13 Earn New York Times College Scholarships

It was one of those perfect blue-sky days when Mah Noor stepped from the subway station on her way home to her apartment in Queens and spotted the familiar-looking man, sitting on a bench in the shadow of a tree, who appeared mentally ill. It took a few …
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College Students Offer Real-World Advice

With thousands of schools offering certificates and degrees, the task of planning for higher education can seem overwhelming. In this education planning guide, college students who have a degree of experience share their advice, ranging from how to choose …
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Is a College Degree Worth the Investment

Many people borrow money — a lot of money — to go to college. The typical college student borrows nearly  $30,000 to pay for a college education, and about one of every eight college graduates owes more than $50,000.

Outstanding student loan debt now exceeds $1 trillion.

Part of the reason for the expansion in student loan debt is because college has become very expensive. The average annual tuition, fees, room, and board comes close to $45,000 at private nonprofit institutions and about half that amount at public institutions. Meanwhile, median household income has remained almost flat during this time period, meaning that college costs take up a larger chunk of a family’s budget.

Student debt is now seen as a problem  because the job market for college graduates isn’t strong. Recent college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher faced an unemployment rate of about 6 % in early 2013 compared to 4 % in 2007. The numbers are worse for young adults without a college degree! One of every five recent college graduates is working in a low-wage, non-career oriented job, such as bartender, food server and cashier.

In a recent survey conducted for the American Action Forum by Public Opinion Strategies found that 52 % of respondents said that a four-year college degree wasn’t worth the $26,000 debt burden they’d carry with them to their first job.
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College Degree Choices

You are in the last half of high school or just beginning college with the core curriculum. How do you choose what subject you want to major in?

Most students will approach this question from an emotional standpoint. What do they like doing? What are they passionate about? or what have they dreamt of becoming all of their lives?

Beyond these questions, it is only smart to look at where current jobs are available. After all, choosing a profession that is not in demand is not the smart thing to do. Additionally, choosing a profession that is predicted to die out is only going to require a person to have to get retrained in he future for a career that actually has solid jobs.

The bachelor degrees worth pursuing in these times are quite varied. The good degrees could end one up in a doctor’s office or hospital, a classroom, a bank or financial institution or elsewhere.
The following areas of study have the lowest unemployment rates and therefore would offer a good chance of employment after graduation.
Top Five Degrees

Nursing Degree
Elementary Education Degree
Finance Degree
Marketing Degree
Business Management & Administration

Based on current unemployment rates one would advise students not to pursue the following degrees due to the difficulty of finding employment in their chosen field.
Top Degrees To Avoid

Degree in Information Technology
Degree in Architecture
Degree in Anthropology
Degree in Film, Video, Photography
Political Science Degree

So it is important when you are choosing your major in college or university that you choose a profession that will be in demand when you finish your degree.  Further education is a huge commitment in time and money. Make it count!

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SAT Scores Important In Job Search

Plenty of employers still request a job candidate’s SAT score, not only from new college graduates but also for senior management and sales positions.

The SAT, originally known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test is usually taken during your junior or senior year of high school,  and is a common requirement on college applications.

Just like colleges and universities, companies may set a minimum score for applicants and could use it as a standard measure of “the basic building blocks of success,” such as critical thinking, problem-solving skills and quantitative abilities.
Some companies ask job applicants, especially recent graduates, to provide SAT or ACT scores, results from graduate-school entrance tests, and grade-point average, as well as their work history.

SATs have remained relevant because they are easy for hiring managers to understand despite the fact that increased use of personality tests, data analytics and behavioral interviews have given employers more information about a candidate than ever before. The SAT exam was designed to predict first-year college success not to predict a candidate’s potential success in the workplace.

Many college students and recent graduates now list their scores voluntarily on resumes and LinkedIn especially if they are likely to impress a potential employer.

The College Board keeps SAT scores indefinitely, though requests for scores older than one year take up to five weeks to fulfill and cost $30.50 to retrieve.

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The College Dilemma

A college degree once all but guaranteed a well-paying job and higher earnings than high school graduates. But fewer of these good jobs are now available thanks to the long-term economic changes and the effects of the last recession.

People with college and advanced degrees are working jobs that don’t require them, whether by choice or necessity. That in turn pushes people without college degrees out of those jobs.

The number of college graduates has grown much faster than the number of jobs that require high-level education skills. As more college graduates flood the market, supply outweighs demand and employers are able to offer lower wages.

Because college is so expensive, many students are facing a dilemma: If they go to college, they still might not get a job that requires a college degree, and they’ll be on the hook for big student loan payments. But if they don’t go to college, they might be pushed out of entry-level jobs by overqualified college graduates who can’t find other work.

Under the current economic climate high school graduates should not only be asking themselves if they can afford to go to college but also if they can afford not to?

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Who Wins in Education?

Everybody talks about the need for higher education but how do we pay for the ever-increasing costs of college and university education, and are students getting their money’s worth.

Costs of tuition, fees, room and board at public universities have doubled in the last twenty years, whereas middle-class wages have remained flat since the 1970s. Students are forced to take out loans to acquire a college education.

Colleges and universities are also being forced to take on massive debt to become more “market-oriented,” building the high-quality, expensive, living and dining amenities students say they want, excluding facilities that achieve excellence in education.

Unfortunately, graduation rates are falling, high costs are resulting in a decrease in enrollment numbers, some students drop out early, while others who graduate fail to earn enough in their first years of employment to repay their loans.

School administrators pay more attention to “profits” and “return-on-investment” than giving our students the education they need and deserve.

We need to refocus on education, not the popularity of our institutions. Students need to be freed from the burden of debt, scholarships and grants are preferable to higher levels of debt.

We must also distribute a far greater portion of our national wealth to help students get the education they need and deserve. Otherwise we further weaken our democracy and ruin the middle-class way of life that sustains it. When the banks win, students lose.

John G. Fike is an adjunct professor at the Eastern Michigan University Political Science Dept.

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Online University Application Woes

The Common Application, which has been in use since the 1970s, enables a student to fill out a single application for multiple colleges. The number of schools accepting online applications has more than doubled in the last decade and includes nearly all of the nation’s most prestigious institutions. The company now processes well over one million applications a year.

This year’s application was designed and built from scratch, in an effort to make it simpler to use, with a newly standardized supplemental form that can be adapted to each college.

Unfortunately this new version of the online Common Application has been plagued by numerous malfunctions putting admissions offices weeks behind schedule and causing panic amongst thousands of students trying to meet early admission deadlines.

Problems became evident as soon as the application was released in August, the company has been frantically trying to fix the problems over the summer and fall and have indicated that the number of applications is up 20% over last year indicating that high school students were able to navigate the system successfully.

The recent problems mean that college admission offices will have to work overtime to go through applications, and some plan to take on temporary extra staff. But they say they still intend to send out acceptance and rejection notices on time in mid-December.

With the bugs being resolved, they expect the larger regular round of applications — usually submitted by January deadlines, with replies sent in the spring — to go more smoothly.

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High School GPA, A College Perspective

You work hard throughout your high school years to earn a a good GPA but what does this mean?

A high school GPA is a cumulative grade point average based on a students full high school career. However, students apply for college prior to completing their senior year, before their final high school GPA score is known. Colleges, use grade point average to measure a students track record, assess their dedication to learning and predict the student’s ability to succeed at college level.

Colleges receive thousands of applications each year and they need a system to select those students who are most likely to succeed. In order to achieve this, they determine a minimum grade point average for acceptance at their institution. It is left up to the individual institutions to determine this threshold.

Any students who fall under the minimum grade point average for acceptance will be immediately eliminated from the candidate pool. It is important for high school students to know the minimum GPA score for their school of choice so that they don’t waste time and effort applying to a school whose minimum GPA acceptance threshold is significantly higher than their high school grade point average.

Your high school GPA does not tell the whole story however. Once the GPA is used to weed out applicants the college acceptance committees will look closely at the types of classes taken, individual grades, and other aspects of the college application such as essays, resumes, SAT and ACT scores to determine which students will be offered a place for the following academic year.

Colleges also use your high school GPA score to select those students who qualify for a scholarship.

It is clear, that students need to be aware of the important role their high school grade point average plays in the selection process by colleges and universities. Visit our high school GPA Calculator often to calculate your high school GPA and stay ahead of the competition!

Grade Point Average And The Student Athlete

If you are a student athlete in high school or college, and sports is your passion, it is important that you pay attention to your grade point average on an ongoing basis. Use our GPA Calculator to monitor your GPA. Many high schools and colleges set a minimum grade point average for athletic participation. This means that you must achieve their minimum gpa score to continue to play on the team. Make sure you find out what the minimum GPA score is at your school, your coach should be able to tell you. If you are having difficulty maintaining this minimum take a moment to review our study tips which will help you improve your grade point average.
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How To Calculate Your High School GPA

Knowing how to calculate your grade point average in high school will help you quantify your goals. If you plan to go on to higher education it is important to know the minimum GPA score for acceptance at the college or university you want to attend. Then, use our GPA Calculator to find out what your grade point average is today! Knowing where you are today, and where you need to be upon graduation from high school, will give you the motivation to study hard and focus your efforts. Keep checking your grade point average so you can monitor your results and stay on track to achieving your goal. For instructions on how to use our GPA Calculator.
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