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Archive | August, 2011

Lowes Scholarship Program – Not Just For Handymen

Lowes Scholarship Program – Not Just For Handymen

Are you the next Bob Villa? Do you want to be Holmes on Homes? Is DIY your middle name? If you answered yes to any of these questions then the Lowe’s Scholarship Program may be just for you! The nice thing about this scholarship program is that you don’t have to be a jack-of-all trades (handyman) to apply.

Lowes offers a couple of scholarship opportunities. They have a Lowe’s scholarship (which is easy to qualify for and probably what most people go after) and they also have a Carl Buchan scholarship (which is only for Lowes employees and their qualified relatives).

Here is the information for each of these programs:

Lowes Scholarship

  • 140 students will be getting $2500 (total of $350,000 up for grabs)
  • Student must be current high school senior,
  • Maintain a minimum 3.25 Grade Point Average (on a 4.0 scale),
  • and demonstrate a history of commitment to their community through leadership activities, community service and/or work experience
  • Application deadline is February 28th
  • You can apply here. You will need to set up an account to track your scholarship and you can use LOWES for the access key if you are prompted.

Carl Buchan Scholarship

  • 50 students will each receive $5,000 ($250,000 in total awards)
  • Student must be a full or part-time Lowes employee with at least 90 days of service
  • Dependents and Spouses of Lowes employees are eligible as well
  • Student must be a high school senior or current college undergraduate who has completed at least one full semester at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or technical school in the United States,
  • Maintain a minimum 3.25 Grade Point Average (on a 4.0 scale),
  • and demonstrate a history of commitment to their community through leadership activities, community service and/or work experience
  • Application deadline is February 28th
  • You can apply here. You will need to set up an account to track your scholarship and you can use LCBS for the access key if you are prompted.

Semi-finalist for both of these scholarship programs will be notified in March and the final winners will be contacted in May. Scholarship checks will be sent to the student’s home (made payable to the school of their choice) in August.

If you think this might be a good scholarship opportunity for someone you know, please be sure to use the “Share Tab” below to pass this information along.

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How To Recognize Scholarship Scams

How To Recognize Scholarship Scams

Con artists try to find angles in any and every niche possible. Sadly, one of those niches is scholarships, and the scams can sometimes detract from the truly outstanding and helpful scholarships that are available to students of all ages. Here are some ways to spot a scholarship scam.

An Up-Front Fee

Specific requirements must always be met in order to obtain a scholarship of any kind. A certain grade point average is usually a prerequisite, and then other qualifying factors are taken into account, like gender or ethnicity. But none of those factors should be the payment of any kind of fee, not even an application fee. Don’t be fooled by very low fees of just a few dollars, either. A scammer won’t necessarily charge a huge amount—that can get them caught more quickly. By charging just two or three dollars per application, they can still make a lot of money because more people will apply if the fee isn’t prohibitive. Do your homework and find the many free scholarships available.

Promises To Do The Work

Many scholarships require students to perform some sort of task in order to win them. It may be writing an essay, passing a test, participating in an academic competition, or just pursuing a particular course of study. Legitimate scholarship programs require the students to perform the work themselves in order to be eligible. If you run across a program offering to write that essay, or so whatever else is necessary for a particular scholarship, it should be a red flag. Allowing someone else to do the work could get you or your child disqualified, not to mention, this work won’t be performed for free. There will usually be a fee of some sort involved. Don’t fall for it.

You’ve Won a Scholarship—That You Never Applied For

As wonderful as it would be for someone to show up and simply hand you or your child a scholarship to a great program or school, it just doesn’t happen that way. Scholarships must be applied for, or are the result of contests that require actual entry. No scholarship magically materializes for anyone. If you receive any sort of correspondence saying you’ve won a scholarship and all you have to do is claim it, be wary.

Claims of Exclusivity

Information for legitimate scholarships is freely available, from schools, in educational publications, and on the Internet. There are no secret scholarships out there that are only made available to a select group of people, or, as you might guess, those who pay for the information. Any scholarship program that says the information they have is exclusive, and unavailable anywhere else, is running a scholarship scam. Save your money and stick with the free resources.

If you’re still unsure of a scholarship offer you receive either via e-mail or regular mail, talk to a counselor at the educational institution you or your child attends. They will be able to look up the program that contacted you, and tell you whether it’s legitimate or not. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or do a little research on your own. It can end up saving you a lot of money.

This article was brought to you by Susan Taylor. Susan is a former English teacher, writer and stay at home mom who knows the challenges students face in today’s education system. If you would like to reach Susan, please feel free to drop her a line at

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Paying For College Tips (video)

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5 Tips For Finding Cheap Eats On Your Campus

5 Tips For Finding Cheap Eats On Your Campus

The following is a guest article courtesy of Kelly Darmer on behalf of online degrees, a handy service connecting prospective students with the right higher education program.

With the price of tuition as high as it is, it can feel like you’ve broken the bank before you even start college, so how can you keep costs down while you’re there? There are plenty of things you could do to cut back, such as going out less, buying fewer drinks when you are out, or selling your text books. None of these options are particularly favourable, but there is one area where you can reduce the cost without reducing the enjoyment: food.

Eat From Your University Meal Plan And Avoid Vending Machines

If you’re in catered accommodation, cutting back on the amount that you spend on food can be difficult; there is an entire array of hot meals and desserts on display in the campus dining hall, calling out to be eaten, and a whole host of vending machines on your way back to your dorms. But you can use this to your advantage – if you stick to the meals that you get in the dining hall, it could save you a small fortune on snacks. As for the vending machine temptation, the mark up on those machines is extortionate, so choose multipacks of chips and candy from the superstore instead. Just make sure you don’t eat them all at once…

Plan Your Meals

If you’re responsible for feeding yourself, the opportunities to reduce your food costs are endless. The greatest piece of advice I can give you on this point is to plan your meals for the week before you do your weekly food shop. A friend of mine used to go to the store everyday to cook elaborate meals and ended up spending about $45 a day, which wasn’t far off my weekly budget.

It takes about quarter of an hour to sit down with a student cookbook or the internet in front of you and decide what meals you’re going to eat that week; seven hot meals, seven cold meals and seven breakfasts, plus a few snacks here and there and maybe some drinks. From that list, work out what ingredients you’ll need and write your shopping list. If there’s anything that’s on the list that will go off quickly, make sure you cook that meal at the start of the week so no food goes to waste.

Keep Track of Your Food Pantry

Writing a list of all the food you have in the kitchen and sticking it on the fridge is another effective way to make sure that you waste absolutely nothing. If you cross off each thing once it’s finished and add it as soon as you’ve bought it, you’ll make sure that you don’t buy something you’ve already got, and you’ll know to use it up before it goes past its sell by date. Checking this list before you do your weekly trip to the superstore can give you some inspiration too – if you’ve got a jar full of mayonnaise, for example, use it in a potato salad and it’ll be one less ingredient to buy.

As you get used to making your shopping list for the week it will become easier to plan meals that are going to be using similar ingredients so that you can bulk buy in the store without anything going to waste. For example, you can buy massive bags of potatoes which are better value, but you won’t get the benefit of it unless you use them all, so for that week you could make meals with homemade fries, mashed potato and maybe that potato salad for lunch. You can buy meat in massive multipacks as well, so make sure you freeze the individual portions when you get back so you don’t forget to use them before they go off.

Steer Clear of Fast Food

One of the easiest ways to end up spending an entire day’s food budget in about ten minutes is fast food; especially after a night out! Take out is always so tempting if you can’t be bothered to cook or if you’ve just been out and fancy an early morning snack, but it’s pretty easy to avoid (most of the time). For a start, if one of your meals one week is a homemade curry, you could make a massive one, eat one portion and freeze the rest in one-portion tubs. That way, it’s there for you when there’s nothing in the fridge but a block of mouldy cheese and a yoghurt pot. As for the fast food, buy some frozen oven chips and make some mini homemade pizzas on pita bread, wrap them in saran wrap and freeze them. The same goes with buying lunch on campus – if you’re really organised, make a sandwich or a salad the night before so it’s ready for you to take to college with you. It’ll work out a lot cheaper than buying a meal on campus every day.

Always Find The Sale Items

Finally, don’t forget to look out for anything on sale in the superstore – you could end up with a cheap substitute for something else that was on your shopping list. For example, if you’ve decided on beef steak one night but there’s reduced price lamb steak. Be careful though, sometimes the store makes it look like something’s cheaper when it’s not.

Good luck, and happy budgeting!

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Dorm Room Life – What You Should Leave At Home

Dorm Room Life – What You Should Leave At Home

Last year I had the opportunity to help move in over 600 incoming students to my alma mater (Wittenberg University). As I was carrying a variety of items up and down stairs, through door ways and hallways, and ultimately to their final destination — the dorm room –,  I was in awe at how much “stuff” a college student brings to campus these days. I really didn’t think it was possible to cram all the luxuries of home into a 12 foot by 12 foot residence hall room but I was proven wrong.

Here are some of the more “stand out” items that I carried through the halls:

  • Condo-Sized Refrigerator (totally serious on this one – you could put enough food in this thing to last the whole semester and still have room for a keg. wait… what? hmmm…)
  • 50 Inch Flat Screen TV (I don’t even have a tv that big in my own house)
  • Brick Collection (I think it was an art student…)
  • Berber Carpet (lots and lots of rolls of this stuff last year)

The unfortunate reality of move-in day is that I see a number of parents heading home at the end of the day with all the stuff that the students were unable to successfully shove into their rooms. This excess stuff is usually a result of the new roomies not coordinating about who is bringing what. However, I really think the cause is just having too much stuff to begin with and not being able to prioritize about what should come and what should probably stay at home.

In an effort to help you discern what may or may not be appropriate to bring with you to college, the following lists should serve as a guide for you as you begin your trek off to campus.


portable electric hair dryers
hot combs
electric razors
electric rollers
electric toothbrush/water picks
sewing machines
lighted makeup mirrors
electric blankets
heating pads
electric coffee pots
closed-coil hot pot
closed-coil popcorn poppers
lamps (no halogen)
television sets


crock pots
electric skillets
lava lamps
sun lamps
hot plates
air conditioners
broiler/toaster ovens
wireless routers
electrical fryers/frying pans
electric sauce pans
microwave ovens
gas/any type of grill
any type of blender
high wattage spot/flood light
convection ovens
power tools
potpourri burners
electric heaters
halogen lamps
rice cookers


alarm clock
area rug/carpet
bed linens/pillows
clothes hangers
first aid kit/thermometer
laundry supplies
personal hygiene items
power strip w/surge protector
school supplies
sewing kit
stationary and stamps
small vacuum cleaner


pets (except for fish)
and of course anything else that would be deemed as illegal

Hope you found this information helpful. If you know of anyone else that has a college bound student and they are looking at renting a large U-Haul to move everything, please forward this list onto them in hopes that it helps them to weed out some of the items that may be better off left at home.

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Textbooks – Not The Only Thing You Will Rent At College

Textbooks – Not The Only Thing You Will Rent At College

The following is guest post from Rachel Freeman at

With the price of a college education continuing to soar, students look for ways to save on costly items like textbooks. Some student report borrowing, sharing and simply going without as way save on books which often cost more than $1,000 a year. But what does it mean to your success as a student if you don’t have access to the books you need? Another  way to cut costs on textbooks is to rent instead of buy. Textbook rental allows students to save up to 80% on the cost of textbooks without sacrificing any of their own success to do so.

Think about all of those General Education classes you take to satisfy a requirement but may not relate to your field of choice. I once had to take a prerequisite class and the book for the course cost $160! Because it was a pre-req, I knew I didn’t want to spend that much money on the book. At BookRenter, however, I was able to rent the book for the entire semester for only $70. That’s $90 I could use on tuition, food or, even better, a ticket to a Giants playoff game! Since BookRenter launched the first textbook rental site in 2006, the market has taken off at an astronomical pace.

But textbooks aren’t the only things you can rent. Rental allows for tremendous flexibility, especially for students whose lives may fluctuate frequently. You can try new things without taking a huge financial risk and then you can spend the money you would have spent purchasing the item to buy something else. Consider this, if you rented just two of the textbooks you need each semester, you would save yourself a couple hundred dollars – the cost of a typical student season ticket for football and basketball.

What else can you rent?

So what other kinds of things can you rent besides textbooks? ZipCar, which has been around for almost 10 years, allows people to rent cars for a couple hours or a few days. It even has locations on over 100 college campuses around the country! Going out of town and need somewhere to stay? Instead of forking over an arm and a leg on a hotel room, check out AirBnb, where you can rent rooms, apartments or homes directly from real people.

Now if you’re like me and you have a fancy event to attend but don’t necessarily want to purchase a whole new outfit, what better way to avoid that expensive cost than renting your dress, jewelry and purse? You can rent jewelry from Adorn, designer dresses and gowns from Rent the Runway and One Night Affair and your purses from Avelle (which is also known as Bag Borrow or Steal).

As college students, there are certain dorms items we may want to have, but not want to own. Ever heard of a Microfridge? It’s a microwave, a refrigerator and a freezer all in one that you can rent for only $180 for the whole year. And if you are in need of a technology gadget, computer, or tablet, head on over to Rentacomputer. Need a movie for a chill night in? Redbox allows you to rent DVDs for one night for only $1. Their kiosks are located in grocery stores, drug stores and McDonald’s among other places, so you’re bound to find something you like!

Renting is definitely a viable option for all sorts of options. When you are in college, the last things you want to worry about are expenses and if you rent, you can help take that stress away. Put more money in your pocket by renting everything from textbooks to cars.

So now what?

As you head back to school this fall, consider these questions:

  • Do I need to own this, or do I just need to be able to use it for awhile?
  • If it’s a textbook, am I really likely to use it again, or is the information I might want also available on the Internet?
  • If I buy an item, am I going to have to move it frequently over the next 5-7 years? How do I feel about moving this item around a lot?

About the Author:

Rachel Freeman is an aspiring social media guru and video editor who likes the San Francisco Giants, traveling and her dog, Mollie. She graduated with a B.A. in Communication in 2010 and is pursuing her M.A. in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts. She is currently an intern at

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How Do YOU Make College Cheaper Scholarship

How Do YOU Make College Cheaper Scholarship

In an effort to help make college more affordable, will be giving away $500 this year to one deserving student. Entering the scholarship giveaway is easy and winning is even easier. All you have to do is answer one question: How Do YOU Make College Cheaper?

The following are the various ways in which you can enter our scholarship contest:

  1. Post your answer on CheapScholar’s Facebook Page
  2. Tweet your answer to @CheapScholar on Twitter
  3. Submit your answer via our contact page

Each of the methods above will give you an entry into the scholarship contest. In addition, you can enter more than once if you have multiple ideas/answers to the question. Since the scholarship is transferable, friends and family members can enter the contest as well.

Originality and creativity are encouraged with your answers. Here are a few examples to get you thinking:

  • Lots and lots of Ramen Noodles
  • Submit the FAFSA each and every year
  • Applying for outside scholarships
  • Doing laundry at mom and dad’s

Here is the “small print” on the $500 Scholarship Giveaway:

  • Deadline for submission is August 15th
  • Winner will be contacted via the same method in which their entry was received (Twitter, Facebook, and/or email)
  • The scholarship is transferable. However, the final recipient must be currently attending (or planning to attend) a U.S. based College or University.

We wish you luck on winning this great scholarship opportunity. In the meantime, if you need additional tips and information on finding scholarships, please be sure to check out CheapScholar’s Scholarship Resource Center.

Remember… all you have to do is answer the following question via one or all three of the methods provided (Facebook, Twitter, Email).  Each response counts as an entry.  It really is that easy…

How Do YOU Make College Cheaper?

Some of our previous Scholarship Recipients:

 – Lauren Downs, Ohio University

Alexis Fusco, Drexel University

Jacqueline Vazquez, U. of Central Florida

Jasmine Trickler, Eastern Washington U.

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3 Quick Tips To Paying For College (video)

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