Sunday, January 23, 2011

Scholarship and Internship Season

If you haven't already figured it out yet its that time of the year again. Most scholarships are in full swing and internships are starting to be put out. How do you find these scholarships and internships?

Fastweb is a good tool to find scholarships but there are also some state programs that keep track of this. All colleges offer scholarships specific to their school or department. Check out your school website and your bound to find some. Also those pointless newsletter emails that your school sends to you, READ THEM!. Most of them contain upcoming job openings, internships, as well as scholarships. If you open some of them up your bound to find something interesting.

Speaking of internships, most companies start posting their openings in late January, about now. Go to 15 or different companies you are interested in and find their current openings. Usually it is in their careers page which can be accessed at the bottom of their site. They then will redirect you to the proper location.

When filling out these applications, make sure you update your resume. No one wants to see an outdated resume which doesn't even have the correct contact information. In addition to this, it looks like you really want the job when it is entitled and directed toward a certain company. If you truly want the job spend some time and do a good job. Don't take your first offer unless you believe its going to be your only one. Just being the crappy one you didn't want responded first doesn't mean the others won't. Unless if you feel like their isn't a chance.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Things to not forget to bring to college while packing your final suff

What to bring to college? That is the question every student asks. I wish I could say, you cant bring to much, but if your living in a dorm you truly can. In some situations you can get away with bringing to much but it depends on what it exactly is and your situation. For instance if you don't know if you have room for that recliner, bring it along and if don't send it home with your parents. If your parents aren't coming, this wouldn't be a smart thing to do. In general during your first trip back home, bring more things down as you will know by then which things will fit and what things you will need.
  • Bedding - Bring a nice comforter, pad, pillow, and liner for your bed. Bring a bed without the liner if you aren't provided with one.
  • Laptop/Desktop - Even though they have a computer lab, a computer is always nice to have.
  • Printer -  A small printer is nice for those last minute assignments.
  • Clothes
  • Outerwear - If it's cold there or rains a lot make sure you remember a jacket
  • Games
  • Simple tool kit - hammer, nails, screw driver
  • Posters
  • Loft- If your college allows it bring one. Otherwise you'll be shorted a lot of room
  • Mini Fridge 
  • Food/Beverages
  • Writing supplies
  • Flash drive
  • TV/Video Games/Videos
  • Alarm clock
  • Nice computer chair  - It's nice to be comfortable while doing your homework
  • Bike and a GOOD Lock
  • Running shoes
  • Swimming suit - Didn't think of that one did you?
  • Laundry basket
  • Dry erase board / markers
  • Toiletries 
  • _________ (Fill in what I forgot, I meant to put it there...)
In most situations you can get away with forgetting a few things. You can just buy it when you get there or you can get it when you come back home. You might have to live without it until winter break, but at least you'll get it eventually

Friday, January 7, 2011

New years resolutions for college students

Here are the top things we always tried to change while going to college. Some of them we were able to do and others we weren't.

Top 10 new years resolutions for students
  • Stop procrastinating.
  • Create a schedule and stick with it
  • Study more and ahead of time. No more cramming
  • Register for classes sooner so I get the classes I WANT.
  • Stop partying/drinking so much...
  • Get in shape/exercise.
  • Wake up earlier so I don't stay up until 3AM every night.
  • Less fun more school work
  • Go outside of my normal social group and find a new friend.
  • Find a activity or sport to do this term
What are your top resolutions? If you have one, feel free to comment and we'll add them to the list as we get them.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

First Year at College

It's your first year of college and you feel like you are getting ripped off in each direction you look. The food, books, classes, parking, random fees, parking tickets, and random stuff you wish you would have brought. There are a few things you can do to cut down on costs. the first thing, which is probably going to be your best way to save money is buying books not from the school but in other places.

1) Buy books from anywhere but the bookstore - Friends are your first best option. If they are no longer taking the class they'll probably sell it to you for cheaper then anyone, plus they'll be getting more then the buyback programs. If that doesn't work out try a quick search on Amazon on Ebay. You are almost guaranteed to find it cheaper. BUT before you buy it from anywhere do these simple tasks.
  • Search for it on google, with pdf, or ebook afterwards. Some books are becoming easily downloadable with a quick search.
  • International Books - International books are versions which are made to be sold outside of the United States. They are exactly the same, but they might have a different cover, be paperback, and possible black and white only. Besides that, I have save hundreds of dollars doing this. Several $200 text books, I have received for only $30, specifically math books. How do you find a international book. Do a search on ebay and you are bound to find some. Give yourself at least another week to receive your book though.
  • If all else fails but it off Amazon. Before you purchase make sure you sign up for a free amazon prime account because you have .edu email address. This way you will get free 2 day shipping so you have it in time for class
  • If your book is going to come late, buy it temporarily from the bookstore and return it before the last return day. You are bound to get your book by then.
2) Buy snacks and food from elsewhere - Keep a small mini fridge and collect all your snacking food from elsewhere like Costco. That $1 granola bar will probably only cost you $0.25. The school makes a filling off things like this and soda. Soda isn't good for you anyways but if you really need it, but it from somewhere else, especially energy drinks.  

3) Parking - Most schools there are ways to get around having a parking permit. As long as its not in a city most likely there is a side street somewhere close by you can park on. Of course this comes with less security but I've seen cars in paid parking lots with broken windows and vandalism. You'll have to hurry to these spots on side streets and make sure you don't leave during the day time or you probably won't get your spot back. I found the best time to leave and go is in the evening. if you come back in the morning by 9 you won't have a spot until 5.

4) Be aware of what you buy -  Most college students get the idea of sliding their id card and the cost magically disappears. Instead that charge is getting billed somewhere. If you are required to have a dinning plan. Start with the lowest one and work up. Your bound to spend less money this way, and you'll have more cash on hand to spend.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Applying for College

Choosing which college might be hard but applying for a particular college can be even harder. Not only do you know exactly what college you want to attend but now you are so devoted into it that you feel like not getting into it you won't know what to do. Thankfully there are a few things you can do to make sure that you still will get a great education in addition to taking a little pressure off your shoulders.

 Applying to a University
  • Always have a back up school. - If you don't get into your first choice of school apply for another. In fact I would apply to at least 4 schools if your not guaranteed into any of them. For instance if your backup is a state school and you already meet the requirements for automatic enrollment then don't worry about another backup. 
  • proOf rEaD - Almost every college application duals as a application for scholarships offered by the school. Have a friend, parent or anyone else willing to help you, read it over entirely and check for any mistakes they may see. Not only have them check it for grammar and English but also to make sure that you answered the question correctly and well. 
  • Don't lye, be yourself - It doesn't help you at all to lye on a application. People can see through your sad story and will instead throw it away. There is no reason for them to pick you then other than your sad pathetic untruthful story. Instead tell the truth and it won't come back later to bite you. Even if you get away with it, you'll be taking money or the position away from someone who truly does deserve it.
  • Letters of recommendation - Get letters of recommendation from people who have known you for years and see you on a regular basis. A good example of this are Boy/Girl Scout Leaders, Teachers, priests, etc.  The more they know you the better. This way they will have something to write worth while about you. Afterwords, make sure you write a thank you note or gift to the person who does this for you. There is no reason why this person had to do it for you and it is taking time out of their schedule and life. 
  • Guaranteed backup school - Always apply for a school that you know you will get into. This way you won't be scared and lost when the unfortunately get denied. Plus you can compare the amount the different schools are willing to give you in financial aid and see how much each one will cost you side by side.
After you have completed all of your applications, forget about it. You know that you have already created a guaranteed backup school. Instead, sit back and relax during your last year of high school. You'll be a lot more excited and happier when you see your acceptance letter. Also, you won't be to stressed out during your last and final year of high school.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Picking a college

Picking a college that is right for you is a hard decision if you have a open check book for where you can go. Most of the time the choices are limited down by funding. If you cant spend much money you are usually limited by schools within your local state or surrounding states. When picking a college you should consider several things in order to make sure you pick the perfect school. Follow these tips to make sure you don't overlook some crucial things when making decision.

  1. How close is it? - Do you want to stay close to home or do you want to move far away. This is a decision which is up to you, remember that the further you move away you'll most likely encounter additional fees including out of state tuition as well as the transportation and hassle to move your stuff there.
  2. Is your major offered or is there a program for it - If you know you are going to pursue a goal in engineering it would probably be best to go to a school that is known for it. Otherwise it won't be as transferable nor will it be as admired by future employers.
  3. Is it friendly - This really depends on how people who interact with you treat you. It can easily very from school to school.
  4. Housing - Do you want to live on or off campus? Most schools allow you to do either one. Some schools though require all freshmen to live on campus their first year. If this isn't alright than you should pick a different school
  5. Is religion important - If religion is a necessity in your everyday life. If it is, there are several private schools out their that will fit your needs. 
  6. For profit/non-profit - There are still thousands of schools out there that are for profit. This means that they are making money off their students. Most likely you shouldn't pick one of these as they are trying to run a business are don't care about you as much.
  7. Check out the professors- Look up your school and see if they hire reputable professors.
  8. Small or big - This plays a huge role in how you are taught at a university. Most big state universities you'll have hundreds of people in your class. A smaller school will never have over 100 people in one class. This allows for a lot more one on one time as well as easier help during a large lecture.
  9. Free time - Want do students do for free time at this particular school. Do you enjoy doing these same things or would you not like it. For instance, if the school is next to the beach it is probably a regular occurrence to go there.
Before making any decision tour the school. Every college offers free tours that they give almost on a daily basis. This allows students to tell if they will like it or not. Your about ready to spend a lot of money on your education and you might as well not draw out of a hat and pick it. If you spend some time now, it will save you a lot of time, money and hassle later.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Financial Aid

Paying for school is one of the biggest problems students have when deciding to go to school. Before you give up on your hopes for a higher education try some of these tactics and you might be surprised by some of the options you have open. I had some friends in high school that simply decided they were not going to college because they couldn't afford. Instead they decided they would work for a couple years than go back and finish school so that way they aren't stuck at the same low paying job for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, every friend who has had this attitude either is still at that job or decided to join the military. Not one of them have started to return to school. Now I am completely down with people working and going to school, but try to keep your education at the top of your priorities. Now there are several ways for students to find money.
  1. Scholarships - Scholarships are offered by thousands of companies in the world in addition to even the school that your attending. Start looking around for them and apply to as many as possible. Applying for a hundred is better than just a few because most likely you won't get very many if not any of them. is a great resource to find some scholarships. They keep an up to date list as well as use a nice easy to use search to make sure your only finding scholarships which you qualify for.
  2. Grants -  Grants are the second best thing to scholarships as they are also free money that you don't have to pay back. There are several different people that offer grants including your federal and state government. The federal pell grant is offered on the national level, while your state level is different from state to state. Do a quick search and your bound to find one. To apply for the federal pell grant fafsa is required to be filled out.
  3. Loans- Loans are the last option when finding money for school. Most loans as well as grants revolve around filling out FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is fairly complex and time extensive application but it is a must for every student. Even if you don't think you qualify for anything, give it a try and you might be surprised in the results. Fill out FAFSA as closely to January 1st as possible. This is because grants, as well as loans are offered on a first come first serve basis. If you fill it out late, there might not be any money left. Don't worry about following it for subsequent years. You will again want to submit it as close to January 1st as possible, but the form will be partly filled out already because it keeps some of the same basic information.
      Remember before ruling out your options for school, try some of the above. It doesn't hurt to try as all of the above are free to try and you don't even have to accept them if you change your mind. If you are being charged for any of the above to apply, you are being scammed and run away from it. No scholarship, loan, or grant should ask for money beforehand. Good luck and keep trying.