How to cope with winter: college edition

February 18th, 2015 by

winterI grew up north of Syracuse, New York, which is known for it’s excessive amounts of snow. Twelve out of the last 14 years, the city has won the Golden Snowball, an award given to the snowiest city in Upstate New York. Naturally, snow is nothing to me. So, when I came to Rochester for college, I was expecting to have to deal with less snow than I did at home. While that may be the case, living on a college campus during the winter months is something I could have never prepared myself for.

If you’re going to college in a wintry climate, here are a few things you should be aware of:

Your walk across campus will be treacherous
Snow removal on walkways is not always the top of a college’s priority; commuter, faculty and staff parking lots are its focus. Therefore, walking to class can often be difficult. When I go to the gym at 6:30 a.m., nothing is cleared. The walk is a workout in and of itself. Step here or there, over this pile of snow and around that one. Colleges use salt, and a ton of it, but it doesn’t help all the time. Make sure you have a good pair of boots. Your beloved Uggs don’t have good traction. They may be warm, but trust me — you will slip in them.

Speaking of salt, you will track it into your room
Our first week back this semester, my roommates and I had to vacuum our rooms at least three times. Salt was everywhere. We started taking our boots off in our common room, so the salt doesn’t get into our bedrooms. Now we only have to vacuum one area. My tip for this one: Invest in a good vacuum and designate one area for boots.

Heat issues
Whether you live in a dorm where you can control your own temperature or you can’t, accept that heat will be a problem. Maybe it’s not warm enough or maybe it’s an inferno. You’ll never be perfectly comfortable, but don’t worry; you’ll learn to adjust. As for your skin, the heat will dry it out. Lotion will be your friend.

Dress in layers
Bundling up to walk to class is necessary, but the heat is cranked in academic buildings. The workout — I mean walk — is enough to make you sweat and added heat is not welcome. Sweating through class is distracting. Make sure you can take some of your layers off, so you’re not burning up through class.

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 – University of Houston-Victoria (UHV)

February 17th, 2015 by

uhvUniversity of Houston-Victoria provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria, Texas, campus as well as teaching sites in Greater Houston, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. Since its founding in 1973, UHV has provided students with a quality university education from excellent faculty at an affordable price.

There are around 60 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and concentrations at UHV. The university has four schools – Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Education & Human Development and Nursing. There are face-to-face classes at the Victoria campus with teaching sites in Greater Houston. UHV also offers online classes that students can participate in from anywhere. Each student receives personal attention inside and outside the classroom with small class sizes for personal attention from professors. Those who excel in the classroom have a change to join a campus chapter of national and international honor societies. In order to prepare students, the school offers community projects, simulations, internships and study abroad opportunities.

Campus Life
The UHV campus is 19 acres with indoor and outdoor space to study or hang out with friends. UHV has three residence halls. Jaguar Suites, an 82,000-square-foot dorm, was recently constructed and includes suites, a fitness center, swimming pool, computer labs and a large commons area. Jaguar Dining Hall underwent a major expansion in 2013. The university hosts a number of activities throughout the year – the most popular being the annual foam party and Totally ‘80s Skating. Students have formed their own student organizations, too. UHV is part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and has consistently been in the NAIA top 25 polls.

Financial Aid
The in-state tuition is $6,748 and out-of-state is $17,608. The room and board for both is $7,368. UHV offers a lot of internal scholarships, grants, loans and work-study programs. Transfer students with an associate degree receive a $1,000 scholarship. UHV offers students the option to earn a bachelor’s degree in English, history, communication, psychology, Spanish and criminal justice in only three years. The accelerated program called Degree in Three (Dn3) costs $10,000 per year.

> Learn more about UHV and request more information on their Featured College Profile at


Major Monday — Humanities

February 16th, 2015 by

iStock_000016826623SmallIs the thought of choosing one major stressing you out? Majoring in humanities allows you to take a multidisciplinary approach to education. Programs combine the study of languages, literatures, art, music, philosophy and religion.

Most humanities majors receive a bachelor’s degree. You’ll be doing a lot of writing, reading and discussion in this program. In the program you’ll learn about various civilizations and their cultures. You’ll take courses in rhetoric, theory, literature and art. It’s common to take gender studies courses, math courses and sociology courses. The goal of a humanities major is to teach students how to communicate effectively. Through the wide variety of courses, you’ll learn how to use concepts you learn in classes when communicating. A senior project is required for this major and it’s often a long paper. In high school, it helps to take courses such as music and art history, world history and religions, philosophy, AP English Literature and AP English Language.

Questions to ask before deciding
Humanities is a mix of many disciplines – does the major have its own department or does it come from different ones? You will be interacting with professors quite a bit in this major, ask about their backgrounds and interests. If the major is too broad for you and you decide to switch, is the transfer process difficult? Learning about other cultures is a major part of the major – will you be required to learn a foreign language? Will you have the chance to study abroad?

Since a humanities major encompasses many things, there are many different career paths. With a bachelor’s degree, you could become an editor, a reporter or a writer. Respectively, they make $53,880, $37,090 and $55,940 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012. With more education, you could become a high school teacher making $55,050 or a postsecondary teacher making $68,970.

> For more information about majors and finding a career visit


Meet Emily

February 12th, 2015 by

Emily-intern-2105Hey readers! My name is Emily Mein and I am interning with NextStepU as the editorial assistant. Since I’ll be sharing blogs and articles with you all, I thought I’d share a couple of things about me.

1. Experience is my favorite part of college
I knew pretty early on that I wanted to become a journalist and focus on sports. But when I started at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, I didn’t have any experience. So, about a month into my freshman year, I decided to join our student newspaper, The Cardinal Courier. I began writing sports stories and helping the sports editor edit and compile scores and schedules and I really enjoyed it.

What I didn’t expect was when I went to return my office key at the end of my first year; the advisor sat me down to tell me I was the next editor-in-chief. I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped but I composed myself enough to agree that I would start in January. However, circumstances changed that and I ended up taking over a few months early. I was literally thrown into the position with no looking back.

I never would have imagined that I would get experience like this so early in my college career. But instead of being a scared freshman, I put myself out there and ended up taking on a role that changed my life forever. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take the reins of a college newspaper, but now I am dreading the day where I have to let go.

Now with my experience as editor, my eyes are opened to other opportunities. I now have experience in copyediting, social media, software and even managing. With internships like this one and others I plan to do, I’ll be able to learn even more.

2. I’m the type of person who has obsessions
Obsession 1. I love pasta. I love bread. Those are my two food weaknesses. I could eat a never-ending amount of both.

Obsession 2. Even it means waking up at 6 a.m., I’m going to the gym. As a college student, you’re going to be busy, but you can make time for you. Going to the gym can be a big stress-reliever. Trust me, it helps.

Obsession 3. Syracuse basketball is my life. I grew up in Brewerton, New York, just twenty minutes away from the Syracuse University campus. I’ve been to so many games I’ve lost count and I could tell you facts about players you didn’t think you needed to know.

3. I’ve learned a little bit along the way
Throughout my experience in college, I’ve learned a couple pieces of advice but one thing I would be sure to advise future college students is this — jump out of your comfort zone. Learning to be uncomfortable is one of the most useful lessons you will learn. It will only make you a stronger person. It might be scary, but I promise you it’ll be worth it.

Written 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.


Scholarships —  Kohl’s Cares®

February 11th, 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: Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program

• Ten national winners will each be awarded a $10,000 scholarship for higher education, and Kohl’s will donate $1,000 to a nonprofit organization on each national winner’s behalf.
• Nearly 200 students will win regional scholarships worth $1,000 toward higher education.
• More than 2,000 local students will receive a $50 Kohl’s gift card.

• Students must be between the age of 6 and 18 as of March 15, 2015 and not yet a high school graduate.
• The student’s volunteer actions should be described in detail on the nomination.
• Volunteer efforts must have occurred in the last year.
• Winners will be chosen based on the benefits and outcomes of their volunteer service.
• Nominators must be 21 or older.

Deadline: March 13, 2015

For more information: Visit the Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program website.

Best of luck to those who are nominated!

> 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 — Marshall University

February 10th, 2015 by

marshall_profile_13-14Situated in Huntington, West Virginia, Marshall University was founded in 1837 and is a public university. The school was named after John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In recent decades has the school seen significant growth with additions to the campus.  The faculty-student ratio is 19:1 with 600 full-time faculty. Eighty percent of the faculty holds the highest degree in their fields of specialization.

Marshall has 51 baccalaureate majors to choose from, ranging from kinesiology to engineering.  After undergrad, there are 50 graduate and Ph.D. programs. Marshall offers associate degrees in clinical/medical laboratory technician and registered nursing. There is an Honors Program designed to give an enhanced college career to those who qualify.

Campus life
With 9,756 undergraduate students, Marshall’s main campus is located just 13 miles from the Kentucky border. Huntington is filled with libraries, restaurants, a citywide park and outdoor amphitheaters for students to explore in their free time. Marshall offers a chance to be part of Greek life and school clubs range in type. Join Marco the Bison in cheering on Marshall in NCAA Division I athletics. In spring 2007, the school broke ground on a $90 million state-of-the-art student recreation center and residence hall complex. The new additions will expand the amenities Marshall University offers by housing unique and innovative features that will make a better living and learning environment.

Financial aid
Sixty percent of students receive financial aid from Marshall University in the form of grants, loans, student employment and/or academic scholarships (the school gives out $3.5 million in scholarships each year). In-state tuition is $4,582 while out-of-state tuition is $12,414. The room and board for both is $8,710.

> For more information about Marshall University, visit


Major Monday — Automotive body technology

February 9th, 2015 by

automotiveWe all drive cars, but have you ever thought about going to school to work on them? If you enjoy working with your hands and you’re interested in cars, automotive-body technology might be the major for you. You’ll learn how to repair and reconstruct the bodies of damaged vehicles.

This program most often leads to a certification. You’ll learn the fundamentals and then go on to learn more in-depth subjects such as refinishing, welding, all different types of repair and even color analysis and paint matching. You’ll also learn how to manage a body shop and learn how to budget money for tools and supplies. Most of the education is hands-on, so you’ll be mocking up models, hammering out dents and developing your paint-matching eye. You’ll show off what you’ve learned by repairing and refinishing a car to industry standards. Although you’ll have formal training to get your certification, you’ll probably have to train on the job as well. In high school, it helps to take courses such as art, English, chemistry, physics, precollege math and auto shop.

Questions to ask before you apply
Certification is necessary to work in this field – is the program certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation? It’s a broad major – are there any specializations? Make sure the program includes a lot of hands-on work with state-of-the- art equipment, as well as theory. In addition to “in-the-classroom” experience, ask if there are internships or other real-world training available.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012, an automotive body repairer made an average of $37,680.

>Want to learn more about careers in automotive? Take the course at!



Scholarships — Grammarly

February 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: Grammarly

Amount: $1,000

Requirements: To enter the competition, write a thoughtful response (between 500 and 1,000 words) to one of the questions below, and submit the essay to
• What is poetry, and how does it influence your writing?
• What is the funniest book you have ever read? Talk about why the book was funny and how it impacted you.

Deadline: February 27, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. (PT)

For more information: Visit the Grammarly 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




Need a scholarship for college?

February 4th, 2015 by


You’ve applied for colleges and pace around the mailbox waiting for acceptance letters. While you are pacing, you should also be applying for every and any scholarship you can find.

Have you registered for your chance to win NextStepU’s Win Free Tuition (up to $10,000) scholarship? It’s easy, there isn’t an essay, and the winner is a random draw. While many scholarships you should be applying to will be competitive and may be based on academics, this should be an easy one to scratch off your list.

In the mood to apply for as many scholarships as you can find? Try the NextStepU Scholarship Search. Edit the criteria based on who you are and you’ll be given a list of scholarships that you are qualified for — then just start applying.

You can never apply to too many scholarships. It’s that time of year! You’ll soon find your mailbox stuffed full of acceptance letters and financial aid offers. Best of luck to you!

> Pin this image for later, and stop by to register for your chance to win.



Tuesday Tour Day — William Peace University

February 3rd, 2015 by

WPU_secondary_CMYK_originalWilliam Peace University is located in the heart of Raleigh, North Carolina and has a rich history and has seen many changes since its founding in 1857 as Peace Institute. Once only an all girls school, Peace began offering coeducational courses through the William Peace School of Professional Studies in 2009. In 2011, they made the transition to William Peace University and began admitting male students to its day program in the fall 2012.

Its mission is to prepare students for careers in the organizations of tomorrow. On average, more than 90 percent of the university’s graduates are placed in jobs or graduate school within one year of graduation.

The university teaches life skills necessary to succeed both in your professional and private lives. The educational experience at Peace goes beyond the classroom. The wide array of majors offered at WPU represent strong areas in growing professional fields and demands. They incorporate pre-professional and liberal arts components. Each major is unique because each program offers flexible pairings and specialized concentrations within each major.

The schools new core curriculum stresses the basic knowledge needed beyond graduation. Mandatory courses in personal finance management, media literacy, and four years of writing courses within the English department make for a more successful student.

WPU also requires a series of three classes focusing on career and professional development. Within this Portfolio Seminar Series, students will learn how to construct a resumé, build a portfolio, interview for a job or apply for graduate school.

One of the university’s graduation requirements is that students complete an internship related to their major. It combines educational theory with the real world job experience. Sixty percent of Peace graduates report their college internships result in job offers. A student’s knowledge can also be expanded through a study abroad program related to their major where they complete both academic and community service activities.

Campus Life
Raleigh, the university’s center, is nationally ranked as one of the top five Hottest Job Markets for Young Adults, a Top Ten Technology Town and City for Singles and one of the most vibrant sports areas in this nation. The campus reflects classic Southern architecture with a modern twist complete with modern labs and facilities. From campus, it’s an easy stroll or free bus ride to the City of Oaks, its political pulse, and its rich and varied museums, music halls, restaurants, theaters and nightlife.  WPU has over 30 student clubs and organizations, great lawns to spread out and study or play and host a large amount of activities.

WPU is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III and of the USA South Athletic Conference. The school promotes a spirit of participation and a love for sports where women can choose from basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball. Men can choose from baseball, cross-country, golf and soccer.

—> Learn more about William Peace University and request info right from