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Student Loans Rank Top 10 in Consumer Scams

Mar 8, 2016

by Susan Dutca

Student loans made the list for the Top 10 Consumer Scams in Illinois, ranking 7th with 1,500 of the 25,094 complaints that are seen by Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office. As if the 40 million Americans who hold $1.2 trillion in debt wasn't bad enough, student loan scams joined the list of scams including abusive debt collection practices, mortgage lending, and payday loans, according to Gail MarksJarvis.

Most people know that one of the top consumers scams out there is identity theft. What's not as well-known is the large number of students who fall victim to student loan scams. Though they may be promised debt relief by making upfront payments of hundreds of dollars, with no relief to ever come, according to MarksJarvis. The scammers who once defrauded people with mortgage relief scams, according to MarksJarvis, now ventured into new territory: student loans. Madigan has targeted one of the scamming businesses based in Lombard, National Student Loan Rescue, and filed suit against them on Monday. They reportedly "advertised it would get student loans out of default, remove wage garnishments, lower monthly payments and secure loan forgiveness, but didn't deliver after accepting upfront fees."

What happens when government, income-based repayment programs aren't doing enough to help students with their debt? Borrowers turn to alternate options and fall victim to scam artists. Madigan blames the inefficient of such federal loan services for "keeping people in debt" and disabling them from contributing to the economy through purchases such as car-buying. Furthermore, she criticizes the quick relief forbearance which provides temporal relief with added interest charges to be paid later. This only perpetuates the cycle of debt, according to Madigan.

To "relieve" student loans, private companies are actually just filing paperwork to consolidate borrower's federal loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan. That means they're charging more than $1,000 for services that the Department pf Education offers free of charge. Some fraudulent businesses will advertise on the radio, using titles such as "federal" or "national," even though they are private businesses. If they promise to relieve student debt outright or get you out of default, they're most likely scamming you. If it seems too good to be true, it most likely is. For the complete list of top Illinois scam complaints, as well as options for helping borrowers on repayment options, read here.

Word of advice from Madigan: borrowers should never have to pay for information on paying back loans. A way to spot scams is "noting requests for upfront payments." Likewise at Scholarships.com., where we believe that no scholarship search or scholarship should ever cost a penny, as those are only the practices of sharks and scammers when it comes to the business of awarding money, not taking it.

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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Avoid Going Mad this March with These Easy Scholarships

Mar 7, 2016

by Susan Dutca

Applying for scholarships can sometimes be dull, tiring, and time-consuming, especially if you're short on time. Of course winning a scholarship is always worth it. But for students who are pressed on time or seeking rewards for past accomplishments, current talents, and passionate interests, easy scholarships are a practical choice. Don't go mad this March with scholarship applications if you don't have the time or desire - simply check out these easy scholarship and begin applying today. Don't forget that the seemingly "too easy" scholarships may be scams, as well as scholarship searches that require a fee. Never pay for a scholarship or scholarship search - scholarship providers are in the business of giving money, not taking it. Avoid long, tedious application processes by simply completing a user profile that will already narrow down what scholarships you qualify for. After using our free scholarship, you might even decide that any scholarships you find on Scholarships.com are going to be easy to win.

Register & Win $500 Scholarship

Deadline: Monthly
Available to: Scholarship.com Users
Maximum Award: $500

What's easier than filling out a complete profile at Scholarships.com to be automatically entered to win a monthly drawing for $500? Not much. The best part is, there is no lengthy essay or application packet required. Simply register and create a FREE profile at Scholarships.com. For more information and to apply, please visit Register & Win $500 Scholarship

Tell-A-Friend Scholarship Sweepstakes

Deadline: March 31, 2016
Available to: Scholarships.com Users
Maximum Award: $1,000

Spread the word about Scholarships.com to your friends for the contest and you'll have a chance to win money for college - $1,000 for you and $500 for one of your buddies. There's no limit as to how many people you can send your link to and if you win, one of your friends will be chosen at random to win $500. Not a member? No worries. Simply create a FREE Scholarships.com profile today. For more information and to apply, please visit Tell-A-Friend Scholarship Sweepstakes

Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge

Deadline: March 7, 2016
Available to: High school students
Maximum Award: $15,000

Learning to drive is one of the coolest times for a teen, but also one of the most dangerous. You have the power to inspire your fellow teens. Create a 30-60 second video for your fellow teen drivers that highlights the importance of safe teen driving and you could win $15,000 or one of 14 other prizes.

For more information and to apply, please visit Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge

Hood Milk Sportsmanship Scholarship Program

Deadline: March 11, 2016
Available to: High school seniors
Maximum Award: $5,000

If you are a New England high school student-athlete who have displayed a high degree of sportsmanship while participating in a varsity high school student-athlete who have displayed a high degree of sportsmanship while participating in a varsity high school sport, you may be one of 18 students to win a $5,000 scholarship towards a two- or four-year college education.

For more information and to apply, please visit Hood Milk Sportsmanship Scholarship Program

Jain Foundation LGMD Social Media Scholarship

Deadline:May 25, 2016
Available to:High school/college students
Maximum Award: $5,000

A total of four $3,000 scholarships will be awarded to students who teach others about Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophies, often referred to as LGMDs. Simply share a LGMD fact of your choice on a social media network and invite your friends to "vote," share, or "like" your post. Students may apply for either the Merit-Based Scholarship or the Social Media Scholarship.

For more information and to apply, please visit Jain Foundation LGMD Social Media Scholarship

MSUM #BeADragon Scholarship

Deadline: March 1,, 2016
Available to: Incoming freshman, transfer students
Maximum Award: $2,500

If you are thinking about attending MSUM, simply follow @AdmissionsMSUM on Twitter and display your Dragon Pride in a Tweet explaining why you want to be a #BeADragon. You could be one of four winners to receive a $2,500 scholarship; a $1,000 scholarship winner for tweets with the most likes or a $1,000 scholarship winner for the most retweeted tweets.

For more information and to apply, please visit MSUM #BeADragon Scholarship

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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Undocumented Students Fighting for More Financial Aid, Scholarships

Feb 16, 2016

by Susan Dutca

Between her coursework and political activism, Bernarda Elizabet Garcia actively fights for immigrants' rights, especially when it comes to funding higher education. As a scholarship recipient of the Mario Savio Lecture Fund's Young Activist Award, Garcia is a powerful and influential voice in her community through her advocacy for extending federal financial aid to undocumented college students by "improving the quality of life through immigration reform and education." Though there currently are not many government policies that give financial assistance to undocumented students for higher education, there are other organizations that are dedicated to helping those students pay for a college education.

There are roughly 11.2 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, with 2.1 million potentially eligible for the most recently proposed federal DREAM Act. Only 7,000-13,000 undocumented students are enrolled in college in the United States. According to College Board, college tuition and fees for full-time students at a public four-year institution (in-state) was roughly $19,548 per year in 2015-2016. For out-of-state tuition at a public school, the cost was $34,031 and tuition at a private nonprofit cost, on average, $43,921 in the same year. Without financial aid, it is nearly impossible to afford a college education, especially when many undocumented students come from low-income households.

Though there is no federal or state law that prohibits undocumented students from being admitted or attending U.S. colleges, government policies pose a barrier, as undocumented students do not have access to federal financial aid or Pell grants. However, Georgia, along with Alabama and South Carolina, plan to implement a policy that would ban illegal students from being admitted to their colleges. Just earlier this month, Georgia's Supreme Court rejected an appeal for lowering the in-state tuition for undocumented students. According to Education Reporter Lauren Foreman, following Georgia's decision, eight students from Georgia State University were arrested after refusing to leave a protest. The DREAM Act, a bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress in 2001, failed to pass even after countless reintroductions and a big push in 2010. The goal of the act was to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented children who grew up in the US. However, all state DREAM Acts are different and are not synonymous with DACA, which is a policy that was created in 2012 by President Obama to grant deferred deportation to those under 31 years of age who came to the U.S. when they were younger than 16.

Another controversial topic is whether or not undocumented students should be eligible for lower tuition - tuition that state residents pay when attending in-state universities and colleges. Currently, the majority of schools charge undocumented students out-of-state tuition. According to the National Immigration Law Center, at least twenty states have passed tuition equity bills that allow undocumented students to pay the same tuition as their classmates, regardless of their immigration status (certain criteria must be met to qualify). Based on the laws passed by these states, there is a general consensus that the state does not "lose revenue from the number of students who would otherwise pay out-of-state tuition," but rather, "it raises the percentage of high school graduates who pursue a college degree."

Organizations such as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and TheDream.US are dedicated to helping undocumented students earn scholarships to pay for college, regardless of immigration status. Be sure to check with your current or prospective university or college to see what funding opportunities you are eligible for, if you are an undocumented student. Check out our scholarships for undocumented students and scholarships for which you qualify today to help fund your college education.

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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University Prez Charged with Offering Enrollment for Money and Sex

Jan 19, 2016

by Susan Dutca

After being charged with sexual bribery, trafficking degrees, and misappropriating public funds, a former president of the University of Toulon began trial on Monday and, if found guilty, could face up to 10 years in prison and €150,000 in fines for enrolling Chinese students in exchange for monetary and sexual favors.

Laroussi Oueslati, former French president of the University of Toulon served as the central admission official back in 2008 and focused primarily on developing and strengthening the workforce through the recruitment of Asian and South American students. In 2008 alone, 300 students - primarily of Chinese descent - were admitted to the university. However, due to their "low-level of French," they never should have been admitted. Oueslati reportedly shortened the registration and admissions process by accepting students who "paid him up to €3,000 (£2,300) each." Some students claimed they were assured a seat in exchange for "having intimate relation" with Oueslati. Sexual bribery, in this case, refers to the solicitation of sexual favors by promise or rewards, which is viewed as a serious form of professional and moral corruption. So far, 14 witnesses have been called to appear in this week's trial.

Several students took to the Internet to openly state that Oueslati requested €3,000 to be paid directly to him to secure university admission. In addition to bypassing the traditional admissions process, he reportedly created his own panel, "independent of the university's central admission process," which "rarely examined candidates' academic records," according to The Telegraph. In response to all of the claims, Oueslati maintains his innocence, stating, "I am not corrupt...I can tell you that if ever someone tried to corrupt me I would, if you'll excuse the expression, tell them to p-- off." One other university administrator and four former Chinese students also face charges. Two students who fled to China are also being sought out for arrest.

Oueslati had an "all-powerful academic" and irresistible personality and presence at the Institut d'Administration des Entreprises, according to Le Monde. Nonetheless, once the accusations came to light in 2009, he was forced to resign and potentially faces a lifetime ban from exercising any role in the world of academia, if not greater consequences. The trial, which began on Monday, is expected to continue until Friday.

If you have a passion for business, education, or law and hope to better the world of higher education, check out our many scholarships today.

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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Top Student Organizing Apps

Oct 26, 2015

by Erica Lewis

For people who are highly-organized, you want a way to keep track of everything you have to get done. It's one thing to write it down, but students often lose the list or forget about it entirely. So how can you keep organized, get all your homework done, and still have leisure time? Since we tend to have quick and easy access to mobile devices, check out some of these organizational mobile apps.

  • Evernote. This app allows you to sync everything between your phone and computer for the best accessibility: anywhere, anytime. From notes to task lists, Evernote keeps you focused on moving ideas from inspiration to completion. Best used for note-taking, you can also clip web images, capture handwritten notes and snap photos to keep the physical and digital details of your projects with you at all times.
  • MyHomework. Do you forget your school agenda? Do you have a hard time reading your planner? Looking for a replacement to the paper planner or academic agenda? MyHomework is the solution. It allows you to program all important deadlines and tasks. The modern design and simple interface makes great for easy navigation. You can upload pictures and files to your homework and classes as well as use a class schedule widget for today's classes.
  • Finish. Named the "to-do list for procrastinators," the app reminds students of assignments to be completed. Give track of your completed assignments through the automatic archive tool. Finish also gives rewards for completing tasks on time. The most unique feature is its automated timeframes system - all you have to do is add your task by specifying a name and due date and Finish does the rest. Finally, Finish sorts timeframes as time elapses - set your priorities to either "short term" or "mid term" to let Finish notify you of due dates.
  • Pocket Points. This app is not necessarily for organization, but Pocket Points gives you rewards simply for not using your phone in class. Why not get rewarded for following the rules? The more points you get, the better rewards you can earn. Simply open the app, lock your phone, and start gaining points. Points can be used for great discounts at local and online businesses, such as food and clothing!
  • The best part of all these apps? They are FREE, just like Scholarships.com. Scheduling doesn't have to be difficult, and neither does paying for school. Make sure to keep checking scholarships.com for new opportunities!

    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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80 Prestige Schools Team up to Redesign Common Application

Sep 29, 2015

by Susan Dutca

In less than a month the world of higher education has moved forward with changes to the traditional approaches in the college application and admission process - first, with the simplified and updated FAFSA to appear in October 2016 and now, with 80 colleges and universities building a platform to streamline the application process that they hope to debut in summer of 2016. The goal is to get rid of the old "formulaic approach" and to strengthen the communication system between students and colleges, especially for those who lack adequate and sufficient college-going resources.

October and November are notorious for being high-stress months for high school seniors race as they race to meet early application deadlines. Students and families from more affluent backgrounds often have better-equipped and resourceful educators in contrast to their disadvantaged, low-income counterparts. To remove any barriers that would prevent students from applying to college, the "coalition" group, called the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success, first announced its plan for a more retro application last fall, which would house smaller membership and different requirements. Among the 83 colleges and universities that have started creating the joint application portal, 52 are private schools and 31 are public schools; several Ivy League schools as well as other elite and highly selective liberal arts institutions are represented. In order to participate, colleges must demonstrate at least 70% of students graduate within six years and private colleges must vow to meet the financial need of all U.S. students. Similarly, public institutions must have affordable in-state tuition and strong financial aid.

The new application would serve as an alternative to the Common Application, and schools may choose to keep the former version, according to the Los Angeles Times. The new application would allow students to create a portfolio by storing their schoolwork while also receiving advice and information on colleges and financial aid. With this new format, the coalition hopes to "motivate a strong college-going mindset among students of all backgrounds, especially those from low-income families or underrepresented groups who have historically had less access to leading colleges and universities."

Do you think this initiative would appeal to more and students and simplify the application process? College and financial aid applications can be tedious, as well as applying for financial aid which is why we are here to assist you as you apply for college.

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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Fixing FAFSA: Acquiring Financial Aid to be Easier, Quicker

Sep 25, 2015

by Susan Dutca

If you've ever had to fill out a FAFSA for college, you may have felt as though you need an accounting degree to understand it, much less complete it. With over 130 questions and averaging 30 minutes to complete, the complexity and tedium of filing for financial aid has been a barrier for students in attending college or receiving the financial aid for which they qualify. The Department of Education announced an initiative Monday to simplify the process and beginning in October 2016, students and their families will be able to complete a simpler FAFSA application.

Currently, students must wait until after most college application deadlines to apply for federal aid - the new FAFSA amendments will enable application as early as October 1 and better align students with college deadlines. The current January 1 application opens after many college application periods have closed and students may not know their entire financial aid package before committing to a college. With the new amendments, students will have a better understanding of the actual cost of their college education. Federal Student Aid awards $150 billion in grants, loans and other types of financial assistance annually. Sadly, about 2 million students enrolled in college who would qualify for a Federal Pell Grant never applied for aid. With the new initiative, the plan to improve the process of applying for federal aid will include:

  • Earlier application - Information for the FAFSA will be readily available around the same time high school students are searching for, and applying to college, meaning less pressure and stress. The current FAFSA application opens January 1 and cannot be completed until after April 15, when tax forms are due.
  • Simpler application - A new data retrieval tool will allow applicants to electronically access tax information directly from the IRS, after filing their 2015 tax returns. This means less income estimates and errors and more accuracy.
  • More students assisted - It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of students, especially first-generation and minority students, will apply for and enroll in college as a result of a simpler FAFSA. In 2013, roughly $45 million was left on the table in Pell Grants due to the complexity of the application.
  • More colleges assisted - As many as 3 million hours are spent annually by colleges and universities verifying FAFSA Information. With the new data retrieval tool from the IRS, colleges and universities will have less trouble verifying tax return information.
  • Do you think the new amendments to the current FAFSA will benefit students as they apply for financial aid earlier and with a simpler application? If you are interested in learning more about FAFSA, federal aid, grants and scholarships, read some of our tips on funding your college education.

    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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    Scholarships to Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

    Sep 17, 2015

    by Susan Dutca

    In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Scholarships.com is celebrating the heritage, culture and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans from September 15 to October 15. Not only have Hispanics and Latinos made a profound and positive influence on the U.S. through their strong devotion to family, work, and education, but they have helped shape the national character through their rich, culturally-diverse and multiethnic traditions. In recognition of Hispanic and Latino students' hard work and contributions, we have compiled a list of scholarships to provide further opportunities for higher education and academic success. Explore these and more scholarships as we aim to further the accomplishments and success of the Hispanic and Latino population:

    Gates Millennium Scholars Program

    Deadline: January 13, 2016
    Available to: College freshman
    Maximum Award: Varies

    Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program was established to provide outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education. Continuing Gates Millennium Scholars may request funding for a graduate degree program in: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science.

    A minimum high school GPA of 3.3 or GED-equivalent is required. Applicants must have demonstrated leadership abilities through community service or extracurricular activities, and is enrolling for the first time at a U.S. accredited college or university as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student.

    For more information and to apply, please visit Gates Millennium Scholars Program

    AMS Minority Scholarship

    Deadline: February 2, 2016
    Available to: High school graduates, rising college freshman
    Maximum Award: $6,000

    The AMS Minority Scholarships awards minority students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, especially Hispanic, Native American, and Black/African American students.

    Students must plan to pursue careers in the atmospheric or related oceanic and hydrologic sciences. Marine Biology is not eligible. The $6,000 two-year scholarship is for $3,000 per year during freshman and sophomore years.

    For more information and to apply, please visit AMS Minority Scholarship

    Surety and Fidelity Industry Intern and Scholarship Program for Minority Students

    Deadline: January 1, 2016
    Available to: College freshman through college juniors
    Maximum Award: $5,000

    The Surety and Fidelity Industry Intern and Scholarship Program for Minority Students provides awards of up to $5,000 to outstanding minority students to support their studies in the areas of insurance/risk management, accounting, or business/finance.

    Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and have satisfactorily completed at least 30 semester hours, equivalent college work including at least 6 semester hours in his/her declared major.

    For more information and to apply, please visit Surety and Fidelity Industry Intern and Scholarship Program for Minority Students

    Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship

    Deadline: September 30, 2015
    Available to: Undergraduate through graduate students
    Maximum Award: $10,000

    Xerox is committed to the academic success of all minority students. The Technical Minority Scholarship awards between $1,000 and $10,000 to qualified minorities enrolled in a technical degree program at the bachelor level or above.

    Applicants must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better to qualify and pursue a degree in a technical field. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or visa-holding permanent residents of African American, Asian, Pacific Island, Native American, Native Alaskan, or Hispanic descent.

    For more information and to apply, please visit Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship

    Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship Program

    Deadline: Varies
    Available to: High school seniors through college juniors
    Maximum Award: $5,000

    If you plan to become a preschool, elementary or secondary school teacher and are of African American/Black, Hispanic American, Asian American or Native American origin, you may qualify for up to $5,000 per year as part of the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program to pay for tuition, fees and room and board, or commuter allowances, if applicable.

    Students must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA and must teach in Illinois. If this teaching commitment is not fulfilled, the scholarship converts to a loan and you must repay the entire amount plus interest.

    For more information and to apply, please visit Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship Program

    The LAGRANT Foundation Undergraduate Scholarships

    Deadline: February 29, 2016
    Available to: College freshman through college seniors
    Maximum Award: $2,500

    The LAGRANT Foundation annually provides 15 scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students who are attending accredited institutions and are pursuing careers in the fields of advertising, marketing or public relations.

    Applicants must be undergraduate students and either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident identifying in one of the following ethnic groups: African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Native American. Students must have a minimum 2.75 GPA and must major in a field of study that has an emphasis on advertising, marketing, public relations or in anthropology, art, communications, English, graphic design, sociology while maintaining a career focus in advertising, marketing or public relations.

    For more information and to apply, please visit The LAGRANT Foundation Undergraduate Scholarships

    AAAS Minority Science Writers Internship

    Deadline: March 1, 2016
    Available to: College freshman through college seniors
    Maximum Award: Varies

    AAAS offers the Minority Science Writers Internship for students who are interested in pursuing a career in science journalism. The internship will take place in the summer at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of AAAS's Science magazine, the largest interdisciplinary journal in the world. Interns will spend 10 weeks at Science under the guidance of award-winning reporters and editors, and have a chance to experience what science writers do for a living.

    For more information and to apply, please visit AAAS Minority Science Writers Internship

    National GEM Consortium Fellowships

    Deadline: November 11, 2015
    Available to: Graduate students
    Maximum Award: $16,000

    GEM offers MS and Ph.D. level students an outstanding opportunity and access to dozens of the top Engineering and Science firms and Universities in the nation. The GEM Fellowship was designed to focus on promoting opportunities for individuals to enter industry at the graduate level in areas such as research and development, product development, and other high level technical careers. GEM also offers exposure opportunities to a number of opportunities in academe. GEM provides three fellowship programs: MS Engineering, Ph.D. Engineering and Ph.D. Science.

    These fellowship opportunities are for students pursuing a master's degree or doctorate in science, engineering or a closely related field. Applicants are required to submit transcripts and three letters of recommendation.

    For more information and to apply, please visit National GEM Consortium Fellowships

    APSA Minority Fellowship Program

    Deadline: October 23, 2015
    Available to: College seniors through graduate students
    Maximum Award: $4,000

    The Minority Fellows program is designed primarily for minority students applying to enter a doctoral program in political science for the first time. Applicants must be members of one of the following racial/ethnic minority groups: African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Latinos/as, and Native Americans.

    Applicants must demonstrate financial need and must demonstrate an interest in teaching and potential research in political science.

    For more information and to apply, please visit APSA Minority Fellowship Program

    Actuarial Diversity Scholarship

    Deadline: May 1, 2016
    Available to: High school seniors through college seniors
    Maximum Award: $4,000

    The Actuarial Diversity Scholarship promotes diversity within the profession through an annual scholarship program for Black/African American, Hispanic, Native North American and Pacific Islander students. Applicants must intend on pursuing a career in the actuarial profession and be a full-time undergraduate student at a U.S. accredited educational institution. For more information and to apply, please visit Actuarial Diversity Scholarship

    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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    High Stakes Testing

    Aug 24, 2015

    by Emily Rabinowitz

    Chances are if you’re on scholarships.com, you probably care about boosting your application to scholarships or colleges. The standardized test can be a huge plus for good test takers or a major stressor for others. Here are some general guidelines to help you make your testing plan and decisions easier.

    • Timing. There are many rumors about what dates have a better curve but essentially for the SAT or the ACT, it’s all about making the most of your studying. For instance, remember that if you schedule a test for January or June, you might also be studying for midterm and final exams. The May exams are also infamous because that’s when the Advanced Placement tests occur. However, many students take the subject tests that correspond with their AP classes during the May exam. It’s important to remember that not all subject tests are offered every exam date, so you’ll want to plan those accordingly. If you’re planning on taking the SAT, remember that the last date for the current version is January 2016. Finally, don’t wait too long to take the test. Many students do better their second or third time around, and you want to give yourself the chance to learn from your mistakes.
    • Studying. The ACT and the SAT are two distinctly different tests as some students will see greater variation between test scores than others. The general word of caution is to take a full practice exam before you take the real test. Try waking up early one weekend and replicating the exam scenario as completely as possible; this will give you the best estimate of your score. Remember that simple things like reading the newspaper or a challenging book can improve your score as well.
    • Stay Positive. Your score is not everything in your college or scholarship application. More and more schools are disregarding test scores in favor of essays, extracurricular activities and letters of recommendation. The worst thing you could do for your application is put all of your bets into your SAT or ACT score. So if you find yourself a terrible test taker, that’s okay. Find something else that you’re fantastic at, and make it noticeable. One of the best pieces of advice I got was that if a school turns you down because of your test scores, you probably don’t want to be there to begin with.
    • You are not a test score. Always remember that.

      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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    Mom’s Famous Spaghetti

    Aug 17, 2015

    by Emily Rabinowitz

    It seems like to get into college these days students have to be involved in nearly everything: sports, debate team, internships, nonprofit volunteering, honor societies, part time jobs…the list of potential activities goes on. But how do you describe yourself adequately without breaking the cardinal rule of the college essay: Do Not Regurgitate Your Resume? Here’s a little metaphor to help break it down.

    Imagine that all the different pieces of you are embodied in ingredients to your favorite meal. Your volunteering is the pasta, your creativity is the tomato, your leadership is the salt, that time you lost the championship game is the garlic…and so on. Now imagine that your college essay is the recipe and it has to tell the admissions officer, the cook, how to make your Mom’s famous spaghetti.

    To make her sauce it is important to have the right proportions: how many tomatoes, how much salt and how much garlic? A list of ingredients is nothing without the amounts and neither is your application. Did you spend a year on a research project? Have you volunteered since you were in elementary school? Look to the length of your involvement for signs of character growth, project manifestation, and endurance.

    Once you put the ingredients in the pot, you have to heat them up. You have to stir it to just the right temperature so that the scent fills the air around you. The circumstances of your involvement are important too. Did you finish the race despite all odds? Did you try something new? How did it change you? In what way did you interact with your environment to accomplish something?

    Then there’s the secret ingredient, the one that Mom’s grandmother’s grandmother whispered in her ear years ago. It’s the ingredient that lets the sauce linger on your taste buds just a second longer so you can savor the taste. In your essay, it’s what creates the perfect picture of you. For me, it was sharing my biggest hopes and dreams, for you it might be describing the way your hands shook when you held the trophy, or the feeling of your first paycheck. It is something unchangeable, something only cultivated by a true connection between the reader and the writer.

    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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