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Five Ways to Save Money in College

This is guest post from Jeff Cohen, blogger at and CEO of CampusBooks.

There’s no getting around it: college is expensive. But while you may not be able to do anything about tuition costs, there are tried and tested ways to take control of your financial situation without sacrificing the cherished college experience. Here’s how to do it:

1) Books

It’s easy to save money on textbooks as long as you avoid the campus bookstore. Check with friends to see if anyone has taken the class before you and has the textbook to lend you or exchange. If you can’t borrow, you’re your books through sites like, which offer coupons and will compare prices from a range of booksellers to get you the best deals. After the semester ends, sell your used textbooks online and recoup some of your losses using the same sites.

2) Food

Learn to cook! Ditch the local fast food chain and learn how to prepare your own nutritious food. Healthy doesn’t always have to mean expensive—buy in bulk from warehouse clubs like Costco, go generic, clip coupons, and try your local Farmer’s Market for great bargains. When all else fails, however, ramen noodles are an acceptable, if stereotypical, fallback—it’s hard to beat at less than a dollar a package.

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Graduates Go Abroad to Find Work

As a recent college graduate, I am here to tell you: the job market is dismal. Last year, workers ages 16-24 (a generation also known as the Millennials) faced an unemployment rate of 18.4 percent. This is the highest unemployment rate for this age group in the past 60 years. The U.S. Labor Department recently reported that there are four unemployed American for every one new job that becomes available. That’s some pretty tough competition, if you ask me.

So what should recent grads who want to start their careers do? One option is to move back in with Mom and Dad until things improve. In fact, 85 percent of recent graduates are doing just that. By living with their parents, Millennials can reduce their living expenses and focus on reducing the large amount of debt that they probably incurred during college.

Another option will take students far away from their parents’ house. I thought I was being somewhat unusual when I decided to look outside our nation’s boarders for a job, but evidently, that is one of the biggest trends among Millennials. Where are these ex-pats going to start their careers? Many are going to Asia, where they can teach English and learn about a culture that is very different from their own. Japan and South Korea are two very popular options, with high wages and low costs of living luring in many recent graduates.

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How to Become a Navy SEAL

Our country is full of heroes. From the firefighters to the food bank volunteers, there are people, both seen and unseen, who make extraordinary differences in our lives. We give mad love to the guys and gals who slip quietly under the radar but that’s not what this particular post is about. This isn’t about the unsung heroes in our world, this is about the stuff legends are made of- stories of tragedy and triumph, determination and danger. This is about none other than the Navy SEALs.

The demise of Osama bin Laden was the finale of carefully planned efforts among military and government intelligence. Many men and women have given their time and their lives in order to fight for our country (both against bin Laden and other modern villains) but in the end, it was the Navy SEALs who delivered the swift end to a ten-year pursuit. The globe shakes with the news and with it, young men everywhere want to know how they too can become Navy SEALs.

The job description of a SEAL is outlined on the US Navy’s official website: “To become a SEAL in the Naval Special Warfare/Naval Special Operations (NSW/NSO) community, you must first go through what is widely considered to be the most physically and mentally demanding military training in existence. Then comes the tough part: the job of essentially taking on any situation or foe that the world has to offer … Conducting clandestine missions behind enemy lines. Capturing enemy targets and intelligence against impossible odds. Bringing a threatening act of sea piracy to resolution in the blink of an eye. When they say ‘The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday,’ it’s a motto backed by legendary achievements.”

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How to Be Successful at Networking Events

With graduation just around the corner, it won’t be long before you start the job hunt. You may be intimidated by those career fairs and other networking events, but lets face it, they can be your ticket to that much-needed pay day.

Don’t sweat it. Read these tips on how to impress those potential employers at your next career fair.

Resume: Don’t leave home without it, and don’t try to type it up the night before. Spend several hours on it, and be sure to use power words when you describe your acquired skills. Have your school’s career center look over your resume a couple of days before the career fair, so you will have time for re-dos.

Attire: Dress like you would if you were headed to an interview. For men, make sure you’re in a tailored or well-fitted suit. For women, keep away from flashy jewelry and low-cut blouses and short skirts.

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College Students are Graduating with Even More Debt

student loansThe cost of earning a college education has been a concern for many families for years. A new report reveals that this concern should be increasing because the average amount of debt that a student graduates with has also been increasing.

According to the New York Times, the Project on Student Debt reports that the average college senior graduated in 2009 with $24,000 in debt. This is up six percent from 2008.

The unemployment rate for recent college graduates has also increased since 2008. It is now 8.7 percent, which is the highest annual rate on record. Read the rest of this entry »

5,000 Janitors in the U.S. Currently Hold PhDs

mop and bucketThe state of the U.S. economy has left a substantial number of people without work and a very bleak outlook for the future. These difficult times have also caused many people to go back to school to earn a higher level of education. Reflecting on these times, people often think the higher their education level, the better their chances of gaining employment when the economy starts to bounce back. Some also think that if they are more educated, that might help stave off unemployment in the future. Something that many don’t consider during these times is how many people of high level education might be forced to do jobs they are overqualified for just to find work. Read the rest of this entry »

Real Benefits to Earning Your Higher Education

studyingDo you ever wonder if these four years of college are ever going to be worth all the study/all-nighters/expense/lack of a social life/work/every other bad thing you can think of about college? Is it really worth getting up at 6:00am to make that 7:00am chemistry lab? What about the rising cost of tuition? There are many things that could discourage you from pursuing a higher education. Is it worth it? Experts say yes.

According to a new study by the College Board, “workers with a college degree earned much more and were much less likely to be unemployed than those with only a high school diploma.”

In 2008, this study found that the median earnings of workers with a bachelor’s degree were $55,700. Workers who had only earned their high school diploma made $21,900 on average. Women who have earned their bachelor’s degree earn 79 percent more than those who only have their high school diploma; for men, it was 74 percent more. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Nail a Job Interview

handshakeIn today’s job climate, it can take applying to over 50 or more jobs before you land one interview. With such a drastic shortage of jobs, it’s very important to make the most of each and every interview opportunity you might receive.

There are so many people out of work that an interview is really your only chance to stand out, make a great first impression, and highlight your skills. Below are some tips to do just that, and hopefully land your dream job.

Know your resume: Make sure your resume is tailored to match the job description you’re applying for and you know it inside and out. The interviewer will likely ask you questions based directly on what your resume says, so it would be in your best interest to be ready to discuss anything on it.

Be honest: Answer every question honestly. If you’re unsure of an answer or don’t have direct experience in an area the interviewer is asking about, say so. If you are unsure about a question, make a point to mention that you are willing to learn or be trained in that particular area. It will go over much better than lying and being found out later in the interview. Read the rest of this entry »

Seven Resume Mistakes to Avoid

Seven resume mistakes to avoid

Avoid these reds flags to improve your chance at an interview and getting hired. Hillary Chura of CBS reports that it takes less than a minute for a recruiter to plow through six resumes.

1. Don’t apply for a job you aren’t qualified for

There are entry-level jobs that expect to train new hires, but if you’re a photography student, don’t apply for a job as a tax specialist. It wastes everybody’s time–not only yours but also your potential employers. Instead, invest more time in writing a super cover letter for a position for which you’re qualified.

2. Don’t make your mission statement about you

Lofty mission statements about how a job will serve your life goals are not particularly interesting to employers. They want to know how you will serve their needs. Write an “objectives statement that shows you understand the position you’re applying for by highlighting the skills your employer is seeking.” Read the rest of this entry »

Fun Summer Jobs for Students

A job is one of those love/hate things about summer break. You love it because it puts some extra spending money in your pocket, but you are supposed to hate it – on principle if nothing else – because it takes away from your time to be lazy and do whatever you want. However, you could actually find a fun summer job. Then maybe the love/hate relationship could become a love/tolerate or even a love/like one. That doesn’t sound too shabby to me!dog walker

If you already have a summer job and absolutely hate it, or if you haven’t found one yet, here are some nice alternatives to normal summer jobs.

1. Forget babysitting. Be a house-sitter or pet-sitter. Many families take their annual vacation during summer break. As a result, they are left in a bind: Who will take care of Fido and water the plants? Well, that could be you. The difficulty of the job depends on the house or the pet, but the good news is that even if it is ridiculously hard, you only have to do it for a few weeks, at most. The good news is that most people are willing to pay quite a nice rate for this service because you are taking care of things that are very important to them. Read the rest of this entry »


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