9 College Scholarships for Young Women July 28th, 2015
Scholarship money

Scholarships for Young Women

Finding and applying to college scholarships may sometimes seem like it’s a part-time job, but the rewards can be great if you receive a scholarship award. There’s really scholarships out there for everyone—from redheads to tall students to students seeking to study a particular college major. In this post, we’ll focus on nine scholarships for young women.

Keep in mind that scholarship deadlines vary, so if you’ve missed the deadline for this year’s scholarship, be sure to check back and apply for the scholarship next year.

The Asian Women in Business Scholarship: Women with Asian heritage who are enrolled at a four-year U.S. college or university can apply for this $2,500 scholarship. The deadline is typically in October.

Caitlin Brondolo Golf Scholarship: High school seniors who played golf during high school, and will be attending college in the United States and playing golf at the collegiate level can apply for this scholarship. One scholarship of $2,500 is awarded each year. The deadline is typically in May.

ESA Foundation Scholarship Program: This program awards scholarships to women or minority students pursuing careers in computer and video game arts. High school students already accepted into a college program may apply. Awards of $3,000 each are given to up to 30 applicants. The deadline is typically in May.

Girls Inc. Lucile Miller Wright Scholars Program: This scholarship program awards multiple scholarships, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 each, to girls who are high school juniors or seniors, and who are members of a Girls Inc. affiliate. Contact this organization to learn specifics about scholarship application requirements and deadlines.

Scholarships for Girl Scouts: If you have participated in the Girl Scouts, you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship. Use the search tool on the Girl Scouts website to find scholarships from private donors, as well as at certain universities. You can narrow results by state as well. Scholarship award amounts and deadlines vary.

Society of Women Engineers Scholarships: Several companies offer scholarships via the Society of Women Engineers to women studying engineering or related majors. Scholarship awards range between $1,000 and $20,000. Scholarship application requirements and deadlines vary.

Women in Marketing Scholarship: This $1,000 scholarship is awarded by Blue Soda Promo, an eCommerce promotional products company that specializes in branded merchandise. Applicants must be studying communications and have taken at least 60 college credits. An essay is required to apply for this scholarship, which is awarded two times per year.

Women in Technology Scholarship: Up to $2,500 is awarded to each recipient of this scholarship. Applicants must be accepted to or enrolled in a two- or four-year college or university, and plan to pursue a career in computer science, information technology, management information systems, computer engineering or a related field. The application deadline is typically in early March.

YWCA Women’s Scholarships: Various scholarships are awarded to women (including high school students) by four different local YWCA organizations: YWCA Newburyport (MA), YWCA Greater Cincinnati, YWCA Greater Atlanta and YWCA North Orange County (CA). Award amounts, requirements and deadlines vary.

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College Major of the Month: Fashion Design July 14th, 2015
Fashion Design Major

College Major of the Month: Fashion Design

So you think you have what it takes to be a fashion designer? In this month’s College Major of the Month, we’ll explore the fashion design major, which can lead to careers as a fashion designer or in product development for clothing companies, department stores and more.

What do fashion design majors study? Students in fashion design programs typically study art and design, art history, fashion trends, textiles, sourcing materials, consumer behavior and more. Students gain skills in drawing, computer aided design, patternmaking and apparel construction. Some schools also may offer business courses to learn the business side of fashion.

How much do fashion designers make? The median annual salary for fashion designers is about $62,860, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Keep in mind that salaries vary greatly based on experience, employer and reputation, so salaries for entry-level jobs tend to be lower.

What are the education requirements for fashion designers? Most fashion designers have a bachelor’s degree in fashion design or fashion merchandising, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Developing a portfolio of your design ideas is important because employers will rely on the ideas in your portfolio when making hiring decisions.

How can I prepare in high school to major in fashion design? Fashion design students often are required to sew the garments they design, so learning how to sew while you’re in high school will help you be more prepared for college. In addition, take art classes as well as computer classes to learn software such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Also consider taking courses in business, if they are available at your school.

What scholarships are available for fashion design majors? College scholarships are available for fashion design majors. These scholarships are typically highly competitive and may require you to provide a portfolio of designs or other artwork. Many colleges, universities or institutes with fashion design majors offer scholarships specifically to fashion students, so check with the admissions office to learn about scholarships at schools you’re considering.

In addition, check with local and national department stores for scholarship opportunities, as well as with fashion organizations. For example, the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund offers $5,000 scholarships to dozens of fashion arts students each year and Nordstrom’s offers a $10,000 Nordstrom Scholarship for students who demonstrate exceptional scholastic achievement and community involvement.

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College Scholarships Ending in July 2015 June 30th, 2015
Scholarship Money

Apply for College Scholarships

Get ready to write! Most of the scholarships with deadlines in July require you to write an essay. As you write your essay, be creative and be sure to explain your thoughts and ideas thoroughly. Also, remember to check each scholarship’s criteria for essay word limits so you don’t write a too long or too short essay.

Here are few highlights of college scholarships with deadlines in July:

Spokeo Connections Scholarship: Win a $1,000 scholarship by writing an essay on one of three topics related to social networking or “Big Data.” Applicants may be high school seniors or current college students. Deadline: July 1

$1,000 Safe Driver Scholarship: Participate in an approved Safe Driver Program, and then create “a form of social awareness” (video, artwork, essay, etc.) to engage other students to focus on safe driving. This scholarship program is sponsored by CarInsuranceComparison.com. High school seniors and current college students may apply. Deadline: July 10

Resume Companion $1,000 Scholarship Giveaway: Create a resume based on the life of a character from TV, history, literature or myth for a chance to win this $1,000 scholarship. High school seniors entering college in Fall 2015 and current college students may apply. Deadline: July 14

TheHealthy.com General Scholarship for Higher Learning: Write an essay on one of three topics (health, inspiration or travel) for a chance to win this $500 scholarship. High school seniors planning to attend college in the fall may apply. Deadline: July 15

Movers Corp Moving Scholarship: Share your moving stories to win this $500 scholarship. The scholarship is open to high school and college students. Deadline: July 15

Flavor of the Month Scholarship: In honor of National Ice Cream Month, you can write a short essay about which ice cream flavor you’d like to be and why. The award-winning essay writer will receive a $1,500 scholarship. This scholarship is open to any student age 13 and up. Deadline: July 31

NursesLink.org Nursing Program Scholarship: If you’re currently enrolled in (or plan to enroll in) an undergraduate nursing program, you can apply for this $1,000 scholarship. The application requires an essay. Deadline: July 31

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9 Tools to Help You Budget for College and Save Money June 16th, 2015
Money for College

Tools to Budget and Save Money for College

Getting a college education is a big investment, and it’s never too early to start earning money for money to help pay for college. The following websites and apps can help you plan your budget, save money on things you buy and better manage your money while you’re in high school, in college and beyond.

Money Management

MyMoney.gov – This site has money management info and advice, as well as a toolkit with budget worksheets and a debt payoff calculator (handy for helping you figure out how long it will take you to pay back your student loans).

Mint.com – Get some help managing your budget and bills all in one place. This site lets you see all your bills, income and bank accounts in one place so it’s easier to see what you’re spending each month.

Power Wallet – This tool helps you monitor your spending and set a budget. It also gives you reminders to pay bills.

Financial Aid and College Costs

Net Price Calculator Center – Want to know how much college will cost you? Simply enter the name of a college you’re considering to access its Net Price Calculator, an online tool that helps you estimate the true cost of attending that school.

Studentaid.gov – Become familiar with all your options for federal student aid, such as grants and loans. Plus, learn how you can qualify to receive financial aid to help pay for college.

Student Loan Calculator – This tool from the College Board helps you calculate your student loan repayments in relation to your possible starting salary so that you can make smart borrowing decisions.

Discounts and Coupons to Save Money

Cartwheel – Target is a popular store for stocking up on dorm room supplies. Download the Cartwheel app to your smartphone to get discounts on everything from food, toiletries and cleaning supplies to clothing, electronics, school supplies, dorm décor and organization supplies.

Yowza! – This free mobile app (for iPhone and Android devices) lets you clip coupons digitally. It helps you find coupons in your local area. To use a coupon, just show the cashier the coupon on your smartphone. Great for late night pizza runs and movie nights!

RedLaser – This free mobile app (for Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone) helps you compare prices when you’re at the store. Simply scan an item’s barcode and the app will show you if there are lower prices at stores near you or online.

Image credit: Courtesy of hywards/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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The Summer After High School Junior Year: 10 Ways to Make the Most of Summer Break June 2nd, 2015
Ways to Prepare for College During Summer

Ways to Prepare for College During Summer

Summer is not only a time for relaxing. It’s also a great time to get a head start earning money to pay for college, spending quality time with friends and upping your game by learning new skills. Check out these 10 ways to make the most of the summer break between your junior and senior years.

Get a job. Start earning money for college by working part-time at a local store. Or, start your own lawn mowing service and ask neighbors if they’ll pay you to mow their lawns. Another option: take a Red Cross babysitting course and then offer your services to neighbors and family who live nearby.

Apply for scholarships. It’s never too early in your high school career to start applying for college scholarships. Consider these scholarship essay contests for high school sophomores and juniors.

Do a job shadow. Think you know what you want to be when you grow up? Find a family friend or ask your school guidance counselor for help getting in touch with a person who works in the field you want to study. Summer is a great time to job shadow, so you won’t miss math or English class while you’re getting a taste of what it’s like to spend a day in the life of a professional.

Spend time with friends. High school goes by fast, so make sure summer isn’t all work or filled with to-do lists to build your college resume. Spend quality time with your friends, as well as your family.

Study for the ACT or SAT. If you weren’t satisfied with your test score from the spring exam, sign up to take an early fall exam, and then study, study, study so you can improve your score.

Attend a pre-college summer program. Many colleges and universities offer pre-college programs in the summer for a variety of academic disciplines and other interests (like sports camps). Check out the offerings at colleges in your local area and sign up for a program that matches your interests.

Volunteer. Find a cause you’re passionate about and then lend a helping hand. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an every week commitment—it could be volunteering to help with a large event or helping out a few times at a food bank.

Visit colleges. If you haven’t visited colleges already, now is a great time to get those visits in. Plus, depending on where the colleges are located, it may give you an opportunity to travel to new locations and expand your horizons.

Narrow your college list. You don’t need to apply to dozens of colleges (not only will it take a lot of time, but also a lot of money for the application fees). Use the summer months to review your list of potential colleges and narrow the list to the ones you most want to apply to. Check with an admissions counselor to see if the application is ready for new applicants, and if it is, look at the essay questions and start brainstorming and writing your college application essay.

Learn a new skill. Always wanted to learn to surf? Want to learn how to use Microsoft Excel since you plan to major in accounting? Or, want to learn how to do your own laundry since you’ll need to do it when you’re at college? Use online tutorials for free via YouTube or GCF Learn Free or low-cost tutorials at Lynda.com to help you learn something new that will help you in college.

Image credit: Courtesy of photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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College Scholarships Ending in June 2015 May 19th, 2015
Scholarship Money

Apply for College Scholarships

Many college scholarships with deadlines in June have deadlines coming up very quickly—like June 1. Check out these eight college scholarship opportunities available for future business leaders, writers, student-athletes and students who want to make a difference in the world.

Blaze Wifi Rural Students Scholarship: To apply for this $500 scholarship, you’ll need to write a blog post about whether you prefer living in the city or country more. High school seniors and current college students can apply. Deadline: June 1

CEO of Tomorrow Scholarship: This annual $2,500 scholarship is open to current college students interested in business leadership or entrepreneurship. A 500-word essay is required. Deadline: June 1

Giva Student Scholarship: This semi-annual scholarship awards current undergraduate students a $1,000 scholarship. Applicants must write an essay about their career goals and how they plan to use their talents and education to make the world a better place for future generations. Students of any major can apply. Deadline: June 1

ProofreadingServices.com High School and University Writing Scholarships: Awards ranging from $100 to $500 are available to high school seniors. You’ll need to write an essay about “a defining moment in the your life in the style of your favorite children’s author” to apply. Deadline: June 1

Abbott & Fenner Business Consultants Scholarship: High school juniors and seniors can apply for this $1,000 scholarship. An essay about your educational career and life goals is required. Deadline: June 15

Discount Park and Ride Paving the Future Scholarship Contest: Got an idea for a business? High school seniors and college students can write a proposal describing a business idea for a chance to win a $2,500 scholarship. Deadline: June 15

BigSun Scholarship: Any student-athlete who is a high school senior or currently attending college can apply for this $500 scholarship. An essay about how your participation in sports during high school influenced you, your career goals and how you relate to your family is required. Deadline: June 19

Do-Over Scholarship: Apply for this $1,500 scholarship by writing a short essay about one thing you would do over in your life and why. Deadline: June 30

Who We Are: Information you can trust. For 20 years My College Guide has produced an annual magazine chock full of free college info for high-achieving high school sophomores and another edition just for high-achieving juniors! Check out our participating colleges.

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Should You Accept an Unpaid Internship? May 5th, 2015
Internships

Questions to Ask Before Accepting an Internship

Internships for high school and college students come in many forms, and not all internships pay students for their work. In fact, unpaid internships have been in the news in recent years due to former unpaid interns suing the companies they interned for. As a result, some companies now offer at least minimum wage to interns, but others still offer unpaid opportunities.

So is it a good idea to accept an unpaid internship? Here’s a look at the questions you should ask the employer and yourself before accepting an unpaid internship experience.

What work will I be doing? Of course, getting a paid internship is the preferred route to go, but in lieu of a paid opportunity, an unpaid internship may still benefit you or help you get your foot in the door.

Ask your future intern supervisor what work you’ll actually be doing. Are you going to be answering phones, making copies and getting coffee? Or are you going to be gaining actual work experience specific to your field of interest? If it’s the former, you may be better off getting a paid part-time job. If you’ll be gaining actual work experience related to your major, it might be worth going for it—especially if you’re still early in your college career.

In addition, the Department of Labor released a fact sheet about what qualifies for a legal, unpaid internship in 2010. Review the requirements to see if the unpaid internship you’re thinking of accepting meets the requirements.

Is academic credit given? Some companies offer unpaid internships in exchange for college credit. Typically, this means you’ll need to have your college approve the internship and then your internship supervisor (and you) will be required to fill out and submit paperwork and performance reviews throughout the internship. Check with your college first to verify whether you can receive credit for an unpaid internship.

What hours will I be required to work? An unpaid internship that requires you to put in 40 hours a week won’t leave you much time to secure a paid part-time job to earn money to pay for college. Meanwhile, a 20-hour-per-week internship could afford you the best of both worlds—a chance to gain important experience and the time available to do part-time, paid work for a different company.

How much will it cost me? If your unpaid internship is in your hometown, you could keep your living expenses down by living at home. If, however, your unpaid internship is in a different city than your college or your family, you may end up shelling out big bucks for rent, transportation to and from the city, parking or public transit, and more. Add up what you’ll be spending and decide if it makes financial sense for your situation.

Image credit: Courtesy of Ken Colwell via Flickr Creative Commons.

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College Scholarships Ending in May 2015 April 30th, 2015
Scholarship Money

Apply for College Scholarships

This month’s college scholarship deadlines feature scholarships for high school juniors and seniors, ranging from $500 to $10,000. Most opportunities require at a least a short essay, and some scholarships are based on financial need while others are not. Check out these scholarship opportunities to see if one matches your interests.

The Nordstrom Scholarship: Act quickly if you want to apply for this $10,000 scholarship available to high school juniors. Applicants must live in a participating state, have participated in volunteer activities, have a minimum GPA of 2.7, and plan to apply for financial assistance to attend college. Deadline: May 1

ScholarshipRed: Are you a redhead? Then you can apply for this $500 scholarship open to redheads only. High school junior and seniors with a minimum GPA of 2.5 can apply. Applicants must create something (essay, video, artwork, etc.) that represents what it means to you to be a redhead. Deadline: May 4

B. Davis Scholarship: This $1,000 scholarship is open to high school juniors and seniors, and to current colleges students. An essay is required to apply for scholarship. Deadline: May 25

Design Your Future $1,000 College Scholarships: Write an essay between 500 and 1,000 words on “today’s design trends across different markets” to compete for this $1,000 scholarship. This scholarship is open to high school seniors and college students with an interest in studying interior design, art and design, architecture, or a related major. Deadline: May 25

The Kevin Dare “Life … Back on Track” Scholarship: If you’re an athlete who has experiences a life-changing injury or serious illness, you may be eligible to apply for this scholarship. A personal essay, three letters of recommendation, and a verification of your injury/illness is required, among other application materials. Scholarship amount may vary, as the award will supplement other financial assistance received to pay for college. Deadline: May 29

DoSomething.org Comeback Clothes Scholarship: No minimum GPAs or essays are required to compete for this $10,000 scholarship. Simply collect old clothes and recycle them at an H&M store. Deadline: May 31

Fifth Month Scholarship: You can get creative with this short (250 words or less) scholarship essay contest, which asks you to write a letter to the number five explaining five is important. The prize for this scholarship is $1,500. Deadline: May 31

Krylon Clear Choice Art Scholarships: Students in fine arts programs (such as painting, drawing, or sketching) can apply for this scholarship. Five scholarships of $1,000 each are awarded each year to graduating high school seniors and college freshmen and sophomores. A portfolio of artwork, artist’s statement, letter of recommendation and official transcript are required. Deadline: May 31

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What Does “Liberal Arts” Mean? April 28th, 2015
Liberal Arts College

What are the Liberal Arts?

You’ve probably heard the term “liberal arts” tossed around in the media lately. Politicians have tossed the term around, too. In fact, over the past several years there’s been an ongoing conversation in the United States about the value of a liberal arts education. Is a liberal arts education still valuable in today’s society? Can students who major in the liberal arts really get a job?

In this post, we’ll take a look at what the liberal arts are all about, and what it means for you when choosing a college and a major.

What are the liberal arts? The liberal arts are the foundation of education at most four-year colleges and universities in the United States. The liberal arts expose you to a breadth of subjects (such as English, history, philosophy and social sciences). A liberal arts education doesn’t just focus on preparing you for a single job or career. Instead, it helps you develop important skills that are transferable to any job or career you may have.

What skills do liberal arts colleges teach students? Students at liberal arts colleges and universities develop critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills. Students also acquire a broad knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences, which can help students understand the context of situations they encounter in life and in the workplace. In addition, liberal arts students often gain intercultural skills and learn about exercising ethical judgment and integrity.

A recent report by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU) found that 93 percent of employers say that “a demonstrated capacity to think critically, community clearly and solve complex problems is more important that a [candidate’s] undergraduate major.”

Do liberal arts graduates really get jobs and make money? In any major you choose, it’s important to gain experiences throughout college that will make you more desirable by employers, such as participating in internships and taking on leadership positions in campus organizations. Those experiences, along with your college degree, will help you land a job when you graduate.

In addition, the recent AACU report found that people who majored in the humanities or social sciences actually make an average of $2,000 more per year during their peak earning years than their peers who majored in professional or pre-professional fields.

How can a liberal arts education benefit you? Today’s job market is changing rapidly. In fact, many jobs that exist when you start college may not exist by the time you graduate. In addition, jobs that don’t exist today may be created by the time you graduate.

The skills you learn through a liberal arts education are transferable to nearly any industry, and to any job you may have in your lifetime—even jobs that don’t exist yet. In addition, a liberal arts education teaches you how to learn, so you can be a lifelong learner and get up to speed quickly in any job you have.

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60 Colleges and Universities on Instagram April 23rd, 2015
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Gardner-Webb University on Instagram

Want to get a glimpse of what college life is really like? Checking a college or university’s social media platforms is a great way to see what students are doing around campus. Instagram, in particular, lets you view snapshots of student life at college. Check out these Instragram feeds from 60 colleges and universities around the United States.

Who We Are: Information you can trust. For 20 years My College Guide has produced an annual magazine chock full of free college info for high-achieving high school sophomores and another edition just for high-achieving juniors! Check out our participating colleges.

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