Sports Scholarships – One Way to Reduce the College Tuition Bill For the Future College Athlete!

How Much Spare Change Will You Need?

The average cost of college tuition today with room and board is about $25,000 annually at an in-state public university and around $40,000 annually at a private school not including the purchases of books, fees, and spending money, let alone airfare if your student athlete is out of state.The price tag for a college education increased 53% for public schools and 47% for private above inflation between 1994 and 2004. This college tuition cost is not going to get less! Are college sports scholarships something to think about for your future college athlete? Might these scholarships provide a little spare education change?

That is what we were facing five years ago with a high school senior who decided to play college basketball very late. But our daughter was not the elite athlete; in fact, her high school coach considered her a D-III athlete at best, possibly D-II if she stretched. We had not even thought about college sports scholarships because no coach was knocking on her door! And, in fact, today, universities and colleges have reduced the recruiting budgets for college coaches; they cannot personally recruit as many potential college athletes as before. If you are the parent of a student athlete who is not the top superstar, then it is likely you and your student athlete will have to search for sports scholarships yourselves. Your prospective college athlete will have to do his or her own recruiting to help reduce the high price of college tuition today.

Who Gets to Play?

In our research to figure out how we would find her a college sports scholarship and reduce that tuition bill, we found out that about 5% of high school athletes go on to play college sports. We also discovered there are sports scholarships beyond the “usual suspects” of football, basketball, baseball and volleyball, and not just in the NCAA! And, we learned that high school student athletes can find academic scholarships at great D-III schools that have highly competitive sports programs.

We did not want our daughter to be one of the student athletes in the 95% category that do not get to be a college athlete! She had the desire, the work ethic, and the talent. We developed a process to help her and she received a walk-on offer at a Big East D-I University in Chicago, two D-III academic scholarships, and, eventually, a D-I scholarship at a West Coast Conference school.

What we found in our research, online and personal ~ talking with college coaches, high school counselors, athletic directors and other parents ~ was that most of the emphasis is on the elite future college athlete, the one coaches actively recruit. There seems to be less effort put into those athletes who are talented, but are not maybe the superstars. These may be young athletes who are not the starters on their high school teams, suffered injuries or are late bloomers. We also saw other high school athletes whom we came across that either did not know how to begin their search for an athletic scholarship (D-I and D-II) or the academic scholarship at D-III. Or, their parents were really not knowledgeable about the world of college athletics.

College Athletics — Play to Earn an Education!

And, what we found is that there was a lot of information about the athletic scholarships, but not much about how to find a solid academic program along with that athletic scholarship. Most college athletes do not go on to play in the pros, so the object of the athletic scholarship is to help the student athlete continue to play his or her sport while also earning a college education. And, we happen to think that is still very valuable. Universities and colleges are beginning to recognize the end game — getting a good education to prepare for the “game” of life. Even the NCAA is increasingly looking at the student in the word student athlete.

I came across a recent article in a national magazine that basically was saying athletic scholarships are not all that they are cracked up to be. The author stated that the average college scholarship is about $10,000 and, if you extract the men’s sports, that scholarship reduces to $8,000; the only full scholarships are for football, basketball and volleyball. The author also stated that there is no such thing as a four-year athletic scholarship and coaches can pull scholarships for a variety of factors. True enough; scholarships are given for only one year and most sports scholarships are partial, with colleges and parents piecing together the puzzle with loans and other financial aid packages. It was a rather doom and gloom article. We have a little different view. When our daughter received offers of two approximately $12,000 academic scholarships to two D-III schools where she would have played basketball, that was $12,000 off of a $33,000 tuition bill. I don’t know about you, but I will take that any day!

Caveat Emptor! Like Anything Else — Do Your Homework and Use Common Sense!

Although the world of college athletics is not for the faint of heart and there are certainly unscrupulous programs and coaches, if one uses common sense and goes into this college search process with eyes open and a realistic picture of the level of talent, the search for a college sports scholarship, given an effective plan and process, should produce some good results. We were neophytes when we started this effort on behalf of our daughter, but we have to say the coaches with whom we talked and met were straight shooters and gave us honest answers to all of our inquiries. And, yes, we know of student athletes who have not been treated very well, with scholarships yanked because coaches were changed or the school wanted to go in a different direction. But, we also know of student athletes who were able to stay all four years at a college and play for most of those years and gain a good solid education, something they might not have had if that athletic scholarship had not at least reduced some of the college bill.

We would encourage the student athletes out there or the parents of student athletes to take a look at college sports scholarships (or academic scholarships at D-III schools) as a way to pay part of that ever increasing college tuition bill. And, the college athletic search will take you beyond the NCAA, to the NAIA, NCCAA, NJCAA, or other community college associations and will provide a much greater choice of academic programs available. There are great colleges and universities out there of all shapes and sizes to fit the interests of the potential college athlete. The key is just to start and do not listen to all the naysayers. You just might be pleasantly surprised.

Shopping For Wholesale Backpacks and Their Uses

Backpacks are essential equipment for students, hikers, travelers, and athletes of all ages. Everyone knows how useful and practical a backpack can be and just about everyone owns at least one backpack. When purchasing backpacks for personal use or retail, consider buying wholesale backpacks. Wholesale and discount backpacks come in various sizes and styles and there is a backpack for every need. Selecting the right backpack for yourself does not have to be overwhelming. Check out these types of backpacks and learn how to choose the best backpack for you.

Depending on the size of your load, you’ll need to choose a pack with sufficient support. The main categories of backpacks are back packs with internal frames, backpacks with external frames, and frameless backpacks. Frameless packs are meant for lighter loads. This kind of backpack is simply a bag with straps that fit over the shoulders. More sophisticated frameless backpacks may have padded shoulder straps and backs for extra comfort and additional pockets to help organize your supplies.

When carrying more weight or traveling longer distances, you will need a backpack with a frame. Hiking backpacks usually have an external frame, made of a lightweight metal such as scandium or titanium alloys. The body of the backpack is cloth attached to the frame. This frame supports the weight of the pack and then distributes the weight across your hips for a more ergonomically correct fit. Backpacks with internal frames are a recent innovation. The concept is simple: a metal or plastic frame is sewn into the backpack for built-in support. Plastic strips follow the shape of your back for a better fit. Additional metal components may reinforce the frame. And when you go exploring in an urban setting, backpacks make perfect lightweight and convenient luggage. Backpacking across Europe is a popular pastime for older teens and young adults. When weight is distributed properly, you can carry your backpack long distances without back pain or muscle strain.

Because of their versatility, back packs, sometimes called knapsacks, are popular with students. Kids’ backpacks give them more space when carrying books, binders, notebooks, lunch, gym clothes, and other essential school things. Plus, many backpacks offer extra pockets that are perfect for pens, cellphones, and other gear. Trendy backpacks are available in different designs and colors, often featuring the latest celebrities or television characters, giving kids a chance to express their individuality through a hip backpack.

Young children enjoy carrying backpacks as a sign of their maturity and growing independence. Even preschoolers and kindergarteners like to carry backpacks to have a special place to put their things. Just remember, pediatricians advise that filled backpacks should weigh no more than 10-15% of a child’s body weight. Most school backpacks also have adjustable straps for a more comfortable fit.

Back to school shopping or preparing for a hiking trip can be costly. Save money by buying discount backpacks. With wholesale backpacks, you’ll find high quality, affordable backpacks at deep discounts. Check out online deals on backpacks to find the greatest variety of hiking packs and school bags.

Whether you are camping out, hiking on the trails, or just hitting the books, it is easy to find wholesale backpacks that fit your lifestyle and complement your personality. When buying wholesale backpacks for personal use or for resale at a retail outlet, scout the market for the best bargains and get the most value from your budget.

Raw Diet Products

Raw food diet consists of uncooked, unprocessed and often organic foods. Humans eat raw food diets in an effort to stay healthier, but lots of people who own pets are using this product as food for their animals. Manufacturers of raw diet food products promote them as a healthy diet alternative for pets. Today there are several companies that deal solely with raw diet products and offer an all-natural, frozen, fresh pet food made from ground bones, free-range meats and fresh vegetables – real, raw diet products the way nature intended.

Raw diet products help to improve the overall nutrition and physical condition of household pets. As cats and dogs are carnivores by nature, inclusion of meat in their diets guarantees adequate development and balanced nutrition. Raw diet products are exactly the kinds of food that cats and dogs naturally seek out for themselves in the wild.

A good raw diet product is comprised of 75-80% meat, 20-25% veggies and some grains such as millet, barley, oatmeal and other vital supplements. Companies produce raw diet products in a temperature-controlled environment to preclude the growth of bacteria and freezing also helps to reduce pathogens considerably.

The cost of quality raw diet products is higher than ordinary products. Just as with humans, food served to dogs and cats has a direct effect on their health. So before purchasing any raw diet product for pets, it is necessary to ensure that the products selected are prepared from the finest meat and organic ingredients.

7 Reasons to Learn a New Language

Have you ever asked yourself why you should learn a new language? There are tons of reasons why you should and everyone has their own personal reasons why they do it, whether it be because they fell in love with a foreigner or because they want to reconnect with family in another country etc. You will find seven good and relevant reasons for anyone who is planning on learning a new language in this article.

1. To broaden your mind
“You live a new life for every new language you speak.” I have found this particular Czech proverb to be true for myself. Whenever I started learning a new language, it felt like I immersed myself in a new world. If you learn how other people are expressing things, you will know more about how they feel about them. Speaking their language will give you the ability to step inside the mind of another culture and understand it to a much greater extent than without speaking the language.

2. To improve employment potential
Learning a new language can be extremely beneficial for your career. Employees who speak only one language can only communicate with people who speak that same language. Speaking other languages will improve your chances of going on business trips, negotiating contracts or getting a job in the first place. Granted, you probably will not get an instant raise or offered a better position when you start learning a new language. But it certainly will not hurt your employability.

3. To appreciate international literature, music and film
Very early in my life I noticed that watching films in the original version is way better than watching the dubbed German versions. And never did I understand that one could possibly argue against watching a film in its original form. I absolutely hate it when puns or cultural references get lost in translation or when the actors’ lips are out of sync. Most of this is true for literature and music as well. A translated text can never be fully true to the intent, style or uniqueness of its original. Music is almost never translated, so if you want to understand the lyrics you have to learn the language(s) used in the song.

4. To make travel more enjoyable
Learning the language of the country you are traveling in can make your travel experience so much better. Granted, in most countries people speak English in tourist areas. However, if you want to go off the beaten path and experience a country as it really is, you must speak the language or your travel can become frustrating or even dangerous.

5. To study abroad
If you plan to study abroad, you might want to learn the language of the country you are planning to go to. Very often it is mandatory for taking courses and even if it is not, it will make your stay so much more enjoyable. Any problems with housing, fees, deadlines etc. are less likely to appear if you speak the local language.

6. To make lifelong friends
Learning a foreign language can lead to long lasting friendships, whether it is through meeting tandem partners or teachers, through establishing a connection with pen pals in another country, or whether talking to exchange students at university or even doing an exchange year yourself. People appreciate the effort you put into learning their language and they will let you know, at least that is what I have experienced. The more exotic the language you are learning, the more surprising and rewarding it is for natives that you are actually interested in learning it.

7. To have fun
Last but not least, learning a new language can be surprisingly fun. While fun is probably not the first reason you will think of when hearing the words “studying/learning”, it is one of the best reasons to learn a new language. After all, life should be about having fun. And learning a language outside of the classroom definitely is fun! It is just not that easy so you will have to be able to stay motivated for a long time.

This list is by no means complete. Everyone has their own reasons to learn a language and that is how it should be.

Small Business Ideas – There Are A Lot Of Them

Many people these days are leaving the corporate world, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, and starting their own businesses. They want to become their own bosses, use their talents, and work out of their homes.

Perhaps they have kids that they want to be close to or just want to live a more creative life. If you’ve been behind a desk from nine to five, this may seem like the impossible dream. However, you might be surprised at how easy this is, especially if you have an avocation that you’re passionate about and are good at.

You may not realize it, but what you do easily, someone else will pay to have done because it’s difficult for them. You may do something so easily and well that you don’t even consider it a gift of yours. For instance, you may be a great dancer. Do you realize that many people have two left feet and think they’ll never be able to learn to dance?

However, they may have to for their own or their child’s wedding, for instance, and so you could give lessons for a reasonable price right in your own home. If you play a musical instrument well, there are always those, both children and adults, who’d love to learn that instrument but think they can’t.

You can give them lessons in your home or in theirs. If you’re a professional, think outside the box. You don’t have to be hired by a corporation to work as an attorney or an accountant, for example. You can begin letting people know that you’re available to take care of their legal or financial needs. Let the people you already know hire you for a nominal fee, do a good job, and soon you’ll be getting referrals and building up a list of clients.

In many areas, you can rent a storefront and open a store for very little money per month. Do your homework first, however, and see what’s already in the neighborhood and what the needs might be. Ask around so you can get the perspective of the community. When you meet a need or provide a luxury that people are receptive to, you will attract a crowd and are likely to make a profit.

Sometimes starting your own home-based business can be as easy as providing a service to the public. Can you mow lawns in summer and shovel snow in winter? Can you walk dogs or pick up doggie poop for people who have to be at work during all the daylight hours?

While other people are earning money, you can be earning money too by helping them with the lifestyles they’ve chosen. You’ll be choosing your life, becoming your own boss, and making your own hours while feeling a sense of ownership that can never be duplicated when you work for somebody else.

How News Reporting Differs From Article Marketing Writing

Are You A News Writer Or An Article Marketer?

Fresh out of journalism school over 20 years ago, one of my first jobs was with The New York Times (D.C. Office), where I had the opportunity to work for some of the most talented and celebrated journalists of today (Maureen Dowd, Gwen Ifill, Thomas Friedman). I learned a great deal about writing and editing news articles (I went to a lot of congressional meetings:), and understood on a more meaningful level the art of news reporting.

Fast forward ten years later. I was married and had a child with another one on the way and I was trying to transition my career as a psychotherapist into one that I could do online because I wanted to stay home with my children. At first I didn’t know how I was going to make that successfully happen, so I thought the easiest thing I could do while I figured things out was to write.

As I wrote more articles for the web, I began to realize that how I was trained to write was not going to get me the results I was looking for – for people to actually read the articles!

The two styles of writing are completely different and you need to be really clear about what kind of writer you are when looking for results on the web.

1. News reporting means that there is an issue or an event that a reporter (writer) is going to investigate, research, and report about. There are no opinions in news reporting – just facts.

In article marketing, there can be a variety of article types. There can be fact reporting, opinion, how-to and many more approaches to the writing. There are no rules on the type of articles you will read on the web. In fact, more often than not you will read an article that has a unique perspective on a topic of interest.

2. News reporting is timely. It is not evergreen. You typically cannot read a news article that was written last year and it still be relevant the following year.

Good article marketing articles are evergreen. This means that the articles apply to today and will remain relevant the next year and even longer. While this is not always the case, for the most part, this is a good standard to write by for the web.

3. Good news reporting requires a great deal of research. In fact I would say that 70% of the work of a news article is the research that goes into it. The other 30% is the energy and talent that it takes to pull all that information together into a cohesive and interesting article that people will read. Needless to say this takes a lot of time. Research has to be searched for, found, and then validated.

On the other hand, article marketing requires less “research” on your part. While there may be some initial research for content you may want to add to your articles, the real purpose of article marketing is to educate or entertain the reader about a topic that you specialize in. You shouldn’t have to do a lot of research and fact checking. In fact, people are more interested in your perspective and your opinion on the topic — not just “the facts”.

4. News articles typically begin with a lead (the point of the article), the facts (supporting information), and then the background information (background info and interviews). This is pretty standard among most publications.

Web articles used for article marketing do not have to fit the same stringent criteria as news articles.You can discuss a point you are trying to make using storytelling. You can build to your “point of the article”. You also do not have to include a lot of background information, etc. because you don’t have a lot of time or words to get your point across to your reader.

People who read The Times know that they have to devote at least 10-15 minutes to an article. They are use to it and have been conditioned to expect that. Web readers do not have that type of attention span.You have to get to the point quickly and succinctly. No more looking to “fill” your articles with stuff. Just talk about the things that people really care about and move onto the next article.

5. News articles tend to be copy heavy for the reasons I’ve already stated above. Long, in-depth articles are expected.

It is the opposite on the web. Dense articles can give readers headaches and a reason to click away. Readers need white space and visual breaks between paragraphs.

Web articles are read on computers, tablets, and smartphones. Also again there is the attention span issue. Readers have less and less time these days. If they are reading you at all — it’s better not to bore them to death with too many paragraphs of filler and fluff.

6. News articles do not have a resource box at the end of their articles. The writer is given a byline and maybe a blurb if it’s a news column.

What makes article marketing unique is the use of the resource box. The key to a good article marketing strategy is to use a resource box to give the reader a call to action to follow after they’ve finished reading your article.

7. Finally and probably most importantly is the fact that people who pick up a newspaper are reading to find out what the news is of the day. What’s going on in the world or in their communities.

The readers on the web are looking for solutions. They are looking for answers to specific questions. So if you are an article marketer, make sure that you write articles that solve problems for people in your niche, because that is what will ultimately separate you from a writer just reporting the facts. Your Expertise.

Become a Multimedia Artist Or Animator and Work on Summer Blockbusters

This summer’s hottest movies-Shrek, Toy Story 3, Despicable Me-are making headlines for their hilarious plots and celebrity cameos. (After all, who doesn’t want to hear Tom Hanks revive his iconic role as Woody or Steve Carrell play a supervillain trying to steal the moon?)

But the real stars may just be the men and women working behind the curtain. While celebrities lend their voices and acting talent, it’s the multimedia artists and animators who make the characters, landscape and movie plots come to life.

The days of hand-drawn animation stills are long gone. While the initial concepts for a cartoon may be done by hand, today’s multimedia artists and animators use computer screens and complex programming codes to bring Buzz Lightyear, Princess Fiona and all the rest to life rather than pens and paper.

Their ability to blend this unexpected combination of artistic creativity and specialized computer skills make these professionals a hot commodity. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for animators and multimedia artists will only grow as we become more and more accustomed to three-dimensional, realistic graphics in our movies, video games, and even on TV. There may also be future job opportunities in mobile technologies, scientific research, and other design services.

Find Out More About Animation & Design Careers
Animators and multimedia artists don’t just work in Hollywood. They design ground-breaking video games, Super Bowl advertisements, and much more. To learn more about careers in animation, design, and multimedia arts, visit this animation career profile.


Social Media “Medical” Marketing: Tips on How to Make Healthcare Social

Why are healthcare organizations so hesitant to join the social media movement? Simply put, healthcare providers operate within extremely strict regulatory guidelines when it comes to marketing and communications. The fear of those regulations and the lack of guidance are sidelining these organizations. By not participating in social media, healthcare companies are missing out on important opportunities to increase their online presence, and engage with their customers.

The FDA and Division of Drug Marketing and Communications (DDMAC) have not yet released formal participatory guidelines. As such, we recommend to our healthcare clients that they work closely with their legal team to create a clearly defined social media policy. This is to ensure that all regulations are met until the FDA, or DDMAC, formally release guidelines.

As you get started, healthcare organizations need to look beyond direct promotion and client acquisition, and focus on engagement. Because the healthcare industry can be a difficult landscape to navigate at times, it is extremely important that the social media messaging is authentic and personal. We encourage healthcare organizations to explore the opportunities within social marketing. As you get started, below are some things to take into consideration when mapping out your marketing plan.

Everyone involved in the marketing process needs to be educated on its importance, and how their involvement will help to bring awareness to your organization. Highlight the need to be included in the conversation that is already taking place around your brand. People talk about healthcare, they want a response, and they want information, social media is a perfect platform for continued engagement.

Your legal team will be your biggest asset when creating a policy. Yes, marketers and attorneys can work together. Even though they look at the risk and the reward differently, both will still benefit greatly from the collaboration.

As mentioned above, the way you avoid risk is by creating and enforcing very specific guidelines for your employees to follow when engaging in social media. You need to be careful not to try and regulate what they do on their personal profiles. Instead establish strong controls, and set solid expectations of what you expect from your staff regarding their participation in marketing.

After you release your guidelines, continue to monitor and review your marketing program. This will help to identify potential fire drills regarding regulatory issues like privacy laws.

People choose healthcare providers based on referrals, credentials and shared values. Healthcare organizations need to remind themselves that health is of universal importance. Humans by nature share things that evoke emotion. Social media is driven by people seeking connections. If you want a successful social media program, identify and highlight compelling stories that show the benefits of your organizations.

Social media is a very powerful communication tool that allows healthcare organizations to tell their story. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to share your message because you are scared to take a risk. Consult with your online marketing agency today or give us a call to get started.

How to Get Scholarship Money for Culinary School

So now that you know you want to be a chef, and you know that you want to do it right and go to a culinary school for an accredited degree, the next question is: How do you pay for it? If the money is not in your bank account, you can either ask generous friends and relatives for help, or you can borrow the money, or you can get a scholarship (or more than one scholarship).

There are two sources of scholarship money for culinary school: public and private. Public funds – better known as federal aid are available to you if you meet the following requirements:

* You must be able to demonstrate financial need (except for some loans)

* You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid Social Security number

* The degree or certificate you’re working toward must be in an eligible program.

* If you’re a man, you’ll have to register with the Selective Service, if you’re between the ages of 18 and 25

* You’ll have to maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school (this differs school to school, but you’ll want at least a 2.5 or 3.0 GPA)

* You’ll need a high school diploma or a GED Certificate

* You’ll have to pass an approved ability-to-benefit test

* You may have to meet other standards your state establishes that FSA has approved

To start the process of funding culinary school, you’ll need to fill out the application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form at It is free to fill out. After you’ve filled out the form the FSA will review your application and then contact your school and tell them how much federal aid you’re eligible for.

You’ll need to fill out the FAFSA form for each year you’re in school. Be sure to fill out the form as soon as possible – the longer you wait, the less money will be available.


The Roles of Real Estate Brokers – Some Benefits

The real estate brokers you hire can make all the difference in a successful sale or purchase. Hiring an agent who ensures that you get the right price on property sale or purchase requires careful consideration.

The first aspect that has to be checked out is the licensing. It is necessary to check with your State’s regulatory body, to know if the real estate agent under consideration has a valid license and if complaints or actions have been taken against that agent. Check if the agent has certifications such as CRS (Certified Residential Specialist), ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative), and SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist, as this shows that they have the right education, training and experience in handling all aspects of property purchase or sale.

Experience counts a lot, so it’s important to find out how long the real estate agent has been in the industry. You can directly ask the agent to find this out, else you can find out about this from the State’s licensing authority. It’s important to select an agent who is involved in selling a specific type of property in a particular price range. The real estate agent should be able to display knowledge in both these areas and must have a market presence so that you can get fair price.

A smart agent will help you find the kind of property that you want because he or she is always in touch with the market. The agent knows what kind of properties are moving fast and locations that are attractive to buyers. The agent should be able to answer your queries on property location, pricing and should address your concerns and be available to answer questions raised whenever required. Hiring real estate agents or brokers who are experienced and knowledgeable can help you find someone who helps you get the right price on property purchase.