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 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 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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    Hotel the New College Dorm for USFSP Students

    Sep 10, 2015

    by Susan Dutca

    It's move-in day, and some students at the University of South Florida-Saint Petersburg are settling into their new college hotels. Due to housing overflow of upperclassmen at the USFSP campus since 2011, the Hilton has partnered with the university and has made it the permanent Residence Hall Hilton. With amenities such as access to all hotel facilities, weekly linen and cleaning service, as well as other accessories students would otherwise need to bring to the USFSP campus, students are a three-minute drive and eight-minute walk from the campus. However, not all students are pleased with the detached feeling of living away from their peers and campus.

    While it costs roughly $3,171-$3,784 per semester to board at USFSP, the RHH is substantially more expensive at $4,984 per semester. Students have different opinions on the unique living arrangement. Freshman Tiffany Bautista complains, "I have to walk all the way to the dorms to do my laundry. It is so tedious having to carry all my laundry to another building," but still claims that "I feel like it hasn’t changed my social life." Others fear the distance makes them just a student "taking classes and then going back to the Holiday Inn." Schools including College of Charleston, Texas Southern, University of Vermont and Paine College have adopted similar living arrangements, but not all are long-term options.

    Would you pay for off-campus, non-traditional housing such as a hotel? On top of paying for housing, dormitory experiences can go awry, so read some of our tips on roommates and communal living to better prepare yourself for the unexpected. Check to see what scholarships your college state offers to alleviate the cost of tuition and attendance.

    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 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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    10 Scholarships to Start the School Year Off Right

    Sep 1, 2015

    by Susan Dutca

    With summer quickly coming to an end, is keeping you well-equipped with the top ten, hottest scholarships to bring in the new school year. What better way to enjoy the last weeks of summer than to win free college money? With scholarships available for all ages and across a variety of subjects, we've compiled top dollar scholarship opportunities for you - all you have to do is apply! Explore some of our back to school scholarships below:

    Beat the Odds Scholarship

    Deadline: September 14, 2015
    Available to: Oregon public high school senior
    Maximum Award: $2,500

    Are you an Oregon public high school student who has succeeded academically despite hardships? Do you plan to continue your education by enrolling in a two or four-year college program? If education has made a difference in your life, Stand for Children Leadership Center wants to hear from you! Sponsored by Stand for Children Oregon, Beat the Odds Scholarships Award & Fundraising awards three $2,500 renewable scholarships for up to four years provided the recipient maintains a 3.0 GPA or better, remains a full time student, and funding is available.

    Recipients agree to share their story at the Beat the Odds award events and participate in all related publicity, including the creation of a short, inspirational video about their lives and accomplishments.

    For more information and to apply, please visit Beat the Odds Scholarship.

    U.S. Bank Financial Genius Scholarship

    Deadline: September 17, 2015
    Available to: High school seniors through undergraduate college students
    Maximum Award: $5,000

    U.S. Bank knows paying for college can be challenging, especially with the cost of college tuition increasing and student financial aid resources decreasing. Navigating financial concepts can be tough, but the Financial Genius online financial education courses are available to provide you with every tool possible to build financial success. In addition to a chance to win one of five $1,000 scholarships, you have an opportunity to win a $5,000 scholarship by completing the eight education modules in our U.S. Bank Financial Genius online financial education program.

    To be eligible for the Financial Genius Scholarship, in addition to the entry criteria, entrants must also complete all eight Financial Genius education modules.

    For more information and to apply, please visit U.S. Bank Financial Genius Scholarships.

    Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship

    Deadline: September 30, 2015
    Available to: High school freshmen through Graduate students, Home-schooled students
    Maximum Award: Covers full tuition and housing

    The Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship is a full tuition and housing college scholarship for golf caddies that is renewable for up to four years. Each year, more than 800 deserving caddies across the country attend college on a four-year scholarship from the Evans Scholars Foundation. Selected applicants must have a strong caddie record, excellent grades, outstanding character and demonstrated financial need.

    For more information and to apply, please visit Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship.

    Don't Text and Drive Scholarship

    Deadline: September 30, 2015
    Available to: High school freshmen through Graduate students, Home-schooled students
    Maximum Award: $1,000

    According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting while driving makes drivers 23 times more likely to get into a "safety-critical event." The purpose of this scholarship is to help you understand the risks of texting while driving.

    High school through college graduates are eligible to apply. Home schooled students are also eligible. There is no age limit. You must also be a U.S. citizen or legal resident. An application and brief, 140-character response about texting while driving is required. The top 10 applications will be selected as finalists. The finalists will be asked to write a full length 500-1,000 word essay.

    For more information and to apply, please visit Don’t Text and Drive Scholarship.

    The "Tell a Friend Scholarship" Sweepstakes

    Deadline: Available every three months - September 30, 2015
    Available to: All members
    Maximum Award: $1,000

    As a member, you have free access to a customized scholarship search, detailed financial aid information, an organized college search, standardized test study guides and more. So if you like what you see, simply spread the word about to your friends through our "Tell A Friend" Scholarship and you will have a chance to win money for college - $1,000 for you and $500 for one of your friends. Just enter your email and password on our website to obtain a personalized referral link. Then take that link and blog it, tweet it, email it, or Facebook it and for every one of your friends who creates a profile on our site by clicking your link, you will be entered to win a $1,000 award. There's no limit as to how many people you can send your link to and if you win, one of your friends will be chosen at random to win $500.

    For more information and to apply, please visit The "Tell a Friend Scholarship" Sweepstakes.

    $1,000 College JumpStart Scholarship

    Deadline: October 17, 2015
    Available to: High sophomores through college seniors, Non-traditional students
    Maximum Award: $1,000

    The College JumpStart Scholarship is an annual, merit-based competition that recognizes students who are committed to using education to better their life and that of their family and/or community.

    Applicants must be 10th-12th graders, college students and non-traditional students. The main requirement is that you are committed to going to school and can express your goals for getting a higher education. Applicants must write a 250 word personal statement that answers one of four questions, which will be judged based on content and not writing style.

    For more information and to apply, please visit $1,000 College JumpStart Scholarship.

    Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship

    Deadline: October 31, 2015
    Available to: High school and home-schooled seniors
    Maximum Award: $20,000 Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship

    The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation supports more than 1,400 college students each year, with annual scholarships of $3.4 million through two nationally recognized programs on behalf of the Coca-Cola System. Scholarship recipients excel academically and in service to others. Most Coca-Cola Scholars share a passion for social justice and many have overcome tremendous challenges to pursue their dreams.

    To enter, you must be a current high school or home-schooled) senior attending school in the United States and anticipating completion of your high school diploma at the time of application. Applicants must be planning to pursue a degree at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution and carry a minimum 3.00 GPA at the end of their junior year of high school. No essays or additional materials are required.

    For more information and to apply, please visit Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship.

    Megan Meier Memorial Scholarship

    Deadline: November 6, 2015
    Available to: High school seniors
    Maximum Award: $1,000

    The Megan Meier Foundation is seeking high school seniors that have made a positive impact regarding issues of bullying and cyberbullying in their own school and community. The hope is to honor students that, like the Foundation, aim to promote awareness, education and positive change in response to the issues surrounding bullying and cyberbullying.

    Applicants must be currently enrolled as a full time student, possess senior status, and maintain a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA. To enter, you must write a 1-2 page essay describing how your accomplishments relate to the mission of the Megan Meier Foundation and how you have proactively helped to lessen all forms of bullying within your school community.

    For further information and to apply, please visit Megan Meier Memorial Scholarship.

    Resolve to Evolve Scholarship

    Deadline: December 1, 2015
    Available to: members
    Maximum Award: $2,000

    The Resolve to Evolve Scholarship is about more than just making resolutions - it's about creating change and furthering our evolution as individuals and a society. We must resolve to proactively and progressively confront challenges, however daunting. The "R2E" essay scholarship is an opportunity to move beyond finger-pointing and offer constructive criticism and workable solutions for problems facing an administration or an organization.

    To enter, you must write an essay of no more than 5,000 words addressing one of two questions, as well as writing a 1,200 character response that addresses why attending college is important. Applicants must be between the ages 13 and 19. The applicant who submits the overall best essay will receive a $2,000 scholarship. One (1) winner will also be selected from each grade level (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) and will receive a $1,000 scholarship each.

    All applicants must be registered members of in order to qualify. If you have not already registered, please go to the home page and register now.

    For further information and to apply, please visit Resolve to Evolve Scholarship.

    The Paradigm Challenge

    Deadline: May 1, 2016
    Available to: Ages 7-18
    Maximum Award: $100,000

    The Paradigm Challenge is an annual competition that inspires youth innovation to address important social issues. The first annual Challenge aims to generate new ideas to prevent injuries and fatalities from home fires – America's #1 disaster threat. All ideas are welcome, including posters, videos, inventions, messages, community events, websites, mobile apps, or anything else that will help save lives.

    For more information and to apply, please visit The Paradigm Challenge.

    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 free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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    The Text Book Game

    Aug 24, 2015

    by Christina Zhou

    You’re starting college, excited to be embarking on the next big adventure, and…is that flimsy textbook really $500? For many students, the prospect of obtaining the course booklist on the typical college allowance may seem daunting at first. However, the following tips on how to be smart when buying textbooks can help you save a lot of tears and money.

    • Wait and see. Some (cruel) professors will put texts on the course booklist and never end up using them, causing students to waste money by rushing out and buying them immediately. It’s a good idea to wait a couple days to see which books you really need. Also, try asking previous students which books they used.
    • Ask upperclassmen. Speaking of previous students, upperclassmen can also be a great source for cheap textbooks. If you’re lucky, they might even give them to you for free!
    • Buy used, and online. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of students who immediately go to the campus bookstore and buy hardcover before looking up the prices of paperback from alternate online sellers. Amazon, eBay, and Chegg are good starting points for your search. However, make sure to check their approval rating before purchasing, as a good price is not worth poor quality.
    • Utilize the library. Schools will sometimes keep a copy or two of popular textbooks in the library. Get there fast before they’re gone, as you are competing with many other students for what is at most a handful of copies.
    • Embrace technology. Print might feel good, but the higher price won’t. Opt for e-books instead, to save on both money and backpack space.
    • Get your money back. Selling your own textbooks after you’re finished with them is a great method to get back some of the initial expense.
    • 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 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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    Free College Tuition for Student Employees via Employers

    Aug 11, 2015

    by Susan Dutca

    It may be finally time to let someone else write the tuition check for you. With tuition costs increasing annually, what better time to apply for and attend college than now? Some top tier companies such as Starbucks, Bank of America, Google, Nike, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have begun to offer programs that cover four-year tuition costs in higher education. Why are companies being so generous? Take it as a "thank you" from your employer to you for your hard work, intelligence, pursuit of higher education.

    You may be wondering: "What is the catch?" Depending on the employer, students may be expected to repay the money if they terminate work contract with their employer provider. Furthermore, you may be expected to complete your degree within a certain time period, through online learning, or at particular institution. Whether you are at the undergraduate or graduate level, SHRM estimates over 50 percent of employers cover tuition costs at both education levels.

    Make sure to read all the guidelines and restrictions when determining your eligibility, as certain companies may expect a minimum GPA. On a positive note, not all companies are particular about students’ major, and are open to a wide field of studies. According to the Chicago Tribune, some annual caps could be $5,250 per student – this is still sufficient to cover a healthy portion of tuition.

    To see if you qualify, conduct thorough research on the eligibility criteria and read the fine print offered by your employer. Take this opportunity to finance your college dreams, especially if you may not have to pay a penny. In addition, look at other ways you can earn free money for college by exploring some of our scholarships and conduct a free scholarship search today. With so many chances at earning free college money, how can you pass up the opportunity?

    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 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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    College and the Economy , College Costs


    Convict Education 101: College in Prison funded through Pell Grants

    Aug 4, 2015

    by Susan Dutca

    Is it possible to educate and correct inmates through quality, legitimate prison education? Discussions of social and educational reform, particularly within more decrepit and under-resourced environments are commonplace - but what about when it comes to educating incarcerated individuals? According to the Washington Post, proponents such as Education Secretary Arne Duncan plan to assist those behind bars, particularly through Federal Pell Grants, which averages less than $6,000 a year per student. Through the new Second Chance Pell Pilot program, the goal is to have college and universities providing college-level courses in prions; in turn, inmates would be more educated which would lower prison recidivism rates, as well as community and social violence. It is not clear whether the investment would create a safer society or to what extent it would be effective, and considering its funding source – tax payer dollars - individuals such as U.S. Rep. Chris Collins argue it is a waste since the Pell Grant is a "limited pot of money needed to assist struggling middle-class families."

    The Department of Justice estimated in 2013 that inmates taking educational courses in prison are 43 percent less likely to be re-incarcerated. Furthermore, four to five dollars in prison costs would be saved with every invested dollar. Unshackling the stagnant, 20-year ban on offering Pell grants to state and federal prisoners could come sooner than anticipated. While numbers have not been finalized, an estimated $30 billion a year would go into the pilot program. Only inmates eligible for release may qualify, and the program is expected to last three to five years. After all Duncan claims, "America is a nation of second chances." The question is, to whose and at what cost? In your opinion, should this be on the agenda for educational and penitentiary reform?

    The Pell Grant, like all other grants, does not require repayment and is renewable annually. Based on your eligibility, you may qualify for the maximum amount of $5,775. While the new pilot program has not be implemented, take advantage of free money that you may be eligible for by conducting a quick and simple search at

    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 free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

    Comments (44)

    Jobs During College

    Jul 30, 2015

    by Ashley Grego

    While some students are fortunate with affluent upbringings, others have had jobs since the day they were legally allowed to join the work force. Even with a heavy course load, some of these students still have to work. Typically, three types of jobs are common during college: work-study, on-campus and off-campus.

    Work-study is an on-campus job usually open to students with financial need. According to the U.S. Department of Education, thirty-four-hundred universities in the country actually offer work-study programs. Unlike the other two types of jobs that will be presented later in this article, work-study pay goes toward tuition only. Therefore some students in the work-study program who have financial obligations outside of tuition, must then also pick up a second job.

    A second common type of job common amongst college students are on-campus jobs. A student with an on-campus job may hold the same position as a work-study employee, but have the freedom to spend their paycheck on anything they would like. On-campus jobs can range from librarian assistant, postal clerk or even cook. The greatest benefit of these jobs are that students living on-campus do not have to worry about commuting.

    Last but surely not least is the off-campus job. All of my jobs and internships, except one, have been off-campus. In terms of benefits, I personally think these positions are the best. From my experience, even though the commute may be inconvenient, off-campus jobs are open to anybody and give students more opportunities to explore outside of school. A wide variety of positions are available to the student, specifically opportunities to hold a position geared toward their major.

    Additionally, I find that outside of campus, employers are less focused on the “student” title and more of the “employee” title. Employers can offer more hours than work-studies and on-campus jobs as well as responsibility, providing students with more real world skills that will benefit them as a post-graduate adult in the workforce.

    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 free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

    Comments (0)

    A Winning Recipe for College Dining

    Jul 20, 2015

    by Erica Lewis

    Food is important to any college student. Who doesn't love food? When college begins, it's important to think about all of the dining options that are available. Many campuses offer dining halls on campus, with smaller schools having one or two options and larger universities boasting more choices. There are many advantages to eating on campus, the biggest one being convenience: Not only are your options close by but payment is often as easy as swiping your student ID. Many students may be tempted to eat off campus but that can mean going through a lot of money in a hurry.

    Whether on or off campus, it is important to think about the amount of money being spent on food; however, this is especially important if living off campus where you can't necessarily eat at the dining halls for every meal. Buying fast food can seem like a cheaper option but it will add up over time. Money can be saved by buying food at the grocery store; your meals will usually be healthier, too. This could be the nudge you need to learn how to cook!

    Finally, I recommend taking advantage of any opportunities to get free food! This varies from campus to campus but there are usually plenty of chances to get free food if you look for them. (At UNL, for example, many of the less-popular sports offer free food to students for attending.) Other opportunities could be handouts from your campus rec center or from your RA at dorm floor meetings. As a college student, you'll quickly learn to take advantage of anything that's free!

    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 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)

    Why Students Should Use Scholarship Websites

    Jul 15, 2015

    by Genevieve Grant

    Why should you use scholarship websites? How should you use them? And what are the chances of you actually getting scholarships off of these sites? I had the opportunity to interview VP Kevin Ladd and here's what I found. is a space for scholarship providers to manage their own submissions, so what you see is what you get. The scholarships offered on this site are then more up to date than some of the other sites out there. Some tips for using this site included using it frequently, constantly looking for new postings and maintaining your profile so your information is current. Also a pro tip from Kevin: "If you can use a single essay for more than one scholarship application, DO IT. Just make sure that you are still following the instructions and not cutting corners."

    Timing and organization are also important. Sort your scholarship results based on the time of year with larger dollar amounts at the top of the list in the fall and by deadline date in the spring so you don't miss applying for anything. Though this is not to say that there is any one "good" time to apply for scholarships; rather, you should continuously apply for as many as you can throughout the year, regardless if you're in your junior year of high school or your senior year of college.

    I also asked about the kinks. What are people put off by when using the site? The two biggest drawbacks are users having too many results and not knowing where to start, and also the profile to some, is asking for too much detail. In response to that, Kevin stated that users "will get even better results by spending a bit more time and providing a bit more information." That being said, it's okay to brag about what you do! Give them the entire list of all the activities, sports and clubs you participate in, all the details about awards you've received, internships, research you've done, even where you've worked. It'll pay off!

    If it isn't easy enough, I'll make it easier. You're already at the leading site for scholarships so just click to fill out your free profile now. Don't waste another second and let someone take away the money you deserve.

    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 free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

    Comments (7)

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