According to Debt.org, the average student loan debt in 2017 was $37,172! Financial independence helps you grow as a person and allows you to enter adulthood free from the burden of crippling debt. The best way to avoid this debt as you enter college is through scholarships.
The applying for scholarships isn’t difficult, but it does require some effort and attention to detail.
The process of applying for a scholarship is like a college application.
- Narrow down all potential choices into a list of grants that matches your needs and requirements
- Create appealing application supported by achievements and recommendations
The Steps In Applying for Scholarships
- Research early
- Ensure you are eligible for the scholarship grant
- Be well-organized with all your scholarship materials and have them ready prior to the application date
- Check your application and have it proofread
- Do not leave any items on the application blank
- Always follow instructions strictly
- Ensure your application is written legibly and clearly
- Keep a copy of the things you send out
- Submit your application early
Get in touch with the financial aid office of the universities or colleges that you want to attend to and inquire about their policies on scholarship grants outside their institutions.
There was a time where people looked down on trade school, which is why most 20-somethings are saddled with thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Fortunately, times and skills are changing. You can learn a trade and get a well-paying job in half the time of traditional college. Whether you choose the tech industry, the medical field, or learn a hands-on skill like welding; there’s a trade for everyone’s interests.
Benefits of Trade School
There are a lot of reasons why trade schools are a viable option. The current skilled workers are aging out of their trades. Because college was pushed so hard to the millennial generation, few of us know these trades. There is a huge demand for many physical and technical skills, so the likelihood of finding a job is much higher.
Instead of focusing on a broad range of academics, with a focus in one area, trade schools teach you one specific trade. Examples include accounting, cooking, dental assistance, medical billing, paralegal, HVAC, etc. Once you graduate from a radiology program, for example, you will be able to enter the workforce as a radiologist. If your trade needs a certification, the schools will arrange and prepare you for the test.
Trade school programs often have smaller classrooms, which gives you more one-on-one time with the professor. Your peers are also taking the same classes so you can easily form study groups. This can also help you build meaningful contacts to help your career.
Studies have also shown that employers show a preference for students with tech school diplomas because they already have the know-how and hands-on learning.
The best benefit of all, it’s quicker and cheaper. Graduating from college takes 4 years, on average, while trade school is much quicker. Some programs are only 6-10 weeks and some take 2-3 years. Either way, your overall expenses, including tuition and fees is much less than they would be if you went to a four-year university.
The budget of a college student is stereotypically small for one reason or another, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck eating ramen noodles and Kraft Mac N Cheese.
- Chicken Tacos: 1 lb chicken* cooked
- Beef Tacos: 1 lb ground beef cooked
- Taco shells or tortillas
- Sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. if you want
Tacos are one of my favorite meals because they’re hearty and delicious, but very cheap. If you want to go the extra mile, you can make your own tortillas. White Wings makes a tortilla mix that you just add water to – it’s very easy, just roll the dough, flatten it and pan fry.
*What kind of chicken? Light or dark meat, bone in or out, it only matters for amount of prep. If you want to get bone-in chicken, you can boil it til it’s almost done and then peel the meat off. White meat shreds better than dark meat. I pan fry it with seasonings and butter or olive oil.
Some professors like to torment their students with surprise quizzes and in-class assignments. Even if you’ve been paying attention, it can be difficult to take a quiz you had no idea was coming.
Here are some tips to give you a chance at passing a test you’re not prepared for.
How to Survive a Pop Quiz
- If two answers are extremely similar, it’s usually one of these two
- Correct answers rarely have spelling or grammatical errors
- For numbers, you’re safest choosing a number in the middle
- Watch out for absolute answers, such as “always” and “never”
- Often “all of the above” or “none of the above” is correct
True or False
Some professors like hiding trick questions in true or false exams, so be extra careful when reading the questions. You only have two choices, which mean that you have 50% chance of getting the correct answer.
- Lookout for small contradictions or inaccuracies. If one detail is false, the answer is false.
- Take note of qualifiers in the sentence like most, all, sometimes, never or rarely. They sometimes drive the question false depending on the question presented.
- Watch out for absolutes – things usually aren’t “always” or “never”
How do you handle a surprise exam that you have never prepared for?
College is the turning point in the life of most students. But, achieving academic success in college is also a struggle for most. How do other students manage to achieve their goals?
The key to success is simple: do your work. Study hard, learn the material, and do your homework.
Selecting the Best Place to Study
The most convenient way to study isn’t always the best choice. Most students choose to study in their rooms, but that is a haven of distractions. Between Netflix and to friends, having a good study session in your room is unlikely. Studying in your dorm room is bad , but studying on your bed is even worse.
The first thing that you need to do is to find yourself a study place. It should be a place that will promote learning, productivity, efficiency and concentration. It should be the place where you spend your time studying, and only studying. Some people like the library, others like a quiet café, it’s up to you.
Experiment on what works for you. Make a set of criteria like the level of noise, availability, cleanliness and accessibility.
Developing Study Skills
Once you have found the perfect place to study, you need to get started on developing your study skills.
- Break subject matters into manageable chunks
- Use your free time during daytime to study
- Spend more time on difficult classes
- Review notes, ask questions and discuss things with peers
All of these are the basic skills you need to work on. You will achieve academic success in no time if you follow them religiously.
- Study your lessons at least 3 days prior to your major exam for around 2-3 hours a day.
- Don’t study the night before you take the exam. Instead, you should go to bed earlier and get plenty of rest.
- Get to school early. Aim to be seated for your exam at least 10 minutes before it begins. This will help minimize text anxiety.
- Make sure you read instructions well and follow them strictly.
- Scan the entire paper before you answer any question to have enough time. This will allow you to keep track of time, instead of running out.
- Always check the back of each page for questions you might not otherwise notice.
- If you are answering essay questions, it is important that you state your complete answer. You need to read the question properly and answer it completely.
Studying is one of those things like cleaning the gutters; you do it because you benefit even though you’d rather be doing anything else. Here are some tips to improve your study habits.
When studying, the easiest way that you can hurdle formulas, definitions and other concepts that need to be memorized is through mnemonics. It is the most common study skill among college students. Check out this website for more tips on mnemonics.
Making an outline of what you are supposed to study will help you study quickly. The main advantage of reading and writing is you will memorize the key concepts quicker. If you need some help with creating a successful outline, view this post.
Most course books include test exercises and mock quizzes, or you could make one for yourself. The idea here is so that you can gauge how much you have already studied.
Breaks allow your body to recuperate and your brain to digest the information you have studied. Have you heard of saturation? This happens when no matter how hard you try to retain the information you are studying you can’t. You need to take a short break in between study period to allow memory retention.
Flashcards can be a very helpful tool, especially in classes where you need to memorize. Vocabulary, dates, number, formulas. It’s all easier to remember with flashcards. Here are some alternatives to regular paper flashcards.
Cram, formerly Flashcard Exchange, is a web and mobile tool that gives you access to over 195 million flashcards, with hundreds of thousands added each week. If you don’t want to use the existing cards, you can always create your own set!
Flashcard Machine is a great way to create, study and share flashcards online. With free registration, you can create unlimited flashcards and share them with others (even non-registered users). You can separate flashcards into multiple subjects and groups and include images and audio.
Brainscape is strictly for flashcards. You can make your own, or use the ones already created by other students. You can make flashcards through a web browser and sync them with the app across all of your devices. They claim to use decades of cognitive science research to help you study more efficiently.
Flashcards+ by Chegg, yes, that Chegg. The same company that introduced us to renting, buying, and selling textbooks online has expanded their resources to include a pretty great flashcard app. You can create your own cards, or download decks created by other students.
Quizlet is a two-for-one deal. You can use their mobile app for their easy-to-use flashcards feature or check out their website for the full range of options. In addition to flashcards, they also have interactive diagrams and a new app called Quizlet Learn that allows you to customize your studying based on what you need to know and how soon you need to learn it. Beware: not all features are available on the free version.
Who needs cable when you can watch all your TV online – for free? According to this article by Variety, nearly 22 million adults cancelled their cable and satellite TV by the end of 2017! With the average cost of cable TV at around $100 per month, you can save a ton of money by cutting the cable cord. These websites will let you watch your favorite shows and movies online, for free! If you have a tool like Chromecast, Roku, or the Amazon Firestick you can stream videos from your phone to your TV.
Free TV Online
- Popcorn Flix
- Snag Films
- Tubi TV
- YouTube, which is not supposed to have copyrighted content, has plenty of it. There are a lot of series uploaded to YouTube.
- Major networks like Lifetime, ABC, NBC, and PBS let you watch some episodes for free online.
- Hulu and Netflix are not free, but you can get free trials. Even if you do sign up, at only $8/month for Hulu and $10/month for Netflix, the cost is only a fraction of a cable bill.
College internships are a great way to explore your potential career options after graduating. As an added benefit, many internships have lead directly to careers.
The first step is to locate an internship you’re interested in.
Where to Find a College Internship
- Internships.com is rated by Forbes as one of the top 10 best career websites. There are thousands of internships available, all of which you can sort by area or location.
- The US Government accepts students and graduates into their internship programs. Learn more here.
- If non-profits are your thing, Idealist matches interns up with local organizations.
- Intern Abroad is a division of Go Abroad. You can sort opportunities by country or field of study.
Once you find some internships that sound perfect, it’s time to land them. If you totally nail down these areas, you’ll be able to get yourself an internship you love.
How to Land a College Internship
- Your resume is the first thing the organization will review. It should be impeccable. Proofread it, have a friend review it, and make sure that it is accurate. Now is not the time to stretch the truth.
- Your experience may seem like a deal-breaker, but most organizations are willing to accept an inexperienced intern if they have other unique experiences. You might not have previous job experience in government policy. But, if you’re a member of your student government or president of your sorority or fraternity, you can still have a solid chance. Look closely at all your experiences to determine if they are applicable
- Your application. For some competitive internship opportunities, applications can begin months in advance. Make sure you get yours in early, and that it is totally accurate.
- Your interview is where you can really shine. Dress appropriately for the position. Prepare for those open-ended interview questions like “What do you want to do with your life?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years.” Your answers don’t have to be lengthy, detailed plans—but they should have a sense of direction and purpose. Don’t just come prepared to answer questions, be ready to ask them. Ask whether the internship focuses on work production or actual learning opportunities, what careers previous interns ended up in, what skills the internship will teach you, and when you should expect to hear back.
- Your follow-up. Don’t let your application process end with the interview. If you asked when to follow up in your interview, be sure to give an extra day and then contact the organization. Even if they don’t choose you for that internship, following up can show that you are serious about working for them. This could help you land future internships or jobs.