by Susan Dutca

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

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

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

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

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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by Susan Dutca

Republican POTUS candidate Donald J. Trump proposed establishing an "ideological test" for those entering the United States, as well as temporarily suspending visa processing from areas that are known for "exporting terrorism." If such a program were activated, the screening could potentially impact many students and other nonimmigrant visas and have "major implications" for higher education; the United States hosted 103,307 students from the Middle East and North Africa in 2014-2015 alone.

During a recent speech at Youngstown State University, Trump proposed his idea of "extreme vetting" due to the perceived threat posed by Islamic terrorists. The idea is to "screen out all members of the sympathizers of terrorist groups" including people with "hostile attitudes toward [the U.S.] and its principles" and people who "believe that sharia law should supplant American law." Furthermore, individuals who don't believe in the Constitution or who support bigotry and hatred would be vetted.

To accomplish this, the Departments of Homeland Security and State would identify "regions where adequate screening cannot take place" and stop processing visas in those areas until a later time. Only people who are expected to "flourish in our country" and "embrace a tolerant American society" would be admitted into the States.

Foreign students who come to the U.S. on F, J, or M visas currently undergo a vetting process and are monitored after they arrive through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. Currently, U.S. naturalization law requires individuals to adhere to U.S. Constitutional principles and "rejects advocates of ideological positions." Trumps' campaign advocates claim that "while we can't choose our friends, we must always recognize our enemies," and his initiatives are representative of this concept. On the other hand, some critics say it violates American and academic principles and could pose a "threat to the ability of American universities to enroll the best students they find from around the globe." Do you believe that this vetting should be implemented or not? Tell us why in the comment box 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 free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Comments (8)

by Susan Dutca

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

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

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

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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by Susan Dutca

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

  1. Davidson Fellows Scholarship

    Deadline: February 10
    Maximum Award: $50,000

  2. Enid Hall Griswold Memorial Scholarship

    Deadline: February 15
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  3. Media Fellows Program

    Deadline: July 14
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  4. James Madison Foundation Graduate Fellowships

    Deadline: March 1
    Maximum Award: $24,000

  5. Matt Fong Asian Americans in Public Finance Scholarship

    Deadline: February 19
    Maximum Award: $2,500

  6. Lim, Ruger & Kim Scholarship

    Deadline: September 1
    Maximum Award: $2,500

  7. Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship

    Deadline: February 5
    Maximum Award: $10,000

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

    Deadline: August 15
    Maximum Award: $2,000

  9. Virginia and Frank Misselhorn Memorial Scholarship

    Deadline: July 31
    Maximum Award: 500

  10. Otto M. Stanfield Law Scholarship

    Deadline: February 15
    Maximum Award: Varies

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

Comments (26)

by Susan Dutca

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

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

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

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

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

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Comments (21)

by Susan Dutca

Malia Obama won't be the first child of a president to be accepted into Harvard University, but her decision to take a gap year sets her apart from the traditional college-bound student. As the gap year trend gains popularity in the US, there is still some reluctance in putting pause on a college education. Could it pose some trouble for those who aren’t socialites?

Despite her father's advice to "not stress too much about one particular college," or focus on name-brand, Malia chose to attend one of the nation's most prestigious and expensive universities. Come fall of 2017, she’s expected to add her name to the long line of ultra-wealthy celebrities and American figures who attended Harvard, including John Adams II, Abraham Lincoln’s son, and John F. Kennedy's daughter.

What exactly is a gap year? It is the time students defer from attending college, right out of high school, in order to pursue other avenues such as traveling, gaining work experience, and getting in touch with their inner soul and desires prior to settling into what could be considered a form of adulthood. One person's productive gap year could easily be another's 12-month vacation. There's been no word as to what Malia will do during this gap year, but a survey indicated that many students focus on personal growth, traveling and experiencing cultures, while taking a break from academics. This gap could serve as a good time to increase community service and learn skills you may not otherwise learn during college. Essentially, a way to avoid the "growing rate of student burn-outs."

Taking a year off could be pricey and not ideal for low-income students. According to one study, the "majority of people who do not go straight to college after high school end up having a much harder time completing their degrees...getting married, having a baby, becoming financially responsible for siblings, or losing academic motivation "may truncate one's higher education pursuits. While the American Gap Association boasts success with students who took a gap year, the majority of the students had college-educated parents and came from household incomes of more than $100,000 a year. These students already have a greater likelihood for success; many of them having parents who could pay their college tuition. Furthermore, federal financial aid waits for no one. Students would have to apply for the year in which they would enroll which could consequentially "make it harder for students on aid to plan a gap year." And while Harvard condones a gap year, the trend is not widely-accepted at other colleges and universities.

Do you think a gap year is a good option for students? Trying to find yourself by putting college off may come with a price. While some students take a gap year to work minimum wage and help fund their college education, we believe that you should be rewarded for your academic, athletic, and extracurricular achievements without having to take time off school. Tuition prices are only increasing, and won't remain stagnant even as you take a gap year. The best way to make college affordable is through free money: scholarships.

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

Comments (3)

by Susan Dutca

What happens when half a million students are forced to take zero credit, remedial college courses? Parents and students must pay roughly $1.5 million and borrow $350 billion extra a year - even if 74 percent of those students end up delaying college or dropping out. Not only does it break the bank for low-income families, but yes, the affluent families as well. Who's to blame for college unpreparedness?

According to a new report by researchers at Education Reform Now, "American families across all income levels are spending billions each year in extra college costs." Though the common perception is that remedial courses are only available for low-income students or community colleges, it extends to middle, upper-middle, high-income, and many colleges of well. In particular, some of the most affluent students at private nonprofit four-year colleges (the top 20 percent) are taking more remedial courses than students from the bottom 20 percent of national family incomes. Statistics show that over $12,000 extra has been spent by unprepared students from the top income quintile (incomes over $113,440) attending private nonprofit institutions. On average, about $3,000 is paid extra, and $1,000 borrowed to complete remedial courses. Additionally, unprepared students are more likely to delay completing college - or simply drop out. The issue of college unpreparedness is not limited to minority or low-income students, but it penetrates all income levels.

But who's to blame? Researchers point to the "expansive failure of our K-12 education system" and recommend giving secondary assessment when accessing college readiness. Some believe that we are focusing on the wrong topics and should, for example, teach statistics and not algebra since it will be more practical and useful post-college. Others blame the way in which students are evaluated through the "traditional method of scoring." Proponents of the Common Core State Standards, including President Obama and even some conservative allies believe that the "common-sense logic" is premised on the skills necessary to successfully participate and compete in the 21st-century economy and global market. Some schools have already addressed the issue by implementing a "corequisite remediation" model which allows students to take for-credit courses while being enrolled in a "learning support class to help them master the material."

Should both high schools and students be held accountable for their college readiness? Remedial courses are depleting students' financial aid and savings, and have them asking professors whether they know of any scholarships that are intended to help students who have run out of financial aid. You can count on ample scholarship opportunities here at to leave you financially prepared for college costs. From easy scholarships where you hardly have to do anything to essay scholarships, you have the chance to help fund your higher education dreams.

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 (2)

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.


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.


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 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 (27)

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

Comments (15)

by Susan Dutca

Some 200 years ago, attending Harvard may have cost roughly $600.50 a year ($8,371 if you adjust for inflation) in comparison to today's cost of attendance of up to $69,600, according to Greg Daugherty. College Board reports the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2015-2016 school year was $32,405 at private colleges, $9,410 for state residents at public colleges, and $23,893 for out-of-state students at public universities - that's not including room and board, books and supplies, personal, or transportation expenses. What accounts for the tuition increase? There seems to be no definitive answer. However, a new study points to federal student aid, or the pursuit thereof by colleges and universities as the culprit of rising tuition.

The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that between 1987 and 2010, student aid has been the leading cause for college tuition increase. Due to the increased availability of subsidized loans and the appearance of unsubsidized loans, colleges raised tuition knowing that "financial aid will cover the difference," according to Inside Higher Ed. An assistant professor at Indiana University states that "you have to somehow structure it so that colleges can't just increase tuition and capture that money." Some don't buy into this logic - rather they believe that the "college's sticker price is set by its wealthiest student's ability to pay - and the wealthiest students never take out loans." Others blame the lack of state funding or the expense of paying costly faculty salaries.

Some have criticized the study's "hypothetical college" model because it is based on "data from private and public nonprofit institutions" which is a "too-simple way to view a complex problem." In addition to why tuition has to increase, another important question to ask is where is that money going? Not all of endowment money goes towards student aid, and Congress is scrutinizing 56 colleges with large endowments who were "valued in excess of $1 billion as of the 2014 fiscal year." Letters will be sent to these colleges this week, demanding the last five years of financial data as to where the endowment money has been used since the two congressional committees "are not able to accurately assess how colleges and universities are using endowment assets to fulfill their charitable and educational purposes."

Though college tuition is not as low as it was in the 1800's one solution for lowering your college costs and expenses always remains true: scholarships.

Credit attributed to Greg Daugherty, an editor, writer, and editorial consultant with features in TIME Inc., Reader's Digest, Consumer Reports, and other publishers.

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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