The College Puzzle Blog Is Closed On November 8, 2019

I am closing the college puzzle blog after many years of operation. My interests are changing to new areas of education. I want to thank all the contributors, some of whom have helped for several years. You have been fantastic, and responsive to the needs and evolution of the blog. The  very broad range of topics addressed by the blog was one of its distinctive and most interesting components.

The blog and its archives will remain on the internet, but the links will be disabled.


Rural Students Gain but Lag in College Attendance

A new article in the American Journal of Education examines the disparities.


Elin Johnson for Indide Higher Ed



Students in rural areas have lower average rates of college enrollment and degree completion compared to nonrural students, according to findings in a new study by researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Education, show that while the divide has narrowed since the 1990s and 2000s, it remains significant.

The researchers examined how disparities changed from the 1990s to the 2000s and also how predictors of enrollment and completion for the two demographics, rural and nonrural, changed over the same period of time.

High school graduation rates from 1992 and 2004 were compared. More graduates have gone on to pursue college degrees in the 2000s.

In 1991, 45 percent of high school graduates across the country went on to pursue two- or four-year degrees, compared to 48 percent in 2000. Between academic years 2002-03 and 2012-13, there was an overall increase in students obtaining postsecondary credentials, which corresponds to the increase in the number of high school graduates going to college.

Research showed that students in rural areas did not follow these trends, and that the number of rural students going to and completing college has not increased by the same amount as their nonrural counterparts. As it stands, more than 18 percent of high school students looking at colleges are from rural areas.

In the study the researchers noted that there are different opportunities when it comes to rural and nonrural students’ college trajectories, such as rural students having stronger connections to their home communities.

The research also pointed out that in the late ’90s to early 2000s rural areas were facing complicated and contradictory economic and demographic factors, such as the recession. Researchers said that not all rural youth have leaving for college on their minds or in their plans, and that rural job markets have shifted over time to become more service-oriented.

On the other hand, growth in rural areas has meant that more jobs in those areas require bachelor’s degrees, requiring rural students to go to college.

The researchers advocated for further investigation into the subject, especially on the college-going behaviors of rural students.

The University of Massachusetts researchers who conducted and compiled the study are Ryan Wells, Catherine Manly, Suzan Kommers and Ezekiel Kimball.


Elin Johnson

5 Tips for Eating Healthy as a College Student

By Kristian Krisyk


When you start your college education, you are about to see a lot of changes in your life. There will be plenty of things to juggle between – lessons, tests, projects, extracurricular activities and studying can affect the way you live. In order to go through everything successfully, you must have a balanced diet. Eating healthy is one of the most important things to do for any college student, but many of them are still neglecting this. You must do your best to consume nutritious products every day.

Eating healthy is essential for your growth as a student as well as for your development as a person. By eating healthy you will keep your health in optimal condition, you will prevent illnesses from appearing, and you will keep your mind in sharp condition. When it comes to eating healthy, that means you should consume lots of wholegrains, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. You can also further improve your health if you consume Purtier Placenta, which is a supplement designed to keep your health in best condition.

Many students make big mistake not eating balanced meals. They usually opt in for fast food, junk food and processed food that can have detrimental effects on their health. If you want to avoid health problems in the future, then it is advisable you follow the next tips for eating healthy.

  1. Drink lots of water.

This is very important for your proper functioning. Keep yourself hydrated at all times and always choose fresh water instead of soda drinks. If you dehydrate your body then you will not be able to focus, your alertness levels will drop and your body will not be able to eliminate dangerous toxins. Therefore, drink plenty of water every day.

  1. Choose healthy meals in the college dining room.

Eating junk food might be tempting, but it would be much wiser if you pick healthier options from the menu on offer in the dining hall of your college. Pick foods with plenty of veggies and fruits, get some quality meat and grains too.

  1. Never shop for food when you feel hungry.

Buying groceries when hungry can lead to buying unhealthy foods. When you are hungry, your brain craves for food that looks appealing. In such situation chances are high that you will buy some snacks like chips, candy bars and other unhealthy options. Therefore, never go grocery shopping when feeling hungry.

  1. Have some healthy snacks with you at all times.

Nutritious bars, fruits and energy foods should be kept close in the place where you study. Granola bars and nuts are great food for your brain, so have plenty of those stored in your room.

  1. Avoid late-night eating.

When you are tired or exhausted from studying, you might crave comfort foods to feel satisfied. Many students eat pizzas at night, which may taste good, but it can affect your long-term health. Instead of pizza, choose healthier alternatives or avoid eating altogether late at night.

BY LINE–Kristian Krisyk had been working in the field of web design for 7 years before becoming an entrepreneur in 2014 in design and marketing. His professional interests and hobbies defined major topics of his articles. These days Kristian runs his business and looks for new development opportunities. Follow him @KristianKrisyk or contact at


The Best Alternative Sources of Financing for Students


Time in college is one of the most financially lopsided periods in one’s life. On the one hand, tuition and living expenses these days are higher than ever. On the other hand, most students do not have the ready money to pay them off. It means that in order to have the education you want, you are most likely going to need a substantial infusion of cash.

Usually, when people think about ways of financing one’s college education, they default to student loans. However, they are not always available or useful: you may not be eligible for a variety of reasons or may have already taken a loan and run out of money. What to do in such a situation? Let’s take a look at a few alternatives.

1.    Grants

Grants are desirable because they provide what is essentially free money – you do not have to repay them after you receive your education. Many think that grants only exist for special cases, and it is impossible for them to get them – well, they are wrong. There are dozens upon dozens of grants waiting for applicants, and everybody is eligible for at least a few of them. Study the directory and make it your business to apply for as many of them as possible – at the very least, this gives you some chance of success, and you do not lose anything by trying.

2.    Commercial loans

This variant is one of the first to suggest itself, but, just like student loans, it is not always available. Banks are ready to offer you a loan, but they would only agree to do it if you have a stable source of income and a good credit history – something most students cannot boast of. However, there are plenty of other organizations, like Quick Loans Direct, that vie for students’ attention. Many of them have much more liberal rules as to whom they are ready to give loans to, so be sure to check them out.

3.    Private scholarships

All kinds of businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community groups offer thousands of private scholarships, and you are free to try them out. Either look for them on your own using resources like Scholly or contact a guidance counselor for suggestions about which scholarships may be the best fit for you.

4.    Tax Credit

American Opportunity Tax Credit allows you to decrease the sum total of your taxes after you pay for tuition, textbooks, living accommodation and so on. The amount is up to $2,500 per year – it may not sound like much when compared to the total cost of tuition, but every little bit helps.

5.    Ask your college for more money

Many students do not realize that the amount of financial aid they get from college is subject to negotiation and change. Taking them at face value can easily close you the way to the college of your dreams – but it does not have to be this way. Write a formal letter of appeal to your college and follow it with a phone call detailing your situation. If you can provide persuasive proof that you are a good fit for the college in question, there is a perfect chance that they will reconsider the amount of aid you get, and you will be able to afford the education you deserve.

Financing one’s way through college is never easy, and with tuition costs these days, it can turn into one of the most significant challenges of one’s life. However, there are many opportunities for those who are ready to look for them actively – so make sure you do so!

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. 

Benefits of Volunteering for College Students: Including Your Career


You want to know if volunteering is worth a shot. You want to know if volunteer work can make employers throw job offers at your feet like rose petals once you graduate from college.

Basically—you need proof you won’t be counting Angola colobus monkeys in Kenya for nothing.

Good news?

You’re a quick scroll-down away from learning what volunteer work can do for your future career.

Benefits of Voluntary Work for College Students

Volunteering Makes Finding Your First Job a Breeze

Picture this: you’ve just graduated from college. A nice grad cap sits lonely on your desk.

Now—the pressure is to land your first entry-level job. Otherwise, you’ll have to take the nuclear option and move back in with your parents.

Problem? It’s Catch-22—to find a job (you know, the one where the boss doesn’t make you want to eat bubble wrap), you need experience.

That’s when volunteer work comes in.

One of the greatest things about volunteering is it helps pad out an entry-level resume and let hiring managers and recruiters know you’re a solid candidate. In fact, as many as 76 percent of career advisers argue that it can significantly improve your chances of getting a job if you have volunteer work on your resume.

So—if you set your best foot forward to get volunteer experience, it can propel your early employability chances.

Volunteering Makes You Insanely Well Connected

Chances are, the word networking already gives you the willies. Admittedly, it’s a term that’s been abused and overused in recent years.

But—according to a LinkedIn study, a staggering 85 percent of job seekers find a job via networking.

Why? When a company staffer refers a connection, the hiring process gets less expensive and a lot faster, which is good for business. That’s because there’s a person that can vouch for a potential new hire.

Good news?

Volunteering is a powerful networking tool that lets you meet new people: other volunteers, full-time employees, and even board members.

What’s more, unlike networking at conferences and events, volunteering jobs enable you to work with these people side by side in real-life situations. As a result, you’re more than just a person they met and immediately forgot.

Instead, you become their first-line connection that will, in the future, have backdoor access to robust entry-level jobs.

So—if you do volunteer work, you will not only do good for the community, but you’ll also get a chance to meet someone who might hold a ticket to your future job.

Volunteering Lets Dip Your Toes into a New Career

You know it’s everything but easy to know what career is right for you once you leave school.

And—even if you do take a leap of faith and pursue a certain career, it might dent your resume if you end up not liking it and decide to quit a few months in.

Good news? Volunteering can help explore first-hand an unknown career path and see if that’s something you’ll want to do for a living.

Here’s an example:

Say you’re studying journalism. The problem? Getting a job in traditional media is close to impossible without prior experience.

That’s when volunteering can help and send up a rescue flare. Just Google journalism volunteer jobs and get legit on-the-job experience (stick around to learn more about finding volunteer jobs.)

And once you get a ton of journalism skills, it’ll be a lot easier to find a full-time position upon graduation.

How to Get Your Foot in the Door of Volunteering

At this point, you know that doing volunteer work can help jumpstart your career as well as help the community.

But—being a college student, you probably think you don’t have time to take on the added responsibility. You’re already snowed under with homework and various papers you need to deliver on time.

Good news? Volunteer work isn’t about how much time you devote—it’s about quality.

So even if you have a packed schedule, you can still help others and supercharge your career.

Find Volunteer Work in Your Area with Google Local

To find your first nonprofit gig, all you need to do is run a simple Google search.

For example, you can type:

  • Volunteer jobs near me
  • Nonprofit organizations in my area
  • Nonprofits near me
  • NGOs nearby.

Once you’ve typed either of the above combinations into Google, you’ll see a map with a list of nonprofit organizations in your area. All it takes next is to reach out to them and offer a helping hand!

So—What Do You Think?

There you have it. A whopping three reasons why you should do volunteer work as a college student and how it can springboard your career.

Now—what’s your experience with volunteering? Did it help you find your first entry-level job after graduation?

Let me know in the comments. I’d love to have a chat!


Max Woolf is a writer at ResumeLab. He’s passionate about helping people land their dream jobs through the expert career industry coverage. In his spare time, Max enjoys biking and traveling to European countries. You can hit him up on LinkedIn.


Modern Web Designing for Student Bloggers


Web design is a valuable and in-demand skill. Many people want to know more about how websites work so they can make their own or use their skills to advance their careers. The good news is that the major languages, HTML, CSS and JavaScript, are easy to learn. The best thing you can do is get your feet wet and start learning right away. Here is a little information on what these languages do.


HTML is the most foundational language in web design. Its full name is Hypertext Markup Language. A markup language is a type of programming language that combines human-readable content with tags that let the computer know how to display the content. HTML is executed by the browser, meaning your visitors can see your HTML. In days gone by, different browsers would render HTML slightly differently, but it is pretty standardized at this point.

Your HTML is how you will include content on specific pages. Understanding this language is essential for designing websites. Despite this, most web designers don’t directly create pages with HTML anymore. Instead, they use content management systems and frameworks to do a lot of the legwork for them. Nonetheless, if you want to create good websites, you should learn this language.


CSS is a styling language used to extend the capabilities of HTML. It is almost always used in conjunction with HTML today. If a website were a house, HTML would be the structure and CSS would be the decorations.

Your stylesheets can be separate from your HTML pages. This means that you can have a few pages that share styling easily. Returning to the house metaphor, you may have a few rooms in a house that share a similar design style. The CSS lets you easily continue the same design language between each room.

Many frameworks will give you a lot of tools for handling CSS. Some, such as Bulma CSS, use this language exclusively. It can be a powerful way to format and design how your web content looks.


JavaScript is more like non-web programming languages than HTML and CSS. It isn’t intended to be human-readable and it relies heavily on computer syntax. JavaScript is used primarily to control the behavior of elements of your website.

For example, if you wanted to create an image at the top of your page that changed to a new picture every few seconds, you would likely achieve that with JavaScript. Unlike server-side languages such as PHP, JavaScript is executed by the browser. This lets you interact with and get data from the browser window. For this reason, it is often used in responsive design. However, some modern frameworks circumvent needing JavaScript and create responsive code using CSS only.

Many web designers use various JavaScript frameworks to give them more complex functionality. Additionally, if you develop your expertise in this language, you can create almost any website functionality imaginable. It is very powerful. Nonetheless, it isn’t necessary for creating basic pages.

Building Your Website

It’s time to get started making your own website. Once you’ve learned the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, you can develop almost any website you can image. These languages are very powerful.

Learning to make a basic web page with HTML and CSS is a good starting point. This will get your comfortable with the essential elements of web design. After that, create some more advanced functionality such as a JavaScript-based popup call to action. Once you have these basics down, try using a framework and content management system to build a more complex website.

You may be surprised how easy it is to learn the basics of these languages. They are very learner-friendly. Nonetheless, genuine experts in web design can create masterful web magic by using HTML, CSS and JavaScript to their fullest extent. Get started learning today and see what you can achieve. You’ll be creating websites before you know it.

Byline: Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She has a passion for advanced learning, reading, and health and fitness. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on education, learning, health, fitness and yoga. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones around or can be found at the local climbing gym or doing yoga.


How to Keep from Being Overwhelmed Your First Semester of College


College might be something you’ve looked forward to for years. For many people, it means new adventures, new responsibilities, and a chance to grow and experience things you never have before. While college is all of that and more, it’s easy to feel differently about it when you actually get there. 

Is the collegiate experience exciting? Absolutely. Can it be overwhelming at first? Unfortunately, yes. Far too often, graduates go into their first semester of college with certain expectations. When reality starts to hit, those overwhelming feelings can take over. Many students can’t handle the schedule, the pressures, and the responsibilities of college when they go into it unprepared. 

As a result, about 30% of college freshmen end up dropping out after their first year. So, what can you do to prepare yourself for your first semester (and beyond), so you can actually enjoy the college experience? Let’s look at a few helpful tips. 

Prepare Ahead of Time

One of the best things you can do to keep from being overwhelmed at college is to prepare as much as possible ahead of time. It’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the excitement, but by taking a few extra steps to get ready, the transition will likely be much smoother. 

So, what can you do before you even get to campus? 

First, do a little research on your campus. Schedule a visit, if possible. The more comfortable you are with the terrain, the less you’ll be overwhelmed when you have to head from class to class. Make sure to check out the dorms as well if you plan to live on campus so you can put together a realistic packing list.

You can also download some helpful apps ahead of time that will keep you on track throughout the semester. Apps like Mint will help you to create and stick to a budget while you’re in school. Other creative apps like Push for Pizza will help you to fuel those late-night study sessions with a single button. Apps can help you to streamline many things and they provide a lot of resources at your fingertips. 

Additionally, take some time before you get to school to find out more about your individual learning style. Everyone learns differently. While colleges seem to be more aware of that than ever, you still need to understand it for yourself, too. Some people are auditory learners, while others are visual or tactile. Understanding more about your style will help to prepare you with what you need for your classes. For example, maybe you’re an auditory learner, so you’ll benefit from recording your professor’s lectures and listening to them later. If you’re a visual learner, you might be able to take pictures of slides or notes. 

Taking Care of Your Body

When you’re in the midst of a new experience like college, it’s not difficult to ignore your physical health. College often comes with many stereotypes about gaining weight, putting on the “Freshman 15,” and living an unhealthy lifestyle. 

Taking care of your body is important for your energy levels, your concentration, memory, and relationships. Most college campuses have fitness centers or gyms that you can go to at no cost. Or, you could join an intramural sports team with some friends. 

On top of staying active, your diet needs to stay as healthy as possible, too. College is often synonymous with drinking, but drinking too much can debilitate you, impact your physical and mental health, and may even make things worse if you suffer from a chronic disease, like diabetes. Alcohol can cause dizziness, nausea, poor coordination, and drowsiness. 

It can also be tempting to choose convenience foods that are packed with preservatives, sugar, and fat. If you have a microwave in your dorm room, cooking a frozen meal might seem like your best option, but they’re usually laden with sodium. Most fast foods are filled with preservatives and fat. 

Don’t be afraid to use the resources given to you on campus. Talk to a health or nutritional expert. They may be able to work out a specific diet plan based on your needs, so you can stay healthy throughout the semester. If you’re living on campus, get on the student meal plan and take full advantage of it. 

Taking Care of Your Mind

It’s not just your body that can be overworked and treated poorly during college. Your mental health can take a beating, too. College is filled with new experiences you may have never thought of before. While many of them can be fun and exciting, others can cause a lot of stress. 

At the beginning of the semester, taking time to get to know your surroundings, meeting new people, and learning how your classes work can cause brain fog. Not getting enough activity can also cause you to feel mentally fatigued or even depressed. Exercise can help to release endorphins and dopamine in your brain to fight those feelings of sadness. 

By the time you think you have everything figured out, the end of the semester rolls around. You might start to feel overwhelmed about all of the packing you have to do to move back home, so be sure to start early, packing little by little each day. 

Don’t let yourself get too worked up over final exams, either. Reviewing your notes, studying with others, and taking care of yourself will make your mind clearer and will allow you to stay focused and remember more of the material. 

One of the best ways to take care of your mental health is to get enough sleep. Again, college is notorious for “all-nighters” and staying up late all the time. But by making sleep a priority and setting a schedule for yourself, you can wake up each day and enjoy improved memory and a greater ability to stay focused. 

If you’re struggling with your mental health, your school likely has a resource you can turn to for help. Many college campuses have counselors or therapists on hand that are experts in dealing with things like depression and/or anxiety. When you’re far from home, college can seem like a lonely place. It’s important to know that you’re not alone, especially when things seem hopeless and scary. A counselor can help to guide you through those feelings. 

College will be an unbelievable experience, and it can easily be the best, most memorable time of your life. With a little bit of planning and self-care, you can keep from feeling overwhelmed throughout your first semester, and through the rest of your college career. 

Bio: Jori Hamilton is a writer from the Northwest who is passionate about education and social justice issues. You can follow her on Twitter @HamiltonJori

4 Mistakes You Might Be Making When Studying

By: Susan Parker

College is undoubtedly an exciting time of your life as this is the first time you get to step out of your home and live a life like an adult. Of course, such an adult life comes with its own share of responsibilities as well. You’ll have to manage your finances, live by yourself, and above everything keep your goal in sight, which is to study hard and get good grades.

This is not easy at all because you’ll have tons of things to do within a short time. You’ll have to cook, clean your home, take care of your laundry, complete assignments, attend classes, and between all this study too.

To help you wade through this phase of your life and to help you get the grades needed to cement a good career for yourself, here are a few mistakes that you should watch out for while studying. In fact, when you notice and address these mistakes, you’ll be able to study a lot better and smarter.

Studying for a Long Time

Most people tend to think that when you study for a long period, you tend to learn and remember more. It is even common for many people to burn the midnight oil and study when others are sleeping as they believe that studying at night makes them super productive. But research clearly shows that this is not true.

You should not study for long stretches because your brain loses its ability to learn and grasp what you read. In other words, you should take small breaks between your studying sessions so your brain gets refreshed. This is similar to how professional athletes train. Have you ever seen an athlete train 24/7 without a break? Never. Though they work hard, they also have rest days during which time they allow their bodies to relax and recuperate. The same is applicable for studying.

If you’re wondering why this is necessary, let’s take a brief look at the physiological side. When you use the same neurons over and over again, they tend to become weak just like how muscles get worn out with continuous use. Small breaks help your neurons to recuperate, so they become stronger and can help to retain what you study for a longer time. For this reason, never make the mistake of studying too hard continuously. Rather, take small breaks between study sessions and do other things, so your brain and the associated neurons get refreshed and become stronger.

One thing to keep in mind is what constitutes rest. It doesn’t have to be mindless TV binging, instead, it can be a quick cardio exercise, timed power nap, or even a walk around the block to get some fresh air.

Memorizing Over Understanding

Let’s face it! Many concepts tend to feel overwhelming and we tend to either skip the topic altogether or try to memorize it instead of understanding it. Both these choices are bad simply because they are sure to lower scores for you. In fact, the former option is better than the latter option simply because you get to save some extra time and energy, as both these choices will lead to the same results for you.


When you memorize, you’re just not sure about what you’ve studied. In other words, when you memorize a lesson or a few answers, you can forget it because you have not understood what exactly that answer means. Memorizing without understanding leads you to nowhere, so make sure you take some extra time or take additional help to understand these difficult concepts so you can remember them during your exams.

Fear of Seeking Help

One of the reasons why we cram down lessons or we’re unable to retain what we study is that we really don’t understand what is being said. It’s important to understand that no one is super-human and everyone needs help at some point in time with their studies.

Many students tend to avoid taking this help simply because of the fear of reaching out. What will others think of me? Will they think I’m a dull head and can’t even understand such simple topics? Who can help me? Such questions can greatly impede your ability to study and do well in exams.

As a first step, get over this fear and understand that all of us have our own weaknesses. Some of us are good at math while others are great at science. No one is exceptional in everything and so, taking help from others is fairly common. No one is going to judge you when you take help and even if they do, you should simply learn to ignore them because at the end of the day, your grades are what matters and they will also speak for themselves about your ability to learn and perform.

The next question is, where can you seek help? One option is to reach out to your trusted friends and professors who may help you, but this option is highly limited because they will be busy studying or teaching. Another option is to look for reliable sites like MoneyTaskForce that explains difficult concepts in a simple language so you can understand them easily.

Relying on Your Notes

Another common mistake is relying on your notes completely. Though you have spent many hours writing down the important points, relying only on these notes is not good. You can use it to quickly scan the important points just before your exams, but also make sure to read through the entire book to ensure that you cover all the subjects in-depth and are ready to take on your exams. Also, when you read only your notes, all that you’re doing is cycling through the same information over and over again and not covering all the necessary information needed to answer all the questions in your exam.

Thus, these are the four common mistakes you should avoid while studying to ensure that you study smart and get the best grades in your exam.

Susan Parker is a writer and tech geek. She volunteers for local environmental conservation programs and writes stories online about things that inspire her.

How Building a Website Can Help With Your Post-Graduate Job Search


According to job search expert Susan Joyce, 80% of potential employers will do a Google search for your name before they hire you for a job. Want to know what they’ll find? Do a quick search of your own, and see what comes up. If it’s your Facebook page, your Twitter account, or Instagram pictures that show a less-than-professional side of you, you may not want that to be the first impression an employer gets. 


Think about how much better it would be if the first thing a potential employer sees is exactly what you want them to see: a professional-looking website that shows who you are, lists off your skills and education, and explains to any employer why you’d make a great candidate for your applied position. 

Thankfully, building a website isn’t as difficult as it used to be. Even if you don’t have web design or coding experience, there are enough resources available today that will allow you to create a beautiful site that will help you stand out with potential employers. 

Why is a Website Important? 

Most college students know a thing or two about online presence. But as stated above, much of that presence is probably spent on things like Instagram and Snapchat. When you start looking for jobs after graduation, you’ll quickly see how important your online presence is when it comes to being seen. 

Think of it this way: On average, over 100 people apply for any given job. As you might expect, an employer isn’t going to want to intensively go through 100 resumes and applications to find the ideal candidate. So, they try to weed out as many people as possible early on. Having a website about yourself, especially one that you started in college, can help to boost you up on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP), so the employer will see your site before they see your social media or anything else you may not want them to notice right away and anyone else’s for that matter. 

Your website gives you the opportunity to showcase your work experience and your education in one spot. The site should include things like: 


  • Your picture
  • Your resume
  • A page showcasing your accomplishments
  • A contact form

You can even include links to your social pages so potential employers can get to know the “real” you, but make sure you’re okay with them seeing the things usually meant for friends and family. 

Not only will a website help you to stand out from other applicants, but it makes it easier for an employer to see all of the information they need about you in one convenient place. 


How to Create Your Own Site

Again, you don’t need to have a lot of design experience to create a professional-looking website. Thanks to platforms like Wix and Squarespace, you can “drag and drop” the things you’d like on your site onto pre-made templates. While you’ll have to pay for the site and a domain name, it’s typically an inexpensive annual fee that can be well worth it if your website leads to job success. 

How you set up your website and what you choose to include is totally up to you, but it’s a good idea to have things that will help you to stand out. A good website should have consistency, clear images, and should be easy to navigate. Another important component is to make sure it’s mobile-friendly. Over 52% of the population use their phones to access the internet. So, assume that your site is going to be viewed on a smartphone at some point, and make sure it’s optimized to do so. 

Any good marketing professional will tell you that content is king. That’s no different when you’re trying to sell what you have to offer to potential employers. So, the content on your website should be a highlight reel of why you should be hired. You should also update that content frequently for your site to remain relevant with search engines. Starting up a blog on your website is a great way to consistently add fresh content and share more about yourself. 

If you’re still a little uncertain about how to build your own website, it’s okay to ask for help from a professional. Chances are that when you’re putting together your resume or portfolio, you’re willing to invest a lot of time (and maybe even some money) into making sure it looks good. Your website should be no different. In fact, it should even be a priority, because it’s a one-stop location for your resume, portfolio, and so much more. Hiring someone to do the leg work for you is often a worthwhile investment, especially if it helps you to land the job of your dreams. 

So, if you’re currently in college or recently graduated and thinking about the kind of career you want, consider creating a website for yourself. It will make your job search easier, and will give potential employers a chance to see what you really have to offer, instead of that unflattering Facebook picture from 2010. 

Bio: Jori Hamilton is a writer from the Northwest who is passionate about education and social justice issues. You can follow her on Twitter @HamiltonJori



Reasons the Cost of Education Is High in US and UK Compared to Other Nations



The US and UK are home to some of the most well-known universities in the world. Both these regions also boast dominant positions in terms of international rankings for universities providing higher education. So why is higher education so much more in the UK and the US compared to the rest of the world?

As per the report published by Times Higher Education, the top 10 world universities are either from the US or UK. Both these countries not only share a rich tradition of excellent higher education but also offer quality research facilities and thrive on the values which promote academic freedom and intellectualism.

However, while both the countries undoubtedly provide a world-class learning environment, these amenities come at a higher cost. But what makes higher education so expensive in these countries? In this article, we will explore the different factors which makes the cost of education so high in the US and UK as compared to other countries in the world.

  • Tuition Fees

The tuition fees for most of the universities across the world have steadily risen in the past few decades. In addition to the tuition fees, there are several other factors that have made college fees monumental. According to The Independent, the average annual cost of the university in the UK £9,188, whereas that of the universities in the US in £7,518.

The tuition fees in the US and the UK can also vary dramatically based on the institution and the courses offered. The UK universities adhere to the maximum tuition fee limit set by the government for the domestic and international students.

However, in the US, the tuition prices are tiered and there is no tuition cap. The universities in the US are divided based on public, out-of-state and private institutions, where the fee at public universities is the least as compared to the latter two. Also, studying at a private institution can become quite expensive if there is no aid through scholarship.

Despite the high sticker prices at the US and UK universities, most of the students can escape from paying these high prices altogether. Depending on the student’s ability to pay the price, a majority of the institutions offer financial aids and loans to international applicants which help reduce the stress of paying fees till some extent.

  • Rankings and Accreditations

The top rankings and accreditations of the universities in the US and UK are often considered as the key factors for imposing exorbitant costs to the higher education. In order to maintain their top positions, these colleges usually charge additional fees to enhance their stature. Additionally, to be able to compete with each other, most of these top universities find it necessary to spend money on services and high-tech facilities.

Amongst the diverse range of colleges in the US, most of the top-notch private colleges provide students access to the latest educational resources, equipment and technology. Similarly, the UK holds a historic reputation for providing excellent academic opportunities. These high-ranking historic universities in the UK offer modern teaching based on traditional values which attracts a significant number of students from all over the world.

  • Staff salaries

The higher fees of the universities in the UK and US is not only a result of modern amenities but also comprises the administration costs incurred by the universities. These administration costs include salaries of teachers, professors, teaching assistants, higher management and the staff required for the day-to-day operations.

As highly qualified and experienced teaching staff is the backbone of most of the top universities in both these countries, colleges seek to recruit the best candidates and are willing to pay competitive salaries to retain their staff.

Apart from teachers, universities also have to recruit some specialist staff such as associate deans and principals from other regions which demand greater salaries. Universities obtain these salaries through college fees and parents as well as students willingly paying these high fees to get a good quality education.

  • Amenities

In addition to highly qualified faculty and support staff, the universities in the US and UK also boast huge libraries which consist of numerous books and journals on various subjects, research topics and specialisations. College libraries have to pay thousands of dollars for the annual subscriptions of a majority of academic journals and to add latest editions of books every year.

Similarly, these universities also offer other amenities which include healthy cafeterias, dormitories, gymnasiums, playgrounds and sports stadiums. All these facilities come at a cost and are obtained in the form of recreational fees from the students, thus increasing their overall university fees.

Therefore, the high cost of the UK and US universities is contributed by many factors, the biggest being the high quality of education they provide through their staff, equipment and facilities. Ultimately, this shows that attending one of these universities will prove to be an excellent investment for your future and current education.

Author Bio

Steve chubb is the owner behind the website Best Essay Writing Company. He is a retired Financial adviser who now helps students find the right support and tutoring services for them. He is passionate about education and learning.