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8 Private Student Loan Options Available to your Students (and their Parents)

The cost of attending College continues to increase faster than the rate of inflation. Many of your students want to attend college but don’t have the funds necessary to pay for it on their own. Grants, scholarships, and federal funding can hopefully cover the bulk of the cost but many times it is still necessary to get additional funding to ensure they have the money needed to make it happen.

That is where private lenders come in. Many offer student loan options but students and their parents need to be careful as there are many different funding options available with different terms. LendEDU has put together a list of some of the best private loans available to students.

They have included the Fixed APR, Variable APR, and repayment terms from 8 of the top lenders. A summary of each lender is also included. Here is a link to the list:

Mean Girls and the College Search

I recently went to New York City to see Mean Girls, the new musical on Broadway based on Tina Fey’s 2004 movie of the same name. It was excellent! The music was amazing, the lyrics were hilarious, and the cast was fantastic. I am not surprised it was nominated for 12 Tony Awards this year.

Sitting in the theater before the show began, I read over the Playbill to see what other shows the cast has been in. What caught my attention was not all of the impressive productions the cast has been in before Mean Girls, but where the cast members went to college. Julliard? NYU? Yes…and no.

Three of the four female leads (who play Cady, Regina, and Gretchen if you are a fan) went to the University of Michigan. The fourth female lead (who plays Karen) went to Baldwin-Wallace University in Ohio. Other actors with speaking parts went to Ithaca College, Elon University, and Carnegie Mellon University.

There were a few ensemble members who went to New York City schools known for being connected to the arts — two went to NYU and one went to Julliard — but the list of schools was predominantly made up of ones that are located all over the country.

My takeaway? Budding Broadway actors don’t need to go to school in NYC to “make it” on Broadway. There are programs all over the country that prepare you for a successful theater career.

Take Drew University, for example, in Northern Jersey. Ranked #5 for Best College Theater by Princeton Review and home to NJ’s largest professional theater company, this hidden gem is a pipeline for future actors and industry agents.

But their location on the train line to NYC doesn’t just benefit budding thespians—it’s a breeding ground for future financiers and economists. Drew’s NYC “Semester on Wall Street” places students at the heart of the financial district to learn from professionals and understand the role of the U.S. economy in the global market. Drew proves that you don’t need to go to a school in Manhattan to get that experience.

I started to think about all the other institutions with strong program offerings that often get overlooked because of their location or other academic reputation…

Want to work in journalism? This year, the New York Times employed as many summer interns from Penn State as they did from UPenn. Or perhaps you aspire to be a broadcaster for your favorite sports team? Try the University of Missouri’s legendary broadcast journalism program, or call a game with the NY Islanders at Hofstra University, whose college radio station is the only one in the nation to have an exclusive broadcasting contract with a major league sports team. Just north of the border in Canada, Ryerson University’s RTA School of Media houses three state-of-the-art studio spaces in the heart of downtown Toronto. If broadcast journalism is your goal, this space is not to be missed.

Think Parsons or FIT in NYC is how you’ll make it in fashion? Kent State University in Ohio offers fashion internships all over the world, as does the University of Delaware, Drexel University, and Marist College. No need to be minutes from the Garment District to succeed in fashion.

Interested in Golf Course Management? Excellence in this major is not just for warm weather junkies. Check out Rutgers University, who has their own course on campus, or the manicured landscapes at the University of Nebraska.

Think you have to be on the ocean to major in Marine Science?  Think again! Check out Virginia Tech’s department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation. By partnering with national organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service, students are offered hands-on opportunities and access to land and waterways across the country.

The same holds true for International Relations – you don’t have to go to college in Washington, DC to prepare yourself for a career in diplomacy. The University of Texas, located in the capital city of Austin, focuses on global affairs and has a required study abroad experience. Meanwhile in New England, Tufts University’s program stresses the importance of interdisciplinary topics ranging from economics to human rights to an intensive concentration of mastering a foreign language. Even Gettysburg College, nestled in the bucolic hills of Pennsylvania, boasts the Eisenhower Institute, a dual-campus government program with a location just blocks away from the White House. And finally, some California love. Students at Occidental College in Los Angeles can immerse themselves in global affairs through their “Oxy-at-the-U.N. Program.” Students intern on the floor of the United Nations or with other related global organizations, where they interact with delegates and experience first-hand events on the international agenda — a far-cry from the days of interns getting coffee and making copies.

Speaking of Washington, DC, George Washington University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is an urban think tank for STEM seekers. Its new $275 million Science and Engineering Hall officially opened in 2015, a beacon of research and laboratory space. This facility is the largest of its kind in DC and symbolizes the intrinsic partnership between science and government. GW’s academic offerings prove that you don’t need a technical institute to succeed in STEM.

Finally, are you an avid sports fan, have a deep appreciation for the movie Moneyball, or just obsessed with fantasy football? Then maybe Syracuse University’s Sports Analytics major is for you. A Bachelor of Science Degree in Sports Analytics has become an invaluable asset to sports organizations all over the world, as many game-time and team decisions are driven by data and analyzing past patterns.

So, dig a little deeper. Apply outside of the box. And see Mean Girls!

Erica Salmon, Alison Grill, and Melanie Talesnick  of Admit U Consulting authored this piece. Admit U Consulting, LLC is a college planning firm that provides comprehensive, customized services designed to help families navigate the college admissions process. All of their counselors are currently working or have worked in educational settings and many hold certificates in College Counseling. Check them out at



  • Date August 12, 2018
  • Author Erica Salmon, Alison Grill, and Melanie Talesnick

Online Education Guides available

More students are considering getting their college education’s online. The cost is much lower and they have a lot more flexibility for work, where they live, etc. recently surveyed 1,800 college administrators and students about their experience in online education to better understand current trends in distance learning. Here is a brief summary of some of those results:


  • Online students are getting younger: 44% of all online students fall into the “traditional” college age range
  • A large portion of these young online college students are concurrently enrolled high school students or enroll directly out of high school
  • Recent high school graduates are entering the workforce while also pursuing a college education online
  • 73% of online students report job and employment goals as a reason for pursuing an online degree

To help those students that are considering an online education they have created some informative guides:

A Guide to Online Associate Degrees –

A Guide to Online Bachelor’s Degrees –

A Guide to Online Master’s Degrees –

A Guide to Online Doctorate Degrees –

A Guide to Accredited Online Colleges –


Free personality test assessment for your students

The Jung Personality Test is offered free by Typology Central at this link:

This free personality test uniquely combines two powerful systems for evaluating personality type – Jungian Cognitive Functions and Personality Dichotomies. It is based on research originally conducted by Dr. Carl Jung in the early 1900’s that has been enhanced and built upon by other personality type researchers, practitioners and experts over the past 100 years.

Each test taker is presented with a series of questions that they have to provide the answer that is most like them and the answer that is least like them. The test is designed to measure preferences. After completing the test your student will receive a detailed report outlining their temperament, their four-letter type, the order in which they prefer using their cognitive functions, and a link to a detailed description and videos that provide more information about their specific cognitive type.

The Importance of Experiential Learning and Community Service Work

Regardless of where you want to attend college and what you’d like to study, you should seriously consider getting involved in some community service work – both in high school and  then in college as well!  I’m not talking about the type of community service work you do to satisfy a requirement or to pad your resume.  I’m talking about finding something that matters to you and then devoting your time and talent to it.  Many of us get sucked into the performance trap of doing the right things for the wrong reasons.  To avoid this, spend some time really thinking about the different causes that matter to you and figure out the why ….. why do they matter? Be intentional. Once you’ve done that, find an organization to work with either formally or informally and commit to it in a substantive way.  It doesn’t have to be a massive time commitment, but it should be sincere and it should be consistent.

In addition to the obvious benefits of helping a worthy cause and feeling a sense of personal satisfaction, you’ll gain transferable skills that will work to your advantage in the application cycle and in job interviews.  I often tell students that volunteer work is essentially the same as an unpaid internship – you can learn so much from it!  Experiential learning teaches you things like how to manage competing obligations, how to deal with diverse populations, how to work on a team and meet deadlines, and how to problem-solve in the real world.  Colleges and employers look for these qualities in applicants! And who knows … perhaps this experience will help sow the seeds for that application essay or even inform what you’d like to do in your future.  You never know.

In our world, there’s no shortage of worthy causes.  Try and resist the urge to follow what your friends are doing or what you think will “look good” and instead devote yourself to something that matters to you.  The payback is worth it!  If you need help figuring out what you’d like to do or where to find opportunities, I can help with that.  Please don’t be shy about reaching out.

Finally, when you get to college, remember to take advantage of experiential learning opportunities there. Education is not confined to the four walls of a classroom, and these experiences will enrich you academically and personally.  They will also better prepare you for internships, jobs, and/or graduate school.

One example of an amazing experiential learning opportunity is the Georgetown University Prison and Justice Initiative (  While this particular cause may not speak directly to you, it’s but one of so many opportunities available at colleges and universities all over the country!

The author, Victoria Turner Turco, JD, can be reached at:

From motherless to motherhood

Every little girl dreams of getting older and relishing in spa days and shopping sprees with their mom. I was no exception, but my storyline played out a little different. My father left my biological mother when I was two years old. He shipped me off to south Florida with my grandparents to spare me the heartache of the divorce and to shelter me from the reality of my biological mother’s relentless drug addiction. A couple of years later, he met Sandie. Sandie quickly fell in love with not only my father, but me as well. She adopted me and became not only my mom but my best friend. Never once, did I challenge her love for me. I was left with unanswered questions of my biological mother and why I was never good enough for her and it fueled my insecurities for as long as I can remember. I’d find myself isolating and changing shades like a chameleon, adapting to every new group of “friends” I’d encounter. Life continued to unfold and at 20 years old, I found myself as a single mom to the most beautiful baby boy. I felt like my life’s purpose had finally been fulfilled. Things finally came around full circle. Never could I have fathomed unconditional love like the love a mother has for her child

January 10,2013 would prove to be the worst day of my life. Before venturing to church in the city, I entertained small talk in the kitchen with my mom. Hassling her about quitting smoking, and thanking her for being the best mom ever. I left for church. During the service I received a text that read “Is everything okay? I saw the ambulance at your house.” Thoughts of every worst case scenario situation ran through my mind. I finally got my brother to answer the phone and I vividly remember him crying “Something is wrong with mom Trish, she was on the ground and couldn’t talk to me. Dad is in the ambulance with her, you have to get here and get to the hospital.” My worst nightmare became a reality, Mom had a massive heart attack. Without taking a second to process the information, I called up a local drug dealer to meet me at the hospital with my analgesic of choice. Afterall, how could I possibly be sober and emotionally available for my father, brother, and son?

Mom passed away two days later, life as I knew it had been completely dismantled. I felt as though I had been stripped of every ounce of oxygen in my body, and the only relief: Opiates. I didn’t spend an hour without some form of mood/mind altering substance in my body.  I dove head first into running my parents’ restaurant. Without skipping a beat, I was working full time, raising my son alone, and compensating for all of the responsibilities my mom once held. As the pain of her absence grew, so did my unrelenting addiction. Plagued by the stigmas of addiction, I thrived off of my own denial and lived a double life. I maintained the picture perfect life on the outside, but emotionally, I was dead. Grief swept in like a tidal wave and I was drowning. I remember waking up to indulge in my vices before I’d even kiss my son good morning. This spiraled out of control, until one day I was brought to my knees. Eventually, I found myself in handcuffs on the side of the road, in the small rural town I grew up in. Unaffected, I spent 3 days and 2 nights confined to a place I didn’t belong. Upon getting released, I was faced with the reality that everyone knew my secret. Everyone knew I wasn’t handling things so well, I wasn’t handling anything at all. I was numb.

The superwoman act was a fluke. I hopped onto a plane, desperately seeking relief. To this day, the hardest moment in my recovery was kissing my son goodbye, the morning I left. With no real timeline for when I’d see him again, this is a painful memory that continues to ignite the flame of perseverance into maintaining my sobriety. I valiantly entered treatment and I was forced to deal with the absolutes of my mother’s death. How could I possibly raise my son and stay sober without my mom here? I was crippled with fear and self doubt, but one day that all changed. I didn’t have the “white light” experience, my spiritual awakening was one of the more educational variety. I blame that on my stubborn, Italian genes. Through hard work and pain, I managed to incorporate real recovery into my life. I could finally breathe again.

About a year into my sobriety, I was blessed with a beautiful little girl. A whirlwind of emotions flooded my thoughts. How could I possibly raise a little girl without my Mom here to help lead the way? I couldn’t have been more misled. I found myself walking into two years of sobriety, a single mother… again. But this time, I called the shots. After spending two years in an unhealthy, abusive relationship, I got out. I pushed through every barrier and challenged every illusion of fear. It was as if my mom was carrying me, when I couldn’t carry myself. Every experience that led up to my recovery and the structure of my family, played a part in shaping me into the woman I am today. I became this courageous, unstoppable force.  I could pause before responding, impulsivity no longer controlled my actions. Meditation and spirituality became my stress relievers. Helping another alcoholic through sharing hope, from my despairing experiences, became my relief. From the motherless, hopeless drug addict to the graceful woman of integrity I am today, there is no doubt that “everything happens exactly as it should.”

This was written by Jan Hiner, a single mom who has now been sober for 2 years. She now works for Recovery Local, a digital marketing company that advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Our company was founded by and staffed with recovering addicts cultivating recovery resources through sharing our own experience, strength, and hope.


University Interview Guide

There are a number of prestigious Colleges that still require an interview before granting admission. Sometimes the interview will take place on the College campus and oftentimes in a major city on an appointed date for respective student applicants from that area.

Many of your students tend to panic when they find out this is a requirement. We have found a nice resource guide that provides students with some key tips that can help them ace the interview.

Some of the areas covered include:

  • The most common questions asked during the interview (and tips on how to best answer them). Some of these include: Why do you want to attend this university?, Why do you want to study this subject?, What achievement are you most proud of?, and Why should we offer you a spot?
  • Tips on how to present oneself to make a good impression (these include being assertive (but not overbearing), using strong and confident body language, and the type of clothes to wear (and not wear)
  • How to prepare for the interview (these include re-reading the application, practicing with friends or family, and researching past interviews)
  • Showing an interest is what is said. One of the best ways to do this is to ask the interviewer questions as well. They provide some examples of good ones to ask.

Here is a link to the guide you can share with your students:



Tips your students can use when meeting with Admissions Officers (or anyone else)

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article, “The Mistakes You Make in a Meetng’s First Milliseconds”. There are some great tips that your students should use when first meeting someone.

A happy expression, with the corners of the mouth turned upward and eyebrows relaxed, is likely to inspire trust, research shows. People teamed in an investment game with online partners whose facial images appeared friendly and reliable entrusted their partners with 42% more money than those whose partners looked downbeat and threatening, says a 2012 study by British and U.S. researchers.

Facial expressions are important even when you think no one is looking. People tend to distrust others whose “dominant face,” or habitual expression, is grumpy, disapproving or angry, says Judson Vaughn, an impression-management consultant. And suddenly switching that downbeat expression to a 1,000-watt smile, just because someone is looking, is likely to undermine trust even more, he says.

Mr. Vaughn, a former character actor, says casting directors’ snap judgments about him, based on fleeting first impressions in the audition room, used to cost him roles he wanted in TV and film years ago.

He began adapting his facial expression, body language and stance the moment he entered the room to suit the role he wanted. Mr. Vaughn landed more roles as a trustworthy good guy by wearing a pleasant expression that warmed to a smile when he faced the director, shoulders erect, at a respectful distance. Mr. Vaughn, chief executive of First Impressions HQ in Atlanta, also won more bad-guy roles by making sure the director’s first impression was of a shifty character—by hunching his shoulders, wearing a hostile expression and eyeing the director askance.

Lisa Peers, an actor and workplace-communications coach, advises clients to prepare themselves mentally to impress new acquaintances by pausing for a few moments beforehand to think about what they want to accomplish with the other person.

She recommends using breathing techniques to foster relaxed, confident movement, and striving for “symmetry in your stance, with your shoulders straight and even. That first entrance in the room is the same as that first entrance of your character on stage,” says Ms. Peers, chief executive of Peers & Players, a workplace-communication training firm in San Francisco.

When Ms. Blair greets a new acquaintance, she avoids sending mixed messages. She stands with her hands relaxed and visible at her side, rather than hidden in her pockets or crossed defensively in front of her. This suggests that your warm greeting is genuine and you have no secret agenda or need to protect yourself, she says.

Mr. Vaughn also advises adjusting your stance and posture, leaning or turning toward the other person to show you’re focused intently on what he or she is thinking and feeling. Rather than extending your arm stiffly to shake hands at a distance, relax your arm and lower your elbow to your side, drawing the other person closer to you, he says. “This shows you’ve made a subconscious decision to trust the person, without having spoken a word,” he says.

Gain Trust Without Saying a Word

To increase the chances that a stranger will see you as a potential ally:

  • Avoid hunching over to stare into your phone before meeting others.
  • Keep your elbow at your side when shaking hands, drawing the other person closer than arm’s length.
  • Lean forward and focus intently on the other person when he or she is speaking.
  • Stand erect with shoulders squared, balancing your weight evenly.
  • Smile in response to what others say or do, rather than grinning nonstop.
  • Remain mindful of what others are thinking and feeling.

Your students will have many opportunities over the course of their lives to make a great impression. Keeping these tips in mind can be the first step towards achieving their goals when they meet someone. Here is a link to the article:


5 mistakes that can make a college pull your student’s college acceptance

Do your students think that once they have been accepted to a College that they are in? Not so fast. There are things that can cause a College to pull a students acceptance. Here are five reasons that Business Insider published in a recent article that can cause this to happen:

  1. Social Media Posts:

Last year Harvard rescinded acceptances to 10 students over social media posts they had made that were sexually explicit or made racial groups the target of jokes in their public Facebook posts. We have written about this before but students need to think before they post something controversial on Social Media.

2. Disciplinary issues:

These can include suspensions or expulsions in high school. Just because they have already been accepted to a college doesn’t mean there might not be consequences if they get into trouble before high school is finished.

3. Conduct while on campus:

Students should be aware that when they visit the College prior to school starting they can still have their acceptance rescinded for things like drinking, etc.

4. Criminal charges:

This goes without saying but having criminal charges such as drunk driving, rape or other charges can cause a college acceptance to be rescinded.

5. School grades:

Lastly, just because they have been accepted doesn’t mean they should stop getting good grades and doing their assignments. A sudden plunge in their grade point average senior year can have  consequences as well.

Congratulate your students when they tell you they have been accepted to their school of choice but also warn them to keep doing what they have been doing to ensure they make it to that first day of College.

Check out Business Insider’s original story here;

Health and Wellness Resource for your students

One of the things your students can do thoughout their life to live happy, healthy lives is to eat right and exercise regularly. It will give them more energy and help them feel good about themselves.  Positive Health Wellness is a website that posts a lot of information that can help your students learn about  healthy eating options and great exercise tips. Their mission is to provide a wide variety of resources for people who are enthusiastic and passionate about being positive and healthy – recipes, reviews, health and wellness tips as well as helpful videos.

Here are links to some of their content that you can share with your students:

5 Ways to Beat Summer Weight Gain

5 Ways to Reach a Healthy Weight

15 Basic Facts about Building Muscle

The Biggest Food Myths Busted

Best Skin Care Supplement for Teenagers

How to Master the Bench Press

Here is a link to their site if you would like to search out other posts

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