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ESAs have become a national trend. Florida, Arizona, Tennessee, and Mississippi states are now offering ESA programs. More than 10 states are also about to join the bandwagon and have considered ESA legislation in their recent legislative sessions. Here is an overview of the reasons why policymakers, parents, and other educational stakeholders should support ESA accounts:

A Great Saving

ESA provides parents with 85-95 percent state-based funding per student, which they can use to purchase approved education expenses like books and tuition. Administrative costs are also covered by designating 3 to 8 percent of the remaining funding. It can therefore be a vehicle for helping children attend private schools that are less expensive, hence a real saving for local and state school districts.

ESAs Fill a Need

Since their inception, ESAs have been focused in special needs population. This is because many schools lack staff and the necessary resources to address educational needs of children. ESAs empower parents to choose schools that best fit the educational needs of their children.

Value and Efficiency

Educational policy makers agree that schools need to be run efficiently. However, this is not always possible as the current education systems in various states are riddled with obstinate incentive. ESAs provide parents with a chance to spend their resources on the educational needs of their children. Accordingly, parents have the incentives to maximize the value of education that their children receive. The choice of school provides parents with a good opportunity to make educational choices.

It spurs Educational Innovation

By empowering parents to customize their educational markets, ESAs help propel educational innovation. Market forces will catch up with both private and public schools. If the school suppliers are responsive to the market forces, they will adapt and eventually survive. However, if they don’t, they will fail. These forces and market pressures will propel valuable changes in the educational marketplace in the same way that higher education has been revolutionalized globally by educational options such as open online courses—providing education to many students without the need to be in campus.

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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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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)


  • HDMI cord, Ethernet cord for computer – DON’T FORGET THE
  • 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.


  • 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


  • Two or three pairs of sneakers or other comfortable walking
  • 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.

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The choices that you make in college will impact your entire life, and one of the most important choices will be that of choosing your major. Such a choice determines your type of degree and your future employment prospects. If you want to get the most out of your education, you’ve got to choose the right major.

It’s often helpful to start by looking at your own life. What are you good at, and what do you enjoy doing? These two questions will help you to narrow down the field of possible majors. Next, ask yourself about the jobs you have had in the past – what did you enjoy about them, and what did you dislike? That will help you to figure out the types of employment that you might realistically enjoy. While it’s always good to pursue a passion, you have to realize the constraints of the working world.

You should also spend a moment looking at careers that line up with the questions that you asked yourself previously. Can you get a job doing what you enjoy? Are there even ways to monetize your particular skill set? If not, you might want to move down the list to something else. You should always find ways to love the job that you have, but that does not mean that every passion is worth the time and effort that it requires to get a degree in the subject. Make sure that you can make a living off of the degree that you choose to pursue.

At the end of the day, your major is going to have a huge impact on your life. Don’t panic, though! Most colleges don’t require you to choose a major immediately. Take your time, make a smart choice, and don’t be afraid to change things if they don’t work out. If you want to be the kind of person who succeeds at life, you’ve got to be comfortable with your decisions – and that means taking the time to examine your options.

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Going to college can be a confusing time for many people who attend, and there are so many things to think about. Unless you have your education paid for by a well-to-do parent or other, you will find yourself funding school through a combination of grants, loans, and possibly scholarships. This financial aid comes from a variety of sources, and usually your college will do several things with the money when it comes in (such as paying your tuition, books, and supplies). When these items are paid for, you will be given the excess in many cases.

Financial Aid Disbursements

When your excess money is disbursed to you, you have a legal responsibility to use this money for school-related purposes only. Financial aid is not to be used for any items not directly part of school. The range of purposes are broad however, and you will find many things you need for school are included. Many people will use the excess money they receive from financial aid for reasons that help them the most for college, setting priorities first.

Items You can Use Your College Financial Aid For

Items that make the list of college expenses include housing (on or off campus, it doesn’t matter which) and room and board situations. You can also spend this money on transportation expenses to get back and forth to class, and new computer equipment and periphery such as software or equipment for computers. Equipment of all kinds that you would use in and for school are also approved. Obviously, a new computer game system or paying for dates is not part of what the excess money is intended for.

Your college expenses really only have to be for something related to school in some way, so it could be almost anything that you would use for school. In some cases, you can use the excess monies to study abroad and the college expenses incurred from doing so. If you have questions about a particular item, just ask your school and they will help you determine if it’s approved or not.

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477767179The cost of a college degree can be a daunting amount. Fortunately student loans are available to help you but they do come with many cautionary tales of disaster. Simply taking all of the money you can get without considering how it affects your future is a recipe for disaster. So keep the following in mind as you consider student loans.

Make sure you stay in close contact with your lenders. Keep them updated on your personal information. When your lender send you information, either through snail mail or e mail, read it that day. Make sure you take action whenever it is needed. Missing anything in your paperwork can cost you valuable money.

If you have taken a student loan out and you are moving, be sure to let your lender know. It is important for your lender to be able to contact you at all times. They will not be too happy if they have to go on a wild goose chase to find you.

It is important for you to keep track of all of the pertinent loan information. The name of the lender, the full amount of the loan and the repayment schedule should become second nature to you. This will help keep you organized and prompt with all of the payments you make.

If you want to apply for a student loan and your credit is not very good, you should seek out a federal loan. This is because these loans are not based on your credit score. These loans are also good because they offer more protection for you in the event that you become unable to pay it back right away.

The information above is just the beginning of what you should know as a student loan borrower. You should continue to educate yourself about the specific terms and conditions of the loans you are offered. Then you can make the best choices for your situation. Borrowing wisely today can help make your future that much easier.

141232493College can be a time of great opportunity. However, there is usually so much going on that it is easy to forget why you’re there and what you need to do. These tips are here to help you manage life at college, as well as make sure that you have a great time.

Always plan time to study and keep a set schedule for doing so. After you have received your class schedule, it is best to schedule your study time. With a class and study schedule mapped out, you can create the kind structure that will help you get through each day and maximize your time.

You want to be sure that you have the right testing materials, as they vary for different classes. Even a simple thing, like forgetting your calculator, can ruin your score. The professor may not have extra items to lend you, so make sure you have what you need before you leave for class.

If the campus you are attending is large, it is important to familiarize yourself with it during the first week. You should know how to get to the cafeteria, library, the Professor’s offices, college security, study rooms and the student center. Knowing the location of places you have to go saves time.

Get all distractions and chores out of the way before you sit down to study. That way, you won’t be tempted to be distracted by things that you could or should be doing instead. Many people find that unfinished chores lure them away from studying and give them an excuse to procrastinate. So get those things out of the way first so you can give your studying undivided attention.

You should take advantage of all the resources you have available to you on the college campus, especially when it comes to academics. There are most likely plenty of study spaces, computer labs, etc. that you can go to get some peace and quiet and quality study time in.

If you are staying on campus and you purchased a meal plan, make sure that you take advantage of it. Don’t leave any meals uneaten, particularly if they don’t roll over from semester to semester Depending on the rules associated with your plan, you will probably be able to pick up what you want and take it with you. Therefore, if your friends are having a meal somewhere else, you can still join them without spending any extra money.

There are a lot of things you can do and learn at college. Make time for your studies, but get the most out of your time there. Use the tips in this article to help you make the most of your college life, so that you can have a happy life when you leave as well!

79082576Are you looking for tips on going to college? If so, this is the article for you. College is where you figure out what your career will be and what you’re going to be doing for a long time to come. You’re transition to college life can be much easier if you understand what to expect.

Be prompt when you are applying for grants or scholarships. If you have good funding in place well in advance, you won’t have to borrow as much. Be sure to keep track of deadlines and submit applications on time.

When you are trying to choose a school that you would like to attend you should weigh all of the pros and cons of the school compared to what your major will be. You can find many lists that tell you what the department at the school you are interested in ranks.

Get to know your campus before classes begin. Determine the amount of time you need to travel from class to class, and plan accordingly. In addition, find the other places that you plan to visit frequently, and note their location on your map.

Make sure to make time for both socializing and academics. Some students spend all their times in their dorm rooms studying, which can be depressing and lonely, while others are so social that their coursework suffers. You should get out of your room and do something fun at least once a week and devote at least an hour a night to studying for each of your classes to help you stay balanced.

Learn how to write an essay using the “5 Paragraph Essay” format. This is a simple essay format that is often taught in elementary or middle school. Although it is simple to learn, it is invaluable in college. This format will help you easily get through most essay assignments.

Use the many resources of the library. It is a great place to study, read and relax. When you really need to concentrate, the quiet of the library is a great place to escape the activity of the dorm. The library is also where you can find the most comfortable chairs on campus.

The advice in this piece ought to have offered a bit of useful insight. Use what you learned in this article and your college career can be both successful and productive. Don’t go to college without learning as much as possible.