Is the Pittsburgh Job Corps the secret scholarship you've been missing? Find out all the benefits of Job Corps scholarships and skills training.


If you are a girl in high school and want another college scholarship option, consider the sport of rowing. The NCAA has made scholarships & program funding a priority for this sport. back to school for free week


back to school for free week Fortunately, these brave volunteers don't have to worry about tuition!


Student Resources: Ways to pay for college, testing out with CLEP, and free GED classes. back to school for free week


back to school for free week Troy Polamalu announced that he had finished his college studies this summer, and is now a graduate of the University of Southern California!


Winning Athletic Scholarships
"How it can pay to play: winning collegiate athletic scholarships". How this community college supports student athletes.

Paying for college is so "old school"!

back to school week


Ever hear of JourneyEd? Check out the serious savings students get on the most up-to-date software.

back to school week
How the Pittsburgh Army ROTC Turns Diplomas Into Gold Bars

It’s 6am and you’re awake. You’re lying in your bed in your college dorm room listening to the noise outside. This time you decide to get up and find out what that noise is. Why it’s the Three Rivers Battalion Army ROTC cadets, running past the dorms in unison chanting a cadence. You’ve seen the cadets on campus before. Sometimes they are in uniform, but most of the time they look just like every other college student. You may even be curious about the events they have and the benefits you’ve heard of. Once you’ve taken the time to talk to an Army ROTC cadet, you find out there are a lot of reasons why cadets are so willing to be up this early. Here’s how cadets leverage their paper diplomas into the gold bars of an Army lieutenant.

What is ROTC?

Army ROTC is the Army’s “Reserve Officers’ Training Corp”, and was established when President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Defense Act of 1916. This college based program offers military science classes and instruction that enhance one’s college experience and prepares students for service as officers in the regular Army, Army Reserves, or National Guard. Cadets who graduate from the program enter the service as second lieutenants.

The Three Rivers Battalion includes the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, metropolitan area and the University of Pittsburgh, where Captain Jamie Bell serves as the Enrollment and Scholarship Officer /Assistant Professor of Military Science for Army ROTC. She says, “There are some students who have the wrong impression of Army ROTC. We are not all about yelling or getting ready for war. Our cadets are still civilians and this is an academic setting. In fact we encourage students and their parents to both come visit us and see our program for themselves.” While there is still a degree of military style training on campus, the overall emphasis is on cadets’ education and career preparedness.

Who enrolls in Army ROTC?

Students who want to serve their country, and at the same time want to enjoy the educational and career benefits of the Army, find ROTC to be ideal. Perhaps you’ve heard of these famous Army ROTC graduates: Lou Holtz (head coach at Notre Dame), General Colin Powell (former U.S Secretary of State), Samuel Alito (Supreme Court Justice), James Earl Jones (actor), Frank Wells (former president of Walt Disney), Nancy Currie (astronaut), and Sam Walton (founder of Wal-Mart).

Why enroll in Army ROTC?

1. Military career
Guaranteed, immediate employment with the Army once you graduate. The opportunity to serve your country. Training on the world’s most advanced equipment and tools. Employer funded continuing education opportunities. Structured opportunities for promotions and pay raises. A military career offers graduates many perks most civilian employers can’t match.

2. Scholarships
Army ROTC scholarships are not given based on the financial needs of cadets, rather they are awarded based on merit, as are most perks in the military. Army ROTC offers several scholarship options. There are a two, three, and four year options. These scholarships will generally cover the entire cost of your tuition, provide an allowance for books and school fees, and provide a living stipend based on what level you are at in the Army ROTC curriculum.

Cadets compete for national and campus based scholarships. Scholarships are awarded to those with the best Grade Point Averages, Army Physical Fitness Test scores, and the Army’s Leadership Development Assessment Course results. ROTC cadets will be the first to tell you don’t let these criteria stop you from applying; that ROTC wants you to succeed and is designed to help you reach your academic goals.

3. Economy
Want an excellent insurance policy against economic downturns? Consider military service. What other vocation is always hiring through good and bad economic times?

In the civilian world, having a job waiting for you upon graduation has become a rarity. Faced with unemployment, and debt to pay back, many students turn to mom and dad for help. A 2009 study stated, “Among 2009 U.S. college graduates, 80 percent moved back home with their parents after graduation, up from 77 percent in 2008, 73 percent in 2007, and 67 percent in 2006.”

4. Civilian careers
Remember that less than 1% of our population serves in all of the Armed Forces combined. Being a current or former member of the military immediately makes you stand out. Military service is a highly respected, and often sought after, attribute of job seekers. Many ROTC cadets will graduate and serve in the National Guard or Army Reserves as officers while maintaining a civilian career.

Do employers really favor soldiers? Captain Bell thinks so. In fact she points to the Army’s ROTC PaYS Program (Partnership for Youth Success). This program partners with 400 larger companies who give hiring preference to Army ROTC cadets who will graduate and serve in the Guard or Reserves.

In Caroline Levchuck's Yahoo HotJobs article Returning Vets: Employers Want You she quotes Bob Putnam, senior manager of retail HR development for RadioShack. "At RadioShack, the core values that we hold near and dear are integrity, pride, trust and teamwork. That's really what people in the military are all about, and that's what makes candidates with a military background perfect for RadioShack."

5. Additional benefits
Cadets who sign a contract with the Army are also entitled to additional benefits. They can achieve the following stipend amounts:
-1st year, $300 per month
-2nd year, $350 per month
-3rd year, $450 per month
-4th year, $500 per month

Cadets who are not on scholarships, but have contracted with the Army will also be paid the stipend in their third and fourth year.

Your commitment to ROTC.

Accepting a scholarship puts you under contract with the Army. You are agreeing to serve in some capacity for a specified period of time. Meeting with the college’s Military Science department is important so that you fully understand the benefits you receive and the commitment expected from you.

Unless you’ve accepted a scholarship there is no commitment to participate in ROTC during your first two years of college. Junior years are called contract years in ROTC because cadets must then make a decision to continue ROTC or not. Cadets who continue will choose an appropriate military career path and contract with the Army.

College life as an ROTC cadet.

Lieutenant Michelle Raia, also of Three Rivers Battalion, feels Army ROTC enhanced her college experience. “For me it was like belonging to a family. Of course discipline is expected from the cadets, we have to be up early for morning PT (physical training), for example, but I still enjoyed other college activities. I also noticed that people respect you more because they know ROTC cadets work hard and are very motivated.”

To learn more about Army ROTC options, contact:
Captain Jamie Bell
Admissions and Enrollment Officer &
Assistant Professor of Military Science
Army ROTC, Three Rivers Battalion
University of Pittsburgh
412-370-0311 (m)
412-624-6254 (o)
412-624-7793 (f)


The academic and financial rewards of rowing

Three Rivers Rowing AssociationIf you are a girl in high school and want another college scholarship option, consider the sport of rowing. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has made women's rowing, along with scholarships and program funding a priority. Here is what you need to know.
On September 14, 2011 the Three Rivers Rowing Association in Washington's Landing, Pittsburgh, will host their 6th annual College Recruiting Night. Executive Director Rick Brown, who first arranged this annual event 6 years ago, says "Our College Recruiting Night is a great opportunity for colleges to meet our athletes, as well as, provide our athletes an opportunity to learn more about the colleges' programs and scholarship opportunities."
College scholarships for rowing? Yes, says Brown, who has watched the sport of rowing blossom over the last 10-15  years. In fact, for student athletes who are also pursuing a college education, rowing has provided a tremendous opportunity to both participate in competitive sports and pay for college.
Why rowing has gained popularity.
Why has rowing gained such popularity over the last 2 decades? Gregory Butera writing in the 1997 American Rower's Almanac offered these suggestions: the basics are easy to pick up, rowing crews can accommodate many athletes, there are plenty of opportunities for women to compete, and the sport of rowing can be for all ages and athletic abilities. Another reason rowing has gained popularity is the fact it has provided many scholarship opportunities for females; options that didn't exist in the past.
Scholarships for women athletes.
Title IX was enacted by Congress in 1972 with an intent to create equality between males and females within the realm of academics. However, one may argue that its greatest impact has been on high school and collegiate sports. In order to comply with the commonly accepted interpretations of Title IX, many colleges have actively promoted rowing as a way of balancing the availability of athletic scholarships to women. Butera wrote, "These equity rules require a balance in number of opportunities for male and female athletes in financial support of sports programs. The NCAA has made only women's crew, an intercollegiate sport complete with scholarships and funding." For example, women are generally not going to try out for or compete on a college football team. That means there is one less opportunity for them to receive an athletic scholarship. Rowing scholarships for females provide balance.
At Three Rivers Rowing Association, Brown says that College Recruiting Night also creates an awareness about scholarship opportunities among student athletes that may not have fully understood how they work. In his experience parents of rowers seem to be more aware of the scholarships than the students. At this event students and their parents talk directly to college representatives about their specific questions.
How to get involved.
New seasons for rowing begin in the fall with the start of school and there are programs for all ages. At Three Rivers Rowing Association, the Junior Rowing program, for example, offers 13-18 year olds the change to participate in a competitive sport within the supportive environment of a nationally recognized rowing club.
How do students earn scholarships?
Scholarship awards are performance based. As with all team sports, team results factor into a recruiting college's criteria. Additionally, there are individual tests that are completed on ergometer rowing machines, which provide a good indication of an individual's overall rowing fitness.
Make no mistake. Rowing is a highly competitive sport and student athletes are expected to follow a practice schedule. Three Rivers Rowing Association says, "Rowers will be grouped together according to skill level and coached accordingly. Rowers will earn seats in racing boats. Priority is to field the fastest boats possible in all categories." Whether working toward scholarship offers, fitness goals, or winning races, rowing typically requires up to 5 days of practice for 2-3 hour sessions each.
The Three Rivers Rowing Association has a great relationship with many college coaches; many of whom will travel to the Association's location in order to participate in practices of the U.S. Rowing Junior National Development Team. The involvement of these coaches further enhances the access student athletes at the club will have to programs that provide scholarships.
The Three Rivers Rowing Association's Executive Director also notes that rowing looks good on any college application as an extracurricular activity. For students competing for a spot in their college of choice, their success in rowing makes them a more attractive candidate. Their involvement in the sport demonstrates highly prized work traits colleges are eager to see in their freshmen.
About Three Rivers Rowing Association.
Three Rivers Rowing Association was founded in 1984 and was named the 2010 USRowing Club of the Year, chosen out of 1,100 USRowing member organizations. You can learn more about their club at
More info on College Recruiting Night.
For: High School Seniors with Rowing Experience, (only seniors will be allowed to attend because of recruiting rules)

Parents (of seniors) and High School Coaches Welcome!
When: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Three Rivers Rowing Association, Lambert Boathouse at Washington's Landing
College Recruiting Night

Three Rivers Rowing Association
NCAA Rowing
Title IX
Rowing Scholarships 


College financial aid programs.

Here are a few financial aid programs for college.

The Federal Pell Grant
Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students - PLUS
Direct Stafford Loan
Federal Family Education Stafford Loan
Consolidation Loan
Federal Work Study and Federal Perkins Loan
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

Remember that grants are gifts that will not have to be paid back. Loans will have to be paid back and they have fees attached.
4% of your loan amount will be deducted from the amount given to you. That 4% represents the fee the taken to cover administrative costs of making the loan.

Direct Stafford Loans are made by the U.S. government. Federal Family Education Stafford Loans are made by financial institutions.

Subsidized loans means you do not have to pay the interest or the principal until 6 months after you graduate.
Unsubsidized loans usually means you start paying the interest part of the loan as soon as the loan amount is dispersed to you. There are cases when you can let the interest be capitalized. That means your interest payment is added onto the principal until you are required to start making payments.

Source: Personal Financial Planning - Theory and Practice, 2010


Free college tuition for volunteer firefighters.

college tuition volunteer fire fighterVolunteer firefighters are a special group of people that protect us and our property. Even though they are on call 24 hours every day they never seem to get the recognition they deserve. Maybe because these men and women are just always there we forget what would happen if they were not. Take these fire related statistics into consideration:

1. Most of the career firefighters (74%) are in communities that protect 25,000 or more people.

2. Most of the
volunteer firefighters (94%) are in departments that protect fewer than 25,000 people
More than half are located in small, rural departments protecting fewer than 2,500 people.

3. In 2008, a total of 104 firefighters were fatally injured while on duty.
Of these, 42 were career firefighters, 54 were
volunteer firefighters, and 8 were no-municipal.

The 2009 U.S. fire statistics

A fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds.
One structure fire was reported every 66 seconds.
One home structure fire was reported every 87 seconds
One civilian fire injury was reported every 31 minutes.
One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 55 minutes.
One outside fire was reported every 49 seconds.
One vehicle fire was reported every 146 seconds.
Source: NFPA

Volunteer firefighters are just that. Volunteers. That means there is no pay for them. In fact there are relatively few perks to these volunteer positions. That is why it is nice to hear about a program that will pay for their college tuition in full in exchange for their volunteer firefighting service.

The Community College of Allegheny county offers an incredible free tuition incentive. A full scholarship can be awarded to those who serve as a volunteer firefighter for five years. One of the requirements for the tuition waiver is that the volunteer firefighter maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average. Get the FireVEST scholarship program brochure here.

From the CCAC website:
PITTSBURGH—Residents of Allegheny County can receive full scholarships to the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) by committing to serve with a volunteer fire department for the next five years. The registration deadline for the spring term is Nov. 15.

A partnership between CCAC and Allegheny County, the FireVEST program provides scholarships to residents of Allegheny County who are either current volunteers or who join a volunteer fire department in Allegheny County. Applicants must apply and be accepted to CCAC; file for federal and state financial aid; and complete the financial aid process on time and in its entirety.

Applications for the FireVEST program are available on CCAC’s web site at (search keyword “FireVEST”) or by contacting the Allegheny County Fire Academy at 412-931-3158, ext. 5.

If awarded a scholarship, the recipient must meet the following obligations:

* Serve as a volunteer firefighter for five years in Allegheny County;
* Maintain an acceptable level of service as monitored by his or her fire volunteer fire department;
* Complete two required courses at the Allegheny County Fire Academy and a course in first aid and CPR;
* Obtain Firefighter I Certification through the Allegheny County Fire Academy;
* Maintain a minimum semester grade point average of 2.0 for the duration of his or her studies; and
* Repay a portion of the scholarship if service or academic requirements are not met.

The FireVEST Advisory Board will review all applications and other forms to assess scholarship eligibility and to determine scholarship recipients. Being accepted into membership of the sponsoring agency (Volunteer fire company) and/or being accepted for enrollment at CCAC does not guarantee the student will be awarded a scholarship under the FireVEST program, nor does it guarantee acceptance into limited-enrollment CCAC programs. Instead, the recruitment needs of the sponsoring agencies are the first priority when selecting scholarship recipients.

More information can be found about this program online.

Click on the the images below to read past issues of The Quarter Roll!
October 2011 Highlights

-How To Avoid Frugal Fatigue
-10 Ways Getting Married Makes You Richer
-The One Asset You’ll Always Have
-Cutting the Cost of College by 49%
-How Gary Dell’Abate Got His Perfect Job

a quarter rollJuly 2011 Highlights

-When It's Time To Leave Your Job
-How Duncan Hines Ate His Way To Wealth!
-The Finances Of Divorce
-The “Problem” With Professional Financial Help
-The Beginner’s Guide to Shopping Yard Sales

quarter roll magazineMay 2011 Highlights

-Bret Michaels’ 4 Greatest Career Traits
-8 Myths About Car Insurance
-7 Deadly Credit Card Sins
-12 steps to get out of debt
-Jimmy Carter’s Money Memories


The Quarter Roll is published to provide personal insights and opinions on everyday ways of saving and managing money, budgeting, and reducing debt. The Quarter Roll does not give professional accounting, legal, or investing counsel. The ideas, examples, and advice presented on this site are solely the opinion of the authors based on his or her personal experiences. All photos courtesy of The Quarter Roll, iStockphoto, or Dreamstime. ©  All rights reserved. This site is best viewed when using Adobe Flash Player. free money magazine