A GPS for Your Classes

A Global Positioning System (GPS) tells you where you are at the time you are requesting directions and gives directions to where your going.
In college a class syllabus, given to you on the first day of class is like a GPS for each particular course. It basically tells you what an academic turns to make to succeed in a course .    Unless you’re very familiar with the course being studied, you want to pay close attention to the contents of a syllabus.
The following is a breakdown of what is in a course syllabus:
  • The Course Title. It is common for the course number to be included as it is seen in a Catalog.
  • Course location, the building and class number are given.
  • Current professors teaching the class along with his or her contact information which will include the office location and times they can be reached.
  • A brief description of the course.
  • Instruction objectives, this section concentrates on what you will learn/understand throughout the course and at the end.
  • Prerequisites required, equipment or text needed. Many of your major and some core classes require that you have a certain level of knowledge of another subject or a basic level of understanding of the course you will study. Some classes require different equipment such as a subject specific calculator or  goggles.
  • Assessments you the student will do along with how frequent, projected dates and the values they have to your final grade.
  • Course polices regarding attendance, deadlines and academic honesty.
  • Some professors may have section advising on how to be successful in their class.
Read through you syllabi’s for each class and if something is not clear to you consult your professors for clarity.  After all this is the document telling you what direction you need to go to be successful in your classes.
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Discounts for College Students

While students are maximizing  educational and career market ability, the amont of dollars in ones pocket minimizes.  College students can catch a financial break by taking advantage of discounts available. Savings for students can be in the form of recieving an accessory item to a laptop to travel discounts.  The fall semester swiftly approaching many companies like Dell, apple, HP, Sony, and Lenovo are offering discounts on their laptop computers listed are the discounts being offered :


  • HP
  • hp coupon
  • Sony
  • Lenovo
  • Apple
  •  Dell
Has various specials running with unspecified dates please feel free to contact Matt at 1-800-999-3355 ext.(4160521).
Books are essential for any college student. It’s unfortunate the total cost a semester for books can be up to $700 dollars or more. However, that cost can be cut by 50% when purchasing books online or renting them. These sites can help you keep money in your pocket:
If you have travel plans these websites giving students and faculty discounts on travel may help you save on travel.
The quality of projects assigned in courses can be enhanced if you have certain software to make that happen.  Having the status of being a student allows you to get discounts on many software packages.  Check out some of these savings at the following sites:
In closing there are general student discount websites like http://studentrate.com/studentrate/ and www.studentadvantage.com that may help you get discounts on a wide verity of things. Hope this post has been helpful.
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Finding an Outlet


A friend of mine mention that her high school guidance counselor advised that she have someone to talk when she went off to college.  She said that it was some of the best advice that she got.  Having someone to discuss issues from  academics to friction with a roommate can allow you to sort things out in a rational manner.  When you take time to relay various issues to a trusted listener, he or she may be able to get you to see situations in another perspective. This can be an advantage allowing you to make more sound decisions in a various situations you may find yourself in.
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How soon?

I was once visiting a home of a single mother of two, the oldest was in Jr. High and the other in Elementary school.  While talking with the mother in the kitchen, I noticed scores from the SAT were posted on the refrigerator.  I didn’t pay  attention the the scores but it made me think Is it better to start preparing a child for college in Middle School or wait until Junior year in high school?
It is the norm for most students prepare for college in high school around their junior year.  Is this a sound practice?  The advantages may be great for a student who prepares academically for college as early as eighth grade.  If a student is getting familiar with a national standardize test in middle school, there isn’t as much pressure as a Junior or Senior. An early start may result in a student having more confidence in math, science, and English composition assuming that the parent(s) and students understand what needs to be focused on.
This is just a though. I’d like to know what students and parents think of this concept. what do you think?  Your well thought feedback will be appreciated.
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Things to Consider When Finanacing an Education

The cost of college can be financed through many avenues. Grants, scholarships, 529 savings plans, and student loans are some of the ways school is paid for. This post will focus on two different types of student loans commonly used by students entering undergrad, federal student loans and private. The difference between the two are:

Federal Loans

  • Interest rates are fixed
  • May include federally-subsidized interest according to the student’s need
  • Offer flexible repayment and deferment options, including income-based repayment
  • FASFA completion is required
  • Require school certification
  • May have borrower perks, like interest rate discounts
  • PLUS loans require that the borrower have stellar credit
  • Stafford and Perkins loans are not credit based
Private Loans
  • Can help when federal student loans, scholarships, grants and other aid aren’t enough to fund your entire cost of education
  • Have interest rates and fees that are determined by the lender and often depend on your credit rating
  • May have variable interest rates
  • Although a cosigner is not necessary or required to apply, a qualified cosigner may help a student get approved for a private student loan and possibly get a better interest rate
  • May or may not have deferment and forbearance options
  • Forbearance options are limited
  • May offer borrower benefits, such as interest rate discounts
  • May require school certification
  • Require completion of a self-certification form
A few glaring differences between the two are the flexibilities that a federal loan will offer in comparison to a private loan.  In a down economy like we are currently experiencing, jobs that allow you to cover living expenses and pay your student loans are few and far available.  If you are unable to land employment in times like these, federal loans that you have will be more flexible with forbearance and deferment options. With a private loan deferment & forbearance may not be available or very stringent.  This means  you have to pay your private loan off regardless of your financial situation.
In closing consider the options of all financial assistance when you are planing your budget for school and the responsibilities that you will have after obtaining your degree.
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Choosing Your College

Choosing what college or university to attend is a time one should
take an introspective evaluation of how he or she naturally interprets
information.  Self review will be a guide in direction students to an
institute of learning that is the best fit.  Deciding where to set
ones educational dial should focus on but notbe limited to the following:
  • The type of university or college is it a liberal arts school with all
    majors having  broader curriculum in arts and philosophy or a research
    university that has a more direct curriculum geared towards your field
    of study?
  • The reputation of the professors and administrators in the
    school/program you will be majoring in (e.g. business, science,
    education department). Are there opportunities to get real world
    experience in what you study (e.g. internships, providing research for
    a professor,studying abroad)? Do the professors and administrators
    openly  present those opportunities?
  • The student to professor ratio. Do you perform well in a small class
    setting with less than 35 students or a large one with 35 or more?
    These are a few points to take into consideration however, you can
    utilize other resources like people you know who are currently
    enrolled in college. 
There are also books and websites that can help
you make the decision best suited for you feel free to check out the
links to some of  below.
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The days are drawing closer and soon you will be departing for college.  Here are a few helpful hints for the start of your new journey:

  •  Check to see if your cell phone carrier has coverage in that area
  • Open up a checking account that is nationwide, so that it is easier for you to get that money that your parent(s) are sending you.
  • When packing don’t take your entire room……you will be back for the holidays, if not sooner.  Try to only take the bare necessities. Only pack light clothing for now being that it is hot and maybe take a long shirt or two, jacket, just in case it gets cold,remember that space is limited.
  • Before spending all of your money on new books, check out the used books, students selling there books or check out sites such as www.half.com or www.chegg.com to rent books (just to name a few).

Good luck and keep striving to reach your goals and remember that every failure is potential success, it is all in how you face it.




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The Benefits of having a mentor


I’ve seen this painting a numerous times but recently began to like when a friend gave his interpretation of it.  He explained that the man leaning over the ledge was offering his hand while the other is reaching to make the connection.  After he gave his view He Aint Heavy, became one of favorite pieces of artwork. 

In my opinion this painting sums up mentoring.  As a student you will need direction and encouragement while pursuing a degree as well as making connections in the field you choose to have a career in.  Essentially you are the person reaching to make the association and a mentor is offering his or her hand into the understanding you wish to have.  Sometimes professionals offer to be a mentor, if that is not the case you can look for one by asking your professors if they have any former students or associates who are in the profession of interest to see if they are interested in mentoring. Another way to find a mentor would be to search in a club or organization that is specific to your major.

In closing, always remember that you need a team to give you resources to reach your goals.


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Dealing with Difficult Professors

Your investment in the college that you chose is a serious affair.  It is the bridge that can connect you to your career and many other opportunities after a degree is obtained.  Sometimes you will encounter difficult professor(s) who may not meet their obligation of teaching that is beneficial to your performance. If you are studying diligently and have made attempts to understand a subject and the professor is unavailable during his or her scheduled office hours, you may want to verify that the hours on the syllabus are the current hours for that semester. 


Professors have other responsibilities such as research and publishing in addition to lecturing classes and this may have caused a change in their schedule.  If this is not the case consult the dean of that department.  It is similar to asking for a manager or supervisor at a place of business except this is the business of your education and you should value it just as much as you would any major purchase in life.  Consult your catalog or school webpage on the proper steps to take if you dealing with a professor who is not living up to their job.


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Budgeting Personal Finances in College



Even though a lot of money is spent into the school you maybe attending, money can be hard to come by. Some students try to off set the lack of money by working on campus in a work study program or off campus.

In many cases, students aren’t able to work because being a full time student doesn’t allow enough time to work in a traditional part or full time job. However, here are a few money making ideas that will be more in sync with you class/study schedule:

Baby sitting
House &/or Pet sitting
When you begin to make a little cash, being resourceful with the money you earn will benefit you. There are a plethora of way students can ave money on various services as well as retail items. studentunivers.com offers discount lights to student as well as faculty.

Take some time to track how you spend your money an easy way to do this is on mint.com. This website brings all of your financial accounts together online and shows where your dollars are going. This is a very resourceful tool that gives a clear visual account of how you spend and save your money.

Always be on the look out for what is more economical for your budget a good pace to start would be Clark Howard and other local and national consumer advocates who are more than willing to show you ways to save as much money as you possibly can. One of the most basic ways to improve your budget is using the Sunday paper to direct you towards the lowest retail price for what you want to buy.



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