myUsearch blog

Honest college information — choose, apply, get into and pay for college.

Anonymous Student Wins myUsearch Scholarship

August 23, 2009 By: Elizabeth Kraus Category: Top Stories

myUsearch has just announced the winner of its scholarship for international and undocumented students: Student X. Student X, who must stay anonymous to protect herself and her family, was brought to the US by her parents when she was only five months old. After several attempts to become legal US citizens, her family decided that if they wanted to provide a better life for their children, they would have no choice but to stay in the country illegally. So, like the thousands of other undocumented students in this country, Student X grew up as a normal US student and came to know the United States as her home……until she graduated from high school and realized she was not eligible for in-state tuition or financial aid.


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10 Tips to Good Grades

August 19, 2009 By: John Spiropoulos Category: Alumni advice, Best College Tips

Some things, like going to class, seem obvious. But there is a huge temptation to skip class in college. There’s a lot of other things to do that you might find more interesting than, say, “density functional theory.” Unlike high school, many college classes don’t take attendance. And if you’re living away from home, your parents aren’t there to make sure you get to class.

kid sleeping

Photo by rofltosh.

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The Social Side of Dual Enrollment

August 17, 2009 By: Pauline Diaz Category: College Tips

With dual enrollment programs, high school students can take college classes and earn credits for free or reduced fees, but unlike AP or IB, classes are taken through an actual college. These programs are a great a way to try out college-level work and save on tuition, but what about the social side of dual enrollment? Here are some things to consider:

photo by Jake Shepherd

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Obama and Community Colleges: How Does It Help You?

August 13, 2009 By: Elizabeth Kraus Category: Top Stories

Today we have a guest post from Kelsey Murray:

Kelsey Murray is a junior at the University of Oklahoma studying advertising. She also writes about news, trends and advice for college students at, an educational resource helping students at all stages of the education process find student loans, scholarships, testing advice and more.

As a college student, I rarely pay attention to the news and politics. There’s nothing I can do about the drought in Eastern Africa and politics don’t typically interest me because they don’t apply to me. But now, with President Obama in office, things are starting to get a bit more interesting and applicable to me.


Photo by Jurvetson 

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10 Tips For College Freshmen

August 11, 2009 By: Jillianne Hamilton Category: Best College Tips, Campus Life, College Tips

Last week, our friends over at Unigo published a great back to school guide with a ton of tips for college freshman,  including links and videos with helpful advice for those of you starting college for the first time. After checking this out, it made me wonder what tips I’d give to college freshman. As a wise old sophmore in college, I think it’s my duty to tell you a few things.

Here are some basic tips for your first year away from home.

Image courtesy of foundphotoslj.

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Does an Ivy League Education Pay Off?

August 10, 2009 By: Pauline Diaz Category: Best College Tips, Choosing a College, US College rankings

Last month, the Princeton Review released their annual college rankings, listing off the nation’s biggest party schools, best college towns and nicest dorms. And while you may be thinking about those factors as you shop for schools, maybe it’s worthwhile to look ahead: recently released an interesting report of college graduate salary statistics. Is your dream school worth the price of tuition?

 photo by L. E. MacDonald

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Moving Back Home After Graduation

August 06, 2009 By: Kate Scozzaro Category: Top Stories

College seniors have 3 things on their minds: Finding a job, getting some money, and building a future. There’s a catch though. If you don’t find the job, you won’t have the money to build your future. Momma’s Boy, Daddy’s Little Girl. Nicknames that show you rely on your parents in one way or another were not always cool… until now. Moving back home after graduation has been the latest trend for clear economical reasons and you’re not seen as a total dork either!


 College graduation picture by Miss Karen 

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Obama’s New Student Loan: What It Means to You

August 04, 2009 By: Taylor Garrett Category: Aid for College, Student loans

As a liberal arts student in college, I make it my business to know nothing about accounting, finance, banking, or lending. Yes, I currently receive federal financial aid—both subsidized and unsubsidized, direct and indirect—but I make a concerted effort to ignore the differences, disregard the fine print, and defer to my parents. I just trust that either they understand it, or if they don’t, money is money, right? We all have different ways of paying for college, and it usually just comes down to meeting that magic tuition number. For those of us not fortunate enough to encounter a bag of unmarked bills on the sidewalk or receive an envelope of mafia hush-money, there are good ol’ federal loans to help us get to that number.


 Obama photo by transplanted mountaineer

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myUsearch Mommy Goes to College Scholarship

July 31, 2009 By: Jillianne Hamilton Category: Aid for College, Scholarships

Yup, now mommies too can win some cash through a scholarship. You could win a $1000 for answering our essay question by essay or video. Deadline for submissions is December 31, 2009. Below are the requirements for entering.

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My Best College Application Advice

July 27, 2009 By: Julie Manhan Category: Admissions insider, Application tips, Best College Tips

Every year, more and more students choose to apply online - a trend I’m happy to see as we become more environmentally responsible.  However, in some students’ minds, online applications seem to trigger a response that says, “It’s just another online form.  How hard can it be?”  The truth is, it’s not “just another online form”.  It’s your chance to make a great first impression - or not. Read the rest of this entry →

The Real College Story

July 24, 2009 By: Kate Scozzaro Category: Best College Tips, Campus Life

Four years of high school felt like forever. You work your way up from being a tiny freshman to a big bad senior through endless homework assignments, cliques, school dances, breakups, sports teams, puberty, and the dream of graduation day. It seems like just yesterday that I was walking across that stage receiving my diploma… that’s how fast the last 3 years have gone by. In less than a month, I’ll be a big bad senior again. A college senior! I almost can’t believe it. So what was college really like when I look back on it?


 Collegeboy photo by weifly


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5 Mistakes to Avoid on Your College Application

July 22, 2009 By: Andy Burns Category: Admissions insider, Application tips, Best College Tips, Get into College

As summer is coming to an end, high school seniors will begin to think about applying to college.  Having worked in college admissions for over 10 years, I’ve seen my share of stupid mistakes from students in completing their college applications.  While many professionals will give you advice on how to construct the perfect application,  few will share the unfortunate errors with you.  Today’s blog will cover the top 5 mistakes that I’ve seen. Read the rest of this entry →

You are Your Best College Admissions Advocate

July 20, 2009 By: Brady Norvall Category: Admissions insider, Application tips, Best College Tips, Get into College, Interview tips

I’d like to let you in on a little secret: I am usually assigned topics to cover for this blog and I, naturally, follow my grand-master’s guidelines to the “T”. However, this month, no such luck. I was told to write on anything- ANYTHING that I choose. I’m picturing my high school seniors who come to me saying that they’re choosing to write their college essay using the Common Application’s prompt, “Topic of your choice”. So I guess I will take the advice I often give them and “be specific”. I would like to talk about how important it is for students to become their own advocates in the college application and admission process.


 Photo by theparadigmshifter

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Should You Choose a Major Before Choosing a College?

July 13, 2009 By: Pauline Diaz Category: Best College Tips, Choosing a College

It’s true that many students change their major several times before graduating. So why do so many experts advise you to to compare the quality of your intended major when it comes to choosing a college?

Here’s a look at why choosing a major before freshman year might actually matter-and why it might not.

photo by Jonathan Ng

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How to Get the Most From Your Veteran Benefits

July 10, 2009 By: Lynn Mattoon Category: Aid for College, Choosing a College

In order to take full advantage of the benefits your military service has provided you, you should leave no stone unturned. Fully investigate every benefit available to you and how best to use them.


  Veteran photo by Brent and Marilyn

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myUsearch Scholarship Deadline Approaching

July 09, 2009 By: Jillianne Hamilton Category: Aid for College, Scholarships

The deadline for‘s newest scholarship is fast approaching. The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2009. There’s still lots of time to enter. This particular scholarship is for international or undocumented students who plan on attending a college or university in the United States.



Photo by jenn_jenn.

Students taking part in the scholarship contest are asked to produce a video or written essay, answering the following question: “How will the completion of a US degree impact your life, your family and your home community?”

Check out this blog post to find more information about this international scholarship.

12 Tips For Finding and Applying For Scholarships

July 03, 2009 By: Jillianne Hamilton Category: Aid for College, Scholarships

With so many students applying for the same scholarships, competition is tough. But this shouldn’t scare you away from the scholarship process. Here are a few tips to give you an edge.


Photo by B3OK.

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Parents: What Your College Bound Students Should Know

July 01, 2009 By: Elizabeth Kraus Category: Campus Life

As high school seniors count the days until their long-awaited college independence arrives, parents are left wondering: Have I taught them everything they need to know?  No matter how hard parents try, college freshman always realize there were a few things they should have learned before they left home. We can’t teach our children everything, and in fact, it’s best not to.  Nevertheless, the following is a list of things all college students should know:


Photo by Auzigog

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Dual Enrollment: Does it Hurt or Help to Take College Classes in High School?

June 29, 2009 By: Pauline Diaz Category: Get into College

If you’re looking to graduate from college early, add some edge to your applications, or get a little taste of the college experience before fully diving in, then you might consider dual enrollment programs, where a student takes college courses for both college and high school credit. This could mean anything from literally taking a class on the college campus to a professor coming in to the high school or even having honors high school courses signed off for credit.

Although many state systems are expanding dual enrollment programs as a way to decrease drop-out rates, encourage more students to go on to college, and save on higher education funding, other schools won’t even glance at those credits. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to do dual enrollment.

photo by Robert S. Donovan

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College is closing in: It’s the summer before your senior year— do something!

June 25, 2009 By: Brady Norvall Category: Admissions insider, Application tips, Best College Tips, College application essays, Extracurricular activities, Get into College

With another school year down and a new one just lurking around the corner, it is important for high school seniors to begin their college application process now. No, we’re not doing this to fuel the fire of competitive college admissions. And we’re certainly not doing this to pile on more stress and anxiety to the already-hectic life of a teen. What we’re doing is actually trying to alleviate some of that by planning — creating a timetable of sorts to make your life more orderly. Let’s face it, the junior year was tough because that’s what the junior year is supposed to be. Your senior year is equally as difficult in the classroom. Do you really want to add to that by doing nothing the summer before? So let’s figure out what you can do now that will save you time and worry during your last hoorah in high school.

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