Breaking Barriers to College Math Success

February 15th, 2019


Math is the most commonly used skill in the universe by both learned and unlearned people. Acquiring math skills is as important as students acquiring extended essay ib skills. Math skill is meant to be acquired in school, but it is ironical that most students do not learn it effectively in school. Students are taught to memorize while skills on how to effectively absorb what they learn are not administered. Most methods of learning used in schools are actually barriers to effective math success. The question on where students will ever use math in real life lingers across lecture halls. Math skills are always presented through life to solve work-related problems and real-world related problems. Some examples include

  1. In construction, you need to estimate project costs in terms of measuring lengths, width, and amounts of construction materials needed.
  2. In the grocery store, you estimate amounts of groceries needed and multiply by how many people and how long they will last. Check the weights and figure out discounts given, math skills come in handy in your shopping experience.
  • In the kitchen, math is present in measuring cooking ingredients, tuning the cooking time, not to mention conversion of units from ml to tablespoons and teaspoons.
  1. In traveling, calculate the amount of fuel you need based on the distance and the consumption of your vehicle per hour, and the total amount of time you will be traveling.
  2. Saving money too requires strong math skills. When kids are involved in math lessons early in life they learn how to spend and save without frustrations even later in life.
  3. When managing the most valuable asset time. Have your calculations right to determine how much you can accomplish over what period of time? The value of time is determined by how it is spent.

However, there are methods which have proven highly effective in breaking barriers to math success, and any other subject, through extensive research conducted on each method. These methods are tested to assess the ability to improve student’s learning abilities in learners across a wide age group.

Method 1: Practice Testing

The method has been in research for over 100 years proven highly effective as one of the best ways for the mind to retain information. Practice tests do not mean that you get into an exam room to take a test, but it is easily incorporated in the life of a student. The tests help the student target to test anywhere, with anything and at any time. The tests are done without the aid of books, but one uses objects to practice the math skills. At this point, the student is allowed to use their favorite objects or items they are comfortable with. This method is most effective when a time has elapsed between the learning and testing. Researchers have come up with three main reasons as to why this method works

  1. Practice tests trigger an elaborate process which is stored in your memory and is associated with math skills.
  2. The facilities or objects used are effective mediators of encoding different math problems by targets and cues.
  3. Practice tests constantly help the mind to organize information to increase efficiency and speed when retrieving the information.

Method 2: Visual Presentation of Math

Researchers and mathematics educators have encouraged teachers to engage students in visual representations in math, which has proved effective in math learning. Visual learning activates the brain’s reasoning skills by retaining information and understanding math concepts. A study conducted in 2013, discovered that effective learning is accomplished when different parts of the brain are used in learning. Visual math using symbols uses a different part of the brain while the spatial information uses another part of the brain. When the visual and symbolic methods are used in learning, there is an exchange of information between two parts of the brain which activate reasoning fully optimizing math skills. Students miss out on opportunities to increase their understanding if they do not enable their minds to use different parts of the brain at the same time.

Method 3: Distributed Practice

Math is a practical subject which uses the brain, meaning that you cannot cram. However, to effectively retain memory distributed practice is applied. This means dividing math studies into intervals over time, which is an effective method of absorption and retention. Distributed practice switches in between focused and diffused mode of thinking giving the mind time to absorb what it has learned during the focused time. Spaced study sessions are very important in remembering what your mind has captured.

Research conducted in 1979 with three groups of students who were put on practice distribution method of learning. The first group had 6 study sessions distributed with 30 days while the second group had 6 study sessions with 1-day intervals between each session. The first group had an exam administered after the 6th session as well as the second group. The first group performed very well in the exam compared to the second group who performed average. A third group did practice daily without any day, lapsing and had an exam administered after 30 days, they performed worse than the first two groups.

Most school learning programs will not give you the luxury of having few study sessions in a month it is recommended that distributed practice is spaced out at intervals of at least 24 hours from the learning sessions.

Method 4: Student Engagement in Tasks

Learning tasks engage students in reasonable effort and time. Research conducted in 2003, found out that instead of repetitive tasks for students, teachers should go over practice with their students then release them to work independently while they monitor the students and provide help where needed. In this method, real-time coaching, explanations, modeling among other forms of assistance which aid in the vigorous task engagement development in students are offered. The skills of engaging in challenging tasks are in balance supporting student’s autonomy and providing a great level of acquiring skills.

Method 5: Active Math Curriculum for Student

The active math curriculum has aspects which allow students to own the learning process and participate in mental stimulation. Teachers assume the role of facilitators as students learn using demonstrations, games, debates, projects, case studies, just in time teaching and talking to peers. It has become easy to integrate active math curriculum with the use of Ed-tools, which are active learning techniques. Students choose tools and activities to come up with concepts that will get them math answers. For example, when students are faced with a problem they watch a video on how to solve it, then discuss in groups and if they are stuck they ask the teacher for help. Their mindset is changed from I don’t get it, to, am stuck here and I need help. This allows them to deeply think of the concepts and feel the need to own the process and the problem.

Why is the success in math important? The University of California had conducted a study back in 2007, in which they concluded that strong math skills are crucial for a student later in life. Those who had strong math skills were successful academically with positive student behaviors with good literacy skills. There are many other proven ways to break barriers in math success, but importantly these methods should help absorb, retain and be fast to retrieve the information acquired. It is easy to monitor progress using any proven method and if one doesn’t work you can adjust to another until you are comfortable with the one that will help you ace my paper.


Bio: Bio: Sebastian Miller is a former Calling Lake School science teacher. After 4 years of teaching, he decided to become a freelance writer. In Sebastian’s opinion, math is the core of all science and his goal is to enlight as many schoolers as possible through writing

9 Smart Ways for Saving Money In College Life

February 14th, 2019


Every parent pay a lot to give good education to their children, even though they struggle for it. If the students are smart enough, they can start practicing to save money even from their student life. We all need money to live a peaceful life and fulfill our dreams. But saving money isn’t an easy task at all. Especially for college going students, they generally merely have the patience for saving their money. But there are some simple ways which can help a college student to save his money. If you are a college going student, here we go for 9 special ways to save money when you are in college.

Use Your Credit Card Wisely

Most of the people always give advice for not using credit card for saving money. They talk about its dangers, the risk of getting into debt, and the potential for paying hundreds of dollars in interest and fees. But the whole truth is that it depends on how to use your credit card. You can save enough by applying some methods. If you’re currently carrying a balance on a credit card with a huge interest rate, you can save hundreds of dollars by transferring that balance to a credit card with a lower interest. You can take advantage of 0% APR balance transfer offer which will save you even more money as you can avoid paying interest for up to 21 months depending on the credit card you choose. Paying for everything with a cash back credit card can be helpful for you to save your money. Cash back credit cards let you accumulate cash rewards on your credit card. You can also apply for a credit card with a sign up bonus. There are many credit cards which sign up bonuses on the market. So choose your credit card wisely and most importantly test credit card number before using.

Zero out Your Unspent Money

Zero out your unspent money every evening. It’s a really effective process for your savings. Just decide to zero out to one zero. For example, suppose you have 545 bucks cash and 2548 bucks in your bank account. Subtract the last digit from each number to get a zero at the end. It is easier to zero out your cash in a small piggy bank or a jar. Or you can create a savings account or any other bank account to trash out money from your card. You may also zero out for more zeroes. For example, you have 532 bucks in cash. You can subtract the 32 bucks from your cash and put them to your savings account.

Break Your Habits

In college life, people merely have thoughts of tomorrow. Spending too much on unnecessary stuffs becomes a habit. For saving money in college life, you must change your bad habits. You may have habits of spending too much on foods, clothes and other commodities. This habits won’t help you economically and in the long run, you’ll suffer for lack of money. There is a saying that you cannot change your fate, but if you change your habits, your habits can change your fate.  So break your bad habits as soon as possible.

Use Student Discount

Student discount is a good way for saving in college life. Always carry your student ID card with you. You can check the coupons and use your student ID for getting discounts. Getting discounts isn’t bad at all. You can use the discounts for having others things later or simply save the money for further use. Student ID can be helpful for having discounts in so many places. It can be vehicles, restaurants, parks or museums as well.

Reusing Old Stuff

Buying new things is not always necessary. Reusing old stuffs or redecorating old things for using can save a lot of money. Don’t get excuse to buy new things when you already have old things.

Don’t Buy All Textbooks

You always don’t need to buy all the textbooks for your study. You can buy old books from bookstores or from your college seniors. There is another way for saving money. You can sell off the old textbooks and buy new ones with them. Or you can download your textbooks from different sites and save your money.

Have Patience

Be patient before buying something expensive. Wait for two or three days and ask yourself if you really want that or not. If you are planning to buy something expensive for you and saving money for that, you can put it on your phone’s lock screen. That will constantly remind you about that & make you rethink about spending money unnecessarily.

Save Unspent Money

Move any unspent money to you savings account. This will definitely increase your savings. Suppose at the end of the month you have 30 bucks in cash and 200 bucks in bank account. Just move it to you savings account. Besides, you should budget your pocket money. You know how much money you have every morning and how much you need to spend in the whole day. Just make a simple calculation for spending your money. This will really help you for saving money.

Write Down All Spending

Write down your each and every daily spending. It will help in maintaining your day to day costs. Then you will realize how much are you spending in a month and how much you should save for further use. You can also check all of your spending. At the end of the month by your writings and then you’ll realize how much extra amount you are spending.

There are some several ways for saving money as well in college life. You should always split bills with your friends or companions. Going places which are free is a good idea for saving money.  Besides, if you need something for your household activities, you can simply DIY it by watching tutorials. Same way can be applied for giving presents to your friends and family members. Self-made gifts require efforts but don’t cost much to make. So these are the ideas you can apply for saving money in college life. So what are you waiting for? Apply them in your life and save a lot.

Byline:Miah Ellis a Pro blogger, specialized in online earning strategies and Guest blogging. I’m  skilled in creative writing and someone you would generally consider confident and well balanced.You can check my blog –


Why Not to Accept Your First Job Offer

February 13th, 2019


After a series of years completing assignments, trying your hand at internships, and taking unnecessary classes that your curriculum wanted to include anyway, you have finally graduated. For those who graduated with a college degree, you may see quite a few prospective job offers. Perhaps you even have an idea of the job that you want. The rush to find a job is understandable. After all, those student loans are lurking just behind you. However, it may not be a good idea to accept the first job that is offered. This article will discuss a few reasons as to why you shouldn’t accept the first job offer that comes your way.


  1. Lower Pay

 Many companies typically look for newly graduated young folk because they know how desperate they are to land a job in order to add in security to their lives. Through their desperation, they give up a lot of their power and wind up settling for less of an income than they likely deserve. For many, you may find yourselves working in an entry-level position that practically anyone could do. The pay isn’t worth it, and you’re far overqualified for the position. Yet, it’s a job, right? Sure, it’s a job. Yes, you’re receiving money, but it isn’t the amount of money that you could be making. Didn’t you attend college so you could make more money than the average person who didn’t attend college? Waiting and looking around might serve you better in landing a position with a company who will pay you what you deserve to be paid.


  1. Lack Of Benefits

 Another aspect of a quick and desperate hire is the sacrifice of benefits. Many college-aged folks these days are actually more interested in benefits that a company provides rather than their pay. This is largely due to an experience where families struggled to pay healthcare costs because of a lack of insurance. They’re also looking for promises of secure retirement pension plans, so they don’t have to work until the day they die. Companies who first approach you may not have the benefits that you need or want. It’s okay to decline their offer and search for a company that has the benefits you’re looking for.


  1. Underutilized

 For some graduates, it isn’t uncommon to feel underutilized at their first job. This can leave you feeling dissatisfied at work and without much of a purpose. Again, you’re just going through the motions instead of enjoying your job. Instead, you may want to consider waiting for talent acquisition to find you. What is talent acquisition? This is the process by which companies search for skilled individuals that they need for a specific role in their company. If you place your resume, list out your skills and experience on a talent acquisition website, you can have the companies vying for you instead of you searching for the company. At this point, you can simply filter through to see which provides the best pay, benefits, and overall works better for you.


  1. Travel

 If you’ve been stuck in the same corner of the world for most of your life, it may be beneficial to travel elsewhere. Whether as a vacation or moving away, taking the time to travel can help you learn more about yourself and what makes you happy. By understanding your focus and perhaps learning a few things during your travels, you’ll be able to find the company that is more attune with what you’re looking for. There will always be jobs available. An experience of self-discovery is a little more difficult to come by.

Finding a job after graduation is important. However, it isn’t the end of the world if you pass on the first offer that comes to you. Take the time to explore.

Byline:  Brett Clawson is a writer and entrepreneur with a degree in Business Management. He enjoys researching emerging business trends and sharing their impact on business and the industry as a whole. He believes that the best way to influence others and share his knowledge with the world is through his writing.


Marijuana Use Among College Students

February 12th, 2019


With marijuana legalization activists and advocates making significant progress in recent years, the agenda becomes an even more debated topic in the U.S. society.

On the one hand, the supporters of the legalization point to a number of medical benefits associated with consumption of the drug. On the other hand, numerous opponents claim that the decision will only worsen the ongoing opioid epidemic.

One of the most common arguments put forth by the opponents of marijuana legislation is the negative impact of the drug on young people. Indeed, there have been numerous surveys showing a high prevalence of cannabis use among the young, especially the student population.

While the effects of marijuana use are known, the full range of medical benefits of the cannabis plant is still insufficiently researched. This, of course, makes the debate even more complicated, but let’s take a look at the current levels of marijuana use among U.S. students and consider some of the involved benefits and harms.

Prevalence of Marijuana Use among U.S. Students

More and more U.S. students claimed to have used cannabis in recent years, according to scholar studies.

For example, the annual national Monitoring the Future Panel Study found that college students’ use of marijuana was at the highest level in the past three decades in 2016, and the trend continued through 2017 as well.

Heavy marijuana use among college students was also on the rise, according to the most recent findings from the University of Michigan study. Today’s high levels of marijuana use among the nation’s 19-to-22-year-olds result from a gradual increase over the past decade.

In 2017, 38 percent of college students aged 19-22 reported using marijuana at least once in the prior 12 months, and 21 percent reported using at least once in the prior 30 days.

Both of these levels peaked in 2016, the highest found since 1987, and did not change significantly in 2017. The 2017 levels represent gradual increases since 2006 when they were 30 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

Clearly, marijuana use has been steadily increasing among college students in the past decade. Does this mean that the government should take additional measures to curb this problem or even ban the use altogether?

The implications of the regular use of cannabis for an adolescent brain surely support this way.

Consequences of Marijuana Use

Here there some major consequences of marijuana use that legislation opponents cite:

  • Significant brain abnormalities were found in 18 to 25 year-olds who smoked marijuana at least once a week.The abnormalities were in the emotion and reward centers of the brain. This suggests that even casual marijuana use can increase the chance of developing other addictions later on, and may affect people’s ability to deal with emotions.
  • Marijuana could be toxic to the adolescent brain.One study followed over 1,000 individuals who began using marijuana as adolescents. The study compared their IQ at 13 and 38 years old. During this period IQ would normally remain stable or slightly increase. But for regular marijuana users, IQ declined by 6 points on average. Furthermore, stopping marijuana use did not fully restore the damage.
  • Marijuana users are 4 times more likely to develop depression.One study looked at 1,920 people, and followed them for 16 years. It discovered that people who smoked marijuana were 4 times more likely to develop depression.  Another study looked at 1,601 students aged 14 to 15 and followed them for seven years. The young women of the group who were daily users had a far greater chance of developing depression.
  • Marijuana almost triples the chance of developing psychotic symptoms.A 3-year study followed 4,045 psychosis-free people. It came to the conclusion that marijuana smokers are three times more likely to develop psychotic symptoms (including manic-depression) than non-smokers.

But how about Students who are Legal Marijuana Users?

While these implications surely are important, one cannot ignore the fact that there are thousands of students who need treatments involving medical marijuana. Many of them even struggle to stay in school without prescribed cannabis-based treatments administered throughout the day.

Besides, there are cannabidiol oil (CBD) based medications that have been approved by the FDA to treat anxiety-related disorders, which supports the claim that cannabis is effective in relieving the condition.

That’s why some states are beginning to change their policies on the use of medical marijuana on campuses where drug tests are not imposed. For example, the Supreme Court in Arizona has recently overturned a 2012 law passed by the Legislature that prohibited cardholders from possessing and using cannabis on campuses in the state.

A recent study in Canada researching the students’ reasons for using cannabis found they were turning to it to self-medicate, handle stress, anxiety, and depression. This is a critical issue to resolve because one in 5 college students have depression or anxiety. Even though teens thought of cannabis as an effective tool to cope with the pressures of studying, the study also discovered that they didn’t know all the risks; specifically, they perceived cannabis to be non-addictive.

Final Thoughts

While the consequences of regular, non-medical use of marijuana are known, it’s also clear that the plant is critical for many students who need it to manage their conditions and relieve stress. So, it’s sufficient to claim that appropriate policies and controls are needed to minimize the risk of abuse. At this point, however, it seems that the debate over marijuana legalization will continue, even though decisive action is critical to help students needing it for legal purposes.

Mary Walton is a professional editor, content strategist and a part of NCSM team. Apart from writing, Mary is passionate about hiking and gaming.


5 Tips to Create the Perfect Resume 

February 11th, 2019



  1. Keep it Simple

Forget fancy fonts and show-off designs: your resume must be simple so that a recruiter (or computer software) can quickly digest the information within it. Always choose commonly-used sans-serif fonts, such as Calibri or Arial, and make sure your font size is 11 or 12.

Your name should be displayed at the top of your resume along with your contact information. Using “multiple” line spacing and keeping a one-inch margin around all sides of your document will make the content easier to read.

Headings and job titles should be in a slightly larger font size and bolded so that they stand out. Italicize previous job titles and educational institution names to help set them off from headings.


  1. Include a Short Profile

A well-crafted profile should give the reader a short indication as to your experiences so far and why you wish to apply for the role. Place it under your contact information and make sure it isn’t more than three sentences long. If your resume is written in the first person, your profile should be as well.


  1. List Your Technical and Professional Skills

As a college student, you’re unlikely to have a long list of previous jobs to list on your resume. The good news is that you can use the technical and personal skills you’ve picked up over time to help pad out your resume.

Always read through any job advert you’re applying for and try to pick up on any keywords they’ve included. Listing them in your own skills list will help your resume to pass screening software that recruiters commonly use.


  1. Experience Should go Above Education…

…but only if you’re working. If you’re currently studying and don’t have a job, list your education first.

Always list past jobs and education history in chronological order. Include dates, titles, and location. When it comes to describing what your previous work experience entailed, be sure to list your achievements rather than just your job duties. Use active verbs, such as succeeded, helped, or won, to start each bullet point and include examples of specific projects or tasks you’re most proud of.

Remember to switch between past and present tense if you begin talking about a role that you’re currently in.




  1. Use Online Tools for Proofreading

Over half (58%) of employers admit to throwing out a resume if it contains a typo. Thankfully, there are now several online tools that can help you to spot any glaring errors before you hit the print button.

Grammarly and the Hemmingway Editor are a great place to start. They pick up on faulty determiner use and alert you whenever your sentences become overlong.

Once you’ve done all your online checks, print out your resume and read it aloud slowly. It’s then best to turn to another task for half an hour before returning for one final check with a pair of fresh eyes.

Finally, try to pluck up the courage to ask your friends or family to read through your resume. While they might not pick up on any errors, they could provide you with valuable feedback that helps you to land that all important interview.

What Should I Do If I’m Not Getting Any Responses?

Don’t panic. You can either start applying for lower-paid positions or decide to get creative. What do we mean by the latter? Well, start to think of yourself as a new business that needs to get their name out there. To do that, you need to advertise.

Start by taking the online route. Create your own website that shows off some of your skills in more detail. Then use Bannersnacks and create a banner ad to advertise your services on carefully selected websites.

Next, come up with your own business cards and print them out alongside some copies of your resume. Dress to impress and head to local businesses in your area asking whether they have any positions available. An employer will always be impressed by a student taking a proactive approach in their job hunt.

To help you think of yourself as a new business, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching advice from top entrepreneurs and CEO’s. You can find podcasts and interviews online to help you get inspired by those who have already achieved what you aspire for, to get you into the right mindset for creating that perfect resume.

Kate Larson is a college student and aspiring blogger, who has a strong interest in the environment and personal well-being. She enjoys travelling and reading, as well as writing novels.



University Or College Can Be The Ultimate Social Support Circle

February 8th, 2019


 At university, students go through one of the most transformative stages in their life. From the moment they walk through the gates of their university (their new home in a sense), to the second they graduate and begin their journey as a career-driven individual in the real world, it is a beautifully chaotic experience. Some students are naturally able to handle the experience better than others, and this is nothing to be ashamed of. Comparison to other students is not only unhealthy, but it is potentially incredibly damaging to one’s psyche and whole health. The key to getting through university, especially when one feels they are struggling, is forging strong relationships with other students and friends. Because of the sheer scale of most universities, having strong, dependable relationships can and mostly does prove to be the ultimate social support circle. Students these days put more pressure on themselves than ever before. It is upsetting, to say the least, but it is also easy to understand how and why this occurs so often. Of all the pieces of advice that university students get, the best one is to find their comfortable balance, and to ensure that they consistently work to maintain it. But how?

Students today take on more of a workload while trying to balance more work at their jobs, more time with their families, partners, and friends, and more time for themselves. Finding the peak balance is more difficult than ever. It is also more important than ever that university students can find the balance. Going into university as a student can be a tremendously difficult transition for some individuals. It is important to go into the experience with an accepting, an  open  mindset, first and foremost. University is a time for trying new things, and it is advised that one should always make the most of the experience and to do exactly that. From finding new hobbies, like  a garden or a book club, to finding one’s personal research and study strategies, students can find out an absolute wealth of knowledge about themselves when they are at university. Self-discovery is incredible, and letting university help one with that is the best move.

Of course, the nature of university is that it challenges you, but at no point in life – especially when going through such a challenging experience – should one’s mental health be put on the back burner in favor of advancement in other aspects of life. Therefore, forging and maintaining strong relationships with other students can be the saving grace for many. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with the university experience, and having a social circle that doubles as a support system is incredibly important. Even when an introvert at heart, making a friend or two can truly make all the difference in the world. When studying for finals becomes too much, taking a break and doing something fun with a friend is a great way to hit the reset button and allow for a stronger grasp on the environment and current circumstances around a person.

Aside from having some positive hobbies and supportive relationships while at university, maintaining a strong sense of one’s own emotions and current mental state is incredibly important. University helps to shape students into who they are going to be once they graduate, but a lot of that evolution of the individual is up to the person themselves, too. Students these days are so focused on maintaining the best grade scores they can, that they often push their own needs to the back of their minds. Sometimes, they are not even aware of just how important their personal needs are. This is dangerous territory to be in, and the reason that making consistent mental check ins on oneself is so crucial. Even if it means discussing one’s current headspace with a course coordinator or faculty head, and possibly taking some time out, it is important to ensure our mental health is being taken care of.

When individuals walk onto campus or sign into their student log in for the first time, they start a three to four year experience that is challenging, demanding, and rewarding all at once. It is easy for students to become overwhelmed with the university experience, especially when they are relatively new to it. The key to maintaining strong relationships and integral understanding in university is to surround oneself with positive, engaging relationships while making time for things that are not related to the university experience. Because of the busy lives that modern students leave, they put more pressure on themselves than they ever have before, and this pressure can result in unhealthy responses. The best advice any university student can get is to ensure they find their comfortable balance, and to make sure that they maintain that balance – no matter what.

Annabel Monaghan is a writer with a passion for education and edtech. She writes education and career articles for The College Puzzle with the aim of providing useful information for students and young professionals. If you have any questions, please feel free to email her at



Avoiding 6 Common Money Mistakes College Students Make

February 7th, 2019


Starting anything new in life can be quite challenging. This is especially true when it comes to college. It doesn’t matter if you are entering college directly from high school or you have been out of the classroom for several years and looking to plunge back into higher education. Sure, studying and taking tests are going to be hard, but the hardest thing about going to college is the financial side of things. Being in the classroom from six to eight hours a day makes it hard to hold down a full-time job. At the few least you can get back with a part-time job, which isn’t going to provide the income that you need to cover the costs of your books let alone your cost of living. This is why it is imperative to avoid making financial mistakes whenever you can. Below, you will learn the 6 most common financial mistakes that college students make and how you can avoid them.

 Choosing A School That Doesn’t Suit Your Needs

One of the most exciting things about the whole college experience is choosing where you are going to go. Searching through the different campuses and touring them can be a thrilling experience. It is true that there are many different factors that will go into choosing a school. However, the most important thing is that you choose a university and program that supports your career goals.

This is much more important than worrying about the price tag. This is going to be your life when you graduate and it will be worth the extra investment. Just remember that the only way that your wasting your money is if you aren’t getting what you need out of the experience. Plus, there will be financial aid and student loans available as well as other financing options that will help you pay down your debt in the long run.

 Taking the Time To Review FAFSA

 FAFSA, officially known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is without a doubt the most important financial tool for any college student. It is something that should never be overlooked. Taking the time to sit down with your family and filling out this form will tell you exactly how much you will have to pay for college. In addition to this, it will tell you how much financial aid you can qualify for and if you are eligible for any grants. If you do not the time to fill out this application you are missing out in a huge opportunity that could help ease the burden of your financial situation.

 Being Too Prideful To Ask For Help

 If you are entering college from high school this is your first opportunity to prove yourself in the world. You get the chance to prove that you can stand on your own two feet. Sometimes this new found discovery makes people prideful and they don’t want anyone to know that they are struggling or need help. Well, sometimes you are just going to have to swallow that pride and ask for help. It doesn’t matter if you are struggling academically, personally, or financially, most colleges offer students free resources that can help.

With some inquiries, you will probably find that your campus offers free tutoring, counseling, and the financial aid department will be more than grateful to help you with anything related to financial aid or student loans.

 Not Taking Advantage Of Scholarships

You don’t have to be a 4.0 GPA honor student to get a scholarship. You don’t even have to be a high school student entering college for the first time to get a scholarship. There are a number of scholarships available to students of all ages and backgrounds. Yes, it will be a lot of hard work finding these scholarships and applying for them, but this is an opportunity to save money. Even the smallest scholarship can go a long way. Remember to use the Internet to your advantage. There are a number of guides online that will help you find and apply for scholarships. Just remember that most of these scholarships will come along with requirements and if you do not meet the requirements they might be ripped right from underneath you.

 Misusing Credit Cards

When the credit card companies find out that you are in college you are going to be bombarded with offers. These companies also set up booths outside the campus to tempt you even further. Some of these offers might seem good, but you only want to get a credit card if you know that you are financially responsible enough for one. Credit cards are a great way to establish a credit report, but if you misuse them it will have an avalanche effect that will snowball you right into bad credit before you even start your life. There is nothing wrong with getting a card, but you only want to use it when necessary and make sure that you pay back the balance in full every single month.

 Not Using Student Affinity Networks

 Not only does college bring about the cost of tuition and books, but there are going to be other expenses as well. You will have to shop for clothes, you will need binders, and you might even find yourself in need of a new laptop. Well, most college students don’t know that there are hundreds of brands out there that are willing to cut you a break, but finding these brands can be difficult. This is where student affinity networks come in handy. With the help of these networks, you can redeem rightfully what is yours.

These student affinity networks partner with fashion firms, tech industries, grocery stores, and a variety of other establishments to help college students get discounts on just about anything they can imagine. The best thing about these student affinity networks is that they are completely free to utilize and they work extremely hard to bring you the best-in-class offers from all your favorite brands.



Jimmy Popworth is an online journalist, writer and web developer with an Associates Degree in Applied Science. His writing style is both informative and witty, and his tastes are eclectic.


Getting Ready For A National Test: Dental School As An Example

February 6th, 2019

Success on any exam depends solely on the level of planning, the time dedicate of dedication, and the quality of focus put into preparation. This is same with the DAT-Dental Admissions Test. Truth be told, you can’t just get lucky and score well without executing a sufficient review beforehand. Hence in this article, we will be discussing the necessary tips that will prove useful when preparing for your DAT.

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) has been in use since 1950 as an exam to measure prospective dentists’ ability to manage the rigorous schooling required to achieve a DMD. Overall, the test measures general academic ability, how individuals understand and apply scientific information, and the applicant’s perceptual ability.

Tips Needed for the DAT

Before proceeding to take the test, here are some essential tips to help you set yourself up for success.


  1. The Calibration Stage
    Before you can even register to take the DAT, you will be need to first acquire a DENTal Personal Identifier Number (DENTPIN®). Pre-dental and current dental students can log in to their DENTPIN account or create a DENTPIN account through the ADA.After acquiring a DENTPIN, next, you should take a hard look at your schedule to decide upon the best date and time for you to sit for the exam. Be realistic with your schedule. Are you working fulltime? Are you a fulltime student? It’s going to take you at least a few months to master the material, so scrutinize your schedule before selecting a test date and time.

    If you are two weeks out from your test date, and just know in your gut that you’re not ready to achieve your potential, then you will be required to pay an extra fee to reschedule your test. But in the end, it’s a small sacrifice.

    It has been proven over time that registering for a DAT test date as soon as registration becomes available makes it possible for you to select the most preferred date, as Prometric centers have limited seats available for each test date.

  2. Develop a Study Schedule
    As important as registering for the exam is, preparing for the test is of utmost importance. You can buy a flight to France, but you’ll need to pack a suitcase first. You must develop a regimented study schedule that with weekly goals or deliverables, so that you can have milestones building up to test day.
    When preparing, using the right material is essential, and that is specific for each individual. Some people work with a DAT tutor, some people review old course notes and DAT prep books on their own, and some people watch science videos on YouTube. Find what works best for your learning preferences, given the foundation of knowledge you are building upon.
  3. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
    You’re going to be dedicating a lot of hours (and maybe blood, sweat, and tears) into your DAT prep. Thus, it is essential that you do all you can to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some people invest all waking hours into studying for the test, and as important as this may seem, allocating time to exercise, eat healthy foods, sleep, and socialize is also a crucial part of the studying process. With this, your brain won’t be overly anxious, and you will be able to have the needed rest.
  4. When your test is soon
    Once you near test day, try to remember the following in order to put yourself in the best situation for success:

    1. Make sure you sleep well the week leading up to the exam. Get a noise machine, a fan, whatever it is to ensure you have the best possible sleep conditions.
    2. Allow time for review the morning of test day. Read through your notes before leaving home for the testing center.
    3. Make sure your alarm is working. Set multiple alarms the night before. You must appear!
    4. Eat a healthy breakfast before leaving home.
    5. Make sure you get to the Prometric center early. Research the route the night before, and allocate extra time in case of traffic.
    6. Take your notes in the car with you. Or whatever method of transportation you are using. It’d be great if you can get someone to drive you, so that you can review your notes en route. Just don’t get carsick!


  1. Conclusion

Many people take the test each year (approximately 13,000, in fact). If you’re nervous, talk with someone who’s taken the test and enrolled in dental school. Ask for tips for strategy or psychological preparation. So long as you study adequately, you can do this!

Eliza is a co-founder of Tutor the People. She works mostly advising students on their academic and professional pursuits, and matching students one on one for MCAT prepGRE tutoringCPA prepLSAT test prep, and GMAT tutoring.

Comprehensive Guide For Getting Federal And Student Aid: Part 2

February 5th, 2019


Federal Student Aid for Returning Adults

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 8.1 million college students are aged 25 and older. This number is continuously growing, expected to multiply by 18 percent by 2025. With a continually changing economy and technology that consistently evolves, it’s essential to stay up to date on skills and information to land the best possible job. Whether you’re getting an extra Associate’s, attending a vocational program, or continuing to your Master’s or Ph.D. after completing your BA some time ago, you’re still eligible to receive federal student aid.

Once you’ve applied to your programs of choice (making sure that they can accept federal funding, of course), you can complete the FAFSA paperwork like any other student. Your grant size depends on your current job, family, and financial status. While younger students in need still get priority, you’re likely to get a good-sized contribution if you qualify, regardless of your age. Older students that have dependents usually receive more grant money, unless their income is above the federal limit for financial aid. If you attended an undergraduate program and received Pell Grants in the past, you may not be eligible this time around. Even if you can’t receive Pell anymore, you can still secure your tuition money from FAFSA.

The government offers FSEO (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity) Grants to returning students looking for a career change or upgrade their level. Like other grants, these don’t have to be repaid. On the other hand, not every college accepts these grants, so you’ll have to apply to a participating program.

The best thing older students can do after applying for financial aid is inquiring about scholarships. There are so many scholarships that are not dependent on previous grades. Awards can be state-funded or privately funded, so there are no limits. As a returning student, you likely have a certain point-of-view that makes you an asset – and believe it or not, plenty of organizations would love to give you a scholarship. Depending on your interests, work experience, and personal story, you can find dozens of qualifying scholarships to apply for. The process might be lengthy, but it’s worth it. You can also ask your school’s financial aid team to direct you to a list of scholarships.

Lastly, try your employer. You’d be surprised at the number of companies and brands that offer continuing education opportunities to their employees. Especially large companies and corporations almost always have extra courses you can take or programs that supplement your tuition or textbook costs. It makes sense for businesses to invest in their workers. Some companies might require you to stay with them for a few years after completing your education, and others will grant you promotions if you can come in with an updated diploma. Ask your HR department about continuing education opportunities.

What to do When Financial Aid Isn’t Enough

In some cases, your family’s income might be too high to receive full federal funding. You might get find that FAFSA covers just a part of your tuition, leaving you to scrounge up the rest. Fortunately, you can augment your tuition costs in a few simple ways.


  • Federal Work-Study programs – These usually fill up quickly, but it’s always worth applying. Colleges set up specific jobs that pay minimum wage and offer part-time hours for students enrolled in the school. It’s an easy way to get work experience, make your tuition money, and have a job you don’t have to commute to.


  • Work from home – For students with specific skills, or returning students with work experience, consider freelancing and working remotely. If you can write, design, program, translate languages or have nearly any other skillset, you can offer your services. Working from home, you can set your hours and work at a pace that allows you to put your education still first. Take a look at this list of 25 tips for working from home and see if this type fits into your school/work balance.


  • Tutoring – If you have excellent grades in any particular subject, you can stay on campus and offer your tutoring services to your classmates. It’s an easy way to make money, and come finals season, you’ll notice a burst in business. When you can’t get a job on or near your school, try working for yourself. You can advertise on student boards and social media, or even get your professors to endorse you.


  • Payment Plans Your school may offer payment plans through the Bursar or student accounts office. You won’t have to take out a loan, and an officer will help you budget the payments so that they are affordable. These payment plans might have strict rules though with costly late fees, so check over all the fine print before you sign anything.

Secure Your Federal and State Financial Grants Before Fall 2019

You can usually expect to wait a while before receiving an answer from FAFSA, Pell, or any other scholarships you’ve applied to. Since this process takes months, it’s important to start early. You should receive an answer if you are awarded any money by August. If you’re not sure or haven’t heard back, contact your school’s Bursar office. They’ll let you know right away if there are problems with your paperwork so that you have time to make corrections and receive full benefits before the Fall semester starts. Most schools require payment up front, so if your grants don’t come through, you’ll be sent a bill for the full semester. Failure to pay will cause you to be discharged from all of your registered classes.

You can check for updates on your FAFSA application by logging in through their website. You’ll also see any information regarding Pell or state grants as well. Scholarships will contact you through email or direct mail whether or not you’ve been accepted. Give yourself a three-week grace period and check up on your financial aid status before you’re due to start school. That way, you can avoid any major issues and go into the semester worry-free.

Drew Hendricks  contributes to Forbes Inc and Entrepreneur


Comprehensive Guide For Getting Federal and State Student Aid:Part One

February 4th, 2019


Finding and filling out financial aid documents is a confusing and time-consuming process, whether you’re just finishing high school or an adult ready to return to higher ed. The best way to simplify this procedure is to prepare everything you need in advance. Take a look at this comprehensive guide to filing your federal and state student aid in 2019 before you submit your FAFSA, and make sure it’s done correctly.

Federal financial aid opens up to applicants every October 1st, with the deadline usually looming at the end of June the following year. It’s vital to fill out these forms as soon as possible to secure a grant in time for the Fall 2019 semester. Once you’re officially accepted to a school of your choice, you can start figuring out how you can secure your funding.

How Financial Aid Works

If it’s your first time attending a post-secondary program, you’ll likely have a lot of financial information, loan offers, and scholarship applications to figure out. Before you make any commitments to Sallie Mae, consider the benefits of federal financial aid.

The United States Federal Government offers financial aid for qualifying students. A certain amount of the country’s federal tax income goes towards offsetting tuition costs for students that need the resources. Once your application is processed, the funding goes directly to the university you’re attending, and any leftover grant money is sent to you for books and materials.

The amount of the grant varies depending on each student’s financial standing. Those under 24 years of age are assessed according to their parent’s tax returns, while students over 24 are eligible on their own merits. This aid is available to anyone currently accepted to a college, university, and specific vocational programs. It’s worth filing for, even if your grant is a few hundred dollars. Any money towards your education will help in the long run.

Financial aid is free, meaning you will not have to pay it back. This money is allocated explicitly by the government to level the higher education playing field. Scholarships are another way to get money to go to a school that won’t put you into debt. Otherwise, the next step is to turn to federal and bank loans.

State Financial Aid and Pell Grants

Another option is to file state student aid. Every state has programs, which is where you’ll have to go digging to figure out exactly what your area can offer you. These awards come in the form of grants. For example, New York currently provides free public colleges for residents, while California’s Cal Grant depends on high school GPAs. Federal aid is available to a broader range of students, but it’s recommended to fill out both to take full advantage of the awards.

The Pell Grant is another favorite way of funding higher education. Designed explicitly for lower-income students, the Pell Grant is the “single largest source of grants for postsecondary education” in the last 40 years. According to the Department of Education, Pell distributed around $28.8 billion in aid to students across America. After submitted your FAFSA form, you’re automatically considered for a Pell Grant. You do not have to apply separately for this program.

The average Pell Grant is a little below $6,000, and even if you don’t get the full amount, you will likely at least get enough to cover the cost of textbooks. Pell only covers undergraduate students, or those pursuing a post-baccalaureate teaching certificate. Additionally, there is a 12-semester lifetime limit on Pell Grants, so the funding does run out if you take more than four years to complete your degree.

How to Start the Financial Aid Process

As soon as you know you’re accepted to your school of choice, it’s time to gather your documents and sit down to file your FAFSA. The best thing to do is to get it out of the way, read through the entire application, and double check it to make sure it’s filled out correctly. Opening the FAFSA link for the first time is a little overwhelming, but the process is not incredibly complicated. You can save each section and come back to it so that you can take your time.

Firstly, you’ll have to create an FSA ID, which you can do here. The process takes about ten minutes and requires you to create a PIN password. Parents will have to fill this part out with their children, as they might have to sign some of the forms. Once you have your login, you can keep it forever. Even if you’re done with school, you can access your financial aid records through the FAFSA website with your ID.

The only correct form of federal financial aid will come from a .gov address. You can apply for FAFSA here, or print out a PDF from the website and mail it in.

Your form will have a few key steps you should pay attention to:


  • Choosing the right form – The 2019-20 FAFSA form is for students planning to attend college between July 2019 and June 30, 2020. You’ll likely have a variety of dates to choose from, but this is the correct option if you’re starting with the next fall semester.


  • Filing out the demographics section – This is for each student’s personal information. It’s important to copy your info exactly from your social security and other documents. This is not a place to put nicknames or change your name. It’s also illegal to lie about your ethnicity to secure a more substantial grant. Any inaccuracies might lead to your case being denied.


  • List your schools – This space is for programs you have either officially applied or been accepted to. If you don’t get into some of the schools you referred to; the FAFSA form will disregard them and grant the funding to the institution you will register with. None of the schools can see this information, so don’t worry about including them on your application.


  • Dependency status – This is likely the most complicated part of the form. They’ll require exact financial information. Unfortunately, if you’re under the age of 24, even if you live alone and make your income, your FAFSA will only take your parent’s income records. For this section, have your previous tax documents ready. For parents that rely on social security or disability, have your statement letters ready, as FAFSA takes that into serious consideration. The information in this section decides your grant amount.


  • Parent demographics – If you’re over-age, this section may not even come up. Otherwise, you’ll have to answer necessary information regarding your family, including your parent’s social security numbers, incomes, jobs, and education levels.


  • Supplying financial information – This is where you and your parents will have to provide proof of your economic status. If you’re relying on past taxes, there’s a data retrieval tool that makes it easy to upload past tax returns. If you have other paperwork, you may be required to make copies and bring it in person to your school’s Bursar office.


  • Signing and submitting – Your FAFSA form isn’t done until you’ve officially signed it with the PIN you created for your FSA ID. Once you’ve made sure you answered every section to the best of your knowledge, sign it and submit it.


Documents Required by FAFSA

Before starting your FAFSA application, you should gather all the necessary proof and paperwork, so it’s easily accessible. You’ll need:


  • Your previously created FSA ID
  • You and your parent’s social security numbers
  • Drivers license or ID number (student or parent)
  • Previous year’s tax records
  • Records of untaxed income (like child support or federal benefits)
  • Asset Records (including your savings and checking accounts, stocks, bonds, and real estate holdings)
  • List of schools you’ve applied to

Most of these documents should be at-hand anyway, but if you’re missing any, you should work to obtain copies before you move on to filling out the application. FAFSA requires exact numbers, so it’s a bad decision to estimate o your family’s holdings. Completing the document as accurately as possible for the best result.

Drew Hendricks is a contributor to Forbes Inc and Entrepreneur