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Make an Effort to Find College Scholarships and Grants

It’s no secret that higher education has become outrageously expensive. With that in mind, it’s worth putting in some serious effort to find yourself some financial aid that doesn’t have to be paid back—that is, scholarships and grants. Yes, it can be time consuming to look for scholarships and to fill out all of those applications, and it can be frustrating when the answer is “no” (and it will be more often than not, most likely). But with some work, you can reduce your student loan debt and your stress level by finding some free money—so believe me, it’s worth all that painful effort!

So where do you find scholarships? Here’s one thing many students don’t know: most scholarships are local, as opposed to national. That is, you’ll find lots of businesses, religious organizations, minority organizations, and others who are looking to give away money to students from a specific geographic region. These scholarships usually are for less money than national scholarships—but they also are far less competitive.

How do you find these local scholarships? Your high school guidance counselor or college advisor is one good source to ask. Be sure to visit the library and check out the most recent scholarship directory you can find. If you or your parents belong to a community or religious group, ask if there are any scholarships available to members, or if they can refer you in the direction of a scholarship. Also, take a look in local publications. And, of course, you’ll want to search the Internet.

One thing to watch out for: companies that want to sell you information about scholarships and grants. They’re all over the Internet. Scholarship and grant information is readily available for free, so don’t let anyone sucker you into this scam.

Remember, lots of money is out there. You just need to take the time to apply, and to have a thick enough skin to deal with rejection. Best of luck searching for scholarships and grants!

Are Professors Willing to Accommodate Students with Children?

Let’s face it—some professors and college instructors are more eager than others to help out the parents in their classrooms. Some professors are completely understanding when a student is late or absent because of a child’s needs. After all, many college teachers have children too, and even if they don’t, most of them have a clue about how real life works.

Unfortunately, some of your instructors really don’t get it. When I was a professor, I heard way too many of my colleagues whine about the “special accommodations” needed by a student with a sick child. And no, it wasn’t only men who had this attitude.

So what’s the best way to approach a classroom situation when you know you may be absent, late, or in need of some extra time for deadlines because of a child? One of the best things to do is to talk to the teacher. Instructors want to know that students are serious about their classes, so if a student demonstrates they are serious, a teacher is much more likely to allow reasonable accommodations. Say something like, “I’m really excited about this class and am a serious student. I wanted you to know that I’m the single parent of a four-year-old, and I may be a little late because I have to get her to preschool in the morning. I’ll try my very best to get here on time.”

This professional approach will go a long way—and if you’re professional and ask, you may just find that the instructor is more than willing to help you out.

In one case, I had a student who was often quite late to my early class because she had to take her son to school. I invited her to sit in on my later class when necessary, and that solved the problem. In a few cases, I invited students to bring their children to class on days when child care glitches occurred. While this was sometimes a minor distraction to the class (although most were delighted to have a cute little kid around), I felt it was important to demonstrate that children should not be seen as a burden, and that society needs to do what it can to accommodate parents.

So what happens if you encounter an unsympathetic teacher? First, try to have a friendly conversation, and reiterate that you are a serious student who needs just a bit of extra consideration. If your instructor is simply unreasonable, complain—either during or after the semester. Familiarize yourself with the grievance procedure in your school. You may not know it, but many schools have an office of equal opportunity and diversity that handles issues such as this one. Visit them and discuss your options. In addition, look for resources on campus for nontraditional students and parents. A network of people in a similar situation can help you navigate the system.

Remember, you’re not doing anything wrong. Going to school and being a parent at the same time is an accomplishment to be proud of, and any reasonable instructor will respect you for this. I know how much I respected my students with kids—both before and after I became a parent—and you’ll find that this attitude is not unusual.

College Students: Save Money By Driving Less!

The price of a college education has become a major burden on both traditional and nontraditional students alike. Of course, so has the cost of gas. For many students, the expense of getting to and from school is adding big bucks to the total expense of college—especially for students who have to commute daily.

So if there’s a way to drive less as a part of your everyday life as a student, do it! With the price of gas, you might save a significant amount of money.campus pedestrians

First of all, ask yourself if you really need a car. For many students, the answer is yes, and there’s not much you can do about this. But if you can do without, you’ll save a fortune on gas and on parking, maintenance, car payments, and insurance (which, for traditionally aged students, can be outrageous). If you live on or near campus, consider getting around by foot, bicycle, or bus. Most campuses are pedestrian friendly and at least somewhat bike friendly, and many others are situated in an area with a good transit system.

If you’re a commuter, see if there’s a relatively convenient way to get to campus by using public transit. This isn’t always the case, but if it is, the option could save you quite a bit of money. And the time you spend sitting on a bus or train can be spent doing homework. If public transit isn’t always convenient, keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be an either-or situation. You can take public transit on days when it makes sense to do so, and drive on other days.

If you do need a car, look into the possibility of carpooling. Chances are you’re not the only one in your neighborhood who commutes to your school and has a schedule that’s similar to yours. To find carpooling buddies, check at your school’s office for commuter students, or look on the Internet. After all, if you could cut your driving time in half, imagine how much money you could save.

Another thing you can do to save money is to be in class less. No—I don’t mean that you should cut class, but you can try to arrange your schedule to be on campus less often. And, of course, online classes are a fantastic way to avoid time in your car.

Many people are used to driving absolutely everywhere, so the thought of finding other ways to get to school may be rather foreign. However, with gas becoming such a major expense, people are starting to rethink their transit patterns. If you can find a way to pay for college without paying to fill up a tank of gas all the time, do it.

Make Time for a College Internship

One of the things I regret most about college is that I never got a college internship. Because I was paying my way through school and working many hours a week, I figured I didn’t have the time. In retrospect, I should have made the time. Internships allow students to network, to add marketable experience to their resume, and to “try on” a career path. They really are worth the time.

But what do you do if you’re working your way through school, or if you have kids and other obligations that don’t allow you much time? Keep in mind that most internships either (a) pay, or (b) don’t expect students to put in long hours. I didn’t know this when I was a student. With a little searching, I could have found an unpaid internship that still allowed me enough time to work and meet my other obligations. In addition, many departments offer college credit for internships, which can make it more reasonable to take an unpaid internship.

Still, if you don’t have unlimited time to intern for free, you might have to do some looking. Many internships do require long hours for little or no pay, so these will get snatched up by those lucky students who can afford this option.

Spend some time looking for an internship that has terms that are reasonable for you. You can find internship opportunities listed at your school’s career office, in your academic department, and on the Internet. And don’t be afraid to call companies that interest you to ask if they could use a free intern for a few hours a week. Smaller companies often are especially open to this idea, and if they don’t need you, they may be able to refer you elsewhere.

If you don’t know much about how the internship process works, or how you can make an internship fit into your busy schedule, educate yourself by using resources on your campus. Make an appointment with someone in the career services office, and come prepared to discuss your needs. Chances are that this office will be more than willing to help you. I definitely wish I had done this, so don’t make the same mistake I did by ruling out the possibility of an internship!

Staying Sane as You Study for Final Exams

Don’t you just love final exams? No? Okay, so maybe the only good thing about finals is that a break from college is coming very soon. But there are a few things you can do while studying for finals to make the process less painful.

First, schedule in some good study breaks. No, don’t procrastinate, as this will just make you more stressed out. However, if you try to study for three days straight, you’re not going to digest the information effectively—plus you’re going to become one very unpleasant person. Try to schedule in at least ten minutes of break for every hour your study, even if you’re crunched for time. Trust me. You’ll be happier and will retain more info.College Finals

Second, plan your days carefully with good time management. You only have a limited amount of time to study for multiple exams, so carefully create a schedule that allows you to get as much done as possible. Sit down and map out what you’re doing when in hour-long chunks. You may have to prioritize, as there probably isn’t as much time as you need to study masterfully for every subject.

Next, try to maintain some fairly healthy habits while you study. No, this isn’t the time to go on a diet or health kick, but if you put just a little effort into taking care of yourself, you’ll feel much better and may do better on the exams. One good thing to do is to fuel yourself with lots of healthy snacks. Protein is your best bet because it provides a consistent flow of energy, so snack on some nuts, cheese, and protein bars. Limit your intake of sugar, carbs, and (yes) caffeine, because these will all give you quick energy, but will be followed by a big crash. In addition, try to get a little exercise. No, don’t spend hours in the gym—that’s procrastination and you know it. However, a quick walk, swim, bike ride, or run on the treadmill will clear your mind.

And try to get some sleep! Skipping a few chapters of material in order to get some sleep may just be worth more points on an exam, as you need to be alert to do well.

In addition, don’t waste your time with study groups—unless you know your study group is dependable and won’t be counting on you to do all the work. A good study group might help a little, but a bad one is a waste of time you really don’t have right now.

Finally, try to keep things in perspective. Yes, you need to take exams seriously—but not so seriously that you’re causing yourself serious anxiety issues. If you don’t do as well as you like, chances are the consequences really won’t be that bad. Do the best you can, since that’s all you can do.

Good luck, students! finds student loans and scholarships

Student LoansStarting at an early age, parents encourage their children to strive for great things. Children are taught that if they do well in school and work hard, they can be anything they want to be professionally. Without an advanced education though, these goals can be difficult to achieve. The professional workforce is constantly changing. Pressure is being placed on those that want good careers to receive higher education. A high school diploma is no longer enough to be what many deem as successful. For many aspiring to go to college or graduate school, the world of student loans can be an important part of making dreams a reality.
If you are newly entering college, finding and understanding student loans can be very intimidating. It’s helpful to have someone explain how everything works and walk you through the process of filling out applications.

One helpful site for such information is This site provides helpful information on applying for student loans as well as consolidating them. offers a free scholarship search engine with over 5.9 million individual awards, free one-on-one counseling with a personally assigned Education Finance Advisor, financial aid top tips and low-cost student loans. There are also many helpful resources available like a directory of schools and a feature that compares loans. With you can even apply for student loans directly through the web site.

Many student loan sites cater only to undergraduate students. offers tools for graduate students including fellowships and graduate student loans to help pay for post-graduate education. has private student loans available with many features not available through other student loan providers. features a fast and easy application with approval in as little as 15 minutes. You can also enjoy loan amounts up to the full cost of your tuition, no application fees, no application deadlines, no payments for students until after you’ve graduated or dropped below half time enrollment, money sent directly to you and possible tax deductible interest.

Some of the benefits of applying for Graduate PLUS Student Loans allow you to lock in your graduate student loan payments, no application fees or prepayment penalties and generous borrowing limits. The last thing you need to be worried about while in school is paying back student loans. This way you can focus on learning so that you’re ready for that dream job after graduation. Once you’ve graduated and it’s time to pay back your loans, you can also use for loan consolidation. You’ll bundle all your federal student loans into one easy-to-manage loan with one monthly payment. By consolidating your loans, you can quite possibly cut monthly payments in half.

If you’re going to college or graduate school, chances are you’re going to need some help paying for it. Get help applying for your loans from a site you can trust and do all your loan shopping in one location. can help you get the academic edge without stressing about money. Get your money when you need it so you can head down the path to success.

Suffield University offers degrees for working adults

Suffield UniversityIt’s becoming increasingly important to have a degree in order to achieve any significant level of success in your career. While some people manage to find success in their field without the benefit of a degree, the workplace is becoming more competitive. A degree in any field offers a distinct advantage. But, as people grow busier each year, taking the time to study for a degree is increasingly difficult.

Bridging the gap between higher education and working adults, online education and distance learning programs offer the flexibility people need to pursue their degrees. Of the many educational institutions helping people earn advanced degrees, Suffield University is one of the highest-profile programs. In this article, you’ll learn more about Suffield University as well as why some people have recommended others to avoid the school.

Which Degrees Are Offered?

There are a huge assortment of degrees available from Suffield University. Among them are degrees in Accounting, Civil Engineering, International Studies and Telecommunications. This is merely a fraction of what is available from the school. If you wish to pursue a degree that is not currently offered by the school, you can simply put whatever degree you desire on your application. Students can pursue Associates, Bachelors, Masters and even Doctorate degrees in many of the majors.

What Is Required To Earn A Degree?

Suffield University has a flexible list of requirements for each degree that they offer. There is a significant weight placed on what they refer to as “work/life experience.” For example, to earn an Associate degree, a student can either have 2 years of work/life experience or 1 year of such experience along with 30 college credits.

A Bachelor degree can be earned by having 4 years of work/life experience. Alternatively, students with only 3 years of experience can earn a Bachelor degree with 30 college credits. If that student only has 2 years of experience in the same field as their major, 60 college credits are required to earn the degree. Master and Doctorate degrees require similar combinations of life experience and/or college credits.

Should You Attend Suffield University?

Ultimately, your decision of whether to earn a degree from Suffield University should be based upon the purpose for which you intend the degree. If you merely want to enjoy having a degree in a particular field, a degree from Suffield may be a great option for you. It takes very little time to earn the degree and the cost of tuition is a fraction of what other universities cost. One word of caution: if you plan to earn an advanced degree from another college, make sure the credits from Suffield will be accepted by the other college.

High School Diploma vs. GED

For those without a high school diploma, getting a job and achieving financial security may be difficult. According to research conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, people who lack a high school diploma earn nearly a quarter of a million dollars less over their lifetimes than those with a diploma. This can have a profound effect on the quality of life they and their families experience. Below, you’ll learn how a high school diploma differs from a GED as well as 3 ways to earn your diploma.

Difference Between A GED And A High School Diploma

People often confuse a GED with a high school diploma. They are not the same. A GED requires that a person pass 5 different tests comprising of the core fundamentals taught in high school. Passing the tests can require several hours of study. Earning a high school diploma requires a more regimented set of courses. It usually takes at least 3 years to complete these courses.

Though employers typically see a GED and a high school diploma equally, colleges often consider a GED inferior. Though a diploma doesn’t guarantee entry into a college, it may provide a significant advantage over a GED when enrolling in competitive universities or certain oversubscribed majors.

3 Ways To Get Your High School Diploma

Millions of people drop out of high school early for a variety of reasons. Often, a lucrative job opportunity pulls them away from their studies. Other times, family obligations may preclude their attending classes. Whatever the reason, many of them wish to pursue their high school diploma years later. Today, there are several ways to earn a diploma:

1. Regular Classes – Some people enjoy meeting in person. They can interact with other students and the teacher in a more intimate environment. To cater to working adults, classes are often held in the evening or during weekends.

2. Correspondence Courses – These courses can be a great alternative for working adults who need flexibility in their schedules. The course work is completed and either submitted by mail or email to the teacher.

3. Online Classes – For students who are unable (or unwilling) to attend regular classes, yet want a level of interaction with other students and the teacher, online classes may be a good alternative. Most of the class assignments are made available to students online. Once completed, the assignments can be submitted by email. Students and teachers can interact through online chat sessions, videos and discussion forums.

Making The Commitment To Earning Your High School Diploma

While earning your high school diploma isn’t easy, doing so offers many benefits. Your potential lifetime earnings are much higher with a diploma than without. Employers are more likely to hire and promote you if they’re confident that you have a firm grasp of your core academic studies. Also, colleges may be more willing to accept you into programs that are impacted. You have many options in pursuing your diploma. Regular classes, correspondence courses and online classes can provide the flexibility you need. In the end, you may find that earning your high school diploma opens several doors of opportunity for you.

Check out Belford High School to earn your high school diploma online.

Scholarships provide free college tuition

As senior year draws to a close, there are many things to keep upcoming college freshmen occupied. There are standardized tests to take, prom, finals, college applications and much more. Many students are so excited about going to college that there isn’t time to think about how to pay for it. Most students plan to lean on federal student loans, but loans come with a hefty price tag even if a degree isn’t obtained. Granted, students don’t have to pay back the money until they’ve been out of school six months or more, but the interest continues stacking up throughout your time in school. Scholarships are free money that can be used as the primary, if not sole, means of paying for a college education. And typically their only cost is keeping your grades up.

There are over a million scholarships available, worth billions of dollars, and many ways to find the right group of scholarships to pay for college. One method of finding money for school is the Internet. When using the Internet to search for scholarship help, it can be difficult to sort through the clutter of sites that will fill up your inbox with everything, except scholarship information. One trusted site that’s been around since 1995 is FastWeb has helped more than 34 million students find scholarships since it first launched.

FastWeb can be your link to scholarship information. It is the Web’s largest searchable scholarship database, and there’s no need to worry about outdated information, because the database is updated daily. Just when you thought there was no way to pay for college other than loans, or having a perfect grade point average, there is hope. With FastWeb, you fill out a profile, and search scholarships and internships related to your field of interest, all for free. A couple of drawbacks are that the profile section is rather lengthy, and there are some advertisements that will interrupt the process. As long as you don’t get distracted with the ads, you can be well on your way to finding scholarship money for school.

If you are not sure which college major you’re interested in just yet, that’s all right. You can go for general scholarships until you choose your specialty. There are so many decisions to make at this point that you shouldn’t rush it. Throughout college and even before you start, you’ll learn that many of your decisions heavily depend on resources. This resource is one that can greatly help ease the financial burden of furthering your education. There are many web sites, books and message boards available to help find scholarships for college, so shop around for the one that’s right for you. Check everything out and be sure to find the route that will best fit your needs.

As you look toward a college adventure filled with classes, pop-quizzes, mid-terms and finals, the last thing you should be preoccupied with is how to pay your tuition. Work with FastWeb to find the right scholarships, while you enjoy your senior year stress-free.

How to begin your Nursing Career

There are certain types of people that are just naturally caregivers. These people are generally compassionate, motivating and kindhearted. Nursing is a popular career option for these types of people. For those thinking of becoming a nurse the research process can be quite overwhelming.

Bachelors and Associates Nursing Education
The first step to starting a nursing career starts with the preliminary research. Becoming a nurse requires an advanced education. Although you do not need a college degree to become a nurse, those who have a nursing degree will make more money and have more career options in the future.

There are many options to obtaining a nursing degree. The most common is a Bachelor of Science Nursing which is a 4 year degree at a traditional university. Usually a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree is required for admission to a Masters of Nursing program. By completing a college degree individuals will become a Registered Nurse and will have many career paths they could take. Individuals choosing not to become RN’s can also obtain an Associates Degree from a community college and work taking care of the sick, injured or elderly in special needs programs. Make sure the nursing program is accredited with The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education before enrolling.

Advanced Nursing Education
Licensed Practical Nurses care for the sick, injured and disabled under the direct supervision of physicians and registered nurses. An LPN is responsible for taking basic care, taking vital signs, monitoring equipment and changing dressings. Getting an LPN degree usually takes 1 year and can be found at vocational schools. Some universities offer accelerated programs for students who already have some other degree but wish to pursue nursing. These programs usually last 1.5-2 years in length. There are many advanced degrees as well such as Degree Completion Programs for RNs, Master, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Programs. Getting a degree is the first step in a meaningful nursing career.

Once you have a degree in nursing there are many different certification programs available to further ones career. Some Registered Nurses are required to complete certification classes on a regular basis to show competence of their job skills. There are no set standards for every hospital or clinic but rather each employer can choose to participate in ongoing training/certification. Online programs do exist and our gaining in popularity due to their reduced cost and time.

It Pays to be a Nurse
A nursing career is one of the most popular and most needed jobs in America. Currently there are more than 100,000 RN openings in the United States. By 2020 there will be a need for 800,000 RNs. The increased need is due to the world living longer and an increase in the geriatric population. Registered Nurses earn an average of $49,840 a year according to the U.S. Department of Labor. With such a need for nurses many hospitals are giving out huge signing bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases. If you enjoy taking care of people it definitely pays to look into nursing.


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