Posts Tagged ‘undergraduate’

What the Debt Ceiling Legislation Means for Your College Education

abcThis has been the summer of the debt crisis and a seemingly never-ending debate on raising the debt ceiling. Even if you didn’t really quite understand–or care to understand–the impact of the resulting bill signed by President Obama earlier this week, one of the biggest public concerns throughout the debate was how it would harm access to higher education. So was the future of college and graduate education harmed or protected?

Nothing is ever completely black or white, but here are some details of what the legislation will do:

Overall, the legislation will couple an increase in the government’s borrowing cap with more than $2 trillion in budget cuts over the coming decade, including cuts to federal education spending. So, do you want good news or bad news first?

If you chose “bad news,” skip to the section that says “bad news.” For “good news,” keep reading.

Good news:

Despite the nail biting induced by fear that the Pell Grant program would encounter extremely deep cuts, the program was salvaged. Need a reminder of what the Pell Grant program is? Basically Pell Grants are designated to students from low-income families. They are grants for college that do not have to be repaid. According to the U.S. Despartment of Education, more than 19 million undergraduate students are expected to be awarded Pell Grants in the upcoming academic year. That’s a lot of students and a lot of education.

Instead of harmful cuts to the program, as was expected, the Pell Grants progam will receive $17 billion in funding at no additional cost to taxpayers.

Which leads us to the bad news:

If the Pell Grant program is safe, and at no additional cost to the taxpayers, where does the $17 billion come from? No, not a money tree. Those don’t exist yet (I’m currently working on it in the secret laboratory in my basement). With a money tree out of the picture, money has to be cut from elsewhere. In this case, saving the Pell Grant program came at the cost of government-subsidized loans for graduate and professional students. The loans will be eliminated in July 2012, which means that graduate students would have to pay interest on their loans while still in school. On top of that, the rate reduction on student loan interest for on-time payments will be eliminated.

Together, these two changes are expected to generate $22 billion in savings, with $17 billion allocated for Pell Grants and the remaining $5 billion helping to reduce the deficit.

Nobody was expecting a win-win situation to come out of the legislation, but it will definitely be interesting to see how pitting undergraduate education against graduate and professional education will work in the long run.

Is this good news or bad news? Share your opinion by leaving a comment below.

What Type of Student Goes to an Urban College or University?

Categories: Admissions Advice

campus

When it comes to filling out whichever college questionnaire you happen to be filling out today, the bubble that designates whether you want to go to an “urban” college or a “rural/suburban” one always gets you. It’s not like you’ve experienced going to college while living in a big city yet or lived at small college who’s campus literally is the city. How would you know the difference? How do you know if you’re a city college kid or a more traditional campus kinda kid?

Don’t fret. You’re not alone–people have been wondering the same question for ages. And now, an excerpt from the best selling 44 BC tablet “Shall I Go to an Urban College or Suburban One?”:

“Volo ut peto a urbs universitas.”
“Non a rusticus universitas?”
“Ego sum inconditus. Quis should ego operor?”
“Insisto vestri pectus pectoris!!!!”

The age old question is difficult to answer. So, today we’re attacking the urban side of the argument and putting forward some qualities of a student who might be more inclined to attend a city college. Here we go…

Q: What Type of Student Goes to an Urban College or University?

A: A student who…

Wants the activity of a city
College life is exciting, but add the element of a big city like Chicago, New York, Boston, etc., and you’ve got endless things to do. Go to class, and then go to the opening of a new restaurant. Finish studying for a final and then go be an extra in a movie filming down the street. If having a cornucopia of things to do in your free time appeals to you, city living during your college years might be right for you.

Wants the work and internship opportunities available in a big city
One of the unique things about going to an urban college means you’ll have more opportunities to work at jobs or internships that are only offered in a big city. If you’re living in New York, you could accept an internship at Rockefeller Center and continue going to school. A student at a college in prairie-ville Kansas–no matter how great a school it is–can’t take on the same opportunity without leaving their college.

Wants easy access to public transportation
Not keen on driving? While you’ll find that most college campuses, urban or suburban, are livable without having a car, in the city, you can travel further and swifter just using public transportation. No need to pay for gas or borrow a car to get to Ikea–just a subway, bus, bus, subway and you’re there!

Loves a certain city
Have you ever dreamt of living in a certain city? Your college years are a great time to actually get up and move there and experience living in the city of your dreams.

Wants the cultural diversity of a larger city
Most any college is a haven for arts and culture. But, a big city is itself a place to experience arts and culture in motion. From beautiful museums and galleries to ethnic neighborhoods and flee markets, a large city has lot of big and small cultural tidbits to offer.

What’s your opinion on going to an urban college? Leave a comment.

5 Awesome Ways to Decorate a Mortar Board

Categories: College Life

mortarIt’s graduation season! Congratulations to high school and college seniors moving on to their next phases in life.

If you’re graduating, you probably have a lot of things on your mind like how to get a job or how to say goodbye to your friends before leaving for college.  But the thing that is most definitely, most certainly, most undoubtedly concerning you the most is how you will stand out during your graduation ceremony.  If everybody’s in the same robe and mortar board, how will your parents know who you are? How will they ever be able to spot you amid the sea of hundreds, or thousands, of students clad in your school colors?

The solution is not only easy, but fun: decorate the top of your mortar board.  If everybody else has a black mortar board, a little splash of color will make yours pop.

Here are 5 ways to decorate your mortar board:

1. Personalized Message
Send a shout-out to the people cheering you on during graduation!  Using colorful tape, pipe cleaners, glitter pens or whatever you have up your sleeve, write out a message! Something short and sweet usually does the job, like “Hi, Mom!”, your initials or celebratory “We did it!”

2. Your Graduation Year
Have some class pride! Spice up your mortar board by hot-gluing cut-outs of your class year to the top. This is a great way to make your mortar board a more meaningful keepsake.

3. Say Something Meaningful to You
It may be a strange place to spread the word, but if there’s a positive message you want to send out, why not do it atop your mortar board? Just keep it appropriate for the occasion.

4. Colorful Flowers
Once again, bring out the hot glue gun.  Stop by a crafts store and pick up some exaggerated fake flowers.  Glue on your flower arrangement, and give friends and family the garden view of graduation.

5. Game board
You can get all sentimental with your mortar board with the aforementioned options, or you can be a little tongue and cheek with it.  Considering mortar boards are in fact boards, you can design the flat space to look like a game of checkers, Monopoly or any other familiar thing that would fit well on a mortar board space.

Do you have any other suggestions? Comment and let us know!