The Great Flavored Milk Debate

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Finding the perfect college is kind of like investigative journalism — you must do loads of research, ask all the right questions and visit the scene to gather first-hand knowledge and experience.
College visits should start percolating in the parental and student lobes toward the end of junior year and the start of senior year. Road trips may be necessary, and several at that. The most comprehensive virtual tours, G-chats and online scouring simply cannot replace the experience of seeing real dorm rooms or eating in actual dining halls.
As any tooth-and-nails journalist will tell you about a hot story, parents should have a strategy for visiting college campuses and getting the most out of each tour. Prepare to be schooled by Dr. Richard Bavaria, senior vice president of education outreach for tutoring authority Sylvan Learning.
* Cast a wide net. If your high-schooler hasn’t done so already, help them compile a list of potential universities. Ask what aspects of college life — sports, extracurriculars, campus/enrollment size, dorm life, religious affiliations, academic strengths and offerings — are important to them and use those criteria.
Mark choices as dream, target and safety schools based on your child’s academic performance and test scores. The initial list can be pared down to a realistic number of colleges to visit.
* Get SAT/ACT prep support. If some of the dream schools seem out of range due to unsatisfactory test scores, get your student SAT help from the local Sylvan Learning (www.sylvanlearning.com) tutoring experts. The level of competition to get into top schools is more intense than ever.
“The number of early admission applications has increased dramatically, with some universities seeing double-digit jumps. To begin the college process, most students applying to competitive colleges now take the SAT/ACT more than once,” says Bavaria.
* Go while college is in session. Weekends and holidays can be dead zones for college life, which won’t give your student a real glimpse of the campus. Call ahead to schedule tours, and make sure college is in session and students are attending classes so potential applicants see the whole experience.
* Ask smart questions. Encourage your kid to question everyone — students, professors, advisors, librarians, coaches and more. Ask the same questions of different students and professors to compare answers. Parents, remember to hit key topics that students might forget, like financial aid and safety. You can usually trust them to inquire about food selection and social activities.

Fee Transparency: Will We Know It When We See It?

The recent surge of anti-banking sentiment is clearing the way for a new age of banking where institutions must become transparent. But transparency has its burdens, too. Companies that hit the transparency mark leave themselves vulnerable to more criticism because the fees are simply easier for users to access. Are we distinguishing between the banking giants and the bank around the corner? The national, one-size-fits-all and the niche banks that serve a specific group?

Are Teens Prepared for the Future?

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Among the latest tech gadgets, cell phones and social media sites, today’s teen is more connected than ever. Although teens are surrounded by a flurry of electronics and digital media, are they gaining the skills needed to succeed in a technology-driven world?
According to the Department of Commerce, students educated in science, technology, engineering and math at any level make 26 percent more money overall than counterparts who have studied in other fields.
Several non-profits and corporations have rallied together to highlight the importance of teaching young people critical digital literacy skills.
“The access to technology kids get outside of school is often an important complement to the learning that happens in the classrooms,” said Dan Rauzi, senior director of technology programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Boys & Girls Clubs has a long history of providing educational and developmental programs for youth in communities nationwide. Through a national partnership with Microsoft and Comcast, its Club Tech program provides free software and access to technology lessons to youth of all ages. In 2010 alone, the program reached over 850,000 kids who learned how to design posters, collaborate on film projects and make their own music.
Daniel Flores, 16, has participated in Club Tech for two years at Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holland, Mich. He believes the skills he is acquiring in graphic design will help him get into an art college and pursue a career one day. In fact, he’s started his own small business offering Web and graphic design services.
“I wanted to create a business that helps other companies market and promote their ideas by developing websites, logos and print making,” Flores said.
According to a recent study, teens like Flores who participate in after-school technology programs exhibit a more positive outlook on their future. Many also become more positive about finishing high school and attending college.
“Club Tech is more than just providing computers. We give kids and teens an opportunity to express themselves artistically and engage with technology in a way that builds confidence and real-world skills,” added Rauzi.

New Comedy Zeroes In on Soaring Tuition Rates

(NewsUSA) – Tuition rates have been on an upward climb since the late 1980s, but neither average income nor the amount of financial aid available can keep up. As a result, lower- and middle-class families are having a tougher time forking out the cash for tuition rates.The increasing disparity between income levels and the price of higher learning has led to incredible amounts of student debt. Families are encouraging students to look at two-year degrees and community colleges to cut costs. According to the Department of Education, enrollment in two-year colleges has risen over the past decade and dropped in four-year institutions.Soaring tuition rates and massive student debt are attracting much discussion in the public forum. While the film industry loves college movies, it hasn’t really broached this somewhat tender subject -; until now. From the creators of “American Pie” comes a new adult-rated comedy called “The Pool Boys.”In a desperate attempt to earn a scholarship to pay for his elite Harvard education, one character (Brett Davern) joins his pool boy, drop-out cousin (Matthew Lillard) to start an escort service. An exquisite mansion happens to fall into their hands, and the pair find the perfect location to create an upscale brothel.Complete with dominatrices, scantily clad “escorts” and cameos from Tom Arnold, “The Pool Boys” is a recipe for adventure. The smart comedy explores the lengths people travel to pay for college when financial aid is cut despite rising tuition. Davern’s character must exploit women to afford his Ivy League degree and become a successful adult. The irony is certainly not lost, it’s potently rich.The film opened as a special engagement on Sept. 30 followed by a second special engagement on Oct. 7, a nudge that pushes the issue of climbing tuition rates onto the national agenda even more. The film is available to watch instantly on 43 million remote controls in North America, on Cable Teleco and Satellite “On Demand” channels.Employers are demanding post-secondary education, but since many middle-class adults can’t afford college rates, unemployment numbers remain dangerously high. See the trailer and all “now playing” locations at www.ThePoolBoysMovie.com.

New Comedy Zeroes In on Soaring Tuition Rates

(NewsUSA) – Tuition rates have been on an upward climb since the late 1980s, but neither average income nor the amount of financial aid available can keep up. As a result, lower- and middle-class families are having a tougher time forking out the cash for tuition rates.The increasing disparity between income levels and the price of higher learning has led to incredible amounts of student debt. Families are encouraging students to look at two-year degrees and community colleges to cut costs. According to the Department of Education, enrollment in two-year colleges has risen over the past decade and dropped in four-year institutions.Soaring tuition rates and massive student debt are attracting much discussion in the public forum. While the film industry loves college movies, it hasn’t really broached this somewhat tender subject -; until now& From the creators of "American Pie" comes a new adult-rated comedy called "The Pool Boys."In a desperate attempt to earn a scholarship to pay for his elite Harvard education, one character (Brett Davern) joins his pool boy, drop-out cousin (Matthew Lillard) to start an escort service. An exquisite mansion happens to fall into their hands, and the pair find the perfect location to create an upscale brothel.Complete with dominatrices, scantily clad "escorts" and cameos from Tom Arnold, "The Pool Boys" is a recipe for adventure. The smart comedy explores the lengths people travel to pay for college when financial aid is cut despite rising tuition. Davern’s character must exploit women to afford his Ivy League degree and become a successful adult. The irony is certainly not lost, it’s potently rich.The film opened as a special engagement on Sept. 30 followed by a second special engagement on Oct. 7, a nudge that pushes the issue of climbing tuition rates onto the national agenda even more. The film is available to watch instantly on 43 million remote controls in North America, on Cable Teleco and Satellite "On Demand" channels.Employers are demanding post-secondary education, but since many middle-class adults can’t afford college rates, unemployment numbers remain dangerously high. See the trailer and all "now playing" locations at www.ThePoolBoysMovie.com.

WGU Washington Declares, ‘No Parent Left Behind’

(NewsUSA) – As parents send their kids back to school, it’s likely that the last thing they have time to consider is heading back to school themselves. But, they should ?.Nearly half a million Washington residents, many of them parents, have started but not finished a degree; yet by 2018, two-thirds of all jobs in the state will require at least some college. A bachelor’s or master’s degree can bring career advancement, increase job security, and enhance earning potential, so how can busy parents finish their degrees and avoid being left behind?For busy parents with tight budgets, the prospect of heading back to college can be daunting. While there are a number of college options, few are affordable and flexible enough to meet the needs of working adults.But Washington’s new online university, WGU Washington, washington.wgu.edu, is designed to meet their needs — affordably. Nonprofit and endorsed by the state, WGU Washington offers 50 accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business, information technology, teacher education and health professions, including nursing.WGU Washington’s programs allow students to move quickly through what they already know and to focus on what they still need to learn. Students advance by demonstrating what they know, not by logging time in class. This learning model, which includes the support of a dedicated mentor, is called competency-based education, and it represents a true innovation in higher education.At less than $3,000 per six-month term (and unlimited courses per term), WGU Washington is about half the cost of other online universities and considerably less than most of Washington’s public universities. And, because WGU Washington allows students to work at their own pace, the average time to complete a bachelor’s degree is just two-and-a-half years — an average cost of about $15,000.It’s likely that you are already encouraging your kids to plan for college. And, as all good parents know, kids learn best by example. Finishing a degree means more than career advancement and better earning potential — it is a priceless accomplishment that demonstrates the value of education to your children. This back-to-school season, don’t be left behind.       Note to editors: Great for regional use in Washington state.

WGU Washington Declares, "No Parent Left Behind"

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – As parents send their kids back to school, it’s likely that the last thing they have time to consider is heading back to school themselves. But, they should ?.
Nearly half a million Washington residents, many of them parents, have started but not finished a degree; yet by 2018, two-thirds of all jobs in the state will require at least some college. A bachelor’s or master’s degree can bring career advancement, increase job security, and enhance earning potential, so how can busy parents finish their degrees and avoid being left behind?
For busy parents with tight budgets, the prospect of heading back to college can be daunting. While there are a number of college options, few are affordable and flexible enough to meet the needs of working adults.
But Washington’s new online university, WGU Washington, washington.wgu.edu, is designed to meet their needs — affordably. Nonprofit and endorsed by the state, WGU Washington offers 50 accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business, information technology, teacher education and health professions, including nursing.
WGU Washington’s programs allow students to move quickly through what they already know and to focus on what they still need to learn. Students advance by demonstrating what they know, not by logging time in class. This learning model, which includes the support of a dedicated mentor, is called competency-based education, and it represents a true innovation in higher education.
At less than $3,000 per six-month term (and unlimited courses per term), WGU Washington is about half the cost of other online universities and considerably less than most of Washington’s public universities. And, because WGU Washington allows students to work at their own pace, the average time to complete a bachelor’s degree is just two-and-a-half years — an average cost of about $15,000.
It’s likely that you are already encouraging your kids to plan for college. And, as all good parents know, kids learn best by example. Finishing a degree means more than career advancement and better earning potential — it is a priceless accomplishment that demonstrates the value of education to your children. This back-to-school season, don’t be left behind.

Students Learn There’s Value in Pro Bono Work

Despite conventional wisdom, the axiom “You don’t get something for nothing” isn’t always true. It seems particularly untrue when college students provide communities with services on a pro bono or discounted basis in an effort to gain necessary experience.

For example, many dental schools have their students provide check-ups to children from low-income communities who don’t have a dentist. There are law schools that encourage students to offer pro bono legal services in the community to nonprofit organizations and low-income individuals who are in need.

The Perfect Condiment to Your Sports Experience Is the Internet, Not Ketchup

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s that time of the year again. The mornings are filled with crisp, cool air, and football stadiums are brimming with school color pride. Students, alumni and families all over the U.S. are in the throes of college football season, but with the rising costs of tuition and dorm living compounded by a struggling worldwide economy, it is becoming more difficult for students and fans to enjoy watching their favorite sports events without breaking the bank.
Attending live sports events can often be costly. While college football tickets can be affordable for matriculated students attending home games, regular college event tickets can run fans up to $60 per game. Additionally, each visit to the stadium can include up to $20 per person spent on drinks and food, if not more.
Recognizing these limitations, technology companies are finding alternative ways to provide consumers with more options at home through the Internet — from movies to TV shows, and now even sports.
One of the most widely recognized of these is Hulu, which has seen tremendous success as an online video service offering hit shows, clips and movies. According to comScore, an Internet marketing research firm, the online video service reached 43 million monthly users at the end of 2009, doubling the number from the year before. Earlier this year, Hulu launched a subscription service, Hulu Plus, on several TV-connected devices for $9.95 a month.
For sports fans, Microsoft Corp. recently introduced a new way to watch popular sports, like college football and bowl games, college basketball, MLB and NBA, and more, through a customized ESPN app on Xbox 360, the company’s video game and entertainment system. The new application allows users to access over 3,500 live and on-demand sport events from ESPN3.com, including out-of-market games, with an Xbox LIVE Gold membership, which costs $59.99 per year — or $5 per month — to users who receive their Internet connection from an affiliated service provider. The system also offers streaming through Netflix.
The blending of television and the Internet has been a developing trend over the past few years. More Americans have become used to relying on the Internet for TV viewing, and broadband adoption has continued to rise. A recent study by Integrated Media Measurement Inc. found that 20 percent of 3,000 primetime TV viewers surveyed watched some primetime programming online.
Beyond watching videos on the web, Internet-powered television services may be the future for people who prefer to watch movies, and especially live sports, on a large TV with surround sound in the living room. Students and fans operating on a budget may want to consider staying in for the next big sports event.

Lessons in Retention: Parents Can Help Young Minds Learn at Home

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – As an adult, you may know that lessons learned in high school or college can quickly go by the wayside. Studies have shown that children struggling …