I met representatives from RaiseMe at a recent conference for college admissions professionals held in Salt Lake City. The idea of being connected with colleges that recognize and reward your academic performance, leadership, and service is a good thing. However, prior to setting up a RaiseMe account and logging all of your achievements into your profile throughout high school, you may want to consider what has been written about the program and concept.
is opaque in ways that invite skepticism. Start with the name — . I know of no other domain name ending in “.me.” Is profit or not for profit? Did they cleverly avoid .com identification with the .me designation?
The background story suggests someone is in it for the money. According to a Wall Street Journal report, is also known as Raise Labs, Inc., a privately held company financed primarily by venture capitalists. Venture capitalism is not inherently evil, but venture capitalism is surely not charitable. seems to be a very sophisticated “cause-related” business, seeking to capitalize on student and family anxiety, concerns about higher education costs, and colleges’ hopes to capture more student interest at an earlier point in their academic lives. (Nelson 2/23/16)
In the almost three years since the service launched, 700,000 high schoolers have signed up. The company says 45% of its users are the first in their family to go to college, and 40% come from a low-income background. These students often don’t have the same access as their wealthier peers to guidance about the variety of colleges and financial aid opportunities— but bothand its college partners say the service is trying to close that gap. (Mulhere 6/2/17)
Our analysis is that if you are a good student, who is intentional in earning good grades, assuming leadership roles, and performing community service, you will have many need- or merit-based scholarship opportunities at a broad range of colleges. You may identify some of those colleges as RaiseMe partner schools, or you may identify such schools through your own research.
Student Loan Debt
Each year, we receive so many inquiries from students who are unable to close the financial aid gap with federal student loans offered by their college and need to identify private sources of student loans to close the gap. While we advise students to seriously consider their college choice in light of their financial aid gap, we have developed this posting to some of the private student loan providers for students who remain committed to their current college choice, not matter the cost.
We are providing a reprint of Mark P. Cussen’s posting of “Top Student Loan Providers.” We are not providing an endorsement of any of the student loan providers listed on this page. We advise students to carefully and thoughtfully research each student loan provider; understand the terms and costs associated with each loan; and whether their loans can be forgiven or if they are entitled to any discounts or rebates.
Before you borrow, read these important reports:
- SallieMae: 2017 How America Pays for College
- Student Loan Debt: Implications on Financial and Emotional Wellness
Top Student Loan Providers
By Mark P. Cussen, CFP®, CMFC, AFC | Updated June 20, 2018 — 3:15 PM EDT
Many students who borrow to pay for college make their way into the real world after graduation worried about being able to pay off their education loans. One of the best ways students and parents can minimize their loan obligations is to shop around for the best providers before they borrow. Although there is no definitive list of best loan providers, this article shows you those that have received accolades from consumers and financial-aid websites.
Where to Get Student Loans for College
The Federal Government
Any list of top student loan providers has to begin with Uncle Sam. Federally-subsidized student loans are often the cheapest – and in many cases, the only – alternative for lower or middle-income students and families who need to pay for college.
Pell Grants and subsidized loans offer rates and repayment terms that are typically far superior to anything found in the private sector, including deferment, forbearance and loan forgiveness programs.
For more information on federal student loan programs, visit www.studentloans.gov. The site is loaded with information and resources, such as how to obtain aid, and a calculator for estimating loan repayment.
At first, Sallie Mae (SLM) was a government-sponsored enterprise, but now operates as a publicly-traded corporation. Sallie Mae primarily offers private student loans for undergrads, graduates and parents. In 2004, it spun off a new company named Navient (NAVI) to handle the servicing of government-backed loans. They even offer family education loans for expenses associated with private school costs from kindergarten through high school.
Its website offers information, products, and tools on saving, planning, and paying for college. Sallie Mae has been rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau, as well.
This provider is geared toward private loans for college students and tuition payment plans for thousands of K-12 schools. Nelnet (NNI) offers customers educational services in loan servicing, payment processing, education planning, and asset management. Their website is loaded with tools and resources that help borrowers determine where they are financially and how to choose the best loan.
Some of their available tools include budget sheets, guidance on how to prevent identity theft and education on general money management. It also provides answers to a comprehensive list of FAQs and offers both email and telephone customer service support.
StudentLoan.com differs from Sallie Mae in that it is owned and operated by Discover Bank (DFS). It was previously owned by Citibank until 2010. Student loans are just one of the many financial products and services offered by this company best known for issuing consumer credit cards. There are no loan application, origination or late fees required.
The site offers comprehensive educational tools, articles and calculators for students and parents, and it provides a variety of payment options. One advantage offered by Discover Student Loans is that school-certified college costs up to 100% can be covered. They also offer loan consolidation.
Although it does not have a standalone website devoted to student loans, Citizens Bank’s (CFG) student loan webpage easily allows you to apply for a student loan. They offer private loans for students and parents at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. There are a variety of payment options available and customers who also open a student checking account can get a rate discount on their student loan.
Social Finance (SoFi)
This unique company provides younger borrowers who lack the financial credentials typically required by banks and other traditional lenders with a viable alternative for their student loans. SoFi was the first to refinance both federal and private loans, and its underwriters consider such non-standard factors as professional merit and work history in addition to the borrower’s credit profile. Fixed and variable rate notes are available in multiple terms with no origination or application fees, and no prepayment penalties.
This consolidation provider was created when hundreds of nonprofit credit unions united to establish this site. LendKey provides loans for undergrads, consolidations for college graduates, and refinancings of parent PLUS loans. Borrowers need to be members of a credit union in order to be eligible for services. LendKey offers some of the lowest student loan rates available.
Founded in 2011, CommonBond is a lender that offers refinancing of graduate and undergraduate student loans. They also offer private student loans for undergraduates and non-MBA graduate students.
Wells Fargo (WFC) provides undergraduate, graduate, and consolidation services for private student loans while offering both fixed- and variable-rate loans. They award discounts for various incentives, such as graduation or opening another account with the bank.
This site, by Lending Tree offers access to a pool of consolidation lenders. Borrowers can compare rate estimates among lenders without having each of them pull their credit information. However, borrowers will have to submit to a credit check in order to be approved.
SimpleTuition offers tips, tools and deals to help students plan for the costs of college, and how they manage their student loans.
Cedar Education Lending
Although Cedar Education Lending offers student loans and consolidation loans, borrowers with very high loan balances or loans that charge high rates of interest may find a better alternative on this site. This site also offers loan consolidation that could result in longer repayment periods, and lower monthly payments, a wise move for borrowers whose earnings are expected to be low when they first get out of school.
SunTrust (STI) charges no origination, application, or prepayment fees and student loan borrowers can qualify for rate reductions and cosigner release options if they demonstrate financial responsibility. Prospective borrowers can apply for and compare fixed and variable rate loans online. It no longer offers a loan-consolidation program.
Student Loan Network
This group allows borrowers to compare lenders and also consolidate loans on its website. Borrowers can consolidate both private and governmental loans on the Student Loan Network, and gain access to educational materials about student loans and tips on how borrowers can avoid defaulting on them.
The Bottom Line
Students and parents who need financial assistance now have more options than ever before. Banks, credit unions and other lenders offer a vast array of loans and scholarships that can help to finance education costs in an affordable manner. For additional information on student loans, contact your school’s financial aid officer or a financial advisor.
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Our annual summer program brings together high school students from across the country to Washington, D.C. for a week of deep discussions on critical issues and interaction with scholars, policy-makers, and national thought leaders. Participants also make new friends, tour the monuments and museums, and connect with professionals throughout the D.C. area.
CLICK HERE for frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the Young Leaders Summit
Volunteer staff applicants:
CLICK HERE for frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the Young Leaders Summit volunteer role opportunities
The Young Leaders Summit (YLS) is a free four-day, overnight, college empowerment conference for a diverse cohort of low-income high school juniors, selected through a competitive application process. It is designed to give these young leaders the practical tools they need to successfully apply to top universities, have full access to scholarship and financial aid opportunities, and set a course for academic and career success.
DATE AND LOCATION
- August 9th – August 12th at The University of Chicago
- Current high school junior, Class of 2019 (senior in the fall of 2018-2019 academic year)
- 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent based on your school scale
- Low income, as defined by Pell eligibility
- Currently attends high school in the United States or a U.S. territory
- Plans to enroll full-time, in a four-year degree program, at a U.S. accredited, not-for-profit, private or public college or university after high school graduation
AN IDEAL CANDIDATE WILL HAVE:
- An outstanding academic record in high school (in the top 20% of graduating class)
- Demonstrated leadership ability (as shown through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities)
HOW TO APPLY:
- Create a Profile as a “Student”
- View “YLS Student Application 2018” Application on your Dashboard
YLS VOLUNTEER STAFF OPPORTUNITIES
Current college undergraduate student, join Young Leaders Summit (YLS) volunteer staff!
2018 YLS Dates and Locations:
- August 8th – August 12th at The University of Chicago (includes mandatory orientation day).
Apply for one of the following Volunteer YLS Staff positions:
Current freshmen in college who support all logistical components of the program. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: preparing and assisting with YLS session set up and execution; transporting, setting up, and breaking down signage and materials; and escorting students, speakers, and volunteers to assigned areas.
Support Crew applicants must pass a background check, and remain on campus for the entire YLS program, including orientation.
Summit Counselors (SCs)
Current college undergraduates responsible for serving as a mentor, supervising and leading their “squad”—a group of 7-8 YLS high school participants- throughout the course of the YLS. SCs serve as the point of contact for their students in the weeks leading up to, furing, and following the YLS program. SCs are responsible for facilitating workshop transitions, leading nightly debriefs with their YLS squad, and assisting with YLS sessions, as needed.
Summit Counselor applicants must pass a background check, and remain on campus for the entire YLS program, including orientation.
Program Leads (PLs)
Current college juniors or seniors who serve as the head coordinators for each YLS program, and as the point-of-contact for the Summit Counselors in the weeks leading up to and throughout the course of the program. The PLs work with YLS professional staff to train SCs and facilitate communication between YLS professional staff and the SCs. Program Leads are responsible for assisting with YLS sessions, reviewing daily schedules and room assignments, leading workshop transitions, facilitating nightly meetings with the SCs and YLS professional staff, and serving as on-site/overnight contact.
PLs must pass a background check, and remain on campus for the entire YLS program, including orientation.
Please Note: These are unpaid volunteer opportunities. YLC will cover the full cost of food, room and board throughout the conference, including orientation. There are limited available funds to cover travel for staff members to and from the host university, and will be considered on a case by case basis.
ELIGIBILITY: All grades 9 – 12 High School Students
DEADLINE: Ongoing (Annual) , Every October 31st 11:59 PM (Pacific Time)
HOW TO APPLY:
Choose ONE prompt from below and submit a well thought out essay or video
- How have your family, parents, school, and teachers influenced who you are today? Use personal experiences to support your answer.
- How much freedom should parents give their children? Use personal experiences to support your answer.
- What are some dangers that youth may face on the internet? Use personal experiences, news articles, or research to support your answer.
- What should you do if you or a friend is bullied on the web? Please discuss solutions for both scenarios. Use personal experiences to support your answer.
- Discuss ways that youth can use the internet or social media to positively impact their communities. Use personal experiences to support your answer.
To apply, fill out our short form here: KidGuard for Education Scholarship Application
We will be selecting a pool of finalists based on the quality of their essay/video. As mentioned, we are looking for essays/videos that are well thought out with proper research and evidence to support their statement. Out of the selected finalists, winners will be selected and contacted shortly thereafter.
* We want to hear your honest opinion. The personal opinion expressed in your essay/video will in no way affect whether or not you are awarded the scholarship. We respect that everyone has their own opinions on the topic and want to hear what you have to say. For essays, we want to stress that word count is not a deciding factor in this contest. However, this is a contest and you are expected to express your well-thought-out ideas clearly, supported with research and evidence.
Welsh & Welsh, a personal injury firm in Omaha, Nebraska, is pleased to announce that we are offering a once-yearly $1,000 scholarship to students who are currently attending or planning to attend their first year of college or graduate school in the upcoming semester. We understand the difficulties college students face financially and feel that by providing students with this opportunity, we can help them pave the way towards a brighter future.
We first started the scholarship in Fall 2017 and were humbled by its success. We’ve decided to continue it for 2018 and beyond.
The current open submission period is for Fall 2018.
Applications are due by Sunday, July 15, 2018.
The next open submission period will be for Fall 2019.
To apply, you’ll need to submit a 500+ word essay on the topic below as well as provide some additional information.
- Students can be attending or planning to attend any college or graduate school in the U.S.
- Applicants must be attending or plan on attending for their first year.
- As proof of your first-year status, you will need to submit a digital copy of your acceptance letter—complete with the college letterhead.
Applicants will need to write a 500+ word essay on the following topic:
Why is prioritizing roadway and driver safety so vital?
Once the application period closes, Welsh & Welsh will choose a winner based on the uniqueness of each essay as well as the writer’s knowledge in the topic. Creativity and unique ideas give points here.
By submitting your essay to us, you agree that your essay may be featured on our blog. We will publish the winning essay as well as 1-2 of the top contenders at our discretion. Published essays may appear with minor edits in place.
- To submit your application, email us your completed essay, a digital copy of the acceptance letter from the college or graduate school verifying your first-year status, and some brief information about yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In the body of your email, you MUST include your name, address, phone number, and the name of your current/planned school. You may include a brief paragraph telling us about yourself and your career-related goals, but this part should be brief.
- The essay MUST be attached as either a .DOCX or .PDF. You MUST follow MLA guidelines when formatting your essay.
- The email’s subject line MUST READ: “NAME Fall 2018 Scholarship”
Failing to follow the above instructions may disqualify your application.
Send all applications and questions to email@example.com.
We look forward to looking at your applications!
List of Past Winners
WHAT IS THE CO-0P PROGRAM?
MBUSI gives you the opportunity to gain real world working experience in an international environment. As a Co-Op student you’ll be placed in a variety of departments. Which include:
Engineering: Process Engineering, Maintenance Engineering, Quality Engineering, Computer Engineering, Series Planning
Business: Human Resources, Communications, Finance, Logistics, Global Service and Parts, and IT.
Minimum GPA 3.0
Must be able to complete three terms.
Must be able to work in Vance, Alabama
- Program normally consist of 3 alternating semesters. Students must be able to work a spring, summer and fall semester.
- Students must be at least at a Sophomore level to participate in the program.
- Semesters: Spring – January to May; Summer – May to August; Fall – August to December
- Paid bi-weekly. Starting pay at $16/hour; graduating pay scale each following semester.
- Housing Allowance if the school is greater than 50 miles away from the MBUSI.
- Team Wear and Safety Gear are provided.
HOW TO APPLY
Apply through the Co-Op office at your university (MBUSI partner schools).
If you do not attend one of the following universities, please APPLY HERE and, on the resulting page, search for the “Co-Op Student” position opening listed for MBUSI.
Research & Engineering Apprenticeship Program (REAP) is a summer STEM program that places talented high school students, from groups historically under-represented and underserved in STEM, in research apprenticeships at area colleges and universities. REAP apprentices work under the direct supervision of a mentor on a hands-on research project. REAP apprentices are exposed to the real world of research, they gain valuable mentorship, and they learn about education and career opportunities in STEM. REAP apprenticeships are 5-8 weeks in length (minimum of 200 hours) and apprentices receive a stipend.
- To provide high-school students from groups historically under-represented and underserved in STEM, including alumni of the AEOP’s UNITE program, with an authentic science and engineering research experience
- To introduce students to the Army’s interest in science and engineering research and the associated opportunities offered through the AEOP
- To provide participants with mentorship from a scientist or engineer for professional and academic development purposes
- To develop participants’ skills to prepare them for competitive entry into science and engineering undergraduate programs
What is the REAP apprenticeship experience?
REAP apprentices are high-school age students selected for their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Special consideration is given to under-represented groups.
The REAP Experience is designed to:
- Motivate students toward a career in science, mathematics, or technology.
- Expand students’ background and understanding of scientific research.
- Engage students’ active participation into the philosophy and objectives of scientific research.
- Expose students to science experiences not readily available in high school.
- Introduce students to the real world of research in these fields.
- Partner students with faculty mentors to support current and future professional growth and development.
What do participants gain from a REAP apprenticeship?
REAP apprentices typically spend a summer in a university research program under the tutelage of a professional mentor, performing experiments and carrying out research activities that immerse them in the realities and opportunities of careers in the applied sciences, engineering and mathematics, changing attitudes and firing the imagination of student participants—many who have but a general idea of what a career in these areas entails, and little or no contact with adults doing this work. Through the REAP experience, student participants are exposed to the real world of these careers and are able to see themselves as scientists and researchers.
Shoulder-to-Shoulder with Professionals
In a typical setting, students spend time applying their knowledge, performing experiments, participating in field trips or working in groups. REAP provides a much needed dimension to their education by allowing them opportunities to work shoulder to shoulder with researchers in university laboratories participating in original research, exploring interests and making informed educational and career decisions.
The REAP experience allows students to find the answers to the questions they themselves pose about a topic. They develop their English language and presentation skills as they articulate the problems they have devised and through their efforts to solve them, they learn to learn on their own. Throughout the summer, students mature both intellectually and emotionally, develop friendships and foster a good sense of collegiate life. Self discovery of personal strengths and weaknesses and the setting of educational and professional goals contribute to personal development. Dr. Rolando Quintana, Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Texas El Paso writes of his apprentices: “The confidence they have gained is immeasurable, knowing that their future is a college education. They also have access to a college professor for mentoring and guidance through their high school years, and perhaps most importantly, college student mentors.”
Real World Contributions
Many students contribute specifically to the ongoing research of the laboratory project. Dr. Robert Thompson’s research (University of Minnesota) was focused on using silicified plant cells to identify the use of corn in prehistoric pottery. He developed a research technique which allowed identification to a sub specific level, in other varieties of corn. In order to publish this research he needed to have someone duplicate his results. His apprentice Alison Boutin did just that and more. He writes: “Alison proved such a talented, driven, and reliable researcher that I was able to entrust that task to her, which allowed me to present this research at the Second International Congress of Phytolith Research in Aix-en-Provence, France. Remarkably, Alison was then able to take my research one step further, and present the results of her own work at the same conference.”
Deadline to apply is February 28. Click here to learn more…
|Arkansas||University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff – Biomedical/Nanotechnology|
|Alabama||Alabama State University, Montgomery – Mathematics & Computer Science|
|Alabama State University, Montgomery -Biology/Cancer Research|
|University of Alabama, Huntsville – Nanotechnology|
|University of Alabama . Huntsville – Chemistry|
|University of Alabama, Huntsville – Environmental Engineering|
|University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa – Metallurgical Engineering|
|California||California State University, Sacramento – Engineering & Computer Science|
|University of California, Berkeley – Environmental Science|
|San Jose State University, – Engineering|
|Colorado||Colorado State University, Fort Collins – Physics|
|Connecticut||Yale University, New Haven – Biological, Physical & Engineering|
|Delaware||Delaware State University, Dover – Forensics|
|Florida||Florida A&M University, Tallahassee – Engineering|
|University of Central Florida, Orlando – Chemistry|
|Georgia||Savannah State University, Georgia – Electronics Engineering/Robotics|
|Georgia State University, Atlanta – Physics & Astronomy|
|Iowa||Iowa State University, Ames – Earth Science|
|University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls – Biology/Chemistry/Biochemistry|
|Illinois||Loyola University, Chicago – Environmental Nanotechnology|
|University of Illinois Urbana, Champaign – Physical Chemistry|
|Indiana||Ball State University, Muncie – Physics & Astronomy|
|Purdue University, Indianapolis – Mechanical Engineering|
|Massachusetts||University of Massachusetts, Lowell – Physics|
|Maryland||John Hopkins University, Baltimore – Engineering|
|Morgan State, Baltimore – Chemistry|
|Stevenson University, Stevenson – Biochemistry/Cancer Research|
|University of Maryland, Baltimore – Biology|
|Michigan||Oakland University, Rochester – Mechanical & Electrical Engineering|
|Minnesota||College of Saint Benedict & St. Johns University, St. Joseph – Chemistry|
|Missouri||University of Missouri, St. Louis – Biology|
|Mississippi||Jackson State University, Jackson – Biology|
|Jackson State Univeristy, Jackson – Technology|
|New Hampshire||University of New Hampshire, Durham – Nanotechnology|
|University of New Hampshire, Durham – Biology|
|North Carolina||Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville – Biochemistry|
|University of North Carolina, Charlotte – Physics|
|New Jersey||New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark – Electrical & Computer Engineering|
|New Jersey Institute of Technology, Chemistry & Environmental Science|
|Caldwell University, Caldwell – Chemistry & Natural Sciences|
|Rutgers University, Camden- Chemistry|
|Stockton University, Galloway – Chemistry|
|Union County College, Cranford – Engineering|
|New Mexico||New Mexico State University, Las Cruces – Molecular Biology|
|University of New Mexico, Albuquerque – Nanotechnology|
|Nevada||University of Nevada, Las Vegas – Data Science & Engineering|
|New York||City University of New York (CUNY), New York – Material Science|
|Pennsylvania||University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia – Engineering & Robotics|
|Puerto Rico||University of Puerto Rico, San Juan – Physics|
|South Dakota||South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Rapid City – Advance Materials & Engineering|
|Texas||Texas Southern University, Houston – Chemistry|
|Texas Southern University, Houston – Engineering|
|Texas Tech University, Lubbock – Electrical & Computer Engineering|
|University of Houston, Houston – Biology & Biochemistry|
|University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington – Applied Mathematics|
|University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso – Environmental Science|
|University of Houston-Victoria – Computer Engineering|
|West Texas A&M University, Canyon – Electrical Engineering|
|West Virginia||Marshall University, Huntington – Chemistry|
|Marshall University School of Pharmacy, Dunbar – Medicine|
Youth Leadership Program
The FBI National Academy Associates, Inc. (FBINAA) hosts a week long training event for high school students at the FBI Academy every summer called the Youth Leadership Program (YLP). To be qualified for this program you must:
- Be 14, 15, or 16 years old at the start date of the program. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE TO THE AGE REQUIREMENT.
- Demonstrate high academic standards and good citizenship.
Individuals interested in attending the Youth Leadership Program (YLP) need to contact their local Chapter or YLP Coordinator for further information.
For general informaton, please contact Laura Masterton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2018 YLP Program is scheduled for June 21 – 29, 2018.
Here is timeline to make sure your applications are submitted on time:
January 15, 2018
Applications available from the Chapter’s YLP Coordinator.
March 16, 2018
Deadline for Applications submitted to the Chapter’s YLP Coordinator.
April 20, 2018
All Candidate Nominations Packages from Chapters/Associations are due to the FBINAA Executive Office. No candidate nominations will be accepted after this date.
May 4, 2018
Final vetting/selection of YLP students will be made by the Executive Office and Chapters/Associations will be notified of their candidates acceptance.
May 11, 2018
Acceptance letters, File of Life and other pertinent information will be sent to candidates.
June 21, 2018
Program commences; Students arrive and are picked up at Reagan National Airport.
June 29, 2018
Program ends; Students Graduate and return home.