Newsletter from Miami-Dade College – Scholarship Opportunities

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Sep 8 2014 / Comments (0)


Here is a newsletter from MDC. It does not just have information about MDC  scholarships; it also has good valuable information about other internet scholarship  search sites as well.

It is typical that many students apply to MDC late in their senior year. This usually  occurs shortly after they realize that their acceptance into one of our STATE  UNIVERSITIES is fading away and they have almost lost all hope.

This is fine,  HOWEVER…please understand that MDC awards a majority of their  SCHOLARSHIPS in the month of December. Students who have applied to MDC before December are exposed to a good number of scholarships that really help. IF YOU APPLY LATE IN THE SCHOOL YEAR THERE IS A 99.9% CHANCE THAT YOU WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR ANY OF THESE SCHOLARSHIPS.

Students who aren’t in the Honor Society can win scholarships, too. They simply need to find a scholarship that matches their needs and interests. Here are a few tips to help students apply for scholarships, no matter their academic standing.


Focus on What Makes Them Stand Out 
More than grades are considered for some scholarships. Several also look at students’ character and what they have to offer. 

Many scholarships look at more than just grades. If students have shown exceptional community service or have overcome adversity, they might be eligible. Perhaps they have promoted vegetarianismlove music or can write a good essay. These and other qualities can be helpful as well.

There are many scholarships aimed at niche groups. Students just have to find the right niche. Tell them to consider everything from their activities, interests and  expected major to their ethnicity and their family’s socioeconomic status.

It Pays to Research 
While students often hear of scholarship opportunities through school counselors, they should also do some research on their own. With a little time invested, they’re likely to find more opportunities than expected.

How can they find these scholarships? The Internet is a powerful tool, but students must beware. There are websites offering to research scholarships or even guarantee a scholarship for a fee. No one should pay for scholarship information. Instead, advise students to use websites like:
MDC’s American Dream Scholarship

A full list of free websites is also available on MDC’s scholarship web page.

Apply Often
Students often stop with one or two applications or after winning one scholarship, but they should apply again and again. They might also have to revise their understanding of what makes a “good” scholarship.

The more scholarships applied for, the greater the chance of winning one, two, three or more. There are also scholarships for which one can apply more than once. Above all, students should remember that it’s OK to think small. While it would be nice to win one big scholarship, they’ll face more competition. Small scholarships are still good scholarships. Whether they cover tuition for a year, a semester or part of a semester, they can add up.

Students have some work ahead of them, but the potential savings in tuition is worth it!

To view the entire newsletter, please click here.

Indiana University – Preview Event in South Florida!

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Sep 4 2014 / Comments (0)


Greetings from Indiana University!

Indiana University Bloomington is coming to your area!

You have questions about college, and we’re coming to you with answers. At the IU Preview in your area you will learn more about the outstanding opportunities at Indiana University Bloomington. You can also meet other students and connect with admissions staff to get the inside scoop on IU.

Feel free to bring your parents and dress casually (it’s an informal event), and make sure to register at:

 South Florida IU Preview Click on your region to find your event.

 South Florida Preview

Sunday, September 7, 2014 2 p.m.

Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center

5150 Town Center Circle Boca Raton, FL

The Early Decision Dilemma

Posted by: Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan on Sep 2 2014 / Comments (0)

Early decisionApplying to college is a gamble.  You send your applications and test results off to a handful of universities with no guarantee of which ones will accept you, which one you will choose, or if you’re going to be happy with the end result.  You play your cards and hope to win.  There are a few steps you can take, however, to increase your chances of a happy outcome.  The obvious step is to be extremely studious, ace your exams and get top grades.  Another way of increasing the odds of getting into a good college is to apply Early Decision, but this option comes with its own set of risks, and is generally beneficial to only a select group of applicants.

The Early Decision program is a binding contract between the student and the institution whereby they mutually agree early on – the ED application deadline for 2011 is November 1st, and the student can expect to hear from the school within a month – that the student will attend that school and withdraw all other college applications.  The only way you can break this contract is if you can prove that the school’s financial aid offer is insufficient for your needs.  Because of its binding nature, it is designed for students who are completely, 100% certain about which school they wish to attend.  If you have any doubt about where you want to study, ED is not for you.  If, however, you are one of the few students who do feel fully committed to attending a particular college, ED can make the college application process a relatively smooth experience. You may only apply ED to one college, but you should consider sending regular applications to other schools in case you are not accepted to your first choice.   Not all schools use the ED program, so be sure to check the school websites if you are considering this option.

Applying Early Decision can be quite advantageous if you have done the research and truly feel you have chosen a college that you can afford and is a good fit.  Using this program can eliminate a great deal of the stress typically involved in applying for college.  There’s a lot to be said for knowing where you are going to study, as you can stop waiting and worrying and start to focus on your priorities.  Likewise, you can save a lot of money by reducing the number of applications you file.  Statistics show that students who apply ED increase their chances of admission, possibly due to the fact that these students tend to have high academic records.  Applying ED can also increase your financial aid package as the school coffers are still be quite full at this stage of the game.  Schools like to have a good idea of how many students will be attending and paying fees each year and ED helps them plan their budget.  It’s a win-win situation.

But Early Decision is not for everyone.  If you are one of the many students whose higher education choices will be strongly influenced by finances, then you will probably want to take the standard route to applying for college.  Most colleges offering ED are private schools with high fees.  They may offer some level of financial assistance, but when applying ED, you do not have the option of comparing financial aid offers.  Once you have been accepted, you cannot wait to see if a different school will offer you more money.  State schools do not generally offer the ED program, but tend to be much more affordable.  Unfortunately, this is a real deciding factor for many students.

Another disadvantage to the ED program is the pressure it puts on young people to make a very big decision.  Choosing where you want to spend the next four years studying is no small matter and many students just haven’t completely decided by their senior year.  Applying to a variety of schools can help with this process.  When you send out your applications, choose schools where you think you will be happy.  No choice will feel perfect, but lots of choices will feel very good.  Look for schools where you think you will be happy, but let go of any expectations of finding a school where you will be happiest.  All campuses will have things you like and things you hate.

There is no doubt that in every graduating class there will be a small group of students who will benefit from applying ED as it will get them into their first choice college and they can spend the rest of their senior year focusing on their studies.  These students have done their research and set their sites on a particular college.  Most high school seniors, however, will apply to many colleges and choose their final destination by a process of elimination.  Both systems work, but ultimately, it is up to the individual student to decide if ED is the best option for getting into college.




Why Hire an Independent College Counselor to Help You in Your College Admissions Process?

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Aug 29 2014 / Comments (0)

   Job interview

When dealing with the college admissions process, there are two types of counselors available. There are the independent college counselors, and there are college counselors or advisors. These two types differ in many ways. The first one is paid for by the student, while the latter is employed by the school. The organizations that support independent college counselors are the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), and the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA). The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) endorses the college counselors. For graduate school admissions, the association that leads this industry is the Association of International Graduate Admissions (AIGAC). Any college admissions counselor should be a professional member of these organizations.


Independent college counselors, also known as consultants, assist students and their families to handle the graduate or undergraduate college application process. They help with various tasks to ensure that students are on the right track for high school graduation. These tasks are quite comprehensive. They meet groups of students, and usually provide one-on-one counseling. They coordinate college tours, college applications, and college selections to relieve family stress and maximize results. Other tasks of independent college counselors include revealing available avenues for financial aid, and sharing unbiased information on a wide scope of graduate and collegiate programs… So why do you need to hire a private admissions counselor? Here are the major benefits of hiring an independent consultant:

  • Helps in determining what types of colleges would be best suited for your requirements
  • Guides you to plan college visits and  helps in improving your time management skills
  • Reduces stress in both students and parents in finalizing college application process
  • Provides unbiased ideas about financial aid, colleges, admissions process, and other related concerns
  • Able to tell stories to show your strengths and how you can help to the community
  • Helps in  completing the application within a short period of time
  • Assists with application essays and personal statements
  • Guarantees college and scholarship applications
  • Explains college finances, review acceptance, and much more



With all these benefits of an independent counselor, why doesn’t everyone hire one? Choosing a professional independent college counselor can be challenging, but when done correctly, can be an extremely rewarding experience. You have to consider various criteria to guarantee that you will get what you really need. To hire private admissions counselors, your first move is to pick one with excellent rapport. Your preferred independent counselors must possess interest in your goals. They should also have enough time to work with you. Before hiring them, ask them about their office hours and determine if they are willing to make appointments to fit your schedule. They should know the degree program requirements, college policies, prerequisites and content of various courses.  Above all, you need to find out if they have contacts that could help you in getting exposure, scholarships, or internships.

After searching for the best independent college counselors, and choosing one that is right for you, they will start working for you immediately. They are here to help you with any and all of your college application concerns.  Therefore, you can be confident that you will never experience any trouble, and you will easily find answers to your college application issues. So, start searching for the best independent college counselor, and witness how they work for yourself!

Updated list of test-optional schools from

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Aug 27 2014 / Comments (0)


This list includes institutions that are “test optional,” “test flexible” or otherwise de-emphasize the use of standardized tests by making admissions decisions about substantial numbers of applicants who recently graduated from U.S. high schools without using the SAT or ACT.

As the notes indicate, some schools exempt students who meet grade-point average or class rank criteria while others require SAT or ACT scores but use them only for placement purposes or to conduct research studies. Please check with the school’s admissions office to learn more about specific admissions requirements, particularly for international or non-traditional students.

To view the full list on, click here!

Sources: Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges 2013College Board 2013 College HandbookU.S News & World Report Best Colleges 2014; admissions office websites; news reports; and email communications



Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Aug 20 2014 / Comments (0)


 Miami-Dade County Public Schools is offering exciting new innovations that will make the school year interesting, more relevant, and more productive for students, parents and educators. “We are exploring every possibility of making access to our world class educational system easier for parents and students, through the use of technology and innovation,” said Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho.

Here are the school district’s top ten developments:

  • Digital convergence – Educational technology brings learning into the 21st century with interactive boards, tablets, laptops, and wi-fi in all schools.
  • Students are being encouraged to “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) for the first time, to help them transition into the digital learning environment using their own electronic device.
  • Fifty-two new magnet programs will offer students a world of choices, including iTech at Thomas A. Edison Education Center, Biotech@Richmond Heights (a Zoo magnet high school), and more than 80 Cambridge programs that have been added in just three years.
  • Success coaches will provide every child a school advocate to help identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • The District will collaborate with local technology industries to provide training, internships,and job opportunities for students with autism.
  • UHealth Medical Center at Jackson Senior High School – Miami-Dade County Public Schools partnered with UHealth-University of Miami Health System to provide a medical home for M-DCPS employees, their dependents and retirees who are enrolled in the school system’s insurance plan.
  • Wellness coaches at every school will promote wellness activities among employees.
  • The Florida Standards Assessment – Miami-Dade County Public Schools is on track to introduce the new Florida Standards to students. Teachers have received extensive professional development this year to meet the state’s requirements.
  • Parents can now apply online for free- and reduced lunches for their children.  The District’s colorful Food Truck will visit schools to introduce students to flavorful, healthy new meal choices. And there is free breakfast every day at every school for every student.”

For additional information on any of our programs, visit us online at

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New YouTube Video Has Shocking Message

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Aug 19 2014 / Comments (0)

Technology is nothing new, but today it is threatening to take our jobs like never before. “A machine doesn’t have to be perfect, just better than a human.” Already, automation is taking thousands of jobs around the world. From self driving cars, to automated coffee machines. This video dives into the harsh realities that our future workforce will face, whether we want to believe it or not. Jobs like college counselors, artists, even musicians are being replaced by automation. The future might not be as far away as you think.



How to Successfully Navigate the College Selection Process

Posted by: Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan on Aug 19 2014 / Comments (0)


I’m not meaning to add any pressure at an already stressful time, but as you enter your senior year of high school, the college application clock is ticking.  In just a few months, you will need to complete the application process, so, if you haven’t already settled on your six top college choices, now is the time to figure out where you want to be this time next year.  With more than 4,000 U.S. colleges and universities to choose from, you will need to take a methodical approach to whittling your selection down to a mere half dozen schools that best fit your social and academic needs.


What You Don’t Want in a School

More often than not, it is easier to determine what we don’t like than what we do.  As you start searching through school brochures and surfing college websites, cross off the schools that have no appeal to you.  Looking closely at the qualities you dislike will help you figure out what you do like.  You may discover that you really can’t stand cold winters and you want to study in a state with a hot climate, or that you feel intimidated by large campuses and you’d prefer a smaller, more intimate college.


Don’t Judge a School by Its Brochure

Finding a college that is a perfect fit for you is serious business and should not be based on a brochure.  While brochures can give you a brief overview of what a school has to offer, it is better to talk to your guidance counselor, college reps and other students to get a real feel for a school.  You can contact the admissions officer and ask to be connected with current students who share your interests.   If you can visit the campus, talk with students and faculty members, sit in on some classes and eat at least one meal in the dining hall.  Seek out alumni to get their opinions.  Try to gather as much information as possible about the schools that interest you before making any decisions.


Your Comfort Zone

In your college search, you are looking for a place to call ‘home’ for four years, so you want to make sure you’re going to feel comfortable wherever you land.  Of course, going to college is a great opportunity for new experiences, but make sure you don’t step so far out of your comfort zone that you will end up feeling miserable!  Make a list or mind map of your preferences.  Are you urban or rural?  Would you prefer a big campus or small campus?  Are you more cerebral than athletic?  Do you prefer East or West Coast, or somewhere in the middle?  When looking at a college, ask yourself if you can imagine being there for four years.  You want to expand your horizons, but you also want to be happy.


Narrowing Down the Search

Once you have an idea of where your preferences lie, start matching schools to your personal interests.  You may have a chosen major already or maybe just an idea of which classes you enjoy the most.  Look for schools with reputable departments in these subjects.  If you are involved in extra-curricular activities you would like to pursue after graduation, make sure the schools you are looking at offer these opportunities.  You also want to think about any other special interests or religious affiliations you may hold while researching colleges.


Don’t Let the Price Tag Get In Your Way

We’ve all heard horror stories about student debt, but don’t be put off applying to the school of your dreams just because it costs more.  Most schools offer financial aid packages to students who cannot afford tuition.  By the same token, do not assume that a school is better because it costs more.  Many state schools are equally excellent but more affordable.  When choosing a college, base your decisions on what is the best fit for you rather than on the price tag.   If you can’t see yourself jumping up and down with joy when you receive your acceptance letter, don’t bother applying, even if the tuition is more affordable.


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