New York becomes the first state to offer free college tuition to residents.

Retrieved from NY Post

New York’s Governor Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship provides free in-state tuition for students from families with adjusted gross incomes of $125,000 or less. It is the first program of its kind in the country to fully subsidize tuition at both four-year and community colleges.

Students must maintain a minimum grade-point average to qualify.

Cuomo is expected to tout the program at a bill-signing ceremony Wednesday at La Guardia Community College in Queens.

Lawmakers also approved a new tuition assistance program for students at private colleges that offers up to $3,000 in tuition grants. That assistance, too, comes with a requirement that a student remain in New York after graduation.

Students who receive free tuition and then leave the state for an advanced degree won’t have to pay the money back, assuming they return to New York once they complete their graduate studies. State officials also plan to make accommodations for graduates who leave the state for military service.

Under a provision that was added to the tuition bill at the last moment, students who get a free ride at CUNY and SUNY schools must live and work in New York state for up to four years after graduation, or be forced to pay the money back.

“The concept of investing in you and your education is that you’re going to stay here and be an asset to the state. If you don’t want to stay here, then go to California now, let them pay for your college education.”

But one professor of higher education slammed the proposal as “economically and educationally foolish.”

“As someone who has worked on almost every free college bill, I promise@NYGovCuomo won’t be remembered well if he keeps this provision,” Temple University Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab tweeted.

 

Idaho gives students money for AP and other early college experiences.

Retrieved from The Hechinger Report.

Every seventh grader gets $4,125 to spend on early college credits, other extras.

At the beginning of this school year, the state put $4,125 in an online account  every  Idaho seventh- through 12th-grader to spend on any academic boost they think they need to be better prepared for college.

The new money for students comes as part of a 20-point state plan to improve K-12 education, spearheaded by Idaho’s state legislature.

One goal of the program is to encourage more high school students to earn college credits and take AP courses and exams, which can often be cashed in for college credits.  As part of the push to get more kids to attend college, the state hopes to even the playing field for students from lower-income families and to ensure no student is discouraged from taking on advanced coursework because of the cost. Taking college courses in high school could also lower long-term costs for students, advocates of the practice say.

Despite relatively little hard data on how much it helps students, the push to have more students graduate with a few college courses and credits already under their belts has been gaining steam for a decade now in at least a dozen states. More than 1.4 million students took such courses during the 2010-2011 school year, the last period for which federal figures are available.

That number has likely grown since then as more students, not just the highest achievers, have begun to sign up for these courses, said Adam Lowe, executive director of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships, which pushes for and accredits such programs.

“They are no longer the Doogie Howser programs,” Lowe said, in a reference to the fictional teenage genius played by a young Neil Patrick Harris in the 1990s TV series of the same name. “Those exist, but in many states now they’re seeing students who are college bound, and saying, ‘Let’s give them a chance to take college early.’”

The Coalition Application Platform is Live Now!

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via The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success has delivered a new college-application platform. As of Monday, a handful of participating colleges are now accepting applications through the online portal, which supporters hope will redefine the admissions process. A total of 56 institutions plan to start using the coalition’s application over the next few weeks.

The Common Ap now has competition in The Coalition Ap.  High school seniors check them both out and make your decisions on where to apply.  If you need help email me here.

How to Apply for College for Free

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http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2012/09/13/how-to-apply-to-college-for-free-2

Via usnews.com

How can I reduce the cost of applying to college?

1. If you apply online you can score free application submissions at many colleges. In addition to Washington and Jefferson College, the numerous institutions that waive application fees for online applicants include Upper Iowa University, Millikin University, Juniata College, Kettering University, York College of Pennsylvania, Drake University, Smith College, Barry University, and Mercyhurst College.

Often, schools advertise the fact that they waive application fees for online applicants. As you’re exploring the websites of colleges you’re considering, keep your eyes peeled for a money-saving application option.

2.  If you’ve made an on-campus visit be sure to ask if you can have a fee-waiver for the application fee.  Many schools will be glad to issue you a waiver if you have visited the campus.

3. At Western New England University in Massachusetts, for instance, students can apply for free if they have a parent or grandparent who attended or if they’re are able to secure a letter of recommendation from another grad.  Be sure to ask if you have an alumni connection as well.

4.Many schools have indicated that they will waive the application fee for students who demonstrate financial need, including Dartmouth College, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Colorado—Boulder. Ask and all they can say is NO.  With proof of financial need, students may be able to secure fee waivers from the National Association of College Admission Counseling, and students who have received an SAT/ACT fee waiver can apply for free passes from the College Board. Students can also go to guidance counselors at their high schools for help; at schools such as Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa, a fee waiver signed by a counselor grants a free application.

5.  Reach out to college admissions officers at your first choice school and indicate it is your first choice and here is my GPA and test scores.  Ask for their opinion before you spend the money and apply.  Chances are if you reach a real person they will be honest with you and save you the cost of applying if you aren’t in their target for scores.

 

Thanks to US New and World Report for their valuable tips.

 

ACT English-What’s on the test?

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Grammar and punctuation have been the bane in many student’s existence when studying for the ACT and SAT.  Whether this material was ever taught or never reviewed it is material that must be mastered before taking any standardized test at the high school level or above.

The ACT Usage and Mechanics include: Punctuation as in commas, colons, semicolons, apostrophes,exclamation marks, periods and quotation marks.  Know that a semicolon has two complete clauses on either side but a colon only has one complete clause and a list of 3 or more items on the right hand side.

Grammar and Usage:  subject-verb agreement, pronoun forms and agreement, modifier and verb forms, parallelism. comparisons and idioms and possession. Make sure the pronouns agree with the antecedent and don’t be fooled by the clutter in the sentence.  Make sure the nouns, verbs, and prepositions are in the same form.

Sentence Structure:  Fragment and whole sentences, modifier placement and verb tense and voice.

Sounds impossible right?  No it’ s not.  I have a great series of worksheets that go through each grammar point and explain it along with two pages of related problems.  After you’ve completed those the answer is imprinted into your brain-seriously-I-swear.  Know a dash from a hyphen?  Hope so.

 

Timing Problems and the ACT

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Using the ACT practice test online:

Practice some problems timed and untimed but in order to finish the English section you will need to answer 15 questions in 9 minutes or each question in 36 seconds.  Use a timer and see how far you can get in 36 seconds.

Math section:  You have 60 seconds per problem.

Reading: 53 seconds per problem or a whole passage of 10 questions in 9 minutes.

Science: 53 seconds per question or the whole passage of 7 questions in 6 minutes.  In order to practice the shorter passages drop one or more questions and do the passage in 5 minutes.

Practice, review and re-do.  Remember it is the Summer when you have the most time to devote to testing.

For my students message me and let me know when you are ready for a link to a practice test online.  Other interested students feel free to message me for more info.

5 Ways Your C+ student Can Successfully Get Into College.

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My university announced that they will require a 3.6 Grade point average from incoming freshman students in 2016. Immediately I thought of my son who left high school with 2.6 GPA. In the senior magazine he was listed as “undecided” as to his college of choice. At the time I said “what are you undecided about?” His 2.6 left him one choice-the local community college which he tackled and graduated and then did well at the four year university and graduated. After graduation he took the LSAT, was admitted to law school and passed the bar the first time. He’s now a lawyer working in construction law and earning a nice salary.

What does my story tell you? That some students are late bloomers…..late to the college admissions business. Not mature, not interested or just not in a hurry. It can be done though as my son proved to me. At each challenge his sisters said he would not be do it. He just kept on facing challenges and moving forward.

Here’s the 5 ways…and I hope they are helpful.

1. If your high school student has mediocre grades and shows no signs of improving them the community college for a two year period is a great option. Many parents send their children to a state or community college that is located near the four year university of their choice. It’s motivating, maybe. We found that our son still needed some encouragement to get the work done so he lived at home those two years.

2. Foster any area in which your student has success.
If he’s an athlete, artist, musician, entrepreneur or you can foster an interest in them in community service. There’s no talent required but effort is paramount. Your child can build a great portfolio of community service projects that may encourage interest from colleges. These projects can become family projects passed from one child to the next. One family started a school supplies drive and continued it after the kids graduated.

3. Consider smaller private universities if you can afford the tuition. After the recent recession smaller schools are hurting for students. They may have an interest in your reluctant student.

4. Can you encourage your student to consider leadership classes or programs? One is Boys/Girls State programs sponsored by the American Legion chapters in your area. It’s an essay contest but some chapters have problems findings students to send. It is in the summer of junior year of high school and is free to participants. One counselor told me that students who participate in this program are prized by colleges. They also earn college credit for their week long stay.

5. Major universities are starting hybrid online/in person programs for students that do not meet their in person standards. The University of Florida has the Pathways to Campus program and complete online degree programs. It might be appropriate for your student to start in a program like this and transfer later.

Hope this helps your student find their success in higher education!

Nancy

Fountainhead Essay Contest for 11th and 12th Graders

Check out this essay contest: Fountainhead Essay Contest 11th & 12th graders http://www.aynrandnovels.com/essay-contest $50-$10,000 due 4/26/15.

Let us know if you enter and win!

Scholarship Comparison worksheet

ScholarshipComparisonTool

Here’s a great worksheet for those of you lucky enough to get multiple scholarship offers from different schools.

Let us know how you make out!

Lowe’s Educational Foundation is Making Grants!

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Lowe’s Charitable and Education Foundation has announced the opening of its Spring 2015 Toolbox for Education, an initiative aimed at supporting projects that encourage parent involvement in local schools and help build community spirit.

One-year grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded in support of projects that have a permanent impact on a school community, such as a facility enhancement (indoor or outdoor) or landscaping/clean-up project. Toolbox grants also can be used as part of a larger-scale project as long as the funds are used to complete a phase of the project achievable within twelve months of the award date.

To be eligible, applicants must be a public K-12 school or nonprofit parent group associated with such a school. Parent groups (PTO, PTA, etc.) applying for a grant must have an independent EIN and official 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.  The web address is http://www.toolboxforeducation.com.