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Finance

5 Tips For Finding Scholarships

A college education can cost tens of thousands of dollars to attain. The struggles that may come with student loans can especially become a burden to your life. Therefore, you have to find financial aid in order to help you keep the cost down. The best way to do this is through a scholarship.

Scholarships are given to all sorts of students who meet particular qualifications. These will cover a sizeable part of the cost of an education. They are also given out to a variety of students for various purposes that vary by each option available.

The odds are there is a scholarship out there right now that you can qualify for. However, you must find such a scholarship to make it work for you. There are many great tips to follow when it comes to finding scholarships that you can qualify for.

Start Early

You have to start looking for scholarships as early as possible. It is easier to find scholarships when you do it earlier as that means you won’t have to worry about too many of them being taken.

This is especially ideal if you are about to go to college. Starting your search for scholarships before your senior year of high school is always a good idea as it gives you time to find what you are looking for.

Check Local Groups

You should look to see what local groups in your area have to offer when finding scholarships. Many local groups like churches, civic groups, business unions and even local banks may offer scholarships to people in your area. You might have an easier time finding a scholarship from a local entity than anywhere else, what with the competition for those scholarships being substantially less than what you might find elsewhere.

Look At the Requirements

There are various requirements that deserve to be seen when it comes to finding scholarships. Some might be based on the field of study you are in or the GPA you hold. Others might be focused on people who engage in community service activities. Others can focus on people who hold certain hobbies. The requirements for a scholarship will vary so make sure you look at them and see if you qualify for them.

Check Online Regularly

There are always new scholarships being posted online every day. These include many scholarships that are easy to search through on many databases. Be advised that many of these scholarships are available throughout the country but it never hurts to get your name in for consideration for one of them.

Put In Enough Effort

The last tip is to always put in a strong effort when trying to get a scholarship. You might feel down at times in the event that you cannot get the scholarships that you want. However, that does not mean you should give up. Put in a strong effort no matter how many times you are turned down for scholarships. Remember, there are so many options out there that there is certainly one out of that can be of benefit to you and your studies.

Scholarships can be rather easy to find if you simply know what to look for. Make sure you get out there to take a careful look at the different scholarships that are available for your use as you might be surprised at the options that you could potentially qualify for.

Ways to make money while in college

Going to college is expensive. For many students, simply covering the cost of tuition, fees, and room and board is a challenge. After paying those expenses, there may be little left in your budget. You need some spending money to fully enjoy the university experience. Going out with your friends, or just having pizza delivered to your dorm, requires cash. There are many ways students can make money while in college.

On Campus

An array of part-time jobs is available on university campuses. They may not pay much, but usually can be crafted around your schedule of classes and school activities. You can work in an administrative office, the cafeteria, the library or another university facility. Sign up to be a residence assistant, in the dorms; or a professor’s assistant, grading papers and doing research. Find out if a custodian job is available. Fraternities and sororities often hire students to do housecleaning and other chores. Take part in a research study, or take notes in class and sell them. Some colleges hire students to give campus tours to prospective students, or conduct orientation sessions for incoming freshmen.

Parents are increasingly hiring tutors to help their children. Many university students also need assistance with their studies. There are always students, in high school and college, who require individual instruction in math, science or other subjects. You also may be able to give music lessons or assist kids with other artistic pursuits. Determine your strongest subject, then post flyers and perhaps advertise in a college publication. Check to see if there are any local tutoring services that hire students. Check out the Sylvan and Kumon tutoring services, and visit tutor.com.

In the Community

Other types of jobs may be found off campus, in the community. If your college is in a small town, you have fewer opportunities. You have to be creative, patient and persistent. Prepare a resume and learn good interviewing skills. You need to sell yourself to an employer, so do not be bashful about emphasizing your knowledge and skills.

Retailers frequently hire students for sales clerk, cashier and other positions. Many are willing to work around students’ schedules. Start by speaking with owners of stores selling things that you find interesting. Emphasize your knowledge of the products or services, as well as your customer-service skills. Check help-wanted advertisements in local newspapers and shoppers, as well as on Craigslist. Look at postings on bulletin boards and in college publications. Keep in mind that sales jobs that offer commissions pay better than standard part-time, minimum-wage work. Sales positions may be in shops, on the telephone or door-to-door.

Other ideas for working in the community include paid internships, work-study programs, delivering newspapers and donating blood. Among the jobs at private homes are babysitting, dog walking, lawn mowing, snow shoveling and house painting. Some students make money by running errands, like grocery shopping, for people. An elderly resident of the community may need a driver. Create an eye-catching flyer advertising your services, and post it in prominent locations around town.

Online

Some students use their computers to earn money. Various websites offer opportunities to review products or services, and take part in focus groups or other market research. There are companies that will pay you to fill out opinion surveys, or evaluate products and services as a mystery shopper. Sites like Odesk and Elance list a range of online jobs, including article writing, web design and programming.

Back home in your old bedroom, or the attic or garage, you may have possessions with some value that you no longer want. Sell them on eBay or Craigslist. You also can make money by buying stuff at garage sales, yard sales and thrift shops that can be resold online. Sell other people’s items, too, and keep a percentage of the profit. If you are good at taking pictures, check out websites that pay for photographs. If you enjoy shooting videos, come up with an original idea for a YouTube channel to showcase your work.

You need to assess your strengths to determine the type of part-time work that is best for you. Your financial needs and college schedule also are factors. A part-time retail job is a good idea for those with strong communication and people skills, while more introverted students may prefer online work. Consider all the available options and see which ones match your interests. You just may find an enjoyable way to make money while in college.

Parenting Tips for the College Years

As the parent of a college-bound student, you are in a transition period. Big changes are happening in your as well as child’s life. It is an exciting, yet anxious, time for everyone. To deal with the challenges and provide support for your young scholar, consider these parenting tips for the college years.

Start Planning Early

In a student’s junior year, families generally begin talking about which college to choose. This is a lengthy process, involving an assessment of the student’s needs and research about potential schools. A college’s size, location, cost, programs, and other factors should be considered.

Don’t waste your time with a school if its admission qualifications, like grade-point averages and test scores, are beyond your child’s reach. Study college guidebooks and research school rankings. Once you have narrowed the list of possible schools to fewer than five, schedule campus visits and interviews.

Take advantage of admission office advisers, and consider hiring a private counselor trained in the college-application process. The deadline to apply for a fall semester is often Jan. 1, though some schools make their decisions as early as the previous fall. Make sure your child keeps track of these deadlines.

You also can be of assistance in helping to compile the materials that colleges require of applicants. These things include high school transcripts, essays, and various high school records. Most colleges accept a form known as the “common application,” which is available online.

Acknowledge Feelings

When a child moves away from home, it is an emotional experience for everyone involved. Your feelings may be all over the place, from joy to sadness. You are happy and excited for your child, but also sense the “empty-nest syndrome.”

Be open about these feelings with your son or daughter, and discuss his or her anxieties. Parents need to understand that kids undergo emotional swings during this time, because they are leaving everything they have known and entering uncharted territory. Be sensitive to how this experience can be thrilling and terrifying for a young person.

Prepare Your Child

Upon arriving on campus, a college freshman suddenly has many new responsibilities. In addition to academic and social challenges, there are things that students must do for themselves for the first time.

They have to handle money, and learn how to budget wisely. If your kid has never done a budget, provide some instruction. The danger of overusing credit cards also should be discussed.

Talk about the classes for which your son or daughter has registered. Stress the need to set aside time, and find a good place, to study. Help set academic goals that are reasonable and attainable. Keep in mind that many students struggle with their grades during the first semester, or even the entire freshman year, until they become adjusted to college life.

Provide some practical advice, as well. Even if you have purchased roadside-assistance insurance for your child, make sure to also teach him or her how to change a tire and jump-start a vehicle. Make sure your kid knows how to do laundry, shop for food, and keep a room clean.

Encourage healthy eating habits, while understanding that burgers and pizzas are part of the college experience. Have a talk about alcohol, other drugs, and sex. Your child can benefit from your knowledge and experience.

Let Go While Being Supportive

One of the most difficult challenges for parents of college students is supporting their children, while allowing them to live on their own and become adults. You need to find a balance.

Communicate regularly, but don’t expect to know everything about your child’s new life. You are likely to meet resistance if you pry too much. Experts suggest asking general questions, like “how are your classes” and “are you having fun.” Focus on academics, and your kid’s emotional and physical health. Stay positive and give encouragement, emphasizing strengths and accomplishments. Don’t do all the talking; try to get your child to open up about experiences and feelings.

Most college students freak out at some point. They suffer from anxiety about tests, have tumultuous personal relationships, and become homesick. You might get some frantic emails and phone calls. When that happens, be a good listener and respond with calm reassurance. Help your child deal with problems by breaking them down into simple steps and approaching them logically.

You may feel the urge to call or email your newly departed offspring every day. Resist this impulse, though it is a natural result of the feelings you are having. In addition to a sense of loss, you are worried about how your child is doing out there in the world all alone. You should visit the campus, to provide support, see how your kid is living, and meet the roommate. However, don’t do this too often; and refrain from making surprise visits.

Instead of showing up unannounced, send surprise packages. Cash is always appreciated. You also can mail little things that your kid might not think to buy. Experts recommend toiletries and school supplies. Include a letter about what’s happening with the family, or at least a short note of encouragement.

Stress and anxiety, for you and your son or daughter, are to be expected during the college years. You are entering a new period of your family’s life, which may entail excitement and melancholy for you as a parent. Following some of these suggestions may help you get through it all.

Personal Finance for the New Graduate

Although money management skills are important, many people have a problem handling their personal finances. This issue is even more important for new college graduates. As they leave school they will be faced with repaying student loans while dealing with other expenses like rent and healthcare. Many new graduates do not find the jobs right away, making it even more important to manage their money.

With some planning and good financial advice, the new graduate can cover bills and save money for the future. Here are some tips that can help in managing your personal finances:

Create a Budget

This is probably the most important aspect of money management. It will take a few months before you get a sense of your spending patterns and expenses if you are new to budgeting. When you look at your income and expenses, this will give you an idea of how much you can save. If you are unable to save, examining the budget can help to decided where you can cut some costs.

Never use more from your credit card than you need to, and try to clear the balance each month. This will help you to avoid additional interest. Do not go shopping for clothes if you don’t need them, and avoid eating out unless you absolutely have to. Ultimately, your main goal is to keep your spending below the level of your income. This is the only way you will be able to save.

Reduce Living Expenses

This can mean getting a roommate and sharing the rent or moving in with your parents. Either way you can save a lot of money that you can put towards savings. For some grads, their parents’ home might be the best option since they can live there rent free. It is a good idea to contribute towards expenses such as food, but the bulk of your money should be saved.

Set aside Money for Emergencies

Some people save in a special account for emergencies. This savings is not used for daily expenses or other living expenses. At any time, a crisis may arise, such as a major health problem. Putting money aside in an account that yields high interest, such as a market mutual fund is a good idea. In an emergency you can pull from these funds without putting a strain on your budget. Note that it will take some time to create this sort of fund, so it is best to start early.

Get Books and Information on Money Management

You can search the Internet for used books that cover this important topic. Some of these books actually target new college graduates, so you will find that much of the information applies to you. Do some research on the author of any book you are thinking of buying. This will help to ensure that you are getting advice from a qualified person.

The Internet has lots of information on money management that will come in useful to you now and later on in life. Learning what you can and applying some of these tips to your own life will help you become financially independent.

Avoid New Debts

Do not create any new debt unless it is for something vital. This is even more important if you have student loans to deal with. If you are struggling to get by, that is not the time to buy new furniture or a new TV, even if these items are on sale. You should also try to clear your existing debts as quickly as possible.

College students and recent grads need to be smart in the way they handle their money but they don’t have to be experts. Personal finance involves common sense decisions such as putting extra money towards their student loan. This is a smart move as it helps to clear your loan quicker.  Aside from saving money, it is wise to invest money in mutual funds and similar investment instruments. With discipline, you can end up with enough money to help clear debts or make a down payment on a house.

What to Consider When Picking a Roommate

If you have the option to pick your roommate in college, you may want to think twice before bunking with your best friend. Take time to think through your decision and don’t feel pressured into anything. Remember, you will be living with this person for at least one semester, if not more.

Friendship

Rooming with your best friend seems like common sense, right? You may find that living with a best friend is just too much. You may not want to be around them all the time or they may have little habits that get on your nerves. Consider these things before you jump into living together. You don’t want to ruin a solid friendship. It will benefit you to begin making new friends in college as well, so don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.

Personality

Are you clean or messy? Loud or quiet? A night owl or an early bird? Try to find someone who is on the same pages as you to make sharing your space more enjoyable. If you are always picking up after someone, or your home is never quiet, it could negatively impact your grades and your future.

College Goals

Before selecting a roommate, be sure that you share some common goals. If they are only in college to party, and you have set high academic standards for yourself, living together will probably not work well. Try to find someone who can successfully balance school and a healthy social life.

Common Interests

Do you enjoy working out, volunteering, spending time outdoors? If your roommate enjoys these things, you will have someone to share your interests with. This may help make your adjustment to college life a little easier. You can find activities to do together and may develop similar social circles.

Finances

If you plan to live off campus or anywhere that your rent is not paid up front for the semester, be sure that your roommate has a stable income or money from other sources, such as grants and loans, to pay their rent. Before you move in, discuss how you would divide paying for items that you may both use, e.g. electric and cable. If you’re not comfortable with their financial situation, do not move in with them.

Trust

If you are sharing a living space with someone, you need to be able to trust them. You should discuss rules regarding visitors and potential quiet hours if needed. You should also discuss personal space. If you do not want your roommate in your room, discuss that beforehand and be sure they understand. Ask them about visitors. For example, if they are in a relationship, will their significant other be around all the time?

Conflict Resolution

No matter who you decide to live with, there’s always a chance that you will disagree on something. Try to determine if your potential roommate is the kind to handle conflicts politely with words, instead of screaming or giving you the silent treatment. You should be living with someone who can function as an adult and work through any issues in the same manner.

Using the above tips will help you determine what is most important to you when deciding who to live with. If you learn that your roommate isn’t the best fit, use what you’ve learned to make a better decision the next chance you have. Your home environment plays an important role in your overall college experience.

Choose a career based on your personality type

For high school grads, choosing a career is a tough choice for some. Understanding your personality and choosing a career in line with that, will provide you with the career satisfaction which otherwise may be hard to achieve.

Understand Your Personality

An important aspect in choosing a career, which will help you settle in your practical life more easily, is understanding your personality and your interests, preferences, passion and applying it to your career choice. This will make you love your job, and settle in easier.

Personality Assessments
There are many ways to learn and understand your personality type. There are many tests available online which give detailed description of the results and are not really hard to understand. You should be honest in answering the questions. You can also consult your career counselor and they can conduct a test for you and share the results. They will also let you know about possible career choices based on your personality type. One of the most popular and widely used tests to assess personality types is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

Extroversion vs. Introversion

These are the most basic personality types. If you think you know what extroversion or introversion means you might be wrong. Introversion does not necessarily mean the person is shy and alternatively, extroversion does not depend only on how outgoing the person is. No person is completely either also. The majority of people lie in between the two extremes

Understanding the Difference
Introverts lose energy from being around a large group or crowd for a long period. They recharge themselves by being alone.

Extroverts lose energy when they are on their own; they like to charge themselves by being around people. It energizes them to be social.

Then there are those who lie somewhere in between. This personality type is called as Ambivert. These people posses some qualities of both the extremes.

The Verdict

It is not really a simple choice to make after you know your personality type about what career you could be in. it is a means to better understand at what you could be best at. You personality type should also consider your interests and preferences of how you would want to build your life. If you think of yourself as an introvert it does not mean you cannot work as part of a team, you can. If you think you are an extrovert, you can work on your own as well. It is just about setting your priorities and goals and knowing your interests.

Some Suggestions

As a high school grad, you should understand what your personality type is to make a better informed decision. Some personality-specific suggestions are:

Business and Marketing
If you like being the center of attention and talking to people you could choose to become a public relations specialist. As an introvert, in the same field your personality type could suit being a market research analyst.

Information Technology
For a career in IT, extroverts could opt to be a computer support specialist where they would have to interact with people to solve their problems. Computer programming would suit an introvert. They will at ease working on ideas by themselves.

Health Care
For an introvert they could choose to be a medical records and health information technician. It requires coding and categorizing with little or minimum interaction. A registered nurse as a professional career in health care would be a perfect fit for extroverts. As it requires being calm with patients, they will be more comfortable working with other people.

Finance
In the field of finance, being an accountant might be the best thing for introvert provided they are good with numbers, balancing and tax preparation. For an extrovert, being a personal financial advisor would make them outshine since it requires client interactions and dealings.

6 Tips for saving money at college

College can be quite expensive even with financial aid. Students and recent graduates often find themselves with enormous debt. However, it is possible to avoid the predicament by managing expenses and money responsibly while at college. Given below are a few tips that will help you live cheap and save money:

1- Track your expenses

The first thing to do at college is to get a good checking account with a bank. Most banks today provide free student checking accounts. A checking account will allow you to keep track of all your purchases and manage cash better. Understanding the nature of your expenses is the best way to stay within your budget.

2- Get a job

Most students have a job today to support their expenses at college. Working part time does not ideally affect grades. In fact, a job will allow you to be engaged in activities that will further your career and provide you practical experience that will make you stand apart from others at an interview. More importantly, it will provide you a good source of income to manage your expenses at college.

3- Buy used textbooks

One of the biggest expenses at college is textbooks. New textbooks tend to be really expensive since new editions often cost up to $300. The best alternative to this major expense is to try and find bookstores in your town that sell used textbooks. College campuses often have several used bookstores and their prices tend to be considerably reduced. You can also check online for textbooks. The prices tend to be much cheaper even when you include shipping charges. Another option is to ask friends and past graduates if you can borrow their books.

4- Student discounts

Being a student has its own perks so make the most of it. A student ID can get you discounts on just about everything from computers and movies to travel tickets. Use your student ID to get discounts on your leisure activities and even for Greyhound and Amtrak tickets if you plan on traveling anywhere.

5- Accommodations

Although living an independent life outside the campus with a few friends sounds very promising, it can turn out to be a very expensive affair. Compare all your accommodation options carefully. Living in the dorm may actually turn out to be cheaper. However, if you decide to rent an apartment, get a few roommates so you can share the expenses. For furniture and appliances, ask friends or parents for their old furniture or appliances they do not use. Heating, water and electricity bills tend to be quite expensive so learn to live frugal. Turn off the lights, use water carefully and use heat and air conditioning sparingly.

6- Transportation

A car can turn out to be very expensive at college considering the money you will have to spend on gas, tickets and parking passes. Instead, take the subway or local bus. Your student ID will generally get you good discounts on public transit. If public transit is not available, consider carpooling with friends. You can also bike or walk to your classes.

Top careers for 2014

With 2013 ending right around the corner, there are many predictions for careers which see a growing trend. The changing industry trends have led experts to predict the following top careers for 2014, which will see a growing trend and provide stable income:

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations officers are seen to be in high demand, in the next year and carrying forward. This is so, because of changing marketing trends. With the social buzz, companies are in an ever increasing need to hire PR Specialist to maintain their public image.

Projected growth rate: 23%

Database Administrator

Companies are forever in the process to collect data, regarding consumer buying habits, product trends etc. The large of amount that it collects which basically drives their companies forwards will be the focus for the coming years. Companies need computer specialists who are skilled at managing, organizing and securing the data. This also calls for analyzing and extracting relevant content from the data. Database Administrators are believed to be in high demand in 2014

Projected growth rate: 31%

Petroleum Engineer

The focus of the world doesn’t seem to be moving anywhere from oil and gas in 2014 or coming years. To utilize and dig other cleaner sources of use doesn’t seem to be near. So, petroleum engineers will be in high demand for quite some time. With the increase in population and depleting sources of fossil fuel; petroleum engineers will be needed by companies to locate and extract diminishing sources.

Projected growth rate: 17%

Software Developer

Computer software’s and technology is changing the world. How we live and operate our lives is being shaped everyday with new technologies. The advancement in cell phones to smart phones and the various applications being made every day is making this profession one of the hottest to set foot in. software developers analyze the need and then design, test and develop programs and computer applications.

Projected growth rate: 30%

Medical and Health Services Manager

The health care industry is flourishing and it requires people for its management. The need for hospitals to hire health care managers is increasing with the increasing work load of patients, accidents and breakthroughs in medicine sciences.  Health care administrators work to improve the quality of health services and may also specialize in a certain area.

Projected growth rate: 22%

Personal Financial Advisor

A big part of the day, week or life of many people is spent managing their money. So for the big financial decisions of, kid’s college education, insurance needs, retirement, the majority turns to financial advisors. The managing of their finances is going to increasingly drive the need for able financial advisors high. The advisors are required to explain all the options for saving and investing and managing their clients portfolio; helping them plan for retirement or students education funds.

Projected growth rate: 32%

Counselors for Substance Abuse

It is a growing as well as rewarding profession. It requires patience and some amount of empathy to treat patients with alcohol, drug problems or eating disorders. But, knowing you will make a difference to someone’s life is an uplifting feeling.

Veterinarians

The outlook for salaries of vets looks promising, going up to $100,000. The education requirement is quite strenuous requiring passing a state exam. The business that vets get is ever increasing with people willing to go the vet for diseases faced by their pets.

Projected growth rate: 25%

Theater and Performance Arts makeup Artists

This field is much underrated and undervalued by many people but it’s going to be a fast growing career in 2014. It is solely for people looking for creativity in their chosen field of work and requires nothing more than some natural talent and makeup courses.

Projected growth rate: 39%

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