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Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Working College Students

With many people back in school, US News magazine higlighted a growing trend of college students working.

A whopping 74 percent of full-time students juggle work and school, according to a study by the Higher Education Project of the State Public Interest Research Groups. Forty-six percent of them log 25 hours or more a week on the job, with 1 in 5 working full time.

It’s not just taking fast food jobs for extra cash during the weekends. Students are taking jobs to gain experience and to even afford rising tuition rates. The problem is balancing the two, so bosses get quality work and students maintain a good GPA.

Are you a working student and need more money from finanical aid? You might be interested in reading how to optimize your finanical aid. Also just as a reminder, remeber to watch your credit cards (if you have any).

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lecture-hall.jpg Photo Credit: Phillip C

This blog is directed mainly towards people who in my boat, working college students. As I’m working on finishing my last semester, I was reflecting on some things that could help others in getting an education at an affordable rate. The most affordable rate I could think of was free. My goal with this post is to try and get you the information you need to find this money.

People don’t normally associate college students with being rich, but it is possible to have money saved while going to college. It takes some effort at first, but once you get into the habit, it’ll pay off in spades.

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Photo Credit: Jeff Keen

  1. Apply for FAFSA early: As soon as you can, apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid in January. Use an estimate for your taxes when you initially fill it out. Once you get your tax return back, (or your parents’) sign in online and update the information. The earlier you do this the higher your chances of receiving more grants.
  2. Be aware of individual states’ deadlines for getting financial aid. Each state has a different deadline on getting grants from them. We’re talking about an extra hundred a semester to thousands of dollars. Remember you’re looking for grants, which mean you don’t have to pay them back.
  3. Apply for scholarships. Just because you’re getting money from the government doesn’t mean you can’t try to get some scholarships. FastWeb is a popular site that searches applicable scholarships for you. You should also check out the institution’s scholarships, which are usually based on need, merit, and/or major.
  4. Stay local. By staying in-state, you get much cheaper rates than out of state students. My university doubles the rate for a class for out of state students.
  5. Go to a community college first. In my area, the community college is close to the local universities. Many of the university professors teach at community college. You also save 40-60% on the price per credit!
  6. Maintain good grades. Most federal financial aid require a 2.0 GPA or higher to keep it. Don’t use that as a guideline; strive for a 3.0 or higher. It will help when you go to a 4year university and are looking at their scholarships.
  7. Consider work study as an option. This helps put cash on your pocket and the schedule is typically good for a college student. If you have dependents and going to college, this may not be an option, as the pay is usually $6-8/hour.  I would suggest looking at jobs from the career center.

Tomorrow Next Monday, I’ll look into how to budget on a college student’s budget and save money. I’ll do two basic ones:

  • A dependent student living at home
  • An independent student living on their own or have familial responsibilities

*Working on these budgets made me realize I was narrowing the field too much, it look I’ll have at least 5 sample budgets next Monday instead of just 2 budgets!

There are several articles great articles from other blogs that can help college students. Here’s a list of my favorite:

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spaceball1.gifspaceball.gif I think that if you learn a foreign language, you’ll not only improve your financial bottom line, but it can also enrich your personal life. Here’s a couple of reasons to think about foreign languages.

1. Improve your employment income potential

2. Understand international arts, music, and culture

3. Enjoy traveling

4. Become a true global citizen

5. Meet new people

Here’s a wonderful video from Steve Kaufman aka. The Linguist. I enjoy his posts and presentations.

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Amazing things can be found at YouTube. He also has a program to help you learn languages.

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After some consideration, Green Panda Treehouse has decided to participate in Blog Action Day. On October 15, 2007 , over 2,220 blogs will participate and reach an estimated 1,100,000 people as we write about a topic that is of a concern to all of us: the Environment.

I really think that this is a wonderful idea. We’re all connected through our place on this planet and its our responsibility to take care of it.I’ll try to incorporate it with the theme of this blog. If you have suggestions, please leave your ideas here. If you have a blog, please sign up and join!

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book9.gifI got the results  and I passed the Exit Exam on the first try. This is good news, as I just have to pass my classes this semester to graduate. I wish the university would give more feedback about how students did on the exam. For now, though, I’ll just enjoy the moment.

By the way an article in Career Journal spoke about the skills that employers really want from employees. Communication was listed right after leadership skills. Verbal communication was emphasized in the Career Journal’s article.  MSNBC ran an article about communicating in written form. Both are great articles to review. Here’s a snippet from MSNBC:

A 2006 study of large employers by a consortium of business and literacy groups found that written communication ranked at or near the top of a list of skills required in a wide range of jobs. “Ninety-three percent said written communication was very important for college graduates,” says Linda Barrington, a labor economist at The Conference Board and co-author of the study.

While I can’t use my university’s writing exit exam on my resume, I might mention that in an interview. I’ll let you know if that comes up in the future. As you can see brushing up on public speaking and writing to put you ahead of others when looking for a new job or trying to a get a promotion.

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Writing Exit Exam

book9.gifBefore I can graduate this fall, I have to take a writing exit exam for the University. I have been preparing for this, so that’s why there has been a lack of posts. Once this is out, I’m going to go ahead and get back on schedule with the blog. I hope everyone has a great day and please expect another post by this afternoon. Thanks!

Update!!

I finish in 90 minutes and I feel really good about the essay. The two topics given to me were ‘Corporate Culture’ and ‘Exporting American Jobs’. After looking the questions, I felt that writing about the former allowed me to shine. The other topic was more negative, as in ‘Why is Exporting American Jobs Bad?’.

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If you want to get a free basic course on economics,  you should try this site out. If you love math you might want to look at the article on how to write proofs

The wonderful Walter Williams, Professor of economics at George Mason Univ. has put together a ten-part series entitled “Economics for the Citizen”. Williams uses plain language, common-sense examples and his special brand of humor to make the whole thing easy to understand. It’s evident that Williams loves to teach and that he’s a master at it.

read more | digg story

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