aid package

Ten Ways To Pay For College Right Now

Sometimes, the hardest part is simply knowing where to begin. Here are some tips:

1) Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, even if you don’t think you’ll qualify.

2) Apply for national grants. Options include Pell Grants, Academic Competitiveness Grants and National SMART Grants.

3) Apply for local scholarships. Civic organizations and religious institutions often have meaningful amounts of aid to dole out.

4) Getting into more than one school translates to a higher likelihood of receiving a big financial aid package.

5) Bargain! Even schools that only provide need-based aid sometimes come up with drastically different offers.

6)  AmeriCorps, Peace Corp, National Health Services Corps and ROTC programs offer college money in exchange for a service commitment.

7) Look abroad. At Scotland’s St. Andrews, U.S. students pay only $21,650.

8) Stay home. Starting out at a low-cost community college and transferring to a four-year college for the final two years will wipe away a hefty chunk of room and board costs, as well as some tuition.

9)  The American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit are two excellent options.

10)  Don’t forget to consult your local expert – guidance counselors are often aware of options you may not have considered; best of all, their help is free.

Read more.

Tag game

Tagged  by @bowlerhatwearer

5 things you’ll find in my bag:

  • Smartphone with spotify and earbuds / MP3-player
  • My keys
  • Sometimes cash
  • Pencil Case (woah)
  • Food

5 things in my bedroom: 

  • My LEGOs from when I was a kid
  • An old Gameboy Advance (white)
  • Boxes with every piece of PC gear I have bought myself so far
  • A small first-aid package
  • My  stack of Steam Wallet Codes

5 things I always wanted to do:

  • Visit Moscow
  • Visit Tokyo
  • Fire a full-auto-rifle
  • Watch a CSGO-major live
  • Buy a full gaming setup including a table and new chair

5 things I’m currently into:

  • Sonic
  • History
  • Politics
  • Music
  • Guns

5 things people might not know about me:

  • I’m afraid of heights
  • I’m afraid and or disgusted of insects, arachnoids, amphibians, fish and partly reptilians
  • As a result I like birds and mammals a lot
  • Sometimes I can really get down just from overthinking certain stuff
  • I might have a problem with Pepsi.

Tagging @bajiinka @getters-blog-index and @ultyfox-777

cnn.com
Obama announces $90 million to clear Laos' unexploded bombs
President Barack Obama said Tuesday that US has an "obligation" to help Laos recover from a brutal secret bombing campaign that destroyed parts of the Southeast Asian nation.
By Elise Labott, CNN

What’s really satirical about this, that it’s not really just the U.S fault for dropping bombs in the country.

You see, Laos was a huge battleground in the Vietnam War.

When we think of the Vietnam War, we think, “Oh, it’s North Vietnam, going to war with South Vietnam”, when in reality they both shared a 34 miles border with each other.

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For the North Vietnamese to enter to South Vietnam, it was faster to cut across into Laos, then into Cambodia (Famously known as the Ho Chi Minh trail), and then reach into South Vietnam in a straight shot, instead of having to fight a heavy battle in that 34 mile heavily militarized border, and enter into South Vietnam in that little small space and march in a curved line to reach the capital. It wasn’t even a tug-of-war battle, it was crossing into Laos to shoot at each other.

Laos played an important role in the Vietnam War, because it was the gateway for the Communist to enter into South Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and even Burma for it’s landlocked location, and it’s pivotal spot for being borders with all those country. If Laos has fell first, then it was easy access to spread Communism in South Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand after that.

And while we say, “Thank you President Obama for giving money to clear up bombs”, it was actually the Royal Lao Government who gave permission to allow the bombs be dropped, because they feared that North Vietnam would go on a full invasion on Laos, after securing and capturing Saigon. They gave American forces permission to build Air Bases in the country.

It was also in part of the 20th century ignorance of Geography, like how we split Korea in half in a straight line without consideration of geography. Laos itself is rather a very mountainous country, and thus why the French colonialist decided the geopolitical shape of Laos it is today. West of Laos’s border is shaped by the Mekong River, and East of Laos’s borders are shaped by the mountains bordering Vietnam (Vietnam ended up having the lowlands).

It really isn’t a, “Omg, the U.S dropped bombs on us in Laos”, it was more like, “DROP THE FUCKING BOMBS ON THE VIETNAMESE SOLDIERS!!!”

We’ve given Laos $5 million in 1995, $15 million in 2005 and now $90 million in 2016, all of which the money somehow “disappear”, and they still continue using the same technology since the 2000’s, without much upgrades, but Bugatti and Ferrari cars have been more seen each time, in a country where locals make $1 a day, and government officials make $300 a month (As of 2011).

In my honest opinion, and I know the American government knows too, we’re really just bribing the Communist Government of Laos to ally itself with the U.S against China. Because you really can just do that in S.E Asia. Just give the government money to turn a blind eye, everyone is too poor, and have their own problems.

Most O.G’s don’t even care, because they gave permission for the U.S to bomb the borders of Vietnam, because the bombs were meant for the Viet Congs to step on them and blow up from it. However, because of 20th century ignorance and bad war planning, the Viet Congs actually invaded South of Laos with very little to no mountains, and pretty much had flat land to invade the rest of the country into the Communist country it is.

And this is why I find it kind of “iffy”, fucked up and ironic.

Ignorance

A girl in one of my classes was complaining saying “I wish I was low-income so that I could go to college for free.”

Um… what?

When your EFC is zero… that comes with a HUGE asterisk (***). Not all colleges meet 100% need, and financial aid packages still come with loans… on top of that, most colleges aren’t need blind. It is possible to get rejected because they literally can’t afford for you to attend. 

PSA: there is nothing wrong with going to a state school/local university because they give you a greater financial aid package or you didn’t get into your top schools or any other reasons. your college life is what you make of it so you should be excited that you will enter a new chapter in your life. the doors to new and exciting opportunities will always be available no matter where you end up. 

Deciding on Early Decision

Early Decision is a specific way of applying to college where you apply in October/November and sign a contract that says, “If I get in, I will come to your school.” In exchange for signing your soul (and wallet) away, you get to hear back in December (instead of March/April) and you slightly increase your chances of acceptance.

By applying early decision you are applying in a smaller pool of candidates where it’s easier to stand out (though historically the pool in the early cycle is more qualified across the board than the pool in the regular cycle). You are also expressing the most genuine interest in a school by showing them that yes, they really are your first choice. So often the acceptance rate is higher in an early pool (though you still need to be qualified).

You are paying for this dearly though. You are giving up the option to compare financial aid packages (what they give you is kind of it) and you are banking on this school still being your absolute first choice come Spring.

So should you apply early decision? Well… It depends.

Personally, I did. I knew that William & Mary gave me a warm tingly feeling that no other school did. I knew that I would be able to afford it based on all the evidence available to me. I knew that even if I got into the other schools I really liked I would still choose W&M hands down. And having it locked down early was the best thing for my mental health.

You might also not be able to apply ED. Maybe the EFC calculator on the school’s financial aid page expects you to pay way more out of pocket than your family can afford. Maybe you are really stuck between two schools and while you like school A more today, it goes back and forth. Maybe you just don’t feel ready to commit to one school. Maybe your board scores from the fall tests aren’t in yet, and your scores from last spring aren’t great.

That’s okay. ED is a really small pool and you should never worry about not doing it.

Basically, if you’re not 100% sure of ED, don’t do it. You won’t regret having more time to weigh your options.

I’m glad we go to a school where we have these conversations.
— 

First-year undeclared major. Our college has always had a bad attitude towards LGBTQ+ people–they refuse to officially recognize the support group on campus in an attempt to pacify both the LGBT community and rich white donors, they called the police on a silent sit-in protest outside the cafeteria, and my former bio lab partner, leader of the **** is Ready movement on campus, had her financial aid revoked and had to leave for the duration of her junior year (she later returned for senior year).

Then, during the fall of 2014, someone invited Henry Luke Orombi to speak at the campus Sunday mass. Orombi is a Ugandan minister famous for supporting the so-called “Kill the Gays” bill. Apparently it was a relatively tame speech, but eventually a professor pointed out who this guy was and the LGBTQ+ community and campus allies flipped their lids. Eventually my old lab partner (back after her financial aid package was returned) managed to finagle what we thought was going to be an apology from the campus chaplain for bringing Orombi in to speak. Two hundred people showed up, four times as many as expected (we’re a school of about 4000), and everybody was pumped because this was the first time in the history of the school anyone had ever apologized for their actions toward the LGBTQ+ community.

Almost immediately the chaplain began complaining that we were all here to judge him without speaking to him, and we had been sitting in our (presumably women’s/gender studies classes) rooms complaining rather than coming to him. He told us that there was no way to prove Orombi was a proponent of Kill the Gays, and that we (all two hundred of us, plus the many others who couldn’t come because of class conflicts) hadn’t done our research. He finished up by saying not only was he not sorry that he’d allowed Orombi to speak, but knowing now what he did, he’d still have done it.

Needless to say, the Q and A session was… interesting.

Finally, when it was all over, my WGS class all met up in the back of the room to vent our frustration and anger, and one freshman who’d been sitting quietly finally said, “I’m glad we at least go to a school where we can have these sorts of conversations.”

I know what she meant. I know she was just a freshman and probably didn’t know the… ugly, ugly history our school has with people who don’t fit the mold. But no. Just because when the student body goes into an uproar the chaplain will come out and complain does not make everything okay. There is no reason to be glad that we go to a school where these conversations are even necessary.

Keep in mind this is a school where a student lost his job in admissions when he and a prospective student went to a poster-making session with the LGBTQ+ support group (the prospie later wrote a glowing review of it in his feedback letter, which is how the school found out). It’s a school where a gaggle of drunk white frat boys beat an effigy of Obama on a sidewalk and a man yelled out the window of the boys dorm at two black women, “F*** Obama and F*** n******!”

-United States has frozen its annual $370 million dollars aid package to Palestine as per the actions of HOR which blocked the request from the US State Department.

-The (now frozen) aid package was trimmed from $450 million dollars to $370 million dollars this year as a kind of reprimand from the US. 

-U.S military aid to Israel exceeds $3 billion dollars per year, more than $8.2 million dollars per day. 

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the West decided to ‘fix’ the Middle East [WW1]. We ignored the cultural situation on the ground, drew up borders and then propped up strong men to take control of their regions; often empowering minorities over majorities by concentrating the technology with them.

And because we created and forced a systemically flawed solution on unwilling peoples, we are now experiencing the consequences as the former victims turn the tables and are not happy with the folks who helped keep them down all this time.

Why some of us are shocked at this, I’ll never know.

I hope that we can sort things out with the folks running the place now, but I think we’re gonna need more than bribes and aid packages to win them over after the last century of our paying the folks who were waving a gun over them to keep them down.

Since I seem to have delved into appblr...

We all know what day tomorrow is. Here’s some advice that both I need someone telling me and that I think some people on here could use as well.

1. Yes, tomorrow can limit your options, but if you’ve made it this far, you’ve got good options already. Whether you’ve got a likely letter, an acceptance to a great public university, or a sweet financial aid package at a really nice liberal arts school, and whether or not you get into your top choice ivy tomorrow, you are going to go somewhere AWESOME because you are a great student, and you’re going to have four awesome years.

2. The colleges you get into and the college you go to are not your identity. College admissions are actually kind of ridiculous. It’s hard not to take it personally, especially if you have convinced yourself that being “the smart one” is your only identity, but it is simply not rational to take it personally. My stepmom has what’s called the “trail mix” theory of college admissions: the colleges have their idea of the perfect proportions for every ingredient, and you may be the most amazing raisin ever, but they only want so many raisins. For better or for worse, colleges often make decisions like this based on your geographical location, gender, ethnicity, potential major, and extracurricular interests.

3. The college you go to is not your destiny. Your college may have some effect on your adult life, but most likely, your options and skills will be similar no matter where you graduate from. You have option of transfers, possibly grad school, and the rest of your life ahead of you.

4. The most prestigious schools are not necessarily the best. Size of school, culture of school and students, location, academics, cost, and SO many other factors come together to make a school the way it is, and the ivies all share a very similar combination of those factors. Nobody can really compare one school to another fairly because nobody lives two lives in parallel.

5. Your college experience and young adulthood are going to be amazing and I’m so excited for myself and you and all of us.

Before the Storm

Seniors… You’ve made it. Welcome to March

This is the time that you’ve been waiting for, decisions are going to start to roll out by the week. It’s quite exciting, but it’s pretty nerve wracking too. The talk will go from “Where are you applying?” to “Where did you get in?” to “Where are you going?” very quickly.


Before that all starts, repeat after me…


I pledge:

1. To deeply look at my decisions, and my decisions alone. It doesn’t matter where Kyle got in, just where I did. I will congratulate or offer sympathy only when appropriate. I will not make snide comments because I do not know what was on someone else’s application.

2. To not set my heart on something before financial aid packages are confirmed.

3. To focus on the “Yes"s not the "No"s. It’s their loss.

4. To accept a place on the waitlist only if I like the school enough to write a letter of continued interest.

5. To celebrate my victories and get excited about college, no matter where it might be.