Posted on January 31st, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Financial aid is a complicated thing. The federal government has a philosophy on it. Your state has an approach. And your college has its own ideas about how to manage the state and federal funds.
In many ways your school will position itself as a middleman to help determine what state and federal aid you get. Your college's financial aid office will even handle the money for you – take it from Uncle Sam, pay themselves, and give what's left to you.
There are two main tricks to getting the most possible help out of the available financial aid. The first is to identify scholarships and grants unique to your school and to apply for them. Maybe your financial aid office will mention them to you; maybe they won't. The second trick is to find scholarships and grants that aren't connected with your school in any way, but that are run by foundations or organizations that like you – no matter where you go to school.
Somewhere there's a foundation that gives scholarships to people like you – to the bow-legged children of former rodeo stars, or to the grand-daughters of people persecuted by McCarthy, or to blue-eyed redheads (regardless of gender) who can document their ancestral ties to County Down in Ireland.
So the question is, how do you find those scholarships?
Posted on January 30th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
You're not poor. You're fortunate enough to come from a family with a nice middle class income. You grew up in a home with two cars, a nice house, parents who have decent jobs, etc. So you figure you're not going to get a penny from the Pell Grant, since it's need based.
Should you fill out the FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid)? Oh yes!
Despite the hassle and time involved, there are a number of reasons for you to fill out the fafsa even if you don't expect to get a single cent from the Pell Grant.
Posted on January 26th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Dartmouth has followed the lead of other top schools like Harvard, Yale, and Duke, and done away with its student loan programs.
A number of top tier colleges and universities in the past few months have revamped their financial aid philosophies. The new Dartmouth policy means that loans at the school will be replaced with grant money students don't have to repay.
Dartmouth College is an Ivy League school in Hanover, New Hampshire. It was founded in 1769. Dartmouth has about six thousand students.
Posted on January 25th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
The Counselor's Corner blog made an excellent point about financial aid: some of the best sources of aid are local.
The nice people at the Counselor's Corner give their own examples. I went looking for a few myself that might illustrate the point.
One example is Bluefield State College. Their financial aid page mentions scholarships available at the school from (or funded by) American Electric Power. There's the Cardinal Resources/Raysal Area Scholarship awarded to a student from Raysal, WV. Bluefield State is in the heart of Appalachia, and a number of the region's major coal-related companies have scholarship funds available; some stipulate that a recipient must be interested in engineering technology and/or in a career in mining. Several local businesses have endowed scholarships. And there are almost two dozen scholarships that bear the name of a foundation or have been created in memory of some individual.
Posted on January 24th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
The Tampa Tribune reported today that Florida's oversight board for state run universities ordered the institutions under it to raise tuition by eight percent and begin cutting enrollment.
There are 11 public universities in Florida and they are faced jointly with a $147 million budget cut this fiscal year. Average class size is already above the national average. In fact, according to the Tribune, Florida's universities have the worst student teacher ratio of any state. So increasing class size is not really a solution to the system's financial problems.
Posted on January 17th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
The Apollo Group, the parent company of the University of Phoenix, was found liable this week for misleading investors and ordered to repay shareholders $280 million, according to the Associated Press.
A federal jury deliberated for two day on the case. The Apollo Group was accused to withholding a 2004 US Department of Education report that was critical of the university of phoenix. When the report later became public, Apollo Group stock fell sharply, costing investors.
The Chronicle of Higher Education is among those covering the story.
Posted on January 16th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
On February 5th, when voters in California go to the polls they'll find a number of ballot initiatives before them. One of them, Proposition 92, could have a profound impact on funding for both public K-12 schools and higher education in the state. And if the ballot initiative itself isn't controversial enough, it comes at a time when California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is faced with a mammoth $14 billion budget deficit, in response to which he has proposed deep cuts in education.
Proposition 92 would cut tuition at California's 109 state run community colleges from $20 per credit unit to $15 per credit unit. That would mean that a full time community college student who now pays $600 a year for tuition would only pay $450. The proposition would also limit the state's ability to raise community college tuition in the future. But that's not all the proposition would do…
California already has a funding mechanism in place that requires 40% of general funds to be spent on education. Proposition 92 would change the formula for determining how much money a particular institution gets. Instead of being based on enrollment, the new funding formula would be based on the size of the youth population in an area that could attend a community college – whether they enroll or not. And that seems designed to shift some education funding away from public schools and into community college coffers, because over the coming years, the young adult population is expected to grow in most of the state while K-12 enrollment shrinks.
Posted on January 13th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Getting into college is partly about selling yourself – convincing someone else that YOU are the person they're looking for. While most college applications don't actually ask for one, it is an excellent idea to include a short resumÃ© whenever you submit an application.
What should be in your resumÃ©? Here's a short list:
- Your name, your email address, your phone number, and your mailing address should all be in the heading of the resumÃ©.
- A list of your accomplishment I the last two years or so, starting with the most recent and working backwards.
- An employment history, if you have had jobs.
- A list of volunteer service you've been involved in.
- A list of honors and awards.
- A list of extra-curricular activities.
What exactly should be on the resumÃ©? I like the way College Basics puts it…
DO NOT think anything is too small. If you published a poem, received the only 100 on a physics exam, or were asked to present your research before another class, include it.
They suggest brainstorming with parents, teachers, and friends to help you remember some of the things you have done in four years of high school. It never hurts to let someone else remind you of what you have accomplished.
Posted on January 10th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Kentucky is facing hard times, and according to University Business it looks like the university of kentucky may share in those hard times – at least over the next year.
At the end of his first month as Kentucky's new governor, Steve Beshear says he is expecting state government in Kentucky to see a budget shortfall this year of $289 million. He's asked University of Kentucky President Lee Todd to cut the school's budget. President Todd today announced a hiring freeze and plans to slash $10 million from the university's budget this year. Half that money will come out of a reserve fund the school has.
Posted on January 9th, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
It's a loaded question for a couple of reasons. We're talking here about accredited colleges. We're talking about four-year colleges. That leaves out many trade schools that use the word "college" in their names. And that leaves out community colleges.
Why leave out community colleges? Most community colleges have an open enrollment policy that allows any high school graduate to enroll.
Campus Grotto recently did a piece on the ten easiest colleges to get into. They said many of the same things I have, but they went on to pick the ten easiest accredited, four year college in the nation to get accepted at. I'm not sure how they made their decisions. There are a few surprises on the list.