Getting your kids through college is always going to be a financial challenge for many parents and there are plenty of decisions that have to be made about how much monetary support you should provide and when they need to take up the slack.
Here is a look at some of the answers to those vital questions, with insights on potential solutions and tips on how to decide what level of support you can and should provide to them when they heading off to college. Plus some tips on getting financial help and why you need to try and protect your credit score.
Student life on credit
One of the best lessons to teach your kids before they are college bound is to try and instill some financial discipline into them so that they understand the need for budgeting and how to make their money stretch as far as possible.
That is going to be important during their time at college when there will be plenty of legitimate expenses to deal with, and some spending like funding their social life, that will all need to come out of the one pot of cash available.
If you are considering the idea of a credit card as a funding idea, you have two options available.
You can either suggest they apply for a card in their own name if they can get accepted, or you could agree to add them as an authorized user on one of your own existing cards. It might also be possible to agree to co-sign on a student card, which means you are going to be equally responsible for the debt accrued on that card.
Talk to your kids about building a credit history and the responsibilities of paying off the balance, especially when you consider how long it will take to repay the balance if you only make the minimum payment each month.
If you want to learn more about managing your credit card balances you can visit Consolidation.CreditCard.
Reckless habits will carry consequences
If your kid is college bound they should be more than ready to take on the responsibility of managing credit and also understand the ramifications both now and in the future if they manage to get themselves into debt.
A good credit history has always been important and it opens doors to the sort of finance you need to get on in life, such as getting a mortgage to buy a home. Want you don’t want then to do is run up debts at college that they can’t deal with, leaving their credit score damaged and their immediate financial prospects looking a lot less positive.
There are no two ways about it, getting your child through college is an expensive business, which is why it makes sense to see if you can get some financial help to make things a little easier.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will help you to determine how much financial aid you should be able to claim.
It might prove an arduous task filling in the paperwork, but it is an important document and the money you get could make all the difference to your family finances.
Today’s guest post is from Anthony Farmer. He writes about finances and kids; saving for them, teaching them the value of money as well as real life skills they need. He is a Dad and an educator who writes for a range of parenting sites.
If you’re still in high school trying to decide what you should study at college, the answer might be simpler than you think. Instead, of looking at random and weird choices, perhaps you should consider one of the most popular industries in the world: medicine. We think there’s a pretty basic reason why some people are put off studying medicine. They think it means that they either have to become a doctor or a nurse and that’s just not true. There are lots of other job positions in this field. You may all go through the same training, but once you reach the stage of having your full license, your career can take off in any direction that you want. So, you don’t have to keep working with patients if that’s your biggest fear.
Actually, contrary to popular belief doctors don’t even spend that much time with the patients they are treating. You can find out more about that on http://www.forbes.com/sites. On average, doctors will spend roughly ninety seconds with each patient they see on the hospital floor per day. So, if you’re not really a people person, you don’t have to be to become a doctor. You just have to be fascinated by the workings of the human body and have an unquenchable thirst for learning. As a nurse, on the other hand, you may have to work with patients, but you don’t need to know all there is about treatment plans and diagnosis. These are just two of the basic positions you can fill in medicine. There are many others so let’s look at why this could be the perfect career choice for you.
Respect And Authority
A medical degree is easily one of the most respected qualifications you can earn. It’s not a throwaway major like Geography can be or philosophy. This will lead you towards multiple career options and perhaps more importantly, a great deal of respect on the job market. You don’t even have to work in medicine with a medical degree. The skills you learn on a medical course are transferable to other positions. So, you can certainly think about extending your branches, and when you do, you’ll be at the top of the list for employers.
There’s no need to work in one. As a fully trained health professional, you could run your own practice if you’re willing to invest the time and the money. It won’t be easy, but once you set out a plan and have some capital behind you it can be accomplished. You can then choose the type of care you provide, the payment you want and the staff you hire. Working as a doctor doesn’t have to mean long hours, heavy responsibilities and more when you’re in charge of the programme.
That’s not the only option either. You can also think about working without borders at all. That’s right, as a doctor or nurse you don’t have to be stuck in a building all day. It is possible to join doctors without borders and travel the world helping people. As such a career in medicine can still be just as exciting as a travel blogger and far more rewarding. Have a look at http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/.
Or, how about working in private medicine. If you work hard in school and college, you can get the best grades. You will then be able to move forwards applying for jobs in private practices. Private hospitals aren’t anything like your typical health corporation. Instead, the hours are great, the pay is fantastic, and the facilities are excellent.
Don’t Want To Deal With Death?
You don’t have to, there are plenty of specialties that mean you aren’t working with living patients at all. Instead, you can train to be a pathologist. Here, it’s your responsibility to find out why a patient died. But you can never be responsible for missing something that killed a patient. The tragic fact about medicine is that human error still exists. Eventually, a doctor or nurse will make a mistake that could result in the death of an individual patient. If you want to completely avoid this possibility working in a morgue could be the perfect choice for you.
Another almost stereotypical reason why people don’t go into medicine is that they have a fear of blood and guts. But again, a medical career doesn’t have to involve gruesome procedures and cutting open human bodies. Instead, you can work in research. Here, you’re more likely to be handling reports rather than performing surgeries. You might also on occasion run clinical trials, but that still won’t involve medical procedures. Most likely it will be things like testing new drugs and possible physical treatments. But, you can decide what type of clinical trial you are interested in.
Or, you could enter the mental sector of health looking at psychiatric conditions. To do this, you will still need a medical degree, but at some point, during your studies, you will branch off and focus on the mind rather than the body. You can have a look at jobs at https://www.staffnurse.com/jrp-mental-health-nurse or a similar site to find more information about this possibility.
There is the idea that because medicine is one of the most reputable courses, it’s also one of the hardest. This isn’t quite true and will medicine can be tricky it’s more because you’re running a marathon. You have to pace yourself to make sure that you don’t get overwhelmed. This is the true issue people have with the study of health. It’s so vast and there’s so much to learn it can seem impossible. You just have to remember that a lot of people have come before you and a lot will come after you. It’s not an impossible task, it never has been and while it’s true dropout numbers are high, a lot of people do succeed. You shouldn’t just assume it’s not for you because the challenge is too great. All you need is a little determination and a lot of hard work. Then, you will succeed in the medical field. Have a look at http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2012/07/ for more info on what it’s like to be a doctor.
These days, a lot of kids feel pressured to perform academically. Getting into a good college generally requires superior high school grades, and that means passing tests. Even junior high schoolers and kids in lower grades can feel stressed about school, especially right before an important test. In the interest of calming pre-test jitters for all, we offer the following quick tips that offer fast relief.
Study better, not harder
If your child excels at studying and note-taking, they may fare better as test time approaches. Students who brainstorm together in small groups may improve their study skills and boost confidence in their test-taking abilities, so say education experts at Cengage magazine.
Just chill out and relax, relax, relax
There are a number of proven relaxation techniques that can go a long way toward relieving pre-test anxiety. Among them are listening to classical or ambient music, taking a walk to refresh the brain and playing with puppies, according to GoConqr. And never, ever underestimate the importance -and stress relief- of a great night’s sleep. Hours spent asleep help the human brain to store new knowledge into the memory center of the brain where it can be recalled on test day. If you’ve ever tried to concentrate after a missed night’s sleep, you know that this is true.
Snack on chocolate, but make sure it’s the dark kind. Comprising around 70 percent pure cocoa, dark chocolate helps to counteract a stress hormone called cortisol. As an extra added bonus, deeply dark chocolate is known to cause the brain to release the happiness chemicals called endorphins. Sounds like a win-win proposition, right? It is.
Go low tech
Students intent on passing a crucial exam do themselve an enormous favor when they turn off their phones. Checking messages, scrolling a Facebook news feed and messing around on Twitter are fun, but they’re also amazing time-wasters. Students who waste time online may not have enough time to be fully prepared for a test, and that can be a huge stressor.
Teens who meditate tend to be far less stressed than teens who don’t. The ancient art of meditation is a brilliant way to take a relaxing break from study and ‘reset’ the mind. Meditation may also help nervous students to maintain their sense of focus while boosting mental health. Mandalas are a nice part of some student’s meditations. An Adroid app such as mandala coloring book app offers calming geometric patterns and a rainbow of colors that give students a stress-relief break any time they need it. Mandalas aren’t the only things you can illustrate with this free Android app from Google Play. Animal pics, flowers and other entertaining coloring projects come with Coloring Book For Me & Mandala from Apalon.
Puppies, hamsters and fish tanks can be good stress relievers, too. Playing with pets, petting cats and popping bubble wrap are relaxing forms of play that can do much to calm those pre-exam jitters.
Today’s guest post is from Leo Wright, a Dad who works part time as an assistant at his son’s school. He writes about educating your kids at home, as well as supporting their schoolwork.
Too many parents complain that their student’s college major is unemployable after graduation. With the cost of college rising, it means families are conscious of the value of higher education and it’s ROI (return on investment). Even though ROI is not the most crucial criteria for choosing a college and a major, it should certainly be a factor in the college choice.
Renewable energy jobs are red hot right now. Whether you’re looking for a hands-on job in the field such as solar installer or a highly educated position such hydrologist, it’s important to create an education road map to make sure you reach your goals.
Renewable energy sources include wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower, and capturing those resources for energy requires many levels of skill sets: construction crew, technician, project manager, research scientist, mechanical engineer, lawyer, financial expert and beyond. While construction and technician positions may only need trade school or associates degrees, many higher-paying positions will require specialized degrees taking four years or more.
Map your green and renewable energy career with these three detailed resources explaining career opportunities in the solar, renewable energy, and green industries:
Breaking into the Solar Industry – http://www.letsgosolar.com/
Renewable Energy Degree Programs – http://www.letsgosolar.com/
Green Careers Beyond Solar – http://www.letsgosolar.com/
This article was originally published on Smart College Visit as part of my Parent College Coach tips. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to repost it.
A song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, “Love the One You’re With”, brings me back to my teen years. Yes. It dates me. But it reminds me of a good piece of advice my mother once gave me: you can’t always get what you want, but what you need is often better.
This might be a strange parley into today’s tip, but it got me thinking about college acceptances and the inevitable rejections that often arrive. Students all over the country who applied regular admission are biting their nails waiting to hear from their first choice colleges. Will they be accepted? Will they be wait-listed? Or will the college they dreamed of reject their application and not offer admission.
What do you do when that happens? First you let your teen grieve, and maybe you grieve, and then you move on. If you crafted a good college list, there are some perfectly wonderful colleges on that list—they may not be the first choice, but they are often the best choice. Your student may not be “in love” with those other choices, but it might be time to love the one you’re with and move on.
Here are 5 good reasons to fall in love with your 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th choice college:
1. Everything happens for a reason–How many times have we all said this to our children? There could be a dozen reasons why their 1st choice college didn’t offer them admission or enough financial aid to attend. Admissions counselors tell us that each application is a subjective process and they can’t admit everyone. While it might seem like a rejection to your teen, in reality it’s their decision that your student might not be a good fit for their college. Take that as a cue to move on and find the college that feels they ARE a perfect fit!
2. In the light of day everything seems different–College choices are often made based on peer pressure, parent pressure and status. After all the hype and stress of applying, it’s easier to sit down and look at the choices your student made in a more objective light. The pressure of applying is now gone and all you need to do is thoughtfully evaluate those colleges that have offered admission. The ball is now in your court–you get to decide!
3. A closer look might reveal a hidden gem–Take some time and diligently investigate the colleges further down on the list that have offered acceptance. Compare offers, visit their campuses again, talk to current students and be open to discovery. You never know what you might unearth in the process.
4. Those other colleges on your list are more than sloppy seconds–Your 2nd and 3rd choice college made the list for a reason. Don’t look at them as sloppy seconds, but realize that they could have been your 1st choice all along. How many of us have passed over life choices, only to realize later that we discounted their value and missed out on amazing opportunities.
5. What you NEED is always better than what you WANT–It’s true. We often want things that aren’t always the best for us. We teach our kids to pursue needs before wants; the same can be true for the college choices. Your teen may want an Ivy League logo on their vehicle, but what they need might be a small private university with smaller classes and individual attention.
When it comes to studying, the most typical method we take is to go to a college, university or similar school and just learn. We speak to our lecturer, teacher, or advisors and we learn from them. We buy books, study them, write up documents and complete tests to prove that we’ve learned something. That’s the standard way and for many years that has been the norm. However, we’re seeing a shift in learning practices thanks to technology and we’re now able to not only learn online but even study for a degree.
There’s no questioning the effectiveness, reduced costs and the convenience of studying from a distance. You get an equal level of education studying from home, you don’t pay as much because of no travel costs and resources are readily available online, and you don’t have to rent a student accommodation or move closer to your campus. The best part about it (arguably) is that you can study in your own time. There’s no attending lectures or classes, and you can study whenever you have the time meaning it’s great if you also work from home or have a job.
There is a lot to study
In addition to studying for an online bachelor’s degree, you could resort to less formal methods such as consulting online guides, tutorials and free lectures that are recorded by major educational institutes such as MIT. No matter what you want to study, there’s bound to be an online course or lessons you can study that suit your needs. However, if you want to have a qualification at the end of it, then you’re going to need to go through formal channels to ensure that you get a degree or qualification at the end of it. But if you’re learning for the sake of picking up new skills and hobbies, then you can do that without much money involved and by using free resources.
There are some downsides
Depending on your personality, learning in solitude might not be your thing. You won’t get to experience university life. You won’t be attending a campus, you won’t be meeting friends and you probably won’t be getting out much if you have to study from home. This means there’s very little communication and the only person you’ll really speak to is your lesson planner or teacher. Some online study services have communities where you can chat with fellow students, but it’s not the same as meeting them in person and sharing study notes or going for a coffee. However, this might be seen as an upside for people who are introverted learners.
You have to be self-motivated
Since you won’t have friends to help you out or face-to-face contact with your teachers, you probably won’t be getting much motivation or support. This means you’ll have to be self-sufficient in most cases and you’ll have to formulate your own plan when it comes to organising your lessons, when you have to study and how to study for tests or examinations. If you aren’t good at organising and motivating yourself, then online study might take awhile to get accustomed to.
Everyone wants a free ride for college. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Even athletic scholarships rarely provide students with a full ride for athletes.
Scholarships that pay all college expenses are available, however, if you know where to look. Here are four ways your student can win enough scholarship money to pay for all their college expenses.
Colleges with merit-aid
Good grades, good test scores, a stellar volunteer record and essay, can mean thousands of dollars in merit aid from the college. If your student is applying to one of the colleges on this list, he or she could score enough money to pay for all their college expenses.
Colleges with great scholarships for National Merit finalists
The PSAT is one way to win a full-ride scholarships. If your student is a National Merit finalist (which isn’t that difficult with a little preparation), he or she would be offered a full-ride scholarship and more. Here’s a list of colleges that offer scholarships to National Merit finalists.
Colleges with full-ride scholarships
Full-ride scholarships are offered to the students who are at the top of the applicant pool. The bar is set pretty high, but if your student is one of them, they could score a scholarship that pays all their college expenses. How does your student get to the top of the applicant pool? Apply to colleges where their SAT scores and GPA are higher than other students. This list will help you find those schools.
Winning multiple outside scholarships
If your student works hard at applying for scholarships, it’s entirely possible to win enough scholarship money to pay for all their college expenses. Monica Matthew’s son, with her help, won $100,000 in scholarships. If you want to know how she did it, read her story and while you are there, purchase her simple how-to guide.
Finding and winning full-ride scholarships can be done. But it takes some effort: searching for the right colleges, doing the work in school, and applying for scholarships.
Education, as a sector, has brought down the walls of geographical confinement that marred the industry as well as the growth of students and academics in general. However, now is the time to consider foreign education, because it opens up the world for you to enjoy the best educational infrastructure and career opportunities. That said, your planning for foreign education must be accompanied with due diligence on the course to choose, the universities to apply to, the finances involved, the timelines involved, and a whole lot more. Let’s tell you more about the five things you need to check as you get on with the phase of making preparations for foreign education.
The three most important considerations for any foreign education decision are – the timing, the course and university, and the costs.
Understanding Timings and Planning accordingly
Firstly, determine which semester suits you the most ; for instance, weigh the opportunity of working for a few months and earning something before joining a foreign course, or joining early and budgeting additional 4-5 months for job search after course completion. Note that most foreign institutions have students-intake in either the spring session or the autumn session. Institutes invite applications up until 4 to 5 months of session commencement. Also, the joining date is generally close to two months prior to the beginning of session.
Identifying The Most Suitable Courses and Universities
Secondly, shortlist the courses that align well with your skills, interests, and aspirations. Once done, check which universities that offer the best Bachelor degree programs in Law, for instance, Business, Information Technology etc. in the course, and the course structures.
Questions to be answered are:
- How good are employment opportunities relevant to the course?
- In which region is the industry concentrated?
- What’s the duration of the course?
- How relevant will the degree be in your home country?
- What is the research and employment specialization of the university you’re considering?
The Critical Question of Expenses
Thirdly, plan and prepare a budget for the expenses that will be involved in your foreign education. Note that apart from course fees, you need to plan for expenses related to lodging and living (check if the university offers on-campus lodging), travel expenses (some courses necessitate International or domestic travel, so check if that’s sponsored or not), and course material (some universities don’t include course material costs in course fees).
Scholarships and part time jobs are highly relied upon by foreign students, because these help them reduce the load of hefty expenses. Teaching assistance programs, internships, and small project with stipends – all are significant financial aids for students in nations like USA and UK. Apart from these, students can explore options such as freelancing and paid online surveys etc. to earn a decent income stream and keep finances under check.
Language Exams, Certificates, and Forms
Most foreign universities follow standards and norms to enable students to apply and enroll without problems. However, you need to be aware of aspects such as English (or any other language) exams you need to undertake to be able to apply for a course. TOEFL and IELTS are among the most commonly accepted English language tests. Apart from these, you’d do well to understand other specific concern and requirements from the university, in terms of forms such as medical history, police verification, and net worth certificate. Procuring these forms is time consuming, so plan well in advance.
We briefly mentioned scholarships, now is the time to explain them. International students can apply for and seek scholarships from the institution, the government, and private institutions that offer scholarships and fee waiver programs. Among globally renowned scholarships are The British Commonwealth Scholarships, Fulbright Fellowships and Rhodes Scholarships. Students can significantly reduce the costs of foreign education by targeting scholarships, although this needs due diligence, academic brilliance, and the ability to research and find information.
We’ve tried to cover five of the most important factors that you need to understand and plan around to make your foreign education decision a success. Be smart, be aware, work hard, and you will make it through and enjoy great success riding on a coveted educational degree from a sought after foreign institution.