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Guide to Graduation Announcements

College graduation announcements can seem so simple -- and yet so complicated. Find all you need to know so that your announcements accurately reflect all you've accomplished and the person you've come to be.

Graduation Announcements 101
College Life Spotlight10

Can You Pay Down Your Student Loans by Volunteering?

Tuesday April 22, 2014

There's been a lot of media coverage -- and justifiably so -- about the high debt loads that many college graduates have. A new non-profit, however, has created an interesting (if not downright genius) way to help students pay their loans while also helping support their communities.

I first learned about SponsorChange.org through an article on TakePart.com ("Would You Do Volunteer Work to Pay Off Your Student Loans? Now You Can"). Their mission is simple:

SponsorChange.org provides non-profits a solution to increase their impact. Non-profits can easily recruit skilled college graduates to complete service projects and raise funds from sponsors to reward their work with student loan payments, helping both non-profits and college graduates reach their full potential.

How cool of an idea is this? And I'm not the only one who thinks so: SponsorChange was awarded a Dewey Winburne Community Service Award at SXSW earlier this year. The organization is just starting up, but it's definitely worth checking out if you're interested in volunteering and paying down your student loans -- all at the same time.

Campus Highlight: Students Who Challenge Assumptions

Monday April 21, 2014

While this week's Campus Highlight focuses on a student who, well, isn't exactly a student anymore, I hope it draws attention to those students who speak out and yet never really know if their voice makes a difference.

Slate recently ran an article about the incredible story of an undergraduate student who challenged the structural stability of a major skyscraper in New York City. The student's undergraduate thesis had discovered that the building could blow over when faced with corner winds. A phone call by the student to the building's chief structural engineer resulted in a massive undertaking to fix the building -- even though the student never knew it.

Slate's article does a great job tracking the story and the student behind the phone call. On a similar note, I'd like this week's Campus Highlight to acknowledge all of the students out there who make phone calls, send emails, and otherwise advocate for change they see as important. You never know how your efforts might result in something being improved, changed, and expanded. That doesn't mean, however, that your efforts are invaluable. Keep up the good work!

(Each Monday during the academic year, I feature a "Campus Highlight": a unique, interesting, and noteworthy student organization, program, or initiative that demonstrates the amazing things college students do each and every day across the country.)

Stressed? Check Out These Resources

Friday April 18, 2014

The final weeks of the spring semester can be one of the most stressful times for students. Finals, summer plans, job options, graduation -- not to mention regular coursework and the other day-to-day tasks that college life requires -- somehow seem to pile up all at once.

Articles that deal with college stress are consistently among the most popular on the site. (Just so you know you're not alone!) If you need some help, check out the following:

Additionally, my book -- "College Stress Solutions" -- is now available at major retailers, like Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com. Remember, too, that your counseling center can be a great resource if your stress is feeling overwhelming or you just need to process through all that's on your plate. Don't be afraid to use what you can to help you make it through this part of the semester. There's nothing wrong with asking for help, but there's definitely something silly about needing help but not getting it.

Are You Getting the College Life Newsletter?

Thursday April 10, 2014

Whether you've just been accepted into college or are looking at your senior year, the About.com College Life newsletter is here to help. It's free, it comes out every Monday, and it gives you all kinds of tips, tricks, and information about making your college life easier. Signing up is super easy, too.

If you'd like to see what the newsletter is like, check out some of this semester's issues:

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