Debt Management Guide For New College Students

Attending college is an important step towards securing one’s future. It can increase a person’s chances of employment and raise one’s salary potential. Unfortunately, there are problems that often threaten an individual’s ability to attend or continue attending college. One wide spread threat is a lack of financial resources. Financial problems may arise due to the cost of one’s tuition or as a result of increasing expenses associated with college. There are ways, however, that students of all ages can find, raise, or save the money that is necessary to continue and complete their higher education.

Grants, Scholarships, & Loans

Most often, students attending college seek some form of financial assistance in the form of a loan, scholarship, grant, or some combination of the three. Scholarships are gifted by various entities and organizations, including religious groups, schools, for-profit, and non-profit companies, one’s community, and more. A person may earn a scholarship based on his or her skills, such as playing a certain sport, or for academic achievement. Grants may be federal, state, or institutional, and are typically awarded based on one’s financial needs. When a student receives a grant or scholarship, he or she is given a financial award that is the equivalent of free or gift money. This means the student is under no obligation to pay back the awarded money, although he or she may need to continually to meet the outlined terms or obligations associated with the grant. For example, a student who drops out of college or fails to finish his or her period of enrollment may be required to payback their grant in full or in part. Because they do not need to be paid back if the student completes college, they help students save money that would otherwise need to be repaid on a student loan. In addition, grants and scholarships help students save money by helping them pay for tuition, supplies, and even housing and transportation.

A loan differs from scholarships and grants in that the student must pay the money back, along with any accrued interest. A loan may be from a private lender, such as bank, or it may be a government or federal loan. Often, federal loans are less stringent than loans from private lenders, in terms of repayment and interest rates. It’s important to note that because students must pay off the loans with interest, it is important that they borrow no more than what is necessary to successfully accomplish their educational goals, as loans place students in debt that can take years to pay off.

Work Part Time

Working is another option when it comes to paying for the many expenses associated with attending college. For many students, it is necessary to seek part-time employment while attending college, and federal work-study programs are one way of accomplishing that. These are programs for students who attend college either on a full or part-time basis. It is offered by participating colleges and universities, and the available jobs are either school-based or of public interest for non-profit organizations. Depending on the school, students in the program may be employed part-time by for-profit companies. These jobs, however, must be relevant to the student’s course of study. Internships are also a way to earn money while attending college and to gain experience with a potential future employer at a company of interest. Students must be careful when looking into internships, as many are unpaid and offer work-experience and references only. In addition, the competition for internships is often fierce. When applying for jobs outside of work-study programs, students should search for jobs that are not overly stressful and avoid working too many hours, so that it won’t interfere with study. Good choices for part-time jobs are those in which the student has some experience or that relate to his or her field of study.

Extra Ways to Save

There are additional ways in which students can save money, regardless of whether or not they have a loan, a grant, or work part-time. Creating a budget and being more frugal when spending money can go a long way when it comes to saving. When it comes to entertainment, the library is a great resource. Not only can students check out textbooks, but also books for leisurely reading. Many public libraries also have movie rentals at no cost as well. Even paying for rented movies can decrease one’s expenses, if renting replaces frequent trips to the theater or the expense of cable television.

  • When making plans with friends, look for activities that are free or low-cost.
  • Packing a lunch and eating dinners at home will save money as opposed to eating out regularly.
  • Students can cut back on Internet costs by taking advantage of free online access at coffee shops and in libraries.

There are ways to save when it comes to transportation as well. If possible, students may forgo purchasing and driving a car, opting to take advantage of public transportation or ride a bicycle instead. Although cars are convenient, the cost of car insurance, a car payment, parking, and gas makes it a far more costly means of getting around. Another area where students may cut their expenses is in the purchase of personal items. Instead of buying new, students may consider purchasing second-hand items that are clean and gently used. Even physical fitness can be expensive when gym memberships are involved. Replace them with outdoor activities, such as jogging, that require no paid membership at all.

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Online College Writing and Training Guide

Writing is one of the ways people are able to express themselves. Through writing, people can convey their inner thoughts, explore new ideas, or create entire fictional worlds. A well-written piece isn’t simply a page of words. Instead, it can have the power to persuade people and change opinions. Just as good writing can be powerful, poor writing also reflects tremendously on the writer. Ignoring grammar, punctuation, or style detracts from the writing and makes it difficult to read. It is natural for people to become a little rusty over time when it comes to writing. A great way to get around this issue is by reading through a refresher on the elements of writing. Try a few quizzes and tests online, or write some practice pieces. Read on through the resources below to learn more about how to improve in each of these key areas.

Grammar

Grammar is the entire structure of the language, in the form of a set of rules. It forms the foundations of any language. Although many people might consider grammar boring, without it our writing would not make any sense. We can approach grammar by breaking it down into several small blocks. For example, there are nouns, adjectives, verbs, conjunctions, prepositions, tenses, and much more. People who need a refresher can start by taking a grammar test to gauge their weak areas. There are plenty of full grammar guides and handbooks online with all the parts of speech sorted into separate chapters. Look through some of these explanations, and then try a few more quizzes or exercises for some extra practice.

Punctuation

Punctuation is the set of small marks and symbols that are periodically inserted into sentences. Some examples include periods, commas, exclamation marks, colons, and quotation marks. Punctuation is important because it helps the reader to distinguish the tone of a sentence. The best way to learn about punctuation is by reading a piece of text aloud. Without punctuation, it would simply sound like a long run-on sentence. However, with punctuation added in, the reader would know how to phrase sentences, when to stop, and where to place stress. One of the most common mistakes that people make in writing is to use too little or too much punctuation. After reading through some punctuation guidelines, try a few practice drills to polish these skills.

Style

Think about a famous singer or artist. What is it that distinguishes them from other singers and artists? The style that a person develops is one of the most important aspects when it comes to any form of art, including writing. Writing style is not something that we can force, but it certainly can be developed over time with practice. Style helps to define a writer, and it can also make the writing more appealing to readers. It is the way in which writers communicate their own ideas to the reader. For example, Charles Dickens wrote prose in a poetic manner, incorporating plenty of humor and satire. F. Scott Fitzgerald delighted in highly descriptive text, while William Shakespeare often coined new words to produce unusual meanings that did not exist in his time. Keep in mind that it is quite normal for a writer’s style to evolve as they progress. A good foundation for developing a style is to have a good working knowledge of grammar and punctuation. These are tools that can help to strengthen a piece of writing. As with all rules, they can also be broken occasionally for artistic effect. Focus on writing clearly and without wordiness. This helps to avoid irrelevant, banal sections of text. Descriptions, metaphors, and dialogue can be added to embellish the text and bring it alive.

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Grant Overview for Undergraduate Students

Grants. For many students, the prospect of paying for their education can be daunting and even terrifying. The price of college tuition has skyrocketed over the years. But, that doesn’t mean that a college education is out of a student’s reach, no matter what their family income. Each year, millions of students receive financial aid that allows them to pay for the cost of school. There are two forms of financial aid: free and not free. Free aid includes grants and scholarships. Aid that isn’t free includes student loans, which need to be paid back, with interest. It’s in the student’s best interest to get as much free aid as they can.

Federal Grants

The federal government has a number of grant programs for students who have demonstrated a financial need. In the 2007-2008 academic year, nearly half of all undergraduate students received some form of financial aid from the government. Twenty percent of those students received a grant. The main type of federal grant is the Pell Grant, which is only offered to students enrolled in associates or bachelors degree programs. To qualify for a federal grant, or any type of federal student aid, a student needs to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The sooner a student completes the FAFSA, the better, as each school is only given a certain amount of grant money.

Students who are eligible for a Pell Grant might also be eligible for a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). The FSEOG is given to students based on need, so the students with the greatest amount of financial need are more likely to receive the grant. The grants are also awarded on a first come, first served basis. Amounts of the grant vary from $100 to up to $4,000.

A Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH) is given to a student who promises to teach in a high-need area after graduation. Before a student can receive the grant, they need to sign an agreement, pledging to work in a high need field, teaching elementary or secondary students or working with an educational service agency that works with students from low-income families. The student must also agree to finish a four-year degree within eight years. TEACH grants aren’t need-based, but a student does need to maintain a grade point average of at least 3.25.

Pell Grants

The big federal grant is the Pell grant, which is given to students who have yet to earn a bachelor’s degree. The maximum amount of the grant varies from year to year. For the 2012-2013 school year, the maximum was $5,550. Grants awarded are equal to or less than the maximum based on the student’s need. The size of the grant also depends on the student’s enrollment level. A student enrolled part-time will most likely receive a smaller grant than a student who is full-time. Unlike the FSEOG, the Pell Grant is not given on a first come, first served basis. Each student who qualifies for the grant will receive the amount they are eligible for. Starting in 2012, students were only able to receive the Pell Grant for up to 12 semesters.

State Grants

Several states also offer grant programs to college students. Like federal grants, state grants are often awarded based on a student’s financial need. In a lot of cases, state grants are given to students who are residents of the state and who decide to attend a college in their home state. The grants are usually not given if a student leaves the state to attend college. A student who is interested in finding out about any grants available in their state should contact the school they are applying to or get in touch with the education department in their state.

Specific Career Grants

Students who know that they will pursue a particular career path should think about finding grants and scholarships for that major or career. Grants for specific careers often have more requirements than need-based grants. A student typically has to demonstrate some talent in the field. For example, if a student wants to be a writer and pursues a writing grant, they will more likely than not need to submit a writing sample with the grant application. Grades are also important when applying for career grants or scholarships. Many scholarships require that a student maintain a 3.0 GPA, if not higher.

Minority Grants

Grants for minority students encourage students from ethnic groups or genders who are usually underrepresented in higher education to apply to and attend college. Some minority grants are intended to encourage students to stay in school beyond freshman year. The goal of these grants is to encourage and improve diversity at college campuses. Some grant or scholarship programs are awarded based on a student’s ethnicity, while others are given to female students. Some minority scholarships and grants are awarded to students with learning or physical disabilities. As with other grants, the student needs to maintain a certain GPA and might need to demonstrate financial need.

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Different Types of College Grants

Overview College Fund.

In contrast to loans, grants don’t need to be paid back by a student who uses them making them an ideal way to pay for college. Grants are available from many public and private institutions and organizations, but can be up to you to locate and apply for them. When beginning your search you can ask your teachers and counselors about the grants that are most closely associated with your high school or the college which you plan to attend. Your state’s department of higher education or its equivalent maybe be able to provide you with a list of grants that are open to students who live in your state. You can also search the Internet for options. Start your hunt for grants early, so you can make sure to meet all deadlines, and have a better chance at obtaining them. The federal government can be a great place to begin applying for grants, like the Federal Pell Grant and the Academic Competitiveness Grant. You can begin the process of obtaining grants by using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to demonstrate your financial need to all grant sources.

101 Grants

There are grants available for every type of educational trajectory that you can think of and every kind of potential college student. While most people assume that grants are only need-based, the fact is that grants exist for many different types of students and situations. For example, you can earn a grant based on merit, your intended major and even if you plan to study abroad. You can get a grant based on your ethnicity, sex, medical conditions, and even your hobbies. Some grants can be more specific, and can require two or more of these attributes to qualify for them. Successfully applying and obtaining a grant starts with simply knowing which grants you are eligible for. Use the below information as a guide to obtain some of the more popular college grants.

Athletic

Athletic grants can be available to you if you are a high-performing athlete, or someone who is interested in pursing a career in an athletics-related field. The criteria for these types to grants can vary. For example, aside from a minimum GPA being met and having references, athletes may be required to place highly in competitions, undergo drug testing, and act as a public face for the organization bestowing the grant. Grants that focus on the clinical side of athletics, such as research, may require that its applicants submit proposals, abstracts and other scientific materials before grant money is awarded. The particular criteria for each type of athletic grant can be different, but many require the submission of basic materials, like transcripts and references.

Housing

Grants can also be applied towards your housing needs, especially if you plan to live on campus. You can obtain these grants through federal, state and other sources, like the very college you attend. Some may even be earmarked as grants that are to be specifically dispensed for housing costs. If you’re interested in a housing grant offered by your college, you may want to consult with financial aid or housing department officers at your school. The extremely high cost of housing may require that you look to other options to pay your housing bills. For example, you may have to work extra hard to find more grants for your housing costs, or you may have to consider getting loans to meet the bill each semester.

Minority

If you belong to a specific minority group, such as an ethnic group or another group that is underrepresented, there may be grants that have been tailored specifically for you to use. Students who are of a specific heritage may be able to obtain grants from ethnic foundations. People of every ethnic background, but who also have disabilities, can also fall into the minority category, and can qualify for these types of grants. Women, too, can obtain minority grants, if their chosen field of study is one that has been traditionally dominated by men, which can cause them to be considered underrepresented. Like other grants, grants specifically geared towards minorities can be obtained from federal, state, institutional and private sources. If you identify with one or more groups, research grants that represent your particular minority group and apply for them. You should also not forget to apply for general aid, despite the many college grants open to ethnic minorities. You’ll have a better chance at meeting your college costs, if you apply for as much grant and aid money as you can.

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College Student Health on a Budget

Introduction

Keeping fit while starting college can be a challenge, especially if you’re on a budget. Luckily, there are many easy and low-cost ways to maintain your physical health while at a new school. Walking to class, investing in portable exercise equipment, and creating fitness groups can be the beginning of your journey to post-high school fitness. Getting involved on campus, eating the right foods, and drinking plenty of water can also help you control your weight and maintain good health. Visit your college’s health center for more information on staying fit while on campus, and ideas on how to keep your body lean and optimally conditioned.

Walk to Class

If your campus is particularly large, a public transit or shuttle system may be available to transport you from class to class. Consider walking or jogging to your classes instead. Not only will you avoid the crowd, you’ll also get your heart pumping. After class, simply walking around campus and taking in the sights can be a great workout for you, and can be an effective fitness option for those who attend campuses in rural settings. Walking just half an hour a day can contribute to weight loss, lower blood pressure, and overall better health. Similarly, always choose to take stairs to your destination instead of elevators and escalators.

Keep Some Cheap Exercise Equipment

If you live in a dorm or any shared living area, finding the space and privacy to work out can be a bit difficult. Thankfully, portable exercise equipment like resistance bands and stability balls mean that you can take these items anywhere and exercise. Portable exercise equipment like this can be the answer for those that are living on campus in an urban area. Keep in mind that you can also exercise in your dorm room without equipment: try jumping jacks, push-ups and squats.

Get Involved Spinning.

Immersing yourself in campus activities can help you get into shape. Joining intramural sports or dance clubs can contribute to keeping you fit while letting you have some fun. You might also meet people who will teach you about other exercise techniques like yoga or pilates. You’re also more likely to meet potential fitness partners in these groups.

Create Your Own Fitness Groups

Though some colleges may offer discounts for local gym memberships, signing up for memberships to a fitness center can hit your wallet hard, if you’re on a budget. You can get the benefits of regular workouts by finding like-minded people and creating a fitness group of your own. You can work out together, share equipment, stay motivated and get new ideas on how to burn calories with fitness partners. Try advertising your group around your dorm, or on bulletin boards around campus. Find cheap ways to exercise, like running, bicycling or using the college’s pool for a lap or two. Consider using your campus’ gym, if it has one. You may be able to use the facilities for free, as long as you present your student I.D. at the door.

Choose the Right Foods

The fast-paced rigors of college can make convenient and greasy foods tempting to eat. Try buying fruits and vegetables that are in season for a healthy way to fill your stomach and get your necessary fruit and vegetable intake on the cheap. Know that you can buy store-brand frozen or canned fruits and vegetables at even lower prices. If you want to try inexpensive sources of protein to keep yourself lean, consider buying beans, eggs and nut products like peanut butter instead of more meat. Keep healthy snacks around like salt-free pretzels, granola bars, yogurt, and string cheeses for tasty ways to curb your appetite.

Drink Water

Drinking adequate amounts of water can promote good health and contribute to better body functioning. It can also help you shed pounds, because water consumption tricks your body into believing that your stomach is full. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day will help keep you adequately hydrated after workouts. To save money, consider foregoing your prepackaged water bottles, and buying a water bottle with a built in filter instead.

The Benefits of College Health Centers

College health centers are your go-to source for health and fitness. They can provide you with the advice and information necessary to remain healthy while you’re in your new educational setting. You may have access to dietitians, doctors and other health professionals that will make your road to fitness easier. Visit your college’s health center for dietary advice, health education, vaccinations, and general health issues.

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College and Grad School Test Resource Center

Education after high school is highly competitive and rigorous, which is why colleges, universities, and graduate schools require testing to prove that students are capable of handling the pressures of undergraduate and graduate work. Undergraduate education usually consists of students trying to achieve associates or bachelor’s degrees, whereas graduate education includes students who have bachelor’s degrees and want to achieve their masters and/or doctorate. Undergraduate admission exams consist of two test, the Academic College Testing (ACT) and the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). Scores to these tests often help determine admission into college and possibly the type of financial reward or aid that a student is able to receive.  Graduate admission exams include the Graduate Record Examination, or the GRE, an exam that reviews a student’s knowledge gained during undergraduate education. Other tests like the GRE exist but have a focus on a certain field including test such as these: the Graduate Management Admission Test, or the GMAT, the Law School Admission Test, or the LSAT, the Medical College Admission Test, the Pharmacy College Admission Test, or the PCAT, the Dental Admission Test or the DAT, and the Optometry Admission Test, or the OAT.

Undergraduate Exams- ACT

The ACT was first created as a test that could compete with the more popular SAT, and is accepted throughout the U.S. Some universities put more emphasis on scores from one test to the other, as do some regions of the United States. The ACT generally consists of four components which are English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning. However, a writing test was added as an optional feature in later exams. Scores on the ACT can determine admission into a university as well as scholarship eligibility.

Undergraduate Exams-SAT

The SAT is one of the oldest standardized tests around, and for the longest time was the only standardized test accepted at some universities. This test includes three sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. Like the ACT, scores on the SAT are used to determine admission and financial aid.

Graduate Exams-GRE

The GRE is an exam for students who are graduating or have graduated and who wish to go to graduate school. This tests reviews general information acquired during undergraduate education and consists of six sections: Analytical writing, two verbal reasoning, two quantitative reasoning, and an experimental/research section. GRE scores are used to determine admission into graduate schools.

Graduate Exams-GMAT

The GMAT is a graduate exam that is intended for students seeking higher education in management careers. People applying for graduate degrees in management are required to take this exam. The GMAT consists of a verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing section.

Graduate Exams-LSAT

The LSAT is a graduate exam that is geared towards law students. Students applying for law school must take this exam. The LSAT consists of two logical reasoning sections, a reading comprehension section, an analytical reasoning section, an unscored variable section that is used to test new questions for tests in the future, and a writing sample section.

Graduate Exams-MCAT

The MCAT is a graduate exam that was made for medical students. Students who are working towards careers in higher medical fields must take this exam. The MCAT contains four sections: Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, and Writing Sample.

Graduate Exams-PCAT

The PCAT is a graduate exam for pharmacology students. Students applying for a pharmacy college must take this exam. This test includes seven sections which are Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability, Biology, Chemistry, Reading Comprehension, and two writing sections.

Graduate Exams-DAT

The DAT is a graduate exam aimed at prospective dental school students. Students who wish to apply to dentistry school must take this exam. The DAT contains four sections with several subsections: Natural Sciences, Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning.

Graduate Exams-OAT

The OAT is a graduate exam that assesses a student’s qualification for optometry schools. Students wanting a career in optometry must take this exam. This exam contains four sections: Natural Sciences, Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Reasoning, and Physics.

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SAT College Prep Resources

Childhood and young adulthood is characterized by making friends, learning personal reliance, and gaining a greater sense of self. In addition, most individuals would agree that children and young adults spend a great majority of their time obtaining an education. While there are a number of ways in which young individuals can get an education, reading, studying, and attending educational classes may be most effective.

Years ago, a high school education was considered an adequate form of education for individuals who hoped to seek professional employment. Today, however, as the workforce becomes more and more competitive, a college education may become necessary. To obtain admission to specific colleges, universities, or technical schools, students traditionally need to take—and score well on—aptitude tests. The Scholastic Assessment Test, or SAT, is a test specific designed to evaluate the knowledge and test-taking ability of high school students. In addition, the test is commonly used by college administrators to evaluate how effective and functional a specific student will be in the college setting. Originally introduced in the mid-1920s, the SAT has changed quite dramatically in both form and function over the past several decades. It is important to note that while SAT scores can play an important role in determining acceptance into institutions of higher learning, they are not the sole factor. In fact, a combination of SAT scores, grade-point average, and extra-curricular activities is considered when granting college admission to high school students.

Currently, the SAT is divided into three distinct sections, which test a student’s ability in the areas of reading, mathematics, and writing. A students’ skill in each of these areas will be ranked on a scale of 200-800, resulting in a total score of 600 to 2400. While the SAT takes a total of three hours and 45-minutes to complete, it is not uncommon for test administrators to allow participants several, 15 to 30-minute timed breaks. These breaks allow students to use the bathroom, get a drink of water, and otherwise relax from the stressors of the exam. Without question, success on the SAT is essential for individuals who hope to obtain admission to institutions of higher education. Depending on the school to which the student has applied, SAT score requirements may vary quite dramatically. Students who hope to achieve success when it comes to the completion of the SAT are encouraged to prepare several months in advance before attempting the exam. Using online study tools, such as those provided below, can be an effective method of preparation for the SAT. In addition, high school students who need additional assistance when it comes to preparing for the SAT should work with high school guidance counselors or trusted instructors.

SAT Study Guides

SAT Vocabulary Flash Cards

SAT Practice Tests

SAT Practice Quizzes

Other SAT Prep Resources

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Students Guide To College

College Student. Choosing a college can be a huge decision for anyone looking to further their education. There are several different very important factors when it comes to picking a college. Choosing a major and deciding on the location and school itself are essential, but the steps to getting into college are much more involved. Students need to know how to apply, what paperwork must be completed, and more importantly, how to pay for their new education. When making such a life changing decision, it is important to understand how the world of higher education works. Thorough research and having a full comprehension of the college application process can make your decision much easier.

What to Study: Degrees, Majors, and Programs

Before you decide on a college, you need to know which major you plan to choose. Think about the things you are passionate about and what your ultimate career goals are. Whether you plan to be a teacher, doctor, scientist, or business owner, each plan should be customized for your individual desires. Think about the program you want to join, and then make your college decision based around it. Look for fully accredited schools that specialize in the major you are interested in. Then, narrow your choices down depending on the various requirements they have. Read the school’s website to find out more about the programs they offer so you have a clearer vision of what is in store for you. By deciding on a major, you will have a clearer vision of the school that will be right for you.

Where to Go: Choosing the Right College

Of course, deciding which college is right for you is the most important part of the process. Do you want to find a campus that is close to home, or do you prefer to move to a different state? Is a private university or public college more your style? Do you want to live in a dorm or off campus? What kinds of extracurricular activities does the college provide? These questions and many more should be asked, so you really have a clear picture of the college that will best suit your needs and personality. Since you will be attending this school for at least four years, you want to make sure the school is the right fit.

How to Apply for College: Letters of Recommendation, Transcripts, and More

When you apply for college, there are many things that have to happen before your application can be approved. Some of these things include an entrance essay. This essay is essentially you in a nutshell: your goals and dreams, your background, and why you want to attend a specific college. Colleges also need your high school transcripts so they can see your prior classes and grades. Letters of recommendation are also often required from teachers, church members, or other influential adults in your life. Of course, don’t forget to take the SAT test, because most colleges utilize these scores to help determine whether or not you will be accepted. Most larger schools also require a completed application and application fees.

Paying for Schooling: Scholarships, Grants, Loans, & Financial Aid

Of course, paying for college is also extremely important. The cost of higher education is skyrocketing, so it’s essential to understand how to get the most out of your experience without paying the most out of pocket. Scholarships and grants offer students money that does not have to be paid back, but getting them is a process. Student loans can help you to pay for college, but they can collect interest over time and must be paid back. Fully understanding the scholarship, grant, and loan process will help you make the right choices and will make paying for college easier.

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College Student Study Tips

Student. A student’s success in college is dependent on a number of important factors that must be learned and put into use on a routine basis. Time management, good study habits, note taking, and the ability to properly prepare for and take tests are crucial to the learning process and are often the key for even the most successful of students. Time management and good study habits will help students to be more organized, reduce procrastination and increase productivity. Students with good studying habits are more focused and know how and when to study for the best results. To get the most out of studying a student must first understand how to take accurate notes during lectures or while conducting research. Even when the previous factors have been met, students must also know how to prepare for and take tests.

Knowing how to effectively perform research, hone one’s writing skills and prepare presentations are other skills that must also be mastered in order for students to obtain their desired degree. Each of these skills will make them a better student and improve the quality of their assignments. In addition, as important as these factors are while in college, some may even prove equally as important after graduation in terms of one’s professional career. Unfortunately, these skills do not always come naturally to every student and for them learning can be more difficult. For these students, studying skills can be learned with the right guidance and advice.

Time Management

  • Time Management for College Students: A PDF that gives college students tips to help avoid procrastination and develop good time management skills. Includes a section on getting organized and creating a plan. At the end of the PDF there is a procrastination quiz.
  • Time Management: A PDF from the Center for Teaching and Learning at Stanford University. The page gives students ten tips on developing good time management skills.
  • Time Management for Right Brained People: A two paged PDF that provides time management guidance for people who are predominately use their right brain.
  • Effective Time Management: A PDF from Duke University that explains the importance and advantages of good time management. It also provides students with directions on how to get started.
  • Time Management for College Students: Suggestions on how college students can properly manage their time.
  • Time Management for Students: An article on time management that recommends weekly task lists and calendars.

Note Taking

  • College Success Tip: Note Taking: Defines note taking and provides tips on note taking and methods.
  • Listen Actively and Take Great Notes: Discusses how to listen in class and take the best notes. Explains the Cornell method of note taking. Also discusses filling in notes immediately following the lecture.
  • Lecture Note Taking: Summarizes how to take notes and gives helpful tips. Also includes how to recognize signal words that can help with note taking.
  • Note Taking Skills: Provides tips on note taking skills that students can use. Begins with a yes or no quiz to help students evaluate their current note taking abilities.
  • Hints for Good Note Taking: Outlines ten basic steps to good note taking and tips on taking useful notes.
  • Note Taking Techniques: Includes general tips and tricks for note taking. Also explains what should be included when taking notes and why notes are necessary.

Study Habits

  • Developing Effective Study Habits: A PDF from the University of Maryland that discusses study preferences, when to study, how to study, and organizing to study. It also discusses joining a study group and using memorization tricks.
  • Developing Good Study Habits Really Works: A Psychology Today report on the benefits of good study habits. Gives some advice on how to develop these good habits.
  • Developing College Study Skills: A page from the Western Nevada College website. Reviews what is necessary to develop good study skills, such as successful behavior, thinking, listening and reading.
  • Developing Good Study Skills is More Than Hitting the Books: An article that discusses good study habits, when they are developed and the importance of developing. Mentions several useful study skills and habits that may be developed.
  • How to Concentrate on Studying: A one page PDF that lists seven steps for studying. The PDF is from the College of Coastal Georgia and is an assignment for tutors.
  • Assessing Your Study Habits: Clayton State University general guidelines for studying. This page also includes a link to online inventories on studying.

Writing Skills

  • Four Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills: A PDF from St. Joseph’s College that charts four ways that students can improve their writing. Each step includes clear examples.
  • Tips to Improve Your Writing Skills: The Art Institute of Pittsburgh provides useful tips on improving student writing skills. Four tips in bulleted format are given.
  • Writing Skills: A PDF that provides guidance regarding writing skills. It includes topics such as six ways to boost writing skills, writing tips, and five steps for essay writing.
  • Writing Tips: Five tips for improving writing in terms of academic writing.
  • Purdue Owl: An online resource that helps student and other writers work through grammar and punctuations tips and advice.

Research

Test-Taking

  • Test Taking Strategies: Consists of three sections that outline strategies for taking tests. Sections include before the test, during and after the test.
  • Survival Strategies for Taking Tests: Strategies are broken into two sections about test taking. The first section is a brief discussion about before the testing. The second section includes strategies for the actual test.
  • Test Taking Tips: Eight Spelman College test taking tips listed in numbered format.
  • Test Taking Strategies and Suggestions: Reviews several aspects of test taking, such reducing anxiety, visualization and six types of common errors that people make when taking their tests.
  • Math and Science Test Taking Tips: A checklist of tips that are meant specifically for taking tests that are math and science related.
  • Managing Test Anxiety: Tips for students on how they can manage anxiety over testing. Includes effective study habits, memorizing content and other test taking strategies.

Presentation Tips

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What’s So Great About Grants and Scholarships?

College Funds. Many students don’t think about financially planning for their education before they graduate from high school. Unless they’ve been managing their own money and working, students don’t know how much it costs to live—much less, the cost of a college education. This doesn’t include the cost of owning and operating a car, filling it with gas at current prices or paying to have it maintained. In today’s current market, a college education can cost as much as it does to purchase a home. When it comes to planning a college education, consider searching for grant and scholarship opportunities to help defray these costs.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that, as of the 2009-2010 school year, a four-year undergraduate education will average $128,736 if you attend a private college and $51,216 if you attend a public college. While some colleges may offer lower tuition rates, don’t forget to include the cost of rent, food, clothing, books, and more. That’s a lot of money to spend on an education, and doesn’t include the extra money needed if you plan to obtain a graduate degree.

Most students end up having to get a student loan to afford a college education, but they don’t think about the long term effects of such a loan. Student loan rates vary as well. Some start out at 3.4 percent, but most average 6.8 percent, and some are as high as 7.9 percent. Most student loans take a minimum of 10 years to repay. With the current economy, many college students are finding themselves with a hefty loan payment and a lack of good job openings. For a student who has borrowed $50,000 in student loans (with a 6.8 percent interest rate), an estimated minimum yearly salary of over $70,000 would be required to sufficiently pay off the debt. Most four-year college graduates cannot expect to make that kind of money from their first job.

To bring down the cost of your education, research all grant and scholarship opportunities out there. Grants and scholarships don’t have to be repaid, but many of them do have specific eligibility requirements that have to be met. For instance, the Pell Grant requires students to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid and meet specific income requirements. The U.S. Department of Education makes a decision on student financial aid based on a formula that includes your income and assets if you are independent from your parents, or includes the income and assets of your parents if you are dependent upon your parents for financial help. You must meet their filing deadlines and include income tax returns, and more, to qualify.

Many corporations, private charitable foundations, and associations often offer scholarships or grants to students of members or employees. Many organizations geared toward specific disciplines also offer grants or scholarships to qualifying students. Scholarships and grants can help ease the burden of the hefty cost of a college education. Colleges usually have a financial aid department that can also direct the student toward grants and scholarships, as well as provide help in calculating financial needs to complete a college education. States may also provide student aid information.

Some students also work while attending college to help defray these costs. But that can be a heavy load to bear, especially when you have to pay for rent, food, transportation, clothing, and more. While many high school graduates can’t wait to “get out on their own,” consider living at home while going to school to help ease the burden of room, board, and living expenses. Other options include attending a junior college for the general education core requirements; as long as you have verified that coursework will transfer over to a public or private college of your choice for the remaining two years.

Living in a dormitory on campus and eating at the college cafeteria may not sound all that glamorous, but if you are set on getting a college education, this is another way that you can help save on room and board costs. Many colleges also offer on-campus employment to help defray expenses for those students that qualify. Nowadays, to get a college education, you need to engage some creative thinking, keep all your options open and consider all the different opportunities available to help pay for that education.

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