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by Susan Dutca

Emotional support animals are able to attend select colleges with their owners, as schools are re-evaluating their campus policies when it comes to accommodating students with mental-health issues. Higher education institutions are also debating whether suicide-prone students should be given campus leave, in order to recover. Administrators are fighting to make decisions in the best interest of all students meanwhile discerning the troubled adolescent from a homesick student who just really wants a puppy.

About ten years ago, many colleges and universities told students to leave their support pets at home. After legal settlements at several institutions, the Justice Department allowed students to bring their support animals to campus. Felines and canines used to be the norm for support animals. Schools are now seeing applications for tarantulas, ferrets, and pigs. Studies show that support animals can help students suffering from anxiety or depression, but college disability officers are aware that online therapists are willing to write "accommodation letters" to "just about anyone" for an average fee of $150. Nonetheless, with recent legal settlements, colleges aren't prying when students show up to campus with animal and accommodation letter in hand.

This year 66 students have emotional-support animals at Oklahoma State and the university is considering building a pet-friendly dorm to "reduce complaints from other students about allergies and phobias." At Northern Arizona University, 85 students requested special accommodation but "half the requests dropped when students learned that documentation is required."

Colleges are also facing another dilemma: how to handle students at risk of committing suicide. In 2015, a survey revealed 36 percent of undergraduates "had felt so depressed it was difficult to function," with 10 percent of students having "seriously considered committing suicide." In the past, colleges were allowed to remove students from campus when they posed a "direct threat" to others or themselves. Some administrators believe that campus leave allows suffering students to "recover under close supervision...without the social and academic stresses of college life." Students, however, feel like they are being "punished," which sends them into a "deeper spiral."

In your opinion, should students be allowed to bring support animals to campus? Should suicide-prone students be given campus leave? Share your thoughts with us.

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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by Susan Dutca

It's not feasible to do 10 campus visits in only 5 days - unless you're willing and able to pay for a private jet that costs more than college tuition itself. Magellan Jets offers a college tour package to "decrease both the headache and the time spent on college campus visits." So if you have $100,000 to spare, sit back, relax, and enjoy the refreshment bar as you soar to your next campus destination.

The demand for the college-tour service has "never been greater among Magellan's members" according to company CEO Joshua Herbert. Since the program debuted three years ago, 22 families have purchased the package and an additional 22 customers used their private jets for campus visits. Although it may not be "cost-effective," it only "means dollars and cents" to Americans top earners who cannot take a week or two off of work. The luxurious access to higher education opportunities may not stop there, according to Newsweek. Admissions departments "favor wealthy students, even if their applications are weaker than those who are less privileged."

According to some experts, more than "half of the student body at any given institution" have had some sort of "in" or "hook" that helped them get into college; whether it was through athletic recruiting or simply being the child of an alumni who donated generously to a school. According to Newsweek, universities typically sent recruiters to high-profile, wealthy families to wine and dine them. In his book "The Price of Admission," Daniel Golden espouses that "money and connections are increasingly tainting college admissions, undermining both its credibility and value." What happens to the people who cannot afford to travel lavishly?

Elitism in higher education is nothing new. While the top 1 percent of Americans have the luxury of paying "the equivalent of a year's tuition just for the convenience and access of a private jet tour," there are many others struggling to pay tuition.

What do you think of the private jet college service? Would you do it? Share your thoughts with us!

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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The War on (Study) Drugs

Misuse of Prescription Drugs a Very Real Concern in Higher Ed

Nov 10, 2015

by Susan Dutca

Every student has their own way of dealing with the stresses of college life and academics, even if it may require popping a small blue pill before a final exam. What does it take nowadays to crack down on the books and get As? Studies reveal that many college and high school students have turned to recreational drug use such as abusing ADHD medication to help land good grades.

Considered to be one of the most dangerous legal drugs, Adderall is now causing twice as many deaths as street drugs. According to the Huffington Post, prescription drugs such as Adderall and other ADHD meds are "the most dangerous legal drugs among young people in college and high school." On college campuses, students perceive ADHD medications as "relatively benign substances". These meds are being stolen, swapped and sold regularly on campuses nationwide, doubling the amount of student ER visits and deaths.

How exactly are students getting their hands on Adderall and similar stimulants? Experts claim students know exactly what to say to receive a legal, insurance-subsidized prescription. However, not every student with access to the drug actually uses it. Many students simply sell it for profit - as much as $300 a bottle.

While there is certainly an ongoing issue with illegal drugs, there is also an issue with dangerous prescription abuse in the classroom. Some point to the mislabeling of normal child immaturity as the culprit for excessive use of ADHD medication. Who is most responsible for the easy access of these drugs? Should drug companies be just as responsible for distribution and marketing as the physicians for misdiagnoses? Do we blame parents and teachers who cannot adequately control hyperactive children? Or do we simply hold students responsible for their actions? Would informing kids of the dangers of recreational drug use have any positive effect on the situation? In your opinion, how can the issue of misdiagnoses and distribution be resolved to lessen students' ability to gain access to these drugs? Also, if you are passionate about public policy, public health or medicine, check out some of our medical scholarships to help fund your college education.

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

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by Susan Dutca

When it comes to well-known companies, names such as Google or Coca-Cola are not foreign to many ears. Did you know that in addition to being notorious for quality products and services, familiarity and strong reputation, these organizations also provide scholarship opportunities to help you pay your way through college? Take the opportunity to explore the scholarships offered by the companies you're most familiar with:

Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway

Deadline: October 19, 2015
Available to: Ages 18-24
Maximum Award: $100,000

For years, this one of a kind program has awarded millions of dollars in tuition to students across the country. Dr Pepper understands that school is a full-time commitment and rising costs of education often stand in the way. For students ages 18-25, you can submit your one of a kind goal and state how you plan to make an impact on the world. Additionally, you'll be eligible to submit a video once you have shared your story and reached 50 votes.

Finalists will have a chance to compete to win up to $100,000 in tuition at a college football championship game. If you are in the top 5 of the $5,000 Leaderboard at the end of the voting period, you could win $5,000 in tuition. Those over 25 years of age are not eligible to compete in the $100,000 contest but may compete for the leaderboard prize.

For more information and to apply, please visit Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway

Burger King James W. McLamore WHOPPER Scholarship

Deadline: December 15, 2015
Available to: High school seniors through College freshman
Maximum Award: $50,000

The McLamore Family Foundation created the James W. McLamore WHOPPER Scholarship Award, granting a $50,000 scholarship to three students each year. U.S. or Canadian students must have a cumulative unweighted GPA of at least 3.3 and a minimum ACT score of 25 or combined SAT score of 1700.

You must be able to demonstrate an active leadership role in community service, athletics, and/or similar co-curricular activity and substantial work experience.

For more information and to apply, please visit Burger King James W. McLamore WHOPPER Scholarship

Ronald McDonald House Charites (RMHC) Scholars Award

Deadline: January 20, 2016
Available to: Graduating high school seniors
Maximum Award: $1,000

Provided by Ronald McDonald House Charities, graduating high school seniors who are planning to enroll full-time at a two- or four-year college or university are eligible to apply.

Applicants must live in a participating RMHC Chapter's geographic area and maintain a minimum 2.7 GPA.

For more information and to apply, please visit Ronald McDonald House Charites (RMHC) Scholars Award

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Science Competition

Deadline: February 1, 2016
Available to: Ages 5-21
Maximum Award: Up to $10,000

Sponsored by Toshiba/NSTA, the ExploraVision Science Competition is available for K-12 students to engage the next generation in real world problem solving with a strong emphasis on STEM. Students must be no older than 21 years of age and be enrolled in public, private, or home school in the U.S. or Canada.

Students enter as a team of 2-4 students with a teacher/coach and optional mentor who will guide students as they pick a current technology, research it, envision what it might look like in 20 years, and describe the development steps, pros & cons, and obstacles.

For more information and to apply, please visit Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Science Competition

Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation

Deadline: October 31, 2015
Available to: Graduating high school seniors
Maximum Award: $20,000

The Coca-Cola Scholars Program is an achievement-based scholarship awarded to graduating high school seniors each year. Students are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, and their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities.

Applicants must be current high school or home-schooled seniors attending school in the U.S. and planning to enroll full-time at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution. Students must carry a minimum 3.0 GPA at the end of their junior year of high school.

For more information and to apply, please visit Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation

Horatio Alger Association Scholarship Program

Deadline: April 1, 2016
Available to: High school seniors through College Sophomores
Maximum Award: Varies

As one of the nation's largest need-based college scholarship programs in the country, the Horatio Alger Scholarship Programs specifically assist high school students who have faced and overcome great obstacles in their young lives. While many programs are directed primarily to recognizing academic achievement or leadership potential, the Horatio Alger program seeks students who have exhibited determination, integrity, and perseverance in overcoming adversity, as well as critical financial need.

There are four main categories which has its own set of requirements and criteria, so make sure to check the official rules and eligibility before apply. Those categories are: National, State, Targeted, and Vocational Scholarships.

For more information and to apply, please visit Horatio Alger Association Scholarship Program

Penguin Publishing Group's Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest

Deadline: April 14, 2016
Available to: Ages 16-18
Maximum Award: $1,000

Sponsored by Penguin Publishing Group, the Annual Signet Classic Scholarship Essay Contest is open to high school juniors and seniors. Applicants are required to write an essay on one of five selected topics listed on the main website. This year's essay competition is based on the book, "Little Women." Essay topics are posted at the provider's main website.

For more information and to apply, please visit Penguin Publishing Group's Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest

Wells Fargo CollegeSTEPS Sweepstakes

Deadline: June 30, 2016
Available to: High School Freshman through Graduate Student
Maximum Award: $1,000

Whether you're on your way to college or already there, there are two big things you probably need: money and information. With Wells Fargo, you have a chance to get both.

If you're a high school or college student and you sign up to receive college planning and money management information from Wells Fargo, you'll be automatically entered in the CollegeSTEPS sweepstakes for a chance to win $5,000.

For more information and to apply, please visit Wells Fargo CollegeSTEPS Sweepstakes

Google Lime Scholarship for Students with Disabilities

Deadline: December 6, 2015
Available to: College Undergraduates through Graduate Students
Maximum Award: $10,000

Google is committed to helping the innovators of the future make the most of their talents by providing scholarships and networking retreats for computer science students with disabilities. Recipients will each receive a scholarship as well as be invited to attend the annual Google Scholars' Retreat at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California.

Undergraduates, graduates, or PhD students currently enrolled at a university in the U.S. or Canada are eligible to apply. Students should be pursuing a computer science or computer engineering degree or in a closely related technical field.

Students must have a visible or invisible disability, exemplify leadership, and demonstrate passion for computer science and technology.

For more information and to apply, please visit Google Lime Scholarship for Students with Disabilities

Dell Scholars Program

Deadline: January 15, 2016
Available to: High school seniors
Maximum Award:$20,000 plus a laptop and textbook credits

The Dell Scholars Program enables more under-served students with financial need to achieve their greatest potential through higher education. Dell Scholars are students who demonstrate their desire and ability to overcome barriers and to achieve their goals.

Students must be graduating from an accredited high school the year in which the scholarship is awarded while maintaining a 2.4 GPA. Students must participate in a MSDF approved college readiness program for a minimum of two years and plan to enter a bachelor’s degree program in the fall directly after graduation from high school. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and be eligible to receive a federal Pell Grant in their first year of college.

In addition to the $20,000 scholarship, Dell will supply scholarship recipients with a laptop and textbook credits.

For more information and to apply, please visit Dell Scholars Program

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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by Scholarships.com Staff

Did he jump? Was he pushed? How did the body of nineteen year-old Clemson University fraternity pledge Tucker Hipps mysteriously wash up on shore last September? After all he had been participating in a run with 29 other students that were supposed to be his “brothers”.

On September 22, three fraternity members and 27 pledges, including Hipps, met at Clemson’s Donaldson Hall at 5:30 a.m.. Hipps was ordered to bring food for everyone and when he arrived empty-handed, the fraternity members were allegedly angry. The pledges and brothers at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity then went for a group run.

At 1 p.m. members of the fraternity notified campus police that he was missing after he had lagged behind on the run and never made it to breakfast. Later that day Hipp’s body was discovered lying in rocky, shallow water under a bridge the group had crossed in their run. A coroner ruled Hipps died from “blunt force trauma” consistent with a “downward head-first falling injury.” While all evidence shows that he fell 25 feet to his death, no one else on that run claimed to have seen it.

Now his parents are suing the university and fraternity over the death of their son and allege a cover-up, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann. Cindy and Gary Hipps filed two civil suits that seek $50 million in damages that allege there was a fatal confrontation on the bridge.

For his mother Cindy, identifying the body of her son “was the worst moment of (her) life.”

“Because I can still see his face,” Cindy said. “I wake up at night and I have all the good memories of him. But I have that memory.”

Do you possess the leadership skills to lead a young group of men or women and change the negative stigma Greek organizations are developing? Take the first step by conducting a college scholarship search at Scholarships.com to find free money for college.

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

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Suicide on Campus

Aug 5, 2015

by Emily Rabinowitz

“Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among college students, claiming the lives of 1,100 students each year.” (From activeminds.org)

Whether you’re packing to go off to college this year, or preparing to leave next year, your mental health is important during this stressful period of your life. Listed below are important resources to prepare you or someone you know that may be in need of mental health services on campus.

Active Minds (http://www.activeminds.org/) is a mental health organization that focuses on college students. They probably have a chapter at your university that can provide support, resources, and peers for you to connect with.

ULifeline (http://www.ulifeline.org/static/must_select_a_school) is an online center that connects you with resources specific to your school as well as information about different conditions and solutions.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (http://www.nami.org/) is an organization focused on helping individuals with all mental illness. They have great resources for breaking the stigma, finding counselors and getting help.

Your university website—If you have a pre-existing condition such as anxiety, depression, or high stress, check out the health services page. Look into the details of the services. Do you need insurance? Where are the counselors? Are they available 7 days a week? Make sure that both you and your parents feel comfortable with the protocol your school has set up to deal with mental illness. While you’re on this website, it’s a good idea to put the phone numbers of the wellness center in your phone. You might also want these emergency numbers as well:

1-800-273-8255 is the National Suicide Prevention Life Line. It can also be accessed online here: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. Remember, if you or someone you know is in danger, please call 911.

Chances are you will encounter mental illness during your time in school. The good thing is that by reading this, you are already informed about resources online and on campus. There are people who care about you and your safety is important. Speak up, reach out, get help.

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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by Chris Bernardi

The disease of addiction has ravaged college campuses, evident by the fact that 80 percent of college students drink alcohol, 40 percent binge drink. College students make up one of the largest groups of drug abusers nationwide. Young adolescent’s ages 18-24 already have an increased risk of addiction- those enrolled in a full-time college program are twice as likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

Several factors play into substance abuse at the collegiate level. With the high demands of coursework, part-time jobs, internships, and social obligations, many students turn to drugs to cope with stress. A heavy course load has more students than ever taking stimulants, such as Adderall, to help them stay awake long enough to study or complete assignments by their due date. In a time where one is exploring many new aspects of life in personal and professional realms, college students are curious to self-explore and dip into drug experimentation.

But what drugs are being abused? The four most common substances that are consistently abused among college students are alcohol, Adderall, marijuana, and ecstasy. Because drinking is socially acceptable, the vast majority of substance abuse on college campuses spurs from the use of alcohol. In college, drinking often goes hand-in-hand with house parties, sporting events and student get-togethers. Since the use of alcohol on college campuses is widespread and often condoned, college students drink more frequently than their peers who aren’t in college. What students fail to realize is that excessive drinking is not only a major health concern in the long-term, but can lead to immediate tragedies such as assault, injury, arrest and even death.

Adderall, dubbed the “study drug” and other stimulants are increasing in popularity as students face the pressure to meet their study requirements. As we continue to see a shift in the leniency for marijuana legalization, more students have turned to pot as their drug of choice. On some campuses, marijuana use outweighs that of alcohol. Ecstasy, the “party drug” most common at raves and concerts, has made it’s resurgence in recent years in its pure form of MDMA or molly.

Other factors, such as being in a fraternity or sorority also contribute to increased drug abuse rates. College students as a group are similarly considered high-risk for developing eating disorders.

Do you feel like stress, work load and curiosity are valid excuses for college students to use drugs? Does knowing these statistics/facts change your perspective on going to college, or ideas on drinking/drugging at college?

A better statistic would be 80% percent of students that conduct a college scholarship search at Scholarships.com find free money for college. Let's be part of that group.

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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Insight on Dorm Life

Jul 24, 2015

by Erica Lewis

It’s that time of year when housing assignments start coming out for the upcoming school year. Some students will know their roommates, but many won’t. Moving onto campus is a very exciting moment for students. It certainly was for me. It means getting away from home and getting to have your own space. For many of us, it also means learning to share space with another person. It’s a challenging, but fun experience.

There’s a variety of options where you can live in college. Many schools require students to live on campus for at least their first year in school. This is mainly to help with the transition of learning the ropes of campus and getting to meet more people. When it comes to on campus living, the traditional dorm rooms are 2 people per room and a bathroom down the hall. That’s probably the general situation for most freshmen, depending on the school. However, there are other options. The one I live in is suite-style dorms, which is like an apartment only without the full size kitchen; I still go to the dining halls to eat. Some campuses may also have apartments, but I typically think of apartments as off-campus living.

Many students move off-campus as upperclassmen to try to save money. You lose the convenience of being directly on campus, but most cities with colleges have plenty of living space not far from campus. Living off campus is great for many students, but you have to plan your budget to buy groceries, gas, pay rent, etc. There’s positives and negatives no matter where you choose to live. Make sure to think it through and decide which plan will work best for you and what you want to do.

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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by Susan Dutca

Social networking is strongly encouraged these days in the academic and professional realm. But what happens when a professor and student delve into a much deeper, complicated relationship? Northwestern academic Laura Kipnis exercised her academic voice to support professor-student relationships as "learning experiences" which received strong backlash, including a student protest and a filed Title IX complaint. Kipnis opposes college conduct rules that ban professors from dating students. Quite obviously, there are many issues regarding conflict of interest, favoritism and the like. We can never be too certain of people’s incentives in such relationships - is it true love, a gateway for strong recommendation letters, or for promising job opportunities post-graduation? Admitting to having one herself, the relationship between a higher-power professor and student now necessitates protection, whereas it did not in the past. Current sexual-harassment guidelines and laws prohibit relations that could further “skyrocket” student’s vulnerability. But you may ask, who is really vulnerable: the teacher on the brink of being fired for an originally-consented relationship or the student suffering emotional injury?

In the exact environment where there is high student accountability, "sexual panic rules." There is a large difference between consensual and nonconsensual romantic relations, as Kipnis points out- the latter requiring true concern. What is at stake here, in lieu of the consensual professor student relationship, is the degree to which new sexual harassment policies and the like come to "expand the power of the institutions themselves." When students accuse professors of emotional abuse, say in the case of a breakup, they are taught to tattle and are spoon fed reassurance. The student crying woe is me, for their own choices, does not decrease professor vulnerability but quite the contrary. All of a sudden, the honeymoon phase is over and professors face job termination due to their students' emotional injury.

In higher education, where students are at the age to consent and make their own choices, consistently pleading for more independence, would it make sense to impose laws that treat them as children? Should students be equally responsible for their romantic involvement without using laws as a crutch when things go awry?

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

Comments (96)

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 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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