How To Search for College Scholarships

Scholarships are essentially free money to help finance your college education. Regardless of your family's financial need, any student can and should apply for it. There are thousands of regional and national scholarships available to students every year. And there is a scholarship for practically everyone! Many colleges have their own scholarships awarded to admitted students each year. These scholarships are part of the application process.

While many scholarships are awarded for academic ability (merit) or athletic ability, there are a huge number of scholarships for service, talents, and interests. Plus, there are a number of obscure scholarships for things like: being left-handed, having a certain last name, or being exceptionally tall or short. All these are out there, but it is up to you to find them and apply.

You can treat scholarship research and applications like a part-time job. Only you get paid later...but a lot more. Think about it this way: If you spend 40 hours searching and applying for it during your senior year and you end of getting $5,000 worth of scholarship money, you have earned $125 an hour! Begin the process as early as possible and keep going until you leave for college.

Focus on scholarships that fit your personal strengths, talents, and interests. If you carefully identify it where you are a good "match" it is much more likely you will be awarded that money. Put your focus on local and regional scholarships. They may hold smaller dollar amounts, but often have much less competition. National scholarships are fantastic, but due to the high volume of applicants, it is very unlikely you will be awarded them.

Here are our best tips on how to find college scholarships:

Search Smart: The Internet is a fantastic resource for finding it locally and nationally. Use online sites to find scholarships that fit your personal profile. Narrow the list by focusing on local scholarships (as they typically have less applicants) and scholarships that best fit your profile.

Be Specific in Your Search: In addition to using scholarship search engines, we recommend searching for local scholarships with specific Google searches. Try a search with your talent/interest and location included:

Example: college scholarship + Violin + San Diego

Utilize Your High School's Scholarships: Check with your high school's college center to see if they have a list of scholarship opportunities. This is sometimes the best place to find local scholarships. Is your high school lacking for scholarship resources? Take advantage of the great work of other local high schools. Try visiting their college centers or checking their websites for lists of scholarships that you could win.

The author writes for Acceptly.com, which is an online tool to help with college prep.

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The College Net Cost Calculator Trap

The Net Cost Calculator is a tool mandated by the Department of Education that allows families to determine the real cost of sending their student to a particular college or university. All colleges and universities receiving federal aid will need to provide this information by October of 2011. While this program has a good intent the actual implementation of these calculators gives families a bewildering sort of numbers in ranges that are hard to understand and, even worse, very misleading.

Most calculators are designed to ask you a few questions about income and family to determine what you might have to pay for your student's education. In essence these few questions are supposed to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and eligibility for federally subsidized aid. Unfortunately these questions replace the over 100 questions required on the FAFSA, the result being highly inaccurate information.

In order to test some of these calculators I used my own information based on my FAFSA for the 2011-2012 school year. My EFC determined by the real FAFSA was approximately $16,000 and I was not eligible for any subsidized federal aid. Surprisingly many of the calculators were telling me that I would pay anywhere from zero dollars (not possible given my real EFC) up to the full amount of the cost of attending. This was especially true at colleges that are not known for their financial aid largesse. Colleges that tend to offer better financial aid packages offered a truer picture of what a family would pay. Although still not an entirely accurate picture.

I also paid close attention to the calculator being used by most public colleges and universities across the State of Texas. While this calculator was no worse or better than most, there is a built-in bias against the community colleges. The "other cost" category at these schools is inflated pushing the cost of attending to ridiculous heights. If you spend more than $5,000 on your student's education at a community college in Texas, you are doing something very wrong.

The net result is that except for determining the total sticker price of a college or university before receiving financial aid, these net cost calculators are very misleading. Except for the schools that tend to offer the best financial aid packages, these calculators will leave you with an array of net costs that really make you no more informed than when you first entered your information. Unfortunately you are still on your own for determining costs and estimated aid to get a real picture of the real net cost of attending. It takes a bit more time, but the results will be more accurate.

Timothy Wall is a partner in the group Independent Financial Aid Advisors (IFAA, LLC) which works with families to develop strategies for achieving the best financial aid packages for their students who want to attend college. The company provides a free resource guide at http://www.achievecollegeaid.com/our-services/. You may contact Tim directly at trwall @achievecollegeaid.com.


Top 5 Colleges in Georgia

The State of Georgia is known as the "Peach State" and is home to about 70 universities, technical colleges and colleges. It is also home to over 45 private higher learning institutions.

Among the many colleges are state supported schools, public, nonsectarian private and religious universities. The institutions grant degrees, graduate and undergraduate, in many fields.

Below is a list of the top 5 colleges and universities in the state of Georgia:

University of Georgia

Founded by the Georgia General Assembly in 1801, the University of Georgia is located in Athens which is about 60 or so miles on the northeast of Atlanta. The University of Georgia has many great programs such as in the arts and music. The University comprises of 16 different colleges. One of the 16 is Grady College that administers the well-known Peabody Awards.

The University of Georgia offers about 140 baccalaureate, 91 doctoral and 124 masters majors among its academic programs. It is ranked as the 56th university in the US by the U.S News and World Report in its "Best Colleges 2011."

Georgia Institute of Technology

The Georgia Institute of Technology, fondly called Georgia Tech, was founded on the 13th of October 1885. It is located in downtown Atlanta which is the capital of Georgia. Georgia Tech is known for being a leader in the fields of science, economics and technology. It also offers degree courses in architecture, business and government.

Emory University

Founded in 1836 by the Methodist Church, Emory University is in Oxford which is a suburban town a few miles from Atlanta. Best known for its medicine and healthcare courses, the university which started as a college has different centers for research for studies in law, medicine, healthcare and other disciplines.

The U.S. News and World Report has ranked Emory University as the 20th best university in the US in its ratings the "Best Colleges of 2011." The college's programs in social psychology, midwifery, African history, public health and biomedical engineering are ranked in the top 10.

Georgia State University

Georgia State University was founded as Georgia's "School of Commerce" in 1913. Located in downtown Atlanta, it is the second largest university in Georgia. It is well-known for its science, law and business programs. The Georgia State University is also the institution of choice for a diverse number of students from all over the State or Georgia, all other states in the US and of approximately 145 other countries.

University of West Georgia

The University of West Georgia is a public institution founded in 1906 and has a campus in Newman. It was named as one of the best colleges in the southeast. The Princeton Review has named the university as one of America's best value. The University of West Georgia offer more than 100 programs of study and has an accreditation with the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The University of West Georgia is known to be committed to high-quality undergraduate and graduate programs.

This article was written by: Adam Schlosser

For more information on Universities and Colleges in Georgia check out...


College Bowl Game 2011 Travel Tips

While some of us are anxiously awaiting Christmas or Hanukkah and looking forward to New Year's Eve celebrations, others are more concerned with making plans to see their favorite college football team compete in a bowl game. If this is you, then read on for information about some of the most popular upcoming bowl matchups.

BCS National Championship: Glendale, AZ

This year the BCS National Championship title will go to either Oregon or Auburn. It takes place January 10, 2011 in sun-soaked Arizona, beneath the retractable roof of the University of Phoenix Stadium. Are you going to be there to cheer your team on? January is the start of the high season for travel rates in Arizona so be prepared to shell out some big money for accommodations. And if you haven't already gotten your tickets to the game, your only choice is to book a package through a college bowl travel agency (or pay a scalper).

Tip: Make your airline travel more affordable by choosing offsite parking, cheaper than finding a spot in the airport's crowded lots.

The Orange Bowl: Miami, FL

Sun Life Stadium in Miami hosts the annual Orange Bowl game scheduled for January 3, 2011. It's one of the country's most popular; after all, who wouldn't want to travel to sunny Florida in the middle of a snowy winter season? Sun Life Stadium, which used to be called Joe Robbie, Pro Player, Dolphins, and Land Shark Stadium in years past, is aging but has been renovated to accommodate the scores of fans who travel every year to see one of the most prestigious bowl games in the college football league.

Rose Bowl: Pasadena, CA

Perhaps the most iconic of college bowl games and venues, the Rose Bowl this year features a match-up between TCU and Wisconsin. Typically, travel packages for the Rose Bowl sell out very quickly, partly because the famous Rose Bowl Parade precedes the game and partly because the weather in southern California is fantastic all year long, but especially in January when much of the rest of the country is buried in snow and ice.

If you were lucky enough to book your January 1st Rose Bowl package and get tickets to this Big 10 and Pac 10 championship game, there's likely to be one little detail missing from your itinerary: airport parking. Don't miss your flight because you have to park at the very edge of the airport lot and wait for one lonely shuttle to come by; reserve offsite parking and ensure you make it to the terminal on time!

Sugar Bowl: New Orleans, LA

Rounding out the list of the top four college bowl games is the Sugar Bowl scheduled for January 4, 2011, in the Louisiana Superdome. For more than three-quarters of a century, the Big Easy has seen some exciting match-ups and this year's rivalry between Ohio State and Arkansas is sure to be no exception. With a host of fun things to do, New Orleans is always a popular choice for college football fans.

No matter which bowl game you're attending this season, be sure to have all the details of your travel plans in place before you leave home. Part of those plans should include airport parking. Why leave that detail up to chance? Book offsite parking in advance and you can rest easy knowing your vehicle will stay secure and you'll make your flight on time.

S. Hurley Hall runs the Taking Off Travel Blog for off airport parking provider ParkRideFly, http://www.ParkRideFlyUSA.com. It covers travel destinations, business travel, travel gadgets, travel tips, sports travel, and more.

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7 Things You Should Know About Booking a B&B in Ireland

· B&B's are a family run business. For that personal touch and a feeling that you are in a home away from home, they're a fantastic option. Experience how the whole family contribute to the smooth running of the B&B. From the biggest to the smallest each is an essential cog in a well-oiled machine.

· Such a hearty welcome awaits you from the owner of the house. The minute you're across the threshold you're mad feel like one of the family. Add to this inviting smells of delicious home cooking and you'll probably start to think home was never like this.

· Hotels seem to be springing up all over the place, so the humble B&B has to be just as competitive when it comes to availability and pricing. Rooms on offer are fewer, but most premises have single, double/twin and double single rooms available.

Note: the term double single or double and single always causes a bit of confusion. What it is, is a room with a double and a single bed in it!

· These days almost all B&B's are totally en-suite and offer tea/coffee making facilities and a TV in the rooms. Some have access to broadband, and fresh home baking is a popular feature in many.

· Most B & B's are either located outside towns and villages or on the outskirts. This is a definite plus point for city dwellers and people from large towns, as they have the opportunity to experience our lovely countryside. Walking down country lanes getting all that beautiful fresh clean country air into your lungs - what could be better!

· TAA (Tourism Accommodation Approvals) approve B&B's on behalf of Bord Fáilte - so you have peace of mind as regards the quality and standard of your chosen B&B.

· A B&B is not at all anonymous, right from the very word go, you are part of this open family. At the end of the day you are a guest in someone's home and the experience all feels very personal with everyone on first name terms.

So there you have it, plenty of reasons why you should choose a family run B&B.

Mairead Foley writes for the Ireland travel and accommodation website http://www.GoIreland.com

We got B&B's located all over Ireland. Check out our Ireland B&B page to find one that suits you!

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Corporate Social Responsibility

The Republican candidate in the 2008 US presidential election unleashed upon America a rightwing zealot who overshadowed him like a total solar eclipse. America voted against the Republican slate by a margin large enough to escape court challenges or Supreme Court rulings. But the beauty queen zealot he jettisoned as she rocketed to fame has continued to turn up like the proverbial bad penny since the ticket lost the election.

The turkey pardon with slaughter as a background a week before Thanksgiving was caught by a local TV station and became an immediate mainstream sensation, as well as an instant YouTube hit. That media mishap came a week after the former vice-presidential candidate's resounding success at the demoralized Republican Governor's meeting in Miami within two weeks of the election.

Touted as the new face of the Republican party, the current Alaskan governor downplayed the celebrity she had fueled with interviews on NBC, Fox News and CNN during the previous week, according to the New York Times. The answers to challenges in the areas of developing energy resources and health care reform were not for the government to step in and take over, she said in a week in which the government was doing just that with a $700 million bailout. "Heaven forbid!" she added as Minnesota's Governor Tim Pawlenty pointed out the Republican deficit in every region of the country and in every voting group, including among minorities, people with limited income and women.

Even so, by the weekend following the unfortunate turkey shoot, the new Republican star was featured in an AOL News item on her "celebrity status still on the rise." Oprah wanted her, so did Jay Leno and Letterman. The William Morris Agency had been in touch. She could do an interview with any news agency on the planet, her spokesperson was quoted as saying.

The flood of media offers was unconfirmed. The Anchorage Daily News, however, chided the governor for carrying on national activities while state issues needed the leader's attention, including in the areas of education and plummeting oil prices.

The superstar who shot to fame because of the maverick Republican running for election in the 2008 campaign is not about to go away. She has stated an interest in running for presidency in 2012. The lure of the big time beyond Alaska is apparently compelling.

Meanwhile, another matter closer to home than Alaskan state affairs remains in the balance. That was the stunning revelation of a faith-based conservative that her unmarried teenage daughter was pregnant.

Preempted from scandal by presenting the development as a mistake with which any family could empathize, a marriage of the two teens was part of the announcement. That was no doubt mandatory, given that the religious right was being courted for a sure-fire win as had supposedly been engineered four years earlier by the current Republican administration.

Just before the election, the wedding was announced as planned for spring after the expected birth of the child in December. The father-to-be said at the time that the candidate had to win. She was his future mother-in-law.

That wedding could be the bell-weather of the current Republican star's political future. If the wedding does take place, it can be a sure sign that the new celebrity does intend to pursue the higher aims that the 2008 US presidential election opened up for her.

Helen Fogarassy is a New York based internationalist writer who has worked on a contract basis with the United Nations for nearly 20 years. She is the author of a suspense novel, The Midas Maze, about murderous hijinks in UN/US relations. She is also the author of The Light of a Destiny Dark, a novel about the Euro-American cultural gap through Hungarian eyes, and a nonfiction eyewitness tribute to the UN's work, Mission Improbable: The World Community on a UN Compound in Somalia. All are available on the major web bookstore sites. E-mail her at helfog @ aol.com

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Manage College Life Stress With These Ideas

Because I get overwhelmed with college life stress every now and then, I have learned to steal some 'me time' from my busy schedule. Having this time alone became important to my emotional, physical, and mental health as well as my academic performance because it gave me the time I needed to regain my strength. It also provided me the opportunity to get rid of unwanted thoughts that would otherwise affect my studies.

I have heard of the saying, "No man is an island." While this saying is true because humans were naturally born to connect and have relationships with other humans, having some alone time is also crucial. I have made a list of some my favorite things to do on my own to be able to manage college life stress. Here they are:

  • If you're on campus and you need a break before or after a big exam or presentation, you may find a spot in the campus library where very few students go. However, make sure that this place is still visible to other people for safety purposes. This is also a great place to take a little nap during the day since it's usually pretty quiet here.

  • If the weather is nice and there's a nice grass area in your campus, take your Ipod and bask in the sun. I remember that when I was in school, I used to feed the blue jays that approach me. I then watch them hide the food that I give them which is pretty amusing to watch.

  • If you have a nice big chunk of time available during the week, do all your homework and other school work then. This may require some planning but it will give you some free time to plan something for the weekend. Once you have this free time, you can either plan something for the outdoors such as hiking, mountain climbing etc. or indoors such as catching up on your favorite TV show.

  • If you only have a few minutes to spare, you can take your time in the shower while the radio is on full blast or forgo the music if you like silence instead. Having a nice, long, warm shower can be very relaxing and would not require a lot of time and effort to plan. Just make sure that you let your roommate(s) know that you will be using the bathroom for awhile or that you have an extra bathroom for them to use.

  • You can still find time to yourself during the busiest time of the semester which is usually during finals week. You can do this by setting the lights down low in your room and lighting incense or some other calming scent while you relax. This particularly helps when you want to take a rest during long study sessions. Just make sure that you don't completely fall asleep because this option is very tempting during this time.

  • If you share a room with other people, make some sort of agreement with them to have some time by yourself in the room. Then, use this time to steal a longer than usual nap. I found that if I put the fan on the highest setting, it blocks out most of the outside noise even though my roommates are hanging out just outside the room.

  • If your campus gym or community center offers yoga or pilates classes, take advantage of them. These classes not only give you better health when you do it regularly but it also relaxes your mind and body. If you have not been active for awhile, start going to beginner classes first so that you don't end up with an injury.

College life stress is a part of your life as a college student. It is there to stay as long as you stay in school. Finding something you enjoy doing by yourself or with others is a great way to maintaining your mental and emotional health. Be creative. The more things you know about yourself, the more relaxing ideas you can come up with.

This article and many others can be found at http://www.e-collegehelp.com/index.html

Anna Dornier


The Benefits of a College Education

Many high school students today are either dropping out of high school or are just not attending college because they do not know the benefits. The benefits of a college education will be discussed in this article and hopefully after reading it you will walk away wanting to go to college.

The biggest reason you should get a college education is because of the money. Those with a college degree earn much more than those who are without the degree. A survey was taken in 2003 and it showed that workers who had a bachelor's degree were getting paid an average of $900 a week and those who graduated high school had an average $554 a week. That means that those with a bachelor's degree are making $346 more a week than those with only a high school degree, or roughly a 60% jump in the average earning.

For those who are thinking about getting a job that does not require a college education you will soon find that you could be paid more if you have a college degree. Even if you are paid more in jobs that do not require a college degree, you will probably find out later that you were short-changed of many benefits such as health insurance, career advancements and pension benefits.

The next benefit of a college education is the bigger availability and selection of job choices in the market. Unlike previous generations, the jobs being offered to those without a college education or even a high school diploma are dwindling. Jobs such as industrial jobs, trades, and skilled labor which used to be prevalent before computerization are now no longer available in a big scale as these are now replaced by the faster and more efficient computers and robots.

The assembly line used to be a major part of why there were so many jobs in the different businesses but these people are not required as much now. In contrast, the demand for professional people in engineering, business administration, and management are in the increase. Incidentally, all these jobs usually require the professionals to complete their college education at the least.

The other benefit of a college education is that it allows you the opportunity to progress in your career by becoming a specialist or an authority in a particular area of expertize. For example, those with degrees in science, manufacturing, and engineering fields can advance themselves further to become specialists in the field of environmental sciences or DNA analytics. Hence, not only will you be able to do almost any job if you get a college degree but you will also get the opportunity to explore new job opportunities. This is perfect for those who do not know what they want to do for a career.

Lester Lee is the webmaster of http://www.EightTips.com - a popular website that provides expert advice and great tips on Benefits Of College Education. Visit our site today for more helpful information about innovation in College Education and other similar topics.


My underwear and the declining value of the dollar

I have enough trouble trying to understand my day-to-day personal finances, so I don't give much thought to global economics. But, there's one thing that is crystal clear. It now costs me about one-third more to live here in Nice, France, than it did two years ago when I first visited. I didn't become a long-term resident until early this year, a period in which there has been a 15% loss in the value of the dollar.

What brings this to mind is the news today that the dollar reached an all-time low in the exchange rates against the euro. I heard news this morning that the euro had a sharp increase following the reports that President Bush had imposed trade sanctions against China.

Huh? What's that about? This is certainly above my pay-grade, or what would be my pay-grade if I had a job and was not drawing flat-lined Social Security checks. What I do know is that it costs me much more to have my morning croissant, pay my rent, go to a movie, take the bus, buy gas for my scooter, and a hundred other ordinary things that ordinary people do every day.

I'm blaming Wal-Mart for my money problems. Of course, there are no Wal-Marts in France and my only connection with Wal-Mart is that I bought some underwear at one of their jillion or so mega-stores on my last trip to California. But, this doesn't mitigate my blaming Wal-Mart. I've already said that I don't understand global economics. After a half-hour of research and reading on the Web, I've concluded that Wal-Mart is the problem.

I read articles today by AP, Reuters, Financial Times, Bloomberg, CNN, New York Times, and others, and here is what I found and why I blame Wal-Mart.

The dollar is trading at an all-time low against the euro over growing fears of U.S. protectionism and a waning appetite for U.S. assets among foreign investors. The euro rose to a new peak of $1.1978 Wednesday in London, extending its gains over 2% in New York the previous day. Some traders say the euro is set to break the US$1.20 level.

The dollar has dropped almost 25% against the euro, from January 2002 through mid-October 2003, and yesterday broke to its lowest level ever. There are several reasons for the weakness. First, for years the US has been buying a lot more goods and services from other countries than the US has been selling outside its borders, which depresses the value of the dollar against other curriences.

Low US interest rates also undercut the buck since, all other things being equal, investors tend to favor the currencies of countries with higher rates. Some news accounts said the growing budget deficit is raising doubts about the long-term strength of the dollar.

The Bush administrations' decision Tuesday to impose quotas on Chinese textile goods may end up hurting the U.S. economy, and U.S. workers, more than it helps. And, we now get to why I'm blaming Wal-Mart for my having to pay one-third more for my daily croissant.

Wal-Mart alone accounts for 10% of the trade deficit with China. That's a big chunk of change for just one company.

Unwittingly, I contributed to this trade deficit problem when I bought my underwear at Wal-Mart.