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Protestors Bully Conservative Guest Speaker, President Not Happy

May 27, 2016

by Susan Dutca

One former and one current DePaul student disrupted a presentation at the school's student center earlier this week. One of them snatched the microphone from the interviewer and appeared to threaten the guest speaker, Milo Yiannopolous, with it. The disturbance was reportedly due to the fundamental disagreement with the subject matter being presented, as it ran counter to that of the protesters who gathered outside prior to the event. However, only one arrest was made and it was not the protester who assaulted the young man interviewing Yiannopolous, but rather the cameraman who was invited to film the event.

Hundreds of colleges and universities have restrictive speech codes that enforce political correctness and insulate their students from exposure to a lot of information, ideas, and opinions that may differ from that to which they have been exposed in their childhood. As evidenced by the recent shutdown of one conservative guest speaker's event hosted by DePaul's College Republicans at DePaul University, censorship in higher education is increasing at a considerable rate, apparently protecting those who demand that their voices be the only ones heard.

Milo Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart contributor and conservative commentator visited DePaul and spoke on issues of feminism, the transgender rights movement, campus politics, and microaggression. He spoke a solid 15 minutes before a whistle blew and a former DePaul student marched down the aisle to the front stage, and propped himself on the table between Yiannopoulos and the College Republican moderator. A current DePaul student joined shortly thereafter and the number of student protestors increased. One of the two student protestors who initially took the stage grabbed the microphone from the moderator and threatened Yiannopoulos with. Event organizers lost control of the event and it was ultimately cut short.

Spring, a time when most commencement speeches take place, is now referred to as "disinvitation season" in the world of higher education. Business leaders, politicians, authors and comedians are not welcome since social media has become home to endless arguments as to who is a worthy/appropriate/safe choice to deliver the speech. Professors have started to reconsider and restructure their courses in order to avoid sensitive and controversial topics. In response to the incident, DePaul University's President stated that he was "sorry to see” the video of the protest and news reports about it. In his statement he wrote, "Yesterday's speaker was invited to speak at DePaul, and those who interrupted the speech were wrong to do so.” He went on to say, “Universities welcome speakers, give their ideas a respectful hearing, and then respond with additional speech countering the ideas."

Do you think the protestors had the right to disrupt Yiannopoulos’ event? Should DePaul have done more to stop it? Leave us your thoughtful comments below.

And remember, there’s no need to rely on expensive student loan options to pay for your college education. For more information on finding free scholarship money for college, conduct a Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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12 Year-Old Genius To Be A Doctor By Age 18?

May 24, 2016

by Susan Dutca

12-year-old Tanishq Abraham has already earned three associate's degrees and has been accepted to two University of California system four-year colleges. 60 percent of college students today are twice that age before they earn a single bachelor's degree.

Tanishq Abraham started taking college courses at age 7 and has been accepted to UC Davis and received the highest honor - a Regents Scholarship - to UC Santa Cruz. He plans to become a doctor and medical researcher before he turns 18. Although professors were reluctant to let him have such a large head start, he began community college when his peers were still in second grade and received three associate's degrees from American River College in general science; math and physical science; and foreign language students. He was allowed to attend under one condition: his mother, a veterinary doctor, had to be present during class. When he wasn't asking questions, he was busy explaining general relativity and special relativity to her.

Abraham joined the IQ society Mensa at the age of 4 and was known for picking up knowledge quickly. His accomplishments have earned him a letter of recognition from President Barak Obama. His younger sister Tiara is an award-winning singer and child genius, scoring a 99 percent on the Mensa IQ test.

Being a child prodigy isn't what many people think it is, Abraham claims. "When you think of a genius, you think of a mad scientist kind of thing." When he's not studying, Abraham is the typical, video-gaming, piano playing, and choir singing kid.

Starting and even graduating college early is a possibility, especially if you have a clear idea what field of study you wish to pursue. If you're still researching different major options, check out our list of major-specific scholarships. And most importantly, apply for and earn scholarships to not only graduate more quickly, but with little to no debt!

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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Your Body...Your College's Choice?

May 17, 2016

by Susan Dutca

The Supreme Court recently avoided a major ruling on a case challenging the contraceptive coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act. The justices decided to let the lower courts battle out the issue of faith-based organizations refusing to offer free contraceptive coverage for women.

This week, all seven cases in the consolidated Zubik v. Buwell, No. 14-1418 were sent back to their appeals courts by the Supreme Court on the issue of contraceptive coverage for women. Finding "no view on the merits of the cases," the opinion states that, "in particular, the Court does not decide whether petitioners' religious exercise has been substantially burdened, whether the Government has a compelling interest, or whether the current regulations are the least restrictive means of serving that interest." This could be viewed as the Supreme Court trying to keep their hands clean or perhaps forcing the government and religious organizations to compromise.

Religious organizations and institutions are not required to provide coverage through their insurance plans but must declare their decision to opt out. The government will then work with the school's insurance provider to continue offering the contraception coverage. However, faith-based schools are calling for a complete opt-out option that has them in no way shape or form “complicit with a practice they do not condone."

The Religious Freedom Act requires colleges to demonstrate that their beliefs are significantly violated and burdened by the contraceptive requirement. So far, 37 religiously-affiliated institutions in higher education have sued the federal government for forcing them to offer free contraception to women. The Obama administration has maintained its position to deny exemptions, stating that the arrangement does not violate the Religious Freedom Act or burden religious organizations.

How do you accommodate the moral objections of religious organizations schools while also offering contraception? Lawyers defending the schools cite that the Religious Freedom Act (1993) keeps the government from burdening their religious freedom. On the other hand, opponents state that federal laws already respect the religious beliefs of faith-based schools, and that a complete exemption isn't ideal since other religious groups - such as the Quakers who oppose financing wars with their tax money - do not get breaks just because they have a certain moral belief.

Do you think religious colleges and universities should be forced to provide contraceptive coverage for women if it contradicts their beliefs? Leave us your thoughtful comments below to start a discussion.

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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Gay Student Banned from Publicly Receiving Scholarship

May 5, 2016

by Susan Dutca

An openly gay student at Dowling Catholic High School decided to transform stigma into success by serving as a leader and advocate for LGBT rights at his school. Even after creating a gay-straight alliance and being awarded the Gold Matthew Shepard Scholarship, he was told that he could not receive the scholarship at the annual senior awards ceremony.

Last April, Tyler McCubbin, a respectable substitute teacher and volunteer track coach had his full time teaching position offer rescinded after a background check revealed he was openly gay. Dowling High school student Liam Jameson was one of the hundreds of students who protested the perceived injustice through a walkout. In an open letter, Jameson detailed his numerous attempted suicides because he felt alone, afraid, and "dreaded having to go to school the next day." He took the decision to help struggling peers and created a "safe environment for LGBT students where they don't feel the need to self-harm or commit suicide." His petition to create a LGBT club/safe space earned 2,000 signatures and is now known as One Dowling Family.

Through his efforts, Jameson earned the Gold Matthew Shepard Scholarship sponsored by the Eychaner Foundation in Des Moines. However, Dowling administration refuses to present the scholarship at the annual senior awards dinner on May 5th. Jameson claims that they manipulated the rules multiple times and took to a Change.org petition, requesting that the school presents him the award this week. Even McCubbin took to social media and urged people to sign his petition.

The school sent a message to its faculty and media stating that they are "proud of all [our] senior students how have received awards and scholarships to further their education," and that they "do not allow organizations who are awarding the scholarship to attend and individually present the scholarship to the student." Furthermore, they are "pleased one of [our] students received the Matthew Shepard Award and he will be honored in the same manner as his classmates." The Eychaner Foundation claims that Dowling changed its policy in recent months to specifically "target" LGBT-associated scholarships.

Do you think Jameson should have his award presented at the awards ceremony? If you are a student like Jameson who has a passion for social action, community service, and helping others - or if you yourself identify with or support the LGBT community - check out our many scholarships to help fund your college dreams.

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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Tinder Swipes Right, Pays for Frat Girl's College

Apr 21, 2016

by Susan Dutca

With Tinder, you can find your future partner, land a hookup, or...earn a scholarship? A female junior at the University of Nebraska Oklahoma was awarded a scholarship and paid internship for defending her use of the mobile dating app.

After Shannon Workman's sorority, Chi Omega, found that she had a Tinder profile picture while rocking a T-shirt with their letters, she was called to a disciplinary meeting. They found the picture to be "disrespectful" and pushed for a "membership revocation," which Workman secretly recorded. Rather than go through an appeals process, Workman opted to left-swipe and bounce. After choosing to exercise her right to use the Tinder app and defy Chi Omega, Tinder CEO and Co-founder Sean Rad reached out to offer Workman a full tuition scholarship to finish her undergrad education. Additionally, she was offered a paid internship at the company because what she did "sends a very empowering message to young women and college students."

Though Tinder has been blamed for creating a modern hookup culture and creating a "dating apocalypse", Workman stated that she defends Tinder because "I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Some people use it for hookups but I don't, and a lot of great things happen through Tinder.” Tinder was started at USC, primarily through the sorority and fraternity realm - which is still the most active group on Tinder. Over 50 percent of users are ages 18 to 24, many of whom are women.

What're your thoughts on Tinder offering a scholarship to the student? You may have your own causes that you believe in - from social action and environmental activism, to simple community service, there are scholarships that award student’s leadership and passion for causes larger than themselves.

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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Colleges Are Diversifying? Not Exactly

Apr 5, 2016

by Susan Dutca

Colleges and universities have started to increase diversity amongst their student body and now, even their faculty. Or so they claim. There may be an increase in female and minority faculty, but according to one professor, there's one political group that "just doesn't make the cut".

The Higher Education Research Institute reports that only 12 percent of university faculty are right-leaning in their political views and identification. Most of these outliers are in engineering and similar professional schools. Only 5 percent of professors in the humanities and social sciences are right-of-center. In his article "The One Kind of Diversity Colleges Avoid" for the Wall Street Journal, Georgetown University Professor John Hasnas recounts seeing committees blatantly deny libertarian candidates, changing the description of the job position "when the best resumes appeared to be coming from applicants with right-of-center viewpoints," or even "dismissing candidates because of their association with conservative or libertarian institutions." While higher education institutions are reporting increased diversity, candidates who do not identify with the left-leaning majority are dismissed in a process that employs a political discrimination with which they are apparently more than comfortable.

Hasnas poses an important question: why limit diversity increase initiatives to genetic, cultural, or ethnic backgrounds? Sure, recruiting female and minority professors great in itself, but it can "perpetuate the left-wing stranglehold on the academy" when it belittles conservative and libertarian scholarship and only finds merit "with positions that are consistent with theirs."

Why might your professors' political ideologies matter? For one, a "diverse academic environment better prepares students for an increasingly diverse workforce," so why not include political diversity? Secondly, your education is coming from only one political perspective - how are you supposed to "pursue intellectual excellence," then? Dr. Lee Jussim, one of the founding members of Heterodox Academy touches on the many ways in which "leftwing politics distorts scholarship in the social sciences and humanities. From issues such as poverty in Africa to ISIS, "professors preach their anti-American judgements to students as 'final truths'... [they] represent their views and ideologies in ways that make it seemingly impossible for any reasonable person to disagree with. Essentially, if you don’t agree with "left-liberal thought" you're considered "ignorant, intolerant, and uneducated."

Do you think there should be a more equal ratio of liberal to conservative professors? Regardless of your personal political ideas, we have scholarships regardless of the direction to which you lean, and also for political science and education majors. Don't be LEFT out, do the RIGHT thing and do your financial homework today.

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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Talk is Cheap. College Isn't.

New Policy to Eliminate Pell Grants, Federal Loans, Tuition Tax Credits

Feb 23, 2016

by Susan Dutca

Talk is cheap when it comes to politicians' promises, but one thing that remains expensive is a college education. From vetoing a scholarships bill that would free up $721 million for community colleges and scholarships for low-income students, to killing the Senate Bill 180 which would require the New Mexico Lottery to provide $41 million to a college scholarships fund there has been no resolution to the budget stalemate since July 1, 2015. New America Higher Education has one resolution: out with the old, in with the new. That means removing federal loans, federal tuition vouchers, Pell grants, and tuition tax credits.

In their policy paper, "Starting from Scratch: A New Federal and State Partnership in Higher Education," New America Higher Education expressed their vision to reconstruct and repair the "broken system of financing higher education." The team plans to scrap the archaic system and replace it with a "federal-state financial partnership" where the government would dole money to states, which would go to colleges and universities - taking into account important factors such as enrolled low-income students. Students would only have to pay their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the state would be held accountable for student outcomes such graduation rates and securing employment. In addition to lowering tuition, the cost of living expenses such as room and board, transportation, and childcare costs would be lowered.

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States would have to maintain their current funding as provided in their individual budgets, match federal funding by 25 percent, and be responsible for performance and costs. There would be a bonus to states that contribute more than expected and also, a bonus for colleges who enroll more than 25 percent of low-income students. What's the catch? The plan would cost roughly $38 billion annually, and states would have to contribute an additional $17.9 billion. The existing system has left about 7 million borrowers in default with their student loans and the report claims that "going to college has left them in a much worse position than if they had never enrolled."

The partisanship disaster continues as colleges and universities haven't received "operating money from the state since July 1," according to Celeste Bott of the Chicago Tribune. The MAP grant provides up to $5,000 in financial aid to students who demonstrate need, according to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Some claim the scholarships bill would snag money from social service providers who provide care for the state's "most vulnerable residents," or that states simply do not have the money to spend. Governor Rauner agrees that the school funding formula needs to be changed.

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Do you support New America's Higher Education proposal? Leave your thoughtful comments below. Don't wait another day - take advantage of the available scholarships and learn more about grants and financial aid today.

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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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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More Political Awareness and Activism on College Campuses Than in Last 50 Years

Feb 11, 2016

by Susan Dutca

A new study reports that 2015/2016 college freshman embody an all-time high predisposition for civil engagement in the study's 50-year history. According to Mikhail Zinshteyn, political and social crime-fighting students hope to be the new brigade of community leaders and activists this year.

According to the Higher Education Research Institute, who surveyed 114,189 first-year students attending college full-time, 8.5% of students - regardless of race - said there was a "very good chance" that they would engage in student protests in 2015. HERI reports that this is the highest level recorded since its inception in 1967. Black students represented the largest increase in expected student activism with a 16% change from the previous year, where 10.5% of students expected to participate in campus-related demonstrations. Latino students represent a 3.2% increase from 2014 to 2015, where one in every ten Latino student (10.2%) reported a "very good chance" in student activism. 7.1% of white students - compared to the 4.6% in 2014 - also planned to be more involved in social-based demonstrations.

According to the study, every race has seen some level of increased desire to participate in student protests, demonstrations, and rallies. To what might we attribute this trend? Kevin Eagan, director of CIRP claims, "Student activism seems to be experiencing a revival, and last fall's incoming freshman class appears more likely than any before it to take advantage of opportunities to participate in this part of the political process...we observed substantial gains in students' interest in political and community engagement across nearly every item on the survey related to these issues." Another part of the survey records that 59.8% of incoming freshman were likely to vote in a "local, state, or federal election at any point during their college career," which is a 50.3% increase from 2014. According to Eagan, this could very well mean a strong interest and dedication to the community and political realm where college students' roles will "play a critical role in upcoming elections." Zinshteyn also notes the "political leanings" of these students as liberal or far-left, the highest percentage since 1973. Regardless of political affiliation, Zinshteyn notes the "emboldened political attitudes of these 18 and 19-year-olds mirror a rise in volunteerism and commitment to others...offering evidence disputing the view of younger Americans as narcissistic or incurious about the world."

Though the study focused on 2015, this group of individuals have the next four years to push forward their agendas and make an impact in the upcoming presidential election. This means a more politically-aware and knowledgeable body of students are scoping out their best candidate for social change.

Credit is attributed to Mikhail Zinshteyn, who is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and program manager at the Education Writers Association. He has also reported for The American Independent, where he covered state education policy, elections, and economics. Additionally, he manages the Education Writers Association's National Awards for Education Reporting.

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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University Professor Investigated for Ties to ISIS

Jan 22, 2016

by Jess Hanch

The FBI is investigating a Kent State University history professor for alleged ties to today's most talked about terrorist organization, ISIS. Professor Julio C. Pino has been under investigation for more than a year by an FBI "joint terrorism task force." The special agent who confirmed the investigation chose to remain anonymous. According to the agent, there is "no direct threat to the university". However, the professor will remain under investigation for his ties to the organization, and for allegedly recruiting students to join ISIS.

Pino openly supports Palestinians in the current Israel-Palestine conflict, and caused controversy on campus when he stated in class that scholars who supported Israel were "directly responsible for the murder of 1,400 Palestinian children, women, and elderly civilians". Although Pino converted to Islam in 2000, he confidently told reporters that he does not support the Islamic State (ISIS), nor does he discuss the terrorist organization in class. He also stated he has always been clear about his political views and "stands in defense for civil-liberties [by] fulfilling my duties as an American citizen by speaking out on issues that some people find controversial," including the Israel-Palestine conflict. In light of the investigation, he told reporters "I follow the law. I advocate that others do also. And I ask others to respect my freedom of speech as much as I respect theirs". This is his first FBI investigation, and he has a clean record.

Pino told reporters that neither the FBI nor Homeland Security had made him aware of the investigation in any way until now. He also had not heard anything from the University. Kent State's University Spokesmen Eric Mansfield told KentWired that "Kent State is fully cooperating with the FBI". The FBI Agent reported to KentWired that they interviewed several faculty members, and some of Pino's students about the accusation however there is no information yet about whether or not Professor Pino was interviewed. There is no further news on what will happen to Pino, and there have been no comments released from faculty or students. As of right now, Pino will continue to teach two history courses at Kent State this year, and will teach in the fall semester.

Although the FBI agent clearly stated that the campus is not directly in danger, the investigation is still prominent enough to make its way into the public eye. How do you stand on this issue? Do you support Professor Pino and his statement about his right to free speech? Would his past statements about the conflict in the Middle East be taken differently if he did not align as Muslim? Start a conversation and leave your comments below.

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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