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Scholarships — Unigo

March 12th, 2015 by

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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: Unigo Resist the IST: Defy Sterotypes scholarship

Amount: Two $10,000 scholarships will be awarded

Description: Register or log in to Unigo to get the scholarship application. In 200 words or less, tell us how you have defied stereotypes.

Requirements: Applicant must be 14 years of age or older at the time of application. Be a legal resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia. Be currently enrolled (or enroll no later than the fall of 2019) in an accredited post-secondary institution of higher education.

Deadline: March 31, 2015. Winners will be announced June 2015.

For more information:  Visit the Unigo 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 NextStepU.com.

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Beating the mid-winter blues

March 11th, 2015 by

Think Spring!

Halfway through the spring semester, we all hit our breaking point.  Midterms are happening, so we’re stressed. Spring break is so close, but still just out of reach. We’re cooped up inside because of lower temperatures or tundra-like settings. Our hopes for warmer weather are swept away every year when Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow (How can there really be six more weeks of this?!).

What you may not know is part of the reason we start to feel down this time of year is because of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), though actual diagnosis can only be confirmed by a doctor. According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD symptoms start in the fall and last through the winter months, sapping your energy and leaving you feeling moody. This is caused by the reduced level of sunlight that causes your body’s internal clock to be disrupted and your serotonin and melatonin levels to become unbalanced.

While some people do have SAD, most people just have some of the symptoms without the official diagnosis. Mayo Clinic says that symptoms include irritability, tiredness, oversleeping, appetite changes and weight gain.

But I’m here to tell you that it will all be over shortly. Once the sun starts coming out and the temperatures start rising, you’ll be able to walk leisurely around campus and even open up your windows. You’ll start soaking in some vitamin D and all your worries will melt away like the snow.

In the meantime, here are some tips to keep yourself going until spring:

Stay healthy
By getting enough sleep, eating healthy and exercising, you can combat some of the negative feelings you get. Meditation and yoga can also help.

Manage your stress
Let’s be honest, as college students we’re always stressed. But stress can make seasonal depression worse, so try to limit it. Getting organized by planning out your days and creating to-do lists can help.

Treat yourself
Maybe you need a good meal or a night of Netflix. While you may not be able to afford the meal or afford taking time to binge watch a show, it could help. Take a little you time and remind yourself spring is around the corner.

Soak up the sun
If you’re lucky enough to go to school where it’s sunny, yet cold, or even if the sun is out for a few hours, sit by a window to let the rays hit you. If you’re brave, take a walk. The vitamin D will help boost your mood. However, don’t resort to a tanning bed. If you need some vitamin D in a cloudy environment, take a supplement or add more vitamin D-rich foods to your diet.

Talk to someone
If the winter is really getting you down and all else fails, take advantage of your school’s health and wellness services. There’s going to be someone there to talk to and they’ll help you get through the winter.

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.

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Trendy Tuesday — What to Wear During Midterms

March 10th, 2015 by

test-dayEver been somewhere where you were grossly underdressed? Or maybe you showed up to a casual event in your Sunday best and spent the day totally uncomfortable?

In college, you are going to have many new experiences, so we want to make sure you never feel out of place with your attire.

Today, we’re covering what to wear during midterm week:

Test days are the worst days. Add the stress of several tests being crammed into one midterm week and you may just be at your wit’s end. On the morning of your test, you’re probably groggy from staying up late the night before trying to cram as much information into your brain as you could while you were fighting to keep your eyes open. The last thing you want to do is wake up early enough to make yourself look presentable.

But they say the one way to make yourself feel better about a test is to look nice. The nicer you look, the more confident you feel. The more confidence you have, the better you’ll do on the test. Even if you think you’re going to fail the test, the little boost of confidence (even if it’s fake) will do you good.

The night before the test, while you’re taking a study break, lay your outfit out. I’m not saying look like you could go to a gala, just look decent enough. A nice shirt or sweater and jeans will do the trick. By laying out your outfit the night before, you’ll save a step in the morning. You could take those extra five minutes to study, or just sleep.

What not to wear: Sweatpants and hoodies won’t help you. As much as they call your name when you roll out of bed, resist their comfiness. Anything that you could wear to the gym or just throw on when you’re going out into civilization is off-limits for tests. You don’t want to be falling asleep in the middle of an exam — save your extra comfort wear for when you get back to your room. At that point, you’ll deserve those sweatpants and maybe even a nice nap.

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Major Monday — Culinary Arts

March 9th, 2015 by

Chefs preparing breakfastDo you consider yourself a foodie? Are you always experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with new — and delicious — meals? If so, you might want to consider pursuing a major in the field of culinary arts!

Education
A degree in culinary arts is usually earned at the associate’s or certificate level. Helpful courses to take in high school to prepare for this major include health science, family and consumer studies, chemistry and business. Be prepared to take classes like banquets and catering, food science, nutrition, restaurant management and more in college, in addition to work and internship experience.

Questions to ask before you apply
Experience will be a major part of your program — does the college you’re interested offer internship experiences that will aid your career upon graduation? If so, what are the requirements for the internships or experiences you complete? Also, make sure your university is accredited by the American Culinary Federation and check in on what recent grads are doing. Did their experiences help them get a leg up on their careers? Are there networking opportunities you can take advantage of to help with your job search?

Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, chefs and head cooks earned an average of $42,480 per year in 2012. A related career in food service management earns an average of $47,960 per year.

Still unsure about a career in culinary arts? Take the course at Next Step Academy to find out if it’s right for you!

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Scholarships — AFSA

March 5th, 2015 by

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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 NextStepU.com.

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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.

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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.

Academics
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 NextStepU.com.

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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?

Salary
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 NextStepU.com.

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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. 

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Scholarships — AmeriQuest Transportation Services

February 26th, 2015 by

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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 NextStepU.com.

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