Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How to Get a Full Ride Scholarship 5 Key Tips

How to Get a Full Ride Scholarship 5 Key Tips SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips College is a huge investment - you spend a lot of time, energy, and money to earn a degree. Graduating from school means making financial sacrifices, but it also means reaping significant educational and professional rewards. But what if the whole money problem wasn’t an issue? What if you could go to school without worrying about tuition expenses or accruing interest? With a full ride scholarship, all your college costs are taken care of. Instead of thinking about paying your bills, you could focus on the important things: studying for that big exam or getting your term paper in on time. Here, I’ll lay out everything you need to know about how to get a full ride scholarship: what exactlyitis, who can get one, and where you can find them. What Is a Full Ride Scholarship? If you’ve already done your research on what college will cost, you’ll know that tuition isn’t the only expense you’ll be responsible for - you’ll also have to budget for room, board, fees, textbooks, transportation, and personal expenses. The amount of all of these expenses together is called the Cost of Attendance, or CoA. Depending on where you go to school, the CoA can come to over $200,000 for a bachelor’s degree. (For more information on college expenses, check out our guide to college costs). Full ride scholarships are special because they fully cover all college-related costs, meaning they pay for the entire CoA. A traditional â€Å"scholarship† is awarded based on merit, not on financial need - this means that a student could win a full ride award even if her family isn’t low-income. There are other avenues to getting a full ride beyondjust traditional scholarship programs, however. Free money is free money, whether you’re getting it based on merit or financial need, so in this post, I’ll address other ways to get your CoA covered besides the private scholarship route. The best strategy for how to geta full ride scholarship (and get all of your expenses covered) is to take a multi-pronged approach, applying toall of the following: Private scholarship programs (both merit- and need-based) Institutional need-based financial aid Institutional merit-based scholarships Private Full Ride Scholarship Awards Full ridescholarships seem almost too good to be true - how could you get all of your college costs covered, regardless of your family’s financial need? These sorts of scholarship programs do exist, but as you might imagine, they're not exactly common.Fewer than 20,000 students per year will earn a private full-ride scholarship award - that may sound like a lot, but consider that over 20 million students are expected to attend college this fall (so about 0.1% of students, or one in 1000, get full-ride scholarships). Because these scholarships are so competitive, there will be many qualified applicants who won’t end up with funding. This should not discourage you from applying, but don’t pin your hopes on any one of these awards - you should have solid backup plans if you're set on securing outside funding (I’ll address that later). Now for some good news: if you were worried about spending a bunch of time researching different scholarship programs, don’t be! We have some great guides on the top scholarship programs out there. Start off with our post on some of the best full ride scholarships, and then check out our guides to top scholarships for high school juniors and high school seniors. Full Ride Scholarships From Schools Kill two birds with one stone: get into a college and get a full ride with one application. Some schools will cover their own CoAs if you’re a particularly attractive applicant or have high financial need. To get a full scholarshipfrom any school, though, you'll have to be a very compelling applicant - either competitive enough to earn merit-based awards or academically strong enough to get into a top-ranked school. Here's some more information about merit-based and need-basedfull ride scholarships from schools. Schools That Offer Full Rides Based on Merit Traditional scholarship awards are based on merit, not necessarily on financial need. Some schools use scholarship awards to attract strong applicants regardless of their family’s financial situation. Top colleges don’t generally offer merit scholarships because they don’t have to attract competitive applicants (the applicant pool is already really strong). We have a list of 79 colleges that offer full ride scholarships - you may not be very familiar with the schools on this list, but if you’re academically or athletically strong with low financial need they may be good options for you. Schools That Offer Full Rides Based onFinancial Need Some of the best financial aid programs out there are at some of the most competitive schools - like Harvard, for example. Some schools have very generous financial aid programs that will cover the entire CoA for students with high financial need. Most schools with these types of programs are top private colleges. If you have high financial need and want to get a full ride from one of these top colleges,you'll have to focus your energy on getting in. For a list of schools with these generous aid policies, check out our guide to colleges with the best financial aid. Want to build the best possible college application? We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. 5 Steps to Winning a Full Ride Scholarship Now that you know wheretoget full ride scholarships, you'll want to know how to get a full ride scholarship. The following strategies will help you get an award no matter the funding source. In general, the things you can do to make yourself a strong college applicant will also make you a strong full ride scholarship candidate.If you’re a strong college applicant, you’ll also increase your chances of getting merit-based scholarships from schools. Finally, you’ll also be more competitive at top colleges that give generous need-based aid. This strategy guide will walk you through steps you can take to increase your chances of funding across the board. Your should start preparing forscholarship applications early - think Day 1 of your freshman year of high school. Scholarship programs and admissions officers evaluate applicants on many factors, most of which can’t be worked on at the last minute. To optimize your chances of winning a full scholarship award, you should be close to the top of your class with a strong background in leadership and community service. You should also have strong relationships with instructors and mentors who can write you glowing letters of recommendation. Finally, you should have a concrete plan in place so that you can get all application requirements in on time. There may be a lot of boxes to check, but this guide will help you get everything in order. Demonstrate Academic Excellence This isn’t just about a high GPA - it’s also about taking challenging courses. In order tostand out in a positive way, take as many advanced or AP classes as possible. If you're struggling in a particular subject (everyone has weaknesses), seek out extra help from teachers so that your grades don't suffer. If you're gunning for a truly excellent academic performance, aim for the top 10% of your class rankings. If you have your eye on some of the most famous full scholarships (like the Gates Millennium) you’ll likely need to be at the very top of your class to be a competitive applicant. Develop Leadership Skills Private scholarship committees, in particular, want to invest in future leadersand give awards to students whom they anticipate will go on to be successful in business, politics, academia, etc. The only way scholarship committees can evaluate future leadership potential is by looking at your past experience. In order to develop your own leadership skills, be an active classroom participant (teachers will be able to speak to your leadership potential in letters of recommendation). Raise your hand, volunteer to lead projects or groups, and help other students if possible. Join extracurricular groups, but focus on quality over quantity - choose clubs or activities that you'll stick with long-term. This will lead to more opportunities to move up to club officer or team captain roles. If there aren't many activities at school that spark your interest, look into starting your own club, activity, or charity. Invest in Community Service Private scholarship programs and schools alike want to invest in students who will â€Å"pay it forward† or students who will do good in the world. Show funding sources that you’re this type of person with a history of community service. Like with clubs and other extracurriculars, quality is more important than quantity. Try to pick something that you’re interested in early on and stick with it. Regular weekly participation is ideal.If you want ideas onwhere to start building volunteer experience, start with our guide on the nine best places to do community service work. Develop Relationships With Mentors and Instructors This step is important for a couple of reasons: It’s valuable to have mentors who can offer you trusted professional, personal, and academic advice. You should have people on your side who are willing to write strong letters of recommendation. Begin building these relationships by showing respect for your class, sports team, club,or activity. Show potential mentors and instructors that you are willing and able to actively participate. Follow up byseeingleaders for extra help and showing interest in the relevant subject area. We all need someone to go to when we have questions. Plan Ahead You’ll have quite a few deadlines to keep track of for both college and scholarship applications. Unfortunately, scholarship application deadlinescan be all over the place.Many of the top scholarships have deadlines early in your senior year, so prepare a list of scholarship programs that you want to apply to by the end of your junior year. It’s also important to give yourself enough time to complete applications, especially if you have to submit personal statements or essays. Also, keep in mind thatif you have to submit letters of recommendation, you should provide 10-12 weeks advance notice for letter-writers. What You Should Do If You Don't Think You'll Get a Full Ride Scholarship Let’s say you’re a good student, but you don’t think you’ll qualify for a full ride scholarship. Maybe you'renot academically strong enough to win a top merit-based scholarship or get into a top-ranked college, but you also don't demonstrateenough financial need to qualify for much aid. What are your next steps? A full ride is still a full ride even if it’s patch-workedtogether through multiple funding sources. Here are some things you can do to come up with a full ride: Apply broadly to many scholarship programs. This is essentially a numbers game: the more programs you apply to, the better your chances of winning one (or more) scholarships. Do some research into more targeted or local scholarship programs. Smaller scholarships may be less competitive than the big full ride programs. Focus on following the advice above on how to geta full ride scholarship. Even if you don't think you'll win a big award, building your skills, resume, and grades will give your funding chances a nice boost. What's Next? Private scholarships and institutional aid are great, but the backbone of college fundingoften comes in the form of federal aid. Learn more about the Pell Grant, Perkins loan, Direct Subsidized loan, and Direct Unsubsidized loan. Are you looking at full ride scholarships because you want to get through college debt-free? Read more about how to pay for college without taking out loans. Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

Sunday, March 1, 2020

The 5 Healthiest (and Tastiest) Substitutes for Vegetable Oil

The 5 Healthiest (and Tastiest) Substitutes for Vegetable Oil SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips What can you substitute for vegetable oil? Can you substitute olive oil for vegetable oil? In this article we will help you figure why you might want a substitute for vegetable oil and give five vegetable oil substitutes you could use. Why Use a Vegetable Oil Substitute? While the term vegetable oil can refer to any non-animal-based cooking oil, most bottles that are just labeled "vegetable oil" at the store are made up almost entirely of soybean oil, processed to be odorless and flavorless. Generic vegetable oil is not necessarily bad for you, but it may not be the best tool for every cooking job. Here are four reasons why you might want a substitute for vegetable oil: Less Processing Vegetable oil is highly processed to give it a neutral, flavorless quality. Trace amounts of the chemicals used in processing may remain in the oil. If you're trying to avoid overly processed foods, go for cold-or expeller-pressed oils that are manually extracted. More Favorable Fats All cooking oils are basically just fat. The difference is what kinds of fat and what ratio those fats appear in. There are five main fat types of interest when assessing cooking oils: Trans fats: Most experts agree that trans fats are bad and should be avoided, so much so that the FDA is trying to remove them from the food supply. However, just so long as your oil isn't "partially hydrogenated," it should be pretty low in trans fats. Saturated fats: It used to be accepted as gospel that saturated fats are bad for your heart, but recent studies have called this idea into question. Saturated fats could be part of a healthy or unhealthy diet depending on how you are getting those fats and what else you are eating. Plus, saturated fats can withstand very high cooking temperatures without harmful oxidation. Monounsaturated fats: Monounsaturated fats are heart-healthy fats that are more stable (and thus less prone to oxidation) than polyunsaturated fats. Olive oil is super-high in monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats: Polyunsaturated fats are generally considered to have a positive impact on heart health. These fats can be subdivided into omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are both important for health, but omega-3 fatty acids appear to be especially beneficial for reducing inflammation in the body. Additionally, it's best to maintain a good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 consumption in your diet. (Most Americans consume too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3). Furthermore, polyunsaturated fats oxidize easily when exposed to heat, releasing toxic compounds. Generic vegetable oil tends to be fairly high in polyunsaturated fats (omega-6 specifically). So it oxidizes easily, and it may not help you maintain a favorable omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. The best fats for your purposes, then, will have a lot to do with the rest of your diet and the temperature you are cooking at. Better Smoke Point The smoke point of an oil is the point at which heat starts to break down the oil into toxic compounds that taste bad and shouldn't be inhaled (it's not quite the same as the oxidation point, but the concepts are similar). Oils with higher smoke points are better for things like searing, browning, and frying. Oils with very low smoke points are best for things like making dressing. Flavor! Generic vegetable oils are meant to be flavorless. But that's not always what you want! Many cooking oils you can substitute for vegetable oil can add a delicious flavor to your dish. 5 Vegetable Oil Substitutes: When to Use What Here are some of our favorite cooking oil choices to replace vegetable oil and when to use them. Note that if you are substituting for vegetable oil, you should use the same amount. You can also expect the calorie count to be about the same (about 120 cals per tablespoon), as all of these cooking oils are pretty much 100% fat. Avocado Oil Avocado oil is about 60% monounsaturated fats, 20% polyunsaturated fats (mostly omega-6), and 20% saturated fats. It has a very high smoke point (above 500 degrees) and is pretty oxidation-stable. Unlike the creamy avocado itself, avocado oil has a neutral flavor profile. Pros: Great for high-heat cooking, loaded with healthy fats, easy to find in unrefined-low processed versions. Cons: Avocado oil is expensive! Best for: Anything! Very versatile oil. Canola Oil Canola oil is made from the rapeseed plant. It's about 60% monounsaturated fats, 30% polyunsaturated fats (of which 10% of the total fats are omega-3s), and less than 10% saturated fats. It has a medium-high smoke point of about 400 degrees and a neutral flavor. Pros: It can withstand a decent amount of heat without smoking and won't oxidize as easily as generic vegetable oil. It has a neutral flavor profile, so you don't have to worry about it making your food taste weird. This makes it a versatile oil. Cons: Canola oil is usually pretty processed, so not the best choice if you are going for a more natural oil. Unrefined canola oil is hard to find and pretty expensive. Best for: Baking, oven-cooking, stir-frying or sautà ©ing Coconut Oil Coconut oil is mostly saturated fats (about 90%), which is why it's solid at room temperature. However, it raises both LDL and HDL cholesterol and is pretty stable, making it less prone to oxidation. It has a medium smoke point of about 350 degrees. Pros: Coconut oil has a delicious sweet flavor that complements many dishes. It's readily available in unprocessed, unrefined forms (as virgin coconut oil). Cons: Because of its distinctive flavor, coconut oil needs to be deployed carefully, especially for sautà ©ing. Best for: Sautà ©ing at medium heat, baking (if you are using it in baking, you may want to microwave it for a few seconds first so it gets liquid). It's also great for your hair! Ghee (Grass-Fed) You may be surprised to see ghee, an animal product, on this list! But as Mark Bittman once put it, "Butter is back!" and ghee (or clarified butter) may be even better for some things. Ghee has been used for centuries in Indian cooking. While ghee is high in saturated fats (with about 60% of its calories coming from sat fats), it has a very high smoke point (485 degrees F), it provides some omega-3s, and it is very stable. It doesn't even need to be refrigerated! Pros: Ghee is very low in casein and lactose, making it a great butter substitute for people who are lactose intolerant or dairy sensitive. Additionally, it's a good source of vitamins, especially Vitamin A. It also has a delicious nutty, buttery taste. Cons: Ghee is slightly more calorie-rich than the other fats mentioned, at 135 cals per tablespoon instead of about 120. It also does have about 4% trans fats. And grass-fed ghee- the healthiest kind- is about 4x as expensive as butter on an ounce-per-ounce basis. Best for: High-heat cooking, dairy-sensitive eaters Olive Oil Olive oil is the superhero of cooking oils: it's comprised of over 3/4 monounsaturated fats and thus is resistant to oxidation and heart-healthy. Extra virgin olive oil has a medium-high smoke point of 410 degrees, and more processed "light" or refined olive oil and has a high smoke point of about 470 degrees. Pros: Olive oil is chock-full of healthy fats, flavorful, and great for medium-high to high-heat cooking. Cons: The bold flavors of extra-virgin olive oil may not go well with every dish, which may be an issue if you are trying to substitute vegetable oil for olive oil. Light olive oil- which is refined- has a more neutral flavor and can withstand higher temperatures, but it's not the best choice if you are looking to avoid processed oils. Best for: Extra-virgin is great for sautà ©ing, stir-frying, and oven cooking. Light olive oil is a great choice for searing, browning, frying, and even baking. 5 Substitutes for Vegetable Oil: Summary Why would you want a substitute for vegetable oil? Well, depending on your cooking and health needs, you might want an oil that is less processed, has a more favorable ratio of the different kinds of fats, has a higher smoke point, or has a good flavor! Here are five great vegetable oil substitutes: Avocado Oil Canola Oil Coconut Oil Ghee Olive Oil