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Win $1,000 Scholarship to "Pursue Your Passion"

This SOTW is Accepting Entries Through November 30th

November 3, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

Degreed wants to hear about your passion and your plan to pursue it.

Whether you're looking to study abroad, go to college, take an online course or attend a conference – Degreed will fund the learning opportunities you're passionate about. Why? They believe a person's education is a collection of all their learning and life experiences – not just a formal degree. They're here to level the playing field and give every individual the opportunity to continually learn, advance, and measure their true education.

Interested? All you need to do is complete the two criteria below:

  • Write a 3 Minute Essay. In 100 words, tell us how you'll use $1,000 to pursue learning that intrigues you!
  • Create a Degreed profile. Start documenting everything you are learning to demonstrate your passion, gain credit for your efforts, and ultimately measure your education. Degreed reviews all scholarship applicants' profiles; the final winner is selected by our scholarship committee and notified by email.

All US and international college students, graduate students, college graduates, and informal learners are eligible, age 18 or older are encouraged to apply. For more information on this scholarship and other scholarship opportunities, please conduct a free scholarship search!

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Graduate School to Ask Applicants’ Sexual Identity

October 29, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

The Graduate School at Northwestern University will join Elmhurst College, the University of Iowa, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a handful of law schools as it begins asking applicants about their sexual orientation.

According to The Graduate School, this question has been added to its application to gain a clearer understanding of the school's community and to better serve all in the school. “It's important for us, but also for others to move in this direction, as well," said school dean Dwight McBride in a statement. "If we don't ask the question, we are not building a data archive and, therefore, have no way of knowing what the needs of our populations and subpopulations in our communities are – beyond guessing and anecdote." It's important to note that answering the question will be optional and will specifically ask whether applicants self-identify as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community. (Northwestern University does not pose the question on its undergraduate application.) For now, school spokeswoman Josie Whetstone said LGBTQ groups on campus have greeted the news without criticism, most likely because it’s an optional inquiry. (For more of this story, click here.)

What are your thoughts on more universities asking students about their sexual identity? Do you think it's necessary or beneficial to the LGBTQ community? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Like Scholarships.com? Tell a Friend to Win $1,000 in This SOTW!

October 28, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

As a Scholarships.com member, you have free access to a customized scholarship search, detailed financial aid information, an organized college search, standardized test study guides and much more. Like what you see? Spread the word about Scholarships.com to your friends through our “Tell A Friend” Scholarship and you'll have a chance to win money for college - $1,000 for you and $500 for one of your buddies.

To enter, simply copy your personalized TAF referral link and blog it, tweet it, email it, IM it or Facebook it. For every one of your friends who creates a profile on our site by clicking your link, you will be entered to win a $1,000 award; there’s no limit as to how many people you can send your link to and if you win, one of your friends who created a Scholarships.com profile using your link will be chosen at random to win $500.

For more information, visit our Tell a Friend Scholarship page and for additional scholarship opportunities, conduct a free scholarship search today! By creating a Scholarships.com profile, you'll be matched with funding opportunities that are unique to you.

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Presidential Leadership Scholarship Program Unveiled

Former Presidents Clinton and Bush Unveil New Leadership Program

October 27, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush unveiled the Presidential Leadership Scholarship Program aimed at helping academics and business leaders learn more about presidential leadership. Clinton said the initiative will encourage Americans to “have vigorous debate, serious disagreement, knock-down, drag-out fights, and somehow come to ultimately a resolution that enables the country to keep moving.” Are you interested?

Beginning in February 2015, the six-month Presidential Leadership Scholars training program will be stewarded by Clinton and Bush, as well as former President George H.W. Bush and the library of Lyndon B. Johnson. It will employ lectures, discussions and case studies from these four presidents’ terms to teach core leadership skills. Joshua Bolten, Bush’s former chief of staff, called the effort “the first collaboration ever among presidential centers in an ongoing initiative.” The program’s purpose is to help participants foster the skills they’ll need to address both the challenges and opportunities presented in the 21st century. Participants will use the tools developed throughout their course of study and apply them to an issue or challenge that is of particular relevance to his/her professional and civic pursuits. For more information on the program and how to apply, click here.

The Presidential Leadership Scholars program will provide participants the opportunity of connecting them with the best minds in leadership studies and the insights of the former presidents and people who served with them. And while it is aimed towards those who have approximately 10 years of professional experience, it’s never too early to start planning for your future: A great place to start is by creating a free profile on Scholarships.com – you’ll be matched with financial aid opportunities that are unique to you!

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Five Questions to Consider When Visiting Prospective Colleges

October 21, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

Show of hands, students: How many of you have known where you wanted to go to college for years? That’s a lot of you...but how many of you have visited said dream school and had a serious change of heart? Iiiiiinteresting.

Visiting colleges is an important part of the college selection process. It provides students the unique opportunity to experience the campus firsthand because while a college may look good on paper, seeing it for yourself will go a long way in determining if it’s right for you. Now before you start scheduling campus visits, the Huffington Post has compiled a list of questions to keep in mind once you’re there:

  • Which colleges should you visit? Research college websites to learn about curriculum, areas of specialty, activities and even arrange to attend upcoming events taking place at that school. Consider the campus setting/environment, size of the student body and what they’re offering in terms of financial aid and prioritize schools based on your wants and needs.
  • When should a student start visiting colleges? Starting the college visitation process as early as 9th grade is essential given the stakes and array of choices. Since admissions requirements and deadlines vary a great deal among colleges, getting an early start is a must. A student needs to see colleges and prepare early to increase their chances of being competitive.
  • What to do when you visit colleges? Get an overall view of the college through a campus tour and information session. Explore the college on your own for a better picture of what it has to offer. Sit in on classes related to your major, talk to current students about the school and campus life (and ask if they would attend the same college again), spend time in high-traffic areas to help envision yourself as part of the community and visit key areas/organizations of personal interest.
  • How do you make a great college fit as affordable as possible? It is important to be aware that there can be a huge tuition difference among colleges that are private, in state and out of state so be sure to research and apply for financial aid.
  • Examine job prospects of recent graduates. Get the statistics on how recent graduates are fairing in the current job market; consider what the average return on investment for certain majors, too.

Are there any tips you’d like to add? If so, please share them in the comments section. For more information on campus visits, visit our Resources section. And don't forget to try and fund your college education with as much free money as possible – a great place to start is by creating a free profile on Scholarships.com. (Our scholarship search allows you to search more than 2.7 million college scholarships and grants worth more than $1.9 billion!)

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Help Stop Hunger with this Scholarship of the Week!

October 20, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

Fifty-million people are at risk of hunger, including 17 million children. The Sodexo Foundation works to ensure that every child in the U.S., especially those most at risk, grows up with dependable access to enough nutritious food to enable them to lead a healthy, productive life. The Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarships recognize students who are driving awareness and mobilizing youth to be catalysts for innovative models and solutions to eliminate hunger in America.

Each national STOP Hunger Scholarship recipient receives a $5,000 scholarship and a matching $5,000 donation to their affiliated hunger relief organization. Added consideration is given to those students working to combat childhood hunger.

Applications are available to students from kindergarten through graduate school and are accepted through December 5th. For more on this scholarship and other scholarship opportunities, conduct a free scholarship search today!

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Top 10 Tips to Directing a Scholarship-Worthy Video

October 14, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

With the popularity of YouTube and reportedly returned home Facebook, where posting a video is just a click away, video-based scholarships are becoming increasingly popular for students who have other strengths besides essay writing. Video scholarships provide students the opportunity to highlight an array of skills from directing and editing to staging and production. But remember a video scholarship will require a great deal of time and effort. Don’t assume a video essay will be like shooting fish in a barrel. You should be encouraged by the fact that the odds are in your favor when doing a video contest because so few people take the time to enter. Here are the top 10 tips we’ve compiled to help you increase your chances of winning and helpful suggestions to keep in mind before beginning production.

  1. Follow the Rules: We can’t stress enough the importance of following the rules when competing for any scholarship opportunity, but you should be aware that the guidelines for a video contest are usually very specific and somewhat technical. For instance, there may be a certain format the scholarship provider is looking for (.avi, .mpg, .ram, .swf, etc.), file size restrictions, and surely time restrictions. Before diving in, make sure you fully grasp what it is they’re asking for.
  2. Judging: Be aware of how your work will be judged prior to writing your script. Will there be a panel of judges or will the winners be determined by voting that’s open to the general public? Knowing this ahead of time will help you in creating the most appealing video for that audience.
  3. Brainstorm: Begin thinking of a short but powerful story that fits in with the theme of the contest that will really connect with the viewer. Think about your strong points. Are you somewhat of a comedian? If so, humor is a great way to appeal to the masses because people love to laugh. If you’re a great story teller, try tugging on the heart strings of your viewer with an endearing tale. No matter what path you choose, remember to keep your story compelling – you don’t want the viewer to check out halfway through your video. Once you’ve established your storyline, think about a really gripping way to start your video entry. If you can captivate your audience within the first few seconds, you’re well on your way to a winning entry.
  4. Flatter the Sponsors: Don’t take this as an opportunity to gush over the wondrousness that is the sponsor, but rather as a “tip of the hat” to their company. Think of clever ways to incorporate them in your video such as using their product as a prop or mentioning them subtly in the dialogue. Considering the video will ultimately be judged by their distinguished panel or, at most, they’ll decide who the public will vote for, this can be an excellent and easy way to earn brownie points.
  5. Finalize Your Script: A finalized script will prevent you from adlibbing or stumbling over your words when you’re in front of the camera. Practice reading your script in front of a mirror to get a feel of what the viewer will see and memorize your lines – viewers don’t want to watch the top of your head!
  6. Test for Timing: After running through your script often enough that you’re familiar with it, test how long it takes you to read through it. Will it fit within the time constraints? It would be unfortunate to be disqualified after all your hard work for something as adjustable as timing.
  7. Possible Rewrite: By now, you’ve worked out all the pauses for emphasis and drama you want to include but still find your script flawed – well, change it! Fiddle with your script to remove awkward phrases, cut down what may now seem unnecessary and incorporate suggestions from friends and family. It’s a good idea to practice in front of friends and family members to see how they respond to your video.
  8. Location, Location, Location: Depending on the contest, where you decide to film your entry is as important as the script. You shouldn’t film in your bedroom if it’s messy and there are tons of distractions going on in the background, because no matter how great your video is something like that could ruin your chances. Instead, choose a plain backdrop like a white wall or a solid-colored door, or possibly setup your equipment outdoors. However, take into account that, just as clothes all over your bedroom floor can be a distraction, traffic can be just as bad.
  9. Begin Filming: At this point, you’ve polished and perfected your script and have practiced to the point where you can say your lines in a natural and animated way. Finally it’s time to begin filming! It’s a good idea to recruit the help of a friend of family member to do the camera work for you. Consider the importance of good lighting and good audio and be sure to record many “takes” so you’ll have options when selecting a final cut to submit to the contest.
  10. Submit and Hope for the Best: Once you’ve selected the video that you think is scholarship-worthy, go back and double-check that you’ve followed all of the rules. There’s no harm in verifying that your time and formatting are what the judges are looking for. Remember that not following the rules is the quickest way to weed out entries. Next, depending on the rules, you may send in a copy or upload it for voting to begin. If voting will determine the winning entry, do your best to get your work out there; utilize Facebook and Twitter to your best ability to get your entry votes.

Scholarship video contests are increasingly popular and are offered by a variety of sources. For more scholarship opportunities, complete a free scholarship search on Scholarships.com. You’ll be matched with awards that reflect your interests and characteristics, including film and video.

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Win $10K in this Scholarship of the Week!

This SOTW is Accepting Entries Through October 31st

October 13, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

Looking for a scholarship that doesn't require an essay? Well, look no further than ScholarshipPoints for your chance to win a $10,000 scholarship. ScholarshipPoints is free to join, fun to participate in, and provides you with the opportunity to win thousands of dollars in scholarships every month. Members earn scholarship points for doing what they already do online: shopping, reading blogs, playing games, searching the web, taking surveys and more! The more you do – the more points you earn – the more chances you have at winning a scholarship. Join today and you could be their next scholarship winner!

For more information on this scholarship and other scholarship opportunities, conduct a free scholarship search today! By creating a Scholarships.com profile, you'll be matched with funding opportunities that are unique to you. These days you don’t have to be a star athlete or valedictorian to land scholarships. Many are based on characteristics like need, community service and your intended field of study, or if you dig even deeper, you’ll find a wide array of awards based on more specific characteristics. Chances are you qualify for more scholarships than you thought you did, so conduct a free scholarship search or browse through our site to see awards you may be eligible for and start earning money toward college.

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How to Effectively Network While Still in College

October 8, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

If you're in college, chances are you've been reminded – on a daily basis, no less – about the importance of networking in the adult world. Why wait until then? Get a head start on building your network and you might connect with someone who could potentially help you find a job after you graduate. Need some help getting started? Check out U.S. News & World Report's six tips to network while still in college:

  • Play the student card: Take advantage of the fact that you’re still a student. Alumni are more likely to help you while you’re still in school because you’re just asking for advice and not looking for a job, says Heather Krasna, director of career services at the University of Washington's Evans School of Public Affairs. Ask questions, request an informational interview and grow those relationships while there’s no pressure.
  • Use your friends’ parents as resources: Believe it or not, your friends’ parents are great contacts. Not only do they offer decades of experience but since there’s already a relationship established, you’re more likely to be comfortable asking for advice and possibly their contacts!
  • Get out of the bubble: Some campuses offer that country-like feel, a pastoral paradise if you will. And while it’s great not having big city distractions, it can hinder your networking opportunities. Emily Bennington, who helps college graduates transition into careers through her company, Professional Studio 365, suggests, “Rather than using your savings for a spring break in Daytona...go to a conference that's within your industry.”
  • Use LinkedIn: So you’re a whiz when it comes to Twitter and Facebook but if LinkedIn isn’t on your radar, you’re going to fall behind professionally. The sooner you familiarize yourself with LinkedIn, the better. Boasting more than 300 million members, it’s a great way to engage with professionals in your desired field.
  • Use Twitter strategically: Sure, Twitter keeps you posted on what’s most important to you (be that Kim Kardashian or Scholarships.com) but it can also provide an avenue for you to connect with professionals in your field. Make a list of people in your industry who you look up to and use the network to connect with them.
  • Get an internship: This tip is an oldie but a goodie. The value of an internship is undeniable – not only will you walk away with real-life experience to put on your resume, an internship puts you in eyesight of people who work in your field and positions you conveniently ahead of other job seekers.

Do you find these tips helpful? Do you have any that you’d like to add? If so, please mention them in the comments section. And for more tips on preparing for life after college, visit our Resources section. Plus, for more information on finding money for college and how to properly fund your college education, check out Scholarships.com Financial Aid section and conduct a free scholarship search today!

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SOTW: $10,000 Everyone Deserves a Birthday Scholarship

This SOTW is Accepting Entries Through October 17th

October 6, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

Mail handmade birthday cards to children and teens experiencing homelessness and you'll be entered to win the $10,000 Everyone Deserves a Birthday scholarship from DoSomething.

1 in 3 homeless people in the US is under the age of 18 and unfortunately many of them cannot afford to have a birthday. No one should have to miss their birthday, so they're asking young people across the country to come together to create birthday cards for children experiencing homelessness. Create two birthday cards, send us a photo, mail them in, and you'll automatically enter to win a $10,000 scholarship. Every 2 cards you make and mail after that enters you for an additional chance to win.

No minimum GPA. No essays required. Please do not mail in hard copy applications. Only those submitting their application online will be considered. To apply, please visit DoSomething or complete a free scholarship search to find additional opportunities.

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