3 Ways Community College Can Save You Money

Categories: College Life

It’s no secret college is expensive. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average annual cost of a private four-year university has shot up to $33,716. While college is important, most people find paying for college impossible unless they have scholarships or grants to help cover the cost.

But even if you’ve taken the initiative to apply for scholarships and other sources of free money for college, a four-year school can still be out of your price range.

communitycollegemoney

That’s where community colleges come in.

Community colleges sometimes get a bad rap. You may have heard that they’re for people with low GPAs. People who can’t get in anywhere else. People who weren’t motivated enough to apply to a good four-year school on time.

Guess what? None of these stereotypes are true. Community colleges offer you a huge bang for your buck, allowing you to graduate with no debt, or significantly fewer loans than you may have taken out at a four-year university. Here are some of the things you’ll save on:

Tuition
With college costs skyrocketing, everyone’s trying to save money on tuition. By choosing community college, you’ll spend thousands – sometimes tens of thousands – less in tuition and fees. If you’re on a budget or haven’t been granted any scholarships or grants, community college is a great place to cut back on tuition expenses.

Housing
The majority of community college students live with their families. Even if you’re responsible for helping out by paying for groceries or certain bills, it’s significantly cheaper to live at home than it is to live in a dorm. You can also save big by eating at home instead of buying a meal plan or eating  out all the time.

Transportation
If you can take public transportation to school, you’ll really be able to save big. But even driving a short distance to your local community college a few days a week can be cheap if your other option is a college on the opposite coast. The cost of plane tickets home for Thanksgiving weekend, winter break, spring break, summer vacation, and any other long weekends you want to spend with family can add up quickly.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a four-year school, but don’t discount a community college right away – it just may be your best bet when it comes to paying for college.

image credit: tacomacc.edu

Original Post Date: May 11th, 2015

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Why You Need to Take a Majors Quiz Before College

Categories: Majors & Minors

college-major-chooseSo you’ve taken our Careers and Major quiz. Now what?

It’s time to start exploring your options and making your results work for you.

We’ve reviewed how to go over your results and how the quiz can help you if you’re still a high school underclassman. But what if you’re a junior or senior who’s starting to think more seriously about the college application process? How can you make the most of your results?

Think About Which Majors You’ll Succeed In
Your parents may suggest you take up pre-med or pre-law, but these career paths aren’t for everyone. After you’ve taken the Careers and Majors quiz, see what majors interest you and what jobs they could lead to. Have you ever thought about majoring in fire science? What about homeland security? Cartography?

There are dozens of majors you may have never heard of, let alone considered. Keep an open mind and see what’s out there.

Don’t set aside your own ambitions, though. Our results may not say you were born to be a veterinarian, but if there’s no doubt in your mind that’s something you want to pursue, go for it. The quiz can still help you see what areas you’ll thrive in, and could help you choose a minor.

Keep an Eye on Other Schools
You may already have a list of prospective colleges going – that’s great. Don’t discount other schools yet, though.

Expand your school search based on your Careers and Majors quiz results. You may find that a university you’ve never heard of before is the ideal fit. Keep adding colleges to your list. You never know if you’ll want to submit another application at the last minute.

image credit: wikihow.com

Original Post Date: May 8th, 2015

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How to Choose Your Freshman Year Classes

Categories: Majors & Minors

registrationCollege is exciting for a lot of reasons. You’re on your own for the first time. You feel like a grown up. You’re meeting new people and learning new things all the time. Best of all, you get to choose what you want to study, rather than abiding by a strict curriculum.

But that freedom to decide on your own classes can be overwhelming. How do you know what to pick, anyway?

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re flipping through your course catalog:

Your Interests
There bound to be a few courses that interest you. After all, you now have dozens – if not hundreds – of options to choose from. Sure, college requires hard work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun in the classroom while you’re at it. Relive your childhood dreams of digging up dinosaur fossils by taking an introductory archaeology or paleontology class. Get creative with a pottery wheel in a ceramics workshop. Test out your strength in a martial arts course. Let loose a little and sign up for a class that’s interesting to you.

Your Major … Or Lack of One
If you’ve already declared a major, meet with an adviser and start figuring out which introductory classes you can knock out of the way freshman year. Without taking these prerequisites, you won’t be able to take other required courses later on.

Both declared and undeclared majors should also get a jumpstart on any gen ed requirements. If your school requires two years of foreign language or a certain number of humanities, math, and science credits, make sure you include a few on your first semester class schedule. Putting them off won’t do you any favors later on.

If you haven’t decided on a major, general education requirements can give you a better idea of what interests you and what field you’d enjoy working in. Don’t forget to take our Careers and Majors quiz, too.

You Career Aspirations
Consider which classes might be useful if you’re determined to pursue a certain career path. Journalism majors, for instance, may not be required to take U.S. government or statistics classes, but might find the knowledge they gain useful once they’re in the industry. Those who want to work in business might find classes on communication theory and persuasion beneficial.

When You Want to Graduate
Most people head off to college assuming they’ll graduate in four years. But all too frequently, people spend an extra semester or two on campus, spending more money on classes they could have taken years earlier and missing out on real-world work experience. If you’re determined to finish in four years, keep careful track of what credits you have, what you need, and which requirements you can finish off immediately. Remember that on some campuses certain mandatory classes are only offered once a year, so if you see a spot open, sign up.

image credit: bu.edu

Original Post Date: May 6th, 2015

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