So how is it possible to save money on college tution? Is there an easier alternative to loans and grants? I have student loans and grants, though don’t want to fall subject to heafty pay back fees, what can I do? I am planning for college, though don’t know where to start? I want a degree though don’t want to spend four or more years earning it, how can I speed up the process? These are all questions many people have in regards to secondary education, however, many people do not realize that the answers are right in front of them!
Here are some tips and tricks to help ease your mind. Did you know that, you can opt out of taking a class and still earn credit for that class? That’s right, you save money and time. Many universities offer what is called a “Portfolio”. This is where a student requests this from administration, and does up a 500 or more word portfolio pertaining to the class.
Upon submission of the work, it is reviewed by the professor of the class and administration, and if it is agreed upon that the information is suitable enough, the work is accepted, and the student can “opt out” of taking the class. The student will recieve credits for the work, or however many credits were going to be awarded for the class. You don’t have to pay for this feature, and if the work is suitable enough, you don’t have to pay for the credit hours of that class either. Thus saving the student time and money.
Another great way to save money and earn college credit, is by simply taking CLEP tests. What is CLEP testing you ask? The CLEP organization, is a regional institute that allows students to take tests regarding anything, and either earn a certification or college level credits or both. Here is how it works. Depending on what you are going for, you can request to take CLEP testings, through the adminstration of the university. You do have to pay an upfront cost of anywhere from $65.00 to $100.00. The administration then refers you to the CLEP organization, and you set up an interview.
You must specify what you would like to take a test for. Remember this can be anything, from healthcare to engineering. The CLEP organization will then give you a study guide for the test, make sure you study it!! There is a test date scheduled and a destination where the test will be taken. Usually the location is at a regionally accredited university, otherwise, the test will not be considered by your school for credits and/or certification. You then simply sit for the test. Right after you are finished, your score will come up either on a computer screen or in print. You must get a good percentile to pass, though this varies on what you are testing for. For example, if healthcare, a good percetage is a 75% and higher.
Depending on what your score was, you may be eligible to sit for a certification exam. The CLEP organization will then review your work and submit it to your university. The administration are those who decide how many credits to give you for the test. This can vary between 10 to 7, or as low as three college level credits. If you decide to certify in something, you may also be able to take your certification and turn that into credits also. Remember, the tests MUST be taken at a fully accredited university, in order to be considered for credits and/or certification.
You can do this as many times as you wish, in regards to any class you take, simply request an “opt out” after testing, and still recieve the credits awarded, and the best part is, you won’t be required to pay for the class or per credit hour, on that class! Thus saving time and money. You must talk with the administration of your university, for further details. Many universities offer this as part of their criteria, and not a separate source, only if requested. www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/clep/about.html
In addition, if you have access to the internet, simply surf the web, on subjects and learn from that. This can be applied for both “Portfolios” and CLEP testing. Keep in mind that, not only are you saving money, though you are saving time. In other words, you can get your degree a LOT faster than specified when you enrolled (spend two years for that coveted BS instead of four) ! The CLEP organization is also known as the “experience by life degree generator”, and no this is not some diploma mill either.
One more piece of advice, did you know that you can take classes from some major universities, totally free of charge!? Many places such as MIT and BerKley offer this to anyone around the world. The con to this is, the classes are not degree or credit bearing, though this is a great way to study for that up and coming exam! Here are some sources: ocw.mit.edu. This is widely known as “open course ware”.
If holiday spending has left you strapped for cash, or you simply need some extra money for even more purchases in the upcoming year, a second income could help you build up that savings account. Making a second income as a college tutor is a lucrative way to make the most of your skills and knowledge, and help someone in the process; today’s college tutors can make anywhere from $20-$70+ per hour depending on the subject, and if you already have experience as a teacher or counselor, you can easily turn this into a part-time job. Still, many people can get started as a basic private tutor after a little planning and organization. Are you tutor material? Here’s what you need to make a second income as a college tutor:
- Find your favorite standardized test. Whether it’s the SAT, GMAT, or ACT, you can specialize in a particular test to help students who want to sharpen their test prep skills.
- Take the test yourself. You’ll need to prove to potential clients that you’ve run through the challenge of the test-and succeeded, so be prepared to take the test and share your score as part of your marketing plan.
- Attend a formal training program. The Princeton Review is one of the most popular test-prep programs in the country, and you can train with them to become a tutor in just a few weeks. Formal training will give you the official ‘certificate’ that classifies you as a tutor. This will also serve you well as marketing collateral.
- Specialize in additional high school or college classes. If you excelled in Calculus during high school, then turned into an Java programming whiz in college, consider offering only a few of these specialized subjects. Specialization can make it easier to attract students, and you may even find groups of students who want to work with you on a regular basis.
- Set your rates. Rates for tutors vary significantly by location; tutors in metropolitan cities can usually get away with higher than the national average, while tutors in rural areas may not have access to such a large pool of students. Look up tutor rates online, on your local Craigslist, or just run a national average through sties such as Salary.com for the most current rates.
- Start marketing yourself. You can approach local high schools and college campuses to market your services, along with promoting yourself in the classified section. Find out how to place your ads on college bulletin boards and the campus intranet; this is where the students are always searching and browsing, so your chances of getting contacted are much higher. Craigslist is another option.
- Pick a standard location. Choose somewhere convenient for all parties, and keep it consistent so future students will always know where to find you. the local library (conference rooms are great for tutors who need to use audiovisual equipment or hold a lecture), a coffee shop, or even a campus hall are all great venues for your tutoring session.
- Set up weekly discounts. If you have students who are repeat customers, consider giving them a discount for a ‘package’ of sessions. This can give you a steady stream of income over the course of a semester, with far less marketing involved.
Becoming a high school or college tutor is a great way to make the most of your extra time, and convert it into cash. Just pick a subject or area of interest that you’re proficient in, and market your services to students in your area. It doesn’t take long to turn this into a part-time business, and you can start bringing in a second income in no time.
Articles abound about how to be a good tutor, but few tell a student what to expect and how to prepare for a tutoring session. With proper groundwork, the meeting can be much more lucrative for both parties, resulting in less “wasted” time.
First, students should do the homework just like they would for class (or should). That may involve reading the chapter, answering questions on a worksheet or doing sample problems. If specific terms or problems are causing the trouble, the student should mark them.
When the tutor arrives, the first question will probably be something like, “What are you having trouble with?” The answer needs to be as specific as possible. “I don’t understand what I should put under assets and liabilities in this kind of situation” is much clearer than “journaling.” Having specific sample problems or concepts written down will help the tutor focus on the immediate problem rather than spend time discussing issues the student already understands.
Having some previous tests or scored homework as well as a class syllabus can also help the tutor see where the solutions lie. For instance, a tutor may notice that the same types of problems are consistently missed or that the issue may more likely be test anxiety rather than the subject matter. Knowing the instructor’s expectations, a tutor may be able to guide students along the best path to pass the class or what kinds of questions to anticipate on an exam.
Students should have appropriate expectations for the tutoring session, as well. Many students expect a tutor to help them with their homework, but a good tutor won’t. Instead, he/she will pick similar problems or issues and discuss with the student how to complete them or what they mean, asking questions along the way. A tutoring session is meant to help students grasp the concepts they are struggling with rather than help them get a good grade on a single assignment.
Tutoring sessions can often help students with more than content material, as well. Most tutors are versed in study skills, the aptitudes that apply to nearly all courses. These ideas include reading skills, test-taking, and time management.
Reading skills can be vital for students who read a chapter over and over, wasting a lot of study time, and so need some advice on how to read less and comprehend more. A common tactic tutors use is to tell students to turn headings in the text into questions. They should then read until they can answer the question. For example, a heading that says “Medicine of Ancient Egypt” is easily turned into the question “what were the medicines available in Ancient Egypt?” As the student reads, the answers to the questions can be highlighted, underlined or written down in notes. Then there is no need to re-read that section; studying is done by reading the marked portions only.
Test-taking tips largely help students with time and confidence during exams. Questions that are obvious answers should be answered first. Then the focus should be on point value. If an essay question is worth 50 points and the 10 multiple-choice questions left are worth 1 point each, time should be spent on the essay question. The others are usually easily answered in a couple minutes at the end. Sometimes students feel a sudden panic during a test, causing them to forget all the answers. Sitting back, taking some deep breaths, and doing some positive self-talk (“I am doing just fine. I studied hard and know these answers. If time is short, I just need to focus”). The 15 seconds it takes for this exercise will more than make up for itself.
For other students, time management is the biggest problem. Using a block schedule in which time is marked for study as well as relaxation can alleviate some of the stress about schoolwork as long as the schedule is followed. A tutor can help devise a workable schedule that the student can stick to.
If any of these issues are bothersome, the student should be prepared to discuss that with the tutor, as well. Working in concert, practicing good study habits as well as filling in gaps in content knowledge can help a student catch up quickly and also create a good base for further learning.
A good tutoring session can leave everyone satisfied: tutor, student, and whoever is paying the bill. Preparation by the student is the most important element for creating such a good session.
Now that students are back to school, kids are settling into their homework routines. They’re bringing home more work than ever and physically, they’re paying for it. Backpacks are the most common way students carry their books back and forth to class. There is evidence that links heavy backpack use leads to back pain in more and more children.
You can help prevent your child from becoming one that suffers from backpack misuse. Be sure to purchase a backpack that has wide padded straps and padded back. It helps distribute the weight over your shoulders and prevents slouching. Also make sure the backpack is lightweight and it’s the right size. It shouldn’t be larger than the child’s back and should be appropriate for the child’s needs. If it’s large enough to carry a college student’s workload, your child will more than likely load more in it just because they can. Also look for a bag that has a waist strap. It may not be fashionable, but it will put some of the weight on the hips instead of the back and also prevents slouching.
Of course the bag isn’t relevant if the child isn’t well prepared from what they put inside the bag. Overloading a backpack is the primary reason that it leads to back and shoulder injuries. For young children who weigh 60-75 pounds shouldn’t carry any more than 10 lbs and nobody should carry a backpack weight more than 25 lbs. People should pack the heaviest items at the bottom of the bag and flat items against the back. This transfers the heavy weight to the hips and pointy and bulky items away from the back. You should also make sure your child is always using both of the shoulder straps and that they’re tightened so the bag only hangs slightly below the shoulders. Make sure you child is only using the bag when they need to. If it’s only one book, have them carry it instead of using a backpack.
Children have enough to worry about without having to worry about back pain from backpacks. Try talking to the teachers to see if there are spare books that can keep at home or purchase a second set. That way, they won’t have to transport the books from school to home every day. Also, see if they can use handouts for small chapters instead of books. If your child participates in separate activities and only uses one bag, have them use separate backs instead. If that fails, have them try different styles of bags like saddle bags or rolling bags. Just make sure that they don’t have to lean too far to reach the handle of the rolling bag. This causes the same kind of damage from having to slouch and lean down.
By making these small changes, you will become more aware of how your child responds to their backpacks and prevent future back pain. They’re far too young to have such serious injuries when it’s such a small aspect of their lives and is preventable.