Tuesday Tour Day — ITT Technical Institute

April 8th, 2014 by

itt-profileToday we are touring the campuses of ITT Technical Institute!

ITT Technical Institute is committed to helping men and women develop skills and knowledge to pursue opportunities in today’s most promising career fields. Its various locations provide education in electronics, drafting and design, criminal justice, business, information technology, health sciences and nursing.

Most campus-based ITT Tech programs of study strive to blend traditional academic content with applied learning concepts. In addition, a significant portion of these programs is devoted to practical study in a lab environment. Advisory committees, comprised of representatives of local businesses and employers, help each ITT Technical Institute periodically assess and update curricula, equipment and laboratory design. You can be sure your education will be up to date and will evolve with the always-changing career landscape.

ITT Technical Institute has campuses all over the country including:
California | Massachusetts | New York | Pennsylvania | Texas

Plus many more locations! Search for all locations using NextStepU’s College Match tool.

At each one of these locations, you have the option of studying in the School of Information Technology, the School of Electronics Technology, the School of Drafting and Design, the School of Business or the School of Criminal Justice. No matter which campus you pick or what you decide to learn about, ITT Technical Institute is devoted to giving you the education and practical skills necessary for your ideal career and life.

> For more information about ITT Tech click here!


Major Monday — City, Community and Regional Planning

April 7th, 2014 by

plannerDo you ever wonder how you can improve the layout and traffic of your hometown? Are you interested in how public transportation affects a community? Are you interested in a career that balances design, organization, science and technology? If so, consider becoming a city, community and regional planning major in college! In this field of study, you will learn how to create healthy, thriving and environmentally-friendly communities.

According to the College Board, you can earn either an undergraduate or a graduate degree in city, community and regional planning. To prepare for this college program, consider taking classes including AP Art History, computer-assisted drafting and physics in high school. In college, some courses you will probably encounter include transportation planning, land use regulation and law and economic development.

What to know before you apply
Before you decide on a specific program, consider whether you are most interested in art, science or technology. You may have the chance to concentrate on one area of city, community and regional planning, and learning what you want now will help you in the long run. Also, reach out to some prospective professors and ask them about their background and experience. They could give you some insight into what to expect from the education and what options you will have after you earn your degree. Finally, decide what sort of community you are most interested in planning. Are you partial to small towns or rural villages? Or would you prefer larger cities? Since you will be helping to change and improve these communities, it is important to know which you are most passionate about.

Colleges with a field of study
ITT Technical Institute has multiple campuses offering programs related to city, community and regional planning! They are located in: California | Massachusetts | New York | Pennsylvania | Texas

Studying city, community and regional planning will prepare you for careers in architecture, urban and regional planning and surveying/mapping technology. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, architects earned an average annual salary of $79,300 in 2011, while urban and regional planners earned $67,350. Survey and mapping technicians earned an average of $42,050 in 2011.

> For more information about careers visit


Scholarship Saturday — James Beard Foundation

April 5th, 2014 by

scholarship saturday

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: 2014 Culinary Scholarships from the James Beard Foundation

Amount: More than $450,000 in scholarships and grants available.

Details: The James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program is administered by the Scholarship Management Services division of Scholarship America, a nonprofit organization that has helped award scholarships to over one million students. Applications for scholarships are received and evaluated by Scholarship America. The applications of the finalists are then submitted to the James Beard Foundation’s Scholarship Selection Committee for final review.

Deadline: Scholarship applications must be postmarked by May 15, 2014.

For more information and to apply: Visit the James Beard Foundation website after April 1, 2014.

Best of luck to those who apply!

> Want to continue your search? Take a look at NextStepU’s database of more than 3 million scholarships after you register at



Freebie Friday — Co-Ed Supply

April 4th, 2014 by


NextStepU loves to share with you! Our Freebie Friday giveaways let you know about new products and fun opportunities.

This week, we want to share Co-Ed Supply with you! Co-Ed Supply delivers an amazing monthly care package for college students filled with healthy snacks, personal care items and entertainment. Who wouldn’t want a chance to have a Co-Ed Supply box delivered straight to their doorstep?!

Want to make sure you get on the Co-Ed Supply mailing list? We have a coupon code for friends of NextStepU. Enter coupon code NEXTSTEPU101 at checkout for $10 off your purchase. 

You have a chance to win a Deluxe Finals Box right now here on the NextStepU blog. Just fill out the Rafflecopter app below and you are entered into the giveaway. You have until 11:59 p.m. (ET) on April 10 to enter and the winner will be announced the week of April 14th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No purchase necessary. Enter the Co-Ed Supply Giveaway before 11:59 p.m. (ET) on 4/10/14. 1 winner will be chosen shortly afterward and announced before 4/18/14. The winner must respond to the email they receive in order to claim his or her prize. Any prize winner not responding by 5/18/14 will forfeit his/her prize. Entries will only be accepted through the Rafflecopter application and before the deadline date.



Why SAT study breaks are more than okay

April 3rd, 2014 by

Trying to distractA pervasive and damaging myth among students is that cramming helps. For nearly every scenario, except for that vocabulary quiz in English class which is about to start in 10 minutes, cramming is neither a beneficial nor useful strategy (Even for that English quiz too! You don’t really learn anything). However, more often than not, it is the only available strategy after procrastinating.

The SAT is no different. Students who are successful on the test have spent months preparing. They know how to study for the SAT, and their test scores reflect that preparation. One specific technique that these students employ involves breaks. Taking breaks is not only more than okay, but it is also highly, highly recommend. Let me show you why.

Break and Pivot
One useful aspect of breaking is allowing us to switch focus. Long, sustained hours studying the same thing leads nowhere. I am sure you’ve done it. I’ve done it. After a certain amount of time on one topic, I would reach a point where I felt like I was constantly having to bring myself back to my studies. My mind would continuously drift away, and I would have no idea how long I had been turning pages, not consuming the information. I’d turn back the pages, and start again only to have my mind wander off again. So frustrating!

A break is an easy marker to stop and move on to something else. The nice thing about the SAT is that we have a lot of different topics to study so it isn’t hard to pivot to something entirely new. So set a timer for your study period. Focus on the topic for 20-50 minutes, and when the timer goes off, take a break. When you come back from the break, start on a new topic.

The Anatomy of a Break
What does a break look like, though? Is it a nap? A wiki-wormhole that lasts for hours? A break should last for 5-10 minutes. It should involve standing up and moving around, perhaps stepping outside briefly for fresh air and a change of scenery. I would recommend drinking some water and stretching your legs, back, and shoulders. Ultimately, the key is to get oxygen-rich blood flowing through your veins to reinvigorate your mind and body for the next round of learning.

Supports Learning
Breaking from a concept and returning to it later is key to retaining information. For example, let’s say that you are studying SAT vocabulary. Learning new vocabulary requires memorizing words and their definitions. Let’s stop right there. Is memorizing something new a one-day activity? Something done in one study session? No. We all know how easy it is to forget a word and its definition. It is for this reason that we must take breaks.

Spend 20 minutes working on your vocabulary, and move on to something else. Return to the vocabulary the next day, or even in a few days, and study them again. This spaced repetition is a fundamental part of learning something new, and something that scientists have known about since the early 20th century.

Full Day Breaks
A break is not just something you do in a day of studying. Rather, it is an approach that should be used throughout the weeks and months of preparation for the SAT. By allowing your mind time to almost forget a concept, and then return to it, you are building pathways in your brain that become stronger and stronger. The more times you stimulate the pathway, the easier it will be to remember the concept or idea later.

Hermann Ebbinghaus studied memory and is famous for developing the forgetting curve. Basically what it shows is something we intuitively know; after learning something, we begin to forget it. He mapped it out for us. If we never return to the idea, it will be forgotten, but if we use spaced-repetition, and return to the concept, we can ward off the effects of time on our memory.

And we don’t have to return to the idea at the same interval either. The more times we return to the idea to refresh our mind, the longer we can wait until the next time we review the concept. So after seeing something new, return to it the next day. Then wait two days before reviewing—then four, then eight, then 12 days, and so on.

Moral: Don’t Cram — Study for Months Before Your Test
Take breaks during your study sessions and take breaks between your study sessions. No one has to study every day to do well on the SAT. The real secret is to start early and study over the course of a few months. This allows for plenty of breaks, plenty of rest, and plenty of time to learn. Instead of shoveling mounds of knowledge into your cerebral cortex in a short amount of time, add a tablespoon a day and you’ll be more than ready for anything the SAT throws at you.

magooshsat-imageThis post was written by Kevin Rocci, resident SAT expert at Magoosh. For more advice on SAT prep, check out Magoosh’s SAT blog.

> For more test prep help, check out

Comments introduces new studying app

April 2nd, 2014 by claims to be the quickest, most intelligent way to improve your vocabulary. Their interactive site is accessible to any vocabulary or educational level. The website works with you to master words that are essential and range from any school level to business success.

The vocabulary tool now comes in the form of a free app for both iPhones and iPads (it’s not yet available for Android). After logging in, members can answer a few questions and watch as the site builds a model of your knowledge — the more you play, the more it knows. After that, it predicts vocabulary words that you might not know and teaches them to you. You learn not only definitions but also using words in the context of proper sentences, which can really enhance your vocabulary.

Additionally, there is a dictionary feature that allows you to search a vocabulary word. From there you can hear the pronunciation, see an example, find out more information and of course see the meaning. You can also see the word family and usage examples.

The third tool within the app offers pre-made vocabulary lists for specific lessons and works, which is ideal for a study guide or classroom. This ranges anywhere from “The Declaration of Independence” lists to Minecraft vocabulary, so there truly is something for everyone.

Students can utilize this tool for an exam covering topics in math, English, history, science and much more. This tool grows along with your knowledge and will increase your success. It will then move you forward.

As you transition from high school to college, the app goes right along with you. Check out the app today, over 120,000 questions await your answers!

internAli Sewalt is the editorial intern for NextStepU and is a junior at Nazareth College. You can reach her with questions and for advice at

> Looking for more advice? Register at and customize your path to success.


While we are on the topic of vocabulary, let’s think about your scholarship essays. Here are some quick tips from Laura. Follow her advice and you are sure to score a better impression with that essay.


Tuesday Tour Day — Regis College

April 1st, 2014 by

regis_profile_13-14Today we are touring Regis College located in Weston, Mass.!

Regis College is a multifaceted Catholic university in Greater Boston with 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in the arts, sciences and health professions devoted to engagement, service and advancement in a global community. To broaden the Regis College learning experience, the campus has transformed into an all-iPad institution and offers iPads with specific apps tailored to the Regis community.

Regis College offers small classes with an average class size of 18 students. With a student to faculty ratio of 14:1, students have the opportunity to work closely with professors and participate actively in the classroom. With nearly 50 areas of study, an honors program, teacher licensure programs, and the option for a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree, Regis focuses on helping students succeed not only in their careers but in their personal lives as well.

The School of Liberal Arts, Education and Social Sciences offers baccalaureate and master’s level programs. Undergraduate pathways in education, liberal arts, business and social science, offer a range of majors, minors and concentrations designed to combine academic knowledge with practical experience. Graduate pathways in education and communication provide in-depth professional knowledge and broader professional preparation.

The School of Nursing, Science, and Health Professions is the academic home for numerous undergraduate and graduate health professions programs. Regis College welcomes you to study health and fitness, nursing, social work, psychology, biology, biochemistry, medical imaging, and public health.

Regis is located on a beautiful suburban campus in Weston, Massachusetts. The campus, situated on 132 landscaped acres of a former estate, is historic, updated, and just 12 miles west of Boston. As a small college, the size fosters a strong feeling of community and a personalized approach to the success of each student. There is also a lively mix of over 30 clubs and activities, along with a roster of 18 NCAA Division III teams.

For more information about Regis click here!


Major Monday — Foods, nutrition and wellness studies

March 31st, 2014 by

nutritionAre you interested in learning how eating habits influence our lifestyles? Do you want help vegetarians and vegans maintain their eating patterns and their health? Have you ever wanted to know whether fad diets are really worth the time? If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider majoring in foods, nutrition and wellness studies in college! Foods, nutrition, and wellness studies students learn how food directly affects our physical health.

According to the College Board, the foods, nutrition and wellness studies major usually leads to a bachelor’s degree. Taking classes like AP Biology, health science and family and consumer studies in high school will help prepare you for your college program. At college, you will most likely take classes including dietetics, culinary arts, and nutritional science.

What to know before you apply
Before you set your heart on one college, decide whether you want a broad education or a concentrated one, like studying only dietetics. Make sure the programs you apply to match up exactly with what you want to learn about. Also, find out what other graduates are doing with their degree. Do they work at fitness centers, hospitals or public health offices? Knowing what they are up to will help you figure out if this field of study is right for you. Finally, physiology makes up a large part of this major. You’ll be learning that fruits and vegetables are better for the body, but you will also be learning the scientific reason for that. Make sure you are up to college science classes.

Colleges offering a related field of study
• New York Chiropractic College: Seneca Falls, N.Y.
• Oklahoma Baptist University: Shawnee, Okla.
• Regis College: Weston, Mass.
• Stephen F. Austin State University: Nacogdoches, Texas

A foods, nutrition and wellness studies degree will prepare you for positions in food service management, culinary arts, and dietetics and nutrition. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, food service managers earned an average of $52,620 per year in 2011, while chefs earned $46,600. Dietitians and nutritionists earned an average of $55,460 in 2011.

For more information about careers check out!



Scholarship Saturday — “Design-A-Sign” Scholarship

March 29th, 2014 by

scholarship saturday

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: “Design-A-Sign” Scholarship Contest from

Amount: The grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship for college and a one-year 10% discount for their high school. Second and third place winners will receive $200 and $100 scholarships respectfully.

Requirements: Digitally design a graduation sign and submit your design online at Only one entry allowed. Multiple entries will disqualify an entrant.

Details: Entrants are then encouraged to share their designs with friends and direct them to vote for the designs that they find appealing. All thumbs-up (positive) votes will receive 1 point. Voters are allowed to vote on up to 10 different designs. Voters may only vote on a particular design once.

Deadline: May 29, 2014

For more information: Visit the website.

Best of luck to those who apply!

> Want to continue your search? Take a look at NextStepU’s database of more than 3 million scholarships after you register at



Time to decide

March 28th, 2014 by

Decision-infographicThis is it! Time to decide what college you’ll attend!

If you are a senior, you are sure to have a stack of acceptance letters — perhaps even some denials — and a wait-list invite.

If you are a junior, you are scheduling campus tours, considering the topics for your application essays and maybe even re-taking a test or two.

Either way, this time of year is crucial! Pin this infographic as a fun reminder to keep college top-of-mind right now. You could even print it out and put it inside your locker or on your cork board at home.

Consider making it your home screen graphic on your smart phone to really remind yourself that college is right around the corner!

If you need some inspiration, here are some great articles to get you inspired to make that final decision for college:

Trying to decide?
What’s a senior to do?
Take the stress out of college applications
Make your final college decision

Best of luck to you all as you make final decisions, claim acceptances and plan for that next big step!