Category: education

How To Be Proactive And Make The Most Of University

These days, more and more students are choosing to go to University. A wider range of degrees are obtainable, and more financial help is readily available. Unfortunately, this means there is more competition for degree level jobs, and it is becoming increasingly necessary for students to become more proactive and use their university time to gain more than just a degree.

The first step that will be useful for most students is to prepare a CV. Most institutions have CV building software available, or there are some free programs online. Look at good examples of CV?s online, and make sure yours sells you the best it possibly can. Think about how your lecturers would describe you, your biggest achievements, and where you want to be in five years time. Incorporate all of this into your writing. Save frequently, and spend a few hours making the best CV possible. This is very worth it, as it should now only be necessary to tweak certain points, you may never need to do a full rewrite.

The next step is to start buying job papers, looking at boards or looking online for work. Whether you need a job now, or you are just browsing, the process of looking, applying for and attending interviews is something that you need to learn and become skilful at. When you finish university, you will need to find a job, so practising now will ensure you have the best answers to the questions you?ll be asked, and you will have the confidence to make a brilliant first impression. If you?re looking at your CV and thinking that there isn?t much there, it?s time to get some new skills.

Team work, leadership and organisational skills are all very easy to gain while at university. Joining a sports team is a brilliant way, and shows potential employers that you are fit, healthy and energetic, as well as capable of working in a team and being driven to succeed. You could also apply to be on a committee, and play a part in making serious decisions for a good cause. This offers you the chance to experience independent responsibility and let you take charge. You could also help boost your organizational skills by getting involved in organizing shows or nights out for members.

Communication and Interpersonal skills are also just as easy to gain. Most universities already encourage this by asking students to write essays to a word count, which means you have to gather information, facts and main points, and express them in as few words as possible, but still in a coherent and well supported argument. To develop this further, you could try and get involved with a newspaper, magazine or even a radio station at your university. Again, joining a committee is an excellent way to meeting people and building on communication and personal skills.

Time management is also a useful skill. Practise working towards deadlines in a sensible manner. Do your course reading when it is set and make sure you have time to plan, write, proofread and edit your essay before you have to give it in. Schedule revision sessions before exams so that you don?t have to cram information the night before. All of these will help you to both gain a higher mark and learn to manage your time better, which will be necessary in a working environment.

Remember that you need to be realistic and work towards giving yourself more than just a degree to make you attractive to employers. Any extra skills and experience you can add to a job role will make you seem like a more suitable candidate, and may even boost the salary the company are willing to pay! Look at what?s available and choose some extra activities too ? you should make the most of your time at university.

Save Thousands Of Dollars By Choosing The Right College

What you need to know about financial aid BEFORE choosing a college

With the high cost of a college education, no one wants to pay more than they must. Yet thousands of families pay too much for college every year because they don?t understand the basics of financial aid and don?t know the right questions to ask. So let?s learn what questions to ask.

Basics Part I

There are three types of financial aid for college: grants or scholarships, loans and work-study.

Grants and scholarships are free money that you do not need to pay back.
Most grants and scholarships come from the federal and state government or from the individual college.

Loans need to be paid back after college.
There are many loan programs available from the federal and state government. Most of these loans have fairly low interest rates. There are also private loans available although these generally have a higher interest rate.

Work-study is a job offered on the campus of the college.

Basics Part II

Need based aid vs Merit based aid

Need based aid is given by all colleges to students who have need. Anyone who can?t pay the full cost of the college has need.

A form called the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) determines the amount of need for federal grants and scholarships. Many highly selective colleges also require a form known as the Profile form The FAFSA form is filled out after January 1 of the year the student will first attend college.

The FAFSA and Profile forms ask questions about the income of the parents and student using information that you gave on your tax returns. These forms also ask questions about the amount of money you have in savings or investments. The Profile form is more detailed than the FAFSA form. Once these forms are completed the government uses the FAFSA form to determine how much your family can pay for college. This is your expected family contribution or your EFC. Your EFC is the same regardless of the cost of the college. Similarly the individual colleges who use the Profile use that form to determine what your family can pay for college.

Your need is the cost of the college you are looking at minus your EFC. For example, if you are looking at a college that costs $20,000 a year and your EFC is $5,000, your need at that college is $15,000. If you are looking at a college that costs $40,000 a year your EFC is still $5,000. Your need at this college is $35,000.

Merit-based aid includes scholarships typically for students who have good grades or have some other special talent such as athletic or musical talent. Most highly selective colleges offer little or no merit-based aid.

Finally, in looking at colleges you should ignore the cost of the college. Yes, you read that right. Ignore the stated cost of the college when you are first deciding which colleges to investigate further. You will see why later in this article.
So now you know the basics. Now comes the fun part: How to save money by asking the right questions.

Questions to ask the colleges

Question 1- What percent of my need do you meet?

Remember that EFC, or expected family contribution that the FAFSA determined? Some colleges will meet 100% of your need. Need again is defined as the cost of the college minus your EFC. So what does it mean if a college says they will meet 100% of your need? It means that once the FAFSA or Profile form has determined how much you can pay for college, the college will pay 100% of the rest of the bill.

Colleges will typically meet the need you have using a combination of grants, loans and work study. Most colleges will award work study and loans first and if there is a need after that, the remaining need will be supplied by grants. The colleges will typically have a standard loan and work study amount that they award and you should ask about what these numbers are when investigating the college.

Let’s see an example of a financial aid award from a college that provides 100% of need with a student who has an EFC of $5,000.

Total cost of college $40,000
Expected family contribution $ 5,000
Need $35,000

Financial aid award
Work study $ 2,000
Loans $ 4,000
Grants $29,000

At a college that meets 100% of your need you pay $5,000.

But what happens if the college doesn?t meet 100% of need?

Many less selective colleges don?t pay the total amount of need that their students have. Let’s use the example of our imaginary college from above only this time assume that the school only provides 90% of need.

Total cost of college $40,000
Families expected contribution $ 5,000
Need $35,000

This college only provides 90% of the $35,000 need or $31,500. Thus, your out of pocket expenses are the $5,000 EFC plus an additional $3,500 for a total cost of $8,500.

This example makes it easy to see why a school that meets 100% of need is often a better financial aid “deal” than a school who doesn’t meet all of the families need.

Many of the most expensive private colleges meet 100% of the students need while cheaper public colleges usually meet less than 100% of the need. This means that for many students it can be cheaper to go to an expensive private college than to attend a cheaper state school. Until you know what percent of need the college meets, don?t eliminate a college from consideration just because it is expensive.

Question 2- Do you have merit based aid?

Many colleges that don?t meet 100% of a students need do offer scholarships for some students. If your student is near the top of the application pool for a less selective college they may get some money if they qualify for merit based aid. Thus, in some cases, if the student is willing to look at a less selective college, they may get a better financial aid package. Here are some questions you should ask if the college provides merit aid.

How many merit awards are available?

What is the value of the merit awards available?

What are the qualifications to receive one of these merit awards?

This works even for families that don?t qualify for need based aid at all. If your student can qualify for a merit based award you won?t need to pay the full stated cost of the college.

Question 3- How is financial aid determined after the first year?

Some colleges have a policy of providing good financial aid for the first year and then substantially reducing the grant aid in the following years while increasing the loans. You should ask the college in which you are interested how they determine financial aid after the first year and what the average loan is after the first year. While it is typical that the amount of loans will increase each year if the increase is substantial you will want to take that into consideration.

Question 4- What is the average loan amount at graduation of those students who have loans?

This question will give you the best indication of the amount of loans that this college requires compared to other colleges in which you may be interested. Although most students will have some loans when they graduate, you don’t want this amount to be any more than necessary.

Question 5- What is your policy regarding outside scholarships?

Most colleges will subtract money earned in outside scholarships from your financial aid package. Some colleges will reduce the loan burden by the amount of the scholarship, but other colleges will reduce your grant money. If the college reduces the amount of loans you have to take out that is a benefit to you. There is no benefit to you if the college reduces the grant aid.

Question 6- What is your packaging policy?

Most colleges give a financial aid package that includes grant money, loans and work study. But each college combines this money differently. Specifically you want to know:

What percentage of an aid package from your college is grant vs. self-help (loans, work study)?

The greater amount of grants versus loans and work study the better for the student.

Do you have a preferential packaging policy?

Preferential packaging occurs when a college gives a better financial aid package to a student with a stronger academic background than to another student with the same financial need but with a weaker academic background..

Question 7- What is your four year graduation rate?

What difference does a college?s four year graduation rate make? This is an important question that many people never consider. Another way to phrase this is, How many years of college am I going to have to pay for? If the college has a high four year graduation rate, you will most likely only have to pay for four years of college. However, if the college graduates most students in six years then you can plan on paying for six years of college, not four.

Conclusion

Now that you know something about financial aid, including the questions to ask each college you are considering, you can make an informed decision in paying for a college education and hopefully also save some money.

Top Ways To Receive Free College Money To Help You With Tuition And More!

If you want to go back to school usually the hardest part is how you are going to pay for it and what you can do to make it less expensive for yourself. There are many ways to pay for your degree and you need to know some of the ways you can receive free college money to help you pay for the expense of tuition, fees, and books.

The first way you can get some money to help you out is to find out what the government will give you to help. There are numerous work study programs and grants that can give you free money to help you get through your degree without spending too much of your own money. This is a great place to start and you need to know that you can get the money you need.

The second way to get free college money is to use what is known as scholarships. These are usually from private places and sometimes come from large companies. There are some that are from the government, but most of them are not. You can apply for any of them that will allow you to do so for free and you can be awarded money that will help you pay for your schooling.

The last way is specifically for single mothers. There is a free online scholarship that you can receive from the government that is worth $10,000. You can apply right online and it will take you only a few minutes to do so. This could be enough to get you through a 2 year degree and maybe even more depending on which college you choose to go to.

FAQ on Writing Personal Statements for College Admissions

Some of the most common FAQ’s and their solutions regarding writing a winning personal statement are listed below.

1. How should I start writing my personal statement?

It is difficult to simply put everything in words just top of your head; therefore it is best you write an outline of the statement and jot down points. Using this as a reference start wording your personal statement. The two main aspects that should be included in your personal statement include;

2. How long should the statement be?

Although there are no specific rules set, it is advisable to keep your personal statement short and crisp. Ideally it should be 47 lines or 4000 characters (with spaces) long.

3. Which is the most important part?

The start as well as the end should be interesting as well as attention grabbing. A dynamic first sentence will intrigue the reader and make him read the entire statement with interest. Similarly a good end will ensure that the reader remembers your personal statement.

4. How to write personal statement for two different courses?

There is no way that you can write a common personal statement for two different disciplines. In case courses are similar, you may write a common personal statement without mentioning the subject names. For example, a medical personal and residency personal statement are of the same discipline, but different course, thus don’t name the subject. But yet, it is best you write different personal statement for every application.

5. Should academic qualifications be added?

Your personal statement is your chance to project your abilities and in a narrative form explain the past influences, present readiness and future aspirations. You will already submit your test scores; therefore there is no need to talk about your academic qualifications and the scores you secured. Instead take this opportunity to be yourself.

6. What structure should be used?

Generally an essay style structure is used to write a personal , but you are free to write the way you want bearing in mind that 50% should talk about the course and why you are suited for it while other 50% should be dedicated for work experience and other activities.

7. Should the gap year be mentioned?

It is advisable that you talk about your gap year and the reason for it. You should mention how you are going to use the gap year constructively and how it will be beneficial for the course.

8. How should the statement end?

As stated earlier, the ending too should be interesting so as the reader remembers you. It is best to end your statement on a positive note. You can state how you will benefit from the course or state how the course is ideal for you and your future goals. Whatever you write, do not sound desperate; make it interesting instead.

The above FAQ’s will help you in formulating a winning personal that will be remembered by program directors.

Planning A Preschool Graduation Diploma

Graduation day is a huge event in everyone?s life so obviously a lot of planning has to done to make this day to remember. A preschool graduation diplomas requires a lot of planning in fact it requires more planning than the adults graduation celebration. The first thing is to decide on a date of the event. The decided date has to be informed to all the parents and student. Next thing to be decided is the ceremony. The ceremony should be planned with speeches by teachers and performance by children. It should end with the normal distribution of diploma certificate. However the ceremony should be planned in such a way that it keep the children interested throughout the ceremony. Instead of the traditional music, the music played should be one appealing the children. The clothing of this event is a kindergarten graduation gowns.

Discuss with the parents in advance as to who will plan the dresses and color of the gown. Other thing to be planed is the diploma certificate which will be presented to each student. These certificates can be designed and printed keeping in mind the children?s taste. When planning a certificate one should also plan for graduation diploma covers. These cover?s are important as the certificate itself as it keeps the certificate safe from any external damage. A preschool graduation can also include a food arrangement, however here again you have to plan something keeping in mind a child?s preference. Ice cream and pizza are a good option. Be very sure that the preschool graduation diplomas event is more to do with fun and frolic because kids are too small to handle the actual nitty gritty of actual graduation. So make their graduation event an unforgettable one with a little bit of support and help for the elders.

You need to wear make up, which you will wear out on the regular day & dress up one feature. Example, wear darker lipstick or else darker eye shadow, however keep in mind to do this with a feature. Remember that the graduation is emotional event, your eye make up might run. Never wear a lot of it, as well as bring the bag for touch ups. For hair, wearing that up will create the sharp facial angles while when the hair is down it makes the softer image. The sundresses are just perfect for the graduation, since it will get hot during this ceremony. Guys must be very careful not using a lot of gel in the hair, and they must as well wear the softer colors, which go very well with what this group is wearing. The full suits are worn at the graduation ceremonies, however nice slacks, generally in the light summery color, and paired with the dress shirt look very great. Remember your pants & shoes may show under the cap and gown, thus dress well & avoid wearing the favorite pair of the sneakers.