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The Millennial Backlash – Challenges of a New Generation

The Millennial Backlash – Challenges of a New Generation

millenials_backlashThe Millennial Generation, or Generation Y, typically refers to those who were born between the years of 1980 and the early 2000s. Following Generation X—a generation that’s considered highly educated, productive, and job and family-oriented—millennials are often compared to their parents as being spoiled, lazy, and entitled.

However, the negative connotations that are often associated with the Millennial Generation might not be justly deserved. Entering one of the worst job markets since the Great Depression, facing stiff competition from peers and older generations, and suffocating under mountains of student debt, the financial struggles of the millennials are greater than ever before.

The Worst Job Market in Three Generations

Those of Generation X joined the job market at one of the most prosperous times in US history—right after the end of the second World War—when the economy was booming and the housing market, wages, and stocks were all growing.

On the other hand, those of Generation Y are entering the job market during the largest recession since the great depression, where unemployment numbers have soared, stocks have dropped, and the housing market has nearly collapsed.

According to an article published in Forbes in 2013, despite the increased number in those of employment age from 2008-2013—nearly twelve million—there are three million fewer Americans working. Happily, as of March 2014, the unemployment rate is slowly decreasing, and is currently at 6.7%, down from 8.3% in July of 2012.

Stiff Competition

Not only did millennials enter the job market during one of the greatest recessions in US history, but the added influx of employment-aged individuals has created growing competition over jobs and internships alike. No longer are the good old days upon us; days when working hard, knowing your trade, or having a bachelor’s degree secured you a decent entry-level position, where a person could then work their way up the ladder. Rather, many entry-level positions are now requiring a master’s degree and experience to even get an interview, and nearly all professional management positions require an advanced degree.

With the new requirements for getting hired, millennials who are fresh out of college are faced with competition from peers with more advanced degrees or older generations who offer more experience. Simply put, millennials are struggling to get a job, even when actively searching.

Growing Amounts of Student Debt

In the past nine years, the average amount of student debt has grown from $10,649 to $20,326, according to an article published in the Guardian. While pursuing a college education is the most important thing an individual can do to improve future success, getting a degree of any sort usually means racking up thousands of dollars in student loans. The large amount of student debt—one trillion dollars collectively—is crippling the economy, students, and parents alike.

Advice for Success

With all the factors that are hindering millennials’ ability to succeed, entering the job market can appear daunting and impossible. However, by embracing these critical tips for prosperity, those of Generation Y can become more profitable than ever:

Use Federal Loans and Scholarships for College: If you’re about to go to college and are wondering how you’re going to afford it, know that federal loans are a much safer bet than private loans. Private loans typically have higher interest rates, whereas federal loans have fixed interest rates, and are paid back based on current income. If you have to borrow money at all for school, seek out a federal loan. Better yet—seek out scholarships. Scholarship money does not have to be repaid, and contrary to popular belief, there are scholarships available for a wide variety of talents and backgrounds.

Save Money: Saving money might seem impossible, especially if you’re currently struggling to find a job. However, every dollar adds up, and you’ll be grateful that you made the effort. Cut out any unnecessary expenditures, such as your morning coffee run (you can make coffee at home). At the end of the month, after you’ve paid all your bills and bought all your groceries, put any leftover money directly into a savings account.

Connect More: Obtaining a job isn’t just about your education level or the years or experience you bring to the table; it’s also about who you know, so building connections is vital. Attend job fairs, request information interviews, ask friends and family members if they know who’s hiring, create a LinkedIn profile, or volunteer.

While those of the Millennial Generation may face more challenges that those of previous generations, there’s no doubt that they’re likely to succeed in time. In fact, some argue that the Millennial Generation may just be the greatest generation ever. Says TIME writer, Joel Stein, “millennials are just adapting quickly to a world undergoing rapid technological change… they’re optimistic, they’re confident, and they’re pragmatic at a time when it can be difficult just to get by.”

This article was contributed on behalf of Excalibur Exhibits, your number one choice when looking to truly make an impact at conferences and conventions for your business to really take off and make a name for yourself. Check out their website today and see how they can help you get a custom-built trade show exhibit.

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The College Pulse: Daily News From Around The Nation

The College Pulse: Daily News From Around The Nation

CollegePulseI don’t know about you but I really enjoy keeping up with the latest and greatest news from the higher education community. I especially like any information that I can find related to the financial aspect of the college experience. In an effort to reduce the amount of time I utilize canvassing various sites for this information, I am invoking the wonders of technology and putting all of my favorite resources in one place – The College Pulse!

Feel free to bookmark this page and visit it frequently (maybe even daily?!) to “keep your finger on the pulse” of what is taking place in the financial world of colleges and universities!


Student Financial Literacy

Higher Education Policy & News

Money Matters On Campus

College Life

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CheapScholar – Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

CheapScholar – Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

It has been a very busy year for We do our best to keep up with our web and social media presence, but we also spend a significant amount of time partnering with high schools, foundations, corporations, and other various professional groups to provide educational outreach programs for families and students that are preparing to navigate the financial aspect of their college experience. Below represents many of the places we have been this academic year (be sure to check out the pictures as well!). I want to take a moment to thank all of those that have attended our events or provided support in our efforts!

Paying For College Presentations

Sept 10th – Paying For College presentations (2) at Springfield High School as part of College 101 series

Sept 17th – Paying For College presentation during the day to juniors/seniors at Kenton Ridge High School

October 1st – Clark County College Night at the fairgrounds

October 3rd – Paying For College Event at London High School (Madison County)

October 14th – Paying For College presentation at Cedarville High School

November 7th – Paying for College presentation at Greenon High School

November 12th – Paying for College presentation at Kenton Ridge High School

November 19th – Paying For College presentation during the day to juniors/seniors at Shawnee High School

November 21st – Paying For College presentation for Clark County Guidance Counselors (sponsored by Springfield Foundation)

November 21st – Paying For College presentation at Shawnee High School

December 12th – Paying For College presentation at Northwestern High School

January 29th – Paying For College presentations (2) at Catholic Central High School

February 11th – Career Day at Northwestern High School – 3 Paying For College presentations

February 11th – Paying for College presentation & FAFSA filing workshop at Springfield High School

February 12th – Paying For College presentation & FAFSA filing workshop at Springfield CTC

March 12th – Paying For College presentation for Hilliard High Schools


Professional Development Presentations

June 18th – Social Media presentation (OASFAA – Ohio Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators)

Sept 23rd – Student Financial Literacy and Social Media presentations at a national higher ed conference(Myrtle Beach)

Feb 25th – Student Financial Literacy presentation at Wright State University (Ohio Bursars Association)

March 7th – Student Financial Literacy presentation at Wittenberg University (OASFAA)

April 4th – Student Financial Literacy presentation at Mohican State Park (Ohio Bursars Association)

May 19th – Student Financial Literacy Presentation & Social Media breakout session in Kalamazoo, MI (MASFSA – Michigan Association of Student Financial Services Administrators)














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Learn What the World’s Best Programmers Already Know

Learn What the World’s Best Programmers Already Know

CareerIn today’s hyper-connected programmable world, coding skills are at a premium. Programmers are vital to the way we live and work: how we learn, do business, and socialize with one another. The need for programming expertise will continue to increase in the coming years. Becoming a programmer can be a lucrative and steady career path, with opportunities to advance into analyst and leadership roles.

The challenge for beginners comes in determining which languages can help pave the way to the future. Industry experts stress the importance of striking a balance between established and emerging programming systems. Employers have a specific skill set they expect from their programmers, and it typically includes several of the following languages.

The Four C’s

C is the most popular programming language in the history of computing. The versatility of C is credited for advancing the world as we know it today. It provides a foundation for C++, Java, C# (C-Sharp) and Objective C, and also serves as the basis for development of languages like Perl and Python.

Knowledge of C and C++ is essential to moving forward with other more complex languages, including C# and Objective C. Both of these languages incorporate object-oriented extensions of the original code and offer opportunities for sophisticated programming. C# and Java are common in web applications development work, and they are used for creating XML web servers, loading or storing database information, and many other web applications tasks.


PHP is a free, server-side scripting language that is installed on approximately 20 million web servers worldwide. The flexibility of PHP makes it an ideal choice for e-commerce, social media, blogs, and other applications that need to work across multiple browsers. WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are all based on PHP. It is also a helpful language for building Facebook applications. PHP has been available since 1995 and has consistently grown in popularity because of the ability to embed PHP commands directly into HTML documents.


Java was also first released in 1995 and by all accounts changed the programming world forever. Java allows coders to write one program that can run on any hardware platform. This is possible because when Java applications are compiled, they are converted into a universal byte code that is understood and translated by any operating system that supports the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Java makes it easier to write complex programs for enterprise-wide applications. The language is powerful and efficient, and essential to website development for multiple devices.


HTML5 eliminates the need for Flash, which has proven to be slow loading and resource intensive, so it is not compatible with battery-powered devices. This emerging language allows for exciting animation and Flash-like effects, but is far more efficient and search engine friendly. HTML5 works on both iOS and Android platforms, as well as across most browsers. Programmers who know HTML5 will be the ones who advance website development into the next generation.


Ruby gained in popularity in the mid-2000s with the advent of the Ruby on Rails web application framework. The advantage of the language is that it allows for rapid development of complex apps. The recent and much-awaited release of Ruby 2.0 is anticipated to fix performance issues that have plagued Ruby programmers over the years.


While it sounds elegant, Perl is actually a “quick and dirty” open source utility language. It has been embraced by systems administrators around the world as an easy solution to scripting problems. Perl has a very active user community that offers exceptional support for coders.


Python is a dynamic open-source language that programmers use to create highly flexible scripts and objects. It is quicker to code than Perl, Ruby and Java, and is available for all major operating systems. Python has become extremely popular with independent and third-party developers who want to distribute their apps and scripts to the mass market.

Author Byline:
Today’s guest article comes from Laura Mingo.She writes in the field of higher education and this article aims to offer career advice for university students in relation to IT and promotes the benefits of advanced study regarding a master in computer information systems online.


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The Best Finance Books for College Students

The Best Finance Books for College Students

financebookIf you’re a young adult who is just getting ready to enter college, there’s a good chance that you’re also about to make some important financial decisions—or run into some money trouble. Whether it’s acquiring debt in the form of student loans to pay for tuition, racking up large bills going out with friends, or not being able to pay your rent at the end of the month, chances are you’re going to want some financial help. As you begin living on your own, and eventually enter the career arena, it’s a good idea to have a firm understanding of spending and saving habits, the economy, and debt management. Here are some easily-digestible books that can help you along the way.

Soldier of Finance, Jeff Rose

Soldier of Finance, written by Jeff Rose in 2013, is a book that details how to achieve good credit, manage debt, and invest wisely. Rose, a certified financial planner and retired U.S. soldier, bases much of the book’s principles on the Soldier’s Handbook and uses military metaphors to get his point across.  One New York Times reviewer asserts, “to his credit, [Rose] provides a solid foundation of personal finance basics”—and building a financial foundation is precisely what college students should be doing. The book excels at talking the reader through the importance of financial goal-setting and how to establish and build credit. The book is fitting for readers from a military background, but is sure to be a great read for all audiences.

Freakonomics: A Rouge Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, Steven Levitt

A staple on most “must-have” finance books lists (as well as a vital work in the bookshelves of finance students everywhere) Steven Levitt’s Freakonomics is one of the most thought-provoking money books to be released in the last 10 years. The book takes a very unconventional—sometimes sociological—approach to understanding economics, and ultimately sets out to prove that economics is more about incentives and motivation than anything else. Says Levitt:

Freakonomics is an attempt to have some fun with economics… taking tools of economics—the idea that you can use data and incentives and what not—and bringing those into the world to ask questions which are sometimes useful and sometimes just interesting”

The book certainly proves to be a fun ride. Levitt uses a series of non-traditional stories and examples (a chapter on sumo-wrestling? It’s in here) to highlight important economic theories and principles. While the book will be a useful read for economics and business majors, it’s engaging enough for students from other majors and background as well.

The Financial Domino Effect, Ben Emons

If you’re in need of some “back to basics advice”—as described by Paul Brown of the New York Times—then The Financial Domino Effect, written by Ben Emons (the senior vice president of the investment company responsible for the world’s largest bond fund) might be the place to start. A great read for novice investors, the book examines the main factors that control the world market, ranging from sociopolitical factors to financial and economic influences. It is the author’s belief that when one—or all—of these factors are altered, a domino effect takes place, with results typically showing up in the stock markets and economy. While the book provides a firm grasp of elements that lead to global market collapses, its true genius is in detailing how you can remain profitable even when the global economy is declining. Considering that students graduating just 5 years ago were facing one of the worst recessions in recent memory, this book could prove a useful tool for young adults looking for ways to invest in their future and make conservative financial decisions.

Generation Earn: The Young Professional’s Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back, Kimberly Palmer

While US News & World Report editor Kimberly Palmer penned and released this book in 2010, it still proves to be an incredibly useful resource for young adults. The book has a special focus on saving—something 20-somethings should take advantage of before they have larger bills to pay. Says Palmer, in an interview with Huffington Post:

“The only way to get ahead financially is to save at least one-third of your income. It sounds impossible, and sometimes it is. But if you don’t start saving that much for an emergency fund, goals, and retirement in your twenties and thirties, it’s just going to get harder later.”

Palmer’s relatable stories and tone make the money lessons sink in for finance-novices. Palmer discusses everything from how to negotiate for lower prices on everyday items to how to deal with student loans and debt as burgeoning adults. The book will surely benefit any student looking for a general (and easy-to-understand) how-to guide for budgeting.

Finance doesn’t have to be dry and dull. These engaging books offer unique twists on finance and useful advice for life-long money management. From taking on loan debt to opening up credit cards for the first time, college students are making important decisions about their money every day—and they should have the tools and literature to help them do so wisely.

This article was contributed on behalf of BQR Advertising, a leader among Houston advertising agencies that truly understands how to properly manage advertising efforts to match with your financial budgets while keeping up with the latest trends in the industry. Check out their website today and see how they can help you and your business succeed. 

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Inexpensive DIY Holiday Gift Ideas for Students on a Budget

Inexpensive DIY Holiday Gift Ideas for Students on a Budget

During the holidays it is tough being on a tight budget and having so many gifts to give. However, the good thing about that is just about everyone, and especially teachers, love receiving homemade DIY gifts. Luckily there are many homemade DIY gifts that can easily be made on a budget and are still very clever and make wonderful holiday gifts. Here are some budget friendly DIY gift ideas that you can make for teachers.


 1.       Ruler Vase

This vase made of rulers makes a great gift. When you gift it, you can put fresh or silk flowers in it, but it can also be used as a pencil holder or desk organizer. The ribbon and sign “Teachers Rule!” Is a must to drive home the cuteness of the idea, but they also add a nice finish.


 2.       Apple Coasters

Teachers may always be getting apples, but this is a unique twist on the theme. These coasters are easy to make with some felt and glue and will definitely come in handy for teachers at home or at school.


3.        Kool-Aid Container Snowman

When giving holiday gifts, the need to keep things non-denominational can always easily be solved by giving your gift a winter theme. Enter the snowman. He is cute and adorable and teachers can get more use out of it since it can be out on display all winter long. You can make your own gift of cookies or other yummy treats and put them inside this container which is a Kool-Aid or lemonade powdered drink mix container repurposed. So you are reusing and up-cycling in addition to saving money with this gift. After you clean out the container, draw on the snowman’s face and buttons and add a scarf.


4.        Reindeer Goody Bag

Depending on your budget, this gift idea is very easy on the wallet. It also works great if you have a lot of different teacher gifts to give.  All teachers love homemade treats. After making your treats, then put them in these cute homemade reindeer brown bags. Sure to put a smile on any teacher’s face.


5.        Hand Drawn Bag

Plain canvas bags are not expensive at all and can usually be purchased in a bulk pack if you have multiple teachers to make gifts for. Teachers always love something that their students have made, and this bag is reusable and has a number of uses. Have the kids draw a picture or write a message to their teacher.


6.       Hand Made Organizer

This is an adorable organizer and makes a great gift for teachers who always need to keep everything neat and organized to keep track of all their student’s things. This is easy to make if you are handy with some wood, rulers, and a hammer and nails.


7.       DIY Hand Sanitizers

A great theme for gifts is to give your teachers things that they need and use throughout the year, but add a special crafting touch to them to make them more like a gift. These hand sanitizer bottles have added ribbon and stickers added to the outside of the bottle. This idea can be applied to pretty much any supplies that your teachers regularly need throughout the year.


8.      Planter With Seeds and Kit

“Thanks for Helping me Grow” is a great sentiment from kids of any age. Teachers surely appreciate knowing that they have helped nurture students along their path. The chalk board section on this planter adds a great touch and allows for you to put your own message now and the teacher can have their own message on it later. Chalk board paint can turn just about any object into a neat gift for a teacher. Try it on coasters, picture frames, bottles, and more.


Today’s guest article comes from Josh Ferrell. He is a blogger and Brand Manager for He enjoys sharing gift ideas for college students.

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“It’s Too Late to Go Now”—and 4 Other Excuses You’re Making to Keep from Applying to College

“It’s Too Late to Go Now”—and 4 Other Excuses You’re Making to Keep from Applying to College

CollegeStudentsFor many people, going from high school to college is a simple transition: these students effortlessly convert from senior to freshman, with a summer break in between. But for those of you who didn’t pursue higher education directly out of high school, the decision to return to school can seem a bit bumpier; it can also involve a lot more excuses.

Unfortunately, these excuses can come back to bite you. Not going to college—no matter the reason—can hit you in one of the places where it hurts the most: your pocketbook.

The Dollar Value of a College Education

Perhaps one of the most common excuses for not going to college is the financial aspect. You may say you flat out can’t afford it. However, in truth, many people can’t afford not to go. This is because bachelor’s degree holders earn significantly more, on average, than those with just a high school diploma.

Per the Huffington Post, a 2011 study found that people with a bachelor’s degree made 84 percent more over their lifetime than high school graduates. This is a trend that seems to be moving upward: in 1999, people with a bachelor’s degree made only 75 percent more than high school graduates. Other sources confirm this. According to Forbes, a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center found that college graduates earn an average of $650,000 more in their lifetime than their peers who only graduated high school. Certain degrees—such as engineering or computer science—earn much, much more.

Scholarships, employee reimbursement programs, and loans are always available (especially if the loans are federal loans) for those who believe they can’t afford college tuition. While it’s very reasonable to take financial considerations into account when deciding whether or not to go back to college, it would be unwise to not consider the vast array of financial aid options at your disposal.

Other Excuses for Not Going to College

In addition to the money aspect, there are a handful of other college-avoiding excuses quite commonly used. These include:

“I’m too old”

You might be too old to live in a dorm room or attend nightly keg parties, but when it comes to learning you are never too old. Colleges are filled with people who are all ages, sometimes even those of retirement age: as reported by the Huffington Post, a Connecticut university recently awarded a bachelor’s degree to a 63 year old woman. After being laid off at the age of 59, she decided to go back to school and reinvent her life: she obtained a degree in 2011.

While you may worry your age will make you an outsider, recent studies show that the majority of students enrolled in universities can be classified as “non-traditional” students. According to a study published in the Association of American Colleges and Universities, over 38 percent of new enrolling students for the class of 2007 were over the age of 25 (a number that is expected to remain stable or increase by 2018). Meanwhile, over 4 million people enrolled in a degree program are over the age of 35. In addition, Education Department data published in the Wall Street Journal shows that nearly two-thirds of students enrolled in college in 2013 can be classified as “non-traditional” (based on categories like age, employment, dependent status, etc.).

“It’s too late”

The term “better late than never” is perhaps most fitting when it comes to education. No matter how long it has been since high school, the benefits—salary hikes, career advancement, job opportunities—will still exist. Deciding to go back to school can also have a positive influence on your image: employers look favorably upon people who show such great levels of dedication.

“I don’t have the time”

In the 1990’s and prior, a person’s path to a degree involved attending classes that met at specific times in specific places. However, with the advent of the internet, online classes have turned college into something everyone has time to do. These classes allow you flexibility, convenience, and the ability to learn from the comfort of your own home: a college degree is literally available at a computer screen near you.

“It’ll be a waste”

People who begin college when they are eighteen are just that: eighteen. In other words, they are kids often unsure of what they want to do. According to NBC News, eighty percent of college bound eighteen year olds have a major that is undecided. And, even once a major is declared, it doesn’t always stick: fifty percent of students change their majors with many changing them two or three times. This can lead to a waste of resources, money, and time. As an older adult, on the other hand, you have work experience, life experience, and perspective under your belt. This gives you the unique ability to cater your education to your desires.

Going back to school is an important decision, and one that is not meant to be taken lightly. However, you shouldn’t let yourself miss out on your chance to advance your career and change your life by falling back on any of these excuses.

About the Author:

Chad Fisher knows how important a college degree can be when it comes to landing your dream career. In light of developing technology, today there are a number of new and exciting majors and careers for older and returning students to choose from. offers plenty of information about new jobs in fields like cyber security, software development, and more.

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What’s Your Passion? Get a Degree in Making a Difference

What’s Your Passion? Get a Degree in Making a Difference

collegedegree1People are joining careers that parallel their passions today more than ever.  Maybe, it’s the influence of quotable leaders, the movie industry creating movies that encourage people to “live their dreams”, or education making it easier to obtain a degree that encourages and focuses on the dreams of the student.  Whatever the case may be there are more and more degrees and influences out there that are allowing us to follow our dreams.

If you were to ask a teenager what they want to be when they grow up you may get some broad answers.  It seems that our culture is steering more towards the entertainment or athletic fields, however you may get others that simply say “I want to make a difference”.

Although following your passion may not always be the most lucrative decision, here are a few degrees that allow us to make an impact in our lives and the lives of others after a few years of commitment.  Whether online or in person you can find a degree that supports your career in making a change.

Degrees in Health

A degree in any health field makes a difference.  Whether you want to be more hands on with a degree as a Clinical Nurse or as RNA you will be making a difference every time you clock in.  The best part about this degree is that once a bachelor degree is obtained you have the chance to advance your qualifications and education with online classes in a number of different concentrations.

Degrees in Education

A degree in any education field allows you to “mold the future”, not only of this country, but the world.  The down fall about a degree in education has always been how much money you will make, however there are programs overseas that allow you to work in international schools were teaching is respected and contracts are more stable.  Whether you obtain a degree in Elementary Education or Secondary Education, you can advance your education online while you are working and are often able to use your own work as projects for your master degree.  TEFL certifications are also available if this is a career that you know you want and allows you to leap frog the college path.

Degree in Public Administration

There are very few of us that know from a young age that what we want to do is make a difference locally.  We often think of making a difference as influence a state, country, or the world.  However, a degree in public administration allows us to make a difference in our own community.  If you are just figuring out that you want to make a difference locally, but currently have a career you can obtain an online masters in public administration and take those ideas that you’ve developed and put them to action.

Most of us reading this now may not have had the luxury of online classes to advance our education or to be able to affording going to school while working.  However, with the number of scholarships and programs that are available there are plenty of options out there that can assist us in getting our degree whenever.

What difference do you want to make?  Are there any degrees that you think encourage people to make a difference?

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