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by Susan Dutca

It's not feasible to do 10 campus visits in only 5 days - unless you're willing and able to pay for a private jet that costs more than college tuition itself. Magellan Jets offers a college tour package to "decrease both the headache and the time spent on college campus visits." So if you have $100,000 to spare, sit back, relax, and enjoy the refreshment bar as you soar to your next campus destination.

The demand for the college-tour service has "never been greater among Magellan's members" according to company CEO Joshua Herbert. Since the program debuted three years ago, 22 families have purchased the package and an additional 22 customers used their private jets for campus visits. Although it may not be "cost-effective," it only "means dollars and cents" to Americans top earners who cannot take a week or two off of work. The luxurious access to higher education opportunities may not stop there, according to Newsweek. Admissions departments "favor wealthy students, even if their applications are weaker than those who are less privileged."

According to some experts, more than "half of the student body at any given institution" have had some sort of "in" or "hook" that helped them get into college; whether it was through athletic recruiting or simply being the child of an alumni who donated generously to a school. According to Newsweek, universities typically sent recruiters to high-profile, wealthy families to wine and dine them. In his book "The Price of Admission," Daniel Golden espouses that "money and connections are increasingly tainting college admissions, undermining both its credibility and value." What happens to the people who cannot afford to travel lavishly?

Elitism in higher education is nothing new. While the top 1 percent of Americans have the luxury of paying "the equivalent of a year's tuition just for the convenience and access of a private jet tour," there are many others struggling to pay tuition.

What do you think of the private jet college service? Would you do it? Share your thoughts with us!

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

Faculty at CUNY were relatively concerned when they noticed a $500,000 donation account only had $76 left in it. It was especially suspicious after City College President Lisa Coico previously used $150,000 towards personal expenses.

The account - the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Fund for the Arts - is intended to support the humanities and arts department at the City University of New York. The donation, which is part of the holdings of CUNY's 21st Century Foundation, serves as the "school's principal fund-raising arm," and was already under investigation. In May, The Times revealed that City College's 21st Century Foundation had paid for Coico's personal expenses, including "fruit baskets, housekeeping services and rugs," when she took office in 2010. The foundation was reimbursed $150,000 from the Research Foundation of the City University of New York, which manages research funds for CUNY. A CUNY spokesperson defended Coico, claiming the "expenditures were authorized by the CCNY 21st Century foundation" but that recent hire Coico "had not known that permission was [also] required by the university."

When CUNY faculty members initially demanded an explanation for the "improperly diverted" funds, they experienced "silence, delay and deflection" before reaching out to University Chancellor James B. Milliken. According to The New York Times, Milliken's "willingness to conduct an internal investigation suggests that the finances of City College, and the leadership of Mrs. Coico, are likely to be under more scrutiny."

Faculty members are “deeply concerned about the practical, ethical and legal implications of the situation.” CUNY isn’t the only school in such a predicament - chancellors at the University of California, Berkeley and at Davis have resigned over similar expenditure controversies. Currently, it is unknown “who withdrew the money, when and for what purpose."

How should the situation be remedied if the funds are found to be improperly diverted, again? Share with us your thoughts 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

Today, going to college could cost as much as buying a new BMW every year, according to the Wall Street Journal. With ever-increasing college costs ranging between $120,000 and $200,000 (depending on the school), some politicians' higher education reforms are simply a "massive bailout wrapped in the promise of free tuition and relief from student loans."

College unaffordability has forced students into the growing $1.3 trillion national debt issue, with the average student owing $26,700. Where's this money going? Money is going towards grandiose campus facilities such as Purdue University's $98 million Cordova Recreational Sports center, which houses a climbing wall, vortex pool, and 25-person spa. Elsewhere, funding is being spent heavily on administration, promotions, athletics, and "noninstructional student services." There's little evidence that shows additional spending enhances the value of a college degree. Even after spending "more than half a trillion dollars from 1987 to 2005," one study notes that completion rates are declining, grade inflation is increasing, students are studying less, adult numeracy/literacy rates are declining and critical thinking skills are not improving.

Demand is strong for student loan forgiveness, as well as attaining "free" college. Such million-dollar proposed bailouts have "no new accountability measures" and will only dump the costs of higher education onto taxpayers, many of whom don't have a college education. Rather than having students invest and borrow money to go to the "wrong colleges to study the wrong subjects" - which doesn't actually prepare them with the necessary skills for the workforce - universities could be "smaller, leaner and more focused on actually teaching undergraduates." Roughly 40 percent of students are not graduating college within six years and the "college for all" mantra can be overused and pushed onto students who could alternatively attend trade/vocational schools, earn two-year and three-year degrees or certifications in professions that don't necessitate college degrees.

Avoid having to take out student loans as much as you can, by applying to and earning scholarships: money that does not have to be repaid.

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

Texas college students can now stroll campuses, university buildings, classrooms and dorms with textbooks, supplies and...guns in their possession. The new state law permits students with concealed carry licenses to carry their guns at all public colleges and universities in the state. The Texas law took effect on the 50th anniversary of the UT Tower massacre.

Under the controversial new law, students who are at least 21 years old and have a concealed carry license will be able to carry a gun with the exception of some facilities such as sports arenas and chemical labs. The new law will not go into effect at private and two-year community colleges until next year. What prompted the recent change? Due to an increase in mass shootings - many of which took place on college campuses - proponents believe that a more armed student body "might be able to prevent such incidents." Additionally, supporters claim that "no [gun control] law would stop someone from simply walking onto campus with a gun." Those who oppose it fear that it will only lead to more violence, stating that "a university is a battleground of words and ideas, and not of weapons."

Texas isn't the only state permitting students to conceal carry - eight others have already implemented the law, including Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Given that the new law is only applicable to a small percentage of the student body who are of age, the university "estimates that less than 1 percent fit the criteria" to carry. Initially, the University of Texas lobbied against the new law and although university presidents have some power to regulate concealed carry on their campuses, they are fairly restricted. The law states that "any rules or regulations instituted by the university may not 'generally prohibit' license holders to carry their concealed firearms on campus."

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

President Obama gets paid $400,000 per year to serve as President of the United States of America. Many college presidents get paid more for running a school than they would for being the leader of the free world, according to a new report from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Presidents at public universities received a median salary of $431,000 in the 2015 fiscal year, with a 4.3 percent increase. Five presidents have even entered the "million-dollar club", earning as much as $1.3 million annually. While the pay might be quite generous, being a college president has quickly become a job that's very hard to keep.

High-profile resignations or firings are becoming commonplace in the world of higher education. From heated race issues to sexual assault cases, being a college or university president has become more complex than it was a decade ago, according to The Washington Post. In addition to administrative responsibilities, presidents are increasingly responsible for pleasing alumni, faculty, and students because, "at any one time, one of those groups is upset about something." The University of Houston's President Renu Khato earned the highest salary at $1.3 million in 2015. Former University of Oregon President Mark Gottfredson followed with a total compensation of $1,215,142 and an additional $940,000 severance payout after he resigned amid controversy over the school's mishandling of a sexual assault case.

College presidents are taking on different roles, and future leadership may require individuals who don't necessarily follow "typical pathways through academia" and who don't come from traditional backgrounds. Candidates may need to keep up with evolving trends in teaching, learning and technology as well as being well-versed in finances as opposed to following conventional academic careers such as scholars, professors, and researchers. Only 30 percent of sitting provosts actually want to become a college president which is daunting, considering many of current college and university presidents are expected to retire. Who will rise up to the high-pay, high-turnover challenge?

In your opinion, should college and university residents get paid such high salaries or take a pay cut? 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

Politicians may promise free college tuition one day, but the only way to get a free college education right now is by earning sufficient scholarships and grants. For students wanting to join the cohort of America's future leaders, here are some scholarship opportunities: :

  1. Davidson Fellows Scholarship

    Deadline: February 10
    Maximum Award: $50,000

  2. Enid Hall Griswold Memorial Scholarship

    Deadline: February 15
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  3. Media Fellows Program

    Deadline: July 14
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  4. James Madison Foundation Graduate Fellowships

    Deadline: March 1
    Maximum Award: $24,000

  5. Matt Fong Asian Americans in Public Finance Scholarship

    Deadline: February 19
    Maximum Award: $2,500

  6. Lim, Ruger & Kim Scholarship

    Deadline: September 1
    Maximum Award: $2,500

  7. Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship

    Deadline: February 5
    Maximum Award: $10,000

  8. The California Federation of Republican Women's President Ronald Reagan Scholarship

    Deadline: August 15
    Maximum Award: $2,000

  9. Virginia and Frank Misselhorn Memorial Scholarship

    Deadline: July 31
    Maximum Award: 500

  10. Otto M. Stanfield Law Scholarship

    Deadline: February 15
    Maximum Award: Varies

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 (26)

by Susan Dutca

Not even a day after the FBI announced her "extremely careless" dissemination of sensitive and classified information via a private server, Hillary Clinton proposed a tuition-free college program for roughly 80 percent of American families. Amidst the email traffic scandal, Clinton is moving forward and attempting to handle a new beast: college affordability.

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, also feels the Bern when it comes to college tuition. But unlike Bernie Sanders - who proposed free public higher education for all - she proposed "debt-free" education for students from families with incomes of up to $125,000. The plan, aimed to entice young voters, would offer free tuition to families earning $85,000 a year at first and gradually increase to a $125,000 threshold by 2021. Furthermore, she pledged to restore year-round Pell grants and impose a three-month moratorium on all repayments for federal student loans, which would allow borrowers to finance their loans or move into income-based repayment options.

Clinton herself cautioned young Bernie supporters in the past saying, "When somebody tells you something is free, ask for the fine print." With a looming national debt exceeding $19T ($1.3T of which is student loan debt), freebies may seem appealing. However, the issue of tuition inflation persists. Incentives such as these are not available to hardworking parents and incentivize families to make a calculated goal to meet the bare minimum requirements, and nothing beyond it. Furthermore, students who have spent years paying off their student loan debt will not be receiving any reimbursement checks. Many taxpayers who wouldn't receive any benefits from the program (those who have already paid college tuition for their progeny or don't have kids) are forced to pay into programs they may not support.

Though Clinton may face consequences as large as losing her security clearance, she made no comments regarding the FBI's address and instead focused on solving one of the nation's largest debt issues.

In your opinion, do you think a free college education program is feasible? Do you think it will help alleviate or solve the student debt issue? Leave your thoughtful opinions below to start a discussion.

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 (21)

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!

Comments (6)

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!

Comments (0)

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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