You finished your college search and finally made it to what you were told would be the best four years of your life. Among the stress of finishing homework and rushing to meet deadlines, it’s easy to forget some of the opportunities that college affords you. Instead of trying to survive credit to credit, semester to semester, here are four tips to enhance your experience. 1. Go to Class & Talk to Professors
Original article published May 26, 2013 on momentum. It’s been almost a year since I graduated from college. I had an incredible four years at the University of Chicago and learned more than I ever anticipated. Now that it’s in the past, I wonder: What do I wish I knew before entering college that I know now? Here’s the advice I’d have shared with my 18-year-old self: Master the art of asking great questions. Questions are the driving force of learning. The faster you optimize your ability to learn, the faster you’ll get where you want to go.
The headline of this month’s Harvard Education Letter is seductively simple: “Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions.” The advice is undeniably practical. But will asking questions alone suffice to create engaging classroom dialogues? The article highlights the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), a technique for encouraging students to direct inquiry in the classroom, engage with each other and develop critical thinking skills. A teacher whose students are under-engaged in the classroom would do well by her students to study the QFT technique and begin testing elements of it. If nothing else, QFT shows that “Any questions?” following a lecture will not provoke many questions. To engage students, questions must be engaging, too. Though effective, QFT is only half the equation. Students need to ask questions, yes. But they need to answer them, too. The teacher plays the role of guide, facilitator, and provocateur. Most teachers I had operated under the [...]
BetterGrads College News & Views is a weekly collection of college-themed posts around the web. Our social media team, partners and guest contributors take part in providing this service to you. This week, we came across several articles related to being ready for college, what students think of the price tag for a degree, and some tips students can use when gearing up for the semester. College Preparation: ACT Scores show 1 in 4 high school grads are unprepared for college (TIME) Standardized tests are questioned by many as a legitimate measuring system for a student’s success, but this year’s ACT results are out, regardless. Nearly 30 percent fell below the college-level standards in English, math, science and reading. Is this reflective of a larger problem? Or are there other ways we can effectively test students’ college preparedness? Getting ready for college (Freelance Writer Network) This author provides a [...]
This article is part of a counterpoint series between Keith Kaplan of BookRenter.com and Matt Gagnon of the BetterGrads social media team. This is Matt’s response to Keith’s article about the benefits of renting college textbooks. Everyone knows college textbooks are expensive. During my four years in college, I spent hundreds of dollars per quarter. That really adds up with three quarters per year for four whole years. There are a variety of alternatives to buying books from your school’s campus bookstore, and renting books is generally very affordable. But… before you rent all of your textbooks, here are some things to consider:
This article is part of a counterpoint series between Keith Kaplan of BookRenter.com and Matt Gagnon of the BetterGrads social media team. Check back for Matt’s response to Keith’s support for renting college textbooks! When it comes time to buy textbooks for your class, we all know it can empty your wallet. Every year when I start classes it always seems like I’m throwing a few hundred dollars in one click of a button. I’ve always thought: Why buy a textbook for $200+ when you’re probably going to return it at the end of the semester for less than half the price? Most times, bookstores and online stores won’t buy back a book because it’s an outdated edition. How do we stop this phenomenon? Well, you may have heard of textbook rentals. Within the past few years, textbook rentals have sky rocketed. Instead of buying your textbooks, you rent and [...]
With your final college preparations looming as spring moves into summer, a painful cost is about to enter your reality: college textbooks. I started SlugBooks.com because I wanted to make it easier for college students to save money on their textbooks; there are a lot of misconceptions at the beginning of college about the cost of textbooks and the cheapest places to get them. Here’s a list of common textbook-buying myths and our rebuttals to help give you a better understanding of the process and how to maximize your savings! MYTH: “If you have financial aid, you always need to buy books from the campus bookstore!” Wrong! Just because you received a loan doesn’t mean you have to overpay for textbooks. Many forms of financial aid allow you to get reimbursed if you provide proof of payment (like a receipt from Amazon). If your book is $100 at the bookstore [...]
Unlike many high school students who look at colleges based on the party scene or football team, I looked at colleges based on specific services they provided. As a student with many disabilities, I needed a college that would allow me to access support services for my vision, my hearing and my mobility challenges. As a child, my dream was to become an architect. As I entered my sophomore year of high school, I looked to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) for its renowned access to support services, as well as its well-known engineering programs. I was interested in architecture. However, I soon realized that the architecture classes became increasingly difficult due to my cerebral palsy. I was not able to manipulate the tools needed to draw, nor could I tell if the measurements displayed on the computer screen would work in real life. I realized that my dream [...]
For many undergraduate students majoring in the hard sciences and for the professors who teach these subjects, animal research is a standard part of the curriculum. However, it’s unlikely that these students and educators cover topics such as how to protect yourself from car bombings and how to handle hate mail. Last year, J. David Jentsch, neuroscience professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, awoke one morning to the sound of a large explosion outside his West LA home. His 2006 Volvo was blown up by activists calling for his death. And most recently, he received a package of used razors, and an accompanying letter stating these razors were tainted with the AIDs virus (FBI officials have yet to confirm the latter).
When I was watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on Halloween night in college, I was excited. Thanksgiving was around the corner with the holidays following afterwards.
I also was amazed at the fact that I had been at college for nearly three months. Time went by fast! I started to think about all the good food: warm apple pie, sweet pumpkin pie, homemade pasta with the freshly grated cheese…
“Wait,” I warned myself. “College isn’t over yet. In fact, it’s just beginning. Don’t get roped into abandoning your scholarly duties just yet!”
Looking back to my first day of college, I was overwhelmed with the idea that I was not going to be able to succeed at college. After all, according to the American Institute for Research, in 2010 nearly 30% of freshmen will drop out of college by the end of their first year, presumably due to their workload, their inability to properly manage their time, or even too much partying.