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 [...]
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 [...]
Spring Break conjures up many different ideas of how to celebrate the traditional mid-semester break during college. First let’s talk safety, then other ideas for what to do with this mid-semester break.