Enhance Your College Experience through Outside Clubs and Activities (We’ve Found Some Good Ones)

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College is for learning, which takes place both inside and outside the classroom. So while textbooks, finals, and GPA are obviously important, they create just one component of higher education. College is also for doing – in the form of activities. They help you create strong friendships and relationships that will last long after graduation, and in many cases, for life.

You can meet people in the dorms, but students are usually assigned to living quarters on a random basis. However, schools that offer a wide variety of on-campus activities are a great place to A) find and join a group that aligns with your interests, B) enhance your resume through membership and leadership positions in such groups, and C) take a break from the pressures of daily classroom life to be with friends.

Many colleges offer a variety of on-campus activities and clubs that cover a range of pursuits. Interest-based, religious, performance-based, and social justice clubs are only a few examples of how to get involved during your time on campus. Joining a group or two is not only good for making friends, but for the future as well. Employers look for candidates who demonstrates a history of strong involvement in groups like these.

If you’re experiencing any indecision on choosing the school that’s right for you, consider the list of extracurricular activities and clubs that are available. We’ve released a new category for our 2015 Cappies™, called “Best Colleges for Activities.” We believe our new list can play a large part in helping you decide where to spend your next four years.

The Cappies™ reviewed thousands of U.S. colleges and the outside activities they offer, whether school-sponsored or independent. We selected schools with not only a wide variety of options, but with interesting choices as well. You can find Quidditch teams in an actual league based on the Harry Potter novels, or Doctor Who fan clubs, or mountain-climbing clubs. In many cases, if you don’t see what you’re looking for, the schools encourage you to form your own group.

Some schools go as far as to offer competitive leadership programs, which encourage students to learn and build attributes associated with leaders. Those include communication, critical thinking, and conflict management, to name but a few. They really work to help you understand connections between academic responsibilities, social and co-curricular choices. Involvement today can lead to better decision making in social situations.

The Best Colleges for Activities is our next-to-last category covered by The Cappies™. Our last category, Dorm Life, will be released later on this month, and will complete our six Cappies categories. Our other categories are covered in-depth on The Cappies™ home page, and we encourage you to check them out as your decision-making process goes forward!

Original Post Date: December 2nd, 2014

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48 Scholarships Expiring in December

moneyThe holidays are in full swing! We here at Cappex want you to do all you can to enjoy it — spend time with family and friends, give a thoughtful gift or two, share a delicious meal — but don’t forget that there are always scholarships out to there to apply to! There are ton of great scholarships expiring in December, so be sure to set aside some time between all of your celebrating to take advantage of these great opportunities.

1. Ashley Coule Conroy Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: December 1      Award: $3,000
Must be planning to study abroad for at least one semester

2. Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award

Deadline: December 1      Award: $10,000
Must be classical musicians, vocalists, or composers

3. Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Program

Deadline: December 1      Award: $1,000 – $2,500
Must be enrolled at a community college

4. FRA Americanism Essay Contest

Deadline: December 1      Award: $1,000 – 2,500
Must submit an essay on the topic, “Why I am Proud to Be an American”

5. NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund Essay Contest

Deadline: December 1      Award: $100 – $1,000
Must submit an essay on the topic, “What does the second amendment mean to you?”

6. AFA Teens Video Competition

Deadline: December 1      Award: $250 – $500
Must submit an autobiography and create an artistic or documentary video related to Alzheimer’s disease

7. Christopher Reeve Award

Deadline: December 1      Award: $1,000
Must have demonstrated tremendous compassion and caring in service to the community

8. Soroptimist Violet Richardson Award

Deadline: December 1      Award: $1,000
Must be women between the ages of 14 and 17

9. Greg Baumgartner Scholarship

Deadline: December 1      Award: $1,000
Must be paying for school without parental assistance

10. Olan Rogers Scholarships

Deadline: December 1      Award: $1,000
Must answer a given question via a personal YouTube, Instagram, or Vine video

11. Dr. Robert H. Goddard Scholarship

Deadline: December 2      Award: $10,000
Must be pursuing studies in science or engineering

12. National Space Club Keynote Scholarship

Deadline: December 2      Award: $10,000
Must be pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, or math

13. Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship

Deadline: December 2      Award: $30,000
Must be transferring from a two-year institution into a bachelor’s degree program

14. P.L.A.Y. Scholarship

Deadline: December 3      Award: $1,000
Must be passionate about helping animals in need

15. Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student Competition

Deadline: December 5      Award: $1,000 – $12,500
Must demonstrate scholarship, leadership, and financial need

16. Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarship

Deadline: December 5      Award: $5,000
Must demonstrate ongoing commitment to the community by performing unpaid volunteer services impacting hunger

17. We the Students Scholarship Contest

Deadline: December 5      Award: $500 – $4,000
Must submit an essay answering three given questions about the Constitution

18. Novus Biologicals Scholarship Program

Deadline: December 5      Award: $1,500
Must be majoring in a science-related field

19. Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest

Deadline: December 7      Award: $250 – $1,000
Must create a short film on a given topic related to censorship and free speech

20. Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest

Deadline: December 8      Award: $500 – $5,000
Must submit an essay on a topic related to ethics

21. Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Scholarships

Deadline: December 15      Award: $500 – $1,000
Must participate in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards by submitting an original piece of art or writing

22. Letters About Literature Competition

Deadline: December 15      Award: $200 – $1,000
Must submit a letter addressed to the author of a book, poem, or play

23. SMART Scholarship

Deadline: December 15      Award: $25,000 – $38,000
Must be pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math

24. AXA Achievement Scholarship

Deadline: December 15      Award: $10,000 – $25,000
Must demonstrate ambition and self-drive, as evidenced by outstanding achievement outside the classroom

25. Gulen Institute Youth Platform Essay Contest

Deadline: December 15      Award: $50 – $3,000
Must submit a research-based essay on a given topic about a global issue

26. MedicareSupplementalInsurance.com Therapy Professionals Scholarship

Deadline: December 15      Award: $1,000
Must have an interest in a physical, massage, recreational, or occupational therapy, chiropractic, or psychology/psychiatry profession

27. StreamlineRefinance.net Finance & Economics Scholarship

Deadline: December 15      Award: $1,000
Must be pursuing studies in finance, economics, or investment

28. QuikshipToner.com Student Scholarship

Deadline: December 15      Award: $1,500
Must submit an essay on a given topic related to the printing industry

29. The Christophers Video Contest for College Students

Deadline: December 16      Award: $100 – $2,000
Must create a film that communicates the message that one person can make a difference

30. NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards

Deadline: December 18      Award: $1,000 – $10,000
Must be running a small business

31. Imagine America College Scholarships for High School Students

Deadline: December 31      Award: $1,000
Must attend a participating US career college

32. Anne Ford Scholarship

Deadline: December 31      Award: $2,500
Must have a documented learning disability

33. George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest

Deadline: December 31      Award: $500 – $2,000
Must submit an essay on a given topic related to the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, or the US Constitution

34. Apprentice Ecologist Initiative Youth Scholarship Program

Deadline: December 31      Award: $100 $500
Must conduct a local environmental stewardship project

35. Alice Madden Barton Scholarship

Deadline: December 31      Award: varies
Must be pursuing a career in cosmetology or barbering

36. Go Red Multicultural Scholarship Fund

Deadline: December 31      Award: $2,500
Must be female minorities pursuing a career in healthcare

37. Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr. Scholarship for Young Hispanic Leaders

Deadline: December 31      Award: $1500 – $1,000
Must have at least one parent of Hispanic ancestry

38. Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship

Deadline: December 31      Award: $500
Must have sustained injuries from a car or truck accident

39. LowVARates.com Military College Scholarship

Deadline: December 31      Award: $2,500
Must be military students or children of military members serving in a branch of the US Armed Forces

40. Girls Impact the World Film Festival Scholarships

Deadline: December 31      Award: $1,000 – $5,000
Must create a film that raises awareness about current issues affecting women and girls and/or proposes solutions to current challenges faced by women

41. School Band Orchestra Magazine Essay Contest

Deadline: December 31      Award: $1,000
Must submit a short essay about a given topic related to music class

42. Palantir Scholarship for Women in Engineering

Deadline: December 31      Award: $1,500 – $10,000
Must be women with a strong focus in science, technology, engineering, or math

43. Best Price Nutrition & Health Scholarship

Deadline: December 31      Award: $1,000
Must fill out a survey about health and fitness goals

44. “Impact a Life” College Scholarship

Deadline: December 31      Award: $400 – $1,000
Must submit an essay on a given topic related to raffles, fundraising, and marketing

45. Rubincam Youth Award

Deadline: December 31      Award: $500
Must submit a single-line genealogy in biological format for five generations

46. Ellis Injury Law Diversity Scholarship Award

Deadline: December 31      Award: $1,000
Must be members of a minority group or have made a demonstrative effort to diversity issues

47. Injury Lawyer News Disability Scholarship Award

Deadline: December 31      Award: $1,000
Must have a documented physical or learning disability

48. Hardy Wolf & Downing Scholarship Award

Deadline: December 31      Award: $100 – $2,500
Must be active, retired, or immediate relatives of such members of any branch of the US military or any branch of law enforcement

Find thousands more scholarships — create your free account on Cappex today!

image credit: christmastreeassociation.org

Original Post Date: November 24th, 2014

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Benefits of the Early Decision Application

Categories: Admissions Advice

It’s deadline time for Early Decision (ED) applications to college. Early Decision is a college admissions process in which high schools students send their application to their preferred college “early” (usually in November) and receive a decision from the college by December. If you know without question which college you want to attend, the Early Decision process might be for you. Consider these additional benefits of an Early Decision application:

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Less stress.

Students accepted through Early Decision can stop stressing about getting into college well before their peers who apply through the traditional process. They will be free to focus on other things for the rest of senior year.

Improves your chance of getting accepted.

Keep in mind the school’s standards and the overall strength of your application are important factors in whether you get accepted- regardless if you choose Early Decision or apply though the traditional process. However, if you apply early you may have a better chance of getting into your college of choice. Typically, early admission rates are higher than regular or overall admission rates for most schools. At some schools, the admission rate can be substantially better for early admission candidates. In fact, of the students who applied early to the University of Pennsylvania, nearly 25 percent were accepted, compared to only 9 percent who were admitted through the regular application process. Currently, about 450 colleges offer some sort of early admission program.

Time to explore other options if you don’t get in.

There’s no doubt you’ll be disappointed if you don’t get accepted into your top-choice school. But the good news is you’ll be left with plenty of time to apply to other schools or explore additional academic or career options. Before you apply via Early Decision, it’s a good idea to create an action plan that outlines what you’ll do if you don’t get in. That way you won’t waste any time getting back on track should you be denied or deferred.

Start becoming familiar with your new school.

Of course you need to keep focused on finishing up your high school studies, but one of the most exciting aspects of Early Decision is that you can start getting acquainted with your college months before you arrive. Whether it’s through social media, a summer internship or an informal chat session with other incoming freshman, you can start to feel like you fit in long before you step on campus. Consider learning about what clubs, sports and special events your college offers and which ones you might want to take part in. You may even have the chance to get advice from upperclassman and ask them questions about campus life. In addition to having more time to get familiar with your school, early admission could improve your chances of landing premium student housing and the most desired on-campus job. Finally, when it comes time to create your class schedule, you may have a better chance of getting the classes you want at the times that suits you best.

Understand early decision policies thoroughly before applying.

As we’ve pointed out, if you know what college you want to attend and you have your academic materials ready, applying early to college offers a slew of advantages. Also, it’s very important to note that early decision applications differ from other accelerated admissions processes in that they are binding. That means the application serves as a contract of sorts and you must enroll in that school if you’re accepted. Also, you can only enroll in one early decision school. But keep in mind that early decision policies vary from school and school, so you need to find out exactly what you’re agreeing to before you click the send button.

Deciding where to go to college is a major decision with life-long implications. It’s important to do your homework and learn all you can about the schools you’re considering. Tour your most desired schools, chat with current students and decide whether the schools are a good fit for your personal and academic needs. Then narrow down your list to your top choice, and if you’re confident you want to be a member of the next freshman class, don’t wait – apply early.

If you’re still looking for your perfect fit college, create your free account on Cappex today!

image credit: fastweb.com

Original Post Date: November 21st, 2014

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