Friday, January 30, 2015

App Notifies Parents, Professors When Students Skip Class

App Notifies Parents, Professors When Students Skip Class

Today, the average college graduate leaves their college experience nearly $30,000 in debt. Still, it’s not uncommon for college students to choose sleeping in or hanging out with friends over attending class. In fact, Core Principle reports that students skip up to 20% of their classes throughout college, as stated in USA Today – which is thousands of dollars in wasted money.

USA Today reports that a class at California’s Claremont McKenna College costs between $130 and $390 per class. At Columbia University, the average cost to miss a class is $150, according to And a professor at the University of Massachusetts told The Daily Collegian that every student, regardless of where they attend, can determine the cost of their courses by taking the costs of tuition divided by the amount of credit hours enrolled per week.

The sum you may be wasting in skipped classes can be pretty sickening, especially when you factor in the fact that you and your parents are taking out thousands of dollars in student loans for you to take a nap or play video games. So it’s no wonder parents and professors alike are backing a new app that enables them to see when you’re skipping class.

Class 120, developed by Core Principle, simply monitors whether a student shows up for class or not and notifies parents, professors and administrators when students fail to show up, as reported by USA Today. Additionally, the app sends an alert to students to inform them that they’ve missed a class or session.

Students need not be concerned about their privacy, however. The app does not monitor their location 24/7; rather just when they’re in class. It also requires their consent in order to track their attendance.

While the app monitors attendance, it does so much more for a student’s college experience by opening up dialogue between students, parents and professors on the importance of attending class. It makes attending each class a team effort, which hopefully results in better grades, an increase in four-year graduation rates and college cost savings.

The app costs $17.99 per month and $199 for the entire year, according to USA Today. It is currently being used at 21 colleges by roughly 2,000 users.

Would you use the Class120 app to help you track your attendance -- why or why not?

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Quick Two-Minute Resume Changes

Quick Two-Minute Resume Changes

Updating your resume can seem like a huge task to undertake, however, you should look at yours as a living document that should be constantly updated.

After all, you're constantly improving so why shouldn't your resume improve with you?

The good news is - it's not a tedious task. You can can improve your resume, even if you only have a moment to spare.

Check out the following resume updates that take about two quick minutes:

1. Remove “References Available Upon Request”

If they want references, they’ll ask for them.

Use the extra space to add a detail about another accomplishment or an additional ability – these matter more to potential employers and hiring managers.

2. Delete your career objective

It takes up space and is obvious – why else would you be submitting a resume?

3. Save the file name as “[Your Last Name] Resume”

This will ensure that your resume doesn’t get lost in the shuffle with all of the other files generically named “resume.”

4. Remove your address

If you’re not applying locally, some recruiters may write you off as soon as they see your address. If you are local, recruiters may take your commute time into account, which may or may not work to your advantage.

Either way, it’s best to not take the risk. If they need your address, they will ask for it.

5. Move education below experience

Unless you’re a recent graduate, your recent job experience is more important than your education. Display what is most important to getting the job at the top of your resume because that’s what most likely to get you hired.

6. Write out the full title of any organizations, certifications or titles where you have acronyms

Many recruiters use applicant tracking systems and some look for full titles (Bachelor of Arts) and some look for acronyms (BA), so you should use both forms to be safe.

Additionally, some organizations or certifications may be obscure and a recruiter may not know what it stands for, so make sure you spell it out, just in case.

These quick resume updates can improve your resume and take little-to-no-effort on your part. Go ahead - give yours a fresh look!

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5 Digital Interview Tips

5 Digital Interview Tips

In the age of the Internet, digital interviews are becoming increasingly common. The process can be quite intimidating if you’re not sure what to expect.

It’s important that you’re ready for the process just in case it comes up, as many brands are utilizing the digital interview more than ever before, as it is seen as a more efficient method of interviewing, especially for positions located outside of the area where hiring managers are located.

1. Be prepared before you connect

As you would with any interview, research common interview questions so you know how you’ll answer interview questions, even before being asked.

Contemplate the type of interview questions this potential employer may asked, based on the type of company it is and do an internet search based on that.

Also, prepare a list of facts that includes what you know about the company and relevant facts, making sure you memorize the list before the interview.

2. Practice makes perfect

A digital interview can be uncomfortable and unnatural, similar to speaking in front of a camera. In fact, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Practicing aloud while taping yourself is highly recommended because it can help you get rid of stage fright – that way, you can review the awkward footage and start over until it feels natural.

If it feels too unnatural doing so by yourself, ask a friend to practice interviewing you via online video chat, providing your friend with a list of interview questions to ask beforehand. Just make sure to take the process seriously because practice really does make perfect!

3. Display your skill set through thoughtful examples

Hiring managers are looking for candidates with examples to back up their claims.

For example, if you say you’re a team player, make sure you have an example of a time you were a team player ready to go before you even bring it up.

Lacking to do so can cause hiring managers to write you off quickly – which is exactly what you don’t want to happen.

4. Keep it short and sweet

During a digital interview, it’s more difficult to keep people’s attention. You want to keep your answers as crisp and concise as possible, making sure you get to the point quickly and effectively. That way, you can ensure everyone is hearing all of what you’re saying, not just some of it - because all of it is important.

5. Try to show enthusiasm and energy

Because people on the other side of the connection are seeing a limited part of you, it’s easy to come across as very unenthusiastic, even if that’s completely unintentional. Work on fluctuating your voice tone to ensure you don’t come across as monotone or “flat.”

Try smiling at appropriate junctures, tilting your head at times of contemplation or showing different expressions.

Working to highlight simple emotions can keep your interviewer interested in watching and listening to you.

Remember, following these simple tips can make the difference between getting to the next stage of the interview process and being placed in the “no” pile!

Source feed Post from fastweb


10 Student-Inspired Valentines

Oh, Valentine’s Day.

Whether you take it seriously or not, it’s going to be all around you on campus - seriously, you're not going to be able to avoid it if you plan on leaving home.

Lover will be everywhere, gazing into each other's eyes, like lovesick puppies. Which is cool, if you're into that. But, if you're not, it can be a little much.

Alas, we must appeal to the masses.

Therefore, in honor of this day of love, we’ve created some fun student-inspired valentines for different personality types.

Show someone you care this Valentine’s Day, whether it’s someone you’re crushing on, dating, a friend in class or your best bud.

Check out our ten student-inspired valentines to share with whomever you deem worthy this Valentine’s Day:

1. For the Computer Savvy:

Coded with Love Valentine

Maybe you can read code and want to make them work to decode your message (it’s really not that hard, though).

Maybe he or she reads code and will be completely blown away by your efforts.

Either way, this valentine is coded with love and it’s just for you two (and every other person that can read code) to share.

This coded-with-love valentine was created on Polyvore.

2. For Math Lovers:

The Perfect Math Equation Valentine

It’s the most basic equation known to man, yet not really a math equation at all, as any mathematician knows.

However, when nostalgia comes into play, we let it go for the sake of romance. Oh, the silly things we do for romance.

This math equation valentine was created on Polyvore.

3. For Writers:

Love Story Valentine

This is a valentine that’s a story about writing a love story. See what we did there?

They will be happy at the mere thought of you writing. What writer wouldn’t want that? (Bonus, you don’t have to actually write the love story.)

This love story valentine was created on Polyvore.

4. For the Undecided Majors:

You’re A-Peeling

Tell your crush how you feel this Valentine’s Day the only way one should: with a banana-gram. Yep, we just made that up. Honestly, who doesn’t want to be told they’re a-peeling?

Plus, appealing isn’t super-committal, so it’s playing it safe. That's a bonus for you if it doesn’t work out. Just saying – we’re on your side here.

This banana valentine was created on Polyvore.

5. For Lab Lovers:

All About Chemistry Valentine

If you’ve got enough chemistry to burn down the very lab you met in, this one’s for you. If the very sight of your lab partner makes your safety goggles melt, this is the perfect valentine.

Just remember that, when hazardous chemicals are involved, nobody wins.

This chemistry valentine was created on Polyvore.

6. For Graphic Art Fans:

Comic Love

No, we don’t think it’s great comic art. We’re not even going to pretend it’s good comic art. Can we just say it’s ironic and call it a day?

This Comic-inspired valentine was created on Polyvore.

7. For the Musically-Inclined:

Put It Into Song

We wrote you a love song, so you don’t have to spend time on one. Even though we know you could, if you put your mind to it.

This sheet music valentine was created on Polyvore.

8. For Sci-Fi Fanatics:

Robot Love

Here’s a way to tell if your other half truly gets you. What better day to test the waters than on a nationally recognized day of romance?

He or she will either be completely creeped out or charmed by your weirdness with this robot love valentine. And if he or she is charmed, you’ll know you’ve got a keeper on your hands.

This robot valentine was created on Polyvore.

9. For Those With Nothing In Common:

We Both Love...Pizza?

Don’t have a major in common? Maybe you share a sense of humor - because who doesn’t like a dumb joke once in a while? And a love of pizza - because who doesn’t like pizza?

If you don’t think he or she likes these two things, we recommend a break up immediately.

This pizza valentine was created on Polyvore.

10. For Best Buds:

The Frog Prince Valentine

You and your bestie have been through it all, including those frogs that have turned out to be not-so-prince-like. But, you know you’ll both be there, through thick and thin.

Best of all, you know that, no matter what, you always have an amazing Valentine. Who needs a prince when you've got each other?

This frog prince valentine was created on Polyvore.

Source feed Post from fastweb


12 Things I Went Through While Doing College Applications


All of high school tells you that your goal is to ace the college application process. No matter how much information you look up and how many schools you research, something always catches you by surprise. From August until February, you courageous college bound seniors will brave these scenarios. Kudos to y’all!

When I sat down and made a complete list of my awards and clubs for the first time…

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I thought I was really something.

Then I got started on my first application.

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Nothing humbles you like seeing all the spaces you don’t have anything to fill, but the applications aren’t so bad once they’re over.

There’s always that one teacher who assigns you a project on a Common Application deadline.

Or at least that’s what we say to ourselves until we breakdown after midnight and get it all done.

It’s hard to handle the stress of the waiting period after applying

Complete with rereading essays I had already submitted, stalking admissions stats, and coming up with improbable worst case scenarios.

But when you finally get an early acceptance letter…

And then

I was like, “Look, ma! I got into college!”

There’s that one friend get into one of my dream schools when I didn’t.

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And it’s not even their top choice!

When you see a letter from a reach school…

That you honestly didn’t think you’d get in to, but did.

But when you get waitlisted by a school that isn’t as prestigious…

And you get all, “They’re not even all that. I got into __________. I don’t need this.”

It’s downright scary when you calculate how much you would need to get financial aid.

There’s no sugar coating this. Just embrace the raw numbers as they are. Many times it turns out that FAFSA won’t actually give you much.

Having to listen to that kid who won’t stop talking about their high test scores…

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and how they didn’t study, but everyone knows they did.

We think we can just apply to win large private scholarships, but then we read the qualifications.

Applicants must have 1000 hours of community service, a 4.0, 10 AP Tests, 4 sports teams, and a Purple Heart – not to mention incredible writing skills and an essay that will surpass everyone else who applies.

And despite all our efforts, the best essay we can come up with boils down to this:

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Hang in there, seniors! Pretty soon all the application windows will close. You will finally only have to focus on end of the year activities and award ceremonies. The spring semester flies by faster than you think.

Do you have a GIF that represents your applications feels? Link it to us in a comment below!

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Hiram College James A. Garfield Global Scholarship

globe and money 467386991 Hiram College James A. Garfield Global Scholarship

Deadline: February 15th

Hiram College offers a number of international scholarships- including the James A. Garfield Global Scholarship. This scholarship has the potential to cover tuition for one year – the award amount is between $19,000 and $23,000.

To be eligible for this scholarship international students must complete an application to Hiram College before February 15th. Students must score a minimum of 1100 on the SAT in the combined math and critical reading sections and have at least a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 grading scale.

International students from any country and pursuing any degree are able to apply for this scholarship if they plan on attending Hiram College.

Hiram College is located in Hiram, Ohio and was founded in 1850. There are currently 1,200 undergraduate students including more than 70 international students from 30 countries around the world studying at Hiram College.

If you would like to attend Hiram College and see if you’re eligible for this scholarship you can get more information on the Hiram College James A. Garfield Global Scholarship.

The post Hiram College James A. Garfield Global Scholarship appeared first on International Education Financial Aid Blog.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Your Spring Scholarship Search

Returning to school after such a relaxing break can complicate the scholarship search.

As a senior with only one semester to go, it is tempting to slack off in spring semester, especially concerning the search for scholarships.

Finding and applying for scholarships, however, is not something to put off.

It is time to focus, with a few key pointers.

Set Goals

Add another resolution to your list. It is easier to time manage with concrete goals in front of you.

Figure out a realistic number of scholarships to apply for weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc. and stick to it.

By organizing a realistic amount of scholarships to apply for, you will be able to maintain your focus and maximize your time.

Meet With Your Counselor

Talk to your counselor about your scholarship goals. He or she will be able to keep you on task with reminders, tips, and recommendations.

Chances are, he or she will also have a list of local scholarships where your odds are a little better.

Organize a Portfolio

Keep common application materials – copies of essays, resumes, transcripts, etc. – filed somewhere accessible to make the application process easier.

You will be more motivated to search and apply for scholarships when applying only takes a few files from your readily available portfolio.

Make Some Sacrifices

If you are booked throughout the week, Saturday and Sunday might be your only opportunities to search for scholarships. You may have to forgo plans every once in a while to make time for your scholarship search and application.

If deadlines are approaching, think about what is best for your education. Move some things around on your calendar and make it work. It will be worth it.

This semester will go by quickly enough, so make the time for your search.

Keep in mind your college and career goals and set them into motion.

Seek help from your parents, teachers, and counselors to put things in perspective if you are feeling a lack of motivation. Then start applying!

The pressure of the scholarship search will be over soon enough. And, if you are successful, you will quickly see the benefits of your hard work with some sweet scholarship winnings!

Source feed Post from fastweb


Monday, January 26, 2015

Valentine’s Day Scholarships

Valentine’s Day Scholarships

Valentine’s Day is a time for love and, at Fastweb, we love scholarships!

To celebrate our love, we thought we’d share some amazing opportunities with our members.

Check out these Valentine’s Day scholarships you’ll absolutely fall in love with!

$10,000 Create Valentines for Older Adults Scholarship

Deadline: 2/15/15

Available to: Age Max 25 Years

Award Amount: $10,000

Create handmade Valentine’s Day cards to show an older adult you care and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship.

Getting older can be pretty lonely. In fact, 17% of all American seniors face isolation due to location, disability, or language barriers.

This winter, and Meals on Wheels are working together, asking young people to make handmade cards to be delivered in person to older adults by local Meals on Wheels.

Not only will you be making a older adult feel connected this Valentine’s Day, participants can earn a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship for school for the first card they make and additional chances for every three cards made after that.

The more cards you make, the more entries you can earn.

There are no essays or minimum GPA required.

Get more information on the $10,000 Create Valentines for Older Adults Scholarship.

AACT John Kitt Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: 4/13/15

Available to: College Sophomore to College Senior

Award Amount: $5,000

The AACT John Kitt Memorial Scholarship is available to sophomore, junior, and senior students who have a demonstrated interest in confectionery technology.

To be eligible, you must be majoring in food science, chemical science, biological science, or a related field at an accredited four-year college or university and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Get more information on the AACT John Kitt Memorial Scholarship.

For the Love of Chocolate Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: 5/1/15

Ages: College Freshman to College Senior

Award Amount: Varies

The For the Love of Chocolate Foundation Scholarship is available to students at the French Pastry School.

You must be accepted into L'Art de la Patisserie program, demonstrate a desire to develop your pastry art skills and have worked a minimum of 40 hours in a food service establishment prior to the beginning of the semester to qualify for this award.

Selection is also based on financial need.

A personal essay and two letters of recommendation must also be submitted.

Get more information on the For the Love of Chocolate Foundation Scholarship.

Heart of America Internship

Deadline: Rolling

Ages: College Junior to College Senior

The Heart of America Internships are available to upper-class students pursuing a career in hospitality.

To be considered, you must live or attend school in or near Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Omaha, Minnesota, or Wisconsin.

Get more information on the Heart of America Internship.

New York State Flower Industries Association Award

Deadline: Varies

Available to: College Seniors

Award Amount: $300

The New York State Flower Industries Association Award is available to students at SUNY Morrisville State College.

You must be a senior horticulture student planning to enter the flower industry to be eligible for this award.

Get more information on the New York State Flower Industries Association Award.

Marjorie J. Reed “Best Friend” Award Scholarship Fund

Deadline: Varies

Available to: College Freshman to College Senior

Award Amount: Varies

The Marjorie J. Reed "Best Friend" Award Scholarship Fund is available to graduates (or equivalent) of Douglas High School.

You must be pursuing a post-secondary education at a nonprofit, public or private two- or four-year trade school, college or university in the United States to be eligible for this award.

Selection is based on academic or technical potential, honor, service to others, loyalty and a love of learning and adventure.

Get more information on the Marjorie J. Reed “Best Friend” Award Scholarship Fund.

Love’s Geology Scholarship

Deadline: Varies

Available to: College Sophomore to College Senior

Award Amount: Varies

The Love's Geology Scholarship is available to full-time geology majors at Radford University.

You must have completed at least four semester hours of 200-level or higher geology courses and have a minimum 3.0 GPA (overall and in your major) to be eligible for this award.

Get more information on the Love’s Geology Scholarship.

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College vs. The "Real World"

College vs. The "Real World"

Here’s a question to get your brain turning: What happens after college?

Honestly, what happens when we graduate? When we are done with exams, finishing internships, and tossing that cap into the clear blue, college is over and the world opens up to us. And, there is a lot of world to explore.

So, where do we go? Apply for graduate school? Head back home to live with our parents? Find a job and live on our own? Start a family? Earn another degree? What are we supposed to do when there is so much we can do?

When you think about it, there’s a whole sea of possibilities and answers. In high school, they generally gave us two options: continue your education or dive straight into the workforce.

For those continuing education, some of us didn’t think past college and with every passing year comes closer to the fact that we might not know where to go once we are handed those diplomas.

It comes down to one simple question: Are you prepared for the real world?

Answer: You are - you may just not know it yet.

Whether you’ve realized it or not, college has given us more knowledge and experience than any textbook or lecture ever could. There are so many things we have unconsciously learned through interactions and moments spent on and off campus and the lessons don’t stop.

Here are just a few things to reconsider:

• Group projects and dealing with roommates OR a way of figuring out how to interact with different people?

• Ramen for a week vs. no new clothes OR a lesson in budgeting properly?

• Passing out after 10 hours of studying OR understanding your body’s limitations?

• Calling and making your own appointments OR being in charge of your own life decisions?

• Passing/failing classes and changing majors OR learning that there are things you can and can’t do?

Granted, not all lessons you learn from college are suitable, or even appropriate, for the real world.

Eating three plates of Buffalo wings in a minute is not real world skill, partying hard the night before class won’t translate well at work, and “winky” faces and “LOL” shouldn’t be on a resume. These experiences and many more are just some of the things that won’t work once you graduate (But, I’ll leave it to you to trust your better judgment).

This list could go on and on but the point is this: there is no better teacher in life than experience. Granted, while the concept of the “real world” can be frightening, by taking the lessons and skills you’ve gained from the college experience and using them wisely after you graduate, you’ll see how capable you are at taking on the world.

When it comes down to it, you know what’s right for you, so choose wisely. Take advantage of the time you have now. Go for things or don’t, but definitely don’t wait around.

And, when all is said and done, you’ll realize just how far you’ve come.

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New Semester, New You


Hope everybody had a relaxing and rejuvenating winter break! I remember back in my high school days, I’d watch enviously as the college students with semester-based academic calendars relaxed and hung out. Now that I’m that college student, I’ve got to say I had a nice time at home, but I’m more than ready to get back into the swing of things here!

It’s no secret that second semester is harder than first semester (unless you’re a senior, which means you’re golden once applications are sent out and senioritis hits). Now that you’ve been through half a year, your teachers will expect you to know your way around the block! Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be just fine:

Before school starts again, get organized.

How did using binders for a class work for you this past semester? Would a combination of folders and notebooks would be better? Whether it’s remodeling your system of making annotations or stocking up on bright new highlighters, it’s a good idea to clean up your act for the new semester. You’ll have time to prepare during break and the first couple weeks of class before the workload starts piling up again. When you can navigate your desk quickly, you’ll be much more efficient during the rest of the school year.

Explore campus for your next classes.

At my high school, all seniors took U.S. Government or Economics for their history requirement, one semester each. It was a first-time glimpse into my current schedule at college – I had to find a new classroom, adjust to a different teacher’s style, and learn unfamiliar material. The change also forced me to change some of my paths around campus, especially since I heavily used my locker to carry around fewer things during the day.

If this type of schedule change applies to you and your school, too, it’d be a good idea to scope out these changes before school is even back in session! The classroom number and teacher should be information available to you already, so if you have some free time, you can drop by school with your friends and check it out. My Econ and Gov classes were in entirely different areas of campus, so this was something I did, too. Pretend you’re walking through your day, going from class to class, and you’ll know what to do when you get to the real deal.

Ask older friends and alumni for help.

Which leads me to what you’re going to do once you get to the right classroom. Seek out friends (in my case, it’d be people who had already taken Econ, since I took Gov first semester and had friends do it vice versa) and alumni who took the class with that particular teacher before graduating. No matter what kind of class, from literature to math, the teacher strongly affects your learning experience. To get the most of your classes and pump up your grades, get a good idea of what you’re up against this coming semester.

If you don’t change teachers or classes during the school year, it still wouldn’t hurt to get this kind of intel on teachers you’ve had so far. You never know what past and current seniors can offer you if you don’t ask, and maybe you’ll find a way to do even better in your classes for this coming semester. If anything, it’s a valuable glimpse into your future exams and projects.

Reflect on first semester and change for the better!

Life goes in ups and downs, and school is no escape from that. Whether your grades were stellar or you didn’t do as well as you hoped during first semester, there’s always room to maintain or improve your accomplishments for second semester. Time management in particular is an issue many students run into, and I know I was no stranger to whiling away times on things like the Internet or my dog. You should also be thinking about how much time you spent on extra-curricular activities – while your sports and clubs are important, maybe you need to dedicate more time to your studies this time around. Or, alternatively, you’re doing well in your classes so it wouldn’t hurt to go to extra sports practice or join a new student organization. It’s up to you to decide and make the necessary changes.

No matter what, second semester will be a roller coaster of old friends and new challenges. As for you second semester seniors, don’t forget that school is still a thing you have to do even though college applications are (almost) all out the door. If anything, you won’t be able to escape your AP exams!

What are you looking forward to during this new semester? Let us know in the comments below!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

5 Ways You Can Avoid Senioritis

Your senior year of high school, especially the second semester, will almost certainly be one of the most stressful times of your high school career. Grades, scholarships and college applications rush upon you all at once and, once the rush seems to have passed, many times, seniors tend to get an attitude that reflects the fact that they will no longer be attending high school next year.

There are a lot of ways to avoid senioritis, and it doesn’t necessarily matter how you do it, as long as you realize how important it is to stay away from that state of mind.

When people refer to the term “senioritis,” they are usually referring to the attitude I just described. Seniors begin to think that their grades don’t matter anymore. They only come to school because it’s required to graduate. Everyone gets the mindset of “Oh, I’m too good for this,” or “I don’t need to do that.”

The only problem is that senioritis isn’t one of those things that you can just turn on and off. Once you get into the habit of blowing off classes and assignments, showing up late, and being disrespectful to teachers, that behavior tends to carry on throughout the next four years in college.

That’s one of the main reasons why it’s important to stay away from the senioritis crowd. It can certainly be contagious, trust me, but the flippant attitude is not something that your college professors, future employers, or friends will appreciate in the next several years.

Here are five ways to help you avoid senioritis:

1. Stay Focused

Instead of focusing on why you shouldn’t have to be in high school anymore, focus on why you should.

The same work ethic that you close out with your senior year will be the one that you carry on to college, and it’s important to end on the right foot.

2. Stay Organized

Organization is another factor that will help you avoid senioritis. Typically, when seniors fall behind on their schedule, things begin to go downhill. Keep up with all that you have to do by staying organized!

3. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Graduation is now less than six months away. Yes, that is the same argument that someone with senioritis could make, but if you look at it from the point of view that you have to pass in order to graduate, it makes focusing on your grades a lot easier.

4. Remember All the Hard Work

You cannot let 12 years of academic struggles and all of your hard work go to waste simply because you are now tired of being at school.

All those hours studying and all the time in class is not worth wasting simply to get lazy at the end of your final year.

5. Colleges Can Change Their Minds

Did you know that a college still has the option to change its mind regarding your acceptance? If your grades drop or if your academic performance is not consistent with what it was at the time of your application, your acceptance isn’t guaranteed. Things can change, and senioritis will play a negative role in this situation.

If that’s not enough to keep you motivated through the last few months of your high school career, then I’m not sure what would!

Just remember. It’s almost over, but it’s not over yet. Keep your head in the game.


Source feed Post from fastweb


Scholarships for African American Students

Scholarships for African American Students

Black History Month, also known as National African American History Month, is the time in which Americans celebrate the achievements of African Americans throughout history.

That makes this month the perfect time to celebrate the achievements of up-and-coming history makers, too. That means students like you!

Scholarships include those from notable African American advancement organizations, like the NAACP, UNCF, as well as historically African American sororities or fraternities, such as the Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, and foundations in the like, such as the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Celebrate your heritage with a scholarship and consider using your education to make a difference in the world like the many honorable African Americans who have rewritten history time and time again.

Who knows, YOU could be the next person the world is celebrating!

Apply for the following African American scholarship opportunities today to help pay for school.

To help better organize your scholarship search, please note that the following awards for African American students are listed according to deadline, with the earliest deadline appearing at the top of the page. Deadlines that vary will appear at the bottom of the list.

Allison E. Fisher Scholarship

Deadline: 2/13/15

Available to: College Freshman through Graduate Student, Year 5

Award Amount: $2,500

Sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the Allison Fisher Scholarship is available to African-American students attending an accredited four-year university.

You must major in broadcast or print journalism, have a minimum 3.0 GPA and participate in community service activities to be eligible for this award.

You must also be a member of NABJ to qualify.

Get more information on the Allison E. Fisher Scholarship.

Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: 2/15/15

Ages: High School Senior through College Freshman

Amount: $6,000

The Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship is open to minority high school seniors who have been accepted to a four-year accredited college or university.

You must have a minimum 1000 SAT / 21 ACT score to be eligible for this award.

You must also demonstrate leadership potential, dedication to community service, and financial need.

Get more information on the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship.

Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship

Deadline: 2/20/15

Available to: College Junior through Graduate Students, Year 5

Award Amount: $7, 000

The Minorities In Government Finance Scholarship is open to current full- or part -time upper-division undergraduate and graduate students in public administration, (governmental) accounting, finance, political science, economics, or business administration (with a specific focus on government or non-profit management).

Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. or Canada and belong to one of the following groups: African-American, Native American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, Asian or Pacific Islander.

Applicants are required to submit a recommendation from their academic advisor, department chair (undergraduate applicants), or dean of the graduate program (graduate applicants).

Learn more information about the Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship.

Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Essay Contest

Deadline: 2/26/15

Available to: High School Senior through College Junior

Award Amount: $5,000

In honor of Black History Month, Regions presents the Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Essay Contest.

The essay contest is open to high school seniors and college freshman, sophomores and juniors in states with Regions branches.

You must submit an essay of no more than 500 words about how an African-American has inspired or motivated you, be at least 16 years of age and have a minimum GPA of 2.0 in order to qualify for this award.

No purchase or banking relationship required.

Learn more information about the Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Essay Contest.

Lagrant Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: 2/27/15

Available to: College Freshman through College Senior

Award Amount: $5,000

The Lagrant Foundation Scholarship is available to full-time minority undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in public relations, marketing, or advertising.

Undergraduate students must have a minimum 2.75 GPA to be considered for this award.

Graduate students must have a minimum of two semesters left to complete their master's degree and have a minimum 3.2 GPA.

In addition to your application, you must write an essay detailing your career goals, accomplishments, and the reasons why you should be selected for the award.

Get more information on the Lagrant Foundation Scholarship.

ALA Spectrum Scholarship

Deadline: 3/01/15

Available to: 1st Year Graduate Students

Award Amount: $5,000

Provided by the American Library Association, the Spectrum Scholarship is open to graduate students at ALA-accredited or recognized master's degree programs in library and information studies or school library media.

You cannot have completed more than a third of the credit requirements for your degree at the time of the award (June 1).

To be eligible for this award, you must be a member of one of the underrepresented groups in the library profession: American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African-American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or Latino/Hispanic.

Only U.S. and Canadian citizens are eligible.

Get more information on the ALA Spectrum Scholarship.

LITA/LSSI Minority Scholarship

Deadline: 3/01/15

Available to: Graduate Student, Year 1

Award Amount: $2,500

The LITA/LSSI Minority Scholarship is open to citizens or permanent residents of the United States or Canada who have applied for admission to an ALA accredited master's degree program in library and information studies.

In order to apply, you must not have completed more than 12 semester hours (or its equivalent) towards the master's degree.

You must also demonstrate a commitment to a career in library automation and information technology and be a member of one of the underrepresented groups in the library profession: African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino/Hispanic, or American Indian/Native Alaskan.

Learn more information about the LITA/LSSI Minority Scholarship.

Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship

Deadline: 3/31/15

Available to: High School Senior through College Freshman

Award Amount: Varies

Sponsored by NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., The Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship is available to high school seniors and college freshmen who are enrolled, or plan to enroll, full-time at a four-year college or university.

You must demonstrate a record of academic achievement, qualities of leadership, a commitment to public service, and financial need to be considered for this award.

Get more information on the Herbet Lehman Education Fund Scholarship.

AICPA Fellowship for Minority Doctoral Students

Deadline: 4/01/15

Available to: Graduate Students, Year 3 through Year 5

Award Amount: $12,000

Provided by the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants, the AICPA Fellowship for Minority Doctoral Students is available to minority students who have applied to or have been accepted to or currently enrolled in a full-time doctoral program.

To be eligible, you must be a CPA or plan to pursue the CPA credential, and have earned a master's degree in accounting and / or have completed a minimum of three years full-time experience in the practice of accounting.

Recipients must agree not to work full-time in a paid position, accept responsibility for teaching more than one course per semester as a teaching assistant, or dedicate more than one quarter of your time as a research assistant.

Learn more information about the AICPA Fellowship for Minority Doctoral Students.

MassMutual Scholars Program

Deadline: 5/02/14

Available to: College Sophomore through College Senior

Award Amount: $5,000

The MassMutual Scholars Program is open to students of African American, Asian/Pacific Islander or Hispanic descent.

You must be a sophomore, junior or senior, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify for this award.

Preference will be given to students who demonstrate an interest in pursuing a career in the insurance and financial services industry and show leadership and participation in extracurricular activities.

Get more information on the MassMutual Scholars Program.

Ramon Looby Excellence in Leadership Award

Deadline: 5/04/15

Available to: College Freshman

Award Amount: $500

Provided by the Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. - Alpha Lambda Omega Chapter, the Ramon Looby Excellence in Leadership Award is available to graduating high school seniors who are interested in joining a historically Black sorority or fraternity of the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

You must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and a minimum 21 ACT / 1500 SAT score to be eligible for this award.

You must also demonstrate high leadership potential and have an excellent conduct record.

Get more information on the Ramon Looby Excellence in Leadership Award.

Ventures Scholars Program

Deadline: Varies

Available to: High School Freshman through College Freshman

Award Amount: $10,000

The Ventures Scholars Program, provided by Ventures in Education, Inc., is open to underrepresented and first-generation college-bound students.

You must be pursuing a math- or science-based career to be considered for this award.

Get more information on the Ventures Scholars Program.

APS Minorities Scholarship Program

Deadline: Varies

Available to: College Freshman through College Junior

Award Amount: $3,000

The APS Minorities Scholarship Program is open to African-American, Hispanic American and Native American high school seniors and college freshmen and sophomores who intend to major in or are currently majoring in physics at a college or university.

You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to be considered for this award.

Get more information on the APS Minorities Scholarship Program.

Diversity Scholarship

Deadline: Varies

Available to: College Freshman

Award Amount: $10,000

The Diversity Scholarship is available to entering students at the Adler School of Professional Psychology.

You must demonstrate a commitment to diversity as it relates to your interest in psychology in order to qualify for this award.

Priority is given to applicants who belong to ethnic, racial, religious, cultural, and sexual identity groups that have traditionally been underrepresented populations in the field of psychology.

Get more information on the Diversity Scholarship.

F. Armstrong Scholarship – Cornell College

Deadline: Varies

Available to: College Freshman

Award Amount: $16,000

The F. Armstrong Scholarship is open to entering freshmen at Cornell College who contribute to campus diversity.

Get more information on the F. Armstrong Scholarship – Cornell College.

Pedro Zamora Public Policy Fellowship

Deadline: Varies

Available to: College Freshman through Graduate Student, Year 5

Award Amount: Varies

The Pedro Zamora Public Policy Fellowship is open to young professionals, undergraduate and graduate students who seek experience in HIV-related public policy and government affairs.

You must have strong research, writing and organizational skills and a willingness to work in a professional office. Ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment is critical.

Familiarity with HIV-related issues and the legislative process is preferred.

People of color, women, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, and HIV positive individuals are encouraged to apply.

Get more information on the Pedro Zamora Public Policy Fellowship.

Diversity Out-of-State Tuition Waiver – University of Idaho

Deadline: Varies

Available to: College Freshman to Graduate Students, 5th Year

Award Amount: Varies

The Diversity Out-of-State Tuition Waiver is open to students from diverse ethnic backgrounds attending the University of Idaho.

You must not be a resident of Idaho and have a minimum 2.0 GPA to be eligible for this award.

Get more information on the Diversity Out-of-State Tuition Waiver – University of Idaho.

George T. Snyder, Jr. Diversity Scholarship

Deadline: Varies

Available to: College Sophomore to College Senior

Award Amount: $2,500

The George T. Snyder, Jr. Diversity Scholarship is open to American Bus Association members and non-ABA members.

You must be from a traditionally underrepresented group in the management and operation ranks of the transportation, travel and tourism industry.

To apply for this award, you must have completed at least your first year of an accredited post-secondary program in fields relevant to transportation, travel or tourism with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Get more information on the George T. Snyder, Jr. Diversity Scholarship.

Tyron Garner Memorial Fellowship

Deadline: Varies

Available to: Graduate Student, Year 1 through Year 3

Award Amount: Varies

The Tyron Garner Memorial Fellowship is open to law students or recent graduates who have first-hand understanding of the issues that affect communities of color and have experience working with LGBT and HIV issues and with African-American communities.

Fellows will work with attorneys on initiatives related to these issues.

Offices are located in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas.

Learn more information about the Tyron Garner Memorial Fellowship.

YMCA of Greater Rochester Enhancement of Diversity Scholarship

Deadline: Varies

Available to: College Sophomore through College Senior

Award Amount: $3,000

The YMCA of Greater Rochester Enhancement of Diversity Scholarship is open to racial/ethnic minority students who have a strong interest in YMCA involvement.

You must be a full- or part-time matriculated student at an accredited college or university with a minimum of one semester completed.

You must also intern at least half-time (16-20 hours per week) at the YMCA during the school year and full-time during the summer, and have an interest in post-graduate career opportunities with the YMCA to qualify for this award.

Get more information on the YMCA of Greater Rochester Enhancement of Diversity Scholarship.

Mentorship for Environmental Scholars Program

Deadline: Varies

Available to: College Sophomore through College Senior

Award Amount: Varies

The Mentorship for Environmental Scholars Program is available to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are underrepresented in STEM and other related disciplines.

This internship is a 10-week hands-on research experience provided at a Department of Energy or Legacy Management site.

Get more information on the Mentorship for Environmental Scholars Program.

The opportunities don't end here! Join Fastweb to find additional scholarships for African American students listed scholarships for African American students.


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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Advantages of Attending a Community College

Advantages of Attending a Community College

Richard O’Brien wasn’t sure he wanted to attend a community college. “Most of my friends were going straight to four-year schools and there is some negative stigma attached to attending community colleges,” he says.

After considering the pros and cons, O’Brien decided to attend Danville Area Community College and then transfer to complete his engineering degree at the University of Illinois. “I wanted to save money … play baseball for the community college team (which ended up giving me a scholarship), and sort out what I wanted to major in without getting hit with a serious financial penalty … that decided the matter for me,” says O’Brien.

Four out of 10 graduating high school students start their college careers at community colleges, according to the College Board. Two-year colleges are the largest and fastest-growing sector of higher education. There are over 1,600 community colleges in the United States serving 11 million students.

Consider the advantages of enrolling in a community college:

Save Money on Tuition

Attending community college before completing your bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution can save you a sizable chunk of change. Tuition and fees at public community colleges average less than half of those at public four-year colleges and about one-tenth of those at private four-year colleges, according to the American Association of Community Colleges. “I think my student loan was at least half of what I would have paid otherwise,” O’Brien says.

Do you know the entire cost of college? Figure it out with our College Cost Projector.

Complete Your Basic Requirements

You’re going to have to get your general graduation requirements out of the way one way or another. Community colleges are good places to earn these credits. The faculty at community colleges tends to focus more on teaching than research, which means you’ll get help in subjects you struggle with.

“Most students, I believe, find that general education types of courses are often the most difficult types of courses in their educational experience,” says Patrice Lyons, assistant director of articulation and transfer at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. Once you are enrolled in a four-year college, you can focus on the classes you want to take as part of your major, rather than spending time and money on the classes you need to take. “I thought it was a little easier getting up to speed … I think I may have been scared of engineering otherwise,” O’Brien says.

Time to Define Your Major

Many students don’t know what to major in when they graduate from high school. Two out of three students will change their major at least once during their college career. Community colleges are good places to explore fields that interest you before committing to a major. For example, the average cost per credit hour for in-district students attending Muskegon Community College in Michigan is $60 compared with about $768 per credit hour at the University of Michigan. You’ll save money by paying less per credit than you would at a four-year school while taking time to explore your options.

Need to vent about the admissions process? Join the conversation in our discussion forum.

An Opportunity to Boost Your GPA

If you don’t have the highest grades after graduating high school, taking classes at a community college can help improve your GPA. Unlike most four-year colleges, community colleges have an open-door admissions policy – all students are accepted regardless of past academic performance. Improving your academic record at a community college lets you meet the minimum admissions requirements at four-year colleges and shows you are serious about your education.

Save Money by Living at Home

Room and board make up a significant percentage of college costs at four-year colleges. “Living at home also saved me a lot of money on living expenses … that was an added benefit financially,” says O’Brien.

Transferring won’t be easy, but it may be a smart way to save money and achieve your academic goals. “The transition through the community college to a four-year institution can make the students educational pathways smoother, more enriching, productive and ultimately it can lead to more successes,” Lyons says.


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A Paying for School Checklist

A Paying for School Checklist

When you’re looking to pay for school, lining up funding can become confusing. You may win an award, already have some loans or aren't sure which loans are the best choice.That's okay - quite frankly, it is confusing.

Which is why Fastweb is here to help you!

For starters, make sure you evaluate all of your options before you borrow.

Also, you never want to borrow more than you need. It may seem like free money now, but debt accumulates quickly, so you should avoid it as much as possible.

The following list will help ensure you accurately assess all your options to pay for school: [gate]

1. Evaluate and/or review any awards you’ve received.

When you win an award, evaluate your letter to make sure everything is correct and that you understand any terms or conditions.

This will help you assess your financial situation and determine if you require any further funding and, if so, how much.

2. Apply for “free money” before taking out more loans.

There are so many scholarships and grants for students that are essentially free money. These may seem like more effort – and they are. But, remember, any amount you don’t borrow is money you won’t have to repay later!

Don’t just assume that you won’t qualify for awards – there are literally millions of scholarships and award options for students and there’s bound to be more than one you qualify for.

In fact, there are some scholarships that all students qualify for!

3. Look at the big picture of your financial situation to determine how much you actually need to borrow.

Again, you never want to borrow more money than necessary. By understanding the scope of your financial situation, taking into account any scholarships, grants or other financial awards you’ve received, you’ll be able to borrow the exact amount necessary.

Utilize Fastweb's resources, like the cost projector calculator, to help determine and evaluate your student budget needs.

4. If you have to borrow, apply for federal student loans first.

Federal student loans generally have lower, fixed interest rates versus sky-high rates that student loans can carry. It’s in your best interest to start with this option first.

5. If you have to take out student loans, evaluate and compare all of the available options.

Don’t choose the first loan option you find – compare rates so that you’re able to find a loan that’s manageable for your budget and has competitive rates. There are plenty of student loan options out there, so make sure to do your research before signing anything!

6. When it comes to applying for financial aid, your mantra should be: the earlier, the better.

If you figure out your financial situation sooner than later, you won’t be strapped for time when looking for funding right before you need it.

Many of these application processes take time so start now if you see an upcoming need in the future!

Do you have any additional tips on gaining control of your financial situation?

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February is Financial Aid Awareness Month

February is Financial Aid Awareness Month

February is one short month jam-packed with tons of important events!

Yep, February claims Groundhog's Day, Black History Month, Ash Wednesday, Valentine's Day and President's Day.

While you probably thought that was enough to fill such a short month, there's one very important celebration that takes place all month long that you likely overlooked.

But, at Fastweb, it's one of our favorites!

February is also Financial Aid Awareness Month. It's clearly the perfect time to celebrate by completing your FAFSA form, learn some more about financial aid and how to score more of it in the meantime.

Have no fear, FastWeb's here to help - especially during this month of celebration.

In honor of Financial Aid Awareness Month and, of course, in hopes to help you better understand and assess all of your financial aid options, we've listed some resources you can utilize to learn more about financial aid:

All About FAFSA

All About Scholarships

All About Saving

All About Loans

All About Advice

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Four Simple Study Tips to Ace Your Finals

Four Simple Study Tips to Ace Your Finals

I am entering the spring semester of my freshman year of college armed with a quiver full of higher-ed wisdom.

Having survived fall semester finals, and having learned some of the dos and don’ts of collegiate studying, I am confident in my ability to conquer second semester.

Here are four tips for performing your best on this semester’s finals:

1. Determine when and for how long you will study.

Because no one will tell you that you must study for a certain amount of time in order to receive a certain grade—unlike final projects, papers, and portfolios, which come with specific guidelines, parameters, and due dates—it is very easy to put off studying.

I spent days working on my fiction portfolio and freshman seminar paper, but did not begin studying for my economics test until 11 pm the night before. And I went to bed feeling unprepared.

This semester I will know to plan ahead. I will decide which topics most need my attention, guesstimate how long it will take me to satisfactorily review each topic, and determine which days I will spend studying for which test.

2. Don’t study where you sleep.

Don’t study on your bed—if you’re like me, don’t study anywhere in your room, because you will end up on your bed. And when you’re on your bed, and it’s finals week, you will end up napping.

Find spaces to study in which you’re comfortable enough to focus, but not so comfortable that you’ll easily fall asleep.

My favorite place to study is the library. Collegiate libraries generally have areas with differing noise levels—our main floor tends to be loud and busy, while our upper floors become progressively quieter. The library café offers easy access to caffeine. The basement (or certain wings) can be dingy but unpopulated – remember, that can be a good thing for studying.

Different people work better in different atmospheres, and most people find it easier to complete certain tasks in different atmospheres.

I, personally, can read in loud areas but need silence for writing—my roommate needs quiet to concentrate on reading but likes noisy areas for writing. (She says outside voices help her to transfer her ideas onto the page.)

Determine in which kind of atmosphere you can best complete each task and where you can find such an atmosphere to help you stay focused.

3. Balance studying and sleep schedules.

Everybody performs best on different sleep schedules. You know how many hours you need to do your best work. And if you don’t know, you need to find out.

I slept very little during finals week (about as little as every other student) and felt better, more energized and more enthusiastic about working than I usually do, and was happy with all of my final grades. I think that studying is more necessary than sleep—at least during finals week – but that’s me.

Plan your study schedule ahead of time so that you’re able to get as much studying in as you need and as much shut-eye as necessary. Not everyone is capable of pulling all-nighters and not everyone should. It’s best to avoid them at all costs and get sleep every night.

4. Study with friends.

Studying with friends can prevent you from feeling isolated during this week of intense business. It also presents opportunities for smoothie breaks or a de-stressing laugh.

Remember, finals week doesn’t have to be miserable—it can even be a good time for bonding, too.


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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Recapping Higher Education in President Obama’s State of the Union

Recapping Higher Education in President Obama’s State of the Union

If you caught any of President Obama’s State of the Union last night, you probably noticed a strong theme. This year, his State of the Union centered around the middle class and “middle class economics,” which is “the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

While President Obama pointed to many ways in which we, as a nation, could get their fair shot and do their fair share, he was adamant that higher wages was vital to propelling America forward. This, he claimed, could be achieved by providing a community college completely free to those students that are willing to work for it.

Last week, President Obama teased his new proposal, America’s College Promise, and in last night’s State of the Union, he revealed even more. He highlighted plans in Tennessee and Chicago where this plan is already working and hopes to extend free community college options to students everywhere “so that two years of college becomes as free and universal in America as high school is today.”

In addition to America’s College Promise, President Obama hopes to work with Congress to help graduates who have student loan debt reduce their monthly payments.

He also showcased Vice President Biden’s job training system. Through this program, community colleges are working with local employers to help students learn trades that pay well like coding, nursing and robotics. President Obama hopes to capitalize on the success of this program and make it universal to community colleges everywhere.

Finally, President Obama asked more businesses to offer incentives like educational benefits and paid apprenticeships that give employees the chance to earn higher-paying jobs regardless of their education.

With plans like this on the horizon, we can hopefully meet the demands of the future. For instance, President Obama stated that by 2020, two in three job openings will require some higher education. Fortunately, we have a lot of momentum going at this point. Young students today have the highest math and reading scores to date, high school graduation is at an all-time high and more Americans are graduating from college than ever before.

And that’s really good news.

Though the future of these programs and proposals rest on Congress, you can lend your opinion now. Are you in support of or against these new higher education measures from President Obama – why or why not?

Also, if you’d like to take a look at the full State of the Union transcript, you can find it here.

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Staying Focused Through Spring Semester

The End of Applications

By mid-January, the majority of colleges and universities stop accepting applications. In effect, you’re done, and you should celebrate.

At the same time, you’re not done yet. Second quarter grades will be sent to your colleges, and so keeping up that “A” in Calculus is still important.

The first half of your year was probably the biggest juggling act of your life.

Now that the process is essentially over, you have to make sure that you don’t drop everything.

Keeping Yourself Occupied

If you have a spring sport to practice for or a thousand AP classes, you probably won’t have much of a problem keeping yourself occupied. But even the busiest student can fall prey to post-application stress.

Now that everything’s in, you have to wait. March or April seems eons away. However, by keeping up your normal routine, you can limit the stress you experience.

First, keep up with your schoolwork. In some classes, like math or history, every unit builds on the last one, so falling behind could hurt your grades for the rest of the year.

Next, focus on big events in your future. If you have midterms or finals coming up, whenever stress usually hits may be the best time to start memorizing the periodic table or French vocabulary.

Also, don’t give up your extra-curricular activities. You probably had a multitude to choose from, so you didn’t choose yours just for an addition to your college application.

Remember what drew you to volunteering or the school newspaper originally, and dive back into the activity.

Using Outside Forces

Even if you can’t help but be distracted by the attractiveness of summer or the anxiety of waiting, you can still stay on task with some outside help.

Whoever lives with you, be it your parent or sibling, can help you concentrate. Ask them to encourage you by not allowing you to go out until you’ve studied, or to work beside you.

Your friends are invaluable resources as well. If they’re in your classes, consider organizing a study session with an appropriate number of people. You don’t want your studying to become a party.

Most of all, remember that your teachers are understanding people. Being honest and open with them about your time constraints and stress may benefit you immensely.

Every high school senior hits a roadblock around midterms, and your teachers may be willing to allow you an extension on a deadline or extra time on a test.

Reward Yourself

Finally, after midterms, you may have some time to relax. Teachers will often slow down for a few days before delving back into material because they know students are tired.

For AP classes, teachers may be eager to continue the lessons as soon as possible, especially with new standardized testing in many states.

With AP classes, the reward follows the AP exam, and AP students can further calm themselves down by only taking the AP tests that their colleges give credit for.

Some of my friends who completed applications decided to relieve stress by taking up new hobbies, like reading or running.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that you have two important parts of senior spring semester to monitor: you and your grades.

Colleges can rescind acceptance if a student’s grades falter significantly. Don’t worry about getting a B or C in a very hard class, but earning a D is certainly something to worry about.

In many schools, seniors will have to take finals, so try to keep up so that cramming in the week before exams doesn’t occur.

Keep track of your schedule. Forgetting tests and assignments is easy when you feel your acceptances are coming, but forgetting homework can be detrimental to your grades.

Mind your mental state. If stress is hurting you, step back and take a day off, or talk to your parents or guidance counselors.

Enjoy senior year. It’s perfectly normal to worry about whom you’re going to prom with, and whether you bought the right dress or tuxedo. This is the time to have fun and be with your friends, so stay on track while relishing the last few months of high school.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Over $2.9 Billion in Free College Money Unclaimed by Students – Why?

According to a recent study* by NerdScholar, the higher education team at NerdWallet, high school graduates in the U.S. left more than $2.9 billion in free federal grant money unused over the last academic year.

Sounds crazy, right? Crazy but true. How is that even possible? Well, according to the study, their only mistake was not completing the FAFSA.

If you’ve been hiding under a rock, the FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and it’s the form you fill out to qualify for federal aid and, additionally, a lot of state and college aid programs as well.

Unlike student loans, filling out the FAFSA can qualify students for aid that doesn’t need to be paid back, like, Pell Grant money, for example.

And, according to NerdScholar’s findings, 47% of all 2013’s high school graduates didn’t even complete the FAFSA, which is the first step to finding out if you qualify for financial aid.

In response to low FAFSA completion rates, President Obama and the First Lady have issued a FAFSA Completion Challenge Initiative, in partnership with the Department of Education.

Key Findings

• U.S. graduating high school seniors who were eligible to receive Pell Grants in 2013, but neglected to complete a FAFSA, missed out on $2.9 billion (2,955,475,413 to be exact) in potential Pell Grant aid.

• The state of Utah was home to the largest percentage, 40%, of high school seniors who were eligible to receive Pell Grants but missed out because they neglected complete and file their FAFSA forms.

• Over 100,000 high school seniors in California could have qualified for Pell Grants ‒ if they had filed their FAFSA.

• Students in the state of California alone lost $396,401,205 in Pell Grant dollars because they simply neglected to fill out their FAFSA forms.

(According to NerdScholar Data & Findings)

Financial aid is distributed on a first come, first serve basis. The best way to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself by students missing out on free financial aid is for both graduating seniors and, of course, parents, to fill out their FAFSA forms as soon as possible. Like, now.

If you’re unsure of where to begin, good news! Fastweb’s FAFSA Headquarters can help you with everything you need, from start to finish.

Here are a few key articles, to get you started:

FAFSA Checklist

What’s the FAFSA? And Why You Should Care

What’s the FAFSA? And Why You Should Care

Your 2015-2016 Financial Aid Deadlines

If you still have financial aid-related questions, don’t worry! Fastweb’s FAFSA section has the answers to all of your FAFSA-related questions or can point you in the direction of someone who does have the answer if you’re still confused.

Being intimidated by a financial form is understandable, but it’s not an excuse to miss out on a lot money that can help you pay for school.

Remember, free answers can always be found but free tuition money? Well, that isn't quite so easy to come by!

*To learn more about the methodology and data used within NerdScholar’s study, you can check out their detailed study, data and findings.


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