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College and University Blog

Resources, help, and insight for your college experience

Dorm Essentials: What to Pack and What to Leave at Home

As the summer winds down over 10 million young Americans will prepare to head back to campus or move there for the first time. Your college dorm room will probably be the first place you’ve ever lived on your own – alone except for that pesky roommate, of course – and the initial excitement of moving out of your parents’ house is enough to make anyone go a little wild at Bed Bath and Beyond … but do you really need a color-coordinating set of everything?

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College Placement Tests and Remedial Courses

When I decided to take graphic design classes last summer, I had to sit in the library and take a computerized placement test to determine whether or not I was “at the college level" and could handle college level work.

At the time, I found it slightly offensive, considering that I already had a bachelor’s degree, but college entrance exams are actually a pretty standard procedure at most schools. They are used to compare a student’s ability for college-level work with other students that have also taken the exam—similar to the SAT and ACT.

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Student Loan Reform and For-Profit Colleges

Mention the word “college” in a roomful of young people, and most of them will conjure mental images of students wearing backpacks or carrying laptops across a busy quad, but that’s not always the case: the rising popularity of online colleges means that increasing numbers of students are earning degrees without ever setting foot on an actual college campus.

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Professor Evaluations: Are You a Satisfied Customer?

Nine times out of ten, when I make a purchase at a store the bottom of my register receipt offers a phone number I can call or a website I can visit to participate in a customer satisfaction survey. The last few times I’ve had to call the cable company or the bank, I was asked if I’d be willing to answer a few short questions to rate the representative I just spoke with. It seems as if every company out there wants to know how they’re doing. It makes sense, then, that students should be given the opportunity to rate their experiences with their professors. After all, they’re paying tuition to learn from these people, right?

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College Student Entrepreneurs: Students Starting Businesses

The current unstable job market is giving more and more Americans the confidence to take matters into their own hands and start their own businesses. Parents often decide that running a home-based company is the easiest way to care for their children while still contributing to the family’s income, but there’s another distinct group of entrepreneurs out there: college students.

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College Students and the Gulf Oil Spill of 2010

We’re in the midst of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history due to the massive ongoing offshore oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill, which began on April 20, 2010 following an explosion and fire on the semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, has already damaged beaches along the Louisiana coast, devastated the local fishing industry, and killed countless amounts of wildlife.

The oil spill disaster will wind up affecting us all in more ways than one, and colleges and college students across the nation are stepping up to the plate to assist and learn through research and training, share their viewpoints, and spread awareness.

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Religious Colleges are the Right Choice for Some Students

Deciding which college to attend can be a tough choice. In fact, when the time arrives to begin thinking of potential schools, you’ll have dozens of factors to consider: the cost of tuition, room, and board; the distance from home; the availability of majors; and the size of the school are just a few of many things to think about!

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Historically Black Colleges and Universities Have More White Students than You May Expect

I took a part-time job as a grocery store cashier the summer after my freshman year of college. There were four or five other girls that had also been hired for summer jobs; we were forced to fill out paperwork, watch training videos, and learn how to run cash registers as a group. One of the other new employees was a girl I had known casually in high school, and she explained that she had come home from school for the summer to stay with her family and work. She was African American and told me that she was going to a black college called Bethune-Cookman because her grandmother was providing her with financial assistance to go there.

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College Admissions Essays: Helpful Hints for Writing a Winner

The majority of colleges and universities require students to submit an admissions essay along with their college application. Writing a college application essay can be pretty stressful, and it should be time-consuming. After all, you don’t want to give the admissions counselors at your dream school a bad impression based on a poorly written essay that you threw together the night before the due date. Proper planning is essential because you will need to give yourself plenty of time for adjustments, rewrites, and proofreading.

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Students with Learning Disabilities Can Succeed in College

Making the transition from high school senior to college freshman is a little bit overwhelming for just about all new college students, but people that have been diagnosed with learning disabilities often find themselves feeling defeated during their first months in college. Most students with learning disabilities have had the ongoing support of their family, special education teachers, tutors, and counselors during high school, and going away to college and being on their own for the first time may be tougher than expected.

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Minorities are Enrolling in College in Record Numbers: College Enrollment Rates Highest in 40 Years

Foreclosure rates are at an all-time high, and the unemployment line is a grim reality that far too many Americans are experiencing personally. Some experts say that the United States is in a financial crisis while others call it an economic recession. Call it whatever you want, but the cold truth is that more people are struggling than thriving. In times of crisis, a new game plan is essential; in times of economic crisis, more and more people go to college in hopes of gaining a better-paying job.

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Father's Day Gift Ideas for the Budget-Minded College Student

If you are anything like me, holidays spring up so quickly it seems there is never any time to prepare the psyche for a shopping spree. Here is a gentle reminder, nudge, aide-mémoire, if you will, that Father’s Day is right around the corner, and if you have not yet found the perfect symbol of appreciation, a.k.a., gift, for your dad, there are plenty of budget-centered ideas to chew on.

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Pets on Campus: Some Colleges are Opening Their Doors to Man's Best Friend

Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri has drawn the attention of some with regard to their policy on pets: its A-OK.

According to a recent NYTimes article, thirty inbound freshmen are planning to bring their pets to college this fall. This number represents a 20% increase from last year’s enrollment, obliging the college to redevelop dorm space into a pet-friendly commune called Pet Central. The dorm space will provide a stopgap, student-staffed kennel for short-term care.

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The Summer Slide: Don’t Forget Everything You Learned all Year

The sun is blazing and the temperature is rising: summer’s here! Summer vacation provides a welcome break for most young people, and the thought of going on vacation and hitting the pool is almost as exciting as the ability to sleep late every day and take a break from homework, but being away from the classroom for an extended period of time can drastically reduce the amount of knowledge you retain.

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New Benefits of Taking Advantage of Summer Coursework: Discounted Tuition

After a long, grueling year of school, it is quite reasonable that summer break would be reserved precisely for its purpose, to relax and regroup. However, consider the newest campus buzz: according to a recent article from USA Today, some colleges are offering nearly 40% discounts on tuition rates for summer classes.

In the precarious economic climate that we live in today, without diminishing the importance of rest, the luxury of laying around in the summer months as opposed to jumping on opportunities to save money for a more successful future seems like an impulse.

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College Tuition Costs: Is Your Degree Worth It?

Facts and figures regarding the earning potential of college graduates have been floating around for years, and the numbers vary considerably depending on their source. In recent years, the College Board claimed that the difference in lifetime earnings of a college graduate versus a high school graduate was approximately $800,000 while other estimates have been well over a million dollars in lifetime earning difference.

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Scholarships Are Out There: How to Save Money on College Tuition

The news is full of stories about people racking up huge amounts of debt in order to attend college, but you may be able to earn your degree without spending a fortune. Grants are one type of financial aid that does not have to be paid back, and scholarships are another. There are seemingly endless types of scholarships available if you take the time to look!

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Community College: Why It May Be Right for You

Community college jokes have been around for years – “it’s just high school with ashtrays” is a common one – and people often think of community colleges as trade schools, but more and more people are giving community college a second thought as tuition costs rise and the job market declines.

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Berkeley DNA Testing: Controversial Invitation for Incoming Freshmen

The University of California at Berkeley has long been considered one of the top public research universities in the United States, and the school has been making headlines in recent months for an experiment that will be the first of its kind. Berkeley will ask each member of the class of 2014 to participate in voluntary DNA testing. Yes, you read that correctly – incoming freshmen will each be given a cotton swab on which they can send in a DNA sample if they choose to do so.

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Parental Involvement During College: Find the Right Balance

Kids with overprotective parents have complained for generations, and some parents are afraid to let their babies grow up and become independent. It’s only natural that parents want the best for their kids, and helping them search for the perfect college is a great idea. It’s one thing to assist your son as he fills out college applications, but it’s a whole new ball game if you decide to write application essays for him.

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Free Online College Courses Available from Prestigious Colleges and Universities

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “The best things in life are free!” but you might be unaware that some online college courses fall into that category! Several of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the U.S. now offer various classes over the internet – for free!

The college experience is changing, and all college students are no longer twenty-somethings that live on campus in dorms, thanks in part to the recent trend in distance learning and the availability of online college classes.

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Homeschooling and Applying to College: Can Problems Arise?

Although most of the information required on college applications is the same at various schools – in fact, the Common Application is accepted by nearly 400 colleges and universities across the United States – each college evaluates applicants differently. The various factors taken into consideration are weighted and compared against those of all other applicants before a college is willing to offer acceptance, and students that were educated at home instead of at a public or private school may find themselves running into problems.

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College Rankings: Just How Accurate Are They?

Have you ever noticed that just about every car advertised in magazines or on television is an award winner? Automobile of the Year. Best Family Car. Design of the Year. Best Hatchback for the Money. It almost seems like there’s an award for everything, but do you know who’s handing out the trophies? Cars aren’t the only things that are ranked. College rankings are calculated and published each year by various companies, and most have received their fair share of criticism.

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Get Out of Your Comfort Zone, College Students!

For the most part, I’m a relatively predictable person. I usually buy my clothes from the same few stores at the mall, I’m not a huge fan of trying out non-chain restaurants that I’ve never heard of, and I mainly only watch TV if House or Lost is on. Predictability isn’t a bad thing — we all like what we like — but it’s a good idea to get out of our comfort zones every now and then.

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College Honors Programs: Advanced Courses for High-Achieving Students

If you excelled throughout high school, enjoy challenging yourself academically and prefer to be surrounded with other students who feel the same, a college honors program may be just what you need. Similar to the advanced classes or honors courses that you may have taken during high school, college honors programs were designed to provide high-achieving students with unique educational experiences that go above and beyond the traditional college curriculum.

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The Summer Before Your Freshman Year of College: Top 10 Things to Do

Wearing an outfit that classmates haven’t seen before and toting a new backpack full of unsharpened pencils and a fresh box of crayons, the first day of school is one of the most exhilarating days of the year for young children. Those stomach butterflies typically return during the summer before your freshman year of college as the thought of moving away from Mom and Dad and living on your own for the first time approaches. Freshman year can be incredibly exciting, so be sure that you’re prepared!

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