Monthly Archives: February 2016

Tips to Finding the Best Degree Online

Nowadays, more and more people are losing their jobs and being out of income. Many people are looking at their options as far as getting back into school, but schooling can get very expensive and rather time consuming, especially for those who have kids and no one to watch them. For this reason, people are starting to look into affordable online colleges as well as the benefits that online courses can provide.

There are several advantages to online schools and courses and the first and main one if the fact that you can stay home and still get your degree. This saves on gas, and if you have a job, you have the convenience to do schoolwork when it is convenient for you.

As far as finding the school online that is best suited for you and your needs, this can be tricky as there are more and more scams out there nowadays. There are sites that can help you find schools that are legit and that will fit in your budget as well. More and more people are turning to the Internet for all of their needs, and now schooling had made its appearance.

Affordable online colleges exist and can be the next step you take to a better future. You can get a better job and obviously a pay that you will enable to support your family. You can also ask around to friends and family that are or did go to online school. This can be a great personal reference and they can even tell you what to expect as well as what you are going to be doing.

An additional feature that you should consider in affordable online colleges is getting into one that offers chats or online forums that way you can interact with other students and faculty when needed. Online schooling is beneficial in many ways and can help you get the degree of your choice when needed.

How to Find Safe and Affordable Off Campus Housing

If you’ve decided that you can’t handle living in the dorms for another semester and are ready to move off campus with some friends, the toughest part – besides figuring out who to live with – is probably figuring out where to live. You want to be close to campus, and you want a place that’s big enough for you and all your roommates. You also probably have other things in mind that you want out of off-campus housing, but you can’t afford the nicest place on the block. Before you jump into an off-campus house or apartment, spend some time looking, and use these easy steps to find the perfect place for you.

1. Get together with your roommates and figure out what you want in a house or apartment. How many bedrooms do you need? Is it important that you have a big living space or a big kitchen? Do you want to get a dog or a cat? Do you need a laundry room in your apartment or house? How far away from campus would you be willing to be? How many cars do you need to be able to park conveniently? Once you’ve answered all these questions, it’s time to start searching.

2. Look around in ads, classifieds, campus websites and newspapers, and for-rent flyers to see what’s available in your area. Find at least three or four apartment complexes or houses to look at, and then start touring. Before you go on a tour, grab a camera and a notepad. Take pictures of each apartment or house’s good and bad points, and jot down a few notes. You don’t need to document every detail, but you do need to be able to remember which apartment had the amazing kitchen or which house had the largest bedrooms.

3. When you’re looking at apartments and houses, be sure to ask about things like rent, average cost of utilities, and rules for tenants. Now would be a good time to ask if you can have a pet if you want to, if you can paint the walls, or if you can hang things up with nails.

4. Deliberate. Get together and look through your notes and pictures before you decide. If you have to, rank which things are most important to each roommate, whether that’s low rent, being able to have a pet, or everyone having his or her own bedroom. No place that you find is going to be perfect, so you’ll have to eliminate some of the things off your original list. When you find the house or apartment upon which everyone feels they can compromise, lease it. Don’t waste too much time at this stage, though, especially if you’re talking about a house, which may be off the market within just a couple of days.

5. Sign the paperwork. One problem with this is that the lease will probably be primarily in one person’s name. If none of your roommates has good credit, you may have to have one of your parents sign the lease for you, which means they’re taking on the risk of you missing your rent payments. Also, you might have to prove that you’ll be able to pay the rent by offering employer references.

6. Before you move in, find out about things like utilities and cable. You may luck out and find a place where the water and electric bill are rolled in with your rent, which is convenient, but otherwise, you’ll have to call and switch those things into your names so that you can start paying them.

Tips for the Adult College Bound

One of the first questions a potential college student, whether just out of high school or the seasoned adult, wonders is how to pay for college. This isn’t always an easy question despite the answers that exist. For those just out of high school, the answer is typically to ask the parents what their plans are. For the adult, one of the first questions is how can you budget enough money and time to go to college, work and manage to pay for it all.

As someone who started college as an adult, I know it isn’t easy, but there are some solutions. Believe it or not, many of the solutions are similar to those students who are just out of high school. The key for the adult is more planning.

When I went back to college, it was really a spur of the moment decision and I didn’t have many plans on how to pay for college. Actually, I had none. Now, several 10s of thousands of dollars in debt, I realize that much of this debt could have been avoided had I simply planned a little better.

As an adult, once you plan on going to college, you need to take some time to plan how to pay for college. My recommendation is to take at least a year in planning. If you could save 20 thousand dollars by waiting a year, it really is worth it. In that year, you need to do some research into methods of student financial aid. These means looking into scholarships, grants and the various loans that are out there for adults.

Grants

Federal education grants, known as Pell grants, are available for those that have need. Now while this is to some extent income dependent, qualifying also depends on the number of dependents as well. One of the first things to do is to file a Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA). In doing so, you will automatically be considered for a Pell grant. Whether you qualify and how much you qualify for will depend on a variety of factors. Income and the number of dependents you have being two of them. Don’t consider not applying because even a little grant money can save you money in the long run. Filing the FAFSA is also the first step in applying for student loans. You absolutely want to file a FAFSA regardless of your financial situation.

Scholarships

College Scholarships are not simply for those just out of high school. In some cases you might actually qualify for some scholarships that those students just out of high school don’t qualify for. The reason for this is that adults generally have more life experience, have joined a variety of social groups or have participated in more community service. Social groups and community service go a long way in qualifying for scholarships because many scholarships base qualification on whether or not you are a member of a social group or the type of community service. Some scholarships are also based on ethnicity, gender and other individual factors. My suggestion is to think about who you are in both the basic terms, such as gender and ethnicity, and then to expand this to interests and involvement. By doing this you increase the number of potential scholarships you might be eligible for. Also, don’t pay for a scholarship search. There are many scholarship searches that are absolutely free and can yield a great deal of scholarship money.

Student Loans

After looking into grants and scholarships, student loans are your best bet. But, I would caution you to apply for every possible scholarship you might be eligible before you take out student loans. However, if scholarship possibilities are limited, then definitely don’t let the fact that you may have to take out student loans disturb you. For one, subsidized student loans do not accrue interest until you are out of school. Second, the interest, even for unsubsidized loans can be reasonable and your student loans do not have to be repaid until after you graduate. Believe me, the difference in your income because you have a degree vs. not having a degree will more than make up the cost of you student loan. However, all other options should be exhausted first.

As an adult, going back to school is much more daunting than if you go right after high school for a variety of reasons. First, most students just graduating high school have their parents to rely on in one form or another. Second, there is a level of confidence that goes with starting college just after high school that you don’t necessarily have. This may lead you to take more chances with scholarship applications. However, none of this should hinder you from taking the same steps in finding money to pay for college. The fact is that because of your life experience, you may actually be eligible for scholarships that you may not have thought about in high school and if all else fails, there is the possibility of grants and student loans. In the long run, the benefits of getting your education will far exceed the costs of not having an education.

Tips For Getting an Affordable College Education

There is no question that going to college can be an important step towards success in the future. It is affording college that causes trouble for some people. With tuition costs rising, many people are wondering how they can get a college education without taking on thousands of dollars in loans at the same time. Additionally, some find that their need-based financial aid just isn’t enough to make college affordable. If you are one of the many in search of ways to making going to college cheaper, here are some ideas for you:

Begin your higher education at a community college. This can provide major savings when compared to the cost of a four-year institution. In fact, some community colleges offer tuition that is just a tiny fraction of that charged by four-year colleges and universities. The savings offered by these schools makes it worth it to go for two years and then transfer to a four-year institution to complete your education. Keep in mind, however, that it is important to check diligently to be sure your chosen college will accept your transfer credits when the time comes. There are some community colleges that have arrangements with four-year colleges and universities to ensure that transfer students will be able to use all of their credits towards their degrees. This can provide great peace of mind.

Enroll in a state university to keep the costs of going to college low. This is a good choice whether you decide to spend your first two years at a community college or opt to enroll in a four-year institution right from the start. State universities typically offer state residents very low tuition. In fact, there are even some that offer tuition so low that it is on par with some community colleges. These schools are typically much cheaper than private schools as well as schools that are state-related but not state funded.

Consider applying for a free-tuition college. Unbeknownst to some people, there are colleges that don’t charge a cent of tuition–ever. These schools admit all of their students free of charge, often relying on healthy endowments to foot the bill. Each of these schools has different criteria for admitting students, but if you are accepted, you can earn an accredited degree at a college that is well respected. Often, the education received at these free-tuition colleges is valued at more than $20,000 per year. Depending on the particular college, you may be responsible for room and board costs, but the costs of going to college at one of these schools is hard to beat.