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
I paid for my entire education with scholarship money. Because I work with families across the nation about college admissions and financial aid, I’m often asked whether it was my standardized test scores or GPA that led me to win so much money. The answer is neither. In fact, what shocks many people is that the ingredients for scholarship success has little (if anything) to do with what happens in the classroom. Here are a three common myths that often dominate conversations about scholarships: Myth #1: Scholarships are so competitive.
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 [...]
A few weeks ago, Annemarie wrote about some tips for visiting colleges during the summer. After you’ve decided where you go to school, figuring out how to get there and get around becomes much more of an issue. Transportation is an inevitable cost in college – whether it’s the cost of getting to and from college every semester, or the cost of getting to and from classes, it can all add up pretty quickly. There are smarter ways to travel that will put a lighter load on your bank account, as well as the environment! Planning is the name of the game – getting your trips on the calendar now will put you in a better position to reduce your transportation costs. University academic calendars are key! (They’re usually accessible through a link on the school’s homepage). A travel budget will include expected costs of flights, gas and other transportation, like subways [...]
You’ve probably heard rumors about the school I attended. The school named the “Top Party School” in the U.S. by Playboy in 2002 and remains in the top 10. The school that had a sex scandal involving the student body vice president. The school that’s easy driving distance to both Las Vegas and Rocky Point, Mexico. Arizona State University. I wasn’t a partier in high school, yet I ended up at an infamous party school. Before starting, I got a lot of “Hey, isn’t that a huge party school?” from friends and family. After classes began, it didn’t change much. My answer then (and still is): “Any college can be a party school. You make it what it is.” Sure, at ASU you could find a frat party pretty much any night of the week. The bar scene on Mill Avenue and further north in Old Town Scottsdale is a [...]
If you’re lucky enough (and brave enough) to consider a school more than 10 miles from home (You are! You can do it!), you’re going to have to visit it at least once. If you haven’t decided on a school yet, this summer is a great opportunity to explore your options. If you’ve got the time this summer, use it! Wander campuses without a guide, and see as much as you can. One way of going about this quest is to make a family vacation out of it, like I did. The younger siblings and the parents will probably drive you crazy, but have everyone climb in the minivan (so dorky, I know, I lived it), and hit the road. If you’re curious about a state or city rather than a specific school, this is a great time to visit several schools. Larger, more popular schools tend to be fairly [...]
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 [...]
As we enter college, few of us are prepared for the lifestyle change it entails. A key factor to remain successful in college is to enjoy the time that you are there. If you are miserable, then it will most certainly reflect in both your grades and your attitude about the experience. What are your hobbies and interests? Incorporating these things into your academic life will prove to be much more enjoyable and help you set goals and work toward achievement in many disciplines. Start by looking for clubs and student organizations that fit with your values and interests.