Scholarships — State Farm Good Neighbor

January 29th, 2015 by


NextStepU is happy to help guide you toward scholarships and opportunities to earn money for college. Here is a new scholarship we found for you!

Scholarship: State Farm Good Neighbor Scholarship Program

Amount: Up to 50 students will be selected to receive a $2,500 award

Description: The State Farm Good Neighbor Scholarship Program was established to provide financial assistance to high school seniors who plan to attend college, technical, or vocational school, but may not be able to meet the expenses of a higher education without such aid and often do not qualify for other scholarships.

• Must be a high school senior who will graduate at the end of the 2014-15 school year
• Children of employees, agents, and retirees of the State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (the “Company”) and children of employees of the Company’s subsidiaries and affiliates who are otherwise eligible may apply for scholarships, but they will not receive any preferences. Disqualified persons of the Foundation (within the meaning of Section 4946(a)(1) of the Code) will not be eligible for scholarships.
• Plan to enroll in full time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school for the entire 2015-2016 academic year
• Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 to 3.20 on a 4.00 scale (or its equivalent)
• Be a U.S. citizen
• Demonstrate financial need

Deadline: March 2, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.

For more information: See the State Farm Good Neighbor Scholarship Program website.

Best of luck to those who apply!

> Want to continue your search? Take a look at NextStepU’s database of more than 2 million scholarships after you register at




Do you have a College Coach?

January 28th, 2015 by


NextStepU offers more than online college prep articles, college matches and scholarships. For 20 years we’ve been in the business of getting high school students ready for college — and now we’re helping families one-on-one.

Take a look at the services that we offer. If you live in the Rochester, NY area, stop by our retail location to pick up a Welcome Kit (also available online) and learn more about our College Coaching services. If you don’t live nearby, that’s OK, too! We would love to help you no matter where you are.

Pin this graphic for later as a reminder to give us a call when you are ready to get a College Coach!

> To learn more about College Coaching with NextStepU, click here



Tuesday Tour Day — D’Youville College

January 27th, 2015 by

dyc-imgD’Youville College is an urban, private, nonprofit college located in Buffalo, New York. The 3,100 undergraduate and graduate student campus offers a professional, liberal arts degree. D’Youville College is a comprehensive higher education system offering over 20 undergraduate programs as well as additional master’s, post-graduate and doctoral programs.

At D’Youville, all professional programs are created based on a strong liberal arts core. Students also have the opportunity to enroll in five-year programs leading to both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, available in eight majors of study. The opportunities don’t end there though! The college also has 33 unique baccalaureate, eight master’s-level and five post-baccalaureate degrees, along with certificate programs in health-related professions.

Campus life
D’Youville’s campus is constructed on a six-block area near the center of the city. It is within walking distance to many tourist sites, restaurants and residential neighborhoods. The college is a short distance from the Canadian border for quick trips to Niagara Falls and Toronto. As for on campus, there is always something to do. Students can be involved in campus wide committees, contribute to student publications, participate in volunteer opportunities or play intramural sports. D’Youville College is a NCAA Division III provisional member competing in the Alleghany Mountain Collegiate Conference when it comes time to show off your school spirit.

Financial aid
Over ninety percent of D’Youville students receive financial aid. The college has a merit scholarship program where scholars may be awarded up to $71,000. Tuition for D’Youville College is $23,092 a year plus $10,800 for room and board.

> For more information about D’Youville College, click here.


Major Monday — Computer Gaming Design

January 26th, 2015 by

iStock_000017410075SmallVideo games: we all love them, even if we are hesitant to admit it. Whether it was the old days playing Mario Kart, Sims, or RollerCoaster Tycoon or if you are still an active gamer on Madden, Call of Duty or World of Warcraft, we’ve all spent endless hours playing a video game. Video are games are one of the worlds fastest growing industries bringing in billions of dollars to the economy every year. If you have a creative mind, a sense of humor and savvy computer skills, computer gaming design is the major for you.

In this major students will learn how to fully submerge a user into the virtual world. A student studying in the field will learn 3-D computer animation, digital sound and design and eventually you’ll write advanced computer code. It’s not all technological though; you’ll have to take psychology classes to learn how to develop stories and characters for your games through writing. You will quickly learn in Game Design and Development, a commonly required course, it takes a team to create many different elements of a successful game. It will be strongly emphasized in your classes that collaboration with teammates is the best way to be successful.

Questions to ask before deciding
When deciding which college to chose for your computer gaming design major be sure to ask yourself if the program offers a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. You will also want to look at the instructors and see if they are industry professionals or not. This will help you to know if the program will help to place you in internships during your time of study and job placement after graduation. Also be sure to check out the facilities on campus; are the labs equipped with the best game software and computer-game-playing stations? Lastly, look at the program being offered, is it a stand-alone major or is it concentrated within the art or computer science major and can you choose an area of concentration?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a career as a multimedia artist or animator earned an average of $61,370 per year in 2012. As an art director, you can expect to earn closer to $80,000 but instead of creating designs yourself, you will mostly be charged with overseeing general artistic direction of a project.

Read more about digital design careers by taking Next Step Academy’s Computer Aided Design Drafting course or visiting NextStepU’s career page.


Scholarships — CompareCards

January 21st, 2015 by


NextStepU is happy to help guide you toward scholarships and opportunities to earn money for college. Here is a new scholarship we found for you!

Scholarship: Edu Scholarship Award

Amount: $2,500

Description: Answer six trivia questions for a chance to win the scholarship.

• The scholarship entry form must be filled out completely and accurately. Upon winning the scholarship, proof of enrollment must be provided. If you have yet to enroll in college, the scholarship award will be held for up to one calendar year until proof of enrollment can be provided.
• All entrants must be enrolled in a two-year or four-year college or university, or be planning to attend college within one calendar year.
• No entrant can win more than two scholarships in any calendar year.
• All decisions made by CompareCards are considered final.
• One entry per person per month
• If you are selected, you must agree to submit a picture of yourself holding your scholarship award check, with a brief statement about how the award will help you manage your college expenses.

Deadline: February 15, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. (ET)

For more information and rules: Visit

Best of luck to those who apply!

> Want to continue your search? Take a look at NextStepU’s database of more than 2 million scholarships after you register at





Tuesday Tour Day — Hawai’i Pacific University

January 20th, 2015 by


Hawai‘i Pacific University (HPU) is a private, nonprofit university with a very diverse student population of approximately 7,000 undergraduate and graduate. HPU’s main campus is located in downtown Honolulu with the Hawai‘i Loa residential campus eight miles away in Kane‘ohe. Students at HPU come from all 50 states and nearly 80 countries. Hawai‘i Pacific is a comprehensive high education system accredited by the Western Association of School and Colleges.

HPU offers more than 50 undergraduate degrees and 14 graduate programs. HPU prides itself on priority teaching. HPU has no teaching assistants, only qualified faculty. The university has a student-faculty ratio of 14:1 to allow all students’ personal attention and one-on-one guidance. Hawai‘i Pacific University may have 7,400 students but the average class size is less than 20. The small class size allows students to enjoy all the technological and academic resources. Hawai‘i Pacific University was recognized by Princeton Review in it’s Best Western College guide and the U.S. News and World Report lists HPU in its Best Colleges guide.

With such diversity of students on campus, HPU is one of the most culturally diverse universities in the world. Activities on campus are just as diverse as the population. Extracurricular activities can range from multicultural to outdoor-oriented and international flavored. Not only are there social and cultural events but also intercollegiate athletics, student elected government and pre-professional organizations.  Hawai‘i Pacific University combines the atmosphere of the urban downtown campus with the serenity of a traditional campus on the southeastern side. With the campus being located in various areas, the distinctive sites are linked by shuttle.

Financially, the average student aid package at HPU is $14,529. Tuition at the Hawai‘i Pacific University is listed at $20,930 with room and board being $13,330.


Major Monday — Biology

January 19th, 2015 by

More files of this series and model on port. Made with professional make-up.Plants, animals, the human body, fungi…do these sound interesting to you? Do you like nature, need to always “have a reason why” and love doing research? If you answered yes to both of those, then Biology is the major for you.

As a biology major you will study, plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria in many forms and types. Biology majors study a general program where they look at living organisms and the systems and processes that permit life. Your coursework as a biology major will include cell biology, evolutionary biology, marine biology and plant biology.

What to know before you apply
To prepare for a major in biology colleges like students who participate in in science clubs and science fairs. They will look for students who are members of the Student Conservation Association as well as students who volunteer at their local parks, zoo or wildlife refuges. If you can’t participate in these specific things overall colleges want to see students who are active in sports teams, school government or have a broad variety of interests. As far as academics, it looks good on your application to have taken courses such as AP Biology, physics, calculus and AP Chemistry.

Questions to ask before deciding
When it comes time to pick your college you will want to look at what labs you will have access to as a biology major. It is also important to see if you will have opportunities for independent research projects and if you are able to work with professors on their research. Lastly, be sure to check out what areas of concentration you can study within the major.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012, a zoologists and wildlife biologists made $57,710 and a biological scientists for a college made $66,360.



Scholarships — 858Graphics

January 16th, 2015 by


NextStepU is happy to help guide you toward scholarships and opportunities to earn money for college. Here is a new scholarship we found for you!

Scholarship: 858Graphics Creative Annual Scholarship Competition

Amount: $1,500

Description: Students must take recycled material and re-purpose it to create something completely new that can be re-used again. Students are free to have fun and create whatever they desire, but the object must only be made from 100% recycled material. Students are allowed to use glue or other adhesives to hold together their recycled objects.

Once the projects are submitted through the online application form, the 858Graphics Scholarship Committee will be reviewing the projects based on level of creativity and innovation.

Step 1: View rules and eligibility
Step 2: Find recycled material to be re-purposed.
Step 3: Create your project by re-using the recycled material.
Step 4: Fill out and submit online application by including information, project photos and a brief description of the materials used in your project.
Step 5: Wait till the final voting is complete! The Scholarship Award will then be given to a student with the most unique and creative recycled project.

Deadline: April 31, 2015. Scholarship funds will be paid by June 1, 2015

For more information: Visit 858Graphics website.

Best of luck to those who apply!

> Want to continue your search? Take a look at NextStepU’s database of more than 2 million scholarships after you register at



Get organized with our free college planning calendar!

January 14th, 2015 by

Real question: did you do any college planning over break?

If you did, great! But if, like many students, you didn’t touch your college planning with a 10-foot pole, you probably need a push to get back in the swing again.

Have no fear! We are here for you. We’ve created a month-by-month calendar filled with a specific tip to work on each month — plus an inspirational quote to give you that extra boost you need.

We know it’s not easy to plan for college on your own so we are here for you. Need advice or have a question you need to get off your chest? Email me at and I’ll be happy to talk over whatever is on your mind.

It’s a new year…your time is now! Get started on your path to success today.



Download the calendar here!



Tuesday Tour Day — Hilbert College

January 13th, 2015 by

hilbertToday we are taking a tour of Hilbert College in Hamberg, N.Y. This school is a liberal arts college in the Catholic, Franciscan tradition and is a thriving institution with dynamic, career-focused majors, numerous academic concentrations that offer flexibility in choosing a specialty in your field of study, and internship opportunities to gain real-world experience.

You can earn your degree in a number of fields including accounting, business administration, computer science, digital communications, political science and more. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert offers the right-sized environment for individual attention and a chance to learn from professors who bring a depth of practical experience to the classroom. Using an extensive network of internship sites, semester-long internships help you gain meaningful practical work experience at all types of organizations and companies. The Honors Program provides an intellectual learning experience for Hilbert’s top students to explore new knowledge through honors-related coursework, colloquium experiences and community service. The college also has an in-depth Leadership Program for selected students.

Campus life
Located on a safe, suburban 60-acre campus, Hilbert has designed campus life to educate and fulfill the whole student with a variety of clubs and activities to please everyone. You can also participate in one of Hilbert College’s DIII 13 intercollegiate sports for men and women. As part of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, the college has excellent on-campus athletic facilities, including a fitness center with state-of-the-art aerobic and strength training equipment.

Tuition and financial aid
Hilbert is one of the most affordable private colleges locally and nationally. Approximately 90 percent of Hilbert students qualify for financial aid and there are numerous academic, institutional and private scholarships available.

—> Find out more about Hilbert College and request information at!