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Archive | October, 2013

5 Tips For Finding That Paid College Internship

5 Tips For Finding That Paid College Internship

CollegeStudentsA good internship can do wonders for you while you are in engineering school. While education is important, practical experience can be even better. If you want a paid internship, try these tips below.

Start with Your Department

Your faculty members are more than just a great source of education – they are also great people to talk to about getting an internship. Your faculty members are not only the people who are most likely to know about established internship programs through your school, but they are also the people who are most likely to know which programs can actually help you for your future. Take the time to speak to your faculty members and make sure that ask them about these programs. If they do not know about anything, they may still point you towards someone who does.

Talk to the Alumni

Every college has an alumni association. Take the time to attend events at which alums might be present, and always make sure to help out when you can. As you get to know alumni, you might be pointed towards a great internship or job opportunity. Some engineering programs even have alumni mentorship programs available for just this purpose – but you have to make sure that you are the one who takes the first step. If you are willing to get to know those who graduated before you, you might be able to get an internship.

Look Locally

While networking and online job hunting are both great ways to get an internship, you sometimes have to get your hands dirty. If there are engineering firms in your area, place a quick phone call to find out if there are any programs. While some of the most competitive programs might be advertised at your school, there might be others that are simply hidden treasures. If you are willing to make contact with the firm or business, you stand a much better chance of getting a job. Make sure that you have a resume prepared before you make contact, as you might get an interview on the spot.

Check Job Boards

There are dozens of great job boards out there for students, and some of the best might be available in your own school. Look outside of your department to see if your school has any kind of college job board – there may be announcements there that never made their way to your faculty. General job boards are not likely to return information about engineering-specific internships, but you never know where you might find a lead. With a little luck, a quick few minutes of browsing can land you a great internship.

When in Doubt, Seek it Out

One of the most important things that you will learn as an engineering student is that you can create your own opportunities. If you do not know of a paid internship position in or around your area, try to do what you can to make one available. Look for an engineering-related job in your area of expertise, and go to your advisor to find out if there is a way to get college credit for that job. you might be surprised by how easy it is to get credit for going to work.

Paid internships are not always easy to find, but they are out there. If you are willing to put in the work to find them, you will usually get the opportunity to put in an application. Whether you have to talk to alumni or get out there and do a bit of digging yourself, finding an internship is more than worth the effort of the search.

About The Author:

Today’s guest article comes from Ryan Ayers.  He is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education. In this article, he describes how to find an internship while an engineering student in college and aims to encourage further study with a Norwich University Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering.

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Financial Literacy – Banking 101 For College Students

Financial Literacy – Banking 101 For College Students

statebudgetCollege is great time to build credit, but it can also be a time where you don’t think too much about spending habits. College students are now coming out with more debt than before and if they spend without being informed, they can accumulate credit card debt. Here are a few tips to help you manage your money.

If you have a credit card or are thinking about getting one, ask yourself if you can pay off your balances on time. If you can’t, it can lead to huge amount of debt. Credits cards are useful for large purchases that you can’t afford now but you need to be able to pay it off in the future. Some banks have special offers for college students or new members so they might change in the future. Look through your bank’s policy to find out the answers to these questions:

–          Are you going to be charged for carrying a balance?

–          What’s the interest rate?

–          Is there a penalty for late payments?

–          What is the most you can spend?

Debit cards are great if you don’t want to worry about carrying around cash and interest fees. However, it’s important to keep track of your purchases and not overdraw your account. You can get charged significantly if you let your account get into the red. Set up a budget and don’t let your balance go below a certain amount, it can help you save money.

It’s also important to make a budget for your income and have a savings account. It’s important to save money for the future or have money in case of an emergency, and many banks offer savings accounts. You can transfer money between your checking account and your savings account and some banks may allow you to have a certain amount transferred into your savings every month.

Once you have an account, you may want to set up a budget to help you keep track of your spending. Check your bank account often through the bank’s website, by balancing your checkbook, by a bank teller, or even with a phone app.

Most banks have online services, so take advantage of them and keep track of how much you’re spending and how much money you have left. It’s hard to mentally keep track of all of this information, so checking your account often is a good idea. If there are any mistakes in your account, you will be able to fix them right away instead of a later date, when you may not have proof.

After deciding your needs, choose a banking option right for you. Always check your balance before big purchases to ensure you won’t be charged fees. Maintaining a bank account doesn’t have to be stressful, and once you have the basics, you can build great credit and save for the future.

About the Author: 

Today’s guest article comes from Priya Sudendra. He is a junior at the University of Colorado and a staff writer for CollegeFocus, a website dedicated to helping students deal with the challenges of college, including housing, finance, style, health, relationships, and transferring from a community college to a four-year university. You can follow CollegeFocus on Twitter and Facebook.

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Scholarships For Human Resources Education

Scholarships For Human Resources Education

scholarshippigWhen it comes to ensuring stable employment opportunities immediately following your college years, the area of Human Resources Management is one career path that is sure to pay off in dividends time and time again. The simple fact is that people (humans) are going to play a critical role within any company, organization, and/or corporation whether it is founded in the private or public sector. And, at the end of the day, someone has to manage all of the human capital that will help to make that business be successful. If you have an interest in attracting, selecting, training, reviewing,and rewarding employees for a company while also juggling labor law requirement and the challenges presented within organizational structures, Human Resources Management is definitely in the cards for you. If you need additional reasoning to help you justify this career path, Forbes recently released the results of their Top Ten Best and Worst Jobs – Human Resources Management came in at number three on the best jobs side of the column.

If you are early in your college career, you may be pondering what degree makes the most sense to catapult you into greatness in the field of Human Resources Management. Some schools offer very dedicated degree programs in this area of study while other schools provide opportunities to obtain Human Resources Certificates that supplement another degree that a student may be obtaining. Complimenting degrees that are commonly found in the world of HR professionals are Psychology, Sociology, Public Administration, and Business. Regardless of the approach you are wanting to take, it is important that upon graduation you are equipped with the right tools that will allow you to be successful in your occupational endeavors.

At CheapScholar.org, we are always focused on helping to make college affordable for the families and students that visit our site. Keeping true to this mission, we would like to offer up the following scholarship opportunities that can help a Human Resources Management student cover some of their college expenses.

Society For Human Resources Management (SHRM)

The SHRM Foundation provides $50,000 in scholarships each year to SHRM student members.

The following scholarships are available:

10

Undergraduate Education Awards

$2,500

1

Lisa Burke Award (undergraduates)

$2,500

4

Graduate Education Awards

$5,000

25

Awards for the Assurance of Learning Assessment

$200

In order to be eligible, students do have to be an active member of SHRM at the time they submit their scholarship application. Membership fees are $35 and you can join online.

Colorado Healthcare Association for Human Resources Management

This organization provides two $1000 awards each year for students that are pursuing a degree in Human Resources Management. Scholarship applications can be found here.

International Public Management Association for Human Resources

IPMA provides $1,000 scholarships for undergraduate students seeking degrees in Human Resources Management or Public Administration. In addition, IPMA offers support in the form of $2,000 fellowships for graduate students. You can visit IPMA’s site for more information on these scholarships opportunities.

Drew Young Scholarship

This $2,000 scholarship is to encourage undergraduate and graduate students preparing for work in the field of Human Resource management. This scholarship is available to upper-class (Junior/Senior) undergraduate students or full-time graduate students. More information about this scholarship program is available here.

In 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that employment opportunities for workers in the area of Human Resources Management are going to experience a 22 percent growth rate in their field over the course of the next ten years. Given these statistics, it is only natural that college bound students will be gravitating toward this profession if securing a job upon graduation is a top priority.

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Staging The Graceful Exodus Of Your College Rental

Staging The Graceful Exodus Of Your College Rental

animalhouseHave you ever tried to take a poster off of a wall, only to discover the pushpins left dozens of teeny holes all around? In hindsight, that probably wasn’t the best way to decorate your temporary space – but you longed to make it reflect your personality, even as a short-term home during college.

Recent statistics show that more people than ever are choosing to rent homes, particularly in well-populated cities. If you are one of them, you’ve probably questioned just how much effort to put into home decor, or how much you can get away with. A rental home deserves your attention and deserves to reflect your tastes just as much as a home you own. But how can you make that happen without possibly getting fined when you finally move out? Actually, there are plenty of ways to decorate a rental and leave it just the way it was – or better – when it’s time to leave for summer break.

Color Now, Chameleon Later

So, you don’t want white walls that look like a hospital room? Frankly, we don’t blame you. But remember that blood-red walls, floral wallpaper and psychedelic stripes won’t work, either. Instead, choose neutrals and lighter shades that are easier to paint over later – or even leave on the walls if your landlord likes it! Here are some shade suggestions:

  • Light blue
  • Eggshell or beige
  • Yellow
  • Light green

Keep in mind that the more neutral you go, the more likely it is that you can leave the walls painted (If you do a good job) upon your exit.

Accents Matter

Let’s say you aren’t going to paint the walls but you crave a splash of color in your rental. Don’t let white walls slow you down – get to work adding color with furniture, pillows, throws and other home accessories. In truth, your visitor’s eyes will be drawn to whatever you intend for your focal point of the room to be – and it does not need to be a wall. Here are some ideas regarding home furniture and furnishings.

  • Solid colored sofas and chairs – Pick a color palate for the sofas, chairs ottomans or other main furniture in your home. Whether they are brightly colored or more muted, remember that colors will offset the plain walls and give you a canvas to work with.
  • Patterns for pillows – Once you have your “canvas,” you can add patterns with area rugs, decorative pillows and cozy throws.
  • Other knickknacks – In addition to the furnishings of your home, try adding character to the room with colorful houseplants, books, candles and other fun accessories. They are easy to pack up when you leave and they can make a rental house feel more like a home.

Hang Time

So, you can’t make holes in the walls. What now? There are alternatives that don’t leave your walls looking like a slab of Swiss cheese.

  • Poster Putty – This sticky stuff is a fine alternative for hanging lightweight artwork, including posters (of course), unframed photos and small canvases.
  • Mounting tape – Most brands of mounting tape work fine to hold up art, and won’t damage the walls when you peel it off.

A Graceful Exit

When the time comes for you to move from your rental property, ensure that you will receive your deposit money back in full by leaving the home the way you found it, or even better. Here are a few things to take care of before you hand the keys in.

Clean the baseboards.
Have you ever looked down at the baseboards in someone else’s house and noticed how grubby and dusty they were? Well, imagine how much more the baseboards stand out when you remove your furniture and they are in plain sight. Dust and clean the baseboards before you leave the rental, and the whole place will look cleaner.

Plaster any holes.
Oops – you’ve got a hole in the wall. Luckily, you can fix it with a tube of spackling and some sandpaper. Simply fill the hole and sand it down. A little dab or two of paint and the wall will look like new.

Repaint if necessary.
If you painted the walls, make sure to find out whether you will need to restore them to their original color before you move out. Regardless of your landlord’s feelings about it, you may need a fresh coat anyway if the walls are marked and scuffed up.

Rental properties have plenty of potential when it comes to decorating – you simply have to be creative and willing to cover your tracks at the end.

About the Author:

Today’s guest article comes from Chris Long. He is a Home Depot store associate and has been helping renters, homeowners, and other property owners in the Chicago area since 2000. Chris also contributes advice on furniture decor for Home Depot’s Home Decorators.com website. His interests range from providing tips on living room furniture to information on closet storage, room dividers and end tables.

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Top 10 Best “Value” Colleges

Top 10 Best “Value” Colleges

collegemoneyCost is an important factor to look for in a college, but students also want to make sure that they are getting a high-quality education. The 2014 Best Colleges rankings from U.S. News & World Report can help students find colleges that are cost-efficient while providing an excellent academic experience.

The Best Colleges rankings for 2014 include categories such as top national universities, liberal arts colleges, regional universities and regional colleges. Using schools that are ranked in or around the top half of the rankings in each category, the Best Value Schools are chosen based on the highest quality academic programs for the lowest costs.

Here are the 2014 top value colleges across each rankings category:

Creighton University

Not only did Creighton University take the top spot for the Midwest best value regional universities, but it was also ranked No. 1 for overall best college in the same category. Creighton is a private school in Omaha, Neb.

About 58.6% of Creighton’s students are awarded some sort of need-based aid. The average award amount for these students is $21,524, compared to the university’s $34,330 cost.

Trinity University

Trinity University is ranked No.1 in the regional universities in the West. Since it is also named the best value school in this region, students who attend this San Antonio institution receive a top-rated education at a manageable price.

Tuition costs at Trinity are $35,262, but 48% of full-time students receive needs-based grants of some kind. Since the average grant award is $22,377, Trinity students are able to get an excellent education without exorbitant costs.

Gallaudet University

Gallaudet University was named the best value school in the North within the regional universities category. Located in D.C., Gallaudet is a private school that provides a liberal arts education for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

About 75.1% of students at Gallaudet receive some sort of need-based financial aid. The average grant awarded is $17,952. Since the tuition costs at Gallaudet are only $13,800, may students can pay for classes and still have grant money left over for living expenses.

William Carey University

The best value for a regional university in the South was awarded to William Carey University. This private school has campuses in Hattiesburg and Gulfport, Miss.  William Carey is a Christian university from a Baptist tradition.

Ninety percent of full-time students at William Carey receive some sort of need-based financial aid. Tuition costs are $10,800 and the average amount of grant money received is $8,500.

Cooper Union

Located in New York, Cooper Union is a private school that ranks No. 1 for best regional college in the North and best value college in the same category.

Tuition costs at Cooper Union are $41,400 and 34.2% of full-time students are awarded need-based aid. The average need-based grant is $43,220, so students could potentially cover their entire tuition with money left for additional costs.

John Brown University

John Brown University is a private school in Siloam Springs, Ark. This university ranked No. 2 in the overall rankings for best regional college in the South and ranked No.1 for the best value schools section of the same category.

About 70.1% of full-time students at John Brown receive some sort of need-based aid. Regular tuition at the university is $22,734, and the average scholarship based on need is $14,709.

College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is the best value college in the regional Midwest for 2014. Located in Point Lookout, Mo., College of the Ozarks is a private school with about 1,379 students.

Almost the entire full-time student body, 93.8%, is awarded some sort of need-based aid. Tuition costs $18,330 and the average need-based aid awarded is $13,741.

California Maritime Academy

Located in Vallejo, Calif., California Maritime Academy is a public school that was ranked #2 for regional colleges in the West. This college ranks No. 1 for best value college in the West, due in part to its in-state tuition of $7,956.

Need-based aid is awarded to 65.9% of full-time students. The average amount awarded for need-based aid is $7,261, so in-state students have the chance to get most of their tuition paid for.

Harvard University

Topping the list of best value schools in the national university category is Harvard University. Located in Cambridge, Mass., Harvard is a private school with a history of academic achievement.

Harvard tuition is $42,292, but the average cost after factoring in needs-based grants is $15,486. Approximately 59.5% of Harvard students are awarded such grants. Since Harvard ranks second in the best national university category, these grants can help students get a premiere education at an affordable price.

Amherst College

Amherst College is the 2014 best value school in the national liberal arts colleges’ category. Amherst is a private school located in Amherst, Mass. Focusing on undergraduate studies, Amherst offers 37 majors in arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences.

After receiving needs-based grants, the average cost of an Amherst education is $16,286, compared to the usual tuition of $46,574. About 55% of Amherst’s students get grants based on need. Amherst is ranked No. 2 for national liberal arts colleges.

About the Author:

Today’s guest article comes from Ta’Rikah Jones. She writes about higher education, distance learning and careers for U.S News University Directory. For more information please visit usnewsuniversitydirectory.com

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7 Worst Ways to Blow that Excess Student Loan Money

7 Worst Ways to Blow that Excess Student Loan Money

moneyMany students, throughout history, have experienced the moment when their eyes turn into dollar signs, when it comes to the spending of excess student loan money. The world is their oyster, although you should never forget that you are building the foundations of your future. Spend wisely young grasshopper. Here are seven worst ways to throw your dough.

Fast Food Frenzy

Many students, having just left their parental nest, turn to a fast food binge. It makes sense, the freedom, added with the ease that the food is served to you, makes for a student-friendly excursion. This is wrong, financially and health wise. The fast food chains might be lovin’ it, although it is in your interest to invest in cheaper, easy to prepare, nutritionally fulfilling foods, such as instant noodles and anything pasta-based, seeing as uncooked pasta will never go old.

Gambling Gold

You are now at the age where it is legal to gamble. This idea of something that once was illegal, now being the norm, gives man a rather exciting thrill. Be warned though, with the endless brand of online casinos at your disposal, this seemingly harmless activity is a slippery slope, where you’ll be left looking back thinking, boy, that escalated quickly.

Alcohol and Cigarettes

It is part of the student life to enjoy the freedom of clubbing, and the joys that are attached. No one is telling you to stop what you are doing, although with this excess money, prevent the spending sprees that leave you hurting the next morning.

Impulse Buying

If you have the money, spend it. This is probably the worst thought process around. Be savvy with your funds. Same goes for the urge to buy round after round for your acquaintances at the pubs. I’m pretty sure they’ll still love you if you don’t.

Name-branding it up

Your identity plays a massive role in your student life. Although, thinking that you need to be wearing the latest name-brand items to fit in, is a complete misconception. I know that you want to have the perfect pair of heels for your night on the town, but unless you are an heiress, no one is going to worry if you happen to wear the same shoes on more than one occasion.

Pimp that Ride

You’re a student, you finally have your own car, and you want to make it the best that it can be. This is understandable; just never forget that it is always easier to spend money than to make it. Go ahead, upgrade the sound system, just try refrain from going all Xzibit on your ride.

Fuel-Guzzling Monsters

The price of fuel is far from a laughing matter. Forking out bucket loads to keep yourself moving is rather disconcerting. For students staying nearby campus, think about going au naturel. Invest in something like a bicycle, which will not only leave you with more spending money, but the exercise will help burn off all that fast food.

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The Future of Online Education Is on Campus

The Future of Online Education Is on Campus

OnlineEducationTens of thousands of students attend dedicated online colleges and hybrid universities (universities that offer both on-campus and online courses). Companies like Coursera, Udacity, and edX, all of which offer free online courses, are ready to enter the online education marketplace. But even these companies need to make a profit, and some are turning to traditional, brick-and-mortar universities to do so. With the job market as competitive as it is, future college students want to ensure they receive the best education possible in order to compete. Knowing the various options available may help streamline college application decisions.

Coursera started with a model, well-known to many university professors as the “flipped classroom,” in which instructors record their lectures and offer interactive elements to better engage with their students. The advantage of this method is that instructors can spend less time lecturing and more time interacting and communicating with their students. Students have a better chance to ask questions retain the information they need to be successful in that course.

Moving beyond this method, Coursera founders Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller created a format for students to take free courses online. Utilizing any number of reliable Internet services such as Verizon High Speed Internet and countless others, students can complete assignments virtually anywhere. They’ve even started working with mobile device technologies so that students can still complete some work on their smartphones or tablets. Yet Coursera, as well as Udacity and edX, has realized that partnering with traditional universities is not only the best method to continue running their operations, but possibly the best recipe for student success.

In the fall of 2012, San Jose State University selected edX’s flipped classroom pilot program for their Introduction to Circuit Analysis course which at that time had a 41 percent failure rate. That failure rate dropped to 9 percent after only semester of integrating the flipped classroom approach. San Jose State also agreed to host five online courses through Udacity for one semester. More than half the students in the program failed the final exam, prompting the university to cancel their agreement. This goes to show that the online-only model may not work as well as an integrated on-campus approach.

So what does this mean?

On-campus instruction shouldn’t be substituted with online instruction. Instead, a combination of the two may be the better approach. Utilizing not just the flipped classroom approach but new technologies such as Google Glass can prove to be highly effective. Used as a supplemental tool, Google Glass can offer a number of advantages to both instructors and students. Remote teaching and one-on-one tutor sessions are just two benefits. Instructors can create:

  • First-person video guides for shared class involvement in real-time
  • Timetables/schedules for lectures, instructors, and students
  • Mini-documentaries to improve storytelling in the classroom

The future of online education seems to be tied to on-campus instruction. Thus far, this combination seems to be the most fruitful.

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So You Want to Be an Overseas Student Volunteer

So You Want to Be an Overseas Student Volunteer

volunteerStudying abroad is a fantastic opportunity to expand your horizons and travel the world while still pursuing your academic goals. Volunteering overseas offers the potential to help people outside your own community. But what if you decided to do both of those things at once? Like peanut butter and chocolate, popcorn and M&M’s®, or french fries and milk shakes, studying and volunteering abroad pair surprisingly well. If you’re considering volunteering during your study-abroad trip, read on for a few ideas on how to prepare.

Budget concerns

Before you get too far into your plans to volunteer as an international student, sit down and make a list of every possible expense you could have overseas. This might include items like

Once you have this list prepared, you can begin to create a budget. This will depend on numerous factors, including the amount of cash you have saved up beforehand, any monetary assistance you receive from your parents and your level of financial aid. Bear in mind that volunteering will take away from—or even eliminate—any time you might spend working at a paying job.

Decide where to give your time

Once you have your budget squared away, the next step is deciding where to volunteer. This might be contingent upon where you’re studying; teaching English to school children is a great option in South America, but not exactly necessary in English-speaking countries like Australia or Ireland. Look into options close to where you’ll be living in order to keep your commute time short, and try to consider how you can best give back to your adopted community.

Form follows function; volunteering follows education

Since you’ll be taking classes and volunteering, you might give some thought to finding a way to allow your volunteer work to supplement your education. For example, nursing students might apply to work with an organization like Nurses Without Borders to gain experience in the field, or pre-med students might volunteer with Doctors Without Borders or a similar organization. Students of archaeology might consider volunteering to help at a dig site.

Volunteering while studying abroad is a great way to make the most of your time overseas. Numerous considerations go into such a trip, and you must plan for every possible contingency. Do your research thoroughly before you ever set foot on a plane, and trust your instincts. You’re sure to enjoy a productive and memorable study-abroad trip—and, with any luck, your memories of it will be every bit as delicious as that handful of popcorn and M&Ms.

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