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Don’t Be Shy – Ask Your Professor!

PH2008033100939 Dont Be Shy   Ask Your Professor!Many of us run on the instinct that we can fend for ourselves in all circumstances. This is especially true during our college careers, because as you make your way through the academic world, you’re unraveling your own capabilities at a staggering speed, and the high of self-sufficiency reaches its peak. But when it comes to your professors, don'’t hesitate to befriend them on a personal level, if you get the chance. Ask those questions, submit your ideas, and remember, they’re there not just to assist the group learning process, but to provide the answers and advice you need to make your college education as rewarding as it can possibly be.

Depending on the size of your school and classes, professors have varying degrees of accessibility. For the major universities with classes in the hundreds, it’s obviously more challenging to reserve personal time. That said, even these massive schools have online access, teacher’s aides, and other avenues by which you can discuss matters with your professor. Almost all teachers will have posted office hours – these are the times when their office doors are open, and anyone is welcome to come discuss the curriculum. Some, however, require an appointment, so make sure you follow the proper channels, but by all means, if you have a question you think they can answer, pipe up. It’s the unanswered questions that render poor grades on papers and tests; don’'t wait until the last minute to realize you could have achieved so much more if only you’d sought out your answers.

There are many reasons students keep quiet and carry on their business, tucking away their questions and often seeking answers elsewhere. While there is more than one resource to unravel the answer to any question, if your issue pertains to a specific college course, there is no one more qualified than your professor to provide an answer. Google, fellow students, and other research materials may have the factual information you seek, but in many cases, professors have specific requests by which data is relayed, compiled, and analyzed. It’s imperative that you’re clear on what your teacher expects in all aspects – from test taking to essays to class conduct. 

If you’re shy, don'’t feel forced to belt out your issue in a classroom setting. Some questions aren’t for public consumption, and that’s just fine. But don'’t let your apprehension prevent you from asking the question at all – chances are, your professor has heard your question before anyway. And if an in-person session just doesn’t seem feasible, most professors also offer email address for student access. Realize that you might not get as fast a response with this method, but it’s certainly an option. Catch the teacher after class for a quick lowdown, or schedule the aforementioned appointment. Just don't internalize your issue and toss it aside. You can bet that the matters you don't find an answer to are the ones that will show up on the exam. Fear not, you won’t be judged for having questions, but you won’t be able to backtrack if this is the reason for poor performance. You know the phrase – speak now, or forever accept your less than stellar grades.

You don't have to prove your self-reliance by holding in perfectly normal questions and inquisitions. Ask ask ask. Your professor is there to help ensure your college career is a smashing success, but he or she can’t do it alone, nor can they read your minds. Whether it’s a syllabus issue, problems with the reading material, course questions, or just general academic advice, they’ll be happy to share. If you don't learn to voice your confusions, you won’t ever fulfill your potential. Start early, and take advantage of the people who are there to assist. It’s true what they say – there is no such thing as a stupid question. Except the one that remains unasked.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Strategies for Success,Studying/Test Taking and have No Comments

Use Your Resources To Plan For College

Planning to go away or to start college is a fun and exciting time for those students who are planning on attending. The stressful part usually comes from finding the resources to pay for your college education. It is important that you and your parents plan out together how much money you are going to need for college and where the money will come from to cover your college expenses. You will need to sit down with a pad of paper and a pen in order to write everything out. The earlier you start planning, the better. This way if you or your parents need to make adjustments, you can do so before it is time for you to head off your freshmen year.

Figure out your costs:

1.Tuition & Books: Contact the colleges and/or universities that you are interested in attending. Ask specifically about the estimated costs for tuition and books. Usually the estimate of these costs is provided in the college brochure.

2.Housing: If you are planning on living on-campus, you will also need to obtain housing information. Housing information should include the cost and what the cost includes. Some colleges and universities offer meal plans to students who live on-campus, which provides you with a certain amount of money to eat at the campus restaurants, cafeteria and cafes. If you are planning on living off-campus, you will need to do a little research on the average cost of rent for the area. Also be sure to include extra costs such as electric, phone, water, etc.

3.Food: You have to eat, so be sure to include spending money for food in your calculations.

4.Spending money: College is more than just academics. There are student activities that you are going to want to participate in throughout the semester. Be sure to allocate a certain amount of money to spend on going out with friends, going to the movies, participating in a sorority or fraternity, etc.

5.Tally up your costs on an annual basis and then be sure to multiply the annual cost by how many years it is going to take you to complete your particular major. Usually, 4 years is the number you will need to multiply by, unless you already know that you will be going to on to graduate school, law school, medical school, etc. If that is the case, you will need to go through the same 5 steps for the costs involved with these types of schools (adding it to your undergraduate college costs).

Tapping Into Your Resources:

Once you have an idea of what the cost of your college education is going to be now it is time to list out all of the possible resources that you can tap into to pay for everything. You will need to sit down with your parents and go over all of these costs that you have tallied. Find out from them what source of funds they have and are willing to contribute. You may also have some resources of your own that you can contribute.

Here is a list of possible resources to consider:

1. Savings or Investment Accounts
2. Pre-paid College Tuition Program
3. Education IRA, ROTH IRA, or Retirement IRA
4. Savings Bonds
5. Contributions from Grandparents or other family members
6. Scholarships*
7. Grants*
8. Student Loans*

*You may not know the contribution amount of these resources yet.

After you have a list of your possible fund sources and the total amount that each resource can provide, total everything up. Where does this leave you? Do you have enough to cover your college education or are in the hole? If you are in the hole, then you should come up with a plan on how you and your parents can make up for the difference. Research scholarship and grant opportunities that you may be able to qualify for or pick-up a part-time job after school to help contribute to your college savings. Your guidance counselor at school and the Internet should be able to help you find scholarships and grants that you may be eligible for. Especially, if it is your senior year of high school, contact the financial aid department of the college you will be attending. Find out when they deadline is and what forms you have to complete to apply for financial aid.

There are resources available to you for paying for your college education. Just be organized and diligent about finding out what the costs are, what resources you have available to you, and whether or not you to find additional resources to cover your college expense.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Campus College,Finding Your School,Paying for School,Reducing Cost/Tuition and have No Comments

Work For a Professor

Working for a professor can be one of the more rewarding on campus work experiences. If you are lucky enough, you may get a job working for your favorite professor. Even if he or she is unfamiliar, working for a professor can give you a behind the scenes look at college education.

In college, there is less of a dividing line between student and teacher than in high school. Students are invited to come by a teacher’s office. In addition, students might spend time with a teacher socially—though this may be frowned on in certain educational settings. Working for a professor is the best way to get to know a professor both personally and professionally.

This is especially important if you are thinking about getting a PhD in order to teach in the future. If you are entering the business sector, working with certain high-profile professors can look very good on your resume. Having a reference from a professor you have worked with—as opposed to just being a student in a class—is enormously helpful when applying for a job right out of college.

The type of work you will be doing depends on the professor’s department. Working for a professor of history will be much different than working for a chemistry professor. In the former, you may be doing clerical work, such as answering phones, organizing files, and the like. If the professor is working on a book, some research may also be necessary.

If you are working for a master’s degree, you may be required to work as an assistant professor. In some cases, you may run a class yourself. This is separate from on campus employment, as an assistant professorship is required as part of the degree itself.

There are also grants available in which graduate students are able to work directly with a certain high-profile professor on research projects. Many science professors, for example, are not just teachers but working scientists. Such a grant will allow students to work in a laboratory setting as well as help the professor with clerical and non-laboratory research work.

Undergraduates can find listings for working in a professor’s office on college job boards. These jobs will list the credentials necessary—either undergrad or graduate—and the hours required. Generally, working for a professor pays the same amount as other jobs on campus and undergraduates are only allowed to work twenty hours a week maximum.

It is usually easiest to get a job with a professor if you have taken his or her class in the past. These jobs are often given to a star pupil—especially if the job requires a lot of hands on research work. If the job is mainly clerical, the job will available to other students as well, though normally only those who are studying within the same department.

Whatever the case, working for a professor can be one of the most educational experiences on campus—; it’'s like combining a course curriculum with real world experience. A student can use the knowledge gained from the experience as he or she applies for a job after graduation.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Campus College,Careers,Developing your Strengths,Networking,Strategies for Success,Studying/Test Taking and have No Comments

Choosing a Major: What's Important?

There are a couple of factors to take into consideration when deciding on a major: your career and your soul. If you’re lucky, you can pick a major that’s good for both of them.

Satisfy Your Soul: What Do You Like To Study? What Interests You?

Where I went to college, the truism for picking a major went something like: "This is such a good school that all people will notice is your degree. Therefore, you can feel free to major in anything you like. When you go out to look for a job, the fact you went to school here will be more than enough." If you attend an institution with a similar philosophy, you will be encouraged to follow your passions when choosing a major, to forget about practicality and applicability.

There are many benefits to choosing a major based solely on what you like to study and think about. First, you will be happier than picking something more practical that you hate. Secondly, if you are studying something that really lights your intellectual fire, you’re bound to do better academically, which, in addition to being its own reward, will bring even more rewards down the road. Finally, while a college education should help you get a job, it is also an end in itself. Knowledge is its own reward. Besides, when you use the time in college to study something you’re passionate about, you will develop your intellect because you’re engaged with the material. Your critical thinking and analytical powers will grow more rapidly if you’re applying them to material that fascinates you. As for the future: every prospective employer and graduate program wants excellent thinkers.

What Can You Take With You to the Job Marketplace?

Before you begin chasing your intellectual bliss, a word must be said about the world beyond college. While it might be nice to think that good grades from a good school automatically equal a good job, not all degrees are created equal. This doesn’t mean that some fields of study are worse than others, just that it’s easier for students to find their place in the post-baccalaureate world if they are pre-med or economics majors as opposed to drama or English majors. Does this mean that if you love English or want to be an actor that you should still major in Econ? No. But a discussion of how to pick a major should bring up the practical side as well. You will absolutely get more out of your academic experience if you’re studying something you love.

However, if you’re hyper-concerned about your career beyond college, you might want to do some exploration of the applicability of various degrees before you hand in your major selection form. Visit the career services office; contact alums who have jobs you’d like to get and see what they studied, and spend some time thinking about what you really want. Choosing a major isn’t the most important decision you’ll make in life, but it could be the most important one you’ll make in college, since it will determine your course of study once you’ve made your choice.

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Determining the Real Cost of College

Determine the Real Cost of College
College costs are rising rapidly, and figuring out how to pay for those expenses can be tricky. It’s not too difficult to figure out how much tuition and fees will cost, but there are many other expenses that come along with getting a college education. Because of this, it can be extremely difficult to determine the "real" cost of college.

Average Costs
According to "Trends in College Pricing" from the College Board, for the 2005-2006 school year, the average cost for a four-year private school was $31,916. For a four-year public school, the average cost was $15,566. And those costs are going up at an average rate of around 8 percent per year. The good news is that despite those increasing costs, nearly $130 billion in financial aid is available. You just have to know how to get it.

Is It Worth It?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, individuals who earn a bachelor’s degree can earn 62 percent more on average than people with only a high school diploma. That adds up to more than $1 million over your lifetime.

What does that mean?

It means that the thousands of dollars you spend for your education today will yield millions in benefits over your lifetime career.

How Much Does College Really Cost?
Your total bill for a higher education will add up to a lot more than tuition and fees for four years. Here are some other things you’ll need to take into consideration:

–Inflation: The cost of college today is not the same as the cost of college tomorrow. According to the College Board, the price for a higher education increases by an average of 8 percent every year. Keep that in mind when you calculate your real cost for attending college.
–The Five-Year Plan: You’d like to finish your degree in four years, but it might not be possible for you. To earn a degree in four years, you’ll need to take on a full course load, which becomes more and more difficult as you advance into higher-level courses. Another alternative is attending during the summer, but that will increase your cost as well. Most likely, you should estimate your costs as if you’ll be attending for five years. If you end up graduating in four, consider it a bonus!
–Interest: If you are relying on borrowed money to get yourself through school, then you should consider the interest as a part of your college cost. How much will you pay in interest over the life of your loan? Figuring that number out can be a powerful impetus to start building your savings now.
–Books and Supplies: You’ll end up dropping a hefty chunk of change on school books and supplies to get your degree. Don’t forget to take these kinds of costs into consideration when calculating your real college costs.
–Room and Board: You’ll need somewhere to live and something to eat while you’re in school. Room and board costs can add up to a large percentage of your total cost for attending college.

Online Calculators
Plenty of calculators are available online to help you determine a realistic figure for attending college. These take into account many of the above considerations. Use them to help you plan for your own future.

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The Cost of a College Education – Beyond the Tuition

When figuring the cost of a college education several factors come into play. Tuition is just one of the many costs that a student is responsible for while earning their college education. Some costs may apply to certain situations that do not apply to other situations, so it is very important to assess the individual situation when figuring out the total costs.

Here is a breakdown of some of the costs of college that need to be considered when trying to come up with the total figure.

1. Tuition: Contact the colleges and/or universities that you are interested in attending. Ask specifically about the estimated costs for tuition. Tuition is the fee that schools charge for students to enroll and attend classes. This is not an all inclusive cost. Usually the estimate of these costs is provided in the college brochure.

2. Books and Materials: Contact the colleges and/or universities that you are interested in attending. Ask specifically about the estimated costs for books and supplemental learning materials. Student materials include notebooks, paper, pens and pencils and any other materials that students will need to complete their classes. Usually the estimate of these costs is provided in the college brochure.

3. Housing: If students are planning on living on-campus, they will also need to obtain housing information. Housing information should include the cost and what the cost includes. Some colleges and universities offer meal plans to students who live on-campus, which provides them with a certain amount of money to eat at the campus restaurants, cafeteria and cafes. If students are planning on living off-campus, they will need to do a little research on the average cost of rent for the area. Also be sure to include extra costs such as electric, phone, water, etc.

4. Food: Everyone has to eat, so be sure to include spending money for food in the calculations.

5. Spending money: College is more than just academics. There are student activities that students are going to want to participate in throughout the semester. Be sure to allocate a certain amount of money to spend on going out with friends, football games, going to the movies, and participating in a sorority or fraternity, etc.

6. Other fees: Some distance learning programs or online programs charge additional fees on top of tuition. They charge for items such as technology usage and distance learning fees.

So there are other costs and fees associated with earning a college education. The cost of a college degree goes beyond the tuition itself. It is important that students are careful to obtain all of the fees and costs associated with obtaining their degree before making a final decision.

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What is the Average Age of an Online Student?

The beauty about online education is you can be almost any age and receive a degree or certification! According to the U.S. Census Bureau the average age of a college student is 25 years of age and older; but the University of Phoenix’s, a top accredited online university, average student’s age is between 35-37 years of age.

Thanks to the internet, you can decide that your 50th birthday present to yourself will be the gift of education. That gift can be the choice to return to school to pursue a degree in interior design. The flexibility and convenience of online education makes getting your degree so much easier. You can do your school work on your own schedule. You can learn a trade more quickly than you can in a traditional school setting. Online degrees are less disruptive for you, your life and family.

Even with all these incredibly benefits, why is the average age of an online student still much older? One reason can be the cost of education. As the years go by, the tuition for higher educational institutes increases. As a result, many students decide to go into the workforce in the beginning so they can finance their college education. Work first and study later!

Another reason is the growth in medicine/ healthcare research which can translate into longer life expectancies. Because people are living longer they are working longer and retiring later. Since the average person spends more time in the workforce, they have to purse continual educational programs to stay inform and up to date in their chosen field of work.

Also with the decline in the economy and the rise in unemployment, many people are taking refuge in the classroom. The Workforce Investment Act, a government-funded program with the goal of providing adults with the money needed for the education, skills, and training they need to get and retain jobs, is being utilized more than ever before.

So no matter what age you are or where you are in your life, consider taking an online course. It is very too late to teach an old dog tricks!

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