Young adults are reaching financial independence much later than in previous generations,and financial advice for college students and grads can be confusing. This month, Charles Schwab launched Money Mondays, offering easy-to-understand and actionable financial advice for college students and other 20-somethings to improve their financial health.
We asked Kristine Dixon, Director of Schwab Community Services to answer a few questions about the program, and got her financial advice for college students:
Q: It seems there’s a stigma that college students are notoriously BAD at personal finance. Why is that and what is Schwab’s Money Mondays doing to help?
A: I’m not sure what drives that stigma – and in fact people of all ages can be bad with money. But the reality is that today’s students are dealing with enormous financial pressures—probably more than previous generations. The cost of college has been soaring over the past decade, and it continues to climb, so the reality is that many young people start out with a tremendous debt load.
The good news is that young people are very eager to learn how to manage their money better. They’re just not sure where to start – and that’s where Money Mondays comes in.
Money Mondays offers weekly, easy-to-follow tips that aren’t overwhelming or time-consuming. Our goal is to motivate people to take small simple steps that over time will have a huge impact on their financial lives. In addition, we have online calculators and budgeting tools to get people started. And we’re leveraging contests and social media – including Twitter and soon Facebook -- to help spark a conversation, listen and really understand what people need.
Q: What are some realistic money management suggestions for college students as they move through college and graduate into the working world?
A: First of all, be proactive. Managing your money doesn’t have to be overwhelming or time-consuming if you set things up properly. You can start by automating your finances as much as possible. For example, use direct deposit and set up automatic bill-pay to avoid being late on payments.
Second, take advantage of your company’s 401(k) or other retirement savings plan – especially if there’s a match. This might not seem like a critical priority for people in their early 20's. But if you start putting away just 10% of your income now, you’ll be in great shape. And I can’t emphasize enough: Don’t walk away from a company match! It’s like walking away from free money.
Third, live within your means. If you can’t afford an HDTV or a new smart phone on your monthly salary, set a savings goal and put away a little each month till you’ve reached it. If you’re methodical and committed, you can be successful.
The point is that it doesn’t have to be overwhelming; there are little ways to make a big difference in your financial life.
Q: Why should students care about their credit score?
A: Your credit score can have an impact on so many things. Bad credit can keep you from getting an apartment, a car loan, a home mortgage, or even a job. Knowing what’s on your credit report is the first step to fixing any problems. So we always advise that people get a free copy of their credit report each year at annualcreditreport.com.
Q: What is your advice for college students that have already racked up significant debt (via credit cards, student loans, or both)?
A: One of the simplest things you can do is pay your bills on time. You’d be amazed how quickly debt can compound when you’re racking up late fees and penalties.
Second, always pay off your expensive debt first. Generally credit-card debt costs more than student loans. So pay an extra $10 or $20 toward your expensive debt each month -- or even more if you can afford it. We have a great Cost-of-Debt Calculator that tells you exactly which debts are costing you the most.
And finally, put a lid on your use of credit. Don’t charge anything new unless you can absolutely afford to pay it off at the end of the month.
Q: What is one of the most unique or funny solutions you’ve uncovered by a 20-something to manage their money/debt/income, etc.?
A: We host a Money Mondays Contest every other week where we ask people to answer a simple question for a chance to win $100. You’d be amazed at the things people will do to save money. One of the more dramatic stories was from a guy who sold his bed to help cover tuition costs. It seemed like a good idea until he found himself sleeping on a hardwood floor. Then there was the student artist who tried to pay rent with his artwork. Not a bad idea, but the landlord didn’t go for it.
Generally though, we hear a lot of practical ideas for being thrifty, like getting roommates rather than living in your own apartment, throwing potlucks in lieu of going to a restaurant, or having movie night at home versus going out to the movies. And for a lot of people, being thrifty has become chic. It’s the new black.
Want a chance to win $100? Money Mondays features bi-weekly contests with $100 cash prizes. This week's contest, launching today: What's the worst financial mistake you've made while surviving on entry-level pay? Answer the question for a chance to win!
By Veronica Mayo, Special to StudentAdvisor.com
I know that the thought of sending a child to college for the first time can be terrifying and overwhelming. Then there is all the planning and work that goes into making the actual move. Based on my past experience and learning from my mistakes, here are 5 packing tips for college that will keep parents and students organized and sane:
1. CREATE A DETAILED SHOPPING LIST. If your student hasn’t been in contact with her or his roommate to coordinate items, then I suggest this happen as soon as possible. Do not wait until the last minute to get all your shopping done - it's not a fun experience for your child if you are both exhausted and stressed out.
2. BINS. Plastic storage bins are the centerpiece to an effective packing strategy for college. I prefer the clear plastic type, so you can see what is inside. Label each bin according to the types of items that will be transported and stored in the bin. When you arrive at college, most of the bins don’t need to be unpacked. Simply store the bins under the bed. That’s the beauty of the bin approach. Even the largest bin can be accommodated under the beds, which is great, since space is very limited in the freshman residence hall rooms.
3. KEEP CLOTHES ON HANGERS. Don’t bother taking clothes off their hangers. Simple remove them from the closet and, place a garbage bag over the clothes. Poke a hole through the bottom of the bag to slip the hangers through. When you arrive at college, simply hang the clothes in the closet. This eliminates the need to pack and unpack a lot of clothes. This is a huge time-saver.
4. KEEP BOXES & PACKAGING. If your child is taking a new printer or other electronics, keep the box (foam and all). This makes it easier to re-pack at the end of the school year and prevents damage.
5. WHAT ELSE? There are some items that you might not think to bring. These include an area rug, small fan (it can get hot in those residence hall rooms), artwork for the walls, feather bed (the beds are hard), laundry bag (yes, the kids will actually be doing their own laundry), bulletin board, general tool kit, full length mirror and umbrella.
Read more of Veronica's packing tips for college.
Parents - what tips do you have for moving your child into college? Comment & share below!
Scholarships are used to help pay for your college education. There are generally two types of scholarships: merit-based and need-based. Merit-based scholarships are given for academic achievement, whereas need-based scholarships are given to students with great financial need.
Here are 6 Places to Look for Scholarships:
1. Your High School Guidance Counselor. If you’re a high school student, talk to your guidance office about what career may be right for you; which schools are a good match for your college goals, career goals, and budget; and which federal grants and private scholarships you may qualify for.
2. Financial Aid Office of Your College, University, or Career School. If you’re an independent adult student currently in school or returning to school, talk to the financial aid offices of the school or schools you want to apply to. Finding out which scholarships they can offer you may help you decide which school to enroll in. Many scholarships for financially disadvantaged students, nontraditional students, and single parents are offered at the school level. Scholarships and grants are available for graduate students, too.
3. Your Employer. Many large corporations have benefits or charitable foundations that provide scholarships for employees and children of employees. For example, Amtrak, Coca-Cola, Dunkin’ Donuts, ExxonMobil, Goodyear, Hanes, Kmart, McDonald’s, NASA, Nestlé USA, Outback Steakhouse, Papa John’s, Philips, Sears, 3M, Tyson, Verizon, Walt Disney, and Whirlpool all have employee scholarship programs.
4. Industry Trade Associations.. Many industry trade associations have charitable foundations that offer scholarships to students pursuing education for industry-related careers. There are hundreds of U.S. industry trade associations and many have lobbyists - which means they have money.
5. Labor Unions. Many major labor unions offer scholarships for members and their dependent children.
6. Local Businesses & Nonprofit Community Organizations. You may find scholarship opportunities at your hometown independent bank or with nonprofit community, church, or civic organizations. By meeting local scholarship providers face to face, you may get an edge over other applicants. National nonprofit organizations also offer scholarships.
Check out StudentAdvisor.com’s Scholarship Secrets Guide for more tips!
Students – what was the best scholarship you've gotten? Comment & share below!
By Brian Eberman, CEO of StudentAdvisor.com
StudentAdvisor.com is a free college planning resource for students of all ages and backgrounds. Recently I was featured in a college planning article by The Arizona Republic 12 News.
Here are the Top 3 College Planning Strategies I recommend to help determine the school that fits a student's personality, academics, budget, and career path:
1. IS THIS THE RIGHT DECISION? Are you going to college because of pressure and because it seems like the right thing to do? Or does your future career path truly require a bachelor's or master's degree? Examine the careers you wish to pursue, and find out what schooling is required. If your industry requires a certificate from a specialty school and ample field experience, you may not need a four-year degree.
2. CAN I AFFORD IT? Research what each college on your list costs, and keep in mind the added costs of textbooks and other living expenses. Have honest discussions with anyone helping pay the bills. But at this stage, try to avoid sticker shock, and don't let the tuition costs keep you from applying. After you are accepted, you will have an opportunity to compare college financial-aid packages from various schools. The more options, the stronger your negotiating position.
3. COMPARE, COMPARE, COMPARE. Use online tools, such as StudentAdvisor.com, to compare colleges side by side and see how they stack up. Be honest with yourself and come up with a list of "reach schools," which have difficult but reachable acceptance standards, and "safety schools," which have standards you're confident you can achieve.
Read the full article from The Arizona Republic for more college planning ideas.
What are your college planning tips? Comment & share below!
If you haven't already started your first year in college, you're likely anticipating the moment of meeting your new college roommate. What would they really be like? Will you have anything in common? It might sound harsh, but I'd wager that few people become instant best friends with their first-year college roommates. Schools do their best to match you by finding some common ground through surveys, but sometimes, the type of people you are on paper might not be as compatible once you're finally living together.
Either way, the only way to ensure a relatively smooth transition into roommatehood is to set some agreed-upon ground rules, and keep the lines of communication open if something you "established" doesn't work out. By having that conversation early, you can set expectations with each other about what you see your roommate situation looking like.
To help you start the conversation, here are 5 questions to ask your new college roommate:
- What are your thoughts on sharing? This could range from food to clothes to electronics and computer passwords. You don't want to step on any toes and you'd hope that your roommate wouldn't either. My rule of thumb is to ask permission for smaller things (food or toothpaste, for example), even if you got the okay previously. And if you think you're okay with sharing items that your roommate winds up taking advantage of, speak up.
- What annoys you? This may seem like a weird question to put out into the open, but you're welcoming the opportunity to avoid so many problems that you wouldn't have thought of otherwise.
- What are your sleeping habits? If you're one to stock your schedule with 8:00 a.m. classes but your roommate stays up until 3 in the morning, you'll want to set up a designated lights-out and sound-off time. If you tend to keep opposite hours, be considerate of the other who is sleeping. Stay quiet while you're getting ready in the morning, or plug earbuds into your laptop to watch late night Hulu videos.
- Do you expect a lot of visitors or overnight guests? You'll want to figure out how often or how long people can stay - meaning both friends and significant others. Come up with an agreed-upon plan when one of you needs the room exclusively, and have some common sense about inviting people over every single night.
- If you suddenly won $100,000, what would you do? Have a little fun with what could be an awkard conversation. This question can actually be really insightful, as it can tell you about their values, their dreams, and their hobbies and social activities.
Get these questions out of the way, and you'll lay a solid foundation for a great roommate relationship and potentially a lasting friendship!
What are some other less-obvious questions you'd ask your roommate?
If you are passionate about criminal justice and want to have a rewarding career, make sure you earn your degree and get involved with the right people.
Here are 10 Tips for Securing a Criminal Justice Job:
1. EARN YOUR DEGREE. Earning your criminal justice career is the start to securing a job that could turn into a lifelong career. There is always a need for criminal justice professionals, and by earning your criminal justice degree you will be ready for many different types of job positions within the field.
2. PICK THE FIELD that’s right for you. Look into criminal justice related areas such as loss prevention, security, forensics, homeland security, and corrections for the best opportunities that match your interests and personality.
3. FIND AN INTERNSHIP. A criminal justice internship will not only look great on your resume, it can also help you decide if a career in criminal justice is right for you. You will get a real look into how criminal justice professionals spend their days, gain relevant work experience, and build a network of contacts who can possibly guide and mentor you in the future.
4. KEEP CURRENT ON EMPLOYMENT TRENDS and job descriptions. Know what types of jobs you are qualified for, and where there is a need for your skill set. This will save you time in your application process.
5. WORK YOUR CONNECTIONS. Many people find jobs through personal connections. Contact criminal justice faculty, alumni, fellow students, and professionals to see if they have any advice or suggestions on where to find work.
6. UTILIZE THE CAREER RESOURCES available at your school. Criminal justice faculty members, career services, and computer bulletin board systems are good sources for employment opportunities.
7. JOIN PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS. Joining criminal justice associations will not only put you in contact with professionals in the field, but you will also receive their emails and/or newsletters that can be a great source for job listings.
8. GET TO KNOW YOUR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES. Stop in at federal, state, county and municipal offices every now and then to check job postings or to ask what is available or anticipated. Getting to know local law enforcement officers and others in your field can help grow your professional network as well.
9. PREPARE FOR FITNESS TESTING. If you are looking into a job in law enforcement or corrections you will need to pass a fitness test. Start preparing for this test now so that you will be ready when opportunity knocks.
10. MAKE SURE THAT YOUR CRIMINAL HISTORY IS CLEAR of felonies and serious misdemeanors. It will be very difficult to find work upholding the law if you have a history of breaking it!
For more information on criminal justice degrees and careers check out StudentAdvisor’s Criminal Justice Guide.
What advice do you have for students interested in a career in criminal justice? Comment & share below!
Now is the time of year when millions of high school seniors gear up for their final hurrah. Finding the right college becomes the hot topic of discussion, and college tuition – well, that’s for Mom and Dad to worry about. Before the process of evaluating colleges begins, do you know the important questions to ask yourself? Here are 6 things to consider when finding the right college:
- What kind of degree do you need? Are you going to college because it seems like the right thing to do, or does your future career path truly require a Bachelor or Master’s degree? Examine the careers you wish to pursue and find out what schooling is required. If a certificate from a specialty school plus ample field experience is what the industry calls for, don’t convince yourself that a four-year degree (and the high college tuition costs it takes to achieve it) is required.
- Have you thoroughly researched your major? Look through the course catalogue to find out what classes you’ll be taking. If you wind up questioning your commitment to that major, you want to have the flexibility to transfer to other programs. Be aware of the other majors your school offers in case this happens to you.
- Can you afford the college tuition? This is a trick question. You won’t know if you can afford the college tuition until you file your FAFSA and receive a preliminary financial aid award package. Do not automatically assume you can’t afford a certain college based on what we call the “sticker price”. These days, college tuition is similar to a vehicle’s MSRP. It’s usually higher than you are comfortable with, it’s negotiable, and everyone might pay a little differently for the same experience.
- Think that size doesn’t matter? Aside from opportunities to meet new people, consider other aspects of your college experience that are affected by the school’s size. Larger schools usually have a wider gap in the student-to-faculty ratio which may keep you from getting to know your professors, whereas smaller schools might lack in certain resources and opportunities. What are you willing to be flexible on?
- Can you get in – and if so, can you survive? We did research in partnership with Bentley University, and found that the ability to get admitted in the first place was the number one factor in determining whether or not a student would apply to a school. Be honest with yourself. This is why the concept of reach schools and safety schools exists. The goal is to find the right one for you. Evaluate carefully what the colleges you are considering expect of their students.
- What are the graduation rates within 4, 5, and 6 years? This ties back into college tuition. The longer you go to college, the more you’re paying for it. Keep college costs low by graduating on time – or early if possible.
There are so many other factors that come into play when finding the right college, but the process of shopping for college is evolving. Consider these items when evaluating the colleges you apply for so that you can confidently determine that the college you attend fits your personality, academics, budget, career path, and future.
By Beth Fredericks, M.Ed, Special to StudentAdvisor.com
It All Starts at Home. If you want your children to soar academically and become stars in their chosen field, it helps to adopt a family flight plan. In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families (St. Martin’s Griffin, 1997), Stephen Covey suggests families map out their goals, in the same way a pilot files a flight plan to keep on course. But the most meticulous planning won’t keep you on track if your compass strays from true north. That’s why it’s important to identify family values — like respect and empathy — which are basic to your lives.
Learning is one of the core values that should be honored and encouraged in your family. It starts the minute you bring your child home from the hospital. Everything that baby will ever be or achieve in his or her life must be learned.
Here are 5 tips for making sure learning is a value in your home and family:
1. REFLECT ON THE VALUE OF LEARNING. It doesn’t matter how many diplomas hang on your walls; the idea is to recognize the worth of learning in your family. Get on the same page early. At a very young age your children will “feel” the value of learning in your home. They will observe what you do — watch the History Channel or daytime soaps? Get out the directions for “some assembly required” or call a handyman? They will pick up on your expectations, so make sure you know what your expectations are.
2. TALK ABOUT LEARNING. If you don’t share your values about learning with your child, someone else will. Kids will hear about college on the athletic fields (Oh, I’ll get a soccer scholarship), in the school hallways (Why study for the SAT? It’s not like I’m going to Harvard), and on Facebook (most people list schools attended). Find “teachable moments” that talk about learning. Do this while you go to the hardware store and buy supplies for a home project, while you watch movies, play ball outside, participate in community theater, or just cook a meal together. These activities may not be directly related to scholarly pursuits, but they are behaviors that say, “Learning is fun, and learning is something we celebrate every day in our family.”
3. FOCUS ON YOUR CHILD. Hands on learner? Loves to read? What is your child’s learning style? Make some mental notes when you observe your child doing something with focus and persistence. Can she read for hours? Does he stick with something better alone or with a group of friends? You may love numbers; he may not. The key, says Lloyd Peterson, Vice President of Education at College Coach, is simply to be supportive. He says, “There are three things to remember when encouraging your child’s passion: exposure (show them lots of options), encourage them to take a bite (try it, you’ll like it!), and then feed and water it. Believe me, whatever your child likes, I can find a major for it!”
4. DIG DEEPER. Do you expect your kids to go to a four-year college? Would you love them to go to your alma mater? Why? Is there a “legacy” expectation in your family? Write down your college hopes for your kids. Don’t think too hard about it; just write. Ask your spouse or partner to do the same. Compare your answers. There are basically four alternatives for children after high school: get a job, join the military, go to a technical/vocational school, or go to college. Which ones are you comfortable talking about now? Which ones should you find out more about?
5. TELL STORIES. Gather round the dinner table and talk about your college experience. What was it like? What did you study? Did you have any “hiccups” — take a semester off, change your major, transfer to another school? Highlight the humor and the pranks, as well as the low points. Did you make lifelong friends during late night dorm pizza parties? Why did you go to that school? Are you glad you went? Are you working now using what you learned in college? Find an opportunity to tell your story. Reveal what you learned and what has helped or held you back in life.
Parents - want more advice about the college process? Check out StudentAdvisor's Parent's Survival Guide.
What does your family do to promote learning? Comment & share below!
Beth Fredericks is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and Tufts University, and holds a BA in Education and an M.Ed in Early Childhood Development. She is a parenting educator, community builder, and advocate for children and families. A recent “empty-nester,” she brings her experience raising two children with her wherever she goes.
The process of researching colleges has evolved over the last couple decades. As high school seniors and their families begin to research colleges online before anything else, colleges can can see opportunity to save some trees, as glossy marketing materials mailed to prospective students barely breach the top 5 ways college students seek information about schools.
The following infographic illustrates the trends and averages for researching colleges in the United States. How does your experience compare?
Let us know in the comments if you agree with these averages. How did you research colleges?
Special to StudentAdvisor.com
The challenge facing many school children these days is that for the most part they simply don't have the study skills they need to succeed in the classroom. A major key to educational success is having these strong study skills. Most parents (and many teachers) don't think to teach their children how to study and those that do aren't quite sure where to start.
"Having good study habits is a skill that is learned," explains Cari Diaz of Club Z! Tutoring, a home tutoring company with locations across the nation. "Children aren't born knowing how to study anymore than they are born knowing how to read. They need to be taught the most effective way to study in order to excel." Once you give a student the tools they need to really understand how to study, their confidence level increases and they become more engaged in the whole learning process.
Club Z! offers several homework tips to help children be successful, including:
- Choose an ideal study location in the house that offers plenty of space for books, has good lighting, and is free from distractions, such as the television.
- Keep their school materials organized in a planner and use a calendar to mark important exams and project due dates.
- Make sure the child is well prepared with all the necessary resources they need, such as pencils, paper and a dictionary.
- Have your child take breaks when they become frustrated. As much as you may want to do the work for them, it's better if they complete the work on their own.
Good study habits include a regular routine of proven methods that allow your child to get the best possible results from their study time. Effective study time demands three things: organization, method, and concentration.
1. Organization -- Organization begins with having everything in the right place - before the clock starts. Pens, pencils, calculator, books, paper, the computer, and other supplies should all be brought to the study session.
If possible, create a regular study area for your child to keep the supplies they don't need to carry back and forth to school. By keeping these essentials available at home as well as at school, you'll end your child's frustration at having to scavenge through desks and drawers at homework time.
2. Method -- Ever used a pneumonic device? It's a method for remembering something - a rhyme, an acronym, or a mental image. We use these all the time, from remembering which way to turn a screw (righty tighty, lefty loosey) to the notes on a scale (every good boy deserves fudge).
Successful students find and use study methods that help them comprehend and remember what they study. Some methods of study include:
- Writing summaries of material they have read one chapter or section at a time. By summarizing textbook information in their own words, students demonstrate their comprehension and also create an easy-to-read synopsis of the material.
- Creating charts to show relationships between comparative items. Charts give your child a visual picture of information, which makes remembering what they studied easier.
- Emphasizing main ideas through bullet points, highlighting and outlines.
- Breaking a section of text material into main points helps your child understand the main ideas and gives them a handy guide to work with in future study sessions.
- Good old-fashioned note taking - either in words or in pictures helps your child to remember main ideas. Commenting on textbook materials allows your child to make connections to the information in a way that's easy to understand and remember.
Each of these study methods can help your child cut large amounts of material down to a manageable size. Give each method a try. As your child becomes more familiar with each method, using them will become second nature - a great habit they will carry forward and use every time they have new information to learn.
3. Concentration -- There can be no doubt that concentration is essential to effective study. Here are a few tips you can use to boost your child's concentration during study time:
Do you have some great study tips for students? Share them below!
- Choose a quiet, distraction-free location for studying.
- The study area should be well-lit and at a comfortable temperature.
- Concentration is easiest when your child is well-rested.
- Regularly scheduled, consistent study time helps train your child's brain to learn at that time.
- Concentration is difficult if your child is hungry. A healthy snack before study time can do wonders.
Recently, The U.S. House of Representatives approved a proposal to overhaul the federal student loan program. StudentAdvisor.com is here to help you understand all the details with our list of 5 Things You May Not Know about the New Student Loan Proposal:
1. FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS ONLY. The new changes to the student loan program will not apply to all student loans — only to student loans provided by the federal government. Those are: Stafford Loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized), Perkins Loans, PLUS loans for parents, and PLUS loans for graduate students. And as of July 2010, students who take out federal Stafford loans, Perkins loans, or PLUS loans will get them solely through the Direct Lending program. The Federal Family Education Loan program, or FFEL, will stop operating (people will still have to pay existing loans off, but no new FFEL will be opened).
2. DON’T WORRY ABOUT CURRENT FFEL STUDENT LOANS. If you have any current FFEL Stafford, Perkins, or PLUS loans, just keep making your interest payments or loan repayments as you have been all along. Since the new student loan proposal became official, the transfer of existing loans from the FFEL program to the direct lending program will be handled by the Department of Education and your school(s). If your school’s financial aid office needs you to do anything, it will let you know. (And if you’re about to apply for a federal student loan, check with your school to see if it has signed up for the direct lending program.)
3. APPLICATION PROCESS WON’T CHANGE. There won’t be any change to the way students apply for Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, and PLUS loans. The application process will stay the same as it’s always been: filling out a FAFSA each year a loan is needed. The only difference students may notice is that the FAFSA will be simpler, with fewer questions and pages, and on the online form, the option to transfer financial information directly from the student or parent IRS income tax form is available.
4. PRIVATE BANKS STILL CAN OFFER PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS. Private financial institutions and commercial student-loan lenders will still be able to offer all the private student loans they want. However, they won’t be the middlemen for federal student loans any more, or get the federal government subsidies that rewarded them for offering student loans with the low interest rates, low fees, more inclusive application rules, and greater protection that the federal government required.
5. FEW PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS WILL HELP DIRECT LENDING CUSTOMER SERVICE. After the FAFSA stage of the loan process, there will probably still be a few private student loan companies involved in handling the loan agreement and maintenance on behalf of the Department of Education. These companies will be paid a fee for providing this customer service to students, and will be selected by the Department of Education through a competitive bidding process.
For more information about student loans, check out StudentAdvisor.com's Guide to Student Loan Help.
Students – how do you deal with paying off your student loans? Comment & share below!
By Vicki Salemi, Special to StudentAdvisor.com
You should treat an internship search as if it’s a regular job search. By leveraging your connections, you can often network your way into the ground floor of a company.
It’s really never too early to start thinking about an internship or looking for internships. If you are always looking throughout the year, you are proving to people that you are interested and intrigued. You are also laying the groundwork for your future.
Homecoming can be a good opportunity to network with recent graduates from your school. They know you, you’ve had classes with them, and they’ve recently been through the internship/job search process so it is very likely that they will be interested in helping you out. See where everyone is working and how they might be able to help you find work. Sophomores and juniors should use sorority, fraternity, and other campus connections to see what opportunities are out there.
WHAT ABOUT GRADUATES THAT CAN’T FIND WORK AND ARE LOOKING FOR INTERNSHIPS INSTEAD?
The key is to use your networks and leave no stone unturned. You need to make internship/job searching very social. If you are starting out fresh, you have the opportunity to try new things. Internships are not indefinite so it’s worth giving things a try. Make goals for yourself regarding what you are going to accomplish during your time in the internship. Even if it’s an unpaid internship, treat it like a full time job and prove that you are capable of hard work.
3 TIPS FOR INTERNSHIP SEEKERS
1. TREAT YOUR INTERNSHIP SEARCH LIKE A JOB SEARCH. Internships, like full-time jobs, don’t always hit the “open” market. They won’t always be advertised online and if they do, you’re competing with hundreds of applicants. You need to be dedicated to researching and applying for internships if you want to get relevant job experience.
2. LEVERAGE YOUR UNIVERSITY TIES. Go to your career office and ask if they can give you access to a list of alums within your major or field, so you can get in touch with them. Make sure you network with recruiters and other high level professionals from your school – ask for an informational interview, and stay in touch on LinkedIn.
3. GET A TEMP JOB. Technically temp jobs are internships, except you’re paid hourly. It’s time to think outside the box: you’re seeking work experience to bulk up that resume. A temp job will do just that. Some temp jobs are menial like filing or answering phones but once you get in the door through the temp agency, you can prove yourself by asking to take on more work, ask to sit in on meetings, and make a valuable impression on your supervisors.
For more internship advice, check out StudentAdvisor’s Guide to Internships.
Do you have internship advice? Or, what was the best internship you've had? Comment & share below!
Vicki Salemi is the author of "The ABC's of College Life and Big Career in the Big City: Land a Job and Get a Life in New York City".
Criminal justice jobs can be very rewarding - if helping people, promoting justice, and keeping your community safe are at the top of your list of priorities. For some people, a career in criminal justice is a very satisfying life choice. Lt. Gary R. Wallace retired from the Hudson (NY) Police Department after 38 years and still remains a deputy sheriff. “In the criminal justice profession, you see the cross-section of life,” he said. “At times you’re a priest, and other times you’re a psychiatrist. You could deliver a baby in the morning and be arresting a felon in the afternoon.”
If you are thinking about preparing for a career in criminal justice, you need to make sure you are up for the challenge.
Here is a list of personal characteristics that individuals interested in a criminal justice career should have. Do you have what it takes?
- Strong moral character
- Attentive to detail
- Physically fit
- Quick thinking
- Ability to handle stress
- Self confident
- Self motivated
- Considerate of gender, race and other factors
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
- Strong leadership skills
- Excellent people skills
- Skillful communicator
- Good decision maker
- Interest in public affairs
- Socially conscious
- Ability to be discreet
- Problem solving skills
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE INTERNSHIPS
To get a better feel for what jobs in this field require, it is recommended that you get additional hands-on experience by volunteering and/or interning at local law enforcement agencies.
Participating in an internship will also allow you to make valuable connections with criminal justice professionals, improve and diversify your resume, and get a better idea of what you want in a career. In fact, most criminal justice degree programs will encourage you to fill internship positions while you work towards your degree. In some cases, hours worked interning can be transferred to hours of credit towards a degree.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING YOUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE INTERNSHIP
- What’s your schedule? Check to be sure it will work into your schedule, especially if you are working for free. Also, make sure it will not interfere with your studies.
- Will you be paid? Most internships are unpaid, but you may be able to find some positions that offer a stipend or hourly wage.
- Will you earn credit towards your degree? Some internship programs will help you earn school credit while you work. You will need to have the internship approved by your school and will often need to fill out paperwork to ensure you get your credits.
- When do you want to start? Be aware of application deadlines! Internships can be competitive, so if you know of an opportunity you are interested in be sure to jump on it as soon as it becomes available.
Internships are the best way to get the work experience you need to find a job once you graduate. Nothing will beat the experience you will get from working with real criminal justice professionals in a real work environment!
For more information about criminal justice degrees and careers, check out StudentAdvisor’s Criminal Justice Careers Guide.
Have you had a criminal justice internship? Comment and share your experience below!
If you default on your student loans, meaning that you are more than 270 days delinquent on your loan repayments, there can be serious consequences. Here are 10 things that could happen if you default on your student loans:
1. SMALLER PAYCHECK. Your paycheck may dwindle. The government can take a limited portion of your wages if you don’t pay your student loans back (up to 15% of your disposable income).
2. TAX REFUND OFFSETS. Until your student loans are paid in full, the IRS can intercept any income tax refund that you may be entitled to. This is one way the Department of Education annually collects hundreds of millions of dollars, and is a popular method to collect payment on defaulted loans.
3. HARASSED BY COLLECTION AGENCIES. Collection agencies will call your home, work, your family members, and anyone else they can track back to you. Until you start to pay, they will continue to harass and call.
4. GET SUED. Private lenders and the government could sue you to collect defaulted student loans. And unlike other debts, there is no time limit on suing to collect back student loans, so you could possibly be sued indefinitely.
5. NO FEDERAL BENEFITS. The government can take some of your federal benefit payments (like Social Security retirement benefits & Social Security disability benefits) to use as reimbursement for student loans.
6. RUNIED CREDIT RATING. Your credit rating will be wrecked for at least seven years, so trying to borrow money for a car, home, or other expensive items is out of the question.
7. NO FINANCIAL AID. It will be nearly impossible to receive more federal financial aid until you repay your student loan in full.
8. COLLECTION FEES. Loan agencies may charge you collection fees on your unpaid student loans. Also, collection agencies charge the Department of Education a commission, which you end up paying. So in the end you actually have to pay back 1) your student loan with interest, 2) the collection fees, and 3) the commission.
9. NO RENTING. When you submit an application to rent an apartment usually realtors, apartment owners, or rental agencies run a credit check on you to ensure you will make payments on time. You may run into trouble finding a place to live if you haven’t been paying your student loans.
10. DROPPING OUT OF SCHOOL WON’T HELP. Even if you drop out or switch schools, you will still need to repay the student loans you took out.
For more information on student loans, check out StudentAdvisor’s new Guide to Student Loans.
Do you have any advice for fellow students about paying off student loans? Comment and share below!
College is expensive. StudentAdvisor is here to help!
Here are 10 Ways to Reduce College Tuition Costs:
1. MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS. Most colleges and universities offer merit or non need-based scholarships to academically talented students. Students need to check with each school they are interested in for the criteria for merit scholarships. The National Merit Scholarship Program awards scholarships to students based upon academic merit. The awards can be applied to any college or university to meet educational expenses at that school.
2. ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS. Many schools offer scholarships to athletically talented students. Parents and students should be careful to weigh the benefits of an athletic scholarship against the demands of this type of award. If the student is serious about pursuing throughout all four years of school, then this may be a good option. If a student’s grades drop or they get into trouble, they could possibly get kicked off the sports team or lose their scholarship – just something to think about.
3. SPECIFIC GRANTS/SCHOLARSHIPS. Some colleges and universities offer special grants or scholarships to students with particular talents - including areas like music, journalism, and drama.
4. ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIPS. Many states offer scholarship assistance to academically talented students. Students should obtain the eligibility criteria from their state’s education office.
5. STATE SCHOOLS. State colleges or universities charges lower fees to state residents. Since public institutions are subsidized by state revenues, their tuition costs are lower than private schools’ costs. You should consider state schools in your college selection process. Cost is definitely a factor when considering college, but students should not base their choice on cost alone.
6. COMMUNITY COLLEGES. Some students choose to attend a community college for one or two years, and then transfer to a four-year school. Tuition costs are substantially lower at community colleges than at four-year institutions. This way, you can save money the first two years with the community college’s tuition, then transfer to a four-year school.
7. HOUSING. Many schools provide lists of housing opportunities that provide free room and board to students in exchange for a certain number of hours of work each week.
8. COMMUTING. Commuting is another way for students to reduce college costs. A student living at home can save as much as $6,000 per year. However, commuting will mean that you need to have a reliable vehicle and gas money available.
9. CO-OPS. Cooperative education programs allow students to alternate between working full time and studying full time. This type of employment program is not based upon financial need, and students can earn as much as $7,000 per year.
10. CREDITS. Another way to reduce college costs is to take fewer credits. Students should find out their school’s policy regarding the Advanced Placement Program (APP), the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), and the Provenience Examination Program (PEP). Under these programs, a student takes an examination in a particular subject and, if the score is high enough, receives college credit.
For more ways to save on your child's higher education, check out StudentAdvisor's Parent's Survival Guide.
We know there are more ways to cut college tuition costs. Please share your strategy to cut college costs.
Let’s face it – there aren’t many people out there that can afford to attend college without any financial assistance. That’s why is it extremely important to apply for all the financial aid you are eligible for. Besides filling out the FAFSA, make sure you research available scholarships. Every dollar you receive can really help out!
Here is How to Apply For Scholarships:
1. CONFIRM THAT YOU MEET ALL THE ELIGIBILITY criteria of each scholarship you want to apply for. Don’t waste your time and apply for a scholarship if you only “sort of” meet its requirements or meet “almost all” the criteria. You won’t be considered, and you will only annoy the application evaluators. It is better to take time and research scholarships that are specific to you.
2. CONFIRM THE DEADLINE for each scholarship and mark on a calendar when you need to have each scholarship in the mail. Applications that are even a day late will not be considered, so mail everything early, in case there are mail delays or complications. If you have to fill out an online application in addition to mailing supporting documents, make sure you set some time aside so you can thoroughly complete the online application.
3. ORGANIZE YOUR SCHOLARSHIPS BY DEADLINE and make a list of all the information each application requires. Most scholarships will ask for:
- Application form (check for a downloadable form in PDF format)
- FAFSA, or your income and personal assets
- Grade Point Average (GPA) and transcripts
- Proof of enrollment or acceptance for admission from your school
- Your education goal depending on the type of scholarship you’re applying for, you may also be asked for nomination from the scholarship representative at your school
- Personal or professional references (include an up-to-date phone number, email address, and mailing address for each reference)
- Community or education achievements
- Commitment to a service obligation
4. GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR REFERENCE WRITERS. Some scholarships will require reference letters – make sure you contact the people you want to write them ahead of time so they have more than enough notice. If the writer has enough time to write your letter, and it’s not a last-minute thing, you will likely get a more positive reference that way.
5. RECYCLE YOUR ESSAYS. If you find you’re writing more or less the same essay for each scholarship, reuse one you’ve already written and modify it to respond specifically to each scholarship’s topic. Obviously do not send exactly the same essay to the different scholarships you are applying for, but find a way to repurpose what you have already written – to save time, and save you some stress!
6. PROOFREAD YOUR APPLICATIONS AND ESSAYS carefully for misspellings and errors in grammar and word usage. For example, watch out for mistakes with your and you’re; its and it’s; were and we’re; their, there, and they’re. This is very important: if you’ve reused an essay, make sure you’ve changed the name of the scholarship or organization everywhere it can be found!
7. REVIEW ALL THE PIECES of your application packet. Make sure you have everything required, and do not include things that the scholarship instructions didn’t ask you for.
8. MAKE COPIES OF EVERYTHING in your application packet before you mail it. You want to make sure you have copies of all the paperwork needed in case something gets lost in the mail.
9. SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION packets early, rather than “right on time.” Just in case!
10. FOLLOW UP WITH EACH SCHOLARSHIP sponsor to verify that they have received your application packet. Did online application forms send you a confirmation email?
Check out StudentAdvisor’s Guide: Scholarship Secrets 2010 for more advice and tips!
By Steve Schneider, School Counselor at Sheboygan South High School, Sheboygan, WI, Special to StudentAdvisor.com
Parents - we know that you only want the very best for your child. Choosing a college can be a difficult decision for your family. Here are 5 Things You Need to Know When Your Child is Applying to College:
1. KNOW THE REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOLS OF INTEREST. Every school has entrance requirements for students including what high school courses must be completed, what college entrance exam is preferred (ACT, SAT, etc.), and what the target score is for that exam. Knowing the requirements for the schools your child is interested in will prevent them from missing opportunities to apply.
2. FOUR-YEAR COLLEGES ARE NOT THE ONLY PATH. Not all occupations require earning a four-year degree. There are many, many fulfilling careers that are better accessed through a two-year technical college education. Many families fight the stigma that going to a technical college is somehow an indicator of less intelligence. Through my experience, I have seen that lots of students go to four-year colleges initially, discover they don’t like it after one year, and then enroll in a technical college to gain the knowledge and skills they need for their career.
3. VISIT, VISIT, VISIT. There are so many factors that make a college or university a “good fit” for a student – that’s why it’s important to physically spend some time on the campus of a school your child is considering. Pay attention to what is appealing about the campus: the architecture, the physical layout of the campus, the size, the green space, etc. Try to visit while school is in session, so you can get a sense of what the daily activity on campus is like. It is important for you and your child to feel comfortable at the school which they are considering. Make sure you visit all schools they are interested in, and spend a good chunk of time exploring the campus and buildings.
4. ESTABLISH CONTACT WITH THE ADMISSIONS OFFICE. Once your child has narrowed down their potential top three colleges, the next step is to make direct contact with the admissions office of those schools. This is a far more direct way to obtain answers to specific questions. I find the families who maneuver through the college application process with the most confidence are the ones who have been in contact with the college directly.
5. APPLY TO THREE TO FIVE SCHOOLS. Most students have that one schools in mind that they have been dreaming of attending. You should encourage your child to apply to more than one school; because opportunities may present themselves that otherwise might have gone unknown. Financial aid packages will differ widely from school to school to, so seeing options from several schools can also help your decision making.
Get more advice from real guidance counselors! Check out StudentAdvisor's Navigating Admissions Guide.
Have some advice for other parents regarding the college admissions process? Comment & share below!
StudentAdvisor.com is on About.com! In the article, "How Can StudentAdvisor.com Help You?"
, our resident career expert Laura LaPerriere shares some helpful information for students about internships and searching for jobs.
By Laura LaPerriere, Resident Career Expert from GetTheJob.com, Special to StudentAdvisor.com
Internships are very important for college students to gain relevant work experience, to build a network for professional contacts, and to get a real sense of the industry they are interested in. There are four different types of internships in the United States:
1. INTERNSHIPS FOR CREDIT
Internships for credit vary by the college or university. Typically a student who acquired an internship will be sponsored by a professor. The professor will have guidelines that are similar to a course syllabus, outlining what the student is expected to gain and learn throughout the internship experience. The professor can also create expected deliverables such as a mid internship report detailing what the student has learned so far, a final paper describing the internship in detail, as well as a final presentation that gives an overview of the entire experience.
2. WORK INTERNSHIPS
Typically, students get a work internship in their second or third year of college. These types of internships vary in length and can take place during the school year, or over winter/summer breaks. With a work experience internship, you will take the knowledge that you have gained in the classroom and apply it to your roles and responsibilities of the job. This is a great way to experience what it would be like to work in your field of study and to see if you would want to pursue a job of a similar nature after graduation.
3. UNPAID INTERNSHIPS
Unpaid internship opportunities sometimes are hard to turn down because they offer great industry experience, but you won’t get compensated for your time and effort. However, employers don’t look to see if you got paid for an internship; they want to know what experience you gained and what you can offer their company. If you can manage working without making an income, and you value the experience the benefit of the internship experience, then you should not turn down an opportunity simply because you will not get paid.
4. RESEARCH INTERNSHIPS
Research internships are usually geared towards students who are in their last year of study. Depending on the company that is offering the internship, a student will conduct research for them to figure out ways to improve a process/procedure, or other things that the company is interested in. They let students have the freedom to research all aspects of the company and to come up with a research topic themselves. At the end of the internship, the student will put together a report of their findings and most likely present it to the company.
Want to learn more about internship opportunities? Check out StudentAdvisor’s Guide to Internships.
By Lee Harrell, Special to StudentAdvisor.com
First thing that comes to mind when you think about college? Tuition. How are you going to pay for your child’s higher education? Use these financial aid secrets:
1. FILL OUT THE FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be the key to unlocking doors to otherwise inaccessible federal and state grants and loans. Also, by filling out the FAFSA you will find out how much money the government will provide towards your schooling.
2. INVESTIGATE PRIVATE SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS. Check with your child’s college to obtain leads on possible funds. Many of these scholarships and grants have very specific requirements, but those requirements may lessen over time, if an exact match isn’t found. Visit web sites like www.fastweb.org for more information.
3. ASK ABOUT FEDERAL PARENT PLUS LOANS. This allows parents to borrow money on behalf of their child. These are federal loans with simple terms, and there’s no deadline for applications. They are easy to apply for and require only a basic credit check. Parent PLUS loans do not require you to complete the FAFSA.
4. ASK ABOUT PRIVATE LOANS. In this case, loans will be made in your child’s name, and you may need to co-sign, so you’ll want to determine in advance whether they you are willing and able to do so. You may also wish to ask about a co-signer release following a specified number of on-time payments.
5. ASK ABOUT INSTITUTIONAL LOANS. Some colleges set aside funds to loan to students who are unable to secure Parent PLUS or private loans. Institutional loans are not awarded as part of normal college financial aid packages and they often aren’t advertised.
6. ASK ABOUT A “SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE APPEAL” if your family’s financial situation has changed since your FAFSA filing. This is another important reason to file the FAFSA, even if you don’t think you will qualify for aid at the time of filing. If something does happen, having the form on file provides a bit of an “insurance policy” that can be cited in the appeal process.
7. MAKE SURE TO COMPLETE AN INTERNAL FINANCIAL AID APPLICATION for your child’s college. Not all schools have separate internal forms, but for schools that do, even filing the form may open up some additional aid opportunities.
Want to read more? Check out StudentAdvisor’s Navigating Admissions Guide for advice from guidance counselors and financial aid experts around the country!
Lee Harrell is the Assistant to the Vice President of Admission and Financial Aid at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Are you interested in becoming a nurse? Nurses help take care of and treat many different types of people with various health conditions. Nurses are in demand as people continuously need care and continue to age.
Here are the different types of nurses:
To become a registered nurse (RN) you need a nursing degree or a diploma from a hospital-based nursing program. There are two options – you can earn an Associate of Science degree, which can take 2-3 years to complete, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, which takes four years of study to complete. A hospital-based diploma program takes about 3 years, but may be hard to find.
Students who earn a BSN degree have better earning power than LPN/VPN’s or nurses with either an Associate’s or diploma, but there are plenty of RN-to-BSN programs to choose from once you’ve become a registered nurse. In all aspects of the healthcare industry, your ability to make better pay will increase with your work experience. The average earnings of an RN is between $50,000 to $70,000 annually.
LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSES/LICENSED VOCATIONAL NURSES
LPN’s, or VPNs, as they’re called in California and Texas, care for patients under the direct supervision of doctors and registered nurses. Licensed practical nurses typically take vital signs, change dressings, prepare patients for tests, give injections, and help patients with bathing, dressing and walking.
To become a licenses practical nurse you must participate in a LPN program, which typically takes up to 12 months to complete. Afterwards, you must take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to put the “licensed” in your title and qualify you to apply for work as an LPN. Average salaries for LPNs range from $33,000 to $46,000.
CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT
Nursing assistants are the backbone of the direct care and long-term care industries. In nursing homes, long-term care facilities, hospices and hospitals, certified nursing assistants help patients with all aspects of daily living. To become a CNA you must complete at least 75 hours of state-approved training and pass a certification exam. The average hourly pay for CNAs ranges between $9 and $13 per hour.
After Nursing School
Investing in a nursing education is truly an investment in the rest of your life. Once you’ve finished your studies and become licensed to practice nursing, there are plenty of opportunities for professional development within the healthcare field. As an entry level nurse you can work in many different specialties.
Here are some examples of specialized nursing roles:
• HOME HEALTH CARE NURSE
• CARDIAC REHABILITATION NURSE
• ORTHOPEDIC NURSE
• ONCOLOGY OR CANCER CARE NURSE
• PEDIATRIC NURSING
• INTRAVENOUS THERAPY NURSE
• OPERATING ROOM SCRUB NURSE
• OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH NURSE
• PLASTIC & RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY NURSE
For more information on nursing careers or becoming a nurse, please check out StudentAdvisor’s Health Care Guide.
So you’ve graduated high school, now what? Here is a breakdown of the types of degrees and programs that you can pursue to take your education to the next level:
CERTIFICATES & DIPLOMAS
Certificate and diploma programs are a good idea for anyone who is interested in taking select courses to gain a broad understanding of a subject. Certificate and diploma programs vary in length, but usually require at least a year of study. Some certificate and diploma programs are even offered online, to make things more convenient! In many cases, credits earned can be transferred towards other degree programs.
*TIP Certificate programs can also give you the specific training you need for a certain job position. Frequently, people who have already earned college degrees will go back to school to earn certificates in particular subject areas to add new layers of expertise to their resumes. It also is more appealing to employers if you are knowledgeable in many areas within your field – this means that you are versatile and an asset!
An associate’s degree is a great option for anyone who wants to increase their skill set and become more marketable to employers. Associate’s degrees generally require two years of study and will teach you the fundamentals within your field of study. If you later decide you want to take your education further, the credits you earn in the associate’s degree program can often be applied towards a bachelor’s degree.
A bachelor’s degree is the best place to start if you know that exactly what career you want to pursue. Most entry-level jobs out of college require students to have a bachelor’s degree, so this may be the most productive option (again, depending on your situation and what career you are interested in). Bachelor’s programs generally require 4-years of study.
Master’s degrees are designed for individuals who have already earned a bachelor’s degree and want to take their education to the next level. Master’s degree programs can last anywhere from one to three years, and will qualify you for upper level and supervisory job positions in your career field. If you are interested in earning your master’s degree, it is usually beneficial to wait awhile and work after you have earned your bachelor’s degree. That way, you will have some real-world working experience that you can apply towards your master’s program.
What kind of degree do you have? Did you recieve the education you expected? Comment & share below!
There are a lot of things to think about when you start the college admissions process. For most students, the key to being a successful student and getting into your dream college, is preparing early on!
Here are 5 Strategies for Student Success:
1. JOIN & LEAD. When you are a freshmen in high school, join clubs at school and take on leadership roles. Show dedication to the club(s) and take initiative. Aim to become a leader or president of the club by your Junior/Senior years. Better yet, start a club!
2. VOLUNTEER. If possible, volunteer your time to something that interests you - this shows that you are immersing yourself in your chosen field. Also, if possible, donate some of your free hours on a monthly basis to a soup kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, or another local charity. Admissions officers are always impressed with students who show dedication and support to the community.
3. LOOK WITHIN YOURSELF. Before you start the college application process, get to know yourself. Where, geographically, do you want to be? At what sized campus will you feel comfortable? What major(s) are you interested in pursuing? Only you can answer these questions, and they will definitely help narrow down your college list.
4. IVY LEAGUE? It's true that Ivy League schools are top rate institutions, but the best college match for you may not be a "name" school. Don't let a school's name/reputation be the deciding factor when you are searching for colleges.
5. DON’T SHORTCHANGE THE ESSAYS. All college applications require the student to submit at least one essay. This is your chance to shine! Take the time to refine your essay so that it says exactly what you want it to say. In choosing your topic, you want to write about something that has an impact — it can make the reader laugh, cry, angry, sad, happy; your aim is to leave a lasting impression on the admissions officer.
For more advice from real guidance counselors, check out StudentAdvisor’s Navigating Admissions Guide.
What other tips or advice do you have for students? Comment & share below!