to consider when making your decision, campus housing can be a crucial piece of the puzzle. For the most part, students are required to live in campus housing during their freshman year while upperclassmen tend to live off-campus in apartments. The reason: Most larger universities just don’t offer enough on-campus housing to accommodate their entire undergraduate populations. Yet, that’s not always the case because some prominent institutions with large endowments offer housing for all undergraduates.

According to an analysis of student housing data provided by the U.S. News & World Report, students at many of the country’s top ranked schools opt to remain on campus until they graduate. Of the top 10 national universities with the highest percentage of students living on campus, five are Ivy League institutions. Check out the complete list below (schools are ranked by the percentage of their undergraduate student body living on campus).

  1. Harvard University
  2. Princeton University
  3. California Institute of Technology
  4. Columbia University
  5. Stanford University
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  7. St. Mary's University of Minnesota
  8. Yale University
  9. Dartmouth College
  10. Vanderbilt University

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Win $5,000 in this Scholarship of the Week!

Enter the Young Patriots Essay Contest through Dec. 31st

November 25, 2013

Win $5,000 in this Scholarship of the Week!

by Suada Kolovic

The Young Patriots Essay Contest is designed to challenge high school students to creatively solve problems in the realm of public policy through the art of writing. Controversial topics are assigned each year and only three winners will be chosen. The topic of this year’s essay contest is: “According to the four required readings. What policy changes should the government pursue in order to best foster economic prosperity?”

This year, they’re introducing an interactive reading and education component to ensure you, as students, gain valuable insight on the NCPA’s perspective and message. Please read the four following pieces as you consider the above topic. Your submission will be graded in part according to how carefully and thoughtfully you engage with these four challenging articles. They are:

  • “Public Choice,” by John C. Goodman
  • “Classical Liberalism,” by John C. Goodman
  • “I Pencil,” by Leonard Read
  • “The Greatest Story Nobody Knows About,” by Steven Landsburg

For more information on this award and other scholarship opportunities, conduct a free scholarship search today!


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Colorado State U. Adds Women’s Soccer, Nixes Water Polo in Order to Comply with Title IX

by Suada Kolovic

Four decades after Title IX was enacted, many colleges and universities across the country still struggle with the gender-equity requirements. If you’re not familiar with Title IX, allow me to give you a brief synopsis: The law states: “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” While Title IX has had obvious positive effects on women’s education, we most often associate this law’s success within athletics but compliance with Title IX isn’t always a clear task. Take for instance what’s happening at Colorado State University: The school plans to add scholarships through a new women’s soccer team but are doing so at the expense of the women’s water polo team. If you’re scratching your head in confusion, join the club.

According to reports, the complaint against the university filed in July 2012 alleged that CSU discriminated against female athletes by falling to provide opportunities equal to those afforded to their male counterparts. The university agreed to a turnaround plan that will bring it into compliance by September 2016 but many individuals have pointed out the odd juxtaposition of a women’s sport being eliminated to comply with gender-balance guidelines. “It definitely shows that they didn’t take our sport as seriously as maybe men’s basketball or football, because they definitely wouldn’t have eliminated them,” said Alexzandrea Daley, a 19-year-old junior and water polo team member at CSU. Officials at the university have sympathized with their outrage but reaffirm that the university could not afford to keep both sports. (For more on this story, click here.)

Sure, repeated failures to comply with Title IX can jeopardize a university’s federal financial support but do you agree with Colorado State’s solution? Do you think it fair to the female athletes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.


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Conservative Student Group Criticized for “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” Game

School Cancels Controversial Event

November 19, 2013

Conservative Student Group Criticized for “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” Game

by Suada Kolovic

In general, college is viewed as the sacred time in your young adult life where you make connections that will last a lifetime, take part in heavily heated debates on issues you're passionate about and play games where you're rewarded with a $25 gift card to the Olive Garden for “catching” illegal immigrants. Wait...something about the latter statement seems WAY too terrible and offensive to be true, right?!

The Houston Chronicle reported that students from a conservative student group at the University of Texas planned to stage a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” game on Wednesday with the hopes of sparking a campus-wide conversation about illegal immigration. The game involves participants “capturing” volunteers masquerading as undocumented immigrants. The group took to their Facebook page to defend their event and Lorenzo Garcia, the chairman of the university’s Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) chapter, reiterated that the purpose of the game is start a debate and not to promote prejudice. We should note that YCT is no stranger to controversy: In September, they held an “affirmative-action bake sale” where there sold treats to students at prices that varied depending on their race and gender. Yikes!

University leaders have been quite vocal about condemning the planned immigration game. UT Austin President William C. Powers, Jr. said the proposed event was “completely out of line” with the university’s values. “Our nation continues to grapple with difficult questions surrounding immigration. I ask YCT to be part of that discussion but to find more productive and respectful ways to do so that do not demean their fellow students,” he added.

As this blog post was being written, the event was cancelled but what do you think about this “game” proposed by YCT? Do you find it offensive and disrespectful? Let us know in the comments section.


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SOTW: Elk’s National Foundation Most Valuable Student Scholarship

This SOTW is Accepting Entries Through December 6th

November 18, 2013

SOTW: Elk’s National Foundation Most Valuable Student Scholarship

by Suada Kolovic

The Elks National Foundation will award 500 four-year scholarships to the highest-rated applicants in this year's competition. Ranging from $1,000 per year to $15,000 per year, Most Valuable Student scholarships are for students pursuing a four-year degree, on a full-time basis (minimum of 12 semester hours), in a U.S. American college or university.

  • Any high school senior who is a citizen of the United States is eligible to apply.
  • Applicants need not be related to a member of the Elks.
  • College students are not eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must be citizens of the United States on the date their applications are signed; resident alien status does not qualify.
  • Male and female students compete separately.

Applications for the contest are available at Elks Lodges or online. Applicants will be judged on scholarship, leadership and financial need. For more information on this award and other scholarship opportunities, conduct a free scholarship search today!


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Colleges that Produced the Most U.S. Presidents

by Suada Kolovic

With college on the horizon for high school seniors, those with lofty political aspirations should understand that it's never too early to start making the right connections. And what better place to start than by attending the right college that already boasts a total of six presidents and four vice presidents. Which university is that, you ask? None other than Harvard University. Considering their reputation as one of the most prestigious institutions in the country, producing the most commanders-in-chief may not be the shock of the century but you might be surprised by the fact that Allegheny College in Pennsylvania and Eureka College in Illinois produced as many presidents as Georgetown University and the United States Naval Academy. Curious as to what other colleges might better your chances at becoming the next POTUS, check out the list below:

For the complete list, head over to FindTheBest.


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