College roommates: How to stop conflict before it starts

October 10th, 2012

Every year, thousands of high school graduates pack up their bags and venture off to college campuses across the country. Though these students have academically prepared themselves for this moment, it’ll probably take a few months before they get used to all that comes along with being a college student. Things like eating in the dining hall, studying late into the night, and living with a college roommate will be completely foreign to them.

In fact, I went through a difficult period of transition during my first few months of living with a college roommate. Don’t get me wrong; I liked my roommate, but I just wasn’t used to living with another person in such close proximity. For those of you who are moving away to college for the first time, it’s important to know how to handle living with another person. With that said, here are three ways to stop roommate conflicts before they happen.

Reach out to each other before the semester starts

You don’t have to wait until you move in to get to know your college roommate. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to reach out to your new roommate before school starts so you can get to know the essential, core facts about them. Call them up on the phone, add them on Facebook, or email them and ask them about themselves: where they grew up, what their interests are, if they’re in a relationship, what hobbies they have, etc. By getting to know a few details about them early on, you’ll be more familiar with their lifestyle habits, which can help deter any early conflicts.

Be honest about your nonnegotiables

Let’s face it: we all have needs and expectations when it comes to our living scenarios, but one of the greatest difficulties of living with someone is trying to compromise our nonnegotiables. Whenever you start living with a new college roommate, be honest about your expectations and needs right away. Things like staying up late at night, having overnight guests, drinking alcohol, keeping a messy room, etc. should be addressed with your roommate. You might think that neither of you has a right to say how the other should live, but it’s of the utmost importance that you guys be upfront with each other about your lifestyles. Not only will this prepare your roommate for what to expect, you’ll also be able to negotiate separate ways of dealing with personality/lifestyle differences and conflicts.

Address problems in the moment, not later

Whenever you start living with someone brand new, you’ll probably be overly accommodating and kind. Even if their behaviors or habits bother you, you’ll probably keep quiet and glaze over it for the sake of being friendly and adaptable. Although this tactic might seem like a good idea, it’s never okay to stay mum about something that truly bothers you. Believe me, if left unaddressed, these annoying habits and traits are only grow worse, so it’s best to say something in the moment. If your roommate starts to do things that irk you, talk to them about it. It might feel awkward to be slightly confrontational, but doing this will take care of the problem right away, as opposed to letting it grow into something much worse.

Living with a roommate isn’t the easiest thing to endure, but that doesn’t mean it has to be full of conflict. If you’re living with a college roommate for the first time, keep these three helpful tips in mind.

Kate Willson is an education blogger and writer for She is passionate about providing new college students with advice on how to transition into college life. Feel free to leave any comments or questions for her below.

5 Things Every College Freshman Should Know

July 6th, 2012

Leaving high school and starting your next chapter in life is exciting! College is a chance for you to grow up, get away and start your own life. But before you get too carried away, make sure you take a few things with you when you get there:

1. Go to class: Hitting snooze through your 8am will get you nowhere in class. Doesn’t matter how tired you are, get to class. Lots of professors take attendance and will deduct from your grade if you are a no show. Going to class will help you come test and final time. Just go!

2. Get to know your professor: For each class you take, get to know your professor. After the first day of class, take the time to introduce yourself to your professor. Building a relationship with them can help you toward the end of the course. Professors that know their students will be more likely to help with any problems or test questions.

3. Get involved: Colleges have all sorts of clubs, groups, activities and associations for students join. Not sure what to join? Consider joining a club that fits your major of choice, for example if you are studying Public Relations there are groups like PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) and etc.  You can find clubs and groups for just about anything you are interested in. Getting involved on campus will help you meet new people and expand your horizons.

4. Don’t get a credit card: Credit card companies entice college freshman because they are easy targets. Without your parents there to watch your spending, credit card companies woo you with awesome gimmicks like ‘spend now, pay later’. Before you look at getting a credit card, speak to your parents about it first so they can go over the fine print that the credit card company isn’t telling you. You don’t want to get yourself in a large debt hole you can’t get out of.

5. Get active: The Freshman 15 is real and not a myth that your health teachers tell you about. Your first year of college you can expect to gain more weight than you want too. With unlimited food sources and lack of home cooked meals it’s easy to pack on the pounds. To avoid gaining the dreaded ’15’, join a sports league, use the student recreation center and try to make your meals at home and skip the late night drive thru.

Make friends, be safe, have fun, study and enjoy it! College is a wonderful and educational time of your life; just make sure you are prepared your first year. And don’t forget to write home to Mom and Dad. Or at least shoot them a text every now and then.

Author Bio:

Kate Croston is a freelance writer, holds a bachelors degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She writes guest posts for different sites and loves contributing home internet service related topics. Questions or comments can be sent to:  katecroston.croston09 @

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Can’t Afford to Make a Campus Visit? 4 Ways you Can get the Inside Scoop for Free

June 5th, 2012

When a high school senior is debating which college is the best for him or her, it’s highly important that he or she physically goes to visit his or her college-of-choice before making any commitments. After all, students need to feel comfortable knowing that the school is a “right fit” for them and that the establishment will actually be able to help them accomplish all their goals, including career and social. But visiting several different colleges can get expensive, especially after considering traveling costs, hotel accommodations and food. If your family can’t afford to travel to several different campuses right now, there are still a few (free) ways you can get a feel for what a school is like without ever having to step foot on campus. To learn how, continue reading below.

Take Virtual Tours

There are some college websites that actually offer interested students “virtual tours” of their facilities, including the campus and residence halls. You may not be able to see it in the flesh, but some of these tours are so well-executed and use such good photos that you feel as though you’re really there. You may also try doing a Google search and seeing if there are any videos about your school created by other students that may be able to give you a better inside look into campus-life.

Read Campus Newspaper Online

Another easy way to get a “feel” for what life on a certain campus will be like is to read the school’s student newspapers. Most colleges offer their student papers online for free. You may need to do a simple Google search first to discover the name of the publication however. What reading the student newspaper does is give you some insight to what’s going on campus and the city as a whole. Thus you can get a better idea of what the crime rate is like as well as what kind of events are thrown at your school. You can also get a better idea of what your peers will be like and learn a few of their accomplishments.

Call Alumni Centers

If you want to get a first –hand, unrehearsed account of what life is like at your college but don’t have any friends who have attended the school, then your next best bet is to call the school’s alumni center. Someone should be able to put you in contact with a former college student who will be able to answer all of your questions about the school so that you can make a more formal decision if whether that particular school sounds like someplace you’d like to be for the next four years.

Scour Open Courseware

Last but not least, you want to see if your school-of-choice offers open courseware. Open courseware is free online classes that are opened for the public. While you won’t need to take these courses, sometimes it can be beneficial to take a peek to see what’s to come. Or in other words, you can see what might be expected of you and get a better idea if the academic department is up to par with your standards. On that note, you’ll also want to do some research on your potential department’s faculty team—are there any notable professors who have done groundbreaking research? Are there any notable graduates from the department that went on to accomplish great feats? All of this should be considered before committing to a school.


This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas, who writes for online universities blog.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id:

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Juniors, Here Is A List of What To Expect When You Are Expecting to Go To College

February 13th, 2012

Most college admission officers will tell you, from the spring semester of a student’s junior year through the fall semester of that student’s senior year, they should be heading full tilt towards college.  What does that mean?  It means this is the time for students to get serious about the college selection process.  Here is a timeline, to help you know what to expect when you are expecting to go to college.


If possible, start visiting colleges.  In order to do that, you need to speak with your guidance counselor or college adviser and craft an initial list of schools.  Possibly take the ACT for the first time, if you haven’t yet.  Register for the March SAT.  Prepare for both tests.


Most high schools begin their course selection for senior year.  Remember to take a challenging curriculum.  Register for the April ACT.  Continue studying for both tests.  College Visits!  If you want to play sports in college, start contacting coaches.


Register for the May SAT or SAT II’s.  You will need to take the SAT II Subject Tests if you are applying to some colleges.  If you are taking an AP test that correlates with an SAT II test, then I recommend you take the SAT II in May, as the May test date is right in the middle of AP Exams, and all the content will be fresh in your head.  If you have registered for it, take the ACT test.  Continue your college visits and start to narrow down your list of schools.


Take the SAT or SAT II’s, if you have registered for the test.  Register for the June SAT or SAT II, or ACT.  Study for the tests!  Get your results back from the April ACT or the May SAT.  Decide if you need to take the test again, and what you need to study.  Start studying for your final exams.  Junior year is the last full year of classes that the colleges will see.  Your grades are always the primary factor in the decision whether to admit you to college or deny you.  Start planning what you are going to do over the summer.  If you think might want to have one of your current teachers write you a letter of recommendation, ask now, so he or she can write the letter over the Summer.


Take your high school exams, if you haven’t yet.  Take the SAT or SAT II, or the ACT.  Most colleges are out of session now, so visits might not be as effective as when classes are in session.  But, it is better to visit in the Summer than to never visit at all.  Review your test results and plan which tests you need to retake in the Fall and how you are going to prepare.  Contact college coaches again to let them know which camps, tournaments, etcetera you will be attending over the Summer.


Have a little fun!  OK, now back to work.  Review your of schools and start narrowing it down to the final schools to which you are going to apply.  Start writing your personal statement or college essay.  Work a summer job, go to a summer program, or perform some community service.  Make certain to stay active.


The Common Application becomes available.  Start an account online, and start filling out your application.  Work on your college essay!  The best writing takes abundant rewriting, so be sure to give yourself enough time to write a good essay.  Get a list together of all school requirements for the schools to which you are applying (how many teacher recommendations, extra essays, interviews, et cetera).  Touch base with any teachers you have asked to write a letter of recommendation for you.  You can now provide them with the Common Application’s Teacher Evaluation form.  Visit colleges.  Interview for college.  Decide if and where you will apply Early Decision and or Early Action.  Study for standardized tests.  Register for September ACT.


Keep up your grades.  Put finishing touches on applications.  Continue college interviews.  Request teacher recommendations.  Finalize your college list.  Review the list to make sure you have at least one admission “safe” school and one financial “safe” school.  If you do not have a financial “safety”, use to find one.  Take ACT again if necessary. Register for October SAT, if necessary.  Study for standardized tests.


Take SAT and ACT if necessary.  Request transcripts from your guidance office.  Finalize and submit applications for your Early Action and Early Decision schools.  Continue visits and interviews.  Send thank you notes to anyone you had interviewed with previously.  Make certain you have requested your letters of recommendation.  Send thank you letters to teachers who have written you recommendations.  Check on financial aid deadlines to the schools to which you are applying.  Register for November SAT, if necessary.

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Finding A Financial Safety School

August 15th, 2011

I have always felt that the most important school is your safety school. In my mind a safety school isn’t just a school where you know that you will be accepted, since there are over 2,400 colleges in the US everyone will get in to at least one, but it is a school where you know you will be accepted and you will be happy if you have to go there. However, with the current state of the economy, it isn’t enough just to get accepted to a college, you have to be able to pay for it as well. That is where the financial safety comes in. For many students, that has become a state college in their home state or a community college in their home state. Yet, there are still many more options. Many states participate in regional states programs, where you can get reduced tuition at a state school in another state, if the major isn’t offered in your home state. Here is a link to a previous article we had written about regional states programs.

In addition, you can use to help you locate private colleges where you are eligible for merit scholarships that might bring the actual cost of the college below your home state school. We have added features to allow you to search by four of the five factors that we think are critical in making a good college match (the fifth is quality of life, and you need to determine that on your own by visiting and other resources). Here are the other four:

· Academic Profile:  Can I get in to the school? How competitive is the admissions process? In our advanced search, you can sort by the level of competition of admission. You can choose more than one category, or all of them if you would like.

· Academic Program: Does the school have the major I want? Remember, most students end up changing their major, so does the school have enough majors that I am interested in? Again, you can sort by area of study in our advanced search.

· Size: If I don’t need to go to class, will I still go? Do I want to be more than a number? Do I need more opportunities in case I change my mind? Do I need more individual attention? How do I learn best?

· Geography: Where in the country do I want to study? Do I want to be in a city, suburb, or rural area?

The final sort you can run is to choose to only see schools where you are eligible for money, or all schools that meet your academic criteria. The best way to find your financial safety is to show the schools where you are eligible for money. In minutes you can easily locate your financial safeties. We do charge a $24 fee for a one-year premium membership, however, we give you a free one-day trial so that you can see the value before you decide to pay. We also have a number of other resources that we will highlight in future blog posts.

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July 12th, 2011

Summer is in full swing, and that only means one thing at database update.  Each summer our team of researchers updates our database of college based merit scholarships.  This year we are adding new information to our reports.  In addition to scholarship information, we are collecting information on the required letters of recommendation for all the schools.  This way, when you check the school report, you will know if you need a letter of recommendation, from whom (teacher, counselor, coach, pastor, peer, etc) and how many.  We also added some new fields to our scholarship data.  While it was assumed in the past that you were eligible for these scholarships with just your regular admission application, we have made that even more clear.  We have a yes/no field if there is a separate scholarship application, and if there is, we give you a link directly to that scholarship application.  At this point, less than two weeks in to our scholarship update, we have added over 400 new scholarship programs to the database.  That is our goal.  Every year to make it bigger and better.

In addition, we have added an advanced search feature.  This feature makes it possible for you to not only find schools where you are eligible for money, but to narrow the list down to schools that meet all of your other criteria.  You can read our article on Searching for Schools, learn about the 5 factors we use to find the perfect college fit, and within minutes create a list of schools that meet your criteria and where you are eligible for scholarship money. Finally, when you create a premium account, you can save the colleges you like and create email deadline reminders for yourself.

While you have probably been told never to pay for a scholarship search, this search is a little different.  You aren’t searching the private $1,000 scholarship.  These are all from the schools, renewable, and in many cases guaranteed.  You also get 1-year access to the premium content on our site, like our Essay Guide, Articles on topics such as finding the right school and acing your interviews, as well as the advanced search functionality.  All of this for just $24.95 for one year.  US News and World Report charges $19.95 for a one year membership to their site, and they don’t have the scholarship information.  Before choosing to pay for the premium membership, you can see how much scholarship money you are eligible for based on your criteria.

Avoiding the Summer Daze: Rising Seniors Use Your Summer Wisely

June 16th, 2011

Now that the school year is wrapping up (or has already been wrapped up), it is easy to just kick back, relax, and allow half the summer to go by without doing anything to get your self ready for college.  The fall of senior year can be a very stressful time, so I recommend you use the summer to get a jump on your college applications.  Here is a list of things that you need to get done this summer.

  • Finalize Your College List
    —Narrow list down to 8 to 10 schools
    —Revisit your original criteria, has anything changed?
    —Check application requirements at your list of schools
    —Have you met testing requirements?
    —Do you have teachers lined up for letters of recommendation?
    —When are the deadlines?
  • Visit Colleges Again
    —This will help you narrow down the list and come up with your own ranking of the schools
    —Demonstrated interest is becoming more important in the admission process. This is one of the best ways to show interest.
    —If possible, interview when on campus.
  • Prepare for Fall Standardized Tests
    Take practice SAT or ACT tests
    Review performance results from your spring tests, and study up on areas where you are weak
    Consider tutoring, a course, or a book to help you improve
  • Start Your Applications!
    —The Common Application accounts open on August 1, but you can print a draft and get started earlier
    —Write a resume
    —Start your essay!
    —The Common Application has reinstated the 500 word limit on the long essay.
    Work on the Common Application short answer
    Make certain you know your school’s policy regarding transcript requests
  • Develop a List of Financial Aid Deadlines
    —When are the filing deadlines?
    —What forms are required?
    —Do you have a financial safety school?

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Making Money While You’re In College

May 19th, 2011

Many college students do not realize how many marketable skills they have right at the beginning of their college education. There are quite a few job opportunities available both in the summer and throughout the school year; being proactive about them will only increase your job-finding chances once you have a degree in your hand.

Work Study

This is probably the surest way to find a job while you’re at college. Most colleges reserve plenty of work study positions for students, so you’re bound to find something if you ask around diligently and sooner rather than later.

Of course, it helps finding a work study position for a department, professor, or studio that aligns with your interests, so it’s a good idea to look into work study positions as soon as you know what university you’re attending.

Other Campus Jobs

Many universities offer many different positions in addition to work study. The only difference is that these positions aren’t federally funded and are usually paid through the school. Some universities group these jobs in lists with work study positions while others keep them separate, so keep that in mind when looking for work at colleges.

Marketing Your Skills Outside College

It is a less common occurrence for students to look for work outside of their university, but it’s definitely something students should strive for. Employers will look at experience outside of the university through a slightly different light because it’s considered more “real-world” experience and it took initiative and ingenuity to look outside the university walls for work.

Electronic Repair

There are lots of different options here depending on what your skills and focus are. For tech savvy students studying computer science or engineering, finding a job at a computer repair center for a major electronic retailer like Best Buy can be a great way to find great pay and get some valuable tech experience.


Many college students can find jobs tutoring for public high schools or for standardized college admissions exams like SAT. These jobs usually offer lucrative pay and also great experience, especially for those establishing a career in education.


This is becoming a more and more viable option to get some extra income while at school. Many of your classes will give you lots of different ideas for blogs, so you should never be starved for content (although you may find yourself mentally fatigued between schoolwork and blogging). Keep in mind that this wouldn’t be a mindless job and doesn’t guarantee decent (or even any) pay, but even keeping a blog that doesn’t gain revenue from advertising is still a great way to create an online presence for yourself that will impress future employers.

General Advice

As a general rule of thumb, try to find jobs that will help support your interests in one way or another. As an art student, you may not be able to immediately find a job at a gallery, but you could find a job at an art supply store. This would help keep you networked with other artists and most likely give you discounts to the art supplies you need for class.


Unfortunately, a large portion of internships for college students are unpaid. But even if internships are unpaid, they are still a great way to ensure a job after college. And some internships are only unpaid for the first few months or year. Once you have more experience interning for a company, you are more likely to receive opportunities that offer decent pay.


This guest contribution was submitted by Pamelia Brown, who specializes in writing about associates degree. Questions and comments can be sent to:

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25 of the Weirdest Scholarships You’ve Never Heard of

May 5th, 2011

Finding money to fund your college education can be a tough process, but as these scholarships show there’s something available for everyone. If you happen to have an offbeat hobby that not too many people take part in, then one of these may be exactly right for you. While some of these scholarships are only available at certain colleges, I’ve tried to keep the list as broad as possible. Good luck in your academic endeavors!

1. LaFontaine Aquatic Entomology Scholarship

This scholarship is for graduate students seeking advanced degrees in the field of Aquatic Entomology. Sponsored by the Federation of Fly Fishers this award is given out annually, and requires that the student submit a resume, research synopsis, and letter of recommendation from a faculty member.

2. The Fragrance Research Fund

Another scholarship for graduate students, this one is for psychologists working in the field of aromachology. While it may sound funny, the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to a research team studying smells. With scholarships up to $50,000 it certainly isn’t something to turn your nose up at.

3. Potato Industry Scholarship

The National Potato Council rewards up to $5,000 to graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in Agribusiness that directly affect the potato industry. The award is based on your academic achievement, leadership abilities, and the relevancy of your work to the potato industry.

4. The NCTA Help Santa Find the Perfect Real Christmas Tree Scholarship

While a belief in Santa isn’t a requirement for this scholarship, having that festive spirit certainly doesn’t hurt. Sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association, this scholarship rewards up to $5,000 to students between the ages of 6-16 years old.

5. FBI Common Knowledge Challenge

At $250 this scholarship isn’t quite as fruitful as the others we’ve covered so far, but considering the ease with which you can get it there’s really no reason not to. The FBI has a site where you can read up about their organization, and then take a short online quiz about it. The contest is held the third week of October and the money will go directly to your school should you win.

6. Excellence in Predicting the Future Award

This scholarship requires you to register at the website and take part in a contest where you predict the futures of fake stocks. Intended to increase students’ interest in economics, it’s free to apply for and will net you $400 should you win.

7. Culinary Institute of America’s All-American Apple Pie Recipe Contest

With rewards of up to $25,000 this contest will put your apple pie baking skills to the test. As one of the premier culinary schools in the country, the CIA certainly has one of the best reputations in the industry. This scholarship will require you to share your recipe, take pictures of your pie, and write a 500 word essay on how you got the recipe.

8. National Make It Yourself with Wool Competition

Sponsored by the American Sheep Industry Association this scholarship rewards up to $5,000 to students who promote the versatility of wool in fabrics and yarns. If you have involvement in the sheep industry or in fabrics then this is certainly a lucrative opportunity.

9. The Ayn Rand Institute

The Ayn Rand Institute offers a large number of scholarships for essays on several of her works including The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, We Are the Living, and Anthem. One contest winner for each essay is rewarded a $10,000 prize, with $2,000, $1,000, $100, and $50 prizes going out for the subsequent places. If you are interested in Ayn Rand’s works then this is a great opportunity to make some extra money for college.

10. Eileen J. Garret Scholarship from the Parapsychology Foundation

Do you have an interest in studying the paranormal using modern scientific techniques? If so this scholarship may be for you. You will have to provide samples of writings about parapsychology and letters of reference to prove your interest. At $3,000 this is a niche reward that can help quite nicely in your college funding.

11. The OP Loftbed Scholarship

Interestingly enough, OP Loftbed, the makers of the most popular loft bed for college students decides to give back in the form of a $400 scholarship. In order to qualify for the scholarship students need only to fill out a questionnaire on the OP Loftbed website.

12. The School Band and Orchestra Magazine Scholarship

This scholarship for grade school students’ promises $1000 reward for students up to grade 8 and an additional $1000 donation to the school’s music program for students in grades 9-12. Sponsored by the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle store requires the candidate to write a 250 word essay on various musical subjects that changes every year.

13. The Scholarships

This scholarship rewards $300 to the winners of an essay contest on why or why not federal income taxes are fair. Unlike most websites with money in the title, this one is actually for real.

14. The Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student Award

While The Elks may strike up visualizations of that one scene from the movie Stand By Me, it is a real organization and has an excellent scholarship program. With rewards going out to a total of 500 students every year, it is a competitive national event, but also comes with great rewards. Each candidate is evaluated on scholarship, leadership, and financial need and rewarded with a 4 year scholarship worth $1000 to $15,000 per year.

15. Tylenol Scholarship

While not quite as weird as the other scholarships on this list, Tylenol isn’t the first place I’d look for a scholarship. If you are studying in a healthcare related field, you can apply for this scholarship which will net you up to $10,000. Tylenol gives out 250 of these scholarships every year, which is good news since we all know how much of a headache school can give you.

16. The Discover Card Tribute Award

Wow, a credit card company handing out a scholarship? It’s great to see that at least one of them decides to give something back, and with rewards of up to $25,000 it can certainly put a big dent in your college debt. You will need to demonstrate community service, leadership, and a significant roadblock you have overcome in order to receive this award.

17. Tea Drinking Scholarship

The Calm-A-Sutra of Tea, an American Tea Council offers a scholarship two one student for $20,000 paid directly to the school. It is a video contest where the candidate must submit an original video about the health benefits of drinking tea. $20,000 may be enough to make tea lovers out of all of us, but you can expect some pretty stiff competition as well.

18. Greeting Card Scholarship

While you might be used to making fun of those “Hallmark Moments” there’s nothing funny about the $10,000 this scholarship rewards. In order to qualify you will need to submit original artwork to be used for the front cover of a greeting card. This is an excellent scholarship for art students that you might not readily think of.

19. Society of Vacuum Coaters Foundation Scholarship

Another scholarship for a niche market, you might not expect it but these guys have dished out $70,000 in scholarships so far. If you happen to be in a course of study that involves vacuum coating, then this is certainly a scholarship to look into. In order to apply you will need two references from your professors, and you will be judged based on the relevancy of your program, academic achievement, personal values, and financial need.

20. Collegiate Inventors Competition

For all of you aspiring inventors out there the United States Patents and Trademark Office sponsors a competition rewarding both graduate and undergraduate students with up to $15,000 and $10,000 rewards. Any invention is admissible and entries are judged based on how well articulated the idea is as well as to how beneficial it is to society.

21. Mycological Society of America Scholarships

These scholarships are primarily for graduate students and researchers that are already involved in mycological study. It’s tough to believe that people would have an interest in fungi outside of any academic involvement, which is probably why the only undergraduate rewards are for those involved in mycological research. Still, if you happen to fit into one of these categories they have plenty of different scholarships available ranging from $500 to $2000.

22. Michigan Llama Association (MLA) Scholarship

I can’t say I would have guessed that llama farming would’ve been popular in the state of Michigan, but apparently there are over 200 farms and 2500 llamas in the state. Who knew? Well, even if you aren’t a llama farmer you can join their organization and show your interest in llamas and farming to qualify for their $500 scholarship.

23. National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFAH) Health at Every Size Scholarship

While it is tempting to describe this as a scholarship for fatties, you don’t actually need to be obese to qualify for this scholarship. Instead, you need to be actively involved in research surrounding the effects of obesity on health. You will need to submit a 750 word essay on your research and can expect a $1000 check in return.

24. International Boar Semen Scholarship

Not only is this a weird one, but it’s also quite gross. Still, animal husbandry is an important aspect of agribusiness so it is not surprising to see a scholarship for it. Having grown up in a small town myself, I can attest to the validity of this subject. Although this is probably the scholarship on this list that is easiest to make fun of, the people involved in this business do make a good bit of money. If you happen to be pursuing this line of work then this is a scholarship well worth looking into.

25. American Nudist Research Library Scholarship

If you happen to find the idea of spending 3 years living in a nudist colony to be your thing, then the American Nudist Research Library will reward you with a $1000 scholarship. While I can’t imagine many people would want to live as a nudist for 3 years for $1000, if you already happen to be a part of this fringe culture, then why not take advantage of what they have to offer?


Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and researcher for College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching molecular biology scholarships as well as scholarships for anthropoplogy students. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

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Proposed Pell Grant Cuts: Will They Seriously Affect College Students?

March 21st, 2011

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives levied a $5.7 billion cut to the Pell Grant program, which provides aid to low and moderate income students. The changes, if passed, would take effect in the 2011-2012 school year. The amount of aid for the most needy students would decrease from $5,500 to $4,705, a difference of $845.

If the bill becomes law, over 9 million students will have a reduction in their federal funds. Also, approximately 1.7 million students who receive small Pell Grants will likely be made ineligible. Approximately 27 percent of U.S. college students currently receive Pell Grants. The primary cut to the Pell Grant program would be the year-round provision which allows recipients of the grant to receive more than one per year.

In general, the most needy students are barely able to pay their bills, and losing $845 a year would be a significant loss to them. These students will be forced to take out bigger loans. Pell Grants have allowed many part-time students to attend college on a full-time basis. A reduction in the Pell Grant may force some of these students to return to their part-time status.

Many students will be forced to work longer hours, which may decrease their study time and affect their grades. Other students may decide to pass on a bachelor’s degree and instead go for a less expensive associate’s degree from a community college. Pell Grants are also provided to working low-income adults who want to go back to school to specialize in something. These folks may decide to skip college altogether.

Some colleges and universities will find ways to make up for the loss in Pell Grant funding. For example, Thomas McWhorter, the Executive Director of Financial Aid at the University of Southern California, said his office would use other university need-based aid to fill gaps caused but cutting Pell Grants.

An article at the Chronicle of Higher Education website stated that the spending bill for the 2011 fiscal year, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, would not only slash Pell Grants in the short term, but would also reduce funding of the program by $64 billion over the next decade (according to the Congressional Budget Office).

Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Republican from North Carolina, said, “It’s hardly a devastating cut when you are cutting such a small amount.” However, according to a report from the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance (ACSFA), the cut in Pell Grant funding will reduce the number of low income students obtaining bachelor’s degrees each year by approximately 61,000.

If this bill is passed, there will be a lot less money available for college students in need. This would make looking for scholarships and other sources of funding all the more important.

Wes Harrison writes helpful articles about a variety of college topics for New Jersey Colleges.

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