2011 Blogging Scholarship Finalists

Posted on Nov. 15th 2011 by Amelia

Here are the 2011 Blogging Scholarship finalists. You can vote here

Delana Lefevers Gajitz

David Shiffman Southern Fried Science

Brian McElhinny Raise The Jolly Roger

Ben Swanson Rufus on Fire

Philip Tanedo Quantum Diaries

Carlos Hernandez Carlos Eats

Camille Beredjick Gay Writes

Miraj Patel Miraj Patel.com

Shannyn Allan Frugal Beautiful

Ray Sanders Dear Astronomer.com

Taylor Marvin PROSPECT

Mark Lamprecht Here I Blog

Emily Steen Emylibef

Ariel Norling An Educationin Education

Heather Cohen Escaping Anergy

Jacquelyn Gill Contemplative Mammoth

Kendra Lay Kendra Lay.com

John McAuliff Road Trip of Passage

Kevin Flora EdMatics

Chelsea Long Pilgrimage.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend




6 reasons why you should care about the teachers’ union protests in Wisconsin

Posted on Feb. 27th 2011 by Alexis

Wisconsin teacher union protests1Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the union protests that are spreading throughout the country like wildfire.

Approximately 70,000 people flooded to Wisconsin’s capital city of Madison this past Saturday to protest a proposed bill introduced by Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker. As part of a budget repair bill, which was introduced on February 11th, Walker’s proposed changes would restrict a worker’s right to negotiate better pensions, salaries, and health benefits.

President Barack Obama has publicly stated that taking away a union’s bargaining rights was like “an assault on unions.” Even Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine/the Nightwatchman has spoken out to support the protesters, claiming that “Madison is the next Cairo,” and Walker is the “Mubarak of the Midwest.” (Morello has been a long-time supporter of unions because his mother used to work as a teacher in Illinois).

You as an intelligent American citizen should be

Whether you are a high school graduate or a college freshman, as an intelligent American citizen you should be concerned about what is going on in Wisconsin, and here’s why:

1. It affects freedom of thought and expression in classrooms

Because good teacher contracts essentially “protect academic freedom,” this new proposed bill could limit what is discussed in classrooms, what textbooks are used in schools, and whether evolution should be taught to students.

Not only that, the proposed bill will also impact class sizes, teacher workloads, curriculum planning, and so much more.

2. It could affect your future career

Even if you don’t plan on becoming a teacher, the proposed bill will affect all sorts of union workers, such as policemen, postal workers, pilots, administrators, nurses, firefighters, state troopers, etc.

Because collective bargaining helps unions determine various conditions of employment and pay rates, this could have a negative impact on decisions regarding sick leave, promotion, retirement, grievance procedures, and work rules.

Union officials have also stated that collective bargaining helps protect workers against racial or age discrimination. Or, for example, if you are a union worker and your employer doesn’t like you, your rights as a union member will protect you from being laid off from your job.

3. The domino effect

Ever since the news broke of the new proposed bill in mid-February, anger has trickled over state lines and has impacted much of the Midwest.

And to make matters worse, Republican lawmakers are already in the process of introducing anti-union and anti-worker legislations in states such as Idaho, Indiana and Ohio.

Also, in what is being called “A Rally to Save the American Dream,” MoveOn.org and 45 other groups known for supporting Democratic candidates, called for union supporters to protest in 50 different states on Saturday, February 26th. (Click here to see photos of the rallies).

4. It needlessly tests the beliefs and values of teachers Wisconsin teacher union protests2

Some union workers and Democrats believe that the proposed bill is “an attempt to cripple union support for Democrats.” The co-president of Madison’s Teaching Assistants’ Association, Alex Hanna, has spoken out against the bill stating that it is “undemocratic and obviously politically motivated.”

The proposed bill has rubbed teachers the wrong way, especially those who feel strongly about their personal values or beliefs when it comes to politics and religion. Instead of the sole issue being about worker’s rights, the issue has sparked a political debate and has forced a polarization between those with differing political opinions.

For example, some conservative-minded individuals believe that by giving teachers more freedom to choose what to teach in classroom, students could be used as pawns to support the goal of unions. Students may be taught to stand up for unions which could be seen as a subversive way to get around government actions through legalized curriculum.

5. The rich get richer and the middle-class get poorer

Union supporters also believe the proposed bill will have a devastating impact on the working and middle class. With Gov. Walker’s proposed bill, state employees will soon have to start making payments towards state pensions and health insurance, thus the wallets of the working class will be affected the most.

One major underlying issue that angers protesters is the fact that they are sick and tired of seeing big corporations take money away from the working class. By taking away a teacher’s rights to negotiate the terms of their employment, there will be less middle class values in the educational field.

6. The times are a-changing

Many believe that the protests in the Middle East have been a driving force for Americans to take to the streets and speak up for the rights of union workers.

In this current economic state, the last thing teachers want to hear is that they need to pay more money out of their pockets. Despite the fact that the rights of union workers has been an ongoing issue for years, the recession has forced the situation to a boiling point.

And to make matters worse, this new bill will be turning back the clock for many unions who have been working to provide “round-the-clock” emergency medical services coverage which took years to develop.

It’s time to move forward and demand change, not take a step backwards.

But let’s not forget that these protests aren’t just about teacher’s rights, it’s about putting the education of students first.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend




Missouri Gaming Association now accepting scholarship applications

Posted on Feb. 13th 2011 by Alexis

Missouri Gaming Association scholarshipThe Missouri Gaming Association is awarding two $1,500 scholarships and four $1,000 scholarships through their annual Project 21 Scholarship competition. In order to win a scholarship, Missouri high school seniors are being asked to write an article or create a poster or video which addresses the issue of underage gambling.

Scholarship info and requirements

Each article, poster or video will be judged on originality, style, content and educational value. The focus of each submission should touch on how to “deter” young people who are under the age of 21 from gambling, and/or discuss the “ramifications” associated with underage gambling. Students are also being asked not to confuse the topic with anti-gambling or compulsive gambling topics because they are not the same.

Here are the qualifications for the entries:

  1. Articles: If the student is submitting an article, it must be published in a newspaper, magazine, or publication of the applicant’s school between January 1, 2011 and February 28, 2011.
  2. Posters: Every poster that is submitted must be displayed in a public area of the applicant’s school for at least seven days (between January 1, 2011 and February 28, 2011). Applicants must also submit a one-page essay which touches on the topic of underage gambling, however, the essay does not have to be displayed or published at the applicant’s school. Applicants must also provide a letter signed by their school counselor which confirms that the poster was displayed at the school.
  3. Videos: All video entries must be between 1 to 5 minutes in length and be viewed in a school classroom or forum between January 1, 2011 and February 28, 2011. Applicants must also submit a letter signed by their school counselor to confirm that the video was viewed at the school.

High school seniors working as part-time casino employees are eligible to apply if he or she works less than 32 hours per week, and children of Missouri casino employees are also eligible as long as they are not a child of a Missouri Gaming Association officer or a Missouri Project 21 Executive Committee member. If the applicant is under the age of 18 then his or her parent/guardian must sign the application form.

Click here for the scholarship application form and to read up on the various other rules and requirements for the competition.

The application deadline is March 4, 2011.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend




14 scholarships for Valentine’s Day

Posted on Feb. 12th 2011 by Alexis

Valentines Day scholarships11.  Seeds of Love Scholarship

This $1,000 scholarship is for students who are enrolled in the Minority Engineering Program at Auburn University in Alabama.

Eligible applicants must either be a full-time student at the University, a graduating high school senior, or enrolled in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering-Alabama Power/Southern Company Academic Excellence Program.

Applicants must also have a minimum ACT score of 24, and a minimum undergraduate or high school GPA of 3.0. Preference will be given to the applicants who are from the Birmingham, Alabama area.

The application deadline is May, 2011.

2. We Love Steilacoom Association Scholarship

This $500 scholarship is specifically for Steilacoom High School seniors in Washington, and preference will be given to graduates who are entering a vocational/technical school or community college.

Applicants must demonstrate his or her financial need, and may also be required to participate in a personal interview with the scholarship committee.

Click here for the scholarship application, the deadline is April 1, 2011.

3. Rotary Purple Heart Scholarship

Only residents from the Jefferson, Lewis, or St. Lawrence counties who have been awarded with a Purple Heart are eligible for this $3,000 scholarship. (Dependents and spouses can also apply)

In order to qualify for the scholarship applicants must be a high school senior, a high school junior in an early graduation program, a student planning to attend a technical/vocational school, or a full-time undergraduate student with at least 12 credits per semester.

Applicants are asked to describe any “unusual hardships” and “special family or personal circumstances” in their application.

Click here for the scholarship application; for more information visit www.nnycf.org.

4. Mary E. Love Scholarship Fund

Eligible applicants must be a part- or full-time undergraduate student who has been accepted into the Nursing major at Rhode Island College. Students must also have an overall cumulative GPA of 3.00 in each nursing theory course taken.

Student will be required to submit a typewritten statement which explains his or her educational and professional goals, and the eligible recipients may have to participate in an interview.

The deadline is May 31, 2011; click here for the scholarship application.

5. Mind and Heart Scholarship

Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington is awarding $16,000 in scholarships per year to students who have SAT scores of 2020 or higher, ( or 30+ composite ACT), and a cumulative high school GPA of 3.75 or higher.

The recipients will also automatically qualify to compete in the Honors Colloquium program for other scholarships as well.

Visit www.whitworth.edu for the scholarship application.

6. Dr. Alice Morgan Love Scholarship Fund

This scholarship program was established to honor the memory of Dr. Alice Morgan Love who graduated from the University of Maryland in 1959 and also worked as an associate professor of physical education at the University.

The scholarship will be given to undergraduate/graduate students enrolled in the Department of Kinesiology in the School of Public Health, and recipients will be chosen based on their academic merit, demonstrated leadership skills, and commitment to community service.

Valentines Day Scholarships2

7. Valentine Foundation Scholarship

The Valentine Foundation will be awarding three scholarships worth $4,000 to students enrolled at the University of Redlands in California. Eligible applicants must be undergraduate students who are majoring in math, biology, chemistry, physics, or computer science, and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

The application deadline is February 15, 2011.

8. A Servant’s Heart

In order to win one of these three $1,000 scholarships applicants must be a Loudon County high school senior with volunteer service experience.

Students are being asked to submit a letter of reference from a community service organization, a head shot or graduation photo in a JPEG format, and an essay which touches on theme: “A Servant’s Heart: Choosing to Serve.”

Click here for more information on the scholarship; the application deadline is April 15, 2011.

9. Red Pocket Scholarship

This scholarship is to help University of Minnesota students “incorporate an educational or research experience” in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Macau as part of their study, internship, research, or professional training.

The scholarships are worth between $250 and $1,500, and will be used for the partial or total payment of travel or tuition.

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, have a GPA of at least 3.0, and be a full-time student enrolled in a “degree-seeking program” at the University of Minnesota.

The next scholarship deadline is March 25, 2011, and the application deadline for the fall/winter semesters is July 29, 2011.

10. Nellie Love Butcher Music Scholarship

This one-time $5,000 scholarship will be given to a music student who is pursuing an education in piano or voice, and preference will be given to students who are currently attending the Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

This scholarship is not renewable, however, recipients are allowed to reapply for the scholarship as long as they maintain a 3.0 GPA.

Applicants are asked to submit a performance CD on a compact disc along with their application.

The application deadline is April 15, 2011; for more information visit the DAR National Society website.

11. June S. Kang Love of the Arts Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is worth $2,500 a year for two years, and the recipients can use the money to pay for tuition at the institution of his or her choice.

In order to quality for the scholarship all applicants must have a “proven artistic ability” in either dance, literature, music, traditional arts, theatre, or visual arts.

The deadline is March 18, 2011.

Love They Neighbor Scholarship

12. Love Thy Neighbor

Since 1994 this program has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships to students, and each year a graduating student from Pennsbury High School in Pennsylvania and Trenton Central High School in New Jersey are awarded with this $1,500 scholarship.

Applicants must be a high school senior, have a 2.5 grade point average, and be accepted into an accredited college or university. Recipients can also reapply for a renewal of the scholarship if they stay in school and maintain “an above average” grade point average.

Click here for the scholarship applications.

13. John Allen Love Scholarship

This scholarship is for an undergraduate/graduate student from Missouri, and preference will be given to applicants who live in St. Louis or St. Louis County as well as those who are enrolled in courses at the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs.

14. Erin’s “Love for Dance” Scholarship

This scholarship was created in memory of Erin Roderick, an adorable little 4-year-old girl who passed away on March 28, 2009 due to a reoccurring brain tumor. During her short life Erin had a passion for dance and never let her illness stop her from attending dance classes.

Applicants are being asked to submit an essay which explains why they “love to dance” as much as Erin did.

Click here for the application. The deadline is July 15, 2011, for more information call 978-562-0134.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend




Vote now for the 2010 Edublog Awards

Posted on Dec. 10th 2010 by Alexis

Vote now for the 2010 Edublog AwardsIt’s that time of year again to cast your vote for the annual Edublog Awards, an online award ceremony which recognizes the top educational bloggers, wikis, podcasts, and “tweeters” on the web.

Since 2004 the Edublog Awards has been honoring those who excel in educational blogging and social networking,  and its purpose is to “promote and demonstrate” the educational values of social media.

As stated on their website, the Edublog Awards was created as a “response to community concerns relating to how schools, districts and educational institutions were blocking access of learner and teacher blog sites for educational purposes.”

How the nominations work

Bloggers in the educational community were asked to write their nominations in a blog post to pinpoint who they feel is the best “edublogger” and/or tweeter on the web. (This year over 400 nomination posts were recorded).

A group of Edublog judges then surfed through each of the nominated sites and shortlisted the nominations into 23 different categories, ranging from “Best Individual Tweeter” to “Best use of a PLN.”


Click on any of the following links to look over the nominations and cast your vote:

Voters have until 12 p.m. EST on December 14th to cast their vote. Until then, the results will remain anonymous, and the winners will be announced at a live online awards ceremony in mid-December.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend




UTC student pens scholarship advice book for students

Posted on Nov. 30th 2010 by Alexis

Zachary Freeman, an 18-year-old UTC student majoring in Business Finance, has published a book on how he won numerous grants and scholarships to help pay for his entire college education.

During his senior year of high school, Freeman desperately applied for hundreds of scholarships before enrolling at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He ended up winning $70,000 in grants and scholarships, which was more than enough to pay for all of his tuition, housing, textbooks, and food expenses for the next four years.

Even as a high school student Freeman had a knack for success: He owned his own clothing and sports memorabilia company before pursuing a university education, and by the time he enrolled at UTC he had won ten of the scholarships he applied for which were offered by companies, corporations, and local civic organizations. (Freeman has stated on his blog that approximately 52 percent of his education was funded from local organizations).

“People have this misconception that they have to be a perfect student to get scholarship money, when often it’s based more on community service than anything else,” explained Freeman, who is originally from Franklin, TN. “You’ll never get the money if you don’t at least apply, and most people don’t apply.”

The book and the blog – “Free Money Please!: The Ten-Step Guide to College Financial Aid”

Zachary Freeman Free Money Please

Freeman’s 65-page book is packed full of worksheets, timelines, checklists, as well as advice for students who are looking to finance their entire education through grants and scholarships.

“I have never claimed to possess a secret, but simply the method and timeline that I highlight, along with worksheets, in my first published work,” he stated. “It’s not that there’s a secret, it’s just that there’s a method.”

Since the book was released in September it has launched to #4 on Amazon.com’s “Hot New Releases in Education” list, and has even received “public notoriety” from best selling authors like Dan Miller, as well as syndicated radio hosts.

“More than book sales, I have a desire to see my peers get through college without spending an arm and a leg,” he explained. “I will be completely debt-free through four years of college, and I know that with a bit of effort, other students around the United States, and specifically in the Chattanooga area can and will benefit from what I have to say.”

If you can’t afford to shell out the $15 for his book, Freeman also offers some great tips and advice for students applying for scholarships on his blog. For further reading, check out the following posts:

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend




“Subprime Opportunity: The Unfulfilled Promise of For-Profit Colleges and Universities”

Posted on Nov. 28th 2010 by Alexis

A new Education Trust report published this past week criticizes for-profit institutions for their low graduation rates, expensive tuition costs, and aggressive recruiting tactics. The authors reveal in the report that students at for-profit schools borrow a large amount of money for their education, yet only a small percentage earn a “marketable degree or credential.”

The most alarming statistic revealed in the report states that a mere 22 percent of students at for-profit schools graduate within six years, compared to 55 percent of students at public institutions, and 65 percent of students at private non-profit institutions.

The high cost of a low education

Tuition at for-profit institutions costs approximately $25,000 a year, but with a 22 percent chance of graduating, the costs can be devastating for students or even graduates.

Only 4 percent of students who earn bachelor’s degrees at for-profit schools graduate debt-free, compared to 38 percent of students at public institutions, and 28 percent of students at private non-profit institutions.

Default rates at for-profit institutions are also twice as high as the default rates at public and private non-profit colleges, with for-profit institutions representing 43 percent of all federal student loan defaults.

“[The] Students’ inability to pay back the debt strongly suggests that the credentials students are earning at these schools, with the intention of preparing themselves for lucrative jobs and careers, may not be worth the cost,” the authors write.

Approximately 10 percent of all students who study at for-profit institutions end up defaulting on their federal student loans within two years, and 19 percent of students default within three years. As a result, many of these students and/or graduates may have their wages “garnished,” their income tax refunds intercepted, or even their Social Security payments withheld.

Are for-profit schools failing low-income and minority students?

For-profit schools failing minority students: Subprime Opportunity reportFor-profit institutions have always stated that their recruitment of low-income and minority students is “heralded as a sign of its commitment to underserved populations.” But the authors of the report state that low-income and minority students, (who are pursuing college degrees in record numbers), are targeted and then “recruited aggressively” by for-profit colleges. (Low-income students represent 50 percent of the student population at for-profit schools, while minority students make up 37 percent).

The authors also explained that low-income and minority students are more likely to take out student loans at for-profit colleges than at any other institution.

“For-profit colleges argue that they are models of access and efficiency in America’s overburdened higher education system,” write the authors. “But instead of providing a solid pathway to the middle class, they are paving a path into the subbasement of the American economy. They enroll students in high-cost degree programs that have little chance of leading to high paying careers, and saddle the most vulnerable students with more debt than they could reasonably manage to pay off, even if they do graduate.”

Click here to read the report:

Subprime Opportunity: The Unfulfilled Promises of For-Profit Colleges and Universities

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend




Are you following your university on Twitter?

Posted on Nov. 14th 2010 by Alexis

Following your university on Twitter

As more and more universities discover the benefits of using Twitter as a communicational platform for their students, following your university on Twitter could help you stay up to date on official announcements, news, and events.

Every institution on the U.S. News & World Report’s “Top 100” list has at least one Twitter account, and in a recent study conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research, it was revealed that 41 percent of universities in America are using social media as a “recruitment tool.”

Because primary university accounts are going to have a high concentration of student followers, universities have started creating separate accounts so they can direct important messages to a specific target audience:

Admissions offices are creating their own Twitter accounts to attract new students to their campuses, such as Louisiana State University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions & Student Aid, (@LSUAdmissions).

Some institutions may even use Twitter to promote their alumni networks, such as New York University’s @NYUAlumni account.

Even departments within colleges and universities, such as business schools or law schools, have been operating their own Twitter accounts, as well as campus newspapers or research/student service organizations like athletic facilities and libraries.

The University of Florida has the most Twitter accounts out of any other university in the country. There are accounts for official campus news (@InsideUF), the UF Office of Technology Licensing (@UFOTL), the Career Resource Center (@UF_CRC), the UF College of Journalism and Communications (@UFJSchool), and even UF student housing (@UFhousing).

The following universities have the highest number of accounts on Twitter:

1. University of Florida – 24

2.  University of Georgia – 22

3. Carnegie Mellon University – 17

4. George Washington University – 17

5. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor – 16

Find and follow your university on Twitter:

MyCollegeGuide.org has put together a “master list” of all the universities on Twitter, which is constantly being updated thanks to input from readers. (If you notice that your school is missing from one of the lists, be sure to post a comment and let the authors know).

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend




Top 10 scholarship books

Posted on Nov. 12th 2010 by Alexis

Top 10 scholarship books1. Scholarships, Grants and Prizes – 2010: Millions of Awards Worth Billions of Dollars (Peterson’s Scholarships, Grants & Prizes) by Peterson’s

This book has been called “the Mecca of scholarship books,” and is packed full of up-to-date information on a variety of different scholarships along with their contact information and eligibility requirements.

2. Taming the Tuition Tiger: Getting the Money to Graduate–with 529 Plans, Scholarships, Financial Aid, and More by Kathy Kristof

Liz Pulliam Weston, (a personal finance columnist for MSN Money), described this book as “the best, smartest, and most comprehensive guide to financing education.” Kristof provides background information on 529 plans, Individual Development Accounts, student loans, private or pubic scholarships, tips for students who are from low-income families, and much more.

3. The A’s and B’s of Academic Scholarships: 100,000 Scholarships for Top Students (A’s and B’s of Academic Scholarships) by Anna Leider

This book contains a comprehensive list of approximately 100,000 different scholarships along with information on their criteria, amount, renewability options, and deadlines. The majority of the awards listed range from $300 to $40,000; however, they must be used at a sponsoring school.

4. Scholarship Handbook 2010 (College Board Scholarship Handbook) by The College Board

The College Board is a non-profit organization internationally known for providing college students with information on admissions, enrollment, and financial aid. Their book lists the due dates for numerous scholarships and serves as an excellent resource for future college students.

5. How to Go to College Almost for Free by Ben Kaplan

Author Ben Kaplan provides great advice on where/how to find financial aid for college, how to fill out scholarship applications, and which common mistakes to avoid when applying for financial aid. He is also the author of The Scholarship Scouting Report: An Insider’s Guide to America’s Best Scholarships, Honey, I Shrunk the Tuition!, Adult and Non-Traditional Scholarships That Totally Rock!, and many more.

6. Money-Winning Scholarship Essays and Interviews: Insider Strategies from Judges and Winners by Gen S. Tanabe and Kelly Y. Tanabe

This book discusses how to write a scholarship essay, how to answer interview questions, and most importantly, how to win scholarships. The book also has a directory of scholarships along with their amount and eligibility requirement. The authors have written numerous other books on scholarships, some of which are Get Free Cash for College: Secrets to Winning ScholarshipsHow to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay: 30 Essays That Won Over $3 Million in Scholarships, or The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2010: Billions of Dollars in Scholarships, Grants and Prizes.

7. Scholarships 101: The Real-World Guide to Getting Cash for College by Kimberly Ann Stezala

The author of this book founded the only online scholarship database in Wisconsin, and writes a scholarship column for Wisconsin’s largest African-American newspaper. She provides great motivational tips for students and parents on how to save up for a college education, as well as how to stand out from other scholarship applicants.

8. Full Ride To College: How To Win Scholarships And Get Admitted To The College Of Your Dreams by Andrew F. Knight

This author was the winner of over $1 million in merit-based scholarship and fellowships, and studied at MIT, Georgetown, and Princeton. He discusses numerous strategies on how students can raise their GPAs before applying for college, or how to balance work and school.

9. The Scholarship & Financial Aid Solution: How to Go to College for Next to Nothing with Short Cuts, Tricks, and Tips from Start to Finish by Debra Lipphardt

This book is full of tips on how to determine your scholarship eligibility and avoid scholarship scams. There are also sections dedicated to resumes, state grants, FAFSA, minority students and interviews.

10. The Everything Paying For College Book: Grants, Loans, Scholarships, And Financial Aid — All You Need To Fund Higher Education (Everything: School and Careers) by Nathan Brown and Sheryle A. Proper

This book is a great resource for high school students, parents, or event adults who are thinking about going back to school. The authors write about saving money for college and long-term investing, and also explain the difference between loans and grants, qualification guidelines, and how to fill out scholarship applications.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend




What is a “reach school”?

Posted on Nov. 9th 2010 by Alexis

As defined by the Princeton Review, a “reach school” is considered a long-shot for students because their academic credentials “fall below the school’s range for the average freshman.”

Realistically speaking, every top college and university in the country should be considered a “reach school” for applicants because their admission standards are extremely high. Some of these institutions have an acceptance rate of below 20 percent, so even a student with perfect SAT scores and/or straight ‘A’ transcripts might not get accepted.

Reach schoolWhen applying to a college or a university, it is extremely important to understand the difference between a “reach school” and “safety school.” Due to the fact that admissions offices are receiving applications at record-high numbers, the acceptance rate for many universities and colleges has dropped considerably over the past few years. Because of this, many “safety schools” for high school students have suddenly become “reach schools” because their chances of not getting accepted are much higher than before.

A “safety school” is the type of school where the applicant is “somewhat overqualified” and can feel “reasonably confident” that he or she will get accepted. In order to determine whether a school is a “safety school,” be sure to check out their admission rates – if the rate is below 30 percent then it may not be the “safest” option.

A “match school,” on the other hand, is one where an applicant’s test scores and/or GPA fall “well within (or even exceed)” the school’s expectations. Although there are no guarantees, your chances of acceptance are much higher than a “reach school,” or perhaps even a “safety school.” If an applicant’s test scores, class rank, and high school grades fall in the middle range of the school’s profile, then their chances of being accepted into the school are very likely.

Experts recommend that students apply to approximately three “reach schools,” three “match schools,” and two “safety schools.” This way it provides students with a few back-up options, yet it still allows them to set ambitious goals and expectations.

Here are 4 ways to increase your chances of getting accepted into a “reach school:”

1. Study! – This should be a given for any student who wants to get into a top college or university. If you already know that the school’s academic standards are extremely high, then buckle down and bump that B up to an A. Even the slightest percentage increase could help your chances of getting accepted.

2. Do your research –  Be sure to know beforehand whether your GPA and class rank are a match for the school you are applying to. (And make sure you find the most recent data available). Remember, your grades don’t necessarily have to “match” their standards, but they should be trailing very close behind.

3. Participate in extra-curricular activities – Now more than ever, institutions are looking for well-rounded, “highly engaged” students. Participating in extra-curricular activities demonstrates that you are a student with enthusiasm.

4. Apply to a college or university in your home state –  State-funded institutions are required to accept a certain number of in-state applicants, thus they expect higher academic standards when it comes to out-of-state students.

It is also important to point out that getting accepted into a “reach school” may not be the most financially smart option for those who are from low-income families:

Getting accepted into a “reach school” could mean taking a financial risk for many students, as colleges and universities usually save their financial aid packages for the students they really want. So if you happen to get accepted into your “reach school,” then your chances of getting financial aid are much lower than if you were accepted into your “safety” or “match school.”

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Posted 1 Comment »