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Top Dos and Don’ts to Avoid the Winter Blues

Jan 17, 2011

by Suada Kolovic

With winter in full swing, it seems like the “winter blues” are upon us. Shorter days and colder nights culminate into millions of Americans suffering from mild depression, lack of motivation and low energy during this cold season which ironically is known as SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. But you’re in luck: Here are the top dos and don’ts to keep those blues at bay.

  • Do Exercise: Exercise is a great stress reliever and a great way to keep your spirits up. And during those cold winter nights, releasing those “feel good” endorphins is an ideal way to increase your energy throughout the day.
  • Don’t Oversleep: We’re all tempted to sleep in during the winter months for obvious reasons: there’s no sunlight when you wake up in the morning. But it’s essential to fight that urge to hit the snooze button for a 12-hour sleep session because you’re really doing more harm than good. Try to stay active and keep a schedule to avoid oversleeping.
  • Do Enjoy the Season: Sure, talking long walks in your neighborhood may not be an option in freezing temperatures, but that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the season in other ways. Try something new like skiing and snowboarding or keep things simple and go sledding and ice-skating – after all, these options are only around for a limited time, so take advantage.
  • Don’t Keep your Room Dark: There’s a direct link to the “winter blues” and the lack of sunlight during the winter season and sulking in a dark environment will only exacerbate symptoms.

For even more tips, click here. And don’t forget to let us know what you’re doing to combat the winter blues.

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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Fee Increase? No Problem!

Students Willing to Pay Up for Needed Projects

Jan 13, 2011

by Alexis Mattera

Scenario: You’ve been accepted by College A and College B - your two top choice schools - and have been awarded generous financial aid packages by both. You decide to attend College B but one year in, a project is announced that would increase the fees you’re paying...on top of the already hefty sums of tuition, books and housing. Are you on board? If so, you’re in good company.

State funding for colleges isn’t what it used to be so when a school needs new dormitories, laboratories and classrooms, students have become more willing to fund these endeavors because they will benefit their educational experience. In Colorado, mandatory student fee increases range from 18.5 percent (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs) to 611 percent (Mesa State) since 2006 but current students are readily handing over the cash…even though the majority will have graduated long before the projects are finished.

"I won't be a student here when the projects are complete, but I do know my degree will only gain in value," said Sammantha O'Brien, a student at Metropolitan State College of Denver. Brad Baca, vice president of finance and administration at Western State College in Gunnison, agrees. "We're in a very competitive environment and having high-quality amenities and facilities is an important factor," he said. And if the upgrades aren’t reward enough, students at these schools are more informed and involved: At Western State, for example, 40 percent of the student population participated in the fee vote – a record turnout.

What do you think, readers? Would you pony up the dough for a dorm you won't live in or an academic building in which you’ll never hear a lecture?

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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What We Can Learn from Pima

Duncan Says College Officials Acted Appropriately, But What Else Can Be Done for Troubled Students?

Jan 12, 2011

by Alexis Mattera

By now, you know what happened in Arizona on Saturday. You’ve heard about the innocent bystanders who lost their lives. You’ve been kept abreast of Representative Giffords’ condition. You’ve seen the shooter’s disturbing mug shot. But could this terrible occurrence been prevented? Secretary of Education Arne Duncan believes Pima Community College did all it could.

The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, was a student at the community college until October, at which time he dropped out because the school told him he would need to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to keep attending. Dealing with worrisome students has long been an issue for colleges – the New York Times reported that schools remain ill-equipped to handle those exhibiting potentially violent warning signs, making it quite surprising some groups are lobbying for students’ rights to carry guns on campus – yet Duncan believes Pima Community College officials acted appropriately in their dealings with Loughner. "If I was the chancellor of that community college, I think that would have been my response," he told the Washington Post.

There’s no way administrators can 100-percent safeguard their institutions against violence but centralized efforts should be explored. There is typically no single person or department responsible for tracking the sorts of complaints that teachers and fellow students make about students like Loughner. And while schools don’t have the legal authority to force people into treatment against their will, more steps should be taken to get troubled individuals the help they need (Pima notified Loughner's parents that their son needed a mental examination to continue in school but not much else).

Do you think Pima Community College officials could have done more or do you, like Duncan, believe they handled the situation the best they could?

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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What Do College Students Really Want?

Study Shows Self-Esteem Trumps Other Feel-Good Activities

Jan 11, 2011

by Alexis Mattera

With spring semester almost upon us (or already in session at some colleges), what are students looking to get out of the next four months on campus? Sure, Verizon iPhones, BCS Championship trophies and not having Facebook close down are excellent guesses but in reality, all students want is to feel good about themselves via regular self-esteem boosts. The real question then becomes if is this a good thing or a bad thing?

According to a new study by Ohio State University to be published in the Journal of Personality later this month, 130 University of Michigan students were asked to rate how much they wanted to partake in an enjoyable activity, like seeing friends, getting paid, having sex, eating a favorite food, drinking alcohol or receiving a self-esteem boost on a scale of 1 to 5 and how much they liked each of these things using the same scale. The findings overwhelmingly showed that these students cared more about increasing self-esteem.

Results did differ between male and female respondents – males ranked self-esteem above all else while females rated money and friendships as equally attractive as self-confidence – but the gap between liking self-esteem and wanting self-esteem was the slimmest out of all topics rated by both sexes, resembling an addictive mentality. Though not a full-fledged addiction for college students, the data show self-esteem comes dangerously close to being one. Levels of entitlement are also stronger with those who weigh wanting above liking - a trend the study’s authors Brad Bushman, Scott Moeller and Jennifer Crocker believe is not for the best.

Let’s put it to our own vote: Is it a confidence boost you want or does it take something else (our scholarship search, maybe?) to make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

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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Ready, Set, BiblioBout!

New Online Program Makes Bibliography Building Easier, Even Enjoyable

Jan 10, 2011

by Alexis Mattera

As a journalism major, my classes were all writing intensive. From penning news briefs and features to participating in “Sudden Death Day” (when we arrived in class only to be sent directly back out to find and compose a story in under an hour), I was always doing some kind of research and had to keep my sources organized and accessible in case a fact was ever called into question. This practice came in especially handy whenever I had to construct a bibliography to accompany a lengthy term paper but for those who may be tackling a works cited page for the first time, give BiblioBouts a whirl.

Researchers at the University of Michigan developed BiblioBouts to make crafting a bibliography both easier and more fun: The once mundane task has been transformed into a competitive event, pitting students against their classmates and rewarding them for research skills and abilities to differentiate between good and bad material. Sources are judged by their peers for relevance and credibility and points are gained for sources they assess accurately.

“One of the most difficult things for students to do is their research,” said Karen Markey, research leader and professor in UM's School of Information. “After they exhaust things like Google and the Web, they don’t know where to turn.” The game was released in beta form this week participating colleges and Markey hopes to make it more widely available in the future as a tool in learning-management systems.

This sounds interesting but I agree with one user – Catherine Johnson, coordinator of library instruction at the University of Baltimore’s main library – who said the game should be used as a complement to instruction by a professor or a librarian in locating and evaluating sources, not a replacement for. Have any of you tried BiblioBouts or similar bibliography-assistance programs?

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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You’re Out, I Think…

Wrong Cal State Students Receive Letters of Academic Probation

Jan 7, 2011

by Suada Kolovic

Talk about a lump of coal in your stocking!

About 500 California State University students were just beginning to settle into their winter breaks when, during the week of December 27th, they received letters stating they had been academically disqualified from returning to school for the winter quarter. University officials tell the Los Angeles Times that while all of the recipients were on academic probation, only 164 students should have received disqualification letters.

The letters explained that the recipients’ Fall 2010 and overall GPAs fell below university standards for continued enrollment. Students were also told they could submit a petition to be reinstated after meeting with their academic adviser. The blunder was blamed on a mailing code error – something that seems to be happening all too often lately.

Colleges sure know how to stress a student out but if you’re stressed about finding financial aid, you don’t have to be: Check out our free scholarship search and get matched with scholarships just for you 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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Young Adults to Spend Less, Save More in 2011

Jan 6, 2011

by Suada Kolovic

It seems like a life of excess is so last year. According to a Chase Slate-U.S. News survey, young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely to say they want to save more, spend less, pay down debts and develop a budget in 2011 than older generations. In a national survey, 1,000 American adults were asked if they planned on changing their financial habits in 2011 and while 54 percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 said yes, only 27 percent of those aged 55 to 64 and 23 percent of senior citizens agreed with that sentiment.

So why the shift? According to David Weliver, founder of the Money Under 30 blog, the recession taught 20-somethings to create a financial safety net for themselves. "We're starting our adult lives knowing the importance of having savings to fall back on in the event of job loss, and that we cannot simply buy a home and ride its perpetually increasing value to retirement. We're more goal-oriented about our finances—because we have to be." The report also noted that young adults are more optimistic about their finances and the economy overall and more likely to use online money management tools to help them stay on track.

Did your list of New Year’s resolutions include changing your spending habits? Let us know what you’re doing to avoid debt.

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

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Top Majors for College Class of 2011 Announced

Jan 5, 2011

by Suada Kolovic

Unfortunately, only two winners walked away with the $355 Mega Millions jackpot and if you weren’t one of them, instant fame and fortune may not be in the cards for you, but a lucrative career that is in high demand could be four short years away. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for possible majors and post-collegiate careers, looking at majors that are sought after may not be a bad place to start.

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), organizations are most interested in hiring new college graduates with bachelor’s degrees in the business, engineering and computer science fields. Nearly 62 percent of the organizations participating in NACE’s Job Outlook 2011 survey said they plan to hire accounting graduates, followed by finance (57 percent) and electrical engineering (53.5 percent). Here are the top six degrees according to NACE’s findings:

  1. Accounting
  2. Finance
  3. Electrical Engineering
  4. Mechanical Engineering
  5. Computer Science
  6. Business Administration/Management

Each year, through the Job Outlook survey, NACE surveys its employer members about their hiring plans in order to project the job market for new college graduates. Do you agree with this list? Let us know what you think.

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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Annie Get Your Gun…And Bring it to Class

Arkansas Group Lobbies for Guns on Campus

Jan 4, 2011

by Suada Kolovic

Across the country, gun rights activists are seeking to make it possible for students to carry guns on campus. And Arkansas very own pro-gun group Arkansas Carry is the latest to do just that. They are seeking legislative support for a bill to override a 2003 attorney general’s opinion that colleges and universities can legally ban concealed weapons from their campuses – even weapons held by permit holders – if signs are posted to that effect, Arkansas News reported.

Arkansas Carry sent a letter Monday to the state Department of Higher Education arguing that schools are improperly banning students with permits from legally carrying guns on campus. They argue that licensed students who carry their guns in campus parking lots – but not into buildings – risk expulsion. Currently under state law, permit holders are allowed to carry weapons on campus but are forbidden from bringing them into school buildings and events on campuses. Arkansas Carry wants students to be able to carry weapons on every part of a college campus, not just university grounds.

We’ve witnessed the tragic outcomes guns can have on campus, so how do you feel about gun rights activists pushing for legislation in the other direction? What do you think, should students with permits be allowed to bring their weapons in campus buildings?

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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Stephens College Staff Exceeds Weight-Loss Challenge

Women’s College Staff Gets Healthy, Earns $1 Million in the Process

Jan 3, 2011

by Suada Kolovic

Last year, the staff at Stephens College accepted the unorthodox challenge from an alum – a woman in her 80s who is committed to fitness and eating well – to lose a collective 250 pounds by January 1st with the promise to pledge $1 million to the women’s college. And with a payout like that, of course they did it! According to Chris Smith, director of marketing and public relations at the college, of the 107 employees who signed up for the challenge, those who weighed in right before Christmas had lost a total of 302 pounds, exceeding the donor’s requirement ahead of schedule.

How’d they do it? The school played a major role in helping employees meet the goal, Stephens offered free yoga, Pilates and other exercise classes during lunchtime and after work, and started a blog with low-fat, nutritious recipes and health tips. According to the Chronicle, Brenda K. McSherry, director of health services, said the employees were also permitted to take up to an hour of paid time to exercise…after all, the school did have $1 million on the line. In addition to the $1 million donation, the anonymous donor will add another $100,000 if Dianne M. Lynch, Stephens’s president, loses 25 pounds herself. Ms. Lynch, who was not given a specific deadline, told the Columbia Daily Tribune, that she was more than halfway to the goal, with about 10 pounds to go. But what do you think, is it wrong to award money based on numbers on a scale or is cold hard cash the right incentive to get people to lose weight?

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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5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Happy New FAFSA!

2011-2012 Application Available Tomorrow

Dec 31, 2010

by Alexis Mattera

Ladies and gentlemen, prospective and current college students, I (or the federal government, rather) give you the 2011-2012 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Hooray!

Vacuum up the confetti because it’s time to get down to business. January 1st marks the first day college-bound seniors, continuing undergraduate and graduate students, and their parents can begin filling out the FAFSA online. Completing the FAFSA is a vital part of the college process: The Department of Education uses it to determine eligibility for federal student financial aid for college. This aid includes federal grant programs (such as the Pell Grant), federal work study, and federal student loans; it is also used by states to determine eligibility for their college aid programs, such as state grants. Colleges also use the FAFSA to determine eligibility for the need-based aid programs they administer and, finally, many scholarship opportunities request FAFSA information as part of their application processes. Even if you think that you won’t qualify for free money in the form of need-based college scholarships and grants, you should still apply. At the minimum, the vast majority of students qualify for Stafford Loans, low-interest federal student loans that represent one of the best deals in borrowing and paying for school.

Submission deadlines vary by state (verify yours sooner than later here) so, as with any sort of college funding, we recommend you complete the FAFSA as early as possible because funds do run out. For more information, visit the official FAFSA website or review our federal aid pages. Happy filing (and New Year)!

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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