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Answers to Your College Questions

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Posted by on in Paying for College

When we discuss college costs, we need to understand what “cost” actually means.

Officially, colleges list a cost of attendance, what I call sticker price, which includes tuition and fees, room and board, transportation, books and supplies, and personal expenses. Families don’t pay the sticker price, though, so don’t get a case of sticker shock when you start looking at colleges.

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Posted by on in Paying for College

Figuring out what you can afford to pay for college is the first step in helping your child attend college without having to take on excessive student loans or burdening your family with unreasonable debt.

The best way to start thinking about college costs and affordability is to assess what you can afford by looking at such factors as tax credits, cash flow, any savings available beyond an emergency fund, and reasonable parent borrowing.

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Tagged in: College Costs
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Posted by on in Paying for College

StressedParent

A new survey finds American families are willing to increase their student loans or debt, or take on a second job or sell a car, so their children can attend college. This mind-set prevails despite the fact that student loan debt has taken on crisis proportions topping $1 trillion.

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Posted by on in College Admissions

First, you should understand that college training has a much greater significance today than it did earlier. More than a century ago, work most often involved physical labor. As the twentieth century progressed, however, more and more work became administrative or managerial, though physical skills were still in demand. Following World War II and in the 1950s in particular, as a bigger share of the population had access to free public high schools, workers developed skills more exclusively suited for office work. At present we are clearly in a service- and knowledge-based economy, where the skills developed through a college education are the ones driving both economical and personal growth.

But is now the right time for you to attend, and what schools might best suit your circumstances? Getting through college successfully may actually depend on your being at the right school in the first place. The College Board, the preeminent organization connecting students to colleges, lists nearly four thousand accredited colleges and universities. The options are nearly limitless. You should choose based on who you are and what is right for you (not on what your parents did or didn’t do, or what your friends are doing).

Tagged in: College Motivation
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Posted by on in College

first-yearThe truth is that you might not find your place right away when you start college. It takes work and time.

Everyone seems to forget to mention this to you. Finding your place is so important—because if you have no place, you’ll end up lost, and if you’re lost with no place, there isn’t anywhere to go, and that’s when you will want to go home.

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Tagged in: College Life
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Posted by on in College

pileofbooksChasing your goals requires effort and, more importantly, motivation. But if you’re like most of us, the tendency to procrastinate can sometimes get in the way. But there are definitely tricks for getting and staying motivated.

In a new environment with no mom or dad telling you when to study or go to bed, it is common to throw routine to the wind in favor of late nights out with friends and too few hours in the library. But to find success in the classroom, you have to avoid this temptation. You have to get and stay motivated.

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Posted by on in College Admissions

Once you’ve selected your recommenders and they have agreed, DO NOT take for granted that your counselor or teachers will do a good job on their own. Particularly at public schools, these people are simply overwhelmed by all they must do. Therefore, one of your jobs is to make their job easier.

Here are some ways you can do that:

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Posted by on in College

test-prepThe term actually refers to colleges offering a degree in a course of study comprising the arts and humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences (which may not have direct vocational relevance).

The social sciences generally relate to the study of human experience, society, and social behavior. They include psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, political science, and economics (fields of study are sometimes called disciplines).

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Posted by on in College

At all costs, live in the dorm your freshman year!

Residence halls, dormitories, dorms, campus housing—whatever you call it, these are the places most new students who live on campus call home. They are long halls filled with hundreds of mostly clueless people on a common journey. It’s like a cruise, but without the swimming pools, room service, spa, casino, alcoholic drinks, ports of call, free midnight buffets, fine dining, all the water, and the boat. See, exactly like a cruise.

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Tagged in: College Life Dorms
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Posted by on in College Admissions

If you need letters from your teachers, you should ask teachers who know you well and who can say something specific and unique about you as a student. You can also get optional recommendations, which are best written by individuals who know you well in a context where you shine. Examples include deans, additional teachers, coaches, employers, and community service directors.

Sit down with your parents (or perhaps an older sibling or close friends) and brainstorm names of three to five potential teacher recommenders. Ask yourself:

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