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 ( 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.

Business Do’s and Don’ts for a Prosperous Startup

Everyone has a dream — it’s the one thing they would rather be doing more than anything else (and are sure they could succeed at). Yet, it’s something entirely different from what it is they do to pay the bills.

What many fail to understand, however, is that enthusiasm for a product or service may not be enough to guarantee success when starting a business.

Break Into Business With a Franchise

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Many Americans dream of entering the business world, but don’t know how to get started. Giving up one job to start from the bottom in another …

Tips to Think Positive in Tough Times

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – In today’s tough economic climate, it’s easy to feel dissatisfied with your life — your job’s awful, bills are piling up, you’re barely home to see your kids and you can’t see an end in sight. But, as hard as it is, you need to let those negative thoughts go.

Johnna Parr, network marketer and author of the book, “When the Dream is Big Enough,” says, “If you focus on all the things that are wrong, you’re destined to stay there.”

Parr should know — she struggled for years until a fundamental change in her thinking led her to personal and professional success. “The more I focused on my blessings, the more blessings came my way.”

Of course, breaking an old thought pattern is never easy, even in the best of times. Those who find themselves unable to afford things they once took for granted may wonder exactly what’s so blessed about their current situation. But finding the positives in your life will send more your way. Parr shares some tips to change your frame of mind:

– Go ahead — write a list detailing everything you hate in your life. Let’s say you wrote, “In credit card debt” and “I don’t have enough money.” Now turn those things around. For example, put a line through “In credit card debt” and write, “Bills are paid” in its place. Instead of “I don’t have enough money,” write, “I have enough money to do everything that I want.” Concentrate on your new statements — these are the thoughts you need to focus on if you want to change your life.

– Always have a big dream. Concentrating on a goal will help give your life purpose, preventing you from falling into ruts. Parr suggests creating “a dream board” — a board with visual aids showing what you want to accomplish. But simply writing your goals down isn’t enough. Whenever you look at your dream board, try to think of your dreams not as wishes, but as expectations. If you expect to accomplish a goal, you will.

– Forget the past. You can’t change actions you’ve already taken, but you can proceed without allowing past failures to hinder new accomplishments. Don’t focus on current problems, but on current possibilities. “No matter how many setbacks you have suffered, no matter who or what has tried to stop your progress, today is a new day,” says Parr.

To get more advice from Johnna Parr or to learn about her book, visit the Web site

Survey Finds Granite Countertops Still No. 1

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – By overwhelming majorities, American adults prefer granite to any other countertop surface for their dream kitchens, and believe granite countertops increase home resale values, according to a new national survey’s findings.

The survey of 2,021 U.S. adults aged 18 and over was conducted in October by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Marble Institute of America (MIA). It asked respondents which countertop they would most want in their dream kitchen. At 55 percent, “granite countertops” was the most popular choice, followed distantly by “synthetic stone” at 12 percent.

Asked how much they agree with the statement “granite countertops increase the resale value of a home,” 90 percent of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed.

“After months of inaccurate reporting and questionable research aimed at raising doubts about granite, it’s gratifying to know consumers believe granite countertops are as safe as they are beautiful, practical and durable,” said MIA President Guido Gliori.

In fact, 84 percent strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement “Granite countertops are among the most safe, beautiful and durable kitchen counter surfaces on the market today.”

“The survey results show consumers’ preferences for granite countertops are virtually the same across all regions, genders and age groups,” Gliori said.

For more information, visit