College prep over the holidays

Mixing Happy Holidays with college prep. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Mixing Happy Holidays with college prep. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

The school holiday break is approaching fast raising the dilemma of where college prep fits in. Should it be dropped giving students a chance to relax and have fun jeopardizing momentum or should it keep going full speed ahead risking burnout? Is there a satisfying middle where the college-bound won’t lose any ground?

Join Smart College Visit’s Twitter chat #CampusChat on Wednesday, December 17 at 9 pm ET to participate in the discussion about college prep over the holidays. It’s open mic night with me, Wendy David-Gaines of #WednesdaysParent, guest hosting. 

Read Wednesday’s Parent Night on #CampusChat! to learn how to join a twitter chat.

Bring your tips, comments and questions about college prep stocking stuffers, what should/not be on the college prep to do list, and more. See you there!

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Suzanne and I host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Except this month, we are hosting an open mic night on Wednesday, December 17. Bring your questions and comments about college prep over the holidays!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Plan for after college before college

AfterCollege_HighResJPG

Planning for after college can be a huge help for the college-bound. AfterCollege’s mission is to help students discover their first job or internship. It reaches more than 5,000,000 users each year, including 18,000 faculty, student group and administrative contacts at over 2,000 colleges and universities, according to its website. When checking out the site, don’t forget to look at the AfterCollege Scholarships page.

This guest post from AfterCollege via Roberto Angulo, CEO of AfterCollege, shows how knowing the trends can help students focused on STEM (science, math, technology engineering) fields explore internship/employment opportunities that match their interests. It also includes a Top 10 Employers list in 2014 for students of various majors. Take it away Roberto:

 

When it comes to finding an internship or job after graduation, which companies are college students and recent grads most interested in? The AfterCollege Employer Popularity Index (EPI) is a ranking of the top employers as rated by students in the fields of technology, engineering, business, nursing, allied health, and life sciences.

These rankings are based on more than 685,000 feedback points from college students and recent grads in the United States. The EPI is unique in that it doesn’t just ask students where they want to work—it ranks the companies students are actively following and seeking jobs and internships from.

“The key to a successful university recruiting program is an employer’s ability to build their brand on campus. The Employer Popularity Index is an unbiased resource for employers to measure their presence on a particular campus and even among specific departments and majors. It’s no surprise Google has been rising in the ranks over the last several years as they’ve developed one of the most comprehensive on-campus recruiting strategies in the industry,” says Roberto Angulo, CEO of AfterCollege.

We’ve noticed a few significant trends in 2014. Some industries, like tech, have held steady for the past three years with Google, Microsoft, and Intel remaining the employers of choice. There’s been some change among engineering students, who now also rate Google as a top ten employer. Engineering students’ interest in NASA and IBM has waned, with both of these employers losing their spots in the top ten this year. Google is now the top choice employer for Business students, while in 2014 Wells Fargo lost its spot in the top five to Deloitte. The top five preferred employers for Allied Health students—Kaiser Permanente, CVS, Target, Children’s National Health, and the Mayo Clinic—have held steady for the past three years.

Top 10 Employers for Tech Students in 2014

  1. Google
  2. Intel Corporation
  3. Microsoft Corporation
  4. IBM
  5. Apple
  6. Amazon
  7. National Security Agency
  8. Facebook
  9. Hewlett-Packard
  10. Cisco

Top 10 Employers for Engineering Students in 2014

  1. The Boeing Company
  2. Intel Corporation
  3. Lockheed Martin
  4. General Electric
  5. Raytheon
  6. Google
  7. The Aerospace Corporation
  8. Apple
  9. National Security Agency
  10. Northrop Grumman Corporation

Top 10 Employers for Business Students in 2014

  1. Google
  2. Intel Corporation
  3. Target
  4. JP Morgan Chase
  5. Deloitte
  6. Wells Fargo
  7. Bank of America
  8. National Security Agency
  9. Apple
  10. Kaiser Permanente

Top 10 Employers for Allied Health Students in 2014

  1. Kaiser Permanente
  2. CVS
  3. Target
  4. Children’s National Health
  5. Mayo Clinic
  6. Stanford Health Care
  7. Walgreens Pharmacy
  8. Department of Veterans Affairs
  9. Cedars Sinai Medical Center
  10. St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center

Scholarship Mom Alert: Savor Summer College Scholarship

Savor Summer College Scholarship. Photo rights from Monica L. Matthews

The Savor Summer College Scholarship. Photo rights from Monica L. Matthews

Here’s a unique chance to be among the first applicants for a brand new scholarship. College Scholarship Expert Monica L. Matthews is going above and beyond her usual winning tips for students by giving them a chance to apply for a special new opportunity to help pay for college right on her own website!!!

Monica is sponsoring her own 

Savor Summer College Scholarship

Click the link, read the details, and APPLY ASAP. The bonus is the scholarship application will help students plan. The essay gives students a chance to figure out how to best spend their precious summer break. The Savor Summer College Scholarship application is an organizational boost to college applications that also require information about awards, achievements, volunteer work, community service, work experience, memberships and leadership positions. Thank you Monica at how2winscholarships.com for sponsoring

Savor Summer College Scholarship

To all applicants, Good Luck!!!

Wednesday’s Parent: Savvy shoppers have an advantage in the college process

Savvy shoppers have an advantage but no guarantees in the college process. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Savvy shoppers have an advantage but no guarantees in the college process. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

From shopping for food staples to procuring college diplomas, parents and students do better when they are conscientious consumers. It’s about understanding needs, assessing quality and matching budget. For big or little ticket purchases, savvy shoppers know to look beyond the marketing and research the product. As for the higher education choice, buyer beware because there are no warranties or guarantees.

I asked this classic question in a former article:

Is college a love match or a consumer purchase?

meaning If the goal is to find the best pick out of several thousand possibilities, should students look for student-college chemistry or search for a smart consumer purchase? The problem is the brain’s logic may not be in balance with the heart’s choice, especially when brand names are involved. And brand names usually come with a premium price.

A fascinating lesson in brand name economics from the Library of Economics and Liberty phrased this question:

(T)he question is not whether consumers are ignorant or irrational when they pay a higher price for a brand-name product, but whether they are paying too much for the additional quality assurance brand names necessarily provide.

Students or parents may want a brand name school. Name recognition in the market place, association with quality, and bragging rights are powerful lures. But “generic” brands offer something special, too. Students may receive an equally great education at a better price. Also, just because families are not familiar with a particular college, doesn’t mean it lacks a good reputation among its peers, graduates, employers, local area, region and those in the know.

It takes a lot more effort to dig deeper and learn about a school’s uniqueness, programs and opportunities. Knowing that successful graduates come from a wide variety of colleges can motivate the process to look beyond the amenities of luxury dorm rooms, brand names and fancy stadiums to find the place that will lead to best chance for student success during and after college. Maybe that’s a brand name or maybe it isn’t. Savvy consumers will take the time to find out.

Take a moment to reread the “Get selfish” part of Wednesday’s Parent: 5 fantastic tips to refine a college list. Connect with your inner consumer to find your college deal and read how value is based on what the student has done to maximize his higher education opportunities and make every college dollar count wherever he attends in Discover your college warranty

Read Suzanne’s post: A Rose by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Suzanne and I host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Except this month, we are hosting an open mic night on Wednesday, December 17. Bring your questions and comments about college prep over the holidays! 

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Scholarship Mom Alert: Cell Phones for Survivors College Scholarship

community Service Scholarships. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

community Service Scholarships. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Students lacking community service or wanting to add another project to their college application resume will want to take a close look at the Cell Phones for Survivors College Scholarship. That’s because the application for this scholarship is basically a community service project to aid domestic violence programs.

College Scholarship Expert Monica L. Matthews explains, “This college scholarship requires students to do ONE basic thing:  Collect old cell phones from friends, relatives, fellow employees, and anyone else they can get to donate to the cause.”

Materials in cell phones can be recycled and resold for a profit to help those suffering from domestic violence. Scholarship applicants have a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship by collecting cell phones for programs providing safe housing that gives women in violent relationships the option to leave. Monica provides all the details and her valuable winning tips:

Cell Phones for Survivors College Scholarship

Good Luck!!!

Wednesday’s Parent: Formula and tools to calculate college costs

Formula and tools to calculate college costs. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Formula and tools to calculate college costs. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

How much will college cost you, exactly? There’s a big range between the most expensive private colleges (over $65,000) and the least expensive public universities (under $10,000) or community colleges (some states’ free tuition proposals). There are plenty of hidden costs that families should know to prevent nasty financial surprises. Because of need-based and merit financial aid awarded to admitted students, college sticker price is rarely what the college bill will be. Fortunately, there are tools to help families estimate costs.

POCS COA

Predicting total college costs depend on what expenses are included. The government and colleges have agreed on this formula for Cost of Attendance (COA):

COA = tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses

Unfortunately, COA doesn’t tell the whole story. There are hidden costs so I came up with this more realistic accounting:

POCS COA = COA + start-up costs + program expenses + parent travel expenses + borrowing costs

POCS COA includes start-up costs like setting up a dorm room, program expenses for those with more costly textbooks and/or special equipment, parent costs because their costs such as for meals, lodging, gas, plane tickets are never considered and neither are student and parent borrowing costs including interest and fees. Check my website for more details.

Calculator tools

Business Insider recently featured 8 Tools To Help Estimate What College Will CostIt’s always wise to check the source sites first. To calculate federal aid that flows from the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), use FAFSA4caster for eligibility and Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to college costs. Try the federal College Scorecard for information colleges must report like loan default rates and links to a college’s own website for its Net Price Calculator (NPC). The NPC roughly estimates the difference between sticker price less grants and scholarships for which students may be eligible to receive. Since free money from a college’s own funds may also be given to entice students to attend and who a college wants most depends on the entire applicant pool for that year, it is hard to be accurate. The NPC institutions report can also be found via the federal College Affordability and Transparency lists along with how costs are changing from year to year.

Those planning on taking out federal student loans to help pay for college can use the federal Repayment Estimator to estimate the loan payments under various repayment plans. It’s important info to help students plan for an affordable lifestyle after graduation.

Read Suzanne’s post: Talking to Your Kids About Financing College

Read more:  

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Suzanne and I host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Except this month, we are hosting an open mic night on Wednesday, December 17. Bring your questions and comments about college prep over the holidays!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Scholarship Mom Alert: Therapy Professionals Scholarship

Therapy Professionals Scholarship. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines.

Therapy Professionals Scholarship. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines.

Winning some outside private scholarships can help reduce the college bill, show off skills and accomplishments, and clarify commitment to a field of interest. That’s a triple benefit for the college-bound.

College Scholarship Expert Monica L. Matthews is providing an example for students interested in physical, massage, recreational, or occupational therapy or psychology professions. The Therapy Professionals Scholarship is sponsored by MedicareSupplementalInsurance.com. Don’t miss Monica’s special winning tips. She finds a discrepancy between the actual Application and the Application Process description that applicants need to know. Read her post:

Mental Health Therapy and Chiropractic Scholarship

Good Luck!!!

Wednesday’s Parent: 6 ways to prevent college-bound burnout

Prevent college-bound burnout. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Prevent college-bound burnout. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

All work and no play can do a lot more than make college-bound Jack a dull boy. It can result in “a mountain of mental and physical health problems,” according to Psychology Today. Cynicism, depression and lethargy lead the list of symptoms that cause exhaustion and stress in mind and body.

Families can take advantage of school breaks but what about daily routines? Here are six ways to incorporate downtime into busy schedules that parents can use to prevent burnout for their teens:

1. Address the issue with your parent-student team. Have short and regularly scheduled formal meetings with the goal of helping your college-bound achieve college and career dreams. Together, complete a calendar with deadlines, due dates and tasks. Include breaks because this is the first to be omitted unless scheduled.

2. Breaks come in different time sizes. Help your teen brainstorm a list of fun things to do based on various time slots. Some activities can be with family or friends and others can simply be quality alone time.

3. Make “mixing business with pleasure” a mantra. Fun is a great stress reliever so add some before, during or after a must-do on the to-do list.

4. Find a balance between work/study and extracurriculars. This is a skill that will be used throughout life. The activities can include a hobby, sport or club that brings joy and another dimension to routine work loads.

5. Make rest and exercise family priorities. They both help energize and invigorate. A good night’s sleep and being in good physical shape help form a positive mental attitude.

6. Celebrate accomplishments. Don’t let them pass without recognition of the hard work it took to pull off. Appropriate praise rewarding downtime can boost self-esteem.

Read Suzanne’s post: Enjoying a Break When There is No Break

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Suzanne and I host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Except this month, since this is the night before Thanksgiving, we wish you all a very  

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Scholarship Mom Alert: Scholarship Points

Trading scholarship points for dollars. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Trading scholarship points for dollars. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Outside private scholarships are contests with set rules for winning. A typical scholarship requires an application and an accompanying essay that must be submitted by posted deadlines. College Scholarship Expert Monica L. Matthews found a different way sponsored by ScholarshipPoints.com.

The Scholarship Points program offers its applicants the chance to earn points to enter into scholarship drawings. Opportunities to acquire points are often based on activities that also benefit the site such as students clicking on links, entering promoted scholarships, and completing surveys.

Read Monica’s winning tips to find out the advantages and disadvantages for trying to win college scholarship money via earning scholarship points:

Winning College Scholarships with Scholarship Points

Remember to check the odds for winning when deciding how much effort to dedicate. Good luck!!!

Wednesday’s Parent: 3 ways to consider college location

3 ways to consider college location. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

3 ways to consider college location. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Like for real estate buyers, location is a main issue for the college-bound and their parents. Location affects costs and desirability for both house and college hunters. However, for those composing a college list, there are three different ways to consider college location.

1. Consider college location as neighborhood opportunities. Urban, suburban and rural communities offer different chances for internships and employment, depending on local businesses and government offices. Student housing options are affected by on and off-campus residence choices. Cultural opportunities and social events vary with nearby attractions, museums and theaters. Recreational and sporting possibilities depend on terrain including nearby arenas, slopes, parkland, forests and water. Weather may create seasonal activities.

2. Consider college location as ease of visitation. Distance and position between home and campus impacts travel arrangements for students coming home and parents visiting the college. Cost and time for traveling also varies by method used like train, plane or motor vehicle. Then there are the added expenses of meals and lodging. Every location has different options that can accommodate certain numbers of people. Family Days, moving in/out and graduation may limit available resources.

3. Consider college location as relocation. Only 59% who started in a four-year Bachelor’s program in 2006 graduated by 2012, six years later, according to the latest government study. After spending up to half a dozen years learning, socializing and working in one place, many students grow attached to that community. They may also have developed networking relationships with mentors and local businesses. When a job offer is extended, many accept.

College location is important on many different levels. It is one of three main criteria for forming a great college list. Casting a college application vote explains the necessity for the college-bound to find their college PALs. The “L” in college PALs stands for Location.

Read Suzanne’s post: My Daughter Chose a College by Location

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.