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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

Following the Cleveland Cavaliers'recent win, LeBron's 11-year-old-son received standing scholarship offers from Duke and Kentucky University. It's never too late to start early, so check out some of these sports scholarships if you have a love for sports and wish to get paid to play:

  1. Jay Cutler Athletic Scholarship

    Deadline: April 15
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  2. Mike Lozano Scholarship

    Deadline: February 12
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  3. Dale "Snook" Noack Memorial Scholarship

    Deadline: Varies
    Maximum Award: Varies

  4. Ernie Davis Scholarship

    Deadline: April 4
    Maximum Award: $1,300

  5. Team Type 1 Scholarships

    Deadline: February 20
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  6. Jordan M. Draper Memorial Scholarship

    Deadline: February 15
    Maximum Award: Varies

  7. Gene and John Athletic Fund Scholarship

    Deadline: June 8
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  8. Jack Diller Education Award

    Deadline: February 12
    Maximum Award: $2,500

  9. New York Ramblers Scholarship for Student Athletes

    Deadline: July 12
    Maximum Award: $2,500

  10. PCA Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarship

    Deadline:May 31
    Maximum Award: $2,000

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

California's Antelope Valley School District banned atheist scholarships from being listed on student publications and must now pay $10,000 in legal fees. They claimed it would upset parents, "promote anti-religious expression," and have "argumentative" and "aggressive undertones." Freethinkers instead saw it as anti-atheist prejudice.

The district was sued by FFRF for refusing to allow college-bound seniors to compete for $17,950 in scholarships from the Freedom from Religion Foundation and $1,750 in scholarships from the Antelope Valley Freethinkers. According to The Friendly Atheist, the scholarship essay prompts are not the least bit aggressive but rather allow students to "develop opinions based on science and reason in contrast to faith and dogma' by writing about their experiences when "objecting to or raising logical- or evidence-based challenges to statements of faith of dogma within their family, school, or Antelope Valley at large."

For students who may face ridicule, harassment, or punishment for speaking up against religion in the classroom, at school events, in government, or their own homes, the FFRF's prompts are: "Young, bold and nonbelieving: Challenges of being a nonbeliever of color" and "Why I'm Good Without God: Challenges of being a young nonbeliever."

While the atheist scholarships were banned, the district accepted scholarships from other religious groups, such as the Church of Scientology, which "solicited religious speech, required applicants to be religious, and dealt with the historically controversial topics of homosexuality and guns."

In your opinion, do you think the schools were right in banning the scholarships? Why or why not? Leave us your thoughtful comments below. If you are looking for scholarships based on your personal faith, check out our extensive list of religious 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

June is LGBT Pride Month, and though we are already more than halfway through, there is still enough time to apply for scholarships! Check out these scholarships exclusive to LGBT youth, supporters and students pursuing higher education:

  1. Levin-Goffe Scholarship Fund

    Deadline: June 22
    Maximum Award: $25,000

  2. The David Womack Memorial Alabama LGBT Scholarship

    Deadline: June 30
    Maximum Award: $1,000

  3. PrideGLV Rainbow Scholarship Fund

    Deadline: July 1
    Maximum Award: $500

  4. The Jackie Spellman Scholarship

    Deadline: April 15
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  5. The Collective Bill Caspare Memorial Fund Scholarship

    Deadline: July 8
    Maximum Award: $6,000

  6. Boundless Opportunity Scholarship

    Deadline: Varies
    Maximum Award: Varies

  7. PFund Scholarship

    Deadline: January 15
    Maximum Award: $10,000

  8. LGBT PA Caucus Student Leadership Award

    Deadline: January 15
    Maximum Award: $1,000

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

Students at Vanderbilt University will soon have their sex-reassignment surgeries covered under a new student health-care plan. Without insurance, many individuals are unable to pay for hormones, surgeries and counseling necessary for the transition. From sex-reassignment to breast augmentation, college and universities are taking steps to make their students feel comfortable and more respected.

The desire for more trans inclusivity does not come without opposition from the Tennessee's Republican-led legislature. Rep. Diane Black released her statement, criticizing the "painfully obvious lack of common sense," since "[our] institutions of higher learning exist to graduate students who are career ready and are prepared to compete in the global economy, not to play politics by providing insurance coverage of medically unnecessary procedures while raking in federal grants." Schools such as Ohio University, which already have expanded transgender health coverage, pay an additional $120,000 yearly.

Medicare lifted its ban on coverage for sex-reassignment surgery in May of 2014. Since then, 72 colleges and universities have implemented the plan. Vanderbilt will cover services such as hormone-replacement therapy and other transgender-related operations. Schools with existing policies, such as the University of Arizona, pay for hormone therapy, orchiectomy, and genital reconstructive surgery. VU will be the first university in Tennessee to offer surgery coverage, making it a leader in the movement.

Transgender students have voiced their discontent with schools unwilling to accommodate their health needs. RJ Robles, a transgender graduate student at Vanderbilt Divinity School, was devastated when he found out that breast augmentation was not covered by student health insurance. "I was going to basically have to put my transition on hold," he claimed. Robles is "really proud of the Vanderbilt community for stepping up" and feels like trans students are finally being "celebrated, valued, respected, heard and seen."

According to Cynthia Cyrus, Vice Provost for Learning and Residential Affairs at Vanderbilt, the decision came to pass in a "relatively non-controversial" manner and "not deeply debated in any way." Students at VU claim that there was no debate to begin with and there "was no organized opposition to this policy because [the students] had no idea that such a policy was even being considered." VU later admitted to Fox 17 that the decision (for now) is merely a "political statement," but a "reasonable move in the right direction."

In your opinion, should colleges and universities be covering students' sex-reassignment surgeries, as well as cosmetic surgeries?

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!

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by Susan Dutca

South Carolina State University will be able to offer considerably more financial aid to future business majors thanks to the $2.5 million Earvin "Magic"" Johnson Endowed Scholarship Fund. The funds are established to help business students at the historically black college.

Johnson decided to embark on the educational endeavor a year ago, when he visited the Orangeburg campus. Since then, he's "worked to develop meaningful ways to contribute to its success". According to Johnson, the scholarship fund will "continue the legacy of our nations historically black colleges and universities". Scholarship details will be released this weekend during a fundraising event in Washington.

You may feel out of touch with famous Hollywood actors, professional athletes, or singers and songwriters, but there are scholarships funded by such people who are interested in giving back to future generations of scholars and stars. Here's a list of other scholarships funded by well-known celebrities:

  1. Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation Scholarship

    Deadline: August 10
    Maximum Award: $200,000

  2. BMI John Lennon Scholarship

    Deadline: December 1
    Maximum Award: $10,000

  3. BSU Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship

    Deadline: April 4
    Maximum Award: $10,000

  4. Earl Woods Scholarship Program

    Deadline: Varies
    Maximum Award: Varies

  5. Jimi Hendrix Scholarship Fund

    Deadline: Varies
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  6. Aerosmith Scholarship

    Deadline: Varies
    Maximum Award: Varies

  7. Janet Jackson/Rhythm National Scholarship

    Deadline: Varies
    Maximum Award: $5,000

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

College students may soon find themselves counting their pennies before deciding to go out on the weekend. What could be worse than being a broke college student? For starters, spending money that you don't have and sending your bank account into the negatives. Overdrafting is most common among Americans ages 18-25, and the average $34.50 penalty fee isn't any less harsh than the national median of $35. But who's to blame - students or colleges?

Universities and colleges have started partnerships with banks to offer on-campus banking services to students, but convenience doesn't mean leniency, and students aren't off the hook when it comes to overdraft fees. The average consumer pays two overdraft fees a year, meaning college students could owe more than $70 in fees. According to NerdWallet, if every college student from participating colleges averages two overdrafts a year, that's $828 million in fees. Why are college students most likely to fall into this snowballing, financial rut? NerdWallet Banking analyst Devan Goldstein claims that "at that age, most people have less money coming in and more pressure to spend money, from peer pressure in particular."

Do colleges and banks have the students' best interest in mind? Some financial experts aren't so sure, as the products they offer come with a "steep price." Banks see the value of partnering with colleges and offer "lucrative deals" that will increase marketing opportunities, especially with the lack of profits from retail bank accounts over the past several years. And of course, there's something in it for the schools - they can receive a large payment from banks - like the case at UC Berkeley, which will receive $17 million over the next ten years for signing with Bank of the West.

Parents and their kids should consider a few things before opening a bank account: overdraft fees, the limit to how many fees can be charged a day, and what happens when a student declines an opt-in for overdraft protection. Experts also advise students to search for better deals at local banks that offer lower fees - this could be a slight issue for campus-bound students who don't have transportation readily available.

So before you write that next ill-advised check your bank account won't cover, don't forget that overdrafting is optional, and there will be a price to pay.

In your opinion, should overdrafting fees be eliminated completely for college students? Or should they have to pay the price for financial irresponsibility? Leave us your comments below.

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!

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by Susan Dutca

30 years after being abandoned as a newborn in a San Francisco State University dorm, Jillian Sobol graduated from the same college at which she drew her first breaths. In Tennessee, Kevuntez King sold newspapers for five straight years and earned enough money to pay off his college tuition so that his single mom didn't have to - even before starting at TSU. Janel Young, a Columbus teen mom, recently graduated from college debt-free after giving birth at 15 years old while in foster care. What do all of these students have in common? They all successfully overcame their individual adversities and pursued their higher education dreams. Whether you or a loved one have been affected by cancer; are a survivor of domestic abuse, or are a single parent, there are scholarships out there that will recognize your resilience, courage, and character. Here are some scholarships for students who have overcome their adversities in hopes of achieving their college dream:

  1. Patsy Takemoto Mink Foundation

    Deadline: August 1
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  2. Hendrick Scholarship Foundation

    Deadline: March 18
    Maximum Award: $16,500

  3. Women's Independence Scholarship Program

    Deadline: Varies
    Maximum Award: $2,000

  4. The Jackie Spellman Scholarship

    Deadline: April 15
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  5. NLEAFCF General Scholarship

    Deadline: July 1
    Maximum Award: $20,000

  6. Boundless Opportunity Scholarship

    Deadline: Varies
    Maximum Award: Varies

  7. The Iris-Samuel Rothman Scholarship

    Deadline: Varies
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  8. AFTH Birth Parent Scholarship Fund

    Deadline: Varies
    Maximum Award: Varies

  9. Betsy Niles Scholarship

    Deadline: April 10
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  10. Missy's Miracle Scholarship

    Deadline: April 10
    Maximum Award: $5,000

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

Bruce Leslie has already come under fire for some controversial "calls" he's made and now he's been busted phone-scrolling during commencement ceremonies. While he was ON THE STAGE, no less. Colleges and universities are struggling with cell phone policies with students constantly caught using their mobile devices and laptops for non-academic purposes in academic settings and situations. But what's the punishment for a college Chancellor's "cellphone perusing"...during a commencement ceremony? Nothing, really.

Ironically, Alamo Colleges Chancellor Bruce Leslie pushed a self-help book titled The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People into the "system curriculum, replacing a required humanities course." He felt the need to do so after realizing "some graduates hardly looked him in the eye or knew how to shake his hand as they were accepting diplomas during graduation." Following the incident, Leslie apologized "if he offended anyone." He spent a reported 40 minutes scrolling on his smartphone during a commencement at Palo Alto College, where many graduates are first-generation, low-income, and predominantly Mexican-American college students.

This isn't Leslie's first time exhibiting poor etiquette in a professional setting - he's been known to behave poorly at faculty meetings as well. But Leslie is not alone. Other faculty, administrators, and even board members in the world of higher education have been caught drinking and sleeping during commencements. The entire law faculty at the University of California at Berkeley has been known to convene at 10 a.m., graduation day, and have a "leisurely lunch" while graduates filed on stage. They would regroup later, "oblivious to or unnoticed by parents and families."

Were students on their phones during the commencement ceremony? Some have argued that, despite the sometimes poor netiquette displayed by students, educators must be held to the "highest standards of comportment and professionalization," and that they "set institutional culture." One resolution to the problem is to jam cellular devices, but that is illegal since it may obstruct signal from an emergency call. Another option would be to Wi-Fi jam cellphones. Or perhaps implement a no cell phone policy for those on stage.

Do you think educators should have a stricter no cell phone policy? Should the Chancellor receive some form of punishment for his mobile misuse? Leave us your thoughtful comments below.

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!

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by Susan Dutca

One former and one current DePaul student disrupted a presentation at the school's student center earlier this week. One of them snatched the microphone from the interviewer and appeared to threaten the guest speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos, with it. The disturbance was reportedly due to the fundamental disagreement with the subject matter being presented, as it ran counter to that of the protesters who gathered outside prior to the event. However, only one arrest was made and it was not the protester who assaulted the young man interviewing Yiannopoulos, but rather the cameraman who was invited to film the event.

Hundreds of colleges and universities have restrictive speech codes that enforce political correctness and insulate their students from exposure to a lot of information, ideas, and opinions that may differ from that to which they have been exposed in their childhood. As evidenced by the recent shutdown of one conservative guest speaker's event hosted by DePaul's College Republicans at DePaul University, censorship in higher education is increasing at a considerable rate, apparently protecting those who demand that their voices be the only ones heard.

Milo Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart contributor and conservative commentator visited DePaul and spoke on issues of feminism, the transgender rights movement, campus politics, and microaggression. He spoke a solid 15 minutes before a whistle blew and a former DePaul student marched down the aisle to the front stage, and propped himself on the table between Yiannopoulos and the College Republican moderator. A current DePaul student joined shortly thereafter and the number of student protestors increased. One of the two student protestors who initially took the stage grabbed the microphone from the moderator and threatened Yiannopoulos with. Event organizers lost control of the event and it was ultimately cut short.

Spring, a time when most commencement speeches take place, is now referred to as "disinvitation season" in the world of higher education. Business leaders, politicians, authors and comedians are not welcome since social media has become home to endless arguments as to who is a worthy/appropriate/safe choice to deliver the speech. Professors have started to reconsider and restructure their courses in order to avoid sensitive and controversial topics. In response to the incident, DePaul University's President stated that he was "sorry to see” the video of the protest and news reports about it. In his statement he wrote, "Yesterday's speaker was invited to speak at DePaul, and those who interrupted the speech were wrong to do so.” He went on to say, "Universities welcome speakers, give their ideas a respectful hearing, and then respond with additional speech countering the ideas."

Do you think the protestors had the right to disrupt Yiannopoulos’ event? Should DePaul have done more to stop it? 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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