Archive for August, 2015

10 Edu Blogs for Students to Check Before the Semester Starts

August 12th, 2015

BY LESLEY VOS

August has come.

This last summer month is very intensive for students, as a rule: they have limited time to take rest but still get ready for a new semester. Reading some interesting and useful content could help them combine both tasks and spend August profitably.

We know students spend much time on the Internet: social media, games, applications, new friends, and collaboration – the World Wide Web provides temptations that are hard to resist. Fortunately, there are many cool blogs, both entertaining and educative ones, for students to check before the semester starts: they share many tips and tricks on getting ready for a new academic year, they’ve been created by young and successful millennials who understand students and their needs perfectly, and they are worth reading to learn new things and become more productive in college.

 

Let us share the ten most popular blogs for students.

1) Cal’s Study Hacks Blog – for those looking for study tips

Cal Newport started his blog in 2007 when he was a Ph.D candidate at MIT. He writes articles that help students develop effective study habits and shares advice on successful college life organization. Cal hasn’t updated his blog recently, but he still answers direct questions students may have on study, and all tips he shared with readers are still available online to check and keep in mind.

2) Stefanie’s Blog – for those looking for saving money in college

Stefanie is a theater actress and freelance writer from New York City. She found the blog to provide tips and advice with students who would like to know how to save money in college but still build wealth after graduation. Step by step, Stefanie shares her personal experience on surviving in a big city with young people who want to know all secrets of well-being for those studying in colleges and universities.

3) Lindsey’s Blog – for those looking for jobs in college

Many students believe that college life is about fun and partying, but they still understand the importance of education for getting a job and building a career. Lindsey Pollak is a corporate consultant and bestselling author who helps students overcome the fear of unemployment after college: she manages a blog where shares advice on networking, searching for jobs, maintaining social media profiles, and more.

4) Emily’s Reviews Blog – for those looking for writing help in college

Emily Johnson is a graduate of University of Northern Colorado who lives in New York now, reviews writing services for students on the Web, and writes articles where shares tips and tricks to ease academic writing for young people. Emily’s blog is a perfect place to check for those looking for writing help, writing tips, and advice on creating good essays, theses, and other types of academic papers.

5) College Dieting Blog – for those looking for staying fit in college

For some students, college life equals sleepless nights, junk food, tons of coffee while writing assignments, and many other things their health would not be thankful for. That’s why College Dieting may be a very interesting blog for them to check: this platform will not share well-known fitness facts but provide inspirational information to help students maintain a healthy lifestyle.

6) Lauren’s Blog – for those looking for making the most of internship

Lauren Berger helps students find and apply for internships. Her blog provides advice on searching for internships and making the most of this experience. She launched the website in 2009, doing her best to share useful and up-to-date information with young people who wanted to continue studying after college. Lauren calls her blog “Intern Queen”, and she is indeed.

7) Henrik’s Positivity Blog – for those looking for inspiration and motivation to study

Henrik Edberg lives in Sweden, and he has been managing this blog since 2006. Henrik writes and shares practical advice on social skills, improving happiness, reducing stress, and simplifying life, which can be useful for many students to check. This positive guy is also the author of five courses, and one can find them at his blog, too.

8) Hey! Success Blog – for those looking for more opportunities in college

This blog will become a great helper for students who look for more opportunities when in college: events, projects, competitions, scholarships, internships, and more. Many universities and organizations post their programs here to let students apply and choose the best fit. Hey Success Blog is useful for students who don’t believe having a degree will be enough for a successful career.

 

9) Lifehacker’s Blog – for those looking for exciting and productive time in college

Lifehacker is a must-read blog for young people who want to improve their lives through technology: this platform shares useful information and resources that could help students make the process of study easier and more exciting, and it gives knowledge to let students take the most of modern technologies for effective and productive time.

10) Jenny’s Blog – for those looking for good life after college

Graduation is not the end of life but its beginning. Jenny Blake will help students focus on the BIG picture of their life after college by providing simple and practical tips on the topic. Career, relationships, goals, happiness – her blog teaches and inspires to live at full speed.

Certainly, these ten blogs are not the limit; and students know many other interesting platforms on the Web by all means. If you have some cool blogs and websites in view, please share them in comments. Some comments on the above mentioned platforms for students are also welcomed.

By Lesley Vos, a private educator and online tutor who helps students reach their academic goals. Lesley writes blogs on education, productivity, writing, and career; and you are always welcome to drop her a message on Google+

10 Back to School Apps for College Students

August 11th, 2015

By Jane Hurst

If you are heading off to college in the fall, you need to take a lot of things with you. This includes the tools you will need in order to make your college experience a successful one. Luckily, there are loads of great apps that will help you in many areas of college life. Check out these 10 apps that every college student should be using.

  1. Study Blue – This is an awesome study aid that uses flash cards to help you learn everything about all of the courses you are taking. All you have to do is input your school and your courses, and then you get a list of card sets to use. The site is free to use, but study guides cost $9 each. Or, you can get as many as you like with a $48 yearly subscription.
  2. Mint – Find a complete library of personal finance information that will help you to learn how to manage your money. This can be difficult when you are on your own for the first time, but the sooner you learn, the better off your bank account is going to be. This tool will keep track of your bank accounts and spending habits, and help you learn how to live on a budget.
  3. ExamTime – This tool is loaded with notes, quizzes, mind maps, and more, and everything has been created by students and teachers from all over the world. This is a great way to make studying interactive, and you can even hook up with online study groups.
  4. Call Tools – If you are looking to earn money while in college, working for a call center software provider as a tech support personal could be ideally. Money is good and the hours are flexible.
  5. My Study Life – This is another free app, and it will help you to better manage your time. You will be able to get more done, and even have time to hang out with your friends at the pub. This app allows you to check your schedules, even if you are not using an Android device. You can go onto any computer to check things out.
  6. Alarmy: Sleep if You Can – This is an app that will make sure you never sleep in again. You can’t just press the snooze button for 10 more minutes of sleep. You actually have to take a photo, shake your phone several times, etc. to turn off the alarm. After all that, you will end up getting out of bed.
  7. EasyBib – This is a free app that will help you with writing bibliographies. You can scan barcodes of books that you have used as reference, and the app will create a bibliography in MLA, APA, or Chicago style. Then you can email this information to yourself and add it to your paper later.
  8. Amazon Student – Your text books are expensive, but there are ways to get them at discounted prices. For instance, Amazon Student has a free six-month membership for students, and it includes free two-day shipping and great deals on books for students. There is a textbook section where you can buy, sell, and rent text books.
  9. Skype – No one should ever be without Skype. This is a great way to be able to stay in touch with friends and family all over the world, and you don’t have to pay for long-distance phone calls. Enjoy live voice or text conversations with others who are also using Skype. You can even have a chat with multiple people at once by using the video chat feature that lets up to 10 callers take part in a conversation.
  10. Your Official University App – This free app lets you learn all about the college or university you will be attending. You will never be embarrassed about getting lost, and you will know ahead of time about classes, news and events, and a whole lot more.

Byline:
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot.

Seven Tips For Saving Money on College Textbooks

August 10th, 2015

By Andrea Woroch,  Kinoli Inc

Textbooks are the bane of college budgets, with the average student shelling out $1,200 per year according to a survey published by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group in 2014. That represents 14% of tuition costs for four-year public college students and 39% of tuition costs for community college students.

While buying second-hand textbooks is a go-to money-saving tip, even used titles can be pricey. Plus, they receive a marginal return at the end of the semester, leaving many college students feeling cheated. To dodge the exorbitant costs of college texts, follow these seven savvy tips.

1. Hold off until class. It may be tempting to get all your textbooks purchased before the first day, however many professors will advise you not to purchase the book once they learn how much it costs. Many instructors are just as annoyed by the cost of textbooks as students. If you’re concerned about a textbook running out of stock or missing out on the last used version, reserve the book and wait until you know it’s required.

2. Avoid the campus store. The on-campus bookstore should be your last resort when shopping for textbooks. Often overpriced, these stores charge a premium for convenience, especially now that Amazon and specialty websites offer new and used textbooks for much less.

3. Go the rental route. Considering the less than impressive buyback value of most textbooks, consider renting then instead for a fraction of the cost through websites like BookRenter, Knetbooks, eCampus and Neebo. The cost difference is significant: a used copy of Calculations in Chemistry is priced between $23 and $44, while Knetbooks offers the same title for rent for $14.77. Also look for coupon codes to increase your savings further — at Coupon Sherpa, you can find eCampus promo codesfor $5 off $75, plus 15% off sitewide from Neebo.

4. Compare prices quickly. You wouldn’t buy a new TV without shopping around, so do the same when buying textbooks. Websites such as CampusBooks.comBigWords.com and AllBookstores.com make the process of comparing much easier to help you pinpoint the cheapest price.

5. Join Facebook groups. Erin Ems, a business finance major at Colorado State University, suggests joining university Facebook groups to buy and sell textbooks for better prices than what can be fetched from the university bookstore. She’s a member of several pages where she connects with students who may be looking to purchase her books or have books she needs.

6. Download content. Few classes require students actually read every page of a textbook, so opt to download the necessary portion instead from such websites as CourseSmart.com or Open Courseware from MIT. At OpenStax College, a nonprofit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials, you can find free digital textbooks developed and peer-reviewed by educators.

7. Share with a study buddy. If you carpool, you know the advantage of splitting the cost of high-ticket expenses. Sharing textbooks is a great way to save money on the expense, but the strategy needs to be considered thoughtfully. It’s easier when you’re in the same study group or see each other frequently.

Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Huffington Post, Forbes and many more. For more information, visit AndreaWoroch.com or follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.

Federal Work Study Grants Often Help The Wrong Students

August 7th, 2015
Work Study
Work study works, but for whom?

Federal work-study generally boosts students’ odds of graduating and getting a job, a new study finds. But money too often goes to wealthier students, and findings show an alarming increase in participants’ debt loads. (Inside Higher Ed, July 31)

Students Do Not Know Much About Financial Aid

August 6th, 2015
College Decisions Part III:
Familiarity with Financial Aid

By Rachel Fishman

 New America’s Education Policy Program released the third in a series of College Decisions Survey briefs that analyze new survey data about what prospective college students know about the college-going and financing process. Part III: Familiarity with Financial Aid focuses on what information students know about financial aid options. It looks at the types of financial aid with which prospective and recently-enrolled students are familiar and how they learned about them.

Current news coverage of higher education focuses mostly on rising college prices and increasing student debt loads. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that students and families face increasing anxiety when it comes to figuring out how to pay for college. So, how do prospective students think they will use financial aid programs to pay for their postsecondary education? According to an online survey of 1,011 U.S. residents ages 16-40, who were largely prospective college students (with the remainder in their first semester of college), students were most familiar with scholarships they receive from a college (82 percent), student loans (79 percent), and state scholarships/grants (61 percent). Students were least likely to be familiar with Pell Grants (44 percent), tax credits/deductions (35 percent), Federal Work-Study (34 percent), VA education benefits (29 percent), and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program (27 percent). The survey was commissioned by New America and conducted by Harris Poll in October-November of 2014.

Only 44 percent of students with a household income of less than $50,000 expected to receive or had received a Pell Grant, even though U.S. Department of Education data show that 92 percent of students who applied for federal student aid from that income level received Pell. The lack of familiarity about Pell creates a barrier to an affordable higher education for low- and moderate-income students because many states and institutions use whether a student is Pell eligible as the criterion for awarding their own need-based financial aid.

Using (or not using) various information sources and tools can also affect a student’s knowledge of his or her financial aid options. One such tool–the federally-mandated Net Price Calculator (NPC)–can help students estimate their cost of attendance based on personal financial information. However, only 14 percent of respondents reported using a NPC in their financial aid research. More than half of students (52 percent) had never even heard of the tool. Despite this, 84 percent of those who had used the NPC said it was helpful or very helpful.

“Given that familiarity of financial aid programs varies so much, more must be done to ensure that students are aware of their financial aid options, especially for low- and moderate-income families,” said Rachel Fishman, senior policy analyst with New America and the report’s author.

Early awareness campaigns to help students understand their financial aid eligibility can kickstart the process. In addition, transitioning to using “Prior-Prior Year” taxes (the tax return filed before the most recent tax year) to fill out the FAFSA will allow students to access potential financial aid packages long before making an enrollment decision. Improving and emphasizing the Net Price Calculator tool can also have a positive effect on a student’s understanding of his or her financial options ahead of admission and enrollment timelines.

More About the College Decisions Survey

New America commissioned Harris Poll to create and administer the College Decisions Survey. A national online survey was conducted between October 7th and November 3rd, 2014. The sample included 1,011 completed interviews and consisted of U.S. residents ages 16 to 40 who do not have college degrees and plan on enrolling in a two-year or four-year college within the next 12 months (n=747). The survey also included individuals who were in the first semester of their first year at a two-year or four-year college (n=264).

The five College Decisions Survey briefs will be released during the spring and summer of 2015 and will cover topics including:

  • Financial concerns during the postsecondary decision-making process
  • The application process for different types of students
  • Students’ familiarity with financial aid
  • Students’ ability to estimate their loan debt and monthly payments
  • The college search process and helpfulness of various common resources

Read the report here

How to Graduate College Without A Significant Financial Loss

August 5th, 2015

By Melissa Burns

College is a wonderful time for most of students. It is always excitingly depicted in youth comedies and literature. However, there is always an unpleasant fact that stays behind the college scene and considers almost every freshman and undergraduate. Very often, after four years of study they and their parents stay with a disproportionate financial dept that is literary attached to their diploma. And all dreams of a beautiful and bright future are shelved until 10K, 20K or even all 40K dollars debts are paid. So, are there any universal tips that will help to graduate from college without financial loss?

Investigate Scholarships

Don’t even think that you are not worth of any of the grants offered this year! Stop being a lazy bone and spend some time searching for a suitable scholarship, or even for several of them. Do your own investigation. Shanice Miller and the article about how a student graduated from university with no debt at all is one of the best examples for you. Definitely no one is going to guarantee that you can perform the same kind of miracle, but a small investment on the part has never stopped anyone, besides, remember that you’ll have to spend costs not only on your study, but also on meals, accommodation and occasional entertainment.

Buy a House

At first sight living In-Campus seems much cheaper, but this variant doesn’t suit everyone. For those who are seriously studying, a dormitory life can be really distracting. So they have to move off-campus. But renting an apartment can also turn rather costly. Sometimes students and their parents decide to purchase a house. They buy houses nearby the place of study, contributing to a good investment for the future. This way a student can find roomies that will help to pay for housing, and maybe earn some extra money.

Control your Finances

Remember, that mindless waste of money has never made someone a millionaire. In order not to reach the bottom of the debt hole, each student should know exactly how much money one has, and how much one can spend. It is best to allocate your budget by sections, for example such as textbooks, rent, food, transportation. Other spends that are not included to these categories are better to be rethought twice.

Find a Part-Time Job

Probably almost every student can spare 8-12 hours a week to earn some extra money. Additional spends should be additionally paid. Do you want a new dress for the party? Babysit for an hour or so, or do the pet walking. Get yourself accustomed to the system of how money make the world go round.

Avoid Luxury

If, however, a student and student’s parents got involved into a student loan, and now you’ve got money out of the blue, try not to squander it on expensive watches, don’t rent a luxurious car and stop going to the most popular night clubs of the city.

In the end, you’re a student, a serious person now. It’s time to set goals and go for them. You have four years to prove yourself you can manage your life, try not to waste it and prevent your parents from reaching bankruptcy.

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented in the sphere of education. You may contact Melissa: burns.melissaa@gmail.com

Strategies To Help Stressed Out High School Students Seeking Selective Colleges

August 4th, 2015

Reducing student stress

For many middle- and high-school students, the pressure to do it all and do it all well is taking its toll. Stanford researchers say simple changes can reduce student stress and improve learning.

7 Practical Ways To Cope Up With Exam Stress

August 3rd, 2015

By Julia Petrova

Almost every person in the world is a patient of exam anxiety except the ones that simply do not care of course. Students undergo this phase during exam season and some even before that. It is important to manage this stress beforehand because this leads to mistakes and this is the reason behind you being unable to recall half of the material you have actually prepared. So, how can you get rid of the unnecessary exam stress? Take a look at the following ways that can help you out in such a time:

  1. 1.      Prepare Early

Do not assume that you will be able to understand and learn everything at the last minute. You simply cannot stuff everything in your brain in a few hours and in case you are unable to understand anything, you won’t be able to ask anyone at the eleventh hour. Also, staying up all night before an exam leads to exhaustion and all you are left with is a tired and unfocused mind.

 

  1. 2.      Time Management

Learn to manage your time. It’s the era of smart phones, so use that phone of yours to create a detailed schedule about how much time you will need to prepare every subject and what to do in case you cross the time limit. Randomly studying subjects can result in you being unable to provide sufficient time for the subject that needs your attention the most.

 

  1. 3.      Gather All Course Related Material

Make sure you have every lecture, book, set of notes, and reference material with you before you start studying. If required, borrow lectures from a reliable person or you can take help of the professionals at courseworkspot.co.uk. Students often miss out on a point or don’t write a certain point clear enough, so it’s always better to have extra material for reference and for understanding.

 

  1. 4.      Study From The Start Of The Semester

While this might seem problematic, pick 2 days per week in which you can revise everything that has been taught previously. Lectures of a specific subject are often correlated, so it’s better to rectify problems when they occur because otherwise they keep piling up. If you are confused at the beginning, make sure to solve it before moving on to the next topic.

 

  1. 5.      Ask For Help

Do not hesitate in asking for help. If your supervisors or professors are busy and you don’t want to bother them, ask a colleague or a friend to help you out and explain the material. The better option would always be to consult your teacher as he or she would be the expert in the subject and would know how to handle the problem skilfully.

 

  1. 6.      Take A Break

Over burdening yourself during study sessions is not going to be fruitful. You need to take a break every now and then to refresh your mind. Cluttering your mind with formulas, information, theories without giving it time to digest would result in the data getting mixed up. If you don’t want to take a break, and then simply keep the learning aside and write down to revise whatever you have covered so far.

 

  1. 7.      Avoid Distractions

Keep all your distractions aside when you’re trying to study. It’s really easy for your mind to wander in all directions when you’re trying to concentrate. If your phone or laptop is constantly bothering you, then keep them aside or lock them up. If you’re studying something over the internet, then block any additional sites that would divert your attention from work.

Remember to take deep breaths whenever you feel like the stress is getting worse. You have given exams before and you can do it again. Keep in mind that when you work hard, you get its reward in due time.

Jillian Petrova is an academician at day and a blogger at night. She has a never-ending love for fantasy novels lik