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Tag Archive | "College Transition"

A Student’s Guide to Adulting: 4 Tips to Save Cash During Your Move

Whether you are a recent college grad starting out on your own or a student transferring to a larger school, moving to a big city can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to cope with the stress of leaving all that is familiar behind, but you also have to deal with the arduous and expensive task of moving to an ultra-urban area. Don’t let your first time living in a bustling metropolis break your spirit and your bank. You are on your way to bigger and better things, and with a few tips and a little planning, you will reach your new home with high spirits and a few bucks left in the bank. Here are four tips that can help you save money while moving:

Lighten Your Load

Sell anything you can do without. As you pack, set aside non-essentials that you may have accumulated over the years. Anything you have not used in the past year is eligible for the chopping block. This goes for clothing, books, CDs, smaller belongings and under-utilized furniture. Furniture will be the most difficult and expensive items to move, so if you can ditch the second-hand sofa that’s been serving as a hamper for the past year, do it.

Post items on Craigslist or host a yard sale to help you downsize and earn enough money to purchase a new futon when you arrive in your new city. The less you have to drag along with you, the easier your move will be.

Haul It, Don’t Store It

Storage facility costs add up quickly, so if there is any way to avoid renting a place just for your stuff, go that route. Rental truck companies charge based on the size of the truck, so if you have sufficiently downsized, you’ll already be saving money. Many rental places also offer deals during the slow season in winter months, so timing your move appropriately could also save you some cash.

Do It Yourself

Hiring a moving company to come in and do all the heavy lifting for you is a fantastic luxury, but also likely one you cannot afford. It’s difficult work and it shows in the price. Consider what is manageable on your own, and enlist the assistance of friends for the rest. This is the perfect time to call in some favors, or offer to bribe them with food and drinks. If you combine your moving day with your bon voyage party, you could say your goodbyes while soliciting help with the loading. If you are moving to a nearby city, load up your friends’ cars and have a tailgate party from your old pad to your new one.

Get Help Online

Moving to a big city might mean you won’t be able to do a walk-through of an apartment on your own, but there are online search tools that can help you when you’re looking for apartments in mega-cities like NYC. Particularly in areas like this, square-footage is worth its weight in gold, so give yourself time to research and find the apartment that’s right for you.

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6 Traits of a Happy Healthy College Student

According to statistics from the U.S. government, about 59 percent of students who begin working on a college degree finish it within six years. To ensure you’re included among that percentage, you need to develop a set of traits that will contribute to your ability to complete your undergraduate degree. Keep reading for a list of the top six traits of healthy, happy college students.


A Commitment to Getting Enough Sleep

Whether you go away from college or study close to home, a good night’s sleep probably isn’t high on your priority list. However, studies show that it should be. Some research shows that students who get adequate rest get one letter grade higher in their classes than their peers who get less sleep.

If you didn’t make sleep a priority in high school, it’s time to develop this commitment. Lack of sleep may be one of several unhealthy habits you had your senior year. Check out this infographic on ditching bad highschool habits to find out what other areas you need to address.


A Willingness to Follow Your Dreams

Successful college students let their passions guide them as they choose classes and ultimately, a major area of study. When you choose to invest your time and energy into subjects that matter to you, you’ll find that earning good grades doesn’t feel like work. When you follow your dreams, you make a passionate investment in a course of study that brings out your creativity and natural curiosity.

class lecture

A Desire to Attend Class

This trait is challenging, especially for mandatory classes outside your major. Remember that even those so-called “boring” courses contribute to your GPA, and form a foundation for the broad knowledge you’ll need as a well-rounded member of society.

For any class, it’s possible the professor will share material in class that’s not in the textbook. This same non-textbook material could show up on an exam, putting those who don’t attend class at a distinct disadvantage. Instructors commonly use this approach to incentivize students to attend class regularly. Need another reason to attend class? You may miss pop quizzes and extra credit opportunities.


A Sense of When to Put Down Your Phone

Yes, it’s tempting to check the scores or Facebook or whatever app most often captures your attention. However, smartphones can cause major problems for college students. Choose to turn off your phone during class and study groups so you can pay attention and learn. You may also want to consider turning it off during group social outings. If you have your nose buried in your phone, it’s going to be much more difficult to meet new people and make friends.


A Process for Learning That Goes Beyond Memorization

Once you’re in college, the amount of rote memorization you’re required to do goes down. In its place, you’re expected to analyze data and synthesize reading material to produce a logical argument for an essay or in response to a test question. To accomplish these assignments and achieve high scores on tests, you need to work toward having a strong understanding of the concepts in each class. You may find that using notecards, highlighting passages, and even creating spreadsheets will help you organize and learn the information you’ll need for your classes.


A Strategy for Dealing with Failure

It’s inevitable. Most college students encounter a concept or even an entire class that gives them difficulty. What’s important is to know how to move forward after you fail an exam or get a low semester grade. For cases when you get a low-grade on an assignment or mid-term, plan to talk with your professor during his or her office hours so you can master the concept before the final exam.

If you don’t already have a study group for the class, set one up so you can learn from other students. Finally, read any optional materials that are listed for your class. These textbooks may help you grasp the concepts that are causing you trouble.

If you work toward cultivating these traits, you’ll set yourself up for success in college. Which traits will be the most challenging for you to master and why?


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The Low Down on Getting Involved in College

greekalphabetToday’s guest article comes from Stephen Nester.

Will you socially sink or swim? Much like real world success, in college it’s all about who you know and how involved you choose to be. So, how does an eighteen year old bright eyed freshman who can barely navigate their dorm halls figure out how to become a college socialite? Well, not overnight, but putting yourself one step in front of the rest is a lot easier than you may think. The following represent three approaches to acclimating successfully on your college campus:

Fraternities and Sororities

There are a lot of social stigmas and stereotypes that are associated with being a part of a sorority or fraternity. The truth is these societies are nothing like the “Van Wilder” college experience. These organizations are one of the best ways to propel your college career. Members of Greek life generally perform much better in academics than their counterparts. According to the University of Missouri – Kansas City, 71% of all fraternity and sorority members graduate. Not to mention, many businesses prefer to hire people who were involved in Greek life. Mark Zuckerburg, Wolf Blitzer, Bill Clinton, and the great Chuck Norris are just a few notables that were affiliated with a fraternity in their college days. And, going Greek might actually save you money at college…


Clubs, Groups and Organizations

Another great way to become involved on campus is by joining different clubs and groups. Unlike most fraternities and sororities, clubs are usually open to anyone who would like to join and take far less commitment. The typical college campus will have over one hundred clubs and groups to pick from. There are multicultural organizations, honor societies, arts and entertainment clubs, and sporting groups. Joining these groups is perfect for someone who is new to campus who would like to find people who share similar likes and interests. Be sure to use your school resources to help you seek out these organizations. They will most likely be posted on an online student involvement page.

Host an Event

Is there something you are passionate about? If so, why not share it with your fellow students. Campuses generally encourage creativity and will give you a forum to present your ideas or information. Anything from a poetry reading to a talent show could be put into production on campus. If you really want to share your frugal ways, you can even have an informational booth to show students how they can save money on summer storage.  Regardless of the topic, hosting and organizing an event is a great way to get your face out there on your campus.

Getting plugged in on campus and creating a social connection can be a daunting task. However, once you get more involved on campus not only will your college experience be better but you post grad life as well!

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Ignore This College Advice From Your Parents

Your parents mean well. Really. They are proud you’re in college and want you to succeed. However, there’s a good chance that they are also afraid to hand you over to the adult world for the first time, and their fears will often inspire them to turn into sudden experts on your college experience. Pay attention to the seemingly endless stream of advice that comes next, but also bear in mind that you may simply be learning a valuable lesson in Reality 101: Your parents are human, and they are often wrong. When it comes to college preparation, it seems like many parents are quoting misinformation from the same well-intended but unrealistic guidebook. This is especially true of parents whose children have performed well academically but have not had to take on many adult responsibilities thus far. If this description applies to you, then here is your ultimate study guide to which advice to ignore. Review it carefully because the test is happening now.

1. Do not get a job. Just focus on your grades.

Why Parents Say It:

If your parents say this, then either they have agreed to take care of your finances, or you have hit the jackpot in financial aid and scholarships. Your parents are impressed by your academic achievements, and they think that continuing to do well academically is your key to obtaining a job in your field after graduation.

Why to Ignore Them:

In reality, the key to a good job after graduation is work experience coupled with some knowledge of your field. Current students who are expected to have little experience can get their feet in the door at targeted businesses that will be nearly impossible to penetrate when all they have is a 4.0 and a transcript.

Even if all you have is a gig at the local coffee shop, this can also be a prime place to network as well as the source of financial security when you graduate and are searching for opportunities within your major. If your parents have advised you not to work, you probably have additional funds available to provide for your living expenses, which means that a job will give you an opportunity to start saving for those post-college years. Meanwhile, people who take their parents’ advice to avoid work find themselves suddenly broke and with few prospects.

2. Do not sign up for any glamorous student credit card offers.

Why Parents Say It:

Your parents know that lenders target students with incentives for free food and services in exchange for completing credit card applications. They also know how easy it is to accumulate credit-based debt, along with high interest rates and late fees.

Why You Should Ignore Them:

Having a credit history is essential, especially in the United States, and student credit cards are a great way to build credit history. Take this opportunity to thoroughly understand the terms of your card and to practice responsible spending. This is a lesson you will need to learn at some point anyway. It’s better to do it during college when you are most likely responsible for only yourself than to do it later in life when you have a family and are potentially still toting around your perfect transcript but sparse resume searching for a job.

3. Make a plan and stick to it.

Why Parents Say It:

Your parents think they are teaching responsibility. They recognize that honoring your commitments will bring you personal satisfaction and will increase other people’s level of respect for you. They also think that creating a plan with definite goals will help you make it through college without becoming discouraged or overwhelmed and leaving the system.

Why You Should Ignore Them:

All the assumptions behind this advice would be true if you had enough life experience to make a plan worth following. However, you don’t. In fact, the college years are the prime time for gaining this experience, and this is done through the open-minded exploration of different ideas, not through narrow minded dedication. Resist pressure to choose a major course of study until you have fulfilled your core requirements and figured out what you really want to do. Dedication to a plan may lead to an immediate sense of accomplishment, but you will be disillusioned and potentially depressed when you realize how much you’ve limited the possibilities for your adult life. Creating your plan as you progress through college will lead to authentic empowerment and, ultimately, peace.

Today’s guest article is provided by Stacy Rost. She is a freelance writer and wrote this article on behalf of the Partners in Education and Tuition Assistance Programs, where you can find information about a broad range of academic options, including the PETAP online accounting schools and programs.

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Top 6 Myths About College For New Students

Have you heard the one about the escaped killer with the hook for a hand? How about the one where the frightened babysitter discovers that the threatening phone calls she’s been receiving are coming from inside the house? Or the one about the college where every class was hard, every professor was unapproachable and all the roommates were best friends?

It seems that as much as urban legends and myths are a part of our popular culture, they’re also a part of our college conversations. Whether they hear these tales of the college experience from peers, parents, teachers or guidance counselors, college-bound students get an earful of misinformation about what to expect on campus. In addition, that misinformation can sometimes lead to a far less successful college experience for the child and a pricier one for the parents.

In the interest of helping you and your son or daughter know what he or she should really expect at college, Reduce My College Costs asked a few recent college graduates about the tall tales they heard as they made the high school to college transition. Here are six of those myths, busted:

Myth #1: All college classes are hard. High school students hear horror stories, mainly from their teachers, about how hard college courses are. While students should be prepared for course material that is more challenging than what they faced in high school, that doesn’t mean that they should face undue anxiety and be afraid of struggling to pass every class and fearful of mountains of reading assignments that require all-nighters just to complete. The fact of the matter is, just like in high school, some classes are hard and some classes are easy.

Myth #2: College is a non-stop party. Movies like Animal House, PCU and countless others show college as a non-stop party (sometimes with togas and sometimes without). And it is a fact that whether your child attends a state university or a member of the Ivy League, there will be parties – and lots of them! – on-campus, near campus and off campus. So, where does the myth come in? Well, there’s a big difference between knowing parties are constantly being thrown and constantly attending them. Moreover, it is a sad fact that the student who has a hard time making that distinction probably won’t be in college for very long.

Myth #3: In college, you can skip class whenever you want. When it comes to class scheduling, college offers a freedom that students could only dream of in high school. If you don’t like getting up early – no problem! – Just schedule your classes later in the day. But whether a class is at 8 am or 8 pm, there’s little truth to the tale that students can skip whenever they want in college. While many classes don’t have an attendance policy, a student that skips runs the risk of getting behind on class notes and lectures. And since many college professors test not only on textbook knowledge but also in-class lectures and discussions, that’s a risk a wise college student shouldn’t take.

Myth #4: Once tuition and books are paid for, money is no problem. A high school student who has this belief is in for a very rude awakening when it comes time for college, and so are his or her parents. Tuition and books do make up the bulk of college costs, but a student shouldn’t expect to be rolling in money after these fees are paid. That’s because college is expensive all the way around. From meal plans and transportation fees to Scantron test forms and personal products, everything has a price at college. Budgeting every cent is a way of life for most college students, and the sooner they learn how to do so, the better off they (and their parents) will be.

Myth #5: All college professors are unapproachable. Sure, they’ve had a lot of schooling and they have a lot of knowledge about a given subject, but that doesn’t mean that college professors want to be put up on a pedestal. While there are some professors who avoid student contact like the plague, most professors welcome the opportunity to talk to their students and get to know them better. In a large lecture class (typically 100 plus students), it may be difficult to talk to the professor after class, but students should always take note of a professor’s office hours and take advantage of them.

Myth #6: Your roommate will be your best friend. Unless two students asked to be paired together as college roommates, it’s unlikely that they’re going to be the best of friends. That’s because many colleges only take a surface-level approach to matching roommates. Housing questionnaires often ask about general habits (such as smoking, drinking or staying up late), but don’t drill deep enough into personalities. Just because two non-smoking night owls are paired together, doesn’t mean that they’ll be the best of friends or even get along. Students often believe that they’re stuck with the roommate that they’re assigned for at least a year. Nevertheless, if they’re really having difficulties making things work, Resident Advisors (RAs) usually have a knack for finding living arrangements that work for all parties involved.

Just like urban legends and other folklore, as long as there are people to tell the tales, college myths will continue to endure. But by using these myth-busting tips from recent college grads to have a pre-college fact versus fiction conversation with your son or daughter, you help ensure a more successful college experience for your child and a less expensive endeavor for you. And that’s no lie!

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