Unusual Scholarships available for College
May 4, 2015

Ian Welham and unusual scholarships for college.

Friends…

Some families with kids who don’t excel in sports, music or academics may not even bother to look for scholarships to help pay for college because they don’t think their kids will qualify. That’s a mistake, because there are many scholarships available for kids who belong to specific ethnic groups, volunteer in the community or are interested in studying specific topics.

Here are my Top 10 unusual scholarships available.

1.) Kae Sumner Einfeldt Scholarship
This international scholarship is sponsored by the Tall Clubs International group and is worth $1,000 to students under 21 years of age who are tall. Girls must be at least 5’10” and boys must be at least 6′ 2″ to qualify. Applicants need a Tall Clubs International member to sponsor their application. Applicants must complete an essay about what tallness means to them. Information to help find a local Tall Club member and the application is available at the Tall Club website.

2.) Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest
StuttgartArkansas has an annual duck festival to celebrate their town’s long history of duck call manufacture and duck call champions. The festival includes the World Championship Duck Calling Contest. Another contest is held for graduating seniors with a grand prize of $2,000 to be used for education in any field. Contestants must demonstrate their duck calling skills. The contest has been held in StuttgartArkansas since 1974 and contestants must register through the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce.

3.) Stuck at Prom
This annual scholarship is sponsored by Shurteck Brands LLC and is available to any student over 14 years old. High school students who attend a prom and wear clothes made of Duck Tape must submit a photo of the outfits along with the application. Creativity is key with this contest as Duck Tape is available in a variety of colors and entrants must enter as a couple. The winners will receive $5,000 in prize money and an additional $5,000 for college.

4.) AACT John Kitt Memorial scholarship
This scholarship is sponsored by the American Association of Candy Technologists and is worth $5,000 for the winner. This is one more example of a specific industry offering financial support to encourage students to join their business. Students do not need any special skills or talents, but must have shown an interest in confectionary technology. That means the making of candy not the eating of sugary treats. They must also be majoring in food science, chemical science or a related field.

5.) Eileen J Garrett
The Eileen J Garret scholarship demonstrates that there is a scholarship specific to almost any area of study. This annual scholarship for $3,000 is for students who want to pursue the academic study of the science of parapsychology. With the recent explosion of interest in ghost hunting there may be more competition for this scholarship in the future. Applicants must be able to demonstrate a previous interest in this field.

Next week I’ll be back with 5 more unusual scholarships. Meanwhile, for more information on paying for college and the options available contact us at 973-467-0101.

Warmest wishes,

Ian “The Professor” Welham
Ian Welham
Certified College Funding Advisor
(973) 467-0101

Share

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
April 30, 2015

Ian Welham on the cost of college loans after graduation.

Friends…

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

It used to be so simple. Unfortunately, some parents may be asking, “What do you want to be after you pay for college?” Without proper planning and ingenuity, the price could be higher than you or your child could have imagined.

That’s exactly what happened to Elizabeth.

After graduation, she took a job at a non-profit organization. She was happy with the work, but it paid a modest salary. Under different circumstances, that wouldn’t be a problem. But Elizabeth had accumulated over $90,000 of debt during college!

Between trying to pay off student loans and living expenses, it seemed Elizabeth was in a hole she would not soon dig out of. Imagine the anxiety her parents feel, watching her struggle month to month.

With college tuition at an all time high, college funding definitely takes more forethought than it used to.

Despite her parents’ limited funds, Elizabeth chose to attend two out-of-state universities that had a lousy track record for giving aid. She also didn’t apply for any scholarships or grants, but instead, funded both degrees with student loans.

Today, she admits, “You don’t grasp that you’re going to be 23 and earning a modest income – while trying to pay back loans that total twice your salary.”

To have your children avoid Elizabeth’s situation, schedule a conversation with one of our college funding experts. Gina from our office will be glad to schedule your appointment. You can reach gina at: gina@completecollegeplanningsolutions.com

Warmest wishes,

Ian “The Professor” Welham
Ian Welham
Certified College Funding Advisor
(973) 467-0101

Share

Factors on picking a major
April 28, 2015

Ian Welham on picking a major.

Friends,

Do you want your children to have a good life and never have to worry about money? Tell them to major in engineering.

That’s the conclusion one can draw from reading the latest Census Bureau data.

Over a 40-year career, students who major in engineering will take home $3.5 million on average.

That’s at the top of the list. Which major is at the bottom of the list? Education, at $1.8 million, then arts majors, at $2 million. Men and women with master’s degrees are projected to earn $2.8 million during their working tenure, while doctorate degree holders earn $3.5 million. Those with professional degrees take home the most: $4.2 million.

Lifetime earnings were calculated from the median earnings for each group in various age increments between 25 and 64. Earnings are usually higher for those who work in the private sector vs. the government, except for educators, where the opposite holds true.

What’s not considered is that the position one assumes within the industry can have an impact on salary as well. For example, engineers working in management earn $4.1 million over their careers while those working in education take home much less: $1.8 million.

Similarly, computer or math education majors come in at $2.6 million, while those in the service sector can expect only $1.3 million. That, according to the Census Bureau, is even lower than workers with only high school degrees.

Which major has the best chance for employment? Business majors, at 64.1%, are among the most likely to be employed. Computer and math majors, statistics majors, and engineers have even better employment rates.

On the other side of the coin, less than 50% of visual and performing arts majors were employed full-time, year round. Ditto for literature and language majors.

Warmest Wishes,

Ian “The Professor” Welham
Ian Welham
Certified College Funding Advisor
(973) 467-0101

Share

Secrets of How to Reduce College Costs
April 24, 2015

Ian Welham gives you the secrets to reduce college costs.

Friends,

Have you been meaning to attend one of our college funding workshops but just haven’t been able to make the time?

Not to worry. Now you can learn the secrets of how to reduce college costs from the comfort of your favorite chair.

Because for a limited time, we’re making our most popular college funding workshop available online.

The workshop educates parents on how to navigate the complex financial aid system. You will learn why those who told you there is no way you’ll get financial aid are flat out wrong! Watch and hear tested and proven strategies you can implement to save $25,000 or more off the cost of college.

The video reveals insider secrets you can apply to ANY college, including:
√ How to receive thousands of dollars in free money for college, even if you have been told you
make too much money.
√ How to solve the cash flow crunch of paying for college and saving for retirement at the same
time.
√ Why advice from your accountant, broker or financial advisor may have already cost you
thousands of dollars in lost college aid – and what you can do to get it back!
√ Ways to simplify the complex formula every college uses to calculate how much financial aid
you will receive, and how making a few legal and ethical changes could dramatically increase
your award.

There is no charge and nothing is for sale. But missing out on this life-changing information could literally cost you $20,000 or more.

To access the online video simply go to: http://completecollegeplanningsolutions.com/app/video

Warmest Wishes,
Ian “The Professor” Welham
Ian Welham
Certified College Funding Advisor
(973) 467-0101

Share

Helpful hints about insurance for college students
April 16, 2015

Ian Welham gives helpful hints about insurance for college students.

Friends,

Do you have a student in college or about to leave for college? Here are some helpful hints about insurance.

If your student is a freshman, you may find s/he forgets to pack essentials such as bed sheets or a winter coat. But I guarantee they won’t forget their iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac, iSpeakers, etc. (hopefully they’ll bring their iQ).

It’s wonderful to have all these gadgets, but they’re quite expensive to replace. If your child is a full-time student and under the age of 24, most homeowners insurance policies will cover students’ possessions if they live in an on-campus dormitory. Some provide coverage if they live off-campus, as long as their primary residence remains your home.

Check with your insurance agent about caps. Some policies cap coverage at 10% of the possessions limit on your homeowners policy. In most cases, the liability limits for your student(s) is the same as for you.

If you discover that your policy doesn’t cover your child’s off-campus apartment, or if you’d like higher coverage limits, a renters insurance policy might be a good option. They generally run under $200 a year. If your student has roommates, each person needs a separate renters policy.

Here’s a way to save cash if your child attends a college more than 100 miles from your home: Does your child have a car on campus? If no, alert your insurance agent. Your premiums should drop (up to 20%). Coverage should not change. Your child should still be covered at school and retain coverage when s/he’s home for breaks/holidays or the summer. You’ll just pay less.

If your child does have a car on campus, your insurance costs will rise or fall depending on the school’s location. For example, probably higher at NYU and lower at Slippery Rock.

Warmest Wishes,
Ian “The Professor” Welham
Ian Welham
Certified College Funding Advisor
(973) 467-0101

Share

Two ‘schools” of thought regarding college visits
April 13, 2015

Ian Welham has two schools of thought on college visits.

Dear Friends,

Between college applications, standardized testing fees, test prep and college visits, the average family spends over $3,500 just getting ready for college.

Of course a large part of this is spent visiting colleges. Many families try to incorporate college visits into their summer vacation plans. If that’s you, here are a few hints and tips.

First, there are two schools of thought regarding college visits, and each has its merits. One is more of a shotgun approach. Families travel to a certain city or region and visit as many colleges as possible within that area. The thinking here is to get exposed to a variety of campuses and college environments. For New Jersey families, the most common trips of this kind are visits to Boston or Washington, DC or the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina to explore their myriad colleges and universities.

The second school of thought is more of a rifle shot approach. The strategy here is to hold off on visiting schools until after the student has been accepted. The idea is to visit a smaller number of schools – only those being seriously considered after acceptance. This approach also avoids
a) having your child fall in love with a school that may reject him/her;
b) wasting money visiting colleges or universities you cannot afford or won’t give you the aid you need.

Regardless of which school of thought you adopt, I suggest you have your child spend an overnight at any school they’re seriously considering. Spending time in the classroom, the dining hall and the dorm can be the critical factors when it comes to decision time.

If you have kids who don’t seem very interested or motivated about college, a casual visit to a college town such as Boston might pique their interest. All you’re trying to do is get a sense of what they’re looking for so you can tailor your college search and not waste valuable vacation time seeing schools that are unlikely to be of interest. Remember: you’re ruling out what you don’t like as much as determining what you do like.

One mistake I see families make when shopping for college is, they go to a city like Boston that has such a wide diversity of schools… and then they go see the exact same kinds of schools. Visiting a large urban campus such as BU or Northeastern is fine. But be sure to mix in some smaller schools such as Brandeis or Emerson, and include suburban campuses such as Tufts or Babson.

If you visit a college town that’s not also a major summertime destination (in other words, not Boston or Washington, DC), I recommend using a service such as Priceline to book your hotel. Lots of college towns go quiet in the summer and the local hotel rooms can be had for less than advertised prices.

Finally, if you can’t get away, or want to get a feel for a college before applying, take a “virtual” tour. Granted, it’s not the same as visiting a school first-hand, and the school gets to control what you do and do not see. But it can give a hint as to whether you want to invest in a visit. The easiest place to find virtual college tours is on YouTube (hint: don’t just go to the main YouTube page… go to www.youtube.com/education). You can also find virtual tours at CampusTours.com and eCampusTours.com, among others.

Warmest Wishes,
Ian “The Professor” Welham
Ian Welham
Certified College Funding Advisor
(973) 467-0101

Share

People Disagree With Us
April 8, 2015

Ian Welham’s perspective on college planning.

Friends,

Lately in Monday Musings we’ve been discussing the purpose of college and what kind of outcomes one can expect from earning a college degree.

Our perspective is that college planning should start with the 40-year career in mind first, then work backwards to finding appropriate majors and right-fit colleges.

Not everyone agrees. Many argue that college is our one-and-only chance in life to “find ourselves,” and that the real point of college is intellectual exploration. A valid viewpoint, certainly.

In fact, this very debate played out in a recent Wall Street Journal article (“Today’s Anxious Freshmen Declare Majors Faster Than Their Elders”). The article points out that skyrocketing tuition costs and student debt, coupled with a soft economy, has made today’s college students more career focused.

“People don’t go to college anymore to be fulfilled or to gain life perspective; they go to get a great job,” said Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president for enrollment and marketing at DePaul University in Chicago.

Indeed, at DePaul, the percentage of freshmen with undeclared majors fell from 31% to 16% over the past seven years. At Rollins College, 13% of first-year students were undeclared this year, versus 31% in 2006-07. At the University of Denver, the percentage of undeclared freshmen has declined more than 80% during the last 20 years. Today it stands at just 6%.

David Spight, the assistant dean for academic advising and career counseling at the University of Texas at Austin, cautions that freshmen may be too young to declare a major. “How do you know that you don’t want to major in anthropology, if you’ve never taken an anthropology class?” he asks.

I can’t help but wonder what my grandfather would have thought about this debate. I would love to have seen the look on his face if I ever suggested him writing a check for $200,000 for me or my sister to “find ourselves.”

I think about a friend who, back in the 1970’s, told his parents he was thinking about switching majors from engineering to liberal arts. His mother — who had never graduated high school — and his father — who never attended college — replied that they looked in the Help Wanted section and couldn’t find any job descriptions that started with “liberal arts.”

I think about our client Jim Coyle, who’s President of the Gateway Chamber of Commerce. Jim is an expert on particular areas of ancient Middle Eastern history. But he was also wise enough to earn degrees in economics. It’s his economics knowledge that he’s parlayed into a successful career. Jim is still fascinated by, and still actively studies, ancient history. But he doesn’t rely on that for his livelihood.

I don’t want readers to think I’m against intellectual exploration. College is a wonderful place to expand your mind, broaden your thinking, and explore new ideas. I’m all for learning about anthropology. But at top colleges today, each course hour costs upwards of $2,000. At that rate, a 3-credit anthropology course runs $6,000.

For $130 at TheGreatCourses.com, you can take an anthropology course with one of America’s foremost anthropology professors. And have enough left over to sponsor an archaeological dig.

Warmly,

Ian “The Professor” Welham
Ian Welham
Certified College Funding Advisor
(973) 467-0101

P.S. This is kind of last minute, but we’ve been asked to conduct a college workshop at the West Caldwell Public Library on Thursday, April 9, at 7:00 pm. Parents from any town are welcome. Reserve your seat online at www.ccpsnj.com or by calling (973) 467-0101. There is no cost to attend. Bring a friend, they’ll thank you.

Join Our Mailing List

Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

Share

Choosing colleges “strategically”
April 8, 2015

Ian Welham explains how to strategically choose colleges.

Friends,

Many students choose colleges randomly and somewhat arbitrarily. I’m constantly beating the drum about choosing colleges “strategically” — especially if you seek financial aid.

One way for smart students to improve their chances for merit aid is to apply to schools where they will be in the top 10% – 20% of the incoming freshmen class. The bulk of merit aid funds are distributed to this top segment.

Is there anything else you can do? Yes, there is.

I call them the “hidden scholarships.” Not every school offers these scholarships, but many do. They’re usually offered by the admissions office, the office of the president, or maybe the trustees as a way for the university to entice top talent to their institution. Typically, they’re based solely on academic merit (not need), and often cover full tuition.

The reason I call them “hidden” is because it takes some digging to find them. In other words, you won’t see them listed on the home page of the college’s website. You might find them two or three levels down in the financial aid section; but few people bother to venture that deep. You should, because it’s worth it (assuming you have a bright student).

For example, Johns Hopkins awards two 4-year tuition scholarships by the Dean of Engineering. What’s it take to nab one of these scholarships besides academic excellence? They’re looking for success in science fairs. So if you have a student who’s done well in one or more science fairs, here’s a great opportunity.

Boston College awards 15 full-tuition Presidential Scholarships every year to students who can demonstrate leadership potential, participation in community service and high test scores.

Some of these “hidden scholarships” have a local requirement. Case in point: Right down the street from Johns Hopkins, Loyola University offers a full-tuition scholarship to a Roman Catholic resident of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Further requirements are a GPA of 3.4 – 4.0, upper 1% rank in class, SAT (reading/math) of 1450-1600.

Look for colleges that offer these academic scholarships. The majority require no additional or special application forms.

Warmest Wishes,
Ian “The Professor” Welham

Ian Welham
Certified College Funding Advisor
(973) 467-0101
Email:Ian@CompleteCollegePlanningSolutions.com
Join Our Mailing List

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

Share

A Must-Read NY Times Article
April 2, 2015

Ian Welham’s message:  A Must-Read NY Times Article

Friends,

Don’t know if you saw this or not. Last week, Frank Bruni wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times about college admissions.

His eloquent article is called, “How to Survive the College Admissions Madness.” In my opinion it’s a must-read — definitely worth your time. You can find it at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/15/opinion/sunday/frank-bruni-how-to-survive-the-college-admissions-madness.html?_r=0

The message is evergreen. But it’s especially noteworthy given the time of year, as students are starting to hear thumbs up or thumbs down from colleges.

For students who have their hopes dashed, it’s easy to feel like a failure. Mr. Bruni’s message: A yes or no from an elite college is NOT “the conclusive measure of a young person’s worth,” nor is it a harbinger of things to come.

And anyone who thinks so is missing the point.

As proof, the author looked up the undergraduate colleges of the chief executives of the top 10 corporations in the Fortune 500. Here are the schools: University of Arkansas; University of Texas; University of California, Davis; University of Nebraska; Auburn; Texas A&M; Kettering University; University of Kansas; University of Missouri, St. Louis; and Dartmouth College.

Eight out of 10 state schools.

I’d like to quote more from the article, but instead, I’ll just encourage you to read it.

For those too busy to read the article, I want you to at least see a letter included in the piece. The letter was written by a Mom and Dad from Long Island before their high school senior started hearing from colleges. Here’s their letter.

Dear Matt,

On the night before you receive your first college response, we wanted to let you know that we could not be any prouder of you than we are today. Whether or not you get accepted does not determine how proud we are of everything you have accomplished and the wonderful person you have become. That will not change based on what admissions officers decide about your future. We will celebrate with joy wherever you get accepted – and the happier you are with those responses, the happier we will be. But your worth as a person, a student and our son is not diminished or influenced in the least by what these colleges have decided.

If it does not go your way, you’ll take a different route to get where you want. There is not a single college in this country that would not be lucky to have you, and you are capable of succeeding at any of them.

We love you as deep as the ocean, as high as the sky, all the way around the world and back again – and to wherever you are headed.

 Mom and Dad

The rest of the article is just as good. Here’s the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/15/opinion/sunday/frank-bruni-how-to-survive-the-college-admissions-madness.html?_r=0

Warmly,

Ian “The Professor” Welham
Ian Welham
Certified College Funding Advisor
(973) 467-0101

Join Our Mailing List

Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

Share

Georgetown Study Makes Waves
March 31, 2015

Ian Welham shares interesting new report from Georgetown Univ.

Friends,

An interesting new report released by Georgetown University is creating waves across college campuses.

The study links college majors to career earnings and quantifies the economic value of 171 college majors.

Many parents are familiar with studies showing that a Bachelor’s degree can be worth as much as $1 million or more over a high school diploma. But I don’t think many parents give it much thought beyond that.

This report goes a level deeper, showing how “different undergraduate majors result in very different earnings.” In fact, the difference in earnings can be 300 percent-plus!

“The bottom line is that getting a degree matters, but what you take matters more,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, the director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, who published the study.

It turns out that some of the most popular college majors are also among the lowest paying. For example, psychology majors have the lowest median income at $29,000. Early childhood education majors are next lowest, at $36,000/year. The median income for sociology majors is $39,000. Contrast that with the median income of petroleum engineers ($120,000).

It’s important to note that these are median earnings for all workers, NOT new graduates. Indeed, starting salaries in these fields can be as low as $10/hour — if you can find a job. Imagine spending $200,000 to earn a degree that pays $10 an hour. Unless you’re independently wealthy, this is not advisable.

Also of note are the tables listing the positions students are likely to occupy by choosing certain majors. For instance, an educational psychology major is almost twice as likely to end up working in retail than in health services.

Other interesting findings are the fields with virtually no unemployment, including geological and geophysical engineering, pharmacology, and military technologies.

Finally, the report also tackles the question of graduate degrees. The conclusion: the amount of additional earnings achieved is greatly influenced by what you study. Advanced degrees in health and medical preparatory programs produce a 190% bump in earnings, while graduate studies in atmospheric sciences and meteorology produce only a 1% increase.

If you’d like to read, “What’s It Worth?: The Economic Value of College Majors,” here’s the link: https://cew.georgetown.edu/report/whats-it-worth-the-economic-value-of-college-majors/

Warmly,

Ian “The Professor” Welham
Ian Welham
Certified College Funding Advisor
(973) 467-0101

Join Our Mailing List

Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

Share

Copyright © 2011 Complete College Planning Solutions, LLC  -  500 Morris Ave., Suite 205, Springfield, NJ 07081
Ian R. Welham, Certified College Planning Advisor  -  Tel: 973.467.0101