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Archive for December, 2009

Help Others by Giving Yourself the Gift of a College Education

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

This time of year is all about giving to others.

But it is difficult to give to others when you feel that something has been left undone in your own life.

Many who have not earned their college degree live everyday with the regret of not having finished college.

According to a recent study by  Johnson, Rochkind, Ott and DuPont, entitled “With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them”, 65% of students who dropped out of college have given a lot of thought to going back to school.

Over half of those students have not completed their degrees because they work full-time jobs and/or have family commitments, according to the study. Interestingly, only 26% cited ‘not being able to afford it’ as the primary reason for not earning their degree.

Online degrees fit perfectly into the schedules of those who work full-time and have family obligations. The mission of online schools is to cater to the needs of adult learners - those who are juggling their responsibilities and need extra attention during the application, enrollment and financial aid process. Accredited online schools usually assign a counselor to each online student to help them with any questions or problems throughout the time they are enrolled in the school.

Students in online degree programs may cozily sit at their home computers and complete assignments at their convenience. That way, school assignments do not have to interfere with work hours or family time.

The gift of a college education to oneself ultimately provides the student with greater potential for higher earnings and greater life fulfillment.

And a prosperous, satisfied college graduate is in a great position to give to others.

So, why keep putting it off — give yourself the gift that keeps on giving.

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Former Child Bride Earns College Degree Against All Odds

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Inspirational stories don’t get any better than this one.

Anyone who believes that they cannot earn a college degree should read about a child bride who hid a dream in her heart and found a way where there was no apparent way.

Tererai Trent was only 11 years old, in Zimbabwe, when her family married her off to an older man. Her husband lost no time in making her life miserable by beating and abusing her.

Tererai dreamed that one day she would go to college to gain the credentials necessary to escape her unhappy life. She believed that education was the key to her freedom from abuse, poverty and despair.

Miraculously, this desperate young woman found her way to the United States with her hopes, dreams and children in tow. Even the errant husband came along. But life was still difficult as Terrerai braved horrendous living conditions while pursuing her college degree.

She still hung tenaciously onto her dream of a college diploma, when most people would have thrown in the towel.  And because of her perseverance, today she holds a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University.

Most people have far fewer obstacles to overcome in earning a college degree; yet many are paralyzed with fear about returning to school.

Even with the advent of online schools and their extreme flexibility, many simply toss their higher education dreams away without looking back.

But everyone should take a cue from Terrerai.

She never gave up; and neither should anyone else. Enroll in college today!

Read more about Tererai Trent here.

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

High College Dropout Rate of U.S. Students Is Disturbing

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

A disturbing revelation has both the federal government and higher education officials scrambling to find solutions.

The problem: Most American students who enroll in college do not complete their college degrees.

If this trend continues, the U.S. will find itself lacking the homegrown intellectual resources that fuel and maintain its competitiveness among developed nations.

According to a new study supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, only 20% of community college students and 40% of four-year university students earn their diplomas within 6 years.

The study, “Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them”, highlights some surprising facts and challenges faced by a majority of college students.

  • Only a quarter of college students are “traditional students” — those  who enrolled in college right after high school graduation, live in dorms, and have financial aid from various sources, including parents.
  • Most students need to work. At least 60% of community college students must juggle 20 or more hours a week along with their classes; and 35% work full time jobs.
  • Almost a quarter of college students have dependent children.
  • The majority of those who drop out cite problems juggling work, school and family.

A number of solutions to these and other problems are being considered, including making part-time students eligible for federal financial aid.

Also, increasing the availability of online degrees and online classes offers relief for students by:

  • reducing the need for working students to attend night and weekend classes by letting them study when it is most convenient.
  • reducing the need for child care, since students can study at home after children have gone to bed.
  • allowing students to accept any job, instead of just those that fit into the on-campus class schedule.

President Obama seeks to add five million college graduates to the U.S. rosters by the year 2020 by providing assistance, creating options and removing barriers for students.

Hopefully, these and other measures will make all the difference for potential dropouts.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Thousands of jobs are up for grabs to those who act quickly

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

If you want to work, there are thousands of jobs that are up for grabs; but they won’t be there long.

Whether you are a retiree, a college student, or a high school graduate, you are welcome to apply.

The jobs pay weekly, offer 20-40 hours of work per week, and reimburse employees for some additional work-related expenses.

Pay rates are competitive and vary, depending upon geographical location.

For example, those who work in San Francisco, Palo Alto or Oakland will earn $22 an hour; while individuals who work in Atlanta, Georgia, will make $18.25 an hour. Those who snag a job will also be paid for 4 days of training — not bad at all.

And who is this generous employer? It is the U.S. government, the Census Bureau.

Applications are being accepted now for temporary jobs that are being filled for work that will likely begin closer to April of 2010. Census takers will go door to door in towns and cities all over America to gather demographic information, so that everyone in the U.S. can be counted.

Interested parties should snag a job now, before all the slots are filled. Bilingual applicants are especially needed. Even if you already have a full-time job, don’t count yourself out. Census takers are needed to work the evening hours as well.

Online degree students are in a great situation to grab whatever work shift is available; since e-learners’ study hours are flexible.

Perhaps the best thing about this job opportunity is that, for a time, thousands of people will be working — including some who have been struggling to find employment since they were laid off many months ago.

Census information is used to calculate the allocation of government services and monies to various communities. It also determines how many representatives and electoral votes will be provided to states.

So remember, as you apply, that the job of a census taker is one that provides a community service.

Click here for additional information about U.S. Census jobs.

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

For-Profit Colleges Under Fire for Helping Poor Students

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Once again, the cannons are aimed at for-profit colleges. But this time, they are under fire because they primarily serve lower income students.

Of course, the real reason critics are so upset boils down to money, as usual — specifically the billions of dollars of federal financial aid that accompanies less wealthy students to their online schools of choice.

However, years ago when these students were forgotten, ignored and shunned by those who are now kicking up a fuss, few uttered even a peep.

Even when for-profit online schools, like the University of Phoenix, began to reach out — and yes, market themselves — to poor and working students, there was little that concerned anyone.

Yet now that the financial ante is up after increased allocations of student aid, and for-profit schools are raking in billions of financial aid monies from these students, the cannonballs are flying.

Perhaps critics of online schools do not remember the days, not long ago, when poor working students who needed to see an admissions officer or counselor found campus offices locked and bolted by the time they arrived at school after work.

And if they wanted to buy textbooks — tough luck, the bookstore was closed as well.

The evenings that they drove across town to park and run into their on-campus classes, no one cared about the working students’ exorbitant parking fees, expensive gas or time away from their families.

When they had trouble with class assignments and could not make it to instructors’ office hours to get help, it was just too bad.

So along came for-profit schools, like the University of Phoenix, that literally made it their business to care for working adults and other forgotten students. They met the needs of these students through the power of distance-learning technology and prospered in the process.

Students could earn an accredited online degree in the comfort of their own homes, shop for their textbooks 24/7 online, and study at convenient times in accordance with the needs of their families. They were also comforted by the fact that accredited online schools must adhere to the same rigorous academic requirements as accredited traditional schools.

And just as is true with traditional schools, students still had to shop around to find an online college that fit their budget.

An increasing number of students from every income level now recognize the benefits of e-learning. They flock to online schools in droves, according to the Sloan Consortium, along with their allotted Pell Grant and federal loan monies.

So all of a sudden, critics are desperate to help traditional schools win back, not the students, but their coveted financial aid packages.

For-profit online schools spent years reaching out to the forgotten ones. Now, those online schools are doing well; and the rest of the higher education world is hot under the collar.

Poor students are rich in financial aid; so now everyone cares about them. But where were the education critics when poor students weren’t wearing dollar signs?

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida