Posts published in April, 2016
By Liz Peckler and David Gutierrez
College is one of the most interesting periods of your life, and for that very reason, there is no better time to start your own video blog (vlog). If done right, vlogging can be a highly lucrative venture in addition to being a fun hobby, and it is a great way to document your experiences, share your thoughts and stories, showcase your skills and talents, and provide valuable data to the rest of the world. So, in case writing does not fit you, and photos do not seem informative enough – why don’t you grab your camera and create some videos for your personal blog?
If you are interested in how to get started and become a vlogger, here are the steps you need to take:
- Find your niche and do your research.
Finding your niche is the first and most important step to creating your vlog. You cannot just grab a camera and start recording whatever you feel like recording. The best vlogs are those that focus on a certain type of content because apart from giving the vlog a clear and recognizable theme, it also makes the vlogger an authority on his or her chosen niche.
Figure out what you want to produce on your vlog. Do you want to share cooking tutorials on quick and easy meals for college students? Are you thinking of doing a fitness vlog? Or do you just plan on sitting in front of the camera and talking about your academic struggles and daily experiences in college? Whatever niche you choose, make sure it is something you are knowledgeable and passionate about, and of course, something that you will be able to film while you are in school.
Once you have decided on your niche, take the time to do your research. Find other vloggers in the same niche and take notes on their content, on-camera personality, vlog format, posting schedules, and even things like what type of cameras or editing software they use. Remember that the purpose is not to imitate but to find out what works for others, as that will give you ideas on what you can do for your own vlog.
Another important element to research is your target audience. Find out what type of content they want to see and what they normally respond to. Read YouTube comments, take note of the types of videos that get the most views, and find out what people are saying on social media. Researching your audience will help give you ideas on how to tailor and package your content in such a way that makes it more appealing to your prospective viewers.
- Buy the tools and equipment you need.
If your vlog is just for fun, the camera on your smartphone or laptop will suffice. But if you are serious about your vlogging and would like to create your personal brand, start a following, and make some money from producing content, then you need to invest in quality equipment. Many YouTube vloggers prefer DSLRs to shoot their videos, but some also use mirrorless cameras or even action cameras for vlogging on the go due to the compact size and design.
Go online and read up on the latest camera options that are on the market right now. Check out online reviews or watch hands-on videos (there should be plenty on YouTube) that show the camera’s image and video quality. Once you’ve chosen a specific brand and model, shop around at online gadget stores. If your budget is tight, consider buying second-hand equipment to get the best possible price.
Keep in mind that you will also need to purchase other equipment, such as a tripod or a monopod (selfie stick), and maybe some type of video editing software if your laptop or computer doesn’t already have one.
- Build your social media presence.
Social media is important for building your personal brand and promoting your content. Build your social media presence early on, during the infancy stages of your vlog. It is an extremely effective marketing tool that will help drive views and engagement to your vlogs, so establishing a solid social media presence right at the beginning will help you gain more exposure, which in turn will make you grow much faster.
First, you have to choose your platform. Most vloggers use YouTube because it has a wider audience, but you can also choose other platforms to publish your content. You can use Periscope if you want to do a livestream type of vlog, or you can publish your videos to Facebook, if that is what you prefer. You can also upload your videos simultaneously to various platforms to ensure that your content reaches as many viewers as possible.
You also need to create social media pages for your vlog on relevant networks. Facebook and Twitter are of course the most popular choices, but most vloggers also like to take advantage of other social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. When creating these pages, remember to be consistent. Use the same profile photo, cover photo, and name across all pages to ensure better brand recall. Most famous YouTube vloggers use the name of their channel as their Facebook name or Twitter handle to make it easier for followers to search for them on social media, as well as to establish their personal brand and online identity.
- Figure out the logistics.
Where will you film your videos? Who will edit and produce the final product? Do you need your dorm mate to act as your cameraman? How often will you post videos? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself prior to actually starting your vlog. It is always a good idea to plan ahead to ensure the best chances for success, and this holds true for vlogging as well. Before filming your first video, make sure to figure out the logistics: the where, when, how, and why.
Once you have figured out the basics, you may also want to think about creating a content schedule for you to follow. Some vloggers can be more relaxed about this, but given that you have classes, exams, and extracurricular activities to worry about, it is a good idea to map out a schedule that works for you.
- Film and publish your first vlog.
Now that you’ve gone through all the initial steps, you are ready to start filming your first vlog. Once you are in front of the camera, remember to be confident and authoritative. Allow your personality to shine through. While you should strive to showcase certain personality traits that will make you more interesting to your target audience, such as humor or eccentricity, the most important thing to remember is that you need to act naturally. Most viewers respond more to authenticity, so it is best to be genuine.
Also, because of the public nature of vlogs, you need to make sure that your everything you do and say in your videos are within the confines of the school rules. Always observe college rules and regulations (when in doubt, read your Student Handbook) to avoid penalties or punishment.
After you have successfully filmed your first video, all that’s left is to edit and publish it!
Liz Pekler is a travel photographer with almost 10 years of experience in the field. When she is not out exploring the world, she likes to share her knowledge about photography and travel through writing for blogs.
Wealthy students who enroll in remedial courses at private, nonprofit four-year universities take more remedial classes than low-income students. That trend, Michael Dannenberg said, likely points to private colleges’ interest in driving enrollment numbers and tuition dollars. While freshmen pay $3,000 on average for remedial coursework in their first year of college, students who attend private, nonprofit four-year institutions pay an extra $12,000.
“For many colleges, admissions and financial aid are about revenue maximization and enrollment management first, and education second,” Dannenberg said. “What is likely happening is that private colleges are seeking out high-paying wealthy students even when they’re less academically qualified than low-income students.”
The report also made mention of the more rigorous Common Core State Standards, which both Education Post and Education Reform Now support, and the opt-out movement that has largely been dominated by affluent white students. Nguyen Barry said the movement to sit out standardized testing illustrates a “disconnect” between perceptions of high school quality and the reality of college preparation.
“We’ve seen over and over again that parents, by and large, think their own schools are doing well but think overall schools nationally are in need of reform,” she said. “We just worry that if that complacency builds or expands, it’s both going to hurt the pocketbooks of the upper middle-class and the wealthy, and it also impedes greater efforts to improve student preparation.”
Hidden High School to College Remediation & Dropout Costs
APRIL 11TH, 2016
By Mary Nguyen Barry and Michael Dannenberg
Check out a fast PowerPoint of our latest report on how half a million college freshmen from all income backgrounds – including middle class and wealthy backgrounds – attending all types of colleges pay an extra $1.5 billion a year out-of-pocket for content they should have learned in high school. Here are all the numbers you need to know in 9 simple charts.
In this video, Michael Kirst discusses the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the CA overhaul of accountability based on local control of education policy. The federal law requires multiple measures for accountability, including some with state choice. Data bases for English learners will change significantly. Federal requirements for Teacher evaluation will be deregulated significantly. State assessments are all over the place and will be hard to summarize. California is building an integrated federal /state/local accountability system that includes 23 metrics, primarily for local use in local control accountability plans (LCAP) that focus on improving budget strategy. Longitudinal data bases from the past will be difficult to integrate with these policy shifts.
Six New Transparency Requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act
By Alyson Klein , Education Week
If you haven’t read through all 1,000-plus pages of the brand new Every Student Succeeds Act, you may have missed a key theme: The new law includes a host of new transparency requirements that will give the feds, states, districts, educators, advocates and (yes) education reporters a much clearer picture of how different populations of kids are doing and what kind of access they have to resources, including money.
So what exactly will districts and states need to report on under ESSA that they didn’t have to report on under No Child Left Behind, the previous version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act?
Here’s a list, courtesy of congressional staff:
- State accountability systems: Under NCLB waivers, it was not easy to make heads or tails of state accountability systems—and believe me, we tried here at Politics K-12. Under ESSA, state report cards will now have to explain a lot about their accountability systems, including their overall student achievement goal, how many kids a school must have from a particular subgroup for those students to be included for accountability purposes (otherwise known as an “n” size), the list of indicators used to measure a schools’ performance and how much weight each indicator has, how schools are singled out for extra support, and what schools need to do to move on from improvement status.
- Foster kids, homeless kids, and military connected kids: For the first time, states will have to break out the student achievement data and graduation rates of these students, just like they do for other “subgroups” like racial minorities, kids from low-income families, and students in special education.
- Long-term English-language learners: States and districts will have to report the number and percentage of students who have been identified as English-language learners, and attended school in the district for five years or more without being reclassified as proficient in English. This shines a spotlight on a population of students who have flown under the radar for years: long-term English-language learners.
- Per-pupil expenditures: States will have to enumerate just how much they are spending per kid in each district and each school, which could help highlight disparities.
- Post-secondary enrollment: For the first time, states will be required to report these rates, if available, on their report cards.
- Crosstabulation: States will have to report data—including test scores and participation rates, performance on school quality indicators, and graduation rates—and in a manner that can be “crosstabulated.” That means that a researcher, advocate, journalist, or anyone else could see say, whether a state is improving graduation outcomes for Hispanic English-language learners who are also in special education. Under NCLB, it would have been possible to see how ELLs were doing, how students in special education were doing, and how Hispanic students were doing, but much tougher to isolate the kids who were in all three groups. This wonky-sounding requirement was a big priority for the civil rights community.
Where did all this transparency come from? ESSA largely puts states in the driver’s seat when it comes to how to rate schools and intervene in schools that aren’t up to snuff. The transparency requirements, however, can help advocates and policymakers ensure that states, schools, and districts are still making progress with historically overlooked groups of students. They were part of the law’s bipartisan bargain, and were important to Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., one of the Democratic architects of ESSA, among others.
“As we worked to pass the Every Student Succeeds Act, my top priority was ensuring that all kids have access to a quality education, regardless of where they live, how they learn, or how much money their parents make,” Murray said in a statement. “I’m proud that this law takes important steps to improve transparency so parents, schools, and advocates have as much information as possible about how students are doing in school.”
On the flip side, some school district officials say that while transparency is important, new reporting requirements can put further strain on scarce time and resources.
BY JANE HURST
During your college career, there are going to be times when you are required to make presentations. For some people, being in the spotlight comes naturally, and they have no problems giving presentations. Others, however, get nervous, tongue-tied, and even physically ill when they have to present their work in front of their peers, professors, etc. Here are some tips that will make giving presentations a whole lot easier.
- Be Prepared – The first thing you need to do is make sure that you are completely prepared for the presentation. Practice it over and over again until it is pretty much committed to memory. That way, you won’t have to look at notes all the time, and you can make more eye contact with your audience. If you are going to be using props, make sure that you have everything you need, and that everything works. Make sure that all of your notes are in the proper order. The better prepared you are, the less anxious you will be about giving any presentation, or doing any other type of public speaking.
- Make it Exciting – One way to make your presentation more exciting is to make it animated. This is really going to get the attention of the people in the audience, and hold it. They will be entertained, while learning at the same time. You don’t have to be an experienced designer, or spend a lot of money to get great animations. You can create awesome videos and presentations, with animations, easily, when you visit PowToon. You can use the free basic service, which offers Slides Basic, 38 royalty-free songs, 11 styles, and up to five minutes of animation. If you decide you like the service, packages start at just $19 per month.
- Be Organized – Once you have done all of your research, it is time to organize everything. No matter what type of outline you are using (web, mind map, or traditional), be sure to write down a minimum of three key points that you want to make, along with details to support those points. Have everything in order, so as not to confuse your audience, and yourself. There are many different ways to keep your presentations organized. One popular method is to use color coded index cards. Put one point on a card, along with the supporting data. Do this with all of the points you intend to make.
- Create a Story – When your audience is entertained, they are going to pay more attention to what you are saying. Your introduction should be short and sweet, with a story that is going to grab the attention of your audience. Then, you can dive right into the heart of the presentation, knowing that they are ready to be receptive to your ideas. The main part of your speech should be right after the introduction, and it should include your main point. Use key words to get the audience to connect the points you are making so they can see the big picture easily. Don’t overwhelm them with boring statistics. Keep things simple, and your presentation will be successful.
- Relax and Take the Stage – When the time comes to give your presentation, take a couple of minutes to relax and ground yourself. Take a few calming breaths, chant a mantra, do some relaxing stretching exercises, etc. Basically, do whatever it takes to get you relaxed enough to give an awesome presentation. When you get on that stage, be sure to scan the audience, and try to make eye contact with each person in the audience at least once. Move around so you don’t look and feel stiff, speak clearly and slowly, and speak loudly enough so you can be heard by all. Use different vocal tones to make your presentation more interesting.
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. Follow Jane on Twitter!
BY SYLVIA KOHL
Studying abroad is an exciting yet often intimidating experience; however, you can considerably improve your chances to get the most of it if you follow a few simple but useful tips.
1. Learn the Customs of Your Host Country
What feels natural to you may come out as rude, tactless or just plain weird to the natives of the country where you study. The customs in question may touch upon any aspect of life: from how much personal space you are supposed to give to other people, to whether you are supposed to tip in cafes and restaurants. It is a very good idea to read up on the matter before embarking.
2. Keep in Touch with Home
Getting separated from friends and relatives for a long time, especially if you’ve never experienced it before, may as likely as not make you feel homesick and even depressed pretty soon. That is why finding an affordable means of communication with them is a must. Email, messengers and suchlike can help in most cases, but there will always be situation in which a phone call is the only option. Fortunately, there are services that can help you out, providing communication with most foreign countries: cheap calls to South Africa, India, Romania and even Antarctica aren’t really all that hard to come by.
3. Don’t Get Stuck in Your Diaspora
If the place you live has a numerous diaspora of your compatriots or fellow speakers of your native language, it is all too easy to get stuck in your comfort zone and spend your entire stay in a foreign country communicating only with the people you could have met at home. If you went abroad to improve your language skills and experience a foreign country, it certainly isn’t the way to go. Get involved in local affairs, try to find friends among locals, avoid speaking your native language – you will have enough time for that at home.
4. Get Involved
Extracurricular activities form an important part of college life in many countries, and you should make use of it, especially if there are accommodations for it in the college you’ve chosen. Taking part in various activities will help you get new friends, get immersed in the local culture and customs, improve your grasp of language and generally have a good time.
5. Enjoy Your Stay
Of course, your primary reason for being abroad is education – but it doesn’t mean your stay cannot be pleasant. Visit interesting places, make fascinating new acquaintances, take part in events that you won’t find at home – there is a lot to do irrespectively of where you are from and where you are staying. Be active, and even homesickness and depression won’t dampen your spirits.
Being an international student is both exciting and scary – but it is up to you which is going to be your prevailing emotion throughout your stay. Follow these tips and you are sure to find your year abroad to be both educational and fun!
Sylvia Kohl is IT teacher with more than 7 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and beta-testing. This writer chose news about the increasing role of IT usage in colleges and schools as the most common topic for her articles.
– See more at: https://collegepuzzle.stanford.edu/?p=5111#sthash.o2IWEygW.dpuf
BY INGRID SCHROEDER
Federal and state policymakers are often working on similar policy challenges from different vantage points. And when they do not coordinate their decision-making, what may start as a promising response to a major public need can end up being difficult to implement, unsustainable, and in some cases, counterproductive.
Higher education illustrates the point.
The cost of higher education and growing student debt levels are being discussed everywhere from the kitchen table to the campaign trail. And while there is no consensus about a solution, members of both political parties have expressed concern about college affordability.
At no time of year is that more important than now. Students will soon find out where they’ve been accepted to college; they and their parents will immediately want to know how much financial help they can expect when the bill comes due. Unfortunately, while there have been significant increases in federal financial aid in recent years, many schools had even bigger tuition increases in the wake of state budget cuts.
The federal government and states both subsidize costs for college and university students, but in different ways. Most of today’s federal financial assistance grew out of programs created when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Higher Education Act into law in 1965. Today, federal assistance comes in the form of student loans, Pell grants and veterans’ educational assistance, among others. States typically appropriate money for public colleges and universities, which ultimately reduces the costs that students pay out of pocket.
Over roughly the past decade, federal spending on higher education per full-time student grew by 32 percent in real terms, with the Pell grant seeing a substantial increase since the start of the recession. Over the same time frame, however, state government spending on higher education has shrunk by 37 percent, and public colleges and universities across the country have significantly increased tuition. At many schools, the increases in federal financial aid have not been enough to offset rising tuition.
Much of the decline in state support for higher education can be traced to state policy choices resulting from the recession: As job losses mounted and tax receipts fell, many states were faced with tough choices in order to balance their budgets — and opted to cut funding for public colleges and universities. As of the 2014-15 school year, per student funding in 47 states remained below pre-recession levels after adjusting for inflation.
The average cost of college for students at four-year public institutions has grown by 30 percent in real terms since the recession, even after taking rising financial aid into account. At the same time, there has been an increase in student loan volume and defaults.
Both states and the federal government contribute significant funding to higher education — similar to transportation, K-12 education and other policy areas. However, higher education is unlike these other areas, where there are generally federal-state funding matches or states are required to maintain a certain funding level to receive federal dollars. In higher education, states can, for the most part, cut spending without a loss of federal support.
The federal government and the states together invested more than $140 billion in higher education funding in 2013. Yet, their policies and funding decisions don’t necessarily achieve the desired result: Paying for college continues to be a growing source of financial stress for many families, and the increase in the share of what students are paying for higher education continues to rise.
That makes higher education a key example of a first step that needs to be taken to more effectively target limited resources to solve our nation’s biggest problems — not only in higher education, but also everything from disaster relief to public safety. We need to understand who pays for what and how the funding streams interact.
Schroeder directs fiscal federalism initiatives at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington.
BY OKSANA SIBITNEVA
Some people will certainly say that the best way to keep your college memories is to make the most of your years at college and thus make sure they are memorable. However, when you leave your alma mater for good, it is pleasant to have some mementoes that will remind you of all the good and bad times you had there when you so much as look at it. Here are a few recommendations.
1. T-Shirt Prints
Make a photo with all your best college friends and order a t-shirt printed for all of them. This way you will be reminded of them all every time you open your wardrobe – and who knows, perhaps it will encourage you to stay in touch for longer than is usually the case. There are a lot of firms and services like Blankstyle that are ready to sell you t-shirts with customized prints, taking all the fuss out of the proceedings.
2. Photo Album
What can be better than a good old photo album? Of course, people nowadays are more likely to keep their photos in digital form, but it just makes creating an old-fashioned physical photo album all the more special. Admittedly, these things have an unpleasant tendency to get lost somewhere in a bottom drawer beneath the piles of old papers and other unrecognizable stuff – but nothing beats a sudden flood of nostalgia you experience every time you stumble upon it when looking for something else.
3. Commemorative Mug
If you are looking for something that you would deal with a little more often than with a photo album but which would be a bit more sturdy than a t-shirt, commemorative mugs and other similar trinkets are at your service. There is nothing to better remind you of all the pints of coffee you ingested when at college than the coffee mug you drink from every morning. Better yet if you get one for every one of your friends as well.
Why not take a bit more creative approach and make a scrapbook? Take all the most characteristic photos you have, not only of people, but also of dorms, campus buildings, local landmarks and hangouts, embellish it with college stamps, stickers and suchlike, add some additional thematic decorations – and voila, you haven’t just fixed some of your memories on paper but made it in a highly individualized and customized form. This one will awaken pleasant memories many years from now.
5. Mobile Phone Cover
If you want your college memories to always be at hand (literally), then why not combine it with an object that most of us always keep within reach? Customized mobile phone covers can be easily ordered from numerous online and offline services, and you won’t have any trouble creating your own design.
As you may see, with a little bit of ingenuity you can immortalize your college memories in many different ways – and we haven’t even scratched the surface of the iceberg here. Your possibilities are only limited by your own fantasy.
Oksana is a student of English literature department and a freelance journalist. As a current student she is interested in trends in education and she would like to share her experience with community.
BY BETH AKERS
“Higher education, more than ever, is the ticket to the middle class.” So said President Obama last year.
But is it? We know individual investments in higher education pay large dividends. But that is true of many investments that are not easily accessible people with fewer economic resources. Investing in the stock market, for example, generates wealth: but only if you have money to invest in the first place. So it is worth asking whether higher education is in fact succeeding in lowering intergenerational “stickiness” of socioeconomic status.
College, far from the great equalizer
Unfortunately, college appears to be out of reach for many. Just nine percent of individuals born into the lowest income quartile will ultimately earn a college degree, compared to 54 percent in the top income quartile:
Even for those lower-income children who do make it to college, recent work by Brad Hershbein and his colleagues suggests that a bachelor’s degree might be worth less. The disparity in returns is so large that college graduates who were born into poor families have the same chance of staying in the bottom income quintile as people who are born into rich families but don’t complete high school.
Make college a less risky business
How can higher education play a bigger role in supporting social mobility? First, we need to help students make better decisions. For a long time we’ve hesitated to talk about education as a financial investment. But that has a done a disservice to the students who can’t really afford the luxury of turning a blind eye to the economic consequences of their decisions. We need to empower students to make good decisions by publishing data on the labor market returns of each program covered by the federal student aid program.
We also need to remove an invisible barrier to college access: risk. Generous loan limits in the federal aid program paired with a robust private loan market mean that almost any student can find the money they need to enroll in college. In that sense, college is already affordable to all. But college doesn’t always pay off in the long run. Like any investment, it’s a gamble. And it’s a gamble that not everyone can afford to take. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to reduce the risk of investing in higher education, including a more robust income driven repayment system in the federal loan program, private market financial products that offer insurance to student borrowers, and new business models that offer guarantees to students.
There is no silver bullet solution that can eliminate the stickiness of socioeconomic status. But lowering risks could help higher education to become a more effective engine for mobility.
Note: A version of this piece was previously published on Real Clear Markets.
Fellow, Economic Studies, Center on Children and Families, Brown Center on Education Policy
By MELISSA BURNS
Of course, nowadays one ideally should learn things like coding, website building and programming before college and some basics should be learnt even before school – but it is wishful thinking, and if you are reading this article, it is probably already a little bit too late. But why learn programming at all, especially if you are not going to work in the IT sphere? And why it is important to do it before you graduate? Let’s see.
1. Programming Has the Potential to Change Your Life
If you’ve never seriously considered programming and associated vocations as your life’s work, you may be missing out on something very important. The most unlikely people suddenly discover their talents in this sphere after trying it out, and some of them achieve incredible results in very short time.
2. It Is a Useful Skill to Have
Even if you won’t make programming your main source of income, it is still a good skill to have in modern world. With all kinds of software, applications, and combined interfaces permeating every part of our lives, knowing what makes it all tick, at least in a very basic form, is akin to knowing another language.
3. The Industry Is Growing
Or, rather, it gradually ceases to be an industry and becomes an area of life that encompasses jobs, hobbies, lifestyles and general approaches to problem solving. Big companies, like Infor, led by a well-known innovator Charles Philips, are getting even bigger, small IT firms pop into existence virtually every day, and the process doesn’t seem to be going to slow down any time soon.
4. There Is a Lot of Money in It
Right now, programming and associated jobs is one of the highest-paid lines of work in existence. Of course, there is a lot of difference in how much money a mediocre and an excellent programmer can make, but when compared to many other jobs, programming still offers higher pay for quite often shorter hours, leaving you sufficient time to pursue your hobbies, interests and further education.
5. It Has Potential for Telecommuting
A good programmer can always negotiate the conditions with employer to make it possible to work remotely. Working with IT means many opportunities for that, and it is quite possible to work from home or even while travelling abroad.
6. It Is Applicable in Many Fields
Even if IT has only a passing connection with your core job, knowing how to code can be of immense help. You can build a tool you and your team can use, mine your own data, automate tasks and much more. When dealing with professional programmers, you will be able to talk their language and better negotiate conditions with them.
Either as an everyday useful skill or as a chosen job, programming and coding is the thing that can considerably change the quality of your life. The earlier you get in contact with it, the quicker and deeper you will be able to go – so don’t waste any time and start out now.
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.
– See more at: https://collegepuzzle.stanford.edu/?p=5128#sthash.2l1njsWv.dpuf
BY TAYLOR TOMITA
College is a wonderful time where individuals are able to grow into their adult live and take on new and exciting experiences. However, our college years also must require a great deal of self-control and responsibility. Let’s face it, most students love visiting their favorite coffee shops in the morning before class or having a night out on the town over the weekends, and while this is completely fine, many students are not aware of how to do this without severely crippling themselves financially.
Thankfully, there are many opportunities for students to live their college life to the fullest without setting themselves up for trouble in the future. Here are four fantastic tips for college students to be responsible with their finances and make the most out of their college years.
Be Aware of Your Student Loans
Of course, student loans are a necessity in nearly every student’s educational endeavors, but it is important for students to be aware of how to manage student loans to avoid being buried in a mountain of debt. Understanding when to pursue private loans, and managing interest rates can help a college student maintain control of their financial life, and remove a great deal of the fiscal stress that many students encounter.
It is equally important for students to only take what they need when receiving financial assistance throughout college. Of course, that extra bit of money would be great to have so you can avoid eating another cheap meal, but in the grand scheme of things, it can cause the overall amount of the loan to skyrocket over time. A great rule of thumb for managing this is to borrow no more than your anticipated first-year’s salary.
Start a Savings Account
If your childhood was anything like mine, you have most likely heard the phrase, “start a savings account” close to a million times. However, it was not until recently that I discovered the value in doing so. Creating a savings account, and putting at least 10% of your monthly disposable income into it, can be a deciding factor of how your first few “after college” years will look.
After graduating college, students are blindly thrown into the world and forced to find a career on their own. If they are lucky, this will be easy. Many fresh college graduates may struggle to find their “dream job” quickly, and this is where a savings will come in handy. Having a financial backup savings plan can keep you from being forced back into Mom and Dad’s house, and will help you remain positive in trying times.
Use Your Hobbies to Make Money
Between managing student loans and worrying about their savings accounts, many students are weary about adding another responsibility into their daily lives – like a part time job. However, as technology has revolutionized the entrepreneurial world, there are many opportunities for students to put their hobbies to use to generate a side income – Which may be more appealing than working a boring night job.
Be Mindful of Credit Cards
Credit cards can be a saving grace for students traversing the college world. However, many individuals tend to go a bit overboard when it comes to credit cards. Why? Well, they are exciting. It is important to understand when and how to use credit cards, because when used correctly, they can be a fantastic way for someone to build their credit score and start their lives on the right track.
A great rule for credit cards is to start by only using it to pay one or two bills per month, and then paying the balance off by the due date of the credit card bill. This will help create consistency when paying your bills throughout life, and will also help establish a better credit score – opening opportunities for lower interest rates and deals in the future.
In summary, college is a fantastic opportunity for us to learn and grow, but there are many financial aspects to be aware of when traversing throughout the college world. Take these tips and run with them! Thank you for reading!
Author Bio: Taylor Tomita is a creative writer residing in Boise, Idaho. Focusing on various angles of education and business, Taylor has been able to help many individuals overcome concerns within these fields. When not writing, you can find Taylor playing in the band Stepbrothers or hanging out with his cat at home. Follow him on Twitter (@Trvshlvrd_rr)!