Scholarships — AFSA

March 5th, 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: American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship

Amount: Ten $2,000 scholarships will be awarded

Description:  Read the “Fire Sprinkler Essay” and complete registration page with all requested information. Then take a ten-question multiple-choice test. For each question answered correctly, students will receive one entry into a drawing for one of ten $2,000 scholarships.

Requirements:  Open to high school seniors who are citizens and aliens legally residing in the USA. Scholarship payable to the winner’s college/university or certified trade school in the United States; student must enroll in semester beginning no later than fall 2015. Home-schooled students may apply as long as your course of study is equivalent to that of a senior in high school.

Deadline:  12:00 p.m. (CDT) April 1, 2015. Winners’ names will be posted in May 2015.

For more information:  Visit the AFSA 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




Giving back in college

March 4th, 2015 by

IMG_4524You’re always told to get involved in college; many people even go far as to say it’s the first thing you should do when getting to your new campus. There are countless academic clubs, activity boards and committees to join. Those clubs are great opportunities to improve your campus, but my advice is to also look into joining clubs or organizations that help the community.

My school offers a lot of different ways to give back. This fall, I joined Students with a Vision (SWAV), a club made up of volunteers who provide service to organizations in the surrounding areas. Since joining, I have sorted clothes to be donated, have helped the elderly prepare for the winter months by raking leaves and later this spring, I will help paint city schools to help provide a better educational environment for kids.

We also have the Teddi committee, which puts on a 24-hour dance marathon to benefit Camp Good Days and Special Times, a local camp for kids who are suffering from cancer. Although I don’t usually make it the whole 24 hours, I have made an effort to participate the last two years. This year, I even went the extra mile to donate 10 inches of hair right at the dance to benefit those kids with cancer.

Additionally, we also have organizations represented like Colleges Against Cancer (CAC), an organization that hosts events all year long to raise money for cancer research and puts on a Relay For Life event at Fisher every year. The school puts on blood drives, hosts service trips (including one to Jamaica) and sends volunteers to local schools to teach.

Giving back is a sure way to make yourself feel better. Too often in college, we get so wrapped up in what we have to do that we forget how difficult life can be. It’s a privilege to get an education and we forget that there’s a world going on out there that includes many people who don’t get the chance to go to college, or even the chance to just eat. Joining a club that gives back is a good way to forget yourself for maybe an hour or two and help others.

Volunteering with other students is great a way to get to know other people with similar interests, too. Maybe you’ll meet your new best friend and you two will continue to give back your whole lives. Also, giving back allows you to learn about different people and situations. Not only will you learn about what is happening in your community, but you will also learn quite a bit about yourself (just ask those people who do the full 24 hours at Teddi).

Emily-intern-2105Written by Emily Mein. Emily attends St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. Sharing information or a person’s story with people is why she loves writing. She can never get enough of Twitter, pasta and Syracuse basketball.


Tuesday Tour Day — Centenary College

March 3rd, 2015 by

Centenary profile image 2013Located in Hackettstown, New Jersey, Centenary College is a religious, coeducational, liberal arts and career studies college. Instead of just receiving a traditional education, students who attend Centenary get an education designed around them with a technologically innovative approach to learning.

Centenary offers 26 degree programs that receive a bachelor’s degree and two associate degree options. Some majors offered by the school are graphic design, finance, social work and theatre technology/design. The school has a caring faculty, a diverse student body and features small class sizes. Each first year student attends a full-year, student-centered learning program to ensure that the faculty matches how they teach to the way each student learns.

Campus Life
Mentioned above, all freshmen participate in a First Year Experience program to help transition students from high school to college. Centenary offers academic success services, career services, clubs and organizations and intramural sports. The school has seen recent renovation to ensure its students receive the best education possible. New additions have been the Equestrian Center, new residence halls, an expansion of the athletic center, an environmental science center and a performing arts center. The school has 13 Division III teams to play on in the Colonial States Athletic Conference.

Financial Aid
Since Centenary believes that individuals receiving higher education should meet their goals regardless of their financial need, 98 percent of students get some form of assistance. Tuition is $29,070, while room and board costs $10,320.

> For more information about Centenary College, check out


Major Monday — Equestrian Studies

March 2nd, 2015 by

If you have a background with horses, you know that these animals need to be taken care of in a certain way. If you enjoy caring for horses, have a strong work ethic, are organized, like sports and are willing to do hard physical work, equestrian studies may be the right major for you.

horse copyEducation
This major is available at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Equestrian studies focuses on horses and horseback riding. You learn about the care and anatomy of horse, taking classes in equine health management, nutrition and breed types. There are classes in horseback riding and training. If you’re wondering how taking care of or riding a horse can turn into a career, you also learn about running a horse-related business by taking classes like entrepreneurship and stable and stud farm management. In high school, it helps to take courses like math, chemistry, AP Biology and business.

Questions to ask
Hands-experience is important in equestrian studies – ask if the department works with local businesses to offer internships. If you know what area you’re interested in, make sure the department offers courses you’d need. Ask if the school has on-campus horses and well-equipped stables. What about extracurricular programs like polo or equestrian team?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an animal care and service worker made an average of $19,970 in 2012. You can continue on with your education to become a veterinarian after getting your doctorate in veterinary medicine. In 2012, veterinarians made an average of $84,460.

> For more information about career and major choices, go to


Book Review | Acing the ACT

February 27th, 2015 by

acing-ACTThe brand new “Acing the ACT: An Elite Tutor’s Guide to Tricky Questions and Secret Strategies that Make a Big Difference” by Elizabeth King goes on sale March 3rd.  This book is packed full of ways to navigate the ACT.

You’ll discover these important elements of the test:
• Memorization: You need to learn something new or refresh an old skill
• Tricky Questions: The special ACT setup or question phrasing confused you
• Human Error: You make mistakes just like everyone else
(Reprinted from ACING THE ACT Copyright (c) 2015 by Elizabeth King, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.)

In 2012, more students took the ACT than the SAT for the first time. Once the underdog in the testing world, the ACT is now accepted by all four-year colleges. With the surge in interest in the ACT, this book is an important guide to taking the test.

When reviewing the book, we liked the compact size and layout. Divided into easily digestible chapters, the book covers the English, math, reading, science and essay portions individually with special notes and examples. The Most Important Secret should be saved to the end — don’t skip ahead — and the What to Memorize section could be a lifesaver for many test takers.

Author Elizabeth King is a well-respected author and test prep expert. Follow her on Twitter.

Win it before you can buy it!
Enter below in the Rafflecopter app for a chance to win a copy of ”Acing the ACT: An Elite Tutor’s Guide to Tricky Questions and Secret Strategies that Make a Big Difference.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No purchase necessary. Enter the “Acing the ACT: An Elite Tutor’s Guide to Tricky Questions and Secret Strategies that Make a Big Difference” Giveaway before 11:59 p.m. (ET) on 3/3/15. One winner will be chosen shortly afterward and announced on 3/6/15. The winner must respond to the email he or she receives in order to claim his or her prize. Any prize winner not responding by 4/6/15 will forfeit his/her prize. Entries will only be accepted through the Rafflecopter application and before the deadline date. 


Scholarships — AmeriQuest Transportation Services

February 26th, 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: AmeriQuest Transportation Services Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Description: Write a 500 – 1,000 word essay that answers the question: “What can the transportation industry do to attract a new generation of drivers?”

Requirements:  Contest is open to any high school senior or student enrolled in college within the United States who is looking to supplement his/her tuition. Participants must nominate themselves by submitting an essay exploring how innovation can help resolve the driver shortage issue.
All essays must be submitted in PDF or Word format. Along with your essay please include the name of the school you wish to attend, the major you wish to pursue, and any notable achievements. Submissions will be based on work quality, academic excellence, creativity, and expertise.

Deadline: Submit by May 30, 2015. The winner will be announced by June 30, 2015.

For more information: Visit the AmeriQuest Transportation Services Scholarship 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




ACT prep from Magoosh

February 25th, 2015 by

magoosh-satAre you preparing for the ACT? Then you probably know that the key to success is using the right resources. Now, before you randomly search the net for whatever free resource is out there, slow down a bit — we’ve actually done the hard work for you. You can find plenty of thorough (and free!) ACT prep material on the new ACT Blog that our friends at Magoosh have put together.

On the blog, you will find:
• Pre-made study schedules to guide you through your prep
• Tips for tackling every section of the test (yes, that’s right: math, reading, science, writing and English)
• Strategies you will need to improving your scores

> Be sure to take advantage of these resources on the Magoosh ACT Blog.


Tuesday Tour Day — Pennsylvania College of Technology

February 24th, 2015 by

PCT threeline rev boxed_286Pennsylvania College of Technology is located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The school is an affiliate of Penn State that focuses on applied technology education. Pennsylvania College of Technology is ranked among the top 10 public, four-year colleges in the north and is one of the nation’s top 100 associate degree producers. The school takes pride in its professional connections, small classes and an experienced faculty.

Pennsylvania College of Technology offers bachelor and associate degree programs and certification majors in more than 100 career fields. Options include areas such as manufacturing, design, transportation, health and hospitality. The academic life combines hands-on experience with theory and management education.

Campus Life
There are more than 50 clubs and organizations offered at Pennsylvania College of Technology. The school has Greek life, leadership programs and campus events for its students. For housing, the school has accommodations for 1,700 students and private, off-campus housing near campus. As for athletics, students can participate in 12 intercollegiate varsity sports, six club sports and 30 intramural sports.

Financial Aid
Four of of five students receive some sort of financial aid. In-state tuition is $15,450 while out-of-state is $21,930. Room and board for both is $10,036.

> Find more information about Pennsylvania College of Technology on


Major Monday — Legal Studies

February 23rd, 2015 by

iStock_000012107857MediumEvery day, we follow numerous laws that we don’t even think about it. Do you always follow the rules? Do you think about how different laws affect society? A legal studies major, which focuses on law and legal issues from the perspectives of the social sciences and humanities, might be for you.

Legal studies is offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Though it doesn’t increase your chances of getting into top law schools, legal studies is a good pre-law major. If you love to read and write and are interested in social, political, philosophical and historical issues, you’ll do well in legal studies. You’ll take courses such as law, psychology, justice, constitutional law, the philosophy of law, legal research and writing and civil rights. This major requires a lot of papers and your education may end with a senior thesis. There are a lot of areas of law, so you’ll be able to tailor your education by choosing from the variety of electives. Classes in high school to take to prepare for a legal studies major are statistics, sociology, AP Comparative Government & Politics, AP U.S. History and AP U.S. Government & Politics.

Questions to ask
It’s important to know whether or not legal studies has its own department or if the major consists of courses taught in other departments. Law school may be your goal — ask if the school offers pre-law advising. Be sure to find out what recent grads are doing now.

The average salary of a lawyer in 2012 was $113,530, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Being a paralegal is another option with a legal studies major. If you don’t want to be in the spotlight, but enjoy research, it might be for you. In 2012, a paralegal made an average salary of $46,990.

> Want to find out if a career in law is right for you? Take a quick Careers in Law course with our friends at Next Step Academy.



Scholarships — Active Calendar

February 19th, 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: Active Calendar Scholarship

Amount: $1,000 prize and posting of the winning essay to the Active Calendar website.

Description: Write an essay between 500-1,000 words explaining why knowing what’s happening on campus is vital to your success as a student.

Requirements: All entries must be original and you must be currently enrolled in college classes or a high school senior that will be enrolling in 2015.

Deadline: Monday, April 20, 2015. The winner will be announced on April 30, 2015.

For more information: Visit the Active Calendar Scholarship 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