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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!

    Comments (12)

    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!

    Comments (5)

    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!

    Comments (0)

    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!

    Comments (1)

    ACT Report: African American Students Unprepared for College

    Aug 10, 2015

    by Scholarships.com Staff

    Amid concerns our educational system is failing a large percentage of our students, particularly African American students, a national report released by American College Testing (ACT) shows many African American students lack college readiness. While these students were able to fulfill the requirements and pass all recommended high school courses, they lagged behind their peers in terms of higher education preparedness. This according to a new report from ACT and United Negro College Fund.

    "Even when they are doing what they are supposed to do in terms of taking the recommended college preparatory curriculum and earning a high school diploma, too many lack sufficient preparation for first-year college courses", said Jim Larimore, ACT’s chief officer for advancement of underserved learners.

    ACT suggests that schools start monitoring students' progress in earlier grades, develop tougher high school core courses, and ensure support and attention for off-target students.

    We certainly hope that your elementary, middle and high schools are providing you with the education and support you need to pursue a college education. Visit Scholarships.com to start your free college scholarship search and find free money to go towards 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!

    Comments (29)

    Early Decision, Early Action or Regular Decision?

    Aug 10, 2015

    by Emily Rabinowitz

    There are three common options for submitting your application to college. Early decision is a binding agreement stating that if you are accepted you will attend that school regardless of the cost or which program you are accepted to. Early action is simply submitting you application early and receiving your decision earlier. Regular decision is when you submit your application on the normal deadline and hear back in the spring.

    There’s a lot of debate over which type of decision process is easier to get into. Generally, the caveat with Early Decision is that you are in a smaller pool of applicants, all of whom are as attached to that school as you are. This might mean that the acceptance rate is lower in fact for early decision applications. However, some people argue that applying early decision shows a school you are dedicated. That was the argument my parents used. It was an alluring one, you could know your college by Winter Break.

    If you’re like me though, the thought of committing to a school without knowing all of your options terrifies you. That’s okay. There are many reasons why you might be wary of early decision even if your parents are ready to jump the gun.

    Both of my parents went to their safety school; they did not have the option of a dream school. They wanted me to have every possible chance of acceptance at the best school. What I had to help them understand was that I did not know which school was my dream school. I applied to 12 schools, many of them reach schools that all had stellar reputations. The idea of turning down one school for another without even knowing the financial aid, honors, or other options I might have, did not make sense to me.

    Eventually I convinced my parents that there was not a significant enough advantage to early decision to make committing worth it for me. I told them I wanted to see all of my financial aid options, compare career programs, and look into the fine details of where I was going to be for the next four years. Now that I am committed to my school, I can honestly say I do not regret doing regular decision. In fact, filling out the dozen applications helped me see which schools I liked better, and the long wait illuminated which school I was desperate to know about. In the end, by the time I got my acceptance to NYU, I had already decided I would go there in the fall.

    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!

    Comments (3)

    Strategy for Picking a Major

    Jul 30, 2015

    by Erica Lewis

    Picking a college is hard enough on its own, but deciding what to major in can be even more challenging. Your major helps you find your future career, which is daunting, but don’t worry too much. Many students will end up changing their mind on what major to pursue at one point or another. The back and forth decision beings it’s in high school while trying to decide what school to go to and even carries into a student’s college career.

    When picking a major, I would suggest thinking about what areas interest you. I was the type that always enjoyed math and science classes throughout all my years of school. This led me to look down the career path of engineering. Throughout high school, I was always looking at what schools were good for engineering, and there are many options out there. However, I ended up choosing Food Science and Technology because I found out that it was a better fit for me.

    If you still feel confused about what major you want to choose or even if you have a major but don’t know what career path you want to follow, don’t worry. Go talk to your academic advisor or career services. Those people are there to help you make the right decision for your interests.

    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 (2)

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