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Archive | August, 2013

Tools to Manage Your College Scholarship Application Process

Tools to Manage Your College Scholarship Application Process

Getting a good education is important, and it all starts with getting scholarships so that you can pay for college. However, when you are applying for a lot of different scholarships, it can be hard to keep track of everything. You need to know which ones you have to do still, which ones you have submitted to and not heard back from, and which ones have responded with your status. If you make any mistakes, they could prove costly, as you could miss out on a scholarship that you would otherwise have gotten, helping to make your dreams of higher education a reality. You need tools to help you keep everything in order.

Google Docs Spreadsheets

You should start with Google Docs spreadsheets. You are probably going to have to use Google Docs while you are getting your education anyway, so it is a good idea to get acquainted with the system. You can set up separate rows and columns for all of your information, making it easy to see the list of total scholarships and their statuses in seconds. Best of all, you can access your Google Docs account from any computer, so you can work on it at home, at the library, or on your smartphone while you ride the bus.

College Board

scholarshipsThis is a website that will allow you to put in your criteria for colleges, and you can then see which ones will give you exactly what you are looking for in terms of education and scholarship offers. Finding this balance is crucial. You do not just want to go to a school that is free if it will not give you the education that you want, but you also do not want to overpay when you could have gotten a better deal elsewhere. This site makes it easy to compare your options.

College Data

When you sign up for this site, you can use the Scholarship Search feature to locate new scholarships that you want to apply for. If you have an account, you are able to save your searches and look at past results. This helps to make sure that you do not accidentally apply for the same scholarship more than once. The biggest benefit, though, is that it gives you a way to search so that you can find more scholarships than you would elsewhere; you can never have too many.

Open Office

In many ways, Open Office is just like Microsoft Office, giving you a word processor, a spreadsheet program, and much else. However, there is one big difference: It is free. Have you been feeling rather unorganized because you do not want to spend hundreds of dollars just to get the software that you need to make lists, write out application letters and keep track of all of your applications? If so, you should really look into Open Office. It even gives you the option to save your files in numerous popular formats, so they should be compatible with other computers that are running Microsoft Office programs.

Scholarships.com

This site gives you many things, but one whole section is dedicated to tips that can help you stay organized. For example, one of the tips is to use a calendar so that you can keep track of when you sent out all of the applications. At the very least, you should record the date in your Google Docs spreadsheet so that you know how long you have been waiting. If you use the tips on this site, it will be far easier to get money for your education.

Author Bio

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 systems and tools to manage application processes and aims to encourage further study with a UAB Masters in Information Systems Online

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Tips for Avoiding Student Loan Debt in Today’s Economy

Tips for Avoiding Student Loan Debt in Today’s Economy

Student Loan DebtHigher education is becoming costlier these days, leading to a significant increase in the total amount of student loan debt in the U.S.

According to the Department of Education, approximately 6.8 million borrowers of federal student loans failed to make their loan payments. Many of these borrowers find themselves struggling to pay their loans because they did not take the right measures to avoid student loan debt.

Here are several things you can do make your student loan payments more manageable:

Choosing the Right Student Loan Plan

When you are getting a student loan, it is advisable that you choose a plan that requires you to pay no more than eight percent of your monthly salary after graduating. You can choose one of the four main plans available, which range from a minimum monthly payment of $50 over a period of 10 years to payments that increase incrementally over time. If you are expecting to earn a low income after you graduate, it may be safer to opt for an income-based repayment plan. Under this type of plan, you have to pay a certain percentage of your expected income every year, and the remainder of your debt will be absolved after 25 years. However, this may not be a good option for you if you have a large student loan, because the forgiven debt is taxable by the federal government.

Try Not to Postpone Payments or Make Minimum Payments

If you are eligible for deferment or forbearance, it may seem like a good idea to postpone your student loan payments. However, you may have to pay more interest if you choose to stop making payments temporarily. Also, you should try to pay more than the minimum amount required every month. Making minimum payments means that you have to take a longer time to pay off your loan. The longer the repayment period, the higher the overall amount you have to pay.

Apply for a Scholarship or Grant

The best way to avoid student loan debt is to borrow as little as possible. You can reduce the amount of student loan you need to borrow by getting a scholarship or grant. The federal government, companies and non-profit organizations offer scholarships to students who excel in academics, sports and leadership, as well as students who are pursuing a particular major and minority students. Grants are available for students who are financially needy.

Get a Job and Live Frugally

If you are able to find a part-time job while you are studying, you may not need a large student loan to complete your education. This can reduce your financial burdens significantly after you graduate. Another way to stay on top of your student loan is to cut down on your living costs while you are in school. Understanding your student loan options and taking the right measures to manage your loan can make a big difference in your ability to avoid student loan debt.

About The Author:

Today’s guest article comes from John McMalcolm. He is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from debt management to small business management 101.

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5 Students That Started A Business While In College

5 Students That Started A Business While In College

educationmoneyContrary to what most people believe, you do not have to wait until you get your college diploma or degree to get your career going. Starting a business while still in college is no longer a challenge. Just as many other successful businessmen and women begun, you too can start a business while still in the dorm room. All you need to have is determination and dedication.

If you think it is difficult juggling between studies and business, you are wrong. It is as easy as doing what you are supposed to do at the right time and in the right place. Here are five students who started their businesses while in college:

Bill Gates: Microsoft, Computer Software

Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard University. In 1973, he convinced his fellow drop out Paul Allen to partner with him in launching a computer software company, the now famous Microsoft. It was not long after Steve Ballmer, Gate’s friend at the university joined them.

TIP: If you have to start a business in school, have the skills required to execute the business.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page : Google, Search Engine

While at Stanford University in 1996, Ph. D students Sergey Brin and Larry Page started working on a search engine called “BackRub”. The two ran the search engine on the university’s servers for a year before renaming it “Google.” Today, Google is the biggest and widely used search engines in the world.

Michael Dell: Dell Inc., Computer Manufacturer and Distributor

Michael Dell could not entertain the thought of waiting until he finished college to look for a job. While a student at University of Texas-Austin in 1984, he started selling IBM PC computers from his dorm room. In one year, Dell had created his own computer called Turbo PC. By 1992, he was the youngest CEO of a multimillion computer company.

Seth Berkowitz : Insomnia Cookies, Cookies Bakers

While a junior at University of Pennsylvania, Seth Berkowitz could not stand hunger attacks due to late night cramming sessions. Seth decided to bake cookies to curb the hunger. When fellow students learned about his cookie operations, he decided to make it a business naming it Insomnia Cookies. Insomnia cookies are now a booming business in campuses throughout the country.

Bo Peabody and Brett Hershey: Tripod.com

Bo Peabody and Brett Hershey were classmates in Williams College in 1992. These two saw a business opportunity on the worldwide web and decided to go for it. They teamed up with Dick Sabot, their economics professor and sold web server space via a company called tripod.com. Tripod.com became one of the first big dot-com companies prior to the mid 90s boom.

There you have it. It is not until after college that you start looking for a job or start a business. If you have the opportunity to start a business while still in college, go for it. You never know, that could be your only chance of creating a good foundation for your future, that of your children and generations to come.

You do not have to start the same business as the ones listed above. Look for an opportunity to take advantage of. You should balance your studies with business responsibilities if you decide to start a business. Business opportunities never knock on your door, it is your duty to go on a quest and identify profitable opportunities.

About the Author:

Today’s guest article comes from Joshua Turner. He is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to business. In this article, he describes a few entrepreneurs who began their business in college and aims to encourage further study with a NJIT Marketing MBA online.

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