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Dropouts Make it Big in Hollywood

It’s true what your parents say- an education is your assurance of success. Unless you’re amongst these celebs who were caught by the watchful eyes of Hollywood agents. Each of these stars dropped out and now have successful careers in Hollywood. Not a recipe for success for all of us.

These stars are doing OK without their high school diplomas.paris hilton

Lindsay Lohan– Quit school in 11th grade. Has not attended college. May or may not have a GED.

Paris Hilton– Quit school after 11th grade (Dwight School in NY). Did get a GED.

Jessica Simpson– High school dropout ( JJ Pearce High School). Has her GED.

Avril Lavigne– High school dropout (Napanee District High School) when signed by her record company.

Britney Spears– Dropped out of high school (Kentwood High School) for her career.

Leonardo DiCaprio- Skipped the diploma from John Marshall High School.

These celebs grabbed their high school diploma, then dropped out of college.

kanye westKanye West– Graduated from the American Academy of Art, then dropped out of Columbia College Chicago.

Katharine McPhee– A high school graduate, this American Idol star later dropped out of the Boston Conservatory.

Bill Gates– Took his high school diploma to the hallowed halls of Harvard, but later dropped out. But he did only found Microsoft.

Bruce Springsteen– The Boss graduated high school and persued education at Ocean County Community College, but left for his music career.

Jennifer Lopez– Spent a semester at Baruch College and then went off to be a Fly Girl.




10 Largest Universities in the United States

Looking for a really big place to go to college?  Here are the 10 universities in the United States with the largest combined graduate and undergraduate enrollment as of 2018.




Hurricane Gustav Rips Into Louisiana State University Campus

Hurricane Gustav turned out to be not nearly as damaging as we all feared, but it sure did some damage at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.  According to the school newspaper, the LSU Reveille, the campus was spared some of the damage suffered by Baton Rouge, but nonetheless was hit by winds of over 90 miles per hour.  Classes are back in session, but things aren’t exactly back to normal.

Here’s some video footage of the damage at LSU:




Students for Obama, Students for McCain

Historically, presidential candidates haven’t paid much attention to college students, or to younger people in general.  Why?  It’s kind of a vicious cycle between low voter turnout among young people and little attention paid to young people by politicians.  Students don’t vote because politicians ignore them, and politicians ignore them because students don’t vote.

obama mccain

In terms of the candidates’ eagerness to court the votes of young people, this election is unlike any other I’ve ever seen.  Perhaps it’s because the election is so close, so every vote really counts.  Perhaps it’s because Barack Obama appeals strongly to young voters, which has the McCain campaign running to rally the conservative kids on college campuses. Or perhaps it’s just because the turbulent events of the past decade — 9/11, the War in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, the economic crisis, global warming — have made this generation of students more politically aware and interested than young people during the last three or four elections.  There’s a lot at stake in this election, and everyone knows it, including students.

The Obama campaign has been especially aggressive at trying to reach students.  If you’re interested, check out the Students for Obama page, which is a big part of the official Obama election website.  This organization actually started in 2006 as a Facebook page created to persuade Obama to run for president.

John McCain does not have a centralized place on his web page for student supporters, but you can visit individual McCain student groups on the web, like California Students for McCain.  Another good place to find out about McCain is this unofficial Students for McCain page of MySpace.

Learn more about each candidate’s position on financial aid for students.




The Common Application

More commonly known as the Common App amongst students, this is your gateway into the world of college. The Common Application is the most widely used application by colleges in the United States. It’s an application that is approximately 15 pages long and consists of many parts, such as a part for students to fill out and submit an essay, teacher recommendations, counselor report forms and many more. Each part of this application is essential for the college to which you are applying. Although the Common App doesn’t apply to all schools (like a friend who is looking at music conservatories has a completely different application process), most schools actually use the Common App.

On Commonapp.org, you can set up an account where you can complete your application online. This makes it so much easier because you don’t have as much paper work to worry about. Although you can do most of the application online, things such as the midyear report, the secondary school report, and your teacher recommendation papers will have to be printed and given to the appropriate person that will be taking care of each paper. (more…)




Setting Yourself Apart for College Acceptance

One of the main things colleges will look at when reviewing your application is what makes you stick out from all the other applicants who are just as qualified, if not more qualified than you. But what exactly will really make you stick out and set you apart from all the other applicants the college is considering for admissions?

girl scoutsOne thing for me is how involved I have been with yes, Girl Scouts. This year will be my 12th year as a Girl Scout. I have earned all my religious awards and was just recently awarded my Gold Award (which is the equivalent of the Eagle Scout award). Even though I’ve been teased countless times about being in scouts at my age, I have stuck with it because of all the opportunities scouts has offered me. Colleges will see how long I’ve been involved with scouts and say to themselves “this girl is someone dedicated and sticks with things she starts,” and that’s one thing that will set me apart from all the other applicants.

Another thing that I do that will stick out is how involved I’ve been with my youth group. I am involved with my church on the district level as a Lutheran Youth Fellowship Representative. This position shows that I have leadership skills and that these skills can be used in almost any situation, especially when a leader is needed!

So find something that sets you apart, to those reading your applications, from all the other applications they will review. Whether it’s a sport you excel in or another extracurricular activity that you have participated in for years, such as my Girl Scouts, then be sure to make a big deal out of it! Sell yourself, a little bragging never hurt! Stick out like a sore thumb!




Tip: Find Out How Happy Students are With Financial Aid

When looking for a school– and thinking about how to pay for it– one helpful piece of information is this: how happy are students with financial aid?  This means two things: (1) how happy are they with the actual financial aid package they receive, and how fair do they think this is, and (2) how happy are they with the human being at the school assigned to help students with the difficult task of finding money for school?

How can you find this information?  For one thing, ask around.  Talk to students and find out what they think of the financial aid system at their schools.  For another, check out various college ranking systems to find the best and worse schools for financial aid.

According to The Princeton Review, these are the 10 schools where students are happiest with financial aid:

  1. Princeton
  2. Stanford
  3. Pomona College
  4. Harvard
  5. New College of Florida
  6. Thomas Aquinas College
  7. Beloit College
  8. College of the Atlantic
  9. Wabash College
  10. Claremont McKenna College

And, according to The Princeton Review, these are the 10 schools were students are most unhappy with financial aid:

  1. New York University
  2. Emerson College
  3. Penn State
  4. Rutgers
  5. University of Mary Washington
  6. Hampton University
  7. Amherst College
  8. University of Colorado
  9. Spelman College
  10. SUNY Purchase

My alma mater, Rutgers, is on this list, which is no surprise!  The people in the financial aid office were scary mean, at least when I went there.  It was a shock to me when I went to grad school and somebody in the financial aid office offered to help me with my financial aid materials.  Imagine that!




    Sorting Out Details for College Applications

    As I keep working on my college folder, I have come to realize just how important many small details are when applying to the schools you wish to attend. When going over the schools on either their homepages or on collegeboard.com, be sure to look at even the small details and fine print because in there can be important messages or dates you will need later on in the application process.

    Many schools that I’m applying to use the Common Application, so for each component of my application, I simply find the due date and that’s when all parts of my application are due. college applicationThis includes any supplements the schools ask for (such as essays). But then there are other things colleges need from you. Things such as a Midyear Report for some schools to make sure you are keeping your grades up, financial aid forms if you plan on applying for any financial aid, and even a Final Report to the school you finally chose to attend the following fall.

    So my best advice is to print a check-off sheet for yourself. I printed one that had a box to tell the date I sent my application, my supplement, and whether or not I had paid the application fee for my schools (some schools though waive your application fees if you apply online, which you can do after becoming a member on commonapp.org). If there are other dates you need reminded of, then be sure to put those dates/details on your check-off sheet, too!

    When you think you have your application completely filled out, be sure to go through and double-check everything. Also be sure to double check all your dates so that you don’t miss turning anything in! And be sure that you send everything you need, I would hate to not get accepted because I forgot to send in a teacher recommendation letter or a counselor report form!




    College Applications Are Due When?!

    I have already spent countless hours on my college folder, picking schools, fishing through a sea of college mail, and taking the time to look at each school carefully so I know which schools will be right for me. So once I had my 10 schools picked, I sat back and released a sigh of relief. Now I could take it easy.

    Well yesterday I had a meeting with my college adviser and I came to realize how much I had to do! Sure I had my schools picked out (which is more than quite a few of my classmates can say), but with such a high number of schools that I plan on applying to, I came to realize how much more work I would be putting into my applications in order to finish them on time. Thankfully, only 3 of my colleges are Early Action, but my college folder is due to my college adviser by September 23rd! Of course, not all my applications are due at this point, only information my adviser and teachers have to send.

    Although I want to finish a big chunk of my college applications early, I want to spend a decent amount of time on each of them, and focus a lot on my top 3 colleges. Another thing I will want to spend a lot of time on is the supplement for each school.

    For those of you who are reading this and asking “What in the world is she talking about?” let me explain some. For each college, there is their application. Most schools use what is called the Common Application which can be found online. Along with the Common App, most schools use supplements developed by the schools that give a little personal touch to the regular application. For most, the supplement will be an essay (on top of the essay you submit with the Common App), while some schools may pick something else for you to do. But the main goal of the supplement, as I said before, is so that your boring, bland application will have a little more character, allowing the colleges to see more of you than just the numbers you’ve produced during your high school years.

    So it is very important for you to get a headstart on your college applications. Whether you are applying to 2 schools or 12 schools, it’s always a good idea to start early, just in case something comes up that can take time away from the application process. Remember also, to spend a good amount of time on the supplement if a school requires one because the supplement is what will allow for the school to see you come through your application rather than just viewing you as a couple of numbers.




    High School Students Will Only Have to Report Top SAT Scores

    Thanks to a new rule by the College Board, high school students will soon be able to send only their highest round of SAT scores to colleges.  This new new rule goes into effect for the high school graduating class of 2010.  As of now, students can take the SATs as many times as they like, but they have to report all of the scores to colleges.  Now, they can choose which scores to send to colleges and which scores to forget about forever. sat scores

    An important note:  students won’t be able to choose the highest scores on each section.  That is, if your highest critical reading score was on one test, and your highest math score was on another, you can’t combine the two high scores.  Instead, you’ll choose the round of scores that overall are the best.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to this idea.  The advantage to a unreported do-over is that students get a clean slate.  If you have a bad day the first time you take the SAT, you can erase that and try again.  Hey, if only everything in our lives came with a clean slate!

    One problem with this is economics.  The SAT costs $45, and for some students, that’s a burden.  Some students may not be able to take the test again, which means this is yet another systematic disadvantage that poorer kids face when applying to college.

    To some degree, it does seem like this new policy won’t have a major effort.  According to the College Board, most students only go up 40 points the second time they take the test–and their scores often go down if they take the test more than twice.  If your score only goes up 40 points, there’s no real advantage of schools not seeing your first score.

    In addition, it’s questionable as to how much it really matters if schools see weaker SAT scores.  That is, if you scored 250 points higher the second time, will the school really hold the lower score against you?  If anything, they might see the jump in points as a sign that you’re willing to work hard to improve–something all colleges want to see in a prospective student.




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