Summer Internships for College Students

June 24th, 2016

BY JANE HURST

Gone are the days when grads and college students have to work at fast food joints just to make a few bucks. Today, there are so many different and exciting opportunities for students, and these opportunities can be in just about any part of the world. In the US alone, there are thousands of great internships and programs for grads and students that will help to further them in their career choices. Here are some of our top internship picks.

  • NASA Internships – High school students, juniors through graduate level, are invited to apply for NASA internships. These are available to high school students who are attending full-time accredited programs that are appropriate to NASA internships. All applicants must be US citizens, and major in several majors, from business to science and engineering. There are also non-technical internships available.
  • Art Returns Internship, Marvel Entertainment – This program is for college students, freshmen to seniors. It is available to students who are involved in full-time studies, and applicants must be proficient in Word and Excel in order to qualify for acceptance. Intern duties include filing and mailing paperwork, which is part of the process of organizing and processing Marvel artwork.
  • Doctors without Borders Press Internship – Here is an internship for sophomore and graduate students. You will be working closely with the Press Officer and Communications Assistant. Duties will include daily research support, as well as meeting the needs of various projects as you are required. This is a great opportunity for students who are into public relations, journalism, or humanitarian aid. If the internship requires a lot of traveling, you will never get homesick, because you can always use VPN for Netflix in order to keep in touch.
  • New Mexico Pets ALIVE Dog Program Associate Internship – If you are a dog lover, this may be just the internship for you. You need to have an academic or professional background in this business, or have an entrepreneurial spirit that will let you quickly embrace guidance and direction needed for this work. This is a job that requires you to get your hands dirty, and you could also be involved in fundraising.
  • Paramount Pictures Corporation Undergraduate Internship – Juniors and seniors may apply for this internship, and work in the entertainment industry. You will be able to work with professionals in the industry, and learn what it takes to create great productions. You will also attend many events that will help to increase your knowledge about the entertainment industry.
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Internship – Sophomore and fifth year graduate students can apply for this internship, which is only available to students who are currently enrolled in full-time studies. To apply, please submit a resume with a cover letter, as well as a letter of reference or a recommendation from a professor who specializes in your field.
  • Summer Wildlife Intern, Wildcare Inc. – All college students may apply for the Summer Wildlife internship. You need to have an interest in the care and treatment of injured/orphaned wildlife, and be able to work at least 20 hours per week from May until August. This is an unpaid internship.
  • Disney College Program Internship – Any student who is enrolled in an accredited college or university is eligible to apply for this internship, as long as they have completed one full semester. All applicants must be 18 years of age or older to be eligible. Intern duties will include such things as guest research and relations, custodial duties, working at attractions, parking lot cashier, PhotoPass photographer, resort transportation, parking, ticket-taking, hopper, and main entrance operations.

Byline:

Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter!

Thank you!

Positive Academic and Labor Market Consequences of Four- to Two-Year College Transfer

June 23rd, 2016

Do Students Benefit from Going Backward? The Academic and Labor Market Consequences of Four- to Two-Year College Transfer. By Vivienne Yuen Ting Liu. Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, Columbia University. 

http://capseecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/capsee-do-students-benefit-from-going-backward.pdf

 

“About 16% of students who begin in a four-year college transfer to a two-year college within six years … this paper examines the effects of 4–2 transfer on ‘struggling’ students, those who earned less than a 3.0 grade point average in the first term. Results indicate that these 4–2 transfer students are more likely than similar non-transfer students to attain two-year college credentials (including associate degrees and long- and short-term certificates); the gain is concentrated in women who tend to enroll in health-related programs. What is more, struggling students who transfer to two-year colleges are no less likely than struggling non-transfer students to earn a bachelor’s degree.… The findings indicate that 4–2 transfer can improve college completion for students struggling in four-year institutions.”

 

Comprehensive Report On Higher Education Equity Data

June 22nd, 2016

This Indicators of Higher Education Equity: 2016 Historical Trend Report (2016 Indicators Report) is dedicated to Arnold Mitchem and Tom Mortenson. Without the very different work of these two individuals, the report would not have been possible. Both have dedicated their work lives to creating greater equity in educational opportunity in the United States. By producing this volume and continuing the Search for Solutions-Shared Dialogues, we honor the legacy of their work and the seeds they have sown for increasing equity

Read Full Article ››

 

How to Break the “College Kids Can’t Cook” Mold

June 21st, 2016

BY Robert Parmer

College students usually get a bad rap when it comes to cooking meals for themselves. Horror stories of coffee pot ramen, and mac and cheese for dinner all week stand out and paint a narrative that represents a lack of this basic human skill.

The following tips will help you break the mold that college students can’t take care of their basic need to eat. These skills are important, so why not learn them now if you haven’t yet? They’ll be with you the rest of your life!

Read A “Cookbook”

Life after high school graduation can be strange for students living on their own for the first time. A foundational piece of the college puzzle is learning how to keep yourself properly nourished. Minimal cooking experience and less than ideal food budgets can get in the way of this basic endeavor. Even if you have little to no cooking experience, there is still hope!

A great starting point is either some cookbooks from a friend or family member. While this seems old school, many dated cookbooks offer very straightforward instructions and explanations. If this isn’t possible for you, or you’d rather start with a modern version of a cookbook, check out cooking websites like Student Recipes. These types of sites are filled with instructional pieces and uncomplicated recipes.

Find recipes that focus on simple, easy to prepare meals that college student’s budgets and stomachs can agree with.

Make Sure you Have the Basic Essentials

Cooking is a lot easier when you have the right tools. So get a solid set of pots, pans, and cooking utensils. This should include a sharp knife that feels comfortable in your hand and large cutting board. Stray away from cutting boards made from wood or bamboo as they harbor bacteria. Food safety affects everyone, so be sure to always keep your surfaces and utensils clean. Use large plastic cutting boards and delegate one as ‘meat only’ to avoid cross contamination.

These overlooked but fundamentally necessary items are oftentimes lacking in dorms and first apartments. And so is cleanliness. If you can’t afford to buy the supplies you need, specific kitchen items are great things to add to Christmas or Birthday lists. You’re family will be happy to buy you things with such a practical purpose.

And Invest in Some Kitchen Gadgets

These things will all ultimately make your life easier and make you seem well versed in kitchen tech. Blenders and food processors are great for making smoothies and sauces, and finely chopping foods. Many recipes that focus more on making things ‘from scratch’ involve either a food processor or blender.

A spiralizer is a handy tool that lets you turn fruits and vegetables into different sized noodles. The spiralizer is a gateway to clean eating habits! This is a great way to get more produce into your diet in a simple yet unique way.

Consider using a toaster oven instead of a microwave. They might take a little big longer but the quality of food out of a toaster oven is tenfold. Not to mention, microwaves and related processed foods are linked to several types of cancer. So while you learn to cook, it’s important to avoid techniques and foods that are unhealthy on a long term basis. This is what’s known as preventative care; habits that will keep you healthy your entire life!

 

But Seriously..Step Away From the Microwave!

Since they’ve became a staple item in home use in the late 1960’s, microwave ovens have shifted from a luxury item to a common and oftentimes overused appliance.

Although there are some practical uses for microwaves, they are generally a quicker, less healthy way of cooking food than on a stove or in a traditional oven. Microwaving full meals on the regular gets you caught in a cycle of potentially damaging meal choices and preparation methods.

Reheat meals for short amounts of time. When you reheat food in the microwave, do so in 30 second increments. That way you won’t nuke your food to the point of being beyond recognition.

Cooking Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful

It’s common for people to get overwhelmed and stressed out while learning how to cook. A great way to alleviate this is to start with simplicity and work your way to more complex recipes and cooking techniques.

Start with what you know, and branch out. And if you notice that you’re constantly feeling high strung, consider eating and cooking with stress relieving foods on the regular.

Practice Makes Perfect

Like most intricate skills, the more you practice cooking, the better you’ll get over time. Luckily, we all have to eat. And cooking for yourself saves a lot of money for a less than bountiful college budget.

I’ve worked in a multitude of restaurants, everything from counter food to fine dining. Probably the most memorable takeaway from the kitchen life for me is that anyone with the genuine desire to succeed at cooking a delicious meal, certainly has the capacity to do so. I’ve watched dishwashers become world class cooks. Sure, you’ve gotta burn a few things on accident and make a few newbie mistakes in the process, but the cliche is true here: practice makes perfect!

Robert Parmer is a freelance web writer and student of Boise State University. Oustside of writing whenever he has spare time, Robert enjoys creating and recording music, caring for his pet cat, and commuting by bicycle whenever possible. Follow him on Twitter @robparmer

 

 

Limiting Your College Potential – 7 Things You May Be Doing and How to Stop

June 20th, 2016

 

BY RICK RIDDLE

I wasn’t a great student. At every parent-teacher conference, my parents heard the same thing – “She’s a solid average student, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” Really? To say that to my parents, both with graduate degrees and movers and shakers in their professions, was like a death sentence. I am sure my mother was hoping that I would be able to find some really rich man to marry, so I would be well taken care of in my “averageness.” And all the while, my two brothers were “setting the world on fire” – one in medical school, and the other on the Dean’s list every semester. All of this “did a number” on me, and I just accepted the fact that community college was probably my limit. Perhaps I could get a decent job with an Associate’s Degree

Self-Imposed Limitation

 Whether we hear it from others or somehow develop the idea that there is only so far we can go in life, many of us carry that baggage around with us and let it define who we are and what we are capable of. We get into a box, and there we stay. It’s pretty comfortable, actually. Until the passion and desire hits. And when it does, we don’t know what to do with it. We find something that excites us, something we want to do for our life’s work. We need to move to a new level, but all of that baggage is hanging on for dear life.

For me, the passion hit when I enrolled in an English comp class in that average community college for average students like myself. The instructor was amazing and wrote notes on all of those essays I wrote. I was creative, he said; I had a unique tone and voice, he said; I had real talent, he said; I just needed polish. This was, quite literally, the first time any teacher had seen something more than average in me. Wow. Could I actually pursue writing as a career? Nah. And all of those limiting thoughts flooded back in. Fortunately, this instructor did not give up. He insisted that I enroll in English Comp II, even though it wasn’t required, and I did.

It took two full years to get rid of my self-imposed limitations, but I am living proof that it can be done. Here are seven things we do to ourselves to limit our potential, how to go to war with them, and how to win.

 

  1. We Compare Ourselves to Successful Others

Growing up in a household of achievers in STEM fields, it was pretty easy to feel inferior. I never thought about success in some other field, because the comparisons with the successful people I knew were just too discouraging.

Even in the field of writing, which I ultimately chose for a career, there were these great and wonderful writers out there with skills and talents so far beyond mine. What was the use? Of course, that was ridiculous thinking.

Here’s the thing: There will always be those better than you; there will always be those not as good as you. That’s a reality. The only thing that really matters is to compare yourself today with yourself yesterday, or last week, or last year. You’re better than you were, and you have no way to know how great you really will get. That’s an astounding realization. There really are no limits.

 

  1. We Procrastinate, Insisting We are Not Ready

So when will you be ready? When that English instructor suggested that I pursue some freelance writing gigs, my first response was absolutely not – it was too soon. So, he introduced me to another student who was already doing this. He was a bit over loaded with writing at the time and asked me to write two blog posts for him.

So nervous, but excited too. I spent every waking hour of the next three days writing two 500-word blog posts. Looking back, it’s laughable. But it was the one thing that got me moving.

If you are procrastinating, take one small step – just one. Are you dreaming of starting your own business? Get online and do some research about entrepreneurship – there’s loads of information out there, and when you read others’ stories, you get excited and motivated to get moving. One step will lead to another.

 

  1. We Fail to Widen our Career/Social Circle

This is one of the most limiting things we do to ourselves. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to hang out with other entrepreneurs; if you want to be a musician, you have to hang out with musicians. If you stay in your current circles, you won’t grow. And, in your current circles, there are those who may be reminding of that old baggage you are gradually shedding.

Find where others hang out on and offline and go there. Join a related group or organization. Just being in their presence will help you remove those limitations you have imposed. If they can do this, so can you. Stay in the company of like-minded people.

 

 

  1. We Don’t Ask for Help

There is that thought within us that somehow asking for help is a sign of inability or weakness. In reality, there are very few, if any, successful people who have not had some form of help along the way. I had “built-in” help. Most people don’t.

It may be very difficult for you to overcome the hesitancy to ask for help. Here is a way around that. If you have widened those circles of acquaintances and friends in your niche, then you are obviously in discussions with them. Perhaps you attend a monthly meeting of a network group; maybe you have joined some online groups. You can bring up topics about which you feel “uneducated” or incapable right now and listen to the discussions. If you have an online association, you will also find that it is far easier requesting help through email, messaging, or Skype, than it may be face-to-face. And, many times, people will simply offer to help you without your even requesting.

Take all of the help you can get. You’re not taking it because you are limited; you are taking it because you’re smart.

 

  1. We Take a “No” as Permanent

J.K. Rowling is happy to tell her story of how she was told “no” by over 200 publishers before she finally got one to say “yes” to her first Harry Potter novel. She could have limited herself by taking the 198th “no” as the final and permanent one. She would still be a secretary today.

Choose to interpret a “no” as Rowling did. It really means “not right now” or “not just yet.” Refusing to accept a limitation, and adopting patience and persistence instead will pay off. It is one of the biggest factors of success.

 

  1. We Accept Other People’s Versions of Success

How we define success is pretty critical to getting rid of our limitations. Here’s how this works. In my family, getting great grades, going on to a prestigious school, and entering a highly respected profession was the definition of success. I lived with that definition growing up, and when it wasn’t for me, I set up big limitations – only capable of an Associate’s Degree and a mundane job that would get me by; never being a career professional of any sort; always feeling like a failure in the eyes of others. These were totally self-imposed and totally false.

Define success for yourself. It may not be lots of shiny eye candy; it may not be those letters before or after your name (Dr., Ph.D., etc.). It should be doing what you love – that’s where freedom lies.

 

  1. We Fear Failure

When we are afraid to fail, we “play small.” We take no chances; we stay in our boxes and comfort zones; and we reinforce all of those limiting thoughts that we have always had about ourselves. Most life and business coaches say the same tired thing. We learn from our failures. That’s good advice, but it’s meaningless if the fear is still there.

To push that fear into the background, here is a great exercise. Suppose you really want to follow your passion, but you know you could fail. Get out a piece of paper and write down everything that could happen if you fail. You may lose money; you may face criticism from some; you may be unhappy for a time; and you may even have to take a job you really don’t like much, at least while you re-group.

Now ask yourself these questions: Is the Earth still rotating on its axis? Are you still alive and breathing? Will there be a sunrise tomorrow? Are your body parts all still working well? It sounds like life and the world are still going to go on, despite your failure. When you can get things in perspective, you can dump the fear and be willing to try again.

Happy Endings

My story has a happy ending. I love what I do, and there aren’t any real thoughts of limitations any more. It’s liberating. Think about these seven limitations. Are there any you are still holding on to? If so, you have some work to do, but the rewards are amazing.

Author’s BIO:

Rick Riddle is an up-and-coming blogger whose articles can help you with self-development, entrepreneurship and digital marketing. Follow Rick on twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 

 

Private College Tuition Discounts Rise To New Heights

June 17th, 2016

Rick Seltzer,InsideHigherEducation

Tuition discount rates keep climbing to previously unseen levels at private colleges and universities, leaving institutions caught between the need to enroll highly price-conscious students and the squeeze discounting places on the amount of money they end up netting.

The average institutional tuition discount rate rose to an estimated 48.6 percent for first-time, full-time freshmen in 2015-16, according to a report released today by the National Association of College and University Business Officers. The rate, which represents the portion of total tuition and fee revenue channeled back to students as grant-based financial aid, was up from 47.1 percent the previous year. Discount rates also increased when all undergraduates were measured, rising to 42.5 percent from 41.3 percent.

That means private institutions piped nearly half of every dollar charged in tuition and fees back into scholarships and grants for freshmen. Counting all students, they routed more than 42 cents of every dollar into financial aid. Both numbers are all-time highs. The number also means private colleges and universities relied on steep discounts to attract students or make themselves affordable.

Discount rates have been marching steadily higher since 2008-9, when large swaths of family wealth evaporated during the financial crisis and Great Recession. Discount rates averaged 39.9 percent for freshmen and 36.9 percent for all undergraduates in 2008-9.

The popular theory is that the recession caused a break in the way families view finances and tuition. Students and parents with less cash on hand became more price conscious. They also became increasingly willing to shop between pricier private institutions and lower-cost options like state universities and other alternative programs.

Still, discount rates were ticking up even before the recession — they stood at 38.1 percent for freshmen and 34.3 percent for all undergraduates in 2004-5.

Regardless of the reason behind the rising discount rates, they’ve contributed to a landscape where many colleges and universities feel the squeeze. Net tuition revenue growth estimates averaged 1.2 percent for freshmen in 2015-16, flattening slightly from 2.1 percent a year earlier. Net tuition revenue growth across all undergraduates averaged an estimated 1.8 percent in 2015-16, about even with 1.7 percent the year before. Net revenue increases weren’t enough to keep pace with the rate of inflation as measured by the Higher Education Price Index, which was 2.1 percent in 2015.

At the same time, many private institutions have experienced declining enrollments. In the new report, 37.5 percent of institutions reported enrollments declined in both their freshman classes and across their entire undergraduate bodies from 2014 to 2015. More than half of institutions, 51.2 percent, reported a decrease in total undergraduate enrollment, and 53.5 percent said freshman enrollment dropped.

The trends have universities asking questions about their strategy going forward, said Ken Redd, director of research and analysis at NACUBO.

“There’s a real emphasis among our chief business officers and other campus leaders to preserving, to the extent they can, affordability,” Redd said. “There’s a big price that campuses are paying for that. With the net tuition revenue essentially, in real terms, being flat for the last couple of years, it really does mean that institutions have to start thinking about other ways of helping to preserve the emphasis on affordability.”

Open questions include whether current levels of discounting are sustainable, what strategies should be used to take on enrollment declines and, notably, whether private colleges will have to turn to cutting listed tuition and fee prices.

NACUBO asked chief business officers to share strategies they used in the 2015 fiscal year to raise net tuition revenue in 2015. Student recruitment and retention made up the top strategy, used by 27.7 percent of institutions. Financial aid strategies followed at 26.7 percent, tailed closely by tuition pricing strategies at 24.2 percent. Changes or additions to academic programs were only cited by 4.7 percent.

“For many schools, just raising the discount rate is not by itself a way of solving enrollment or revenue issues,” Redd said. “A number of schools seem to be trying different strategies. It’s too early in the process to know how those strategies will work.”

Meanwhile, institutions clearly felt they were losing enrollment because of prices. Among survey respondents that experienced freshman enrollment declines between 2012-13 and 2015-16, a whopping 62 percent said they believed students’ price sensitivity was a factor. Price sensitivity was the top reason cited, followed by increased competition at 60 percent, changing demographics at 51 percent, a decrease in the number of 18- to 24-year-olds in a region at 40 percent and a decrease in yield rates at 39 percent. Farther down, 19 percent of institutions said they lost freshmen because they became more selective.

Colleges and universities are going to have to become more sophisticated in their pricing, said Rick Beyer, a former president of Wheeling Jesuit University and a consultant who is the managing principal of AGB Institutional Strategies.

8 Ways to Prevent College Summer Learning Loss

June 16th, 2016

 

BY JANE HURST

One of the biggest challenges many students need to overcome is the learning that they lose while they are on summer vacation. This happens to all college students at one time or another, because there are two to three months when no learning is being done. If you are worried about this happening to you, here are eight things you can do to prevent summer learning loss.

  1. Schedule Daily Learning Time – You don’t have to make yourself sit for hours and learn every day all summer, but 15-30 minutes of daily learning time will help to keep the things you learned throughout the school year fresh in your mind. Get yourself into summer reading groups, and visit the local library to check out books that will help.
  2. College Summer Camp – Summer camps are always great for learning, whether they are week-long camps or day camps. There are several different types of college summer camps, so look for one that focuses on the things you like. For instance, if you are into science, look into space camp, computer camp, etc. If you are artistic, there are also arts and crafts camps.
  3. Get Yourself Into Creative Writing – Creative writing is loads of fun, and a great way for college students to brush up on writing skills, which include grammar, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation. Use online tools to choose something to write about, and use a good thesaurus so you can find new words to use in place of others. You will learn new words, and make your written works even more interesting.
  4. Take a Virtual Vacation – You can travel all over the world without ever leaving your own home, and you can learn a lot about things that are happening in other countries, different cultures, languages, etc. If you can get your hands on a virtual reality headset, it will make learning even more fun, because you will almost feel like you are in whatever country you are learning about.
  5. Improve Speed Reading Skills – Start reading for enjoyment every day throughout summer vacation. It could be reading a chapter from a novel each night before bedtime, reading on long car rides, etc. Also, to help you understand what you are reading try using comprehension workbook a few minutes each day. These books can be found at teacher supply stores, as well as online.
  6. Work on Grammar Skills – While working on improving reading skills, don’t forget about grammar skills. Look for grammar workbooks, and encourage yourself to use these books. After a while, you will start getting correct answers all the time.
  7. Develop Math Skills – Get yourself to work on a couple of math problems each day. Make it a daily challenge, and reward yourself when they are completed by going to the park or doing some other type of fun activity. This is particularly important for college students who have trouble with math, and it will help to prepare them for the upcoming year.
  8. Try Field Trips – Field trips are fun, and educational. Take your friends to art galleries, science museums, historical locations, etc. and get them into activities that are related to the subjects they study in school, such as history, geography, math, science, and social studies. Try writing short essays or draw pictures to show what you have learned on the field trips. Don’t forget to include fun field trips.

Byline:

Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter!

Universities Need To Become More Nimble With Less Regulation

June 15th, 2016

By CAROL L. FOLT
HIGHER EDUCATION WAS ONCE the backbone of American economic and scientific growth. Following World War II, the government doubled down on its investments in our nation’s colleges and universities and helped drive corporate growth, intellectual property and technological innovations that became the envy of the world. And since the technology boom of the 1990s, we’ve been sitting on a golden opportunity—an imperative, really—to evolve the university model once more.

But now our universities are falling behind our own expectations. Legacy thinking, outdated teaching models and poor facilities, among other things, leave us at risk of failing our students—some of whom are given low scores for preparedness across key learning outcomes, such as analytical thinking and applying their skills to the real world. Furthermore, bureaucracy and red tape are hindering our research efforts. According to one study, investigators working on federally sponsored research projects spend 42% of their time doing administrative tasks.
At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we spend roughly $170 million a year complying with too-often vague, complex or duplicative state and federal regulations.

If we are to keep pace with a changing world, we need to take quick and drastic actions to make our universities more nimble. How can we be more efficient? What is inhibiting us? And where do we have opportunities to make the educational experience more relevant and practical?

The first step is improving key aspects of undergraduate and graduate education. At UNC at Chapel Hill, we’ve had great success “flipping” classrooms—moving away from the lecture-style format and toward “learner-centered teaching,” where students watch lectures at home and spend class time solving problems and debating issues. By doing so, one of our biology professors was able to completely eliminate the achievement gap between first-generation students and other students in her class, while also cutting the achievement gap for African-American students in half.
Right now, we have a “winner takes all” mentality in tests, grants and other areas. We need to embrace a team-based model of problem solving—one that represents the way work is done in the outside world, embracing partnerships and varied perspectives to solve complex problems.

In addition, universities must accelerate the way we create research and bring it to market. The bulk of our country’s basic research takes place in our universities, and yet business and industry perform more than 70% of R&D with commercial application. By finding additional funding, resources and spaces—such as creating new partnerships with private companies and securing support for basic research and entrepreneurial programs—we can give our students, faculty and staff the opportunity to take an active role in financially viable research. At UNC at Chapel Hill, we recently teamed up with GlaxoSmithKline to launch a jointly owned company, one of the first of its kind, with the goal of finding a cure for HIV/AIDS—a model for partnerships between higher education and the private sector.

Carol L. Folt is the chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Carol L. Folt is the chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
To paraphrase Charles Darwin, the species that are the most likely to survive are those that are best adapted for change. At this dynamic time in history, colleges and universities must evolve and rethink how we educate our students in and out of the classroom to prepare them to address both new and pressing societal challenges as well as emerging opportunities head on

How to Find More College Scholarship Opportunities

June 14th, 2016

BY KAYLA MATTHEWS

It’s an intimidating prospect – how can anyone in their early twenties manage to cover all their educational expenses, which can easily add up to a small fortune? It may sound obvious, but don’t overlook seeking out scholarships, and lots of them. There are a huge variety of scholarships available to most students, and finding some will make your financial burden invariably lighter.

Local and Unique Scholarships Are the Most Powerful

A key way to ensure scholarship-application success is to apply to scholarships no one else applies to. This is a lot easier than you think. Approach guidance counselors at your school, teachers, your parents and your parents’ friends. Many schools have long lists of local scholarships and will be happy to help you find out about them, mostly because there aren’t a lot of people asking for help.

The majority of your scholarships should be sought out locally. Scholarship websites like Fastweb can receive hundreds or thousands of applications per scholarship, making them much more competitive and thereby decreasing your odds at winning them – even if you are exceptional. Applying strategically means making the odds go in your favor.

Weird and specific scholarships could be right up your alley. Any chance you are planning on going to clown college? Yeah, there’s a scholarship for that.

Are you a huge Shelby Mustang fan with some videography skills? Enter CJ Pony Parts’ scholarship video contest.

You can also use scholarship sites like CollegeExpress and Fastweb with the purpose of finding unique scholarships. Because many of them are so specific, they are not likely to have a lot of other applicants.

Apply to Everything Relevant

Another way to push the odds in your favor is to apply to a lot of scholarships. A lot, as in dozens. People who manage to fully fund their college education often apply to 50 or more scholarships.

This is because most scholarships are for between $500 and $2,000. It may seem like a drop in the bucket when you’re facing $30,000 in tuition per year, but it adds up to make a real difference. Even if you don’t cover all your tuition, you can look at that $500 scholarship as a new computer, groceries – you can finally eat something other than microwave ramen noodles this week – or part of rent.

Make Your Application Count

Most scholarships have three major components:

  • Personal essay
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts

You are going to be applying to a lot of scholarships, so it helps to streamline the process. Writing dozens of personal essays for different scholarships may seem intimidating at first, but after the first few, you will have enough material to copy and paste into new essays. Eventually, you should aim to complete at least one application per day.

The key to a strong personal essay is to get lots of feedback. Let your parents and teachers look it over – basically any functioning adult with some knowledge of the academic world can be a major help to you. Because you will end up using the material from the first essays you write on later applications, it’s best to make sure these essays are strong. Try to have at least two different people proof your first essays.

Then, we get to the letters of recommendation. The best way to tackle these is to create an outline for your recommenders with what you’d like to emphasize in your applications. List three unique things about yourself on this outline – did you help other students during after-school sessions? Were you a leader on a successful presentation or project? Listing these things will help your application stand out from the others. A generic letter of recommendation is not likely to help you.

In order to streamline the letter of recommendation process, you can ask your recommenders to submit their letter online to a service like Interfolio. Medical school applicants often use this online platform to organize their letters of recommendation to send out to schools electronically, and there’s no reason you can’t use it too. Interfolio allows you to store and send your letter of recommendation online. This way, you don’t have to pester your recommender 60 times for the 60 different scholarships you will apply to – you only need to ask once. It’s also courteous – they don’t have to pay postage.

The final part of your application is your transcripts. This is straightforward. You will be getting to know your school’s transcript office well!

In the end, finding scholarship opportunities for school is a matter of endurance. You will need to submit a lot of applications, but as you can see, it doesn’t always take a lot of time and effort to do so. Hopefully, all your hard work will pay off in the end.

 

Kayla Matthews writes about college life and student productivity for Hack College, Student Advisor and The Huffington Post. Follow her on Twitter @KaylaEMatthews.

Benefits of Taking a Part-Time Job when at College

June 13th, 2016

David Gutierrez

Taking into account the ever-growing costs of higher education, it is no wonder that more and more students consider taking up a part-time job to be more of a necessity than conscious decision. However, if you are still in doubt whether to do it yourself, here are 5 reasons to follow through with this decision.

1.    Money

This point is kind of self-explanatory – the very reason why you sing up for this thing is to get some extra cash – to cover the costs of studying and living, and probably to increase the quality of your life a little bit. For some people it will be the first legitimately earned money; for those who practiced working part-time at high school it will be continuation of a previous experience, but one thing can be said for certain – when at college, any money you can get is more than welcome.

2.    Discipline

All in all, your time in college isn’t for all intents and purposes a part of entirely adult life. You are still kind of playing around, you are given a lot of leeway, you have many opportunities to do things for no other reason than that you want to. Having to work for somebody who expects results, not good marks, from you, can serve as a sobering experience. As simple thing as the need to follow the workplace health and safety regulations can do wonders in teaching you discipline.

3.    Time Management

According to Benjamin Franklin, if you want something done, you have to ask a busy person. Paradoxically, but the less free time one has, the more he usually manages to do. When you have to deal with your part-time job in addition to your studies, you have to use extra effort to complete every assignment on time and, in the long run, it will lead to a better ability to plan your time and use it wisely. The less free time you have, the more effectively you use it.

4.    Start in Your Industry

Getting a part-time job allows you to start out in your chosen industry earlier than most of your classmates. You can spend this time acquiring useful knowledge about your chosen career, establishing networks of contacts within it, and improving your resume in general.

5.    Experience

Oh, and we shouldn’t forget mentioning such straightforward thing as experience. While working part-time while at college, you acquire valuable practical knowledge both in terms of better understanding the chosen industry and in terms of being in an actual working environment. You will have to deal with real people, solve real problems, learn real skills – not the theoretical ones taught at college. If something can serve as an introduction to an adult life, getting a job early on surely will do the trick.

On the surface, a part-time job during college is nothing more than a source of some extra ready cash. However, when you take a closer look, it is much more than that – it is an introduction to further life, a source of valuable experience, a test drive for your skills in real world. Don’t waste an opportunity to use it.

Author’s bio:

David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates