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College is important. By completing a degree, you are planning your future career and ensuring that you have a job that will help you support yourself and your family. However, financing a college education is not easy. Most students have to take on extensive college loans to help them through college and they find it extremely difficult to make ends meet. As a parent, what can you do to ensure that your children can afford college? How can you save enough money to ensure that your child is not left holding a ton of student loans?

Saving For College IS Easy and Affordable

You can save for your child’s education by setting up college 529 Plans. A college 529 Plan is designed to help students and families plan for their education through a special tax-deductible program. These programs are applicable on almost any college and university and you can apply to any university with this kind of saving plan. At present, there are two types of plans available: savings and prepaid.

1. Savings plans are like 401K plans. Other features of a savings 529 plan are as follows-
a. There is no lock on college costs
b. All expenses included tuition, room and board, books, computer, mandatory fees, etc. are covered in this savings plan
c. Some plans have contribution limits but the limits are usually more than $200,000.
d. With this kind of plan, you choose the investment option and the value of your savings increases or decreases based on the option. Your investment is also subject to market risk. You can evaluate the value of your investment by checking the 529-plan quarterly performance.
e. There is no age limit, no residency requirement, and enrollment is possible all through the year.

2. Prepaid plans are also available and this plan allows you to pre-pay or pay all the costs of an in-state college education.
a. These plans have a limited enrollment period.
b. You can lock the tuition rates at selected public and private colleges and universities.
c. Only a few limited options are covered under this plan but some plans cover almost everything.
d. State plans are offered and they are guaranteed by the state at a set value. You may have to be a state resident to be eligible for this plan.

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If you have heard the terrible stories about student loans and how fresh college graduates shiver at the thought of having to service the loan even before they get a decent job, chances are high that you are thinking twice about going to college. The truth is that there is a rising student loan debt in the country, but a lot of facts have been twisted, especially by the affected persons. The following are myths about college debt debunked.

1. College Debt Must Be Repaid And There’s No Other Option

The truth is that any loan must be repaid, but student loans are special because they are usually advanced to individuals who do not have a job. If you are not able to repay your student loan debt, there is an alternative – student loan forgiveness programs. Nearly half of college graduates who have a student loan qualify for these programs. While it may come with some strict requirements, it can help you deal with your college debt.

2. College Debt Cannot Affect Credit Ratings

This is a popular myth that can be blamed on poor understanding of financial matters by some students. The truth is that college debt can tarnish your credit history if you fail to service it when it falls due. Failing to pay your college debt can make it very difficult for you to get a mortgage or a personal loan in the future.

3. College Is Unaffordable Without A Huge Student Loan

Going to college in the United States is a costly venture. That is a fact that nobody can dispute. However, you can get through college without applying for a loan. All you need to do is take advantage of grants, live frugally and get a part time job.

4. Bankruptcy Is The Best Option To Shun College Debt

That is not true. Bankruptcy is an option of last resort. Besides, you have to prove many things to be declared bankrupt. For instance, you must prove that you have unsuccessfully tried to pay off your college debt, that you’re going through financial difficulty and lastly, that you are struggling to maintain a basic standard of living.

Student loans are usually very helpful. Therefore, college graduates should do their best to pay off these low-interest loans. Follow Us For More Of Great Articles on Education, Family, and More.

A person may decide that he or she wants to change college paths. Such a decision may come to mind in the middle of obtaining a degree, or it can surface later in the person’s life. Changing college paths is a difficult process because of the finances that are involved with the initial program. However, a person can use a strategy to move forward with the changes that have come up. The following are some tips for changing college paths:

Speak to a Counselor

The first step a student will want to take is speaking to a counselor about the idea to change paths. A counselor can help the student to decide if he or she is making the correct decision. Sometimes, students just need encouragement and a source of motivation in their current paths. A learning course may become mundane if the student does not view it as a challenge. A counselor can schedule a quiet meeting during which he or she will discuss the person’s options for course redirection. This person can help the student to first recognize why he or she would like to change college paths. The solution could be quite simple if the two persons communicate with each other openly.

Try to Pick a Relevant Path

The student should try to pick a relevant path if it is at all possible. For example, a person can shift to medical coding from medical transcription without suffering from too much confusion. Both jobs are in the same field, but the latter may be better for the person because of the isolation factor. A medical transcriber has to take some of the same courses that a medical coding specialist has to take.

Try to Finish the Current Course

A student may want to wait and finish a current course if he or she is more than halfway finished. Some students become frustrated with their courses, and they want to change things in the middle of them. Seeing something through is always the best option. The student can take the newly learned information and incorporate it into the following stages of learning.

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Finding a job after graduation may seem difficult, but a graduate can achieve it perfectly with the right strategy. The key to succeeding when one is searching for a job is to know the talents that he or she matches. The next important key is for the person to know the type of personality that he or she possesses. The graduate does not have to spend money to find out where he or she would fit the best. Online personality assessments are available, and they can help graduates to find jobs that suit them.

The process of finding a job involves searching in places that they will be plentiful. However, a student should start searching for careers while he or she is still in school. The school’s career counselor can help connect that person to internships that can develop into long-term employment opportunities. Additionally, the counselor may have links to corporations that are looking for people to fill positions immediately.

The student will want to create a business profile as quickly as possible. LinkedIn is an example of a site that twill allow a graduate to post a business profile. LinkedIn is a professional social media site where a person can list his or her qualities. Other social media sites that could help a person to find a job are Facebook and Google +.

The student will want to ensure that his or her resume is complete and free of errors. A professional resume service can help a student to build a flawless resume.

Finally, the student will want to visit various sources of online job connections. Online newspapers, government employment agencies, public libraries and job search websites are examples of places that a person can start searching for a job. The potential to obtain a position will increase with each resume.

Finding a job is a process that requires a student to be on his or her best behavior and do everything possible to succeed. Doing everything possible includes dressing for success and speaking fluently in the interview.

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Going away to college is a rite of passage. For many students, it will mark the first time they have ever lived away from home and most will spend at least the first year in a college dorm. Ensuring they have everything they need for this transition will make college life more pleasant and provide much needed peace of mind for parents.

One essential piece of equipment for modern day college students is a reliable laptop. Having a laptop at college will make it easier to keep work organized and provide a valuable resource when researching information for class. A laptop also provides a great way to stay in touch with the family and can be an appreciated source of entertainment during down times.

The school will provide a bed but students must bring their own bedding. It is a good idea to bring at least two sets of sheets, so there will always be something clean if there is a delay in doing laundry. The same is true of bath towels. Pack extras so students do not have to do laundry as frequently.

Most dorm rooms do not have private bathrooms, so students should have a bathrobe. This allows them to walk to and from the community bathroom without having to get completely dressed every time they walk out of the dorm room.

Dorm rooms are typically very small with extremely limited storage space. Taking along an assortment of baskets and bins for socks, underwear, school supplies, clothing accessories and personal care items will eliminate the clutter and keep the room organized allowing roommates to maximize the available space.

A clothes hamper provides a convenient place to store dirty clothes until laundry day. When it is time to do laundry, the hamper is useful for transporting clothing to and from the laundry room.

A mini refrigerator is a must-have for many students. These small appliances are ideal for keeping snacks and beverages cold.

Students who bring everything they need for the dorm can eliminate the need to go shopping. Instead, they can start setting the room up right away and be prepared to focus on classes.

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If you are looking to join a post graduate program, you are probably getting ready to do the standardized tests that most graduate programs need. The tests are basically designed to gauge your worthiness for a graduate program so to speak; however, not many post graduate schools can admit you without the scores of these tests. Nonetheless, just like you, there are a number of colleges that don’t need you to take these tests since in some cases they may be pointless. For example, what would be the need of taking a test when you have years of experience in your field? If you do a little bit of digging, you will find a number of colleges that can offer you these programs without the tests. Some of these include:

Business Degree Programs

If you are looking to further your education in Business, you will be happy to know that there are some colleges and universities that will gladly accept your application without the standardized tests. Here is a list of these colleges:

• Ohio University — MBA

• Norwich University — Leadership

• North Eastern University — MBA as well as Finance and Marketing

• University of South California — Master of communication studies

• Rutgers –MBA

These are basically the major colleges and universities that will allow you to undertake business programs without doing any standardized test.

Post Graduate Programs in Health

Just like in business programs, there are some colleges that are open to the idea of applying for different post graduate programs in health without the GMAT and GRE scores. These include:

• Ohio University — nursing and Health Administration

• Maryville University – Master in health administration

• University of Arizona — Master in Nursing

• The University of Florida — Master In Pharmacy

• University of Cincinnati — Master in Health Informatics

In case you need to do a post graduate degree in health, there are so many colleges and universities you can choose. Boston University even offers an opportunity to do a master degree in IT without the standardized tests. In that case, you don’t need to worry about GMAT and GRE.

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Every human being needs to eat groceries from time to time for health purposes. Groceries, which typically include fruits and vegetables, are in great demand in various parts of the world today. If you are joining college and you love groceries, it is vital to make sure that you have and abundant supply of them all the time. However, there are those ones that are more essential than others. You need to make sure that you are spending your money on the type of groceries that truly matter and that have an impact on your life and health.

So, if you are shopping on your own, here is a list of nutritious and cost-effective groceries that you can purchase when you are in college. Make sure that you buy groceries that are most suited to you. Tastes and preferences really matter when making these choices.

Fruits

Fruits are versatile since you can either eat them raw, blend, or chop them. You can basically eat fruits in different forms and they will still be very beneficial to you. Examples of fruits that you should consider are apples, oranges, pineapples, avocado and grapes.

Vegetables

Vegetables should also be in your diet when you are in college. Vegetables are filled with nutrients and can be eaten in large quantities since they are low in calories and high in fiber.  They are also rich in Vitamins which are essential for keeping diseases at bay. Some examples of vegetables that you should think about are tomatoes, baby carrots, spinach, frozen broccoli and pepper among others.

Protein

Protein is a vital component of your diet and thus you need to include it in your groceries list.  Proteins stimulate muscle and bone growth and can also help in raising your energy levels.  Good examples of proteins that you should go for are lean meats and sea foods. They have less fat and calories.

These are basic selections of some of the main groceries that you will need to have in your shopping list when in college.  Bread and grains are also vital.

The Bryerson Family Education Blog offers a myriad of tips on how you can choose the best groceries today. Feel free to follow us for more articles for students and parents.

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The first day of school is overwhelming for some students, but it doesn’t have to be for everyone. It’s possible to take the stress out of this experience by following some simple tips. Make this transitional period easier on your first day of college by doing the following:

1: Don’t close your dorm door:
By keeping the door to your dorm room open, you’re allowing people to come in and introduce themselves and creating an inviting atmosphere. Not only will this help you make friends easier and quicker, but you’ll also know when your dorm mates are moving in also.

2: Get Settled as Soon as Possible:
The sooner you unpack all of your belongings, get rid of the boxes, and stow away your suitcases the sooner you’ll feel at home. Creating a homey atmosphere within your dorm room will help stave off homesickness, as well as help you keep organized right from the beginning.

3: Go Exploring:
You may not have time to do this on the first day of college, but it’s important to go exploring throughout the campus as soon as possible. If you can go exploring shortly after you’ve unpacked your dorm room, this is optimal. That way, once you’ve set up your homey environment, you can start feeling at home in your surroundings.

4: Keep Snacks Around:
A great way to make friends, and to keep them coming around, is to have snacks on hand all the time. Keep chocolates, cookies, or chips on hand as soon as you move into your dorm room. That way, when you go around introducing yourself down the halls, you can offer snacks to neighboring rooms. Even candy or popcorn will be well received; it doesn’t have to be anything fancy.

This is just the beginning for making your first day of college easier and less stressful. One of the best ways to make this day go more smoothly is to let your mother fuss over you, and spoil you for one last moment.

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Parents should supervise what their freshman packs to take to college with them to be sure the student has what is truly needed in that small dorm room to make it a “home away from home” and a good place to study.  All the suggestions in this article should be adapted to your student’s own situation. For some of these items, it might make more sense to buy them when you arrive in the college town.

Remind your student to pack for one season at a time. When the student comes home for the semester break, they can change their clothing for the season ahead.  If the student is going to room with someone from their high school, they can get together before leaving and split their “needs” list. If their roommate is someone they don’t know, contacting the roommate to discuss preparing their dorm room is a good way to “break the ice”. They will get to know each other as they plan together for what to bring.

Today many dorms have suites that share a kitchenette outfitted with a refrigerator and small cooking space. Most students have no problem remembering to bring their electronics and their clothes. This list focuses on the items students may not readily think about when packing for college.

What You Might Not Remember But Need to Bring College Checklist

Dorm Room Essentials

  • Bedside Lamp (and light bulbs) as well as Desk Lamp (and
    light bulbs)
  • Under-the-bed Storage Boxes or Trays
  • Small Fan (the A/C can go out)
  • Small Trash Can
  • Folding Drying Rack for Laundry
  • Mini-Toolkit (including Phillips head and slotted
    screwdrivers, assorted screws, a hammer, wrench)
  • Picture Hangers (double sided tape for concrete walls or
    whatever the school allows)

Kitchen Essentials

  • Bowl, Plate, Mug, Plastic Glass, Eating Utensils
  • Water Bottle
  • Can and/or Bottle Opener
  • Food Storage Containers (microwavable)

Electronics

  • HDMI cord, Ethernet cord for computer – DON’T FORGET THE
    CORDS!
  • Surge protectors for ALL electronics
  • Extension cords
  • 3 Two prong adapters
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Cell Phone plus BOTH room and car chargers

Linens and Laundry Supplies

  • Clothes hangers
  • Extra pillow, blanket, towels (one set is NOT enough)
  • Lint brush
  • Mini-sewing kits (with several needles, white and black
    thread and white buttons)

Desk and Office Supplies

  • Memory cards and USB flash drives for plenty of storage
  • Printer paper
  • Stackable desk trays (4 or more)
  • Plastic container with snap-shut lid loaded with:
    stapler, staples, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, paper
    clips, 3X5 index cards, sticky notes, binder clips, rubber
    bands, tape, scissors, multiple colors highlighter pens,
    ruler, stamps and envelopes.

Toiletries

  • Plastic container with snap-shut lid loaded with:
    Tylenol or other pain reliever, antacid, vitamins, cough
    drops, anti-diarrheal meds, antibiotic  ointment, burn
    ointment, sun block, adhesive bandages, Ace bandage, hydrogen
    peroxide, tweezers, nail clippers, cotton swabs.
  • Shower caddy and shower shoes

Clothing

  • Two or three pairs of sneakers or other comfortable walking
    shoes
  • More casual clothes than dressy ones
  • Raincoat- always have a raincoat or rain parka. Always.
  • Two sets of business casual clothes on hand.

With Roommate: Plan Together and Share

  • Small Coffee or Hot Pot
  • Audio Equipment
  • TV and DVD
  • Area Rug
  • All-purpose Cleaner
  • Dish Soap
  • Trash Bags
  • Paper Towels
  • Wet Wipes
  • Facial Tissues
  • Toilet Paper
  • Food Storage Bags

The Bryerson Family Education Blog hopes this checklist helps you add some items you have not yet thought to pack for your student’s trip to college this year.

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One of the most exciting times in a student’s life can also be the most hectic. There are many ways that incoming college students, whether new to the dorm life or returning after a rough first run with things. Here at Bryerson Family Education Blog, we hope that with these tips, you’ll have a save and fun move into your new dorm.

One of the first people you will meet on campus and possibly one of the first friend you make will be your roommate, but moving day doesn’t have to be the first time you communicate with them. It will make for a good first impression is you go ahead and email or call them to introduce yourself and figure out which commonly used items like a microwave or coffeemaker you will need to bring or that they can bring. You can also discuss things like which bed you want or start getting to know each other.

Next on your to-do list will be the packing. While some colleges provide lists of items that are definitely nice to have immediately after moving, having a lot of items to bring with you can be tedious when unloading and unpacking. The absolute bare essentials are sheets, clothing, hygiene items, and prescription medication. If your dorm has an on site laundry area, you might also bring a laundry bag and essential laundry chemicals. Other items that will be crucial in college include writing supplies, calculator, binders, notebooks, and (most importantly) an alarm clock.

Now you’re all set for moving day! Well, almost anyway. There are two keys to moving day: being early and prepared. If you are a long distance student who will be flying, make sure to ship a few items to the school if possible and take as much as you can as a carry on just in case a luggage mishap happens in the cargo hold and your items are shipped to the wrong location. With plenty of teamwork and preparation, you’ll be on your way to settling into your new dorm room in no time.

Following these tips, using a little common sense, and courtesy with your fellow students, you will have a safe and friendly moving trip into your new dorm.

If you found this article helpful and are looking for more tips on how to have a fun and easy time at college, peruse our articles at Bryerson Family Education Blog.