For any international student who wants to study in the US

Second-Semester Senior? How to Maximize Your Last Few Months of High School

keep calm and enjoy senior year

You are nearing the high school finish line! What you do in these last few months of the school year is critical. You should, of course, keep your academic record in good shape, but you should also look toward opportunities to develop interpersonal skills.

A healthy social life can be beneficial in both the personal and the professional sense. Let’s see why…



5 facts about today’s college graduates

Graduation season is in full swing, but what do we really know about all those fresh-faced young adults in black robes — what they actually studied, what their chances are of landing a decent job, how they’ll look back on their college years? Here’s our data roundup:

CollegeGrads_11 Only about 56% of students earn degrees within six years. The National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit verification and research organization, tracked 2.4 million first-time college students who enrolled in fall 2007 with the intent of pursuing a degree or certificate. The completion rate was highest (72.9%) among students who started at four-year, private, nonprofit schools, and lowest (39.9%) among those who started at two-year public institutions.

2 Business is still the most common major. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about a fifth (20.5%) of the 1.79 million bachelor’s degrees conferred in 2011-12 were in business. Business has been the single most common major since 1980-81; before that, education led the way. The least common bachelor’s degrees, according to the NCES, were in library science (95 conferred in 2011-12), military technologies and applied sciences (86) and precision production (37).

CollegeGrads_23 It’s harder for new graduates to find good jobs. It’s no secret that unemployment among recent grads remains higher than it was before the Great Recession. But in a recent report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York went deeper and looked at underemployment among recent grads (defined as people aged 22 to 27 with at least a bachelor’s degree). The Fed researchers used data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to examine whether employed grads were in jobs that typically required a college degree, what those jobs paid, and whether they were working full- or part-time. They found that in 2012, about 44% of grads were working in jobs that didn’t require a college degree — a rate that, while about what it was in early 1990s, increased after the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions. Only 36% of that group were in what the researchers called “good non-college jobs” — those paying around $45,000 a year — down from around half in the 1990s. The share of underemployed recent grads in low-wage (below $25,000) jobs rose from about 15% in 1990 to more than 20%. About one-in-five (23%) underemployed recent grads were working part-time in 2011, up from 15% in 2000.

4 But graduates still out-earn people without degrees. A Pew Research Center report from earlier this year looked at earnings of Millennials (those born after 1980) who usually worked full-time in 2012. Among that group, workers with at least a bachelor’s degree had median annual earnings of $45,500, well over the medians for people with only some college ($30,000) or a high-school diploma ($28,000). The gap has widened over the years and across the generations: In 1965, when the members of the Silent Generation were 25 to 34 years old, median earnings for high-school graduates were 81% of those for college graduates; in 2013, among the Millennials, it was 61.5%.

5 Most grads think college was worth it. The same Pew Researchreport found that majorities of graduates in all three of the largest U.S. generations — Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials — agree that college either has paid off or will pay off, given what they and their families invested in it. Perhaps not surprisingly, the highest-earning graduates were the most positive about their educations — 98% of those making six figures and up said their degree had paid off, compared with 63% of graduates earning less than $50,000. Similarly, people with advanced degrees were even more likely than bachelor’s and associate’s degree holders to say their education was worth the investment — 96%, compared with 89% and 76%, respectively.

This article, 5 Facts About Today’s College Graduates, was originally posted here .

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10 Universities That Offer International Students the Most Aid

Among the schools that gave the most financial aid to international students, the average award was $54,718.

Skidmore College is the most generous institution for giving financial aid to international students, according to U.S. News data.

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College, The Short List: Grad School and The Short List: Online Programs to find data that matter to you in your college or graduate school search.

The U.S. is home to some of the world’s best colleges and universities, and more applicants from outside of the country are asking to be let in. A record number of international students – 886,052 undergraduate and graduate students – enrolled during the 2013-2014 school year, according to an annual report on study abroad trends.

Many prospective students from abroad, much like applicants from the U.S., will need financial aid to cover the costs of tuition and fees, which can reach as high as $51,300 per year, according to U.S. News data.

Some institutions are more generous than others when it comes to giving financial aid to international students, and Skidmore College is one.

It awarded international undergraduates $56,600 on average during the 2014-2015 school year. The New York school awarded the most aid, on average, to international students among 393 ranked institutions that submitted data to U.S. News.

[Check out this infographic to learn more about international students.]

Skidmore has been listed before as one of the top 10 schools for awarding the most aid to undergrads from abroad, though its average aid amount in previous years has been lower. It was $53,600 during the 2013-2014 school year.

The University of Chicago‘s average aid for international students has significantly decreased. During the 2013-2014 school year, its average award was $53,637, making it a top 10 school for financial aid to students from abroad. For the 2014-2015 school year, that average fell to $48,340, knocking the school out of the top 10.

[Take this quiz to see if you’re ready to apply to U.S. universities.]

Among the 10 schools that gave the most aid to international students, the average aid award was $54,718.

Fort Hays State University gave the least aid to international students. The Kansas school gave students from abroad $1,061 on average during the 2014-2015 school year, but its tuition and fees are relatively low. Out-of-state students paid $13,159 for the 2014-2015 school year.

Below is a list of the 10 colleges and universities that gave the most financial aid to at least 50 students from abroad in the 2014-2015 school year. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.

School name (state) Number of international students who received aid during 2014-2015 Average aid awarded to international undergraduates during 2014-2015 U.S. News rank and category
Skidmore College (NY) 96 $56,600 38 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Yale University (CT) 322 $55,862 3, National Universities
Amherst College (MA) 154 $55,673 2, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Williams College (MA) 87 $55,119 1, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Wesleyan University (CT) 77 $54,996 14 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Trinity College (CT) 166 $54,788 43 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Columbia University (NY) 176 $53,972 4 (tie), National Universities
Stanford University (CA) 150 $53,422 4 (tie), National Universities
Harvard University (MA) 524 $53,409 2, National Universities
Duke University (NC) 173 $53,334 8, National Universities

Don’t see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find financial aid data, complete rankings and much more. School officials can access historical data and rankings, including of peer institutions, via U.S. News Academic Insights.

U.S. News surveyed nearly 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2015 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported myriad data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News’ data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News’ rankings of Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schoolsor Best Online Programs. The financial aid data above are correct as of Sept. 24, 2015.

This article,  10 Universities That Offer International Students the Most Aid, was originally posted here.

Photo is from here.

Careers in Beauty Marketing: Information and Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a beauty marketer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and salary to find out if this is the career for you.


How To Be Beautiful

ssential Information

Beauty marketers create promotion strategies for advertising products such as lotions, potions, sprays and creams. A bachelor’s degree and an internship or experience is usually necessary for these careers. Professionals must also understand the beauty and fashion industry.

Required Education Bachelor’s typically needed
Other Requirements Internship often required, understanding of the industry
Projected Job Growth (2012 – 2022)* 13% for all marketing managers
Median Salary (2013)* $123,220 annually for all marketing managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Beauty Marketing Career Information

Beauty marketing careers range from beauty store counter assistant to director of marketing. At its most basic level, marketing involves promoting a company’s beauty products, which can range from cosmetics to fragrances to hair care products. Marketing professionals work with other executives in sales, advertising, public relations and promotion to examine the demand for beauty products and find ways that the company can meet that demand.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for marketing managers, including those in the beauty industry, was $123,220 as of 2013 ( The BLS projected that employment for this occupational group would grow by 13% from 2012 to 2022.

Career Possibilities

Some beauty marketers begin their careers by working in a retail store as a beauty adviser, counter representative or sales associate. Prospective beauty marketers learn what products appeal to customers and how to promote them. Other entry-level positions in beauty marketing include marketing or administrative assistant at a cosmetics or beauty company.

After several years of experience, or earning a bachelor’s degree, individuals can become a marketing manager, product manager or sales representative. Some professionals choose to focus on market research or promotions, or they may pursue careers in beauty product development. At this level, professionals execute the marketing plans developed by the executive leadership and assist with developing pricing and promotion strategies. Experienced beauty marketers help develop marketing plans and oversee their execution.

Education Requirements

To work as a cosmetics counter representative, job candidates may only need a high school education. Those with a degree may qualify for advanced positions as a marketing manager, account executive or vice president.

According to the BLS, those wishing to pursue a career in marketing should consider majoring in business administration with a focus on marketing. Courses in marketing, management, finance, accounting, economics, market research, consumer behavior, sales, advertising and communication can be useful in this career. Understanding the beauty and fashion industry is also important. Some education programs specifically focus on beauty marketing topics, including package design, beauty formulations, beauty trends and forecasting.

Experience is another important factor for landing a job in the industry. Prospects can apply for internships in the beauty industry, and the BLS indicated that many employers seek candidates who have completed internships.

This article, Careers in Beauty Marketing: Information and Education Requirments, was originally posted here.

Photo is from here.

The Most Important Question of Your Life

silhouette of happy running woman with umbrella

Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room.


5 Lessons on Bringing Your Dream to Life

Are u a dreamer?

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

I grew up with a stepdad who was a dreamer. He lived in a world where positive affirmations created a positive life. He believed that going after your heart’s desire was as important as anything else. He lived in the clouds and in his designs and in his visions.

I used to wake up and find that he had left post-it notes on my bathroom mirror with quotes about reaching my dreams such as, “You can if you think you can,” and “Quitters never win, and winners never quit.”

He bought me a pillow speaker when I was seven, so every night I could listen to a subliminal tape repeating how I would succeed beautifully in life.

He held a vision for himself to create his own business. He invented a product to put on every street sweeper and set out to make this dream come true. He worked tirelessly at it for many years, and eventually it took off. He had done it. He was living his dream.

I would love to say that this is where the story ends. I would love to say that he lived happily ever after embracing his dream. But that just wouldn’t be the truth.

What actually happened is that my stepdad’s dream—this life that he created—began to unravel almost as quickly as it had been created. And eventually, he lost everything: his dream, his family, and his life.

(He was never the same after his business folded; his zest for life left him, and he ended up dying at 56 from unknown causes. I think that his spirit was broken and his will to live was no longer there.)

But, even though it ended so badly and sadly, he happened to pass on the dreaming torch to me. And I carry it proudly and almost defiantly.

Dreamers aren’t always revered in our society. Sometimes they are seen as flaky or irresponsible.

But growing up with a dreamer and becoming one myself, I can say without a doubt that being a dreamer allowed me to create the life I am living today. It allowed me to believe that anything is possible, and that definitely is a good thing.

I believe that carrying big dreams in our hearts and then bringing them to life is an essential part of living fully. Just because my stepdad’s dreams didn’t go as he had hoped definitely doesn’t mean that all dreams will fail.

Quite the opposite, really. I have brought many dreams to life. And I give him a lot of credit for that. During our journey together I learned some powerful life lessons about dreaming, each of which helped me hold true to my dreams:

1. Believe in yourself as much as you believe in your dream.

I have seen many beautiful dreams fail simply because the dreamer didn’t have the self-confidence to see them through. They worried that maybe it was too big of a dream. They started to feel that maybe they weren’t actually good enough to want something so amazing.

Knowing that you are worthy of your dream is an essential part of bringing it to life. Growing up with positivity and affirmations helped create a solid foundation of self-esteem for me. I don’t believe my stepdad had this self-confidence, which is one of the reasons why his dream fell apart.

2. Be okay with failing.

If you never try to reach your dreams because you’re afraid that you’ll fail, then you’ll never know for sure if you could have made them come true.

I saw my stepdad go through several “failed” versions of his product before he came up with the final one. And each time, he was even more determined to create something that held his vision. He learned from each prototype and then incorporated these changes into the final version.

He was okay with failing and with making mistakes; he knew that it was part of the process. Knowing this gave me permission to make mistakes in my own life as I’ve moved toward my dream.

I’m sure I’ll continue to make mistakes, but one thing that stays true throughout each of these so-called failures is that I am here today because of them. Each one led to a shift in my perspective and a different path, which led me to the next, and the next.

3. Keep going.

I have worked for myself for the past 10 years. And throughout that time, I have had many moments where I wondered if this entrepreneurial lifestyle was worth it. I have questioned why I took this path and asked myself if I should just get a job with the security of a regular paycheck.

But the dreamer in my heart knew that I needed to keep going. I saw my stepdad keep at it, and I knew that he eventually reached his dream by doing so. And so I kept going and stayed on course, knowing that perseverance is the way to success. Staying power and continuing on is what separates the true dreamers and the achievers from the dream hobbyists.

4. Enjoy being different.

Being a dreamer transcends the dream itself. It’s a personality trait, a lifestyle, a way of thinking and being. When you’re a dreamer, your life isn’t going to look like everyone else’s. You think differently. You act differently. You live differently. And sometimes, this can feel uncomfortable.

My stepdad was definitely an outcast—he didn’t have many friends. And while I don’t think this needs to be the case, I do think it’s important to bring friends into your life that will accept you and embrace your dreams rather than minimize or criticize them.

I love that I have created a life where I get to do pretty much whatever I want. And I love that I have brought into my life a loving community that understands me and appreciates the dreamer in me. It’s definitely possible to enjoy being different and to find a tribe who enjoys it, too.

5. Allow your dream to change.

I believe that one of the reasons my stepdad’s dream fell apart was because he was holding onto the original vision without being open to new manifestations of it. Dreams change, just like we do. But when we resist those changes, we miss out on new possibilities.

Someone offered to buy my stepdad’s company for a lot of money, but because this wasn’t part of his original dream, he wasn’t even willing to consider this possibility. Shortly after he refused this offer, his company fell apart.

While this was heartbreaking at the time, the lesson that I have taken from it is that sometimes we have to allow our dreams to change. Sometimes we have to let go of our original plan and surrender to the possibility of whatever our dream may become.

My stepdad taught me that being a dreamer is something to be embraced rather than denied.

I’m a proud dreamer who takes risks and lives my life in this space of passion and innovation. Even though his dream was never fully realized, I’m glad my stepdad was an incurable dreamer.

It allowed me to grow up with hope and faith and creativity and life. And I’m proud that I have taken this trait on and will continue reaching my own dreams. I would love for you to do the same in your own life. The world can definitely never have too many dreamers.

This article, 5 Lessons On Bringing Your Dream to Life, was originally posted here

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5 Things Students Must Know About the New SAT


Practice mental math

By now, it is likely not news that the SAT is undergoing a comprehensive revision. Unfortunately for test-takers who will sit for the Redesigned SAT soon after its 2016 release, prep materials for the exam are relatively scarce. Despite this reality, there are still ways to ready yourself. Here are five such tips:

1. Practice with graphs

The Math section of the Redesigned SAT will increase its focus on algebraic and general problem solving, as well as data interpretation. Geometry will still be present, but it will account for a much smaller portion of the test.

To prepare for this shift, review and practice with ACT Science materials. Both ACT Science and SAT Math employ data interpretation and graphing skills, so the time you spend on one exam can benefit you on the other. Due to this increased overlap, it may even make sense to take both the SAT and the ACT. A number of colleges accept both tests, and many will use the score that is most advantageous to you.

2. Learn to work without a calculator

One of the most significant changes on the Math section is a calculator-free portion. This allows the SAT to test for real mathematical understanding, as opposed to the ability to enter numbers into a machine. It is essential to ensure that you can solve the problems outlined above (save for data analysis) without your calculator, so consider completing all your math homework and test practice by hand. This may make the work harder in the short term, but in the long term, you will be ready for this section of the Redesigned SAT.

3. Understand new answer formats

In the past, if a student was struggling with a specific portion of the SAT, I would sometimes recommend that he or she skip the most difficult questions, as wrong answers negatively impacted overall scores. On the Redesigned SAT, that advice is no longer relevant. You will no longer be penalized for wrong answers, and this means that there is no longer a reason to leave any questions blank. Random guessing will remain ineffective, but eliminating even one incorrect answer choice can lead to an improvement in your overall score. When you prepare for the exam, focus on not just finding the correct answers, but on quickly identifying incorrect responses too. This can include “guesstimating” Math questions, and avoiding Evidence-Based Reading and Writing answers that deal in absolutes.

Another important change in answer formats will be the extended-thinking question in the Math section. This question will be a word problem followed by several related questions, all of which test your problem solving skills. The answers to these questions will be “open” (or student produced), rather than multiple-choice. One way to start preparing for the extended-thinking question is to treat all math problems as essentially “open” – solve each practice question with the possible responses covered, and write your answer in the margin. After you finish, compare your result with the answer key. This process will not only help you improve in extended-thinking, but you will almost certainly become stronger with multiple-choice questions, as well.

4. Focus more on reading and less on vocabulary

The Redesigned SAT will feature a single Evidence-Based Reading and Writing portion. Here, the primary shift will be an emphasis on parsing real-world texts. Vocabulary will still be relevant insofar as you will need to understand what you read. Gone, however, will be the esoteric terms that characterized earlier versions of the SAT. Instead of memorizing lists of vocabulary words, work on “unpacking” passages. As one example, this sample question requires students to define “parties” given the specific context of the passage. “Parties” is not a challenging term in and of itself, but determining the shade of meaning that is appropriate to the context can be.

Study materials developed for the Literature SAT Subject Test can be helpful when preparing for the Redesigned SAT since analysis will be much more important than regurgitation. The test will also use real-world documents drawn from various realms of history and culture. You cannot possibly read every important document, but you can browse several from each era so that the language is somewhat familiar to you come exam day.

5. Investigate the essay

Beginning in spring 2016, the essay portion of the SAT will no longer be required for all students. Many schools may still ask test-takers to submit it, but you will need to investigate this on a case-by-case basis. If none of your top-choice colleges ask for it, you may decide to opt against the essay. If you do need to complete the essay, be aware that it, too, is in the midst of a transformation. Specifically, you will now be asked to provide a critical evaluation of a provided passage, rather than your own free-form response to an open-ended topic. Critical analysis is a very different technique to wield, but the skills you learn while preparing for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing will stand you in good stead.

This article,  5 Things Student Must Know About the New SAT, was originally posted from here

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