Posts published in January, 2018

Gamification And Virtual Learning Help Students Learn

By Danika McClure

Technological advances have had a tremendous impact on the educational sector. The advent of the personal computer, the internet, and — most recently — mobile technology have completely disrupted the educational model, making new waves of innovation and improved opportunities for learning.

The trend of mobile and online learning has grown strong in the educational community. Many colleges and universities now offer fully immersive online degree courses where the quality of learning is on par with their in-person courses. Now more than ever, students can access their courses from devices all over the world, from the office to the coffee shop, and even while traveling to new destinations. New technology has advanced so much that the days of relocating to attend college are now a matter of choice, and not necessity.

Of course, many are asking what the next wave of educational innovation might entail, and while there are a number of options available, many professors at universities around the country are turning to gamification and virtual reality to help usher in a new wave of student learning.

“An opportunity exists for college IT champions to help educators embrace gamification,” writes tech writer Dave Doucette. “Proponents of gamification, which initially flourished in K–12, say it offers just as many benefits for college students. Well-designed games boost engagement, hone critical thinking skills by requiring students to plan and strategize, and clarify abstract concepts that may be hard to grasp through reading and lecture alone. For students in online courses, gaming provides opportunities for collaboration, teamwork and friendly competition.”

While there are promising outcomes to gamification, faculty who are new to to the platform may be hesitant to jump in — wondering, for example, where to start from a technology perspective and how to ensure games deliver educational benefit alongside entertainment. But there are also a number of instructors who have taken the plunge and seen promising outcomes.

One such instructor is Ariel D. Anbar, a professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, who hopes to help students embrace scientific subjects through video game technology.


When it comes to understanding complex subjects like science and math, Anbar argues, one necessary component for understanding the subject material involves “developing problem solving skills.” What happens in most university classrooms, Anbar argues, is that most students learn science and mathematics in large lecture halls over powerpoint presentations.


Working with Lev Horodyskyj, an instructional designer with previous experience in gaming development and design, and Smart Sparrow, a technology company, HabWorlds was born. The program, which is short for Habitable Worlds, helps non-science majors become more more engaged with the material by exploring the possibility of life beyond earth. The program is unique, in that it helps students engage with the material by using logic and reason, determining which planets are habitable by testing their hypotheses through a simulator.


“In one example, students are told about the different types of stars, and then are asked to hypothesize which one lives the longest,” according to a press release from ASU Online. “Being able to Hypothesize a possible answer is key to students gaining critical problem-solving skills, which is the point of the science lab. Lastly, students run a test on their hypothesis and are told if they are correct or not.”


The creation of HabWorlds is something that has been acknowledged by NASA and the National Science Foundation for its innovation. But perhaps the most important part is that professors can determine whether students are making choices at random, or whether there is a systematic process that students are going through, which may better determine student success and growth.

Overall, it’s a process that Anbar argues teaches students how to know how to use the knowledge they glean from their coursework so they can apply it in their careers.

“You can’t just show up with lecture slides that are cobbled together and glue it all together with your clever insights and commentary,” Anbar said in the aforementioned press release. Instead, developing this particular online course made Anbar more aware of what the end goal was in teaching the course.  

While it’s unclear what the future of computer based learning might entail, it is clear that gamification provides a number of benefits that help enhance the student experience.

Danika McClure is a writer and musician from the northwest who sometimes takes a 30 minute break from feminism to enjoy a tv show. You can follow her on twitter @sadwhitegrrl

Out On Your Own: Renting Your First Apartment


Life truly is a series of milestones. From the first day of kindergarten to college graduation, time stops for nothing. Of all the special moments in one’s life, stepping into a new home is unbelievably exciting. The keys to a new apartment are not just for opening the door–they’re a trophy to be proud of. Each room of a new home is a blank canvas. There’s the kitchen where gourmet meals are discovered, the living room where holiday mornings are celebrated, and the bedroom where comfort finds a home. To really make a house a home it’s important to choose a location carefully. Once you’ve decided to put down roots, finding a new home is a breeze.

Taking the steps to live alone can be dramatic or blissful depending on the circumstances. Maybe a career change brings about a location change, maybe true love draws you to another city. Whatever the reason, have a look at what neighborhood suits your interests best. Cities once considered old news have evolved into hip cultural centers!

Before you set out to find a new apartment, make sure everything in your life is in order. It’s vital to have a good chunk of money saved up for moving expenses. Between new furniture, moving trucks, and first bills, a new move can get expensive. The most important factor in finding a great apartment? A great credit score. Credit worthiness is always important, but it’s most important when searching for a home.

An apartment is the best choice for someone just starting out in the journey of adulthood. Have a problem with an appliance or plumbing? Call the landlord and have them take care of it. Trash gets taken care of with your standard rent payment. Apartment complexes are great for making new friends. Any location with a pool is going to be the place to be when the weather heats up!

When searching for an apartment, choose a complex that utilizes an online rental application. Online applications save time and allow an answer to be received before wasting time on a search. If a new job is the reason for a move, time is of the essence. An online app can check credit scores and approve renters quicker than any old paper system ever could. It’s not like it used to be, sitting in an office waiting for a slow response. With basically everything moving to an online platform, rental applications work much better over a computer. Fax machines and printed applications are way out of date.

There’s only one first time move-in. Turning the key of your brand new apartment door should be one of the greatest experiences of youth! Can’t you picture the amazing housewarming party? When it comes time to make the move, choose the best complex possible. Search online, apply online and make the journey to a new home a fun one!

Anthony Masterton is a young entrepreneur trying to break through in the Tech world. When he’s not working on growing his young startup, he writes about everything from tech advancements to his own experiences as a young CEO. A self starter, he likes to help others learn from his own successes and failures, as it’s always easiest to learn from experience.


How online certifications will make you more employable

By Anton Lucanus

MOOCS or ‘massive open online courses’ are large classrooms available online to many people at the same time, for free. This type of learning increases the exposure of students to many different opportunities they otherwise may not have had the chance to participate in.

But, the regular classroom is not the only location online training is occurring in. Some employers are also offering the opportunity to continue growth online as well, and are increasingly seeking graduate candidates with specific online training course completion. These can be in the form of online training for employers, which can help an employer keep ahead of the competition, the ITIL Foundation Certification Training is an example of this type of training opportunity. However, it’s not the only online course out there which can provide a competitive edge.

Lean IT, developed from lean manufacturing strategies, is relatively new on the certification scene, but it’s been growing in popularity. The value of the lean methodology comes from its ability to limit scopes and deliver solutions which can help cut down waste in different areas of the business – like costs, time and even security issues. Certification for lean IT usually consists of distinct certifications for various job levels, from general IT professionals working with support, all the way up to CTO’s and other leadership positions.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) also provide online certifications for IT professionals. While ISO certifications often fall on the expensive end of the training scale, ISO/IEC certifications are internationally recognised, and cover everything from general equipment maintenance to more complex skills, like ISDN training, data storage services and encryption security and cryptography.

By hiring candidates who’ve engaged with certification training, employers feel confident they’re acquiring a focused individual with training that specifically fits their role, and with the capabilities to effectively manage IT business operations.

The reality that many employers face is a changing technological field, with minimal understanding of how the technologies actually work. That is why, having a certified ITIL person, or someone with certification in something like Lean IT or the ISO standards is necessary for employers. Not only to connect the business with the technology that can help drive it forward, but to connect other employees with the knowhow of the electronics they use daily.

Employers can try to lure a certified professional to their company, or they can utilize their existing workforce to develop an internal professional network. Employers already have an internal goldmine at their fingertips, as most employees value the opportunity for additional training and growth. An employer can easily upskill their current pool of employees by offering online certification training on the job, resulting in a net benefit for both employees and the company.

Choosing to invest in an online certification for their current employee base, also offers a way for employers to save money. Paying for an employee to attend an online workshop minimizes the expenses in sending these same people to hotels or flying them to conferences. The money that is saved can actually be reinvested into the employees through wage improvements or incentives or hiring more employees at a lower rate for the ‘front-end’ staffing needs that are required.

When it comes to the development of a company, the IT department should be a part of the development that encourages growth, but it should also be focused on how utilizing online classrooms benefit the company overall.

Byline – Anton Lucanus is the Director of Neliti. During his college years, he maintained a perfect GPA, was published in a top cancer journal, and received many of his country’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships. Anton writes for The College Puzzle as a means to share the lessons learnt throughout his degree and to guide current students to achieve personal and educational fulfilment during college life.



5 Reasons to Continue Studying After Your Degree


Are you a college student who is about to graduate, and wondering what your next move should be in life? Or, have you been out of college for a few years and are considering going back? There are many benefits to having multiple degrees, so there are all kinds of great reasons to continue studying and learning, even after you have earned your degree. If you are considering getting another degree, here are some good reasons to help you make your decision.


  1. Increased Earning Potential – The more education you have, the greater your future earning potential is going to be. For instance, according to the United States Census Bureau, someone who has a master’s degree has the potential to earn $200 or more per work than someone who just has a bachelor degree. When you look at this in the long term, it is tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t go for that extra degree. The more degrees you have, the higher your earning potential will be.
  2. Do Something You Love – Maybe you have really enjoyed your college experience, and you aren’t quite ready for it to end. Obviously, we aren’t suggesting that you become a professional student and find ways to spend the rest of your life in school. But, if you really enjoy college, and you want to continue learning, one of the best things you can do is apply for graduate school and get your master’s degree. Also, you are going to be learning even more about something that you love, and it is going to help ensure that you are able to work in your field of choice. Every test you take, and every essay you write, is going to bring you one step closer to realizing your dreams.
  3. Define Your Career Goal – Maybe you haven’t quite decided exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life. If you are receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree for instance, this is just a stepping stone to the next level of education. You may have studied a variety of things, without any clear career path in mind. When you work towards a second degree, you will be better able to define your career goal, and you will also have more time in which to do it. Having an extra year or two of study time is a great way to really decide what area you would like to specialize in.
  4. Do it For Your Career – Some careers involve several years of study, and more than one degree. For instance, if you have graduating from medical school, you may be considering taking up a specialty. In order to do this, you are going to need to go back to school and get a degree in that particular specialty. “It is the same if you are in a dentistry program. Maybe you want to specialize in working with children. For that, you are going to need special training that you won’t get in regular dental school,” says an expert from
  5. Demonstrate a Work Ethic – When you have multiple degrees, it shows that you have a very strong work ethic. It shows that you have ambition, and a drive to succeed and get ahead. This is something that potential employers are looking for. The more degrees you have, the better your chances are of landing your dream job, because you are able to show that you are willing to work hard to get ahead and have a great career in the field of your choice. When you can show that you are willing to work that hard in school, it is a good indication of what you are going to do on the job.

Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.

How to Choose a Student Credit Card


Should college students have credit cards? The answer depends on who you ask. Some worry that credit cards make it too easy for students to spend beyond their means and rack up debt. Others believe credit cards enable students to learn about fiscal responsibility and build good credit. Ultimately, the right answer depends on you, the student.

As long as you can handle this type of responsibility and not get over your head with credit card debt before you even graduate, having a credit card can be very helpful, especially in emergencies. But, you need to make sure that you are getting the right credit card for you. Today we are going to look at some tips on how to choose a student credit card. Let’s get started.

Check Your Eligibility: There was a time when credit card companies were practically begging students to sign on with them, and a lot of students who weren’t ready for this type of responsibility were getting into a lot of credit trouble. Now, thanks to the Credit Card Act of 2009, credit card companies can’t market near campuses. What’s more, applicants must be 21 or older, or have a co-signer, and provide proof of income.

Foreign Transaction Fee: If you are going to be traveling, it is a good idea to look for a credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign exchange fee. Some cards charge as much as an additional three percent per transaction on purchases made in different currencies. If you are studying abroad, make sure that your card doesn’t charge this fee, because it can really add up over time.

Credit Monitoring Tools: Look for a credit card issuer that also offers credit monitoring tools, including free credit scores and credit monitoring. Even if you aren’t planning on getting a credit card right away, it is still a good idea to use some of these free tools so you can keep an eye on your credit rating. If you aren’t eligible for a credit card now, using these tools can help you to build your credit so you will be eligible later on. Companies that offer these tools tend to be the best credit cards for students.

Look for No Annual Fee: The rewards you’ll accumulate with your credit card probably won’t offset a steep annual fee. So look for a card that doesn’t charge one. Chances are, you’ll find a solid no-annual-fee credit card that works well for you. Other fees add up, too, though. So do diligent research to make sure you the card you select has among the lowest total fees, such as balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, expedited payment fees, etc.

Good Grade Incentives: Did you know that some credit companies offer incentives to students for getting good grades? Some companies offer cash bonuses, while others may offer such perks as a higher line of credit once you have made a certain amount of payments on time. Some may even offer to lower the interest rate. The more rewards, the better, as long as they aren’t just smoke screens to get you to take a high-interest credit card that you will never be able to pay off.

There are Other Options

Maybe you aren’t ready to have a credit card, do not want one, or are not eligible. There are always other options to having your own credit card. For instance, some credit companies will allow you to be an authorized user on a parent’s credit card. Potentially, this could be a good way of building your credit. Better yet, you aren’t legally liable for the monthly bill (though you’ll certainly be responsible to your parents). Alternatively, you may want to look into getting a secured credit card — a card that has no actual credit, only money that you deposit into the account.


Martha Karn develops online educational courses and writes for students.

No Money for Tutor? 5 Alternatives Which Will Cost You Nothing


Times are hard and it is not always easy to dive deep into your pockets and spend money on a paid tutor. Students are not rich and can most of the time not afford these kinds of services.

If you are in need of some help in any type of subject, but at the same time you do not have the money to spend, here are 5 ways to learn without having to spend a dime.

  • Study Groups

If you haven’t thought of this already, then this idea could be of great help to both you and your friends. Study groups are a great way of socializing and getting to know what you and your friends know best and what you need to focus more on.

Create a common chat and let your friends know that you would like to start a study group on various subjects. The group can consist of however many people you like and the common goal is to better understand the subject.

For the people that already are good at this subject, repeating and explaining it to others can be a great way to make sure they own it and for the ones that are not so good, it can be a way to learn and better understand it.

  • Khan Academy

Khan academy is one of the best online tutoring services that offers free courses on a plethora of different topics from math to biology to arts and humanities. It is not only meant for learners but also for teachers and parents too. It is also available in many languages!

You can find courses on subjects for all ages and education levels and the only thing you have to do to learn is watch the free videos they offer that explain the subject and help you learn easily and effectively. When you are done with that part, there are some very nicely made tests that you can take to make sure that whatever you heard you learnt it too.

  • Course Teaching Assistants

Course Teaching Assistants or otherwise known as T.A.s are a great asset of many subjects that students rarely use. These are either undergraduate students who have passed your subject with an excellent grade or graduate students who are either taking a masters or PhD program in the same field as your studies.

These people are in contact with your professor and it is very common that you find their contact information online on the course’s outline. You can get in touch with them for free and ask them for help and guidance on the subject that you find difficult.

On top of that, the Teaching Assistants can also most of the time be the people who help your professors grade your assignments, so you might want to keep them close not only to help you better understand that said subject but also to ask for help with any essay writing problems and exams.

  • Youtube

Many people do not know this, but Youtube can actually be of great help when it comes to helping you with a subject. You can find a lot of different instructional videos on many different subjects and the best part is that if you can’t easily understand how one person is explaining something, you can easily find another one.

The only problem with Youtube though is that you can’t always know if what you’re learning is right. People on the internet can claim to be whatever they like and on a website like Youtube, where anyone can upload a video, you can’t be certain of the quality.

The best way to make this work is to ask someone who has knowledge on the subject to take a look at the video that you believe is the best. It will only take them a couple minutes and you will be able to study and learn without spending anything.

5) Udemy

Udemy much like Khan Academy is an online service that provides plenty of online courses on a variety of different subjects. Demy is also available in many languages and also offers the assistance of instructors. The only difference between them is that Khan Academy is completely free.

On the other hand, Udemy mainly provides paid services. Do not worry though, as there is a good variety of free online courses provided by them in order to help you get a taste of their services. You can use this to your advantage and get some knowledge on the topics that you need.

Udemy is possibly providing a larger variety of topics than Khan Academy, but their courses are mostly targeting professionals than just overall learning for people of all ages. In any case, give the website a try and search for what you need to learn; you might be able to dive deeper into the subject and have a better understanding of it in the end.

No Need to Spend to Learn

If you are on a tight budget, these are just some of the ways you can find to get help with your difficult college subjects. There is no need for you to spend money on tutors to learn since there is such a large abundance of free knowledge online.

Get to trying the methods mentioned before and try seeing what works best for you. In the end, you are bound to find a way that will help you learn effectively.

Alaine Gordon is young and talented content manager. She has been writing professionally since 2010 about almost everything, starting from psychology and to the finance. Alaine Gordon graduated from the University of Colorado with B.A. in Journalism, 2011. She is open-minded, creative person who loves to make the people smile. Her credo is ‘Life is a fun enterprise’. In her free time she loves traveling, reading science fiction and knitting. Her huge dream is to visit every single country in the world.


5 Things You’ll Learn in College and Remember


Sage Singleton

Everyone knows that college is great for academics, but there are life lessons learned in school that will impact you far longer than a textbook. These are just a few of the life lessons you’ll learn in college and treasure forever.


  1. Just Be Nice

Now is the best time to start building relationships with others in your field of study. As focused as you are on your current classes, you also face the added stress of figuring out what you’re going to do the day after graduation. And in an increasingly competitive workforce, an impressive GPA and well-written resume will get you only so far. That’s why it’s so important to make connections during your time at school.

In college, you’ll learn to never underestimate the power of a thank-you note or a no-strings-attached favor. A simple letter expressing appreciation to a professor may result in a recommendation for an internship. And when you help out a classmate in need, they will often be more than happy to return the favor, which could be valuable in the workforce. Plus, it’s just nice to be nice.


  1. You Will Change as a Person—and That’s a Good Thing

When you’re early in your college years, it’s easy to feel like you’ve got everything planned out—the religion and political party with which you affiliate, the foods and music you like, and the career you want may all seem set in stone. But it’s likely at least some of that will change. Your political or religious views may evolve, or you may take a photography class and suddenly rethink that medical career for which you were destined.

The truth is you may never entirely know who you are, and that’s okay. Change is good, and in college you’ll realize that sticking stubbornly to your guns won’t get you very far. Those class debates don’t just help you build book smarts; they also open your mind to new perspectives.


  1. The World Isn’t So Scary After All

One of the most significant adjustments in college is living on your own and being an independent adult. But as exhilarating as it is to live without a curfew, you’ll also suddenly be faced with laundry duty and feeding yourself on top of your coursework.

All that new responsibility can be overwhelming when you’re a freshman, but every year you’ll get a better handle on your responsibilities. You’ll figure out how to navigate your way around town and how to stay safe on campus. You’ll learn when to reach out to your support system and how to make a doctor’s appointment. Come graduation, you’ll feel ready to do everything that seemed impossible or confusing just a few years prior.


  1. You’re Your Biggest Critic

Remember in high school when a wardrobe malfunction or a wrong answer in class seemed like the end of the world? In college, you’ll finally realize that no one cares about that as much as you do. You are your biggest critic, and understanding this will take an immense weight off your shoulders.

In fact, realizing this will make life after college easier, too, as you’ll learn to not sweat the small stuff. Bad haircut? Hair grows back. Tripped in front of a crowd? No one will remember the next day. This gives you time to focus on more important matters in life, like building your career and surrounding yourself with people who love you for you, bad haircut and all.


  1. Your Only Destiny Is the One You Create

In high school, it’s easy to feel like your life is the result of other people’s decisions. Your parents created you, they sign your field trip permission slips, and they decide what you eat for dinner. In college, though, you’ll quickly learn that you are in the driver’s seat of your life. It’s up to you to register for classes in time, stock up on groceries, decide on a major, and choose between that unpaid internship and a trip to Europe for summer break.

Not much in life is predetermined, which can be incredibly freeing. You have the opportunity to decide who you will become. Knowing this will serve as an empowering reminder whenever you face a big decision in life.

College is a life-altering experience. In just four years, you’ll expand your horizons, discover new passions and interests, and learn a few things about life you may not have discovered otherwise.


Sage Singleton is a freelance writer with a passion for literature and words. She enjoys writing articles that will inspire, educate, and influence readers. She loves that words have the power to create change and make a positive impact in the world. Some of her work has been featured on sites like MSN, Huffington Post, Bustle, Paste and Babble. In her free time she loves traveling, reading, and learning French.

8 Tips for Commuting College Students


Sure, there are many benefits to commuting to college from home versus living on campus — cost savings, bigger living space, more freedom, to name a few. But commuters also face their own set of problems, ranging from transportation hassles to feelings of isolation.

Here are some tips that can help make commuting a lot easier.

Get an On-Campus Job: There several benefits to getting a job right on campus, or at least close to campus. For one thing, you will make money to pay for your transportation costs. You will also meet new people, and you might even get some freebies or discounts, such as meals if you work in the dining hall. What’s more, writes Valencia Higuera in Money Crashers, “gaining work experience while in college puts you ahead of the competition.”

Use Public Transportation: Depending on where you live, you can opt to take the bus or a ride-sharing service. The only problem with this is that, even with a student discount, the costs of public transportation can really add up. It can also add a lot of extra time to your day, depending on transit schedules.

Find a Carpool: If you own a car, consider organizing a carpool with other students who live nearby. With carpooling, not only do you save money and get to take a break from driving, you also get to socialize with other students on the way to and home from classes.

Find Parking: “One of the biggest hurdles for students who drive to campus is finding convenient and affordable parking,” says Joel Ohman, CEO of, a company that helps students and others compare auto insurance online. “Spend time researching the safest and least expensive places to park on campus. Also investigate nearby off-campus parking.”

Bring Your Own Snacks: It is not always feasible to drive home for lunch or dinner every day, and buying meals if you are not on a school meal plan can get quite expensive. It is a good idea to bring along your own healthy snacks. Keep your car well stocked with treats like nuts, granola bars, bottled water, etc., so you’re fueled and hydrated — essential for staying productive at school.

Use Common Spaces: Instead of going home to take a nap and relax between classes, use one of the common spaces such as a lounge or rec center. You can use school showers in the gym to freshen up, and you can have your lunch or dinner at one of the common areas. Staying on campus as much as possible also helps you feel closer to the campus community.

Bring a Change of Clothes: If you plan on going to work or out for an evening after classes, it is a lot easier to change on campus than to go all the way home first. So, make sure that you keep a change of clothes in your car, in a friend’s dorm room, or other accessible place. That way, you’ll be prepared to leave directly from campus and save yourself a time-wasting trip home.

Get Involved: This is your chance to really get the most out of your college experience. Take advantage of your time between classes by getting involved in campus activities. Treat campus as your “home away from home” instead of always heading back to your apartment or house to recharge. Consider joining a club, attending a meeting, trying out for a team, etc. When you’re commuting, it takes a little more effort to integrate into the campus community. But it pays off in the long run. For tips on getting more involved on campus, check out Stanford’s “get involved” guide.



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.

3 Things To Know About Federal Student Loans!


Student loans are a lifesaver for many struggling students. However, paying them off could be a long and frustrating process. Federal loans are usually the most popular choice since they have better terms and lower interest rates than other kinds.

Before applying for such a loan, however, it is recommended that one understand them well. Read on for some much-needed discussion on federal loans that all students should know of:

  1. Three Types Of Federal Loans

To start off, the American government doesn’t just offer one single kind if federal loan. It actually offers no less than three of them. These are known as Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, and PLUS Loans.

Stafford loans are the most common type and are open for any and all students to apply for. Perkins loans, on the other hand, are only for students who are dependent on a low income and are qualified somehow. PLUS loans are reserved for graduate students, those pursuing a professional degree, or for parents who have children in school.

Each of these programs has its own interest rates, borrowing terms, and eligibility criteria. However, they are all fixed-rate loans, which may benefit either party at certain times. However, a fixed rate is generally good news for a student, since changing interest rates could wreak havoc with one’s future plans.

Plus, there is always the guarantee of government protection when one can’t afford to study further. You may also be pleased to know that there are several ways of going for repayment one you’re done with school. In case you simply cannot make a payment here and there, there is also an option for postponing them.

If you’re still in school, you may want to go for a subsidized loan. This way, you could start paying off the loan by working part-time even before graduating. If you make even a few payments without interest, you’d be well on your way towards full repayment once you get your diploma. Of course, in order to qualify for one, you would have to prove that you have a low income, or are dependent on one.

  1. For Everyone

While there are certain restrictions on the kinds of loans provided, federal loans are mostly open to everyone who wishes to apply. Simply put, you are eligible for an unsubsidized Stafford loan if you are a resident of the United States.

Independent undergraduates can receive up to fifty-seven thousand dollars if they get such a loan. Those seeking a graduate or professional degree could get around $138,000. The signature and consent of the student are enough in such cases, and they wouldn’t need anyone to cosign or have their credit checked. This is why many students greatly prefer to apply for federal loans rather than privately approach banks.

  1. There Are Yearly Limits

Many students may not realize the existence of aggregate limits when it comes to their feral student loans. Stafford loans have a limit of $5,500 for a college freshman year, $6,500 for sophomores, and $7,500 for juniors and seniors. There may also be $4000 added to these amounts. This breakup is for the dependent undergraduates.

For independent students, the limits are higher but still there. Of course, one would have to do some research and find out just how much they are allowed per year. This may not be able to cover all the schooling needs of a student, but the idea is that parents or relatives would add the amount needed.


Paying off a loan is not so hard if you have done your research beforehand. Be sure to calculate just how much you would need and what kind of loan would be best for you. Putting in a bit of effort just might make an easier financial future for you.

Author Bio

Liana Daren is the author of this blog. Apart from being a blogger, she is also an educator and students approach him for getting university coursework help. In addition to being a veteran blogger, she is a also a student counselor who aims to help students in every aspect of their lives. She is particularly good at writing articles about career development, academic life, and student’s affairs.



Freshmen Syndrome: 10 Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes


Being a freshman is a new and exciting chapter in your life. New environment brings new opportunities. And those increase the number of choices you have to make. However, the wider range of what is available makes right decisions harder.

Choices are increasingly more often paired with consequences, out of which some are capable of destroying your future life and career, without properly starting it in the first place. Here is the advice that could help you avoid that.


  1. Pair studying with fun

Although, as a student, your main role is to grow intellectually and to develop as a professional and expert in your field of study. Your college years are limited, and you should not spend all of your time in the library. Remember to have fun. Positive emotions can actually boost your effectiveness and will make you enjoy your studies more.

  1. Sleep enough

Many freshmen students give up most of their sleeping hours to do other things. However, having enough sleep boosts mental performance. It is estimated that to be effective, an average university student should sleep 8 hours per night. So don’t forget that sometimes sleep can be more beneficial than pulling an all-nighter.


  1. Get to know people who think differently

As you start your academic life, you will undoubtedly meet people who come from different cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds. Resist the temptation to avoid those people. Try to learn about them and from them. This way you will expand your worldview and will see a more realistic picture of the world. Don’t think you only have to be with people who think the way you do.


  1. Try out new things

Do what you have never done. Through this, you might discover new hobbies or hidden talents. Or maybe you will find things that you don’t like and will never want to do again. Take opportunities to experiment and learn new things about yourself.


  1. Remember, that you don’t have to try everything

Although it is a good thing to try out new and different things, some are just not worth it. Be wise with your freedom and think if you want to help solve problems or become a victim of something like the opioid epidemic by exercising your freedom to use substances, which often become more available once in college.


  1. Build intentional relationships with people

Some of the people you will meet in university might become your business partners, your employees or employers; some will become your friends for the rest of your life. So don’t take people lightly and invest in relationships with them.


  1. Plan your time well

Procrastination is the greatest enemy of every student. So make a good use of tools like Google calendar to schedule your time, so you wouldn’t miss assignment deadlines and would reduce the stress of having to write all papers night.

  1. Try to get the most out of every opportunity

Be active, look for opportunities to use your skills and talents practically. Take part in competitions and projects to get your name out there and to gain experience. Also if your classes will seem boring, look for at least one thing that you could take from it to develop yourself.


  1. Stay physically active

Physical exercises have been proven to increase academic performance. Therefore, try to add some type of physical activity into your routine to boost your success as a university student and also to increase your emotional stability and life quality in a wider sense.


10.              Do not forget why you started

With all the exciting things happening around the campus it is easy to forget yourself and focus on anything, but studying. So keep in mind that you didn’t come to university just to party, but also to graduate with a specific education in mind.

David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.