Are you a New York State resident with the hopes of earning a college degree? Changes to the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (or TAP) may help make attending college, like Vaughn, more affordable for eligible students. The best part is any financial award a student receives is classified as a grant, which means it does not need to be repaid! Read on to learn more about how TAP could help make your dreams of attending college a reality!

What is TAP?

The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) helps eligible New York residents afford tuition at approved schools within the state. Vaughn College is one of these schools. And, as mentioned above, none of the money needs to be paid back!

Exciting changes to TAP

For the first time in 25 years, TAP is increasing the income eligibility to qualify for assistance—as well as the minimum award—which increased from $500 to $1,000.

Here are the new guidelines for the 2024-2025 academic year:

Income of $125,000 or less, net taxable income (NTI)

  • If the applicant is a dependent undergraduate student within a household earning under the income limit, or
  • If the applicant is an independent student (married or single) with tax dependents, or
  • If the applicant has qualified as an orphan, foster child or ward of the court at any time since the age of 13.

Income of $60,000 or less

  • If the applicant is an independent married student who has no tax dependents.

Income of $30,000 or less

  • If the applicant is a single independent student who has no tax dependents.

How much can be awarded?

Eligible students can receive an annual TAP award of up to $5,665, with the minimum award starting at $1,000. You can estimate your TAP award using this estimating tool.

Eligibility requirements

To qualify, students must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a legal resident of New York State for 12 continuous months.
  • Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Graduated from a high school in the United States, earned a GED or passed an approved “Ability to Benefit” test.
  • Studied at an approved post-secondary institution in New York.
  • Maintained good academic standing.
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student and complete 12 or more credits per semester. (See below for information on part-time TAP eligibility.)
  • Meet income eligibility limits.

Part-time TAP requirements:

  • Be enrolled in six to 11 credits.
  • Maintain a grade “C” average.
  • Learn more about TAP availability for part-time students.

Anyone who is not a US citizen may qualify under the New York State (NYS) DREAM Act.

Other New York State grants

For students attending private colleges in the region, the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation offers the Enhanced Tuition Awards (ETA) program, which provides tuition awards to students who are New York State residents and study at a participating private college located in New York State. Recipients of ETA will receive $6,000 through a combination of their TAP award, ETA award and a match from their private college. Considered a federal grant like TAP, ETA awards do not need to be repaid.

How to apply

NYS Tuition Assistance Program QR CodeThe easiest way to apply for TAP is by completing the FAFSA form. Use the QR code to start your FAFSA today and apply Vaughn’s FAFSA code: 002665.

New York State residents who attend NYS institutions can link directly to the TAP application from the FAFSA submission confirmation page.

Vaughn is committed to offering an affordable education

Vaughn College is committed to providing an affordable education for students through financial aid, scholarships, grants, federal work-study programs, flexible payment plans and perhaps most importantly, ensuring students graduate with high-paying careers. Reach out to our financial aid or admissions departments to learn more.

Looking for the perfect holiday gift ideas for the engineers and tech lovers in your life? We’ve done the shopping for you. Vaughn College is excited to share gift ideas this holiday season. Get ready to “sleigh” the holidays with these awesome gift ideas!

Flashlight gloves

Anyone who works with their hands will love having light at their fingertips—when and where they need it. These cleverly engineered flashlight gloves have LED lights on the index finger and thumb, which makes working in dark spaces an illuminating experience. Plus, they’re made to be ambidextrous, so there’s no fumbling when time is of the essence. Talk about shedding light on the subject!

Robotic arm

You don’t have to be an mechanical engineer to love this gift. In fact, any robotics or tech enthusiast will be thrilled to build this cool robotic arm. The kit includes everything needed to get started. Check it out:

robotic armThe control system of the mechanical arm shown here is equipped with:

  • Bluetooth
  • 16M memory
  • Operates via a DC port

Once built, here’s what it can do:

  • Grab and hold up to 55 pounds
  • Save 1,020 different actions
  • Can be programmed using PC software, mobile applications and offline

Smart weather station

smart weather stationBe a meteorologist in your own backyard! This innovative smart weather station allows you to monitor the weather conditions at your home and backyard at a glance using a bright, LCD color display. You can keep up with the current temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speeds and so much more via the wireless all-in-one integrated sensor. This makes a great gift for anyone who loves meteorology—or just likes talking about the weather.

Magnetic levitating globe

magnetic globeHow does it do that? This magnetic levitating globe is one of the coolest gifts to give this holiday season. Powered by electricity, the globe levitates by use of powerful magnets on the top and bottom of the unit. It’s the perfect gift for the students, engineers, scientists and curiosity-seekers in your life.

Aviator smartwatch

aviator smartwatchThe latest aviator smartwatches have amazing features that the pilot in your life will be sure to appreciate. These watches have touchscreen displays with GPS/moving map, weather/radar reports, call/text and animated workouts. It also can be paired to an app to transfer flight plans. With so many different variations of this type of watch, there’s definitely one for your pilot!


From all of us at Vaughn College, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

Until a few years ago, most of us took it for granted that our everyday goods would be on the shelves when we needed them. The COVID-19 pandemic changed that. Today, companies increasingly recognize the critical role that supply chains play in our everyday lives. This has created a high demand for supply chain professionals across all industries.

In response to a growing need to provide employment-ready students for the workplace, Vaughn College has developed a certificate program in Supply Chain Management (SCM) that has been approved by the New York State Department of Education (NYSED).

Peter Canellis, PhD, PE, associate professor in the management department at Vaughn, shared the wide range of benefits the program offers to individuals who are seeking either careers or advancement in the field.

What is “Supply Chain Management”?

From a global perspective, supply chain management relates to the flow of goods and services—from beginning with raw materials to delivering a final product. Supply chain management careers encompass diverse opportunities and various paths which allow individuals to seek out their own niche, based on their interests and skills.

Canellis explained that the main driver for supply chain talent is the demand for goods and services that has exploded on a global basis due to an increasing number of the world’s population that is entering the middle class. Some of the opportunities one can pursue include sourcing and procurement, logistics, inventory management, demand forecasting and purchasing. Hiring companies may include manufacturers, airlines and ocean-going freight carriers, trucking companies, railroads, freight forwarders, terminal operators and government agencies.

What are the benefits of pursuing a certificate degree in SCM?

Pursuing a certificate in SCM can be highly rewarding—and profitable. This is an intriguing field where interested individuals will learn how the worldwide economy works—and then some.

Here are the top reasons for pursuing a career in supply chain management:

  • High demand—Supply chain management is required by every company that either makes products for business or consumer use, provides intermediate inputs to those products, or supports their distribution. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment in this field to grow 18 percent over the next decade, which is much faster than average for all other occupations. This high demand is creating a pathway of opportunity to help companies reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction and enhance competitiveness.
    • Cargo growth is expected to more than double over the next 20 years and a greater proportion of the world’s total output will shift to cargo-related activities.
  • Job security—Even during economic downturns, companies—both foreign and domestic—still need to manage their supply chains in this global economy.
  • Career advancement—Continuous learning opportunities that will enhance skills and increase career potential.
  • Financial rewards—Individuals working in SCM command competitive salaries. Those who have experience and specialized skills can earn higher salaries and bonuses.

Vaughn’s Supply Chain Management certificate details and outlook:

  • A comprehensive, hands-on curriculum in supply chain operations.
  • A four-course series that runs for five weeks and is structured for possible completion within six months (three credits per course, totaling 12 credits).
  • Every course can be applied toward attainment of a bachelor’s degree.
  • ‘Badging’ on students’ transcripts is a unique benefit that provides eligible students with a ‘badge’ on their transcript as early recognition and documentation of their achievements when seeking employment.
  • A guaranteed informational employment interview with one of Vaughn partners is available after successful completion of the first two courses—with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Salaries range from $65,000 entry-level to $98,000 and higher for mid-level jobs in the US according to The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) 2023 annual survey.

Is a supply chain management career in your future? See how Vaughn’s Supply Chain Management Certificate Program can prepare you for this highly sought-after, in-demand field. Apply today!

Don’t miss the Vaughn College Fall Open House. Our November 11 event date is now full, but you can register for a second identical event on December 9. Learn how one of our valuable degree programs in engineering, technology, management and aviation can lead you to an exciting, in-demand career. After all, it’s your future and we can help make it work—for you!

What you’ll learn at this year’s Open House

Attending our Open House is the first step to starting your journey to lifelong success in the industries we serve. You’ll learn everything you need to know about Vaughn—from student life, housing, degree programs and how to apply for free.

Join us on:

  • Saturday, December 9
  • Check in: 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
  • Welcome: 9 a.m.

(Directly followed by tours, student life, financial aid and academic and maintenance program sessions)


Why jobs in aviation and engineering are in such high demand

With travel demand being back to nearly pre-pandemic levels, there’s been a great need for qualified aviation and engineering professionals to fill open roles (especially after many pilots retired during the pandemic). In fact, the skills taught at Vaughn College have never been in greater demand. Companies are recruiting engineers, pilots, air traffic controllers, maintenance technicians, operations managers and others in unprecedented numbers. As a result, salaries in these fields are soaring, benefits are generous and schedules are flexible. You can be a part of the next generation of aviation professionals to keep the industry moving in the right direction.

Why Vaughn is the place for your engineering, aviation and management training

Vaughn College graduates leave with more than just degrees. They leave with lifelong friendships, industry connections and most importantly, exciting, futureproof careers. When it comes down to it, the numbers are stacked in your favor:

  • 98 percent of Vaughn graduates—78 percent in their field—are employed or continue theirUS News & World Report Vaughn College best regional college in the north 2024 education within one year*
  • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid
  • Ranked number one in upward mobility nationwide, as reported in the New York Times**
  • Ranked in top 4% of colleges with highest ROI for students from under-resourced communities***
  • Voted among Best Colleges for Social Mobility in 2024 by U.S. News and World Report
  • Voted among Best Colleges for Regional Colleges in 2024 by U.S. News and World Report
  • Experienced faculty who spent their careers working in the field
  • State-of-the-art training facilities, including a $1M flight simulator complex, air traffic control and computer engineering labs
  • Career services department dedicated to student success – with career fairs, employer engagement days, opportunities to attend industry events and paid internships

College affordability

Don’t let the cost of a college education stop you from pursuing your dreams. At Vaughn, we provide an affordable education that’s focused on the professional skills you’ll need to excel in an ever-changing career landscape.

Additionally, more than 90 percent of our students receive some sort of financial aid, with the average aid package totaling over $15,000 per year. We’ll help you assemble a customized financial plan, which may include scholarships, grants, loans and campus employment options.

Are you ready to see your future come into focus? Join us on November 11 – Register today!

We hope to see you there!

*Outcomes include data within one year of graduation for graduates who reported via survey. There were a total of 364 graduates in 2022. 222 reported an outcome for an 61% response rate. The 2022 graduating class includes September 2021, December 2021 and May 2022 graduates.
**The Upshot, January 18, 2017, “Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60.”
***Data from a study completed by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce,
“The Colleges Where Low-Income Students Get the Highest ROI”

As technology advances at a record pace, the demand for computer science professionals is skyrocketing. If you’re looking for a high-paying, in-demand career, earning a degree in computer science may just be the best investment you can make for your future. Do you know what’s even better? The path to this futureproof career is closer than you think.

Vaughn College has recently added a bachelor of science degree in computer science. This latest addition to the College’s impressive array of engineering degree programs is designed to ensure that graduates will possess the necessary knowledge and skills to be valuable assets in the computer science industry.

Dr. Miguel Bustamante assistant professor of engineering and technology at Vaughn, weighed in on the value of earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science. “The unprecedented demand for graduates in the fields of computer science and information technology makes Vaughn’s computer science degree one of the most valuable investments for a student’s future,” said Bustamante.

What does Vaughn’s computer science degree offer?

The computer science degree at Vaughn focuses on hands-on experience and internships to ensure students not only understand the theory of the field but can also apply it to real-world situations that happen in the field every day. This comprehensive curriculum encompasses all aspects of computer science so students graduate feeling confident and ready to start their careers.

Students will:

  • Master the fundamentals of programming
  • Gain expertise in computer algorithms
  • Develop networking and system security skills
  • Tackle complex challenges and design systems to meet specific criteria, based on mastering a solid foundation in mathematics and design systems
  • Explore advanced topics such as data science and artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Learn specifics about program courses and learning objectives here.

What industries are hiring computer science professionals?

Computer science professionals are needed in almost every facet of industry—from healthcare, automotive and real estate—to develop software and hardware, design computer systems and manage databases that are secure in the face of increasingly advanced hackers.

Here are some of the careers you can pursue with a computer science degree:

  • Software developer
  • Computer systems engineer
  • Computer hardware engineer
  • Data warehousing specialist
  • Database administrator
  • Systems analyst
  • Game developer
  • Web developer

Robust demand for computer science professionals over the next decade—and beyond

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers that are related to computer and information technology are projected to grow at a faster rate than all other occupations over the next decade. In fact, data revealed that about 377,500 job openings are projected each year. In 2021, for example, there were fewer than 160,000 computer science graduates to fill the almost 568,000 job openings. The 2022 median annual wage for computer network architects with a bachelor’s degree was $126,900. The 2022 median annual wage for database administrators with a bachelor’s degree was $112,120.

With the growth, demand and range of opportunities, a bachelor’s degree in computer science is well worth the time and investment.

What it takes to earn a computer science degree and why it’s worth it

A computer science degree involves a challenging curriculum that demands technical knowledge and strong mathematical skills, however, you don’t have to be a math genius to pursue a degree in the field. Vaughn provides assistance through the academic success center to help with tutoring or other degree-related needs.  There’s also a strong emphasis on theory and concepts, so abstract thinkers also do well. With a low student/faculty ratio of 14:1 which is often lower in some engineering courses, Vaughn professors are available to help you master any challenging concepts.

Investing in your future is money well spent. According to, bachelor’s degrees in computer and information sciences have a lifetime return on investment (ROI) of 71 percent. Now that’s spending your money wisely! Plus, the computer engineering industry is only projected to grow over time, so it truly is a futureproof career path.

Does computer science sound like the right fit for you? If so, schedule a meeting with one of our admissions counselors today to learn more.

Is becoming a pilot on your radar? The latest partnership between Vaughn College and Atlas Air’s University Pipeline Program can put you and aspiring pilots in the captain’s seat faster—with less expense—all while receiving exceptional benefits and support. Buckle up as Ron Ruggeri, online technical specialist instructor in the aviation department at Vaughn, sheds light on this exciting collaboration that can fast-track the careers of tomorrow’s pilots.

A new era of opportunity

The purpose of this program is twofold: It has been designed to grow Atlas Air’s pipeline of qualified applicants for employment in high-demand positions as well as increase career opportunities for qualified Vaughn College flight students. Through the University Pipeline Program, Atlas Air will recruit, train and hire qualified Vaughn graduates, thus affording them a new era of opportunities and benefits that can accelerate their career trajectories.

Program timeline

As you may expect, there is a structured timeline which each student must follow to ensure he or she has all the required licenses and flight hours to qualify for this opportunity. Ruggeri emphasizes the timeline students should follow:

  • In their sophomore year, students should begin their instrument rating to secure the following five licenses: private, instrument, commercial, certified flight instructor—single-engine airplane (CFIA) and certified flight instructor instrument.
  • In their senior year (or seventh semester), Ruggeri said flight students begin their CFIA and start building flight hours toward the required 1,000 hours in order to obtain their Restricted Airline Transport Pilot License (R-ATP). Notably, aspiring pilots must be at least 23 years old to be eligible for this license. And the cost for obtaining these hours is expensive: flight hours can cost up to $300 per hour, bringing the total to $300,000 for the required 1,000 hours. For this reason, Ruggeri said many students opt to instruct during this period to offset the expenses associated with their flight training.

Program requirements

To be considered for the Atlas Air Pathway program, each candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • Maintain a 3.0 grade point average
  • Not have any background check disqualifications
  • Submit an application, résumé and introduction that details his or her aviation journey and career aspirations– if applicable, applicants must continue to update their résumés and total time
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from a professor from the specific industry-affiliated program

Graduates selected to take part in the Atlas Air Pathway to Success program will be granted preferential interviews with Atlas Air. To be considered, candidates must meet these and other criteria:

  • No more than two training failures on required ratings (excluding private pilot)
  • First class medical certificate
  • Serve as a CFI for Heritage Flight Academy or other Vaughn-affiliated 141 flight training school
  • Letter of recommendation from a flight instructor and professor from the Aircraft Operations (Flight) program
  • Graduated with required academic experience for Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP)
  • Reach R-ATP eligibility and required minimum flying experience within two years of graduation
  • Must not be part of any other airline pathway or cadet program after signing the offer letter with Atlas Air
  • Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) qualification preferred

University Pathway to Success Program benefits

Among the most exciting aspects of the program are the considerable benefits that Vaughn students will receive. If you’re still thinking about the cost of the flight hours, the next part may put your mind at ease. Check this out. Qualified and selected students may:

  • Receive 500 free hours of flight time, courtesy of Atlas Air
  • Seamlessly transition into the role of First Officer at the age of 23, flying prestigious aircraft such as the 777 or 747
  • Get promoted to Captain faster than the typical seven-year timeframe
  • Enjoy a unique work life-balance that exists in cargo flying offering a two weeks on/two weeks off schedule; plus Atlas Air covers the cost of departure seats to ensure that pilots are able to commute home to see their families

A commitment to diversity

Vaughn and Atlas Air also share a common commitment to diversity. Vaughn serves a diverse student body of about 1,200 students, 80 percent of whom are from under-resourced communities.

“Vaughn is so pleased to deepen our partnership with Atlas Air and provide an expanded pipeline of talented, diverse graduates who want to contribute to the company’s success,” said Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vaughn College. “This is another example of Atlas’ commitment to developing, hiring and promoting aviation professionals and investing in our students—the next generation that will change the world.”

Is becoming a pilot on your radar? For complete details, and to determine eligibility, contact Ron Ruggeri at Vaughn College. You can apply to the program here.

Many high school graduates today are wondering if attending college is a worthwhile investment. They are wondering if the effort, time and money could be saved with potentially more valuable on-the-job experience. It’s best to think of the value of a college degree in terms of earning potential over time. Bachelor’s degree holders generally earn 75% more than those with just a high school diploma, according to “The College Payoff,” a report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. College graduates with four-year bachelor’s degrees are also more likely to have health insurance through their jobs, contribute to a 401(k) and own a home.

Many of the careers in aviation, aeronautics and technology that Vaughn prepares students for require a certain level of training, certification or degree for entry into the field. Vaughn also sets students up for lifelong success with additional support, which we are about to dive into!

Scholarships and Financial Aid

The rising cost of college and fear of student debt are among the top reasons why students choose not to attend college. Online learning during the pandemic also made students question if a college education was worth it. At Vaughn, we recognize that attending college is an expensive undertaking, and our admissions advisers will work with you to find financial solutions that will make attending college possible based on your individual needs. After all, 90 percent of Vaughn students receive some type of financial aid, and academic excellence is recognized by awarding college scholarships to high-achieving students who wish to pursue bachelor’s degrees.

Another attractive feature for Vaughn students is the new Scholarship Universe tool, which expands scholarship opportunities even further to new and current students. Students can access the Scholarship Universe portal to see what scholarships they are eligible for, get information and deadlines, apply and check application status all in one place.

National Society of Leadership and Success

The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) is the nation’s largest leadership honor society in the United States, with more than 1.5 million members and 700+ chapters nationwide and Vaughn has recently established a chapter on campus. It is the only society of its kind to have earned accreditation for its programming, which is an outstanding benefit for participating students. This milestone is due in large part to Vaughn’s long standing partnership with United Airlines whose sponsorship includes all membership fees, thus making it affordable for every qualifying Vaughn student to join. Since the NSLS chapter was established at Vaughn in March of 2022, 86 students have been formally inducted and 239 have accepted the invitation to become a member. 

NSLS inductees at Vaughn College

So, why is this big news? NSLS differentiates itself from traditional honor societies in the following ways:

  • Students must complete a step-by-step leadership development program in order to be inducted. For Vaughn students, this includes doing through the orientation and leadership training day, attending three speaker series presentations and participation in three Success Network Teams (SNTs) where students create personal goals and support each other to achieve them.
  • The curriculum offers students opportunities to develop many in-demand skills such as leadership communications and team building.
  • Additional expertise is provided for the personal development disciplines that today’s highly motivated employers are demanding.

Residence life and housing

Living on campus can make the college experience even greater! When you live and study at Vaughn, you’ll become part of a community, develop lasting friendships, have easy access to campus resources, clubs and activities. According to a national study conducted by The Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I), living on campus has a profound impact on student persistence and engagement. Additionally, supporting the whole student learning and development through environmental, social, physical, intellectual, financial, emotional, spiritual and occupational opportunities is something Vaughn takes very seriously. 

Vaughn’s residence hall features all suite-style fully furnished suites with semi-private bathrooms, air conditioning, cable TV connection, high speed internet and 24/7 security while classes are in session.

Residence hall common areas include:

Vaughn students working out at residential hall gym

  • Lobby Lounge – For gatherings, gaming, streaming and just hanging out with friends.
  • Kitchen – Cooking, prepping meals, reheating and food storage. (NOTE: Meal plans are required for resident students.)
  • Multi-purpose room – Study room, presentation practice space and events.
  • Fitness Center – with spectacular views of New York City
  • Laundry facilities

The unique Vaughn student experience

College is so much more than hitting the books and cramming for exams. At Vaughn, we take the college experience to another level through a hands-on, experiential learning approach. “Learn-by-doing” opportunities give students the confidence, problem-solving, teamwork, leadership and communication skills they need to succeed in their fields of study.

Through priceless exposure to out-of-the-classroom experiences, students gain a competitive edge for success. Here are some of the exciting student experiences that Vaughn offers:Robotics club

  • Opportunities to present research, projects and papers at professional conferences and networking events
  • Internships
  • Student clubs and team competitions in areas such as uncrewed aerial vehicles, robotics, rover and aviation maintenance
  • Industry speakers
  • Professional gateway partnerships that provide career pathways for Vaughn graduates

We hope this blog has inspired you to rethink your path to college and the value a degree will bring to your career and life. Taking the first step toward your future begins with exploring your college options. At Vaughn, we offer degrees in today’s most sought-after industries. From engineering and technology to management and aviation, we have degree programs that will give you a competitive edge in today’s workforce. With so many opportunities and possibilities for your future, now is the time to see all the great things that are happening at Vaughn. Schedule a visit. Or, better yet, apply today! 

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to go to college. Yes, there are many things to do and decisions to make, but with a little guidance, you’ll be on your way to earning your college degree.

You might be wondering if earning a college degree is really worth it – and the answer to that is yes! Over time, you’ll earn more money in your career than you would without a degree. The exact return on your college investment depends on a multitude of factors such as your college, major, career and experience level, and some careers have a higher ROI than others – such as pilots, air traffic controllers and mechanical engineers.

To help you navigate the process and stay on track, we have outlined a college admission requirements list. Hey, we already know you’re smart. Now it’s time to work smarter—not harder. So, check out this list and feel satisfied when you check things off the list!

Make a list of your reach, match and safety colleges

Now is the time to do your homework. You must now decide which colleges are on your list of safety, match and reach schools which are defined below. But don’t worry too much – your high school guidance department can help you with this, so don’t hesitate to tap into their expertise and connections. They can help you explore your options and make realistic selections based on your interests.

  • Safety colleges—With a “safety college” or institution, you have an 80 percent chance or higher of being accepted, based on your grade point average (GPA) and SAT or ACT scores. It’s important to note that there are no guarantees of acceptance to these schools. The best you can do is compare your grades and scores to the student body average.
  • Match college—A “match college” or institution is one where your GPA and scores fall within range of the college’s typical freshman class.
  • Reach college—The most difficult category, a “reach college” or institution is where your academic performance is below the 25th percentile of those admitted to the college.

Tip: Although most students will apply to their safety and match colleges, it’s important to include reach colleges on your list as well. Always give it your best shot. You honestly never know!

Apply to your top college picks

You can save time by applying to your colleges via the Common App which allows you to fill out one application and send it to several colleges that accept it. Below are a few things to do and consider as you work through the application process.

  • Confirm early decision/early action and regular application deadlines.
  • Confirm if an admissions exam is required. If it is, be sure to take the exam and arrange to have the scores sent to the college.
  • Take any other required exams, such as AP or IB.
  • Request recommendation letters and make sure you receive them in time for your application deadlines. (Be sure to also send “thank you” notes to those who wrote letters on your behalf.)
  • Draft your essay and proofread it for spelling and grammar. Then, ask two people to review it with fresh eyes and make all necessary revisions.
  • Request high school transcripts. (Note: A midyear grade report may also be sent.)
  • Complete the entire application.
  • Sign and send your application.
  • Make copies of each completed application for your college file.
  • Tour the campuses of as many colleges as possible.
  • Schedule campus interviews.
  • Talk to people who have attended (or currently attend) the schools you are interested in – hearing first-hand what a school is like is the absolute best way to learn and discover if it’s the right place for you.
  • Vaughn College also has a few admissions perks:
    • Vaughn is a college with rolling admissions, which means you can apply anytime throughout the year and be accepted for the upcoming semester, so you don’t ever need to worry about missing an admission deadline.
    • Vaughn participates in the Common Application (or Common App) which means you can fill out one application that can be sent to many schools on your list.

Apply for financial aid

Attending college can be the best years of your life, but they don’t come free! That’s why it’s important to apply for financial aid early and explore any scholarships, grants or government aid you may qualify for. Here are the steps to take to apply for financial aid:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA®). (Check out our blog for great information and helpful tips on completing the FAFSA.)
  • Confirm priority financial aid deadline.
  • Confirm regular financial aid deadline.
  • Submit a college aid form, if needed.
  • Submit a state aid form, if needed.

And, you’re not alone – 90 percent of Vaughn students are eligible for some type of financial assistance, so don’t miss out on an important opportunity to help fund your education.

Navigating the acceptance process

Waiting can be one of the hardest parts of the acceptance process. Here are some important things you can do to fill the time:

  • Follow up with your colleges to make sure they received your application materials.
  • Advise your guidance counselor that you applied – they can help you throughout the process.

Receiving notification of college acceptance

Receiving the news of your college acceptance is one of the most momentous days in a student’s life.

Here is what to expect:

  • A letter of acceptance from the office of admissions comes first.
  • A financial aid award letter comes after.

If accepted, here is what to do next:

  • Accept admission to the college of your choice by the deadline.
  • Send any required deposits.
  • Accept financial aid offer.

Why you should earn a college degree

Earning a college degree is not about just investing in your future—it’s about investing in yourself. The return on investment (ROI) is greater than you may have imagined. Here are just some of the reasons why earning a college degree is a pathway to a bright future:

  • Higher salary—College graduates can earn nearly $800,000 more in increased earnings over a lifetime compared to those who don’t have a degree.
  • Excellent job placement rate—Those with a college degree are less likely to be unemployed over time. Did you know that 92 percent of Vaughn graduates—76 percent in their chosen fields—are employed or continue their education within one year? Vaughn guarantees its students will graduate with a job.
  • In-demand, stable career fields—Vaughn graduates, for example, earn degrees in futureproof fields that are not only in-demand but have longevity in the industries they serve.

We hope that this checklist will shed new light on the college application process. Vaughn offers futureproof degree programs in some of today’s most in-demand fields such as engineering and technology, management and aviation. Our application process is simple and convenient. Apply today!

Wishing you all the best for a successful future!

Vaughn’s 2023 STEM summer camp programs are now open for registration. They focus on hands-on, experiential, project-based learning covering a range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) topics including computer engineering, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, engineering, drone development/operation and more. They are designed to pave the way to today’s in-demand and futureproof careers in engineering, technology, management and aviation. High school students can earn college credit, prepare for college life and get a jump-start on their future—all while having fun, making friends and building memories that will last a lifetime. Are you a high school student interested in these career fields? Find out how Vaughn can make your summer one of the best yet!

Air travel is rebounding

According to Forbes Advisor, air travel and tourism are rebounding as global air traffic climbed to about 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels in 2022. This post-pandemic travel surge has put the aviation industry in hiring mode. Since 2021, approximately 96,000 aviation-related jobs have been added, and this figure continues to climb.

Filling the need for cybersecurity in aviation and other areas

Heightened cyber threats have opened new doors of employment opportunities for cyber-ready individuals in helping combat this threat everywhere—including aviation. From ransomware attacks to systems outages—among other forms of cyber-attacks—the aviation industry has become the latest target for hackers to wreak havoc on.

The Computer Engineering Summer Academy Program at Vaughn gives students a head start in learning the basic and intermediate skills of computer engineering, which includes cybersecurity as it applies to aviation and many other industries. Pursuing a computer engineering degree at Vaughn will bring students one step closer to filling the need in this emerging field.

STEM is among most lucrative and fastest-growing career fields in the US

Jobs in the fields of (STEM) are not only the fastest-growing careers in the US, but they are the highest-paying ones as well. With growth expected to reach 15 percent between 2021 and 2034, STEM jobs are taking the top spot due to the growth of the digital economy—with information security jobs topping the list as among the fastest-growing in STEM-related fields.

Vaughn is offering two STEM-focused summer programs for high school students who wish to explore a career in engineering and technology.

The first is the TryEngineering Summer Institute is a hands-on camp sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), where students will gain real-life experience by working alongside industry professionals and engaging in hands-on projects within Vaughn’s engineering and technology labs.

The second is the Summer Engineering Experience Program which gives students the best of both worlds, as they learn how to prepare for college life both academically and socially. Students will not only explore what it’s like to major in engineering, but they will also have the opportunity to enroll in IBM courses which can then lead to earning artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity certificates.

Turn your passion for drones into a high-flying career

Were you aware that some of today’s hottest industries are paying six-figure salaries for experienced drone pilots? The demand for commercial drone pilots is soaring, as industries rely on drones—or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—now more than ever before. In fact, according to Research and Markets, the demand for drone pilots is expected to grow by 51.1 percent over the next five years—with sales projected to reach over $16 billion by 2030. And that’s just from select markets!

The Propel Forward: UAS Certificate Program is a cutting-edge course of study which provides students the opportunity to earn 11 Vaughn College credits while still in high school. Students will receive the foundation—and hands-on experience—they need to earn their remote pilot certificates for operating an unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

What are your plans this summer? Enrolling in one of Vaughn’s Summer 2023 Programs can bring you one step closer to a futureproof career. Check them out and register today!


Attending a college open house is a great way to gauge whether a particular institution is the right fit for you and your future. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time on campus while earning your degree. Read on to learn some helpful tips and information that will make your visit both enjoyable and productive.

How to prepare for a college visit 

The first thing you want to keep in mind is that every other attendee has similar goals. They’re searching for a college where they will thrive, feel comfortable and earn a degree that will lead them to a futureproof career. So, relax and be yourself. Here are some important tips to help you prepare:

  • Dress for success—Dressing for success builds confidence and puts your best foot forward.
  • Arrive early—Arriving early reduces stress and gives you an opportunity to mix, mingle and get a sense of the campus before the event begins.
  • Keep an open mind—Think of an open house as a clean slate where you may learn and gather all the information you need to build a bright future.
  • Don’t be shy—This is your time to shine. Remember, it’s a level playing field where everyone is there for the same reason.
  • Ask questions—Asking questions may just be the most important part of attending a college open house. You’re gathering information for your future, so don’t feel intimidated. Ask away. Not sure which questions to ask? No problem. We’ve put together an easy guide of the top 15 questions to ask at an open house. (We’ve even left space on each page for you to jot down some notes to review and compare when it’s decision time.)


Vaughn Open House

Vaughn College graduates leave with more than just diplomas. They leave with jobs in the exciting and in-demand career fields of today. Think of it as a passport to your future. Attending our open house on Saturday, March 18 at 10 a.m. is your first step toward achieving a futureproof career, which is something that Vaughn actually guarantees.

During Open House, you will learn about:


Why a degree from Vaughn is the ticket to your future

Our students go on to have exciting careers at some of the nation’s top companies in aerospace, engineering, aviation and transportation. Our graduates also find rewarding positions in industries one might ordinarily not expect, such as healthcare, utilities and sustainable energy.

Are you ready to meet the future you? Join us on March 18.

We hope to see you there!