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Ohio Farm Bureau Scholarship Opportunities

Ohio Farm Bureau Scholarship Opportunities

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation has three different scholarship programs (see below) that annually provide thousands of dollars to college bound Ohio students. Whether you are from a rural, suburban or urban community, you are encouraged to apply if you are planning to pursue a degree that is related to agriculture. The Ohio Farm Bureau describes agriculture as more than just farming they refer to the following professions as being part of the agricultural community: producers, scientists, researchers, educators, technicians, processors, distributors, marketers, policy makers and advocates

Darwin Bryan Scholarship Program
This fund was put into place back in 1985 to honor the 37 years of service, leadership, and inspiration that Mr. Bryan provided to the Ohio Farm Bureau. The scholarship fund was established to assist students who have been active in the Farm Bureau youth program and/or whose parents are Farm Bureau members.

Women’s Leadership in Agriculture Scholarship Program
This scholarship program was established in 2006 by a gracious donation from the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund. The role of the fund is to ennoble, uplift and strengthen the lives of young women in agriculture.

Foundation Scholar Program
The Ohio Farm Bureau Board of Directors established this fund in 2008 at the urging of some of its donor members. The Foundation Scholar award recognizes students for academic effort, community service and career interests that use agriculture to enhance the partnership between producers and consumers in rural, suburban and/or urban settings

If you are interested in any of these scholarship opportunities, you can download an application online at, stop by your local county Farm Bureau office, or send a written request to: Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, P.O. Box 182383, Columbus, OH 43218-2383

Application deadlines for all scholarship programs are March 1st.

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Save Money! Complete A Bachelors Degree In 2 Years!

Save Money! Complete A Bachelors Degree In 2 Years!

Getting a Bachelors degree in under 5 or 6 years seems to be the goal of most college students these days. Four years is the normal time frame but many are starting to find ways to shave semesters off of their education programs and complete their degree requirements in as little as three years. If you think this is amazing, you are really going to like what the University of the District of Columbia is rolling out.

UDC is implementing a 2 year Bachelors degree program in affiliation with a couple of local area high schools. It is hard to imagine that anyone can complete a Bachelors degree in two years but UDC has come up with a plan to maximize post-secondary participation in these high schools so that essentially students would be graduating from high school with enough college credits to start out as juniors at UDC. The 2 + 4 program is still in the planning stages and requires a little tweaking before the final roll out is scheduled but it is on target to be presented to freshman entering high school next year.

So, if you are living in the D.C. area and have a student that is thinking about a streamlined approach to getting a Bachelors degree, you probably ought to keep the University of District of Columbia in your sights. The potential savings that you could experience on college tuition could be astounding.

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Putting a Price on Graduating with Honors

Putting a Price on Graduating with Honors

Can you imagine having to pay your college if you want to graduate with honors? I have never heard of this before. I am not sure if this a new fee or if it is just something that has not crossed my purview during the last decade and a half that I have spent as a college administrator.

Apparently 629 students that recently withdrew from the honors program at the University of Arizona don’t believe in paying this type of fee as well. The University imposed a $500 annual fee onto participating students this last year. Attendance in the program quickly went from 3,745 students down to 3,116 as students started dropping out left and right stating that the fee was the cause for their departure.

Kiki Wykstra is a senior at the college and she provided the following quote for the campus newspaper: “With the implementation of the fee, I didn’t want to pay money for something that wouldn’t benefit me and I haven’t seen any benefits so far,” Wykstra said. “Not that there aren’t (any benefits) but just for myself there wasn’t anything further that I wanted.”

In defense of the University of Arizona, they stated that the newly imposed $500 fee is going to help provide funding for special programs, presentations, and speakers for the honor students at a level that was not achievable prior to the fee.  They also shared that an Honor Fee is becoming more common and sited the following three institutions as having a similar fee: Barrett Honors program at Arizona State University – $1000 a year, Kitteridge Honors program at University of Colorado – $765 a year, and the University of South Carolina – $600 a year

In addition, the college has set up a scholarship program to help students that find the new fee financially burdensome and may have to cease being a part of the program due to inability to pay. Here is a copy of the application form to be considered for this scholarship.

If you are interested in learning more about the policy supporting the implementation of this fee, you can check out the “small print” here.

As for me, I am not a big fan of miscellaneous fees popping up on campuses across the nation. However, I understand the importance of them as they provide needed funding for critical programs and services that students enjoy. So.. the lesson for today… if finances are a driving force behind your college selection process, make sure you have a full understanding of all the fees that you may encounter at the school of your choice.

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KEMBA Financial Credit Union Scholarship

KEMBA Financial Credit Union Scholarship

I am constantly amazed at how local credit unions come through time and time again for their members. When compared to the competition (traditional banks) they seem to always offer better interest rates and usually better customer service. I have witnessed firsthand how credit unions have helped to bridge the gap with education funding so I shouldn’t be surprised when I see a credit union throw some extra scholarship dollars out there to help students cover their college expenses.

The KEMBA Scholarship Opportunity

KEMBA Financial is a credit union that started many years ago (77 years ago to be exact) and it was founded originally for Kroger Employees. Fast forward to 2010 and now it helps to provide financial services for over 55,000 members throughout the Ohio region (Madison, Franklin, Delaware, & Logan counties).

KEMBA is providing a $2,000 college scholarship opportunity to one lucky student. This scholarship is not one of those fly-by-night programs since this is the 19th year that this program has been in existence. An extra bonus for all applicants is that they also get entered into a separate $1000 college scholarship contest provided by the Central Ohio Chapter of Credit Unions. So, by filling out one application you could gain an extra $3,000 to go toward your education expenses (if you win both scholarship programs). Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

The requirements for eligibility are not too stringent and easily met. You must:

• Be a KEMBA member
• Be at least a high school senior
• Be enrolled in or attending an accredited university
• Be a full-time student (taking at least two courses)
• Complete the application and submit the required essays before January 28, 2011

If you are a resident of any of the Ohio counties mentioned above (or know someone who is) and would like to garner some extra scholarship dollars, you can get the application for the KEMBA Scholarship program here. Should you have any questions about the scholarship program or the services (including private education loans) provided by KEMBA, you can reach them at the contact information provided below:

KEMBA Financial Credit Union
555 Officenter Place
P.O. Box 307370
Gahanna, OH 43230

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New Haven CT, City’s New Motto: Free Tuition For All

New Haven CT, City’s New Motto: Free Tuition For All

If you have been thinking about moving and really like east coast living, you may want to think about New Haven Connecticut, especially if you have college minded students. The city of New Haven is rolling out a program that will pay up to the full cost of tuition for its high school students if they decided to attend a public college or university in the state of Connecticut. This new benefit is being labeled as the New Haven Promise.

As you can imagine, there are some caveats to this program. Free tuition offers don’t come along every day and considerable time and effort has been spent to make sure this benefit is distributed equitably among the New Haven residents.

The following represents certain qualifying criteria:

  • Students must have a 3.0 grade point average at the time of high school graduation
  • Students must have 90% or better attendance rate
  • Students must live in the city of New Haven
  • Students must have attended the public city school system since at least ninth grade
  • While in college, students must maintain a 2.5 gpa to be eligible for continued support under the program

The tuition award is given on a sliding scale. If you have attended New Haven public schools since kindergarten, you are eligible to receive 100% of the free tuition benefit. If you started in the ninth grade you get 65% of the financial award. Based upon these figures, the sliding scale seems to benefit families by about 4% for each year that their student attended the New Haven public school system prior to 9th grade (charter schools are included in this program as well).  Students that decided to opt out of going to a public college or university will still be eligible to receive a flat $2500 to go toward the private college of their choice (in the state of Connecticut).

This program does come at a cost and fortunately Yale has stepped up to the plate and is providing an initial $4 million dollars in funding. Supplementing this is an additional $500,000 from a local New Haven community foundation.The hope is that other private funding sources will start to roll in to help keep this program in existence for years to come.

These are the warm fuzzies that everyone likes to hear about. Congrats to New Haven and Yale for putting the time and money into providing this college opportunity to the students residing within their community. Not sure how long the New Haven Promise program will be in effect, but if you would like to learn more about the town, you can check out their visitor’ bureau here in case you are up for a move! 😉

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Now Is The Time To Save For College (In New York)

Now Is The Time To Save For College (In New York)

Now Is Always The Time To Save For College and families just recently got an incentive to contribute to education savings through New York’s 529 College Savings Plan. Thomas DiNapoli is the state’s comptroller and he states that fees are going to be reduced by 50%. The old fee structure to manage the 529 fund was set at .49% but starting this month the fee will now be set at .25%.

“Family budgets are getting tighter, but families still need to save for college,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “When you’re saving for college, every dime counts.”

Based upon this change in fees, it is estimated that plan participants will have a combined savings of almost $20 million dollars annually. 529 program fees can range from .20 percent to upwards of 2.27 percent. At .25%, the New York 529 Savings Plan can now boast a reputation of being one of the lowest fee based college savings plan in the nation.  New York’s 529 College Savings Plan is the largest of it’s type in the nation with over $8 Billion dollars invested in about 500,000 separate fund accounts.

New York’s 529 college savings plan is open to any U.S. Citizen (or resident alien) that has a valid social security number. The funds can be used at any accredited college, university, or vocational school in the country (it is not just limited to schools in the state of New York). The minimum contribution required to open an account is only $25.

If you have been thinking about starting a college savings account, you should probably take a look at the option provided by the state of New York. You can view additional information about their 529 program here on the web or you can drop them a call at 877-697-2837 or email:

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Davenport U. Provides Tuition Discount to Unemployed

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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Saving For College In Kindergarten

Saving For College In Kindergarten

I don’t know this guy but I like his philosophy on saving for education. Gavin Newsom is the mayor of San Francisco and he has high hopes of every student going to college regardless of their economic status. His convictions on this topic are so strong that he is committed to starting a college savings account for every kindergarten student attending a public school in San Francisco.

The savings account will be opened with $50 ($100 for lower income students) and will be directly funded by the city.This savings program is going to roll out to 25% of the incoming kindergartners this coming fall, 50% the following year, and continue gradually until all incoming kindergartners are receiving a college savings account upon enrollment. In addition, families who contribute $100 to the savings program during the first year will receive a matching donation from a local foundation called EARN

“I believe that every single child should be born not necessarily into wealth, but into opportunity,” Newsom said. “Once a mind is stretched, it can never go back.”

“It’s all about building aspirations – knowing they have a shot at being successful,” said city Treasurer Jose Cisneros, who developed the program with Newsom

I know that Gavin’s idea is probably going to come under fire and draw some scrutiny as his community is experiencing the same budget constraints that many states and cities are facing in our nation. However, I applaud him for his efforts and I hope his program is successful in changing the outcome for some of these students and providing them with the option of obtaining a college education.

On a side note, I was recently at the hospital (birth of our third child) and I was astonished by all the free things (product samples) and educational pamphlets that they provided us before we were discharged and headed home. I am wondering if a college savings informational brochure should be part of that mix? I am a firm believer that it is never too early to start a college savings account for your children.

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