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Archive for January, 2010

State of the Union Address Emphasizes Higher Education

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

If you missed President Obama’s State of the Union address, you may want to either read it or watch it online.

Although the political pundits are having their usual field day of picking apart and analyzing every phrase and gesture, most admit it was ambitious — and definitely not “business as usual”.

For example, President Obama stated that he hated the bank bailouts, but they were necessary — with most of the bailout money having already been paid back.

He announced that all combat troops will be out of Iraq by the end of August 2010; but troops will remain in Afghanistan through July 2011.

President Obama announced that his administration has made 25 different tax cuts, and no tax increases — which positively affected 95% of working families.

Of course, economic recovery was at the top of the list in his remarks, with promises of millions more jobs for out-of-work Americans, a new tax credit and easier access to low-cost loans for small businesses, lower mortgage rates for homeowners, and continued efforts toward health care reform.

But higher education was the star of the State of the Union speech, in terms of long-range economic strategy for our nation.

The President emphasized that a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. A college degree is necessary to access most new jobs that are coming down the road — especially as America builds new clean energy facilities and seeks new advances in technology and medicine.

Anyone who has considered earning a traditional or online degree will find encouragement in the following potential education-related changes, as announced by the President:

  • Community colleges will be revitalized, improving access to a cost-effective 2-year college degree.
  • Pell Grant amounts will increase, providing lower income students with more money for college.
  • Military personnel, especially those returning from war, will receive the financial aid and support they deserve.
  • Subsidies to banks from student loans will end, making the money available as a college credit to taxpayers of $10,000 over 4 years.
  • Student loan payments may change, in order to not exceed 10% of a borrower’s income. After 20 years, the loan would be completely forgiven (or only 10 years if employed in public service).
  • Doubling the child-care tax credit will help parents to work and attend college.

The State of the Union address gave the American people something more than promises — it portrayed hope for a promising future for Americans and the rest of the world.

And that is something we all needed to hear.

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Fake College Degrees Increase Dangers for All Americans

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

You may think that it is none of your business when diploma mills sell fake college degrees to individuals seeking job promotions, new positions, or entry into graduate school.

After all, what’s the harm?

The obvious answer is that this deception costs some honest Joe or Jane a position that they have earned by completing an accredited on-campus or online degree program.

But there is a more compelling reason.

Fake Degrees are an Easy Purchase for Terrorists and Criminals

Unfortunately, there is a darker side to the problem of false credentials. There is the possibility of their involvement in terror threats, criminal activity, and identity theft.

  • Fake degrees in medicine, psychology, education, and physical education give unscrupulous individuals and criminals access to children.
  • Fake degrees in engineering, architecture and computer science allow home-grown and foreign terrorists key access to major transportation centers (airports, trains, bridges), city centers, and computer systems.
  • Fake degrees in accounting, finance and business open doors into the stock market, banking institutions, and credit agencies — centers of critical information about millions of Americans.

According to the article, ‘United States has become world capital of fake degrees and diplomas’ , diploma mills and their fake degrees are everyone’s business. This is an international problem; but the U.S. is way ahead of the pack in allowing over 800 diploma mills to prosper on their soil and endanger an unsuspecting public.

The repercussions are severely underrated.

What Can We Do?

Is there a solution to this insidious problem? Yes, here are some practical ways to help.

  • Never buy a fake degree, even if the purpose is just to hang it on your wall at home. You are supporting those who supply fake credentials to anyone who can fork over the cash.
  • Get the government involved. Write your Senators and Representatives and let them know you are concerned about this issue and will support legislation designed to eradicate diploma mills.
  • Employers, be thorough when checking out the credentials of job applicants. Check with the Department of Education to insure that college degrees listed on the application are from accredited traditional and online schools. Then verify, with the individual college or university, that the applicant actually earned the specific degree.
  • Enroll only in accredited online schools; and double-check with the Department of Education to make sure the school is legitimate.
  • Be alert to anyone who does not appear to have the required knowledge or skill for the job they are doing. You are entitled to be suspicious, especially when that person’s job title and access involves your safety, and that of the general public.

Remember that fake degrees are far from harmless. And most of all, they are everyone’s business.

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

College-bound Students Swayed by Tough Times

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Four-year college and university students, who in past years enjoyed the luxury of focusing upon the social perks offered by traditional schools, now reflect the harsh realities of a tough economy.

During the past couple of years, many students watched parents, relatives, friends, and neighbors lose jobs, houses and businesses. As a result, students’ perspectives about going off to college have changed — perhaps forever.

Now, more than ever, online schools are looking good as students focus on maximizing educational credentials while minimizing debt.

According to a study conducted by Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, the top goal of incoming college freshmen in fall 2009 was to be well-off financially, garnering 78.1% of the vote from those answering the survey. A majority of students, 53.3%, are also concerned about how they will pay for college.

In choosing a college to attend, more students said the cost of the college was very important (41.6%), the amount of financial aid offered through the college (44.7%), and the college’s ability to provide job opportunities after graduation (56.5%).

At one time, parties, fraternities or sororities, and the freedom to hang out away from the scrutiny of parents, topped the list of reasons that students headed off to out-of-town colleges and universities.

But those on the wise side are not thinking that way anymore. With Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment figures topping 10% at the end of 2009, students are aware that they, too, could end up jobless — if they do not plan well.

Online schools and online degree programs may offer advantages to students who work a job or internship during the school year while earning their diploma. Upon graduation, these students possess a wealth of job experience that sweetens the resume and aids in securing a suitable career position. They may also have less tuition debt; since they have been able to work during their college years.

Tough times call for tough choices; and college-bound students know that all too well.

Yet by making wise college-related choices today, students seek to insure career and financial success tomorrow.

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Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by vida

Top Online Military Friendly Colleges For 2009 Listed

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Choosing an online school can be a daunting task, especially for active-duty personnel who may be serving a tour of duty overseas.

However, Military Advanced Education (MAE) has made the task easier for potential military students and veterans by releasing its 3rd Annual Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities. These selections of United States’ colleges were based upon MAE’s criteria — such as accreditation, either national or regional, and membership in the Servicemembers Opportunities College (SEO).

Although the list includes both on-campus and online schools, we have included only the military-friendly colleges that have online degree programs. They are in alphabetical order and do not include all online military-friendly colleges.

  1. American Military University
  2. Ashford University
  3. Bellevue University
  4. Capella University
  5. Coastline Community College
  6. Fort Hays State University
  7. Graduate School
  8. Jones International University
  9. Kaplan University
  10. University of Maryland University College
  11. University of Oklahoma
  12. Penn State University
  13. TUI University
  14. Western Governors University

A previous blog, Top 30 Military-Friendly Colleges Listed, also contains helpful information; and potential military students may view the entire list of 2009 military-friendly traditional and online schools at the MAE website.

E-learning is an excellent choice for members of the military, with flexible learning schedules and the ability to study on the go. It also allows military students to complete their college degrees while serving their tours of duty.

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Cruising Your Way to a Online Degree

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Yes, it is actually possible to earn an online degree while traveling the world on a cruise ship.

And now it is easier than ever to connect to the Internet on the water.

High-tech ships routinely pack 2,600 or more people on weekend, weekly or longer voyages; and creative students can complete online classes literally ‘at their leisure’ with streamlined Internet access.

Even though the word ‘cruising’ evokes images of rich passengers, as depicted in the blockbuster film, “Titanic”, times have drastically changed as everyday people take advantage of an all-inclusive way to experience exotic ports and quiet days at sea.

Internet access has improved tremendously on ships since last year, when passengers were often limited to “WiFi hot spots” in central public areas. Now, online students smoothly log into online school assignments from their staterooms.

Cruising is one of the best travel bargains around, especially for those who book a few months before sailing. Prices often drop as much as 50-70%, depending on the cruise line, itinerary and length of cruise.

For example, a 7-day Princess cruise from Los Angeles to Mexico was recently priced under $400, including lodging, 24-hour food, twice-a-day cabin cleaning, entertainment (shows, live music around the ship, karaoke, dance classes, health club, etc.) and transportation to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan.  Three and four-day cruises have been spotted for as little as $199 per person on Carnival, Royal Caribbean or other lines. Families score huge savings when they pay about 50% less for the 3rd and 4th person staying in the same cabin.

E-learners may prefer to stake out a lounge chair on the Promenade deck and work to the sound of the ocean waves. The ship’s library is also available for those who prefer a traditional study atmosphere; and there, a window desk will score an ocean view as well.

Although Internet on cruise ships is traditionally pricey, between 40 and 75 cents a minute, passengers often fan out to the various free or cheap Internet cafes or WiFi hotspots in each port. There, students can turn in homework assignments and contact teachers, if necessary.

Accredited online degrees are a smart way to land a job, earn a career promotion, or become a more valuable employee - especially as employers seek workers who are versatile. Online degree programs offer valuable knowledge, training and certification; and earning a college diploma while sailing is yet another reason to love the wonderful flexibility of online degrees.

Check out cheap cruising at Vacations to Go:  http://www.vacationstogo.com

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

New Year Inspires Jump in Online School Enrollment

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Each year, online school enrollment surges in January as many people are inspired to return to school in order to earn a college diploma.

This New Year, 2010, is a wonderful opportunity for change; and higher education is generally accepted as an effective gateway to a better job, more money and an improved lifestyle.

Adult learners often peruse easy-to-use educational websites, like Directory of Schools, to select an online school and/or online degree program.

Online degree programs offer a high-tech education via computer and the Internet, allowing students a unique flexibility in being able to set their own study schedule. This flexibility has revolutionized higher education and opened new doors to students who would not have been able to earn their college degrees due to full-time employment, physical limitations, or geographical location.

E-learning students either possess or develop a strong sense of discipline and diligence that enables them to complete assignments and study for tests without having attended a physical classroom.

The New Year is young and full of promise for those seeking an online degree; and this is the time to finally make those dreams come true.

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Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by vida