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A Look Into The 2010-2011 Freshman Class


I always enjoy a well mastered infopicture and the good people at the University of California at Los Angeles Higher Education Institute have recently delivered this one. This statistical data was gathered from over 200,000 first year students attending 279 four year colleges. The information on the chart below paints a pretty good portrait of Who They Are, What They Think, and What They Hope To Achieve.  Since CheapScholar.org usually only touches upon the financial aspect of the college experience, we encourage you to check out the statistic below referencing household income figures for this years freshman class.  Enjoy!

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CU Provides Extra Cash For Students To Finish Degree


In our Spotlight Series we like to bring attention to colleges, universities, and organizations that are making a difference in the lives of students and families that are navigating the financial aspect of higher education. Today’s Spotlight is shining upon the University of Colorado.

In an effort to help boost degree completion for students that once attended CU but for some reason or the other did not finish their degree requirements, Colorado University is offering scholarship assistance to get them back on track.

The University is sending out letters to over 500 students that pre-qualify for this scholarship program and is offering $500 and $1000 scholarships for anyone that takes them up on returning to CU. Students that take between one and eight credit hours are eligible for $500 and any accepted student taking over 9 credit hours gets $1000. The University has set aside $50,000 for this scholarship program.

Eligibility for the scholarship program is reserved for students that have at least a 2.0 GPA and the greatest consideration is given to students over the age of 25 who have already completed 60 or more credit hours.

If you are interested in learning more about the Colorado University Complete program, you can find additional information here.

CheapScholar.org would like to acknowledge Colorado University for their efforts (and scholarship dollars) to help students complete their educational experience and obtain a bachelors degree. Hopefully their initiative can serve as a good example for other colleges.

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Davenport U. Provides Tuition Discount to Unemployed


The state of our economy over the past few years has been like a roller coaster ride. Unfortunately, I think it has been going down more than it has been going up and I think we even experienced a loop somewhere along the way. The optimist in me feels that we are certainly moving in the right direction but unemployment in our country is still staggering around the 10% mark. Repeatedly, our nation’s leaders have said time and time again that now is the time for our unemployed to take advantage of their situation (availability of free time?) and prepare themselves to re-enter the job market with more education and a better skill-set.

Davenport University has heard this message and has stepped up to the plate to roll out the red carpet and welcome the unemployed to it’s campuses. Davenport has made a commitment to provide a 25% tuition discount to any current or potential student (who is unemployed) that attends any of the 14 campuses it has located in Michigan.

The following is a quote from Larry Polselli, vice president for enrollment and student development at Davenport U: “Current economic environments across the state of Michigan have created challenges for many. With 14 campuses across the state and programs tied to today’s jobs, Davenport University is uniquely positioned to help students by extending this tuition discount when people need it most.”

Qualifications and rules governing this tuition discount program is fairly simple:

  • Any current student who can show documentation of current unemployment will be eligible for the 25 percent discount (Unemployment letter, paycheck stub, confirmation page, etc.)
  • Students who are underemployed and currently in a Michigan Works program and can provide Michigan Works documentation will be eligible for the 25 percent discount.
  • The discount will be applied for the entire financial aid year that it is awarded.
  • The discount is not retroactive and may not be combined with other tuition or scholarship offers.

I did some calculations and the estimated annual tuition at Davenport University for the 2010-2011 academic year is $11,544 assuming the student attends full time (12 credit hours each semester). Based upon the 25% discount, you will be saving $2,886. That is a huge savings that Davenport is presenting to it’s unemployed students.

If you live in the Michigan area, are unemployed, and looking to continue your education, I certainly recommend that you look into this opportunity provided by Davenport University. Davenport also manages an extensive online undergraduate degree program in the fields of Business, Health, and Technology. At the time of this article, I am unclear as to whether the discount is applicable to their online unemployed students. However, it never hurts to ask…

Davenport University boasts an enrollment of 11,000 students, maintains their flagship campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan and provides satellite campuses in Alma, Battle Creek, Caro, Flint, Gaylord, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Livonia, Midland, Saginaw, Traverse City, and Warren. If you would like to learn more about Davenport University, you can stop by their website anytime.

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College Search Engines 101


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College “Opportunities” For The Homeless


HomelessShelterThe task of recruiting students is certainly an onerous job at many universities and colleges. Competition is fierce as everyone is vying for the best and brightest students. Different marketing/recruitment plans and objectives are put into place every academic year all across the country and the most creative or “outside of the box” approach garners the greatest return.

Having said this, I must say that I was recently amazed to learn of a new recruitment initiative that is straying from the best and brightest students and looking more for the most poverty stricken, unemployed, and homeless students that federal financial aid dollars can buy. I know it sounds a little crazy but apparently recruiters from the for-profit college industry are canvasing the nation and trying to set up appointments with homeless shelters to provide presentations that entice their residents to enroll in college courses. Bloomberg News recently released an article on this and cite the University of Phoenix and Drake College of Business to be leading the pack in this new initiative.

When I first heard about this approach to increasing enrollment numbers, my “college access for all” side came out and I was glad to see someone reaching out to the homeless and attempting to give them a new lease on life through education. However, the more I look at it (recruiting homeless people as students), I begin to wonder if the best interest of the student is really the motivating force or is it the access to federal financial aid dollars by the for-profit colleges that is driving this initiative.

My guess is that these homeless students have very little access to resources that are going to help them succeed. Given that the majority of the University of Phoenix’s students access their courses online, I am assuming that the necessity for technology is going to be an immediate hurdle or challenge for them to do well in their courses. I just can’t imagine many homeless people having a computer or consistent internet access outside of the 30 minutes a day allotted to them by a local public library.

My next concern (which falls more in line with the purpose of this site) is the financial aspect of this “opportunity”. The good news is that nearly all of these homeless students are sure to be eligible for every grant program (state and federal) known to mankind. However, who is going to be the voice of guidance when they are encouraged to take out federal direct loans or (gasp) even private loans to subsidize their educational costs? Also, what happens if they only make it through one or two semesters and then drop out and are stuck with this additional loan debt that can almost never be absorbed through bankruptcy.

My hope is that these for-profit schools are approaching this new pool of potential students with good intentions and that they are providing them with all the resources (and then some) that will help them to succeed with their educational endeavors. However, the realist in me leads me to think otherwise.

So.. the inspirational good news of the day related to college affordability.. If a homeless person can overcome their obstacles and achieve their college goals, it leaves hope for the rest of us (with homes) that we also can make our college dreams a reality.

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