Top Engineering US Colleges for 2015

If you are considering a degree in engineering the. You have to take a look at the USAToday article reporting on the top engineering colleges in the US. When looking at a potential engineering program, though, you need to go further than the highlights given on a y of these lists.

Questions to consider:

1. What courses and grades will I need to take in high school to be competitive in the college’s admissions process? Think sciences and math.

2. What opportunities are there for internships?

3. What is the job placement in my field at the colllege and at what companies /organizations are graduates hired?

4. Does the career I aspire to require a graduate degree? If so,  I should put this college on my graduate school list and see what undergraduate colleges their grad students graduate from? This could save you money if you attend state college or university for your ungrad degree and receive your graduate degree from a top ranked college or university.

REMEMBER where you receive your graduate degree will carry more weight than your undergraduate degree, as it will be focused on your profession/career field.

Direct Loan Rates for Academic Year 2015-16 Set

The latest Federal Direct Student Loan rates have been set. For the 2015-16 school year the rates are as follows:

Undergraduate Subsidized & Unsubsidized  Direct Loan —  4.29% (down from 4.66%)

GradPlus Direct Loan — 5.84% (down from 6.21%)

Parent Plus Direct Loan — 6.84% (down from 7.21%)

When borrowing through the  Federal Direct Student Loan Program keep your borrowing as low as possible. Exhaust all funding options prior to borrowing.  Check with the college’s Bursar’s Office regarding monthly payment plans which tend to be interest free.

Savy Saturday: Tips for Organizing Your Dorm Room

While perusing Pinterest I found an excellent Pin from the site,, for college students or those looking for an idea to help out their college student.  The post includes organizing ideas dorm groceries , kitchen supplies/tools, etc. Check out the Pin here:

What great tip do you have to make a dorm room more comfortable and functional?



Leominster Credit Union Brings CU Reality to Clinton HS

Every spring for the past few years I have had the pleasure of volunteering for Lemoninster Credit Union’s CU Reality Fair, a HS financial literacy program. The students are provided with a profile based on their career and educational goals, a budget sheet that lists a monthly net salary and budget line items. Students must visit a series of tables to “purchase their line items” and make sure their budgets balance. I man the student loan table discuss their student loan debt upon graduation and repayment options. It is a wonderful program that provides many students a “Reality Check” about what financial and life decisions they will be facing: balancing career & personal goals and handling unexpected financial setbacks. To learn more read the following article from the Worcestet Telegram & Gazette about the event at Clinton HS. If your school would like to host a CU Reality Fair, contact Ingrid Adade at LCU.


Measles student no longer infectious, but officials wait for signs of spread

Are you or your students protected against the measles? What’s going on at your college campus?

Along with studying students on campus need to take precautions regarding their health. Especially at this time of the year with colds and flu season in full swing. In addition there is an increase in Measles compounded by the fact that larger numbers of individuals have not received the Measles vaccination.

It will be another week before health officials will find out if the confirmed case of measles at the University of Minnesota has spread elsewhere.

The Minnesota Daily reports that the 20-year-old student, identified as the first confirmed measles case in Minnesota in 2015, passed the infectious stage of the highly contagious disease on Wednesday night.

The student is recovering off-campus, with health authorities now waiting to see if any more cases are confirmed, saying that residents of Sydney Hall may have been exposed between January 20 and 28.  He also attended class between January 20 and 23.

“The people who are most at risk from this particular case would be those who may have been in classes with this student, or lives with this person,” Lynn Bahta, of the Minnesota Department of Health, told WCCO. “It can include people in the building, because the measles virus is small…

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Dishonor Code: Rape, Reputation, and Repercussion at UVA


This is a guest post by Willa Hammitt Brown, a doctoral candidate at the University of Virginia, where she is finishing her dissertation, “Gentlemen of the Woods: Manhood, Myth and the American Lumberjack, 1860-1920”. She is a teaching assistant in the Department of History and the Women’s and Gender Studies program.  Content note: this article mentions sexual assault.

“I have worn the honors of Honor

I graduated from Virginia” – :The Honor Men”, James Hay Jr, 1903

“Nobody wants to send their daughter to the rape school” – Rolling Stone, 2014

This morning I got an email from the President of my University, the University of Virginia. In it, she quotes Thomas Jefferson, and invokes tradition, honor and idealism. She harks back to the long history of a storied institution. “Honor and tradition inform our thinking,” she explains, but where “success is demanded as much as it is sought” we…

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How to learn a new language: 7 secrets from TED Translators

TED Blog

Learning_a_languageBy Krystian Aparta

They say that children learn languages the best. But that doesn’t mean that adults should give up. We asked some of the polyglots in TED’s Open Translation Project to share their secrets to mastering a foreign language. Their best strategies distill into seven basic principles:

  1. Get real. Decide on a simple, attainable goal to start with so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. German translator Judith Matz suggests: “Pick up 50 words of a language and start using them on people — and then slowly start picking up grammar.”
  2. Make language-learning a lifestyle change. Elisabeth Buffard, who in her 27 years of teaching English has always seen consistency as what separates the most successful students from the rest. Find a language habit that you can follow even when you’re tired, sick or madly in love.
  3. Play house with the language. The more you invite…

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In Preparation for Election Day: Voter Lookup


Please use this Voter Info Tool from The Pew Institute & WordPress to prepare yourself for next Tuesday’s mid-term election. Mid term elections are just as important any other election. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!!


Should You Hire a College Planner??

A recent article in in USAToday (Is Private College Counseling the Key  to Getting Into a Top  School), reported that 26% of college applicants hired a college counselor in 2013. That was up substantially from 2003— three times greater. When  looking into private college counselors, consider the following points.

1. What are your needs? Do you need College search assistance, application process guidance,  admissions interview coaching, essay writing counseling, test prep or financial aid application process guidance? Know what you need and make sure  that counselor you work with doesn’t try to talk you into more than you  are looking for. Larger college counseling companies have structured programs, so you may not get the personal counseling you need.

2. Ask for the background and  experience level of the counselor. There is no license for college planners, so you really need to ask questions about the counselor’s qualifications. Many people enter this field without related or strong backgrounds in college admissions or financial aid. Frequently financial planners offer this as a service as a lead in to their financial planning services.

3. Does the counselor have set counseling programs or does he/she offer an hourly fee?

4. Make sure your personalities are compatible and that you feel comfortable working with the counselor.  You must  feel free to express you needs and concerns, as well as your strengths and weaknesses.

As a college planner who has over 20 years of experience as a college admissions and financial aid administrator, I am more than happy to answer these questions for my prospective clients!