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Archive for the 'College Prep' Category

The High School Drop-Out Epidemic vs Benefits of College Education

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Skipping School. Dropping out of high school can make it harder to find a job, to achieve your dreams or to just get by. Currently, one student out of four is dropping out before they graduate from college. In the United States, this adds up to more than a million students each year. The effects will follow these students throughout their lives. The unemployment rate is usually higher for high school dropouts than it is for people who have graduated from high school or college. High school dropouts will face challenges when it comes to providing the basic necessities for their families. It is important to take steps to reduce the drop out rate throughout the United States.

According to high school drop out statistics, people who drop out of high school can expect to earn only about $20,000 a year, which is $10,000 less than high school graduates. One of the most upsetting high school drop out facts is that the high school dropouts have a 63% higher chance of ending up in jail. Another one of the effects of dropping out of high school is that the poverty rate is twice as high as compared to college graduates. Often high school dropouts have a harder time finding jobs with good benefits such as medical insurance or retirement plans.

There are many benefits of college education. It opens more job opportunities in a wide variety of fields. The earnings for college graduates average out to be $36,000 more per year. That amount can add up significantly over the years. In addition to the increased earnings for college graduates, people who graduate from college are less likely to need government assistance. Another one of the benefits of college education is that it can stop the poverty cycle. If you graduate from college, you children are more likely to attend college. It is one of the best ways to fight the dropout cycle. The pay increase for each degree you achieve, and you can increase your earning power by continuing on after receiving your bachelor’s degree. The benefits of a college education in finding a job and increasing your salary should make attending college a priority.

With the discouraging high school drop out statistics, it is important that the country works together to fight the epidemic. There are schools called dropout factories where the graduation rate is lower than sixty percent. Special programs can be implemented in these schools with mentors and solutions to help the students at these schools find a stable environment that will allow them to continue to attend school and move on to college. The high school drop out facts can be very discouraging, but helping even one person break the cycle can help his entire family move onto better things. The effects of dropping out of high school will last for the rest of his life, and finding ways to help the students to graduate can make a big difference.

Each person can make a difference in the drop out rate, whether or not you are in the field of education. One way is to volunteer as a mentor for high school students in your community. People can support the high school students they come in contact with through work or extended family and encourage them to stay in school. The high school drop out epidemic can be fixed, but it will take more than just looking at the system. Often many problems lead up to a student’s choice to drop out. While improving the education system can help, people will need to look at solutions that can provide stability to each student that is at risk of dropping out of school.

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What to Wear on College Interviews

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

College Student. Preparing to get into college is one of the most exciting, yet stressful times in your educational life. But getting into the school of your dreams can sometimes be more impactful than actually attending class and passing that big exam. When you’re ready for the all-important college entrance interview there are a few important things to keep in mind. Of course you want to be prepared and having an idea of what to expect on the big day is part of the planning. Look for commonly asked questions in college interviews and then see if a friend or family member would be willing to do a few practice runs with you. Along with the advance planning includes making sure you’ve dressed appropriately for the interview, so that you leave a lasting impression that will help the interviewer remember your poise and professionalism. Making sure you look great will help you to feel more confident and will make a big impression on the college interviewer. Remember that most people always hang onto their first impression of you, so you’ll want to ensure that it is one they’ll recall in a positive way when it comes time to make acceptance decisions.

Dress to Impress

Your college interview should be very similar to that of a job interview in terms of dress. Wearing ironed slacks or dress pants is a good choice for young men. Be sure your shirt is tucked in, you wear a belt, and a tie is definitely a must. Make sure your colors are coordinated and you look polished and clean. A suit jacket is another great decision, even if it is hot outside. Or, you can opt for an entire suit that goes together as one outfit. For young women, a dress or skirt of appropriate length is a nice choice, but dress pants can also be a good option if they are tailored and look professional. Wear a color-coordinated blouse to go with the skirt or pants so that you look put together. It is definitely recommended that you wear pantyhose with any dresses or skirts and appropriate dress shoes. Adding a blazer is a great way to show you’re serious about the interview. You want to look professional and want to get that acceptance letter in the mail! Be sure to be positive throughout the interview. Sell yourself to the person you’re talking to and highlight your various achievements, goals, and express to them why you want to attend their school.

What Not to Wear

Of course, there are several “don’ts” when it comes to what to wear for the college interview. Blue jeans are definitely off the table. They present a more sloppy look and most interviewers will probably think you are not serious about the interview process. Shirts should stay tucked in; no one likes a sloppy, untucked shirt, especially under these circumstances. Tennis shoes are also out. You should wear nice, clean, and polished dress shoes. For women, heels are acceptable, but they should not be too high and should be modest. A great option would be flats, and you’ll stay more comfortable as well while walking across campus. Low cut shirts or dresses are not recommended and neither is too much makeup. Tank tops and spaghetti straps are also not a good idea. Remember, this is a very serious interview, not a night out with friends, so keep it simple! Make sure your hair is tidy and of course, that your teeth are brushed as well. T-shirts are another no-no when it comes to the college interview. Once you’re in, you will be able to wear whatever you please in class, unless there is a dress code.

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How to Ace that College Interview

Friday, January 18th, 2013

General Interview Tips

Getting into a good college often requires more than just good SAT scores and a high school degree. In fact, many universities across the United States ask applicants to submit more than just an application. Some require an entrance essay as well as an actual face-to-face interview. Just like a job interview, college interviews can be stressful, but there are some ways you can improve your chances of doing well and getting accepted. By understanding what to expect during the interview as well as how to prepare in advance, you’ll ace that interview without any problems and expect that acceptance letter to come in the mail! Admissions Office.

First Impressions Count

There are several things you can do to make sure you’re better prepared for the big day. First, think about what you plan to wear to the interview well in advance. Dress professionally, and make sure you dress appropriately. Don’t forget to groom your hair and brush your teeth so you’ll look clean and polished for the big day.

Show Enthusiasm

On the day of the interview, there are several things to keep in mind. When speaking, make sure that you are polite, articulate, and that you make eye contact. Try not to overuse words such as ‘like’ or other slang words, but instead try to speak as eloquently as possible. Be yourself, be honest, and of course, don’t forget to smile! Show the interviewer just how excited you are to become a part of the student body there. Your enthusiasm will definitely come through in the way you look, your body language, and of course your answers.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions yourself as well! Ask the interviewer about campus life, what other students think of the programs you plan to participate in, and why they think the school is so excellent as well. Highlight your achievements, and tell them what you’ve done throughout your high school years including your grades and your favorite classes.

Common Questions

Here are a few examples of questions you might expect during the interview process:

Practice Makes Perfect

Preparation for your interview is definitely the key to being successful in your college endeavors. With a bit of practice in advance, you should be fine on the day of your admissions interview. Remember that your goal is to leave a positive, lasting impression on the person your interview with. Being yourself is definitely the best way to achieve this, but be sure you do so with tact and sincerity. Have a friend or family member use a few practice questions on you, so that you can better prepare to give a good answer. Have them critique your answers and your delivery, and then write down some things you can do to improve. After your interview, it’s always a good idea to send the college admissions officer a nice, personalized and handwritten thank you note. This will help to ensure that impression you gave lasts and that you appreciate them considering you being a part of their college.

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Effective Ways to Help Students Pay for College

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Let’s Begin College Savings.

Paying for college can seem like a daunting task. However, whether your family is affluent, middle class, or has limited means, there are many appropriate avenues for you to contribute to your own college finances. The more effort you put forth into finding your own college financial strategy, the easier it will be for you to minimize debts going into your post-graduation life. This will help you achieve your desired career trajectory more quickly and give you the chance to develop the lifestyle you would prefer to enjoy. Difficult as the task may seem, don’t give up! This article will provide you with many leads to help you pay for school. The objective here is for you to achieve your academic goals without having to go broke in the process!

Save Money

The first step toward any major purchase is to save money, and this is equally true when you are working toward preparing for college. The more hours of work you bank in your high school years, the more money you will be able to devote toward your college expenses. This not only gives you the opportunity to pay down tuition and textbook costs, but can also help you with luxuries such as an off-campus apartment, if you find that such an arrangement meets your needs. The jobs you will qualify for at this stage are anything but glamorous, but the cumulative effect will not only help your financial outlook, it will also prepare you for the hard work of college. You might consider getting a savings account or another interest-bearing bank account to help you. Confer with your local bank or an expert to find out what options are the most monetarily beneficial.

Federal Financial Aid

The federal government provides a variety of financial aid options. Most of these options are need-based, meaning that the level of aid you qualify for is based on your or your parents’ finances. Even if you do not feel that you will use federal financial aid, it is still a very good idea to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid online. This application is typically due in April of every year, so it is important to get your taxes done in a timely manner if you are working. If you intend to continue receiving federal financial aid throughout your college years, you will be expected to fill out your FAFSA application and update it once each year. Remember, the more economical the school you choose, the less aid you will require in a given year.

Competitive Scholarships

Competitive scholarships are available that pertain to many different interests and skills. A large number of scholarships provide the opportunity to qualify for a cash prize in exchange for a good essay. These scholarships will give you the time to practice the writing skills that you will need to excel in college. Many of them are highly competitive, offering only a single cash prize among a pool of thousands of applicants. This means it will be necessary to scout out different scholarships and apply to several in order to have a higher chance of receiving a prize worth a few hundred or even thousand dollars. There are scholarships of this kind available for high school students and college students at every level.

Community Resources

There are even scholarship possibilities available in one’s local community. Some of these may be competitive essay scholarships, while others might be merit-based. “Merit-based” scholarships are awarded based on your current level of academic performance. Because fewer applicants have the opportunity to qualify for such scholarships, they can be a good fit for academically talented young people. To find local scholarships, check with organizations such as the nearest American Legion or Rotary Club. You can also check with local and national businesses that have locations in your area. Many major corporations operate charitable foundations that provide scholarship assistance on a competitive basis. If you plan to work while in college, your employer may offer you some type of tuition assistance. Inquire with your Human Resources department if you believe this to be the case.

All Things Considered

Financing your education can be a challenge, but you should never give up on your academic dreams because they seem difficult to reach. By taking concrete steps to achieve your goals, you will be more likely to find a combination of approaches that will help you pay for the college or university you wish to attend. The diligence, perseverance, critical thinking and hard work that you invest in this effort will serve you well when it comes time to reach your potential in your college classes. Financing your education, like graduating from college, is a marathon rather than a sprint. Set realistic goals, but aspire to do everything you can to pay for college without going into debt. The hard work you do now will be worth it in the future, and you are sure to benefit from it for years to come, no matter where your college adventure takes you.

Would you like to find out more about financial assistance programs? Click any of the links below.

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid: This online application is required in order to qualify for most forms of federal financial aid. It gathers information on your financial background and your college plans, and should be updated by April each year.
  • Federal Student Aid Publications and Materials: This site serves as a central clearinghouse for federal government publications pertaining to financial aid. You can find information on a wide variety of federal programs by using this site.
  • The Fulbright Scholarship Program: Named after United States Senator J. William Fulbright, the Fulbright Scholarship Program is operated by the U.S. Department of State and is active in more than 155 countries. It offers approximately 8,000 grants per year.
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A Student’s Guide to Serious Study Skills

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Successful students understand the importance of serious study skills. Studying involves the act of reviewing information learned in the classroom; however, students neglect to consider other factors that separate outstanding academic performers from the rest. Studying means knowing when and where to make the best use of time. Many students fool themselves by half-studying and half-socializing, eating, watching TV, or listening to music. This can cause many problems for students when it comes time to take quizzes, tests, and final exams.

Students who commit themselves to studying will still need to manage their time wisely. Students can become distracted by loud noises in the evening. In addition, students may lose concentration if they decide to study late at night. Students should study when their body feels most alert, usually right after school in a quiet, secluded room. To avoid cramming or feeling fatigued from extended study periods, students should reward themselves with five-minute breaks every half hour. This will give them time to stretch and get their blood flowing to their brain by walking around. Students can choose to study in short intervals right before bed to promote unconscious “studying” while asleep. If this causes the student to fixate on studying, then he or she should discontinue this practice.

Studying hinges on the student’s ability to choose the right venue. For instance, if the student chooses a dark, noisy, cramped and uncomfortable spot to review learned material, then he or she will likely not retain any information during their study session. Instead, students should choose a well-lit, quiet, spacious, distraction-free, and comfortable study environment. Many times students choose a work desk located in their room, because it grants them control over their environment. However, this also means that students can succumb to the temptations of using their cell phone, lap top, TV, computer, or bed. Other drawbacks to studying at home may include distractions from friends, noisy roommates, or siblings. Many committed students choose the library.

Students may feel motivated to study if they bring a partner. Bringing a friend can prove advantageous if both students remain committed to studying. For instance, both friends can encourage each other to study when one feels unmotivated or distracted by external stimuli. In addition, a study partner can help test retained knowledge without the temptation of deceiving one’s self. However, students should not falter to only studying with friends. The sole purpose of studying revolves around independent dedication to learning the course material. Students who become dependent on their friends to study have a harder time adjusting to future classes without their friends. In addition, group study becomes more effective when students study at home and arrive prepared to reinforce information learned while in private seclusion. As a result, friends who grasp the information more than others can explain certain key points. This merges unique perspectives on the core curriculum and makes it easier to understand the subject matter.

Follow these links to learn more about effective study habits:

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Grockit: “Get addicted to studying”

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Grockit.com, a test-prep website otherwise known as “the new social networking site for learning,” has become an overnight sensation for students as they prepare for their SAT exams.

The goal of the site is to make studying for the SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE, or LSAT “less expensive and more enjoyable” for students by offering three different modes of study: Individual practice, peer group sessions (or a virtual study group), and instructor-led sessions.

After creating an account on the site, users can upload a profile picture, complete lesson plans, chat with other users, and compete in educational challenges. Users can also award each other with Grockit Points if they provide tips to other users, and these results are displayed beside their name and photo. (Users can choose to keep their points hidden).

For the Grockit Speed Challenge Game, users can invite their friends to the competition to see who answers the most questions correctly in the fastest amount of time. The winner of the competition will receive Grockit points for the challenge, and users can also post their results on Facebook or Twitter.

Grockit also offers free live courses which are taught by qualified tutors, and any user can view a tutor’s test scores and ratings on the site. For a fee of $50 an hour, users can hire a tutor who will then audio chat with the student via Skype, and even draw diagrams on a whiteboard to explain certain problems.

There is a free section of the site where users can participate in group studies and solo test questions, each of which are customized to the student’s academic level and study needs. There is also a $100 Premium subscription which allows users to gain access to an unlimited number of solo practice questions as well as personalized performance analytics which tracks each user’s progress. The free version of Grockit.com offers SAT writing diagnostic tests, while the Premium account offers diagnostic tests for writing as well as reading and math.

Grockit TV

Grockit also recently launched Grockit TV, an “online educational TV network” which produces live and interactive events to be streamed online in HD.

Students can enroll in a live Grockit TV course free of charge, and will receive e-mail reminders as well as a link to the upcoming live sessions. Each course takes approximately 20 hours to complete, (16 hours of test prep and four hours of college admissions guidance), and will take place twice a week for a one hour session. Each session will focus on a specific topic, such as admissions, financial aid, athletic recruiting, and of course test prep, and the entire course can be downloaded for $99.99 after it is recorded and archived.

“Until now, comprehensive college test prep and college admission counseling – both online and in the classroom – have only been available to a select group of students because of the cost and sometimes the geographic barrier,” said Farb Niv, Grockit’s founder. “With Grockit TV, we are leveling the playing field by providing students everywhere with easy and free access to world class instructors. We’ve gone to great lengths to find experts like Stacy and David who are the foremost experts in their respective fields to make Grockit TV the most comprehensive library of online educational content currently available.”

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Top 100 education advice blogs

Monday, September 13th, 2010

1. myUsearch – “myUsearch.com exists to provide honest, unbiased information to help students make the right college choice, get into college, pay for college and live a happy and healthy college life,” write the authors. “Our founder was working for a college that was spending millions of dollars trying to recruit students who really had no interest in attending their college…It was out of this frustration that myUsearch.com, the Honest College Matchmaker, was born.” Recommended posts: “Do Extracurriculars Really Help You Get into College?,” and “How to Get into College with a Low GPA.”

2. College Thrive – “I have always enjoyed writing, and I figured since I was going to be in college for the next four or so years, why not help others out and write about all of the tips and resources I come across as I go,” writes blogger Dan Northern. “I hope [my readers] find ways to make college a little less stressful, as well as find useful information and resources along the way.” Recommended posts: “How to Prioritize Tasks,” “5 Tips to Prepare Yourself for School,” and “Creating Good Habits in College.”

3. Homework/Study Tips – From About.com, educational writer Grace Fleming posts countless articles which provide great advice for high school and college students. Some topics include how to use verbs in an essay, time management, and how to improve your home homework and studying habits. Recommended posts: “Learning Styles,”  “Organize Your Homework,” and “Top 8 Healthy Homework Habits.”

4. Study Hacks – This site is not only a great starting point for students in need of educational advice, it’s also a popular resource for education bloggers. The articles cover everything from must-read books, writing advice, and the college admissions process. Recommended posts: “An Open Letter to Students on the Danger of Seeing School as a Trial to Survive” and “Want to Get into Harvard? Spend More Time Staring at the Clouds: Rethinking the Role of Extracurricular Activities in College Admissions.”

5. Parents Countdown to College Coach – “I started writing [my blog] when I began my parent coaching business about a year ago,” explains Suzanne Shaffer. “I have been coaching parents on college admissions for about 10 years and felt my expertise in this area would be helpful. My site is geared mostly toward the “parents” of the students, but often they pass them along to their kids. I hope they learn that college admissions is not as daunting as some might think if you have the right tools and gather all the information.” Recommended posts: “Choosing a major–now or later?,” and “Top 10 Questions parents ask about college.”

6. Top Test Prep – If you’re struggling with test anxiety or you’re worried about your upcoming SAT exams, author Ross Blankenship writes numerous tips for students concerning SAT math problems and writing scores, as well as background information on the SAT exam. Recommended posts: “SAT Writing – How to Improve Your SAT Writing Scores,” “SAT Math Word Problems – How to Answer SAT Math Problems” and “What Admissions Offices Want.”

7. Great College Advice – This blog is written by a group of education consultants who provide expert advice on choosing a major, avoiding debt, applying for college, and improving your grades. Recommended posts: “Which College is the Best? What are the objective indicators?,” “Debt Free U – Investing in college and choosing a major,” and “Wanna go to med school? Forget science, major in liberal arts.”

8. Sharp Brains – If you’re a student who is struggling to get back into the back-t0-school mode, then try this site out for size. These articles cover numerous brain exercise activities as well as memorization tools, tips on multi-tasking, and treatment for ADHD. Recommended posts: “Top 50 Brain Teasers and Games,” “Brain Coach Answers: How can I improve my short term memory? Is there a daily exercise I can do to improve it?” and “10 Brain Tips To Teach and Learn.”

9. The Fat Envelope – “I’ve been an SAT tutor off and on for over 10 years,” writes Jenn Cohen, President & Chief Word-Nerd. “My husband, Gary and I started Word-Nerd because I wasn’t happy with what was available to my students for vocabulary prep, so we did it ourselves!  We hit a range of topics from SAT prep tips to college admissions to general rambling about the state of education, all with the aim of not taking ourselves (or college prep) too seriously.” Recommended posts: “Practical advice for choosing a college” and “What does my SAT score mean?

10. Jeannie’s FYI College Admission Blog – Jeannie Borin, M.Ed, has appeared on Fox News and MSNBC and was interviewed for Time Magazine, CNN and numerous other major publications. She has been on talk radio and written for the Wall Street Journal. It is Jeannie’s hope that students and families will “garner the information necessary to assist them in navigating any of their educational needs from career assessment, financial planning, athletic recruitment, art and performing art portfolios, academic tutoring, test preparation, college searches, resume and essay writing to making their final decisions.” Recommended posts: “Top 10 things Families Should Pay Attention To In The Application Process” and “Academic Portfolio Booster and Homeschooling Program Helps College-Bound Students.”

11. The Admission Game – This award-winning blog provides great advice on improving your test scores, applying for college, and college admissions interviews. Blogger Peter Van Buskirk is an author, motivational speaker, educational advocate, and a 25-year veteran of the selective college admissions process. Recommended posts: “A Guide to Understanding College Rankings,” “The Value of the College Interview,” and “Questions About Course Selections.”

12. The Huffington Post’s College Blog – Not only does this blog cover various political and educational issues, some articles also touch on how to improve your grades, the transition from college to your career, or how to get bed bugs out of your dorm. Recommended posts: “Missed Connection: The College-to-Career Gap,” “How to Make College Bound Students Financial Pros” and “The Freshman 8 And Your GPA.”

13. College Candy – “Having just graduated from college, I felt there was a major void in the media world when it came to college students,” writes Lauren Herskovic, the site’s Editor in Chief. “We have 100 student writers contributing, giving the most thorough and varied advice out there. I want students to come to CollegeCandy to learn everything from study tips to tips on how to make the most of their experience. Mostly, though, I want them to enjoy themselves on the site, laugh a lot and learn in the process.” Recommended posts: “The ABC’s Of Getting “A”s and “B”s,” “Don’t Drain Your Brain! Eating Tips for a Killer Memory & Laser Focus” and “Saturday Read: 4 and a Half Books for Back to School.”

14. Hack College – “Lectures are boring and inefficient,” write the authors, “HackCollege is educating the students of the world about effective, open source software, putting techno-political arguments in everyday language, and creating a cult of ‘Students 2.0.’ If we can change the way 1 percent of college students and faculty in the world view education and technology, we’ve done our job.” Recommended posts: “Take Advantage of Government Apps” and “Give Killer Public Presentations With These Public Speaking Tips.”

15. Student Branding Blog – These posts provide great insight as to how students can brand themselves as employees to make them more attractive for the college market after graduation. Recommended posts: “Career Development 101: How to Figure Out What to do With Your Life,” “Want To Forget Important Things? Don’t Take Notes” and “High School Grads: Get a Jumpstart on College.”

16. Campus Byte – “In 2006 I had just been accepted into The University of Texas at Austin,” writes Jay Willingham. “Within the first few weeks of school, I withdrew from all of my classes because I didn’t understand why I was in college or what my goals were. Because of this, I write about proven techniques that have helped me become a better student, make better grades, make more friends, enjoy college and graduate with a degree.” (After quitting his job he was accepted back into UT Austin and will be graduating this year). Recommended posts: “How To Choose A Major: The Ultimate Guide” and “Must-Have iPhone Apps for College.”

17. Knowledge Points – These articles provide great tips for junior and/or high school students concerning reading comprehension, test anxiety, as well as ACT and SAT tests. A lot of the articles are written from the perspective of a parent who is looking for tips on how to help their child with their education. Recommended posts: “Increase Reading Comprehension by Understanding Patterns” and “SAT or School Tests: Help Your Child Avoid Test Anxiety.”

18. College Counseling Culture – “My site is actually geared more toward adults who work with students (as is my website at collegeforall2.org),” explains Willard M. Dix, the President of College Access Counseling, Ltd. “I’ve always been interested in how much college, college counseling, and college admission are linked to American ideas about class, status, education, economics, and many other cultural aspects, but I’ve never seen much written about them.  I have over 30 years’ experience with teaching, college admissions, and college counseling, so I’ve experienced just about everything except having a child of my own to go through the process.” Recommended posts: “The Crabby Counselor Talks About the College Application Essay” and “High Hopes, Major Disappointment.”

19. Allen’s College Admissions Blog - From About.com, the articles on this site have a combination of both educational advice and the latest in education news. Author Allen Grove has a PhD in English, and used to work as a college professor and director of a program for new college students. Recommended posts: “Should Middle School Students Be Thinking About College?” and “College Essay Style Tips.”

20. College Basics – “I am a retired high school college counselor with over 35 years experience and my business partner is a retired English teacher who has taught more than 25 years and is a certified writing consultant,” writes Maureen Hodge. “We both wanted to continue helping students so we came up with the idea of creating a website with all of the information needed to successfully navigate the college application process from the freshman year in high school through the first year of college. We devoted special attention to writing the college essay, selecting a college, interviewing, and paying for college.” Recommended posts: “Get the Best for Less When You Apply to Colleges” and “College Majors Relevant to the Job Market.”

21. Reading, Writing & Math Help for Dyslexia, LD & ADHD – Blogger Bonnie Terry is a Board Certified Educational Therapist as well as a best-selling author. Her posts include numerous case studies and articles to help educate parents, students, homeschoolers, and teachers on how to address a child’s learning problems. Recommended posts: “4 Activities to Improve Reading Skills (Part 1),” “(Part 2 – Spelling),” “(Part 3 – Reading Comprehension)” and “(Part 4 – Writing).”

22. Admitted Blog –  This is the official blog of the National Association for College Admission Counseling organization. The articles are packed full of statistical information written for students, parents, and high school counselors. Recommended posts: “New Steps to College Article Discusses Application Submissions,” “What Counselors and Parents Need to Know About LD/ADD Students” and “Is Skipping College the Right Fit for Some?

23. My College Guide –  This entertaining-yet-still-educational blog advises college students on how to prepare for college. Categories include choosing a college and/or a major, college applications and interviews, or transferring to a different school. Recommended posts: “Choosing a College Major You Can Live With” and “The College Letter of Recommendation Is Not My Grandma Thinks I’m Wonderful” and

24. How to Get In – This Edvisors Company is one of the top online providers to help students with their college search and preparation. Categories include college admissions, tips college counselors, financial aid, online courses, and much more. Recommended posts: “Senior Year: Planning for College,” “How to Assemble a College Search List” and “Is it frowned upon to earn your bachelor’s, master’s and PHD from the same institution?

25. College Admissions Partners – This website has numerous resources for students which provide advice on the college application and transferring process, as well as background information on college preparation, admissions, and rankings. Recommended posts: “Successful College Application Resumes,” “Guide to BS/MD Programs” and “What Colleges Don’t Want You to Know About Financial Aid.”

26. Student Positioning Blog – “The whole idea of student positioning is to make the student as attractive as possible, as they are marketing themselves to businesses called colleges,”  writes Jeffrey Sonnergren, a College Planning and Funding Specialist. “It is a lot of fun when the student realizes that they can play offense and create leverage for merit-based scholarships, as opposed to doing well in school and SAT/ACT tests, picking a few good schools, crossing their fingers, and hoping for the best.  I would hope that student s realize that this is a high stakes situation and they can truly help themselves by applying to the best fit colleges for themselves and they can absolutely play offense. By necessity and sheer competition, there are multi-level strategies to employ for the college application process, but careful planning is the key.” Recommended posts: “Improve Your Options By Enrolling in an ACT Prep Course” and “Maximize Your SAT Scores with Successful Education Solutions.”

27. ProfHacker – From the Chronicle of Higher Education, this site is a great tool for students who want to see into the mind’s of their professors. Even though the target audience for this blog is generally teachers, the authors provide great advice for students from a professor’s perspective. Recommended posts: “An Open Letter to New Graduate Students,” “From the Archives: Time Management for the New Semester” and “Using Grading Contracts.”

28. Get Schooled – This site is full of articles for both high school grads and college students. The posts entertain readers on financial advice, how to pack for college, employment after graduation, and the latest in educational news. Recommended posts: “The Importance of Common Core Standards,” “High jobless rates for high school drop-outs” and “D’s are not allowed.”

29. College Advice – “When I was an undergraduate in college I used to wish there was someone who could advice me or tell me what their experience has been like with many college related topics,” writes blogger Sam S. “Getting help from the college advisement center is great, but it’s limited; moreover, firsthand experience of other students is really something one can relate to…It is my hope that students will walk away with something that they can really implement through out college, instead of just a momentarily intake of information. If from reading my blog one student will save $400 on textbooks or one student will be ahead of their game when applying to grad school, etc. then really that’s enough for me.” Recommended posts: “Common College Terms” and “College Tip: Get To Know Your Professors.”

30. Perfect Essay – If you’re a student who despises writing essays or is currently suffering from writer’s book, this site offers great tips on everything essay-related: from methodology, organizations, and conclusions. Recommended posts: “Your best analysis research paper help is here,”  “Write your best Master thesis and Ph.D thesis” and “Custom term papers and essay ideas.”

31. Study Prof - “I have taught college, high school, and elementary school students,” writes Cody Blair. “In addition, I’ve always been interested in how our brains learn (and don’t learn). Both of those things played their part in getting me started writing my studyprof.com blog. I hope students will find out how they can succeed in their school work, even if they find learning difficult. Students often struggle with procrastination, focus, and the memorization of large amounts of material. I try and give students concrete ways of overcoming those difficulties.” Recommended posts: “See That Vocabulary In Context” and “Memory Magic With Smart.fm.”

32. Campus Grotto - This site has been featured in several publications like The New York Post, the Huffington Post, and CNBC.com. Their articles cover a wide variety of different educational topics such as college rankings, tips for studying or employment, and how to finance for college. Recommended posts: “College Advice: 100+ Tips for Survival” and “Easiest Colleges to get into.”

33. The Thesis Whisperer – “I work in a graduate school helping PhD students from all over with ‘generic skills’ training – such as writing and presentation skills,” explains Dr. Inger Mewburn who works at the School of Graduate Research. “I like to read broadly – which is a luxury many PhD students cannot afford. This enables me to act as an information filter for students, drawing in research on other areas such as motivation and relationship management – even addiction behavior – which might be relevant. A lot of the advice out there in books for completing a PhD or dissertation is pretty one dimensional – like giving lists of dos and don’ts (my pet hate). The problem with lists and the ‘do this, don’t do that’ sort of advice is that is very hard to put into practice. Instead I like to get at the meaning behind the advice, unpack it and encourage discussion about what works and what doesn’t.” Recommended posts: “how to sell your thesis in 3 minutes (or less)” and “The goldilocks dilemma.”

34. ProtoScholar – “I felt that there were a lot of things about productivity that didn’t really address the student population, particularly the graduate student population,” explains blogger/author Rebecca, a PhD student in Education Policy. “I wanted to offer some thoughts about how to make that better. Tips, tricks, and sometimes just a different perspective.  Plus a bit about what graduate school means and is all about, particularly for those who are considering it.” Recommended posts: “How I use OneNote for my Dissertation” and “Flow.”

35. To Do: Dissertation – “When I started writing my dissertation, I didn’t see the kinds of blogs that would be helpful to my writing,” explains Katie Linder. “There are plenty of spaces for dissertation writers to talk about how they are struggling, but I didn’t come across many places that offered supportive and encouraging suggestions for getting the dissertation done. My hope is that this blog will be that space. The goal of TD:D is to talk realistically about practical steps that dissertation writers can take to finish their writing and take satisfaction and pride in their process and final product. I hope that dissertation writers can find tips on the site that will help them through writer’s block, being overwhelmed by a large writing project, and other common obstacles for dissertation writers.” Recommended posts: “5 Early Warning Signs of Dissertation Writer’s Block” and “The AB(C)D Guide to Beginning Your Dissertation.”

36. College News – These posts cover everything from sex and relationship advice, the latest in educational news, top movies at the box office, and sports updates. But most importantly, this blog also touches on crucial educational advice every college student should be aware of. Recommended posts: “The highs and lows of tuition,” and “Why you should take advantage of summer tuition rates.”

37. My College Calendar - This site is written by numerous authors who have experience working in the educational field. There are also various resources available on the site such as individual planning outlines for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, or even parents. Recommended posts: “College Applicants: Include Private Colleges and Universities On Your List of Schools” and “Top Ten Strengths and Experiences Colleges Look for in High School Students.”

38. Notes on Student Success – This site is a “companion blog” to MyCollegeSuccessStory.com. These posts are full of academic tips that could help inspire students to become more successful throughout their educational journey. Recommended posts: “The Course Syllabus: Know It, Love It, Understand It, Benefit From It” and “Don’t Go to Grad School to Avoid Career Cluelessness.”

39. Her Campus – “My co-founders and I met at Harvard through running Harvard’s lifestyle and fashion magazine,” writes Stephanie Kaplan, co-founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Media LLC. “…girls from all over were telling us they wished their school had a magazine like this, because their only writing outlet was the campus newspaper. Our site is an online hub for everything college women need to know – a collegiette’s guide to life…In addition to our national content, we also provide local content from teams of students at 50+ schools across the country, so readers can also gain insight into what college life is like at different schools by visiting Her Campus.” Recommended posts: “Study Smarts: 10 Tips and Tools for Getting Back Into School Mode” and “The Good, the Bad and the Coffee: How Much is Too Much?

40. Inside College – Although this blog has more entertainment value than educational value, it still provides some great tips for students who need more information on scholarships, or tips on the college admissions process. The majority of the articles are lists of recommendations students should check out before applying for college. Recommended posts: “Colleges for the Shy Student,” “The Happy Colleges” and “Colleges for the Most Fun-Loving.”

41. Kaarme: The High School Counselor Week Blog – Kaarme’s motive is to expand college opportunities for all students and protect their personal data at the same time.  “A college education is not an option, it is required so try EVERYTHING you can to identify and earn one,” writes Mark North, CEO of Kaarme. “The best quality tools for finding an education should be easy to get and free to use so everyone has a chance and our world educates as many people as possible.  If you search for an education, your efforts should not be exploited or your personal information sold to third parties. Seeking an education should not be risky.” Recommended posts: “Test Preps Tips – Chewing Gum?” and “Parent Contact – How Much is Too Much?

42. The Real College Guide – This site is full of articles which educate readers not only on their education and future careers, but also health and fitness, campus life, and procrastination. Recommended posts: “Are Online College Courses All That?,” “Top 10 Weirdest Weird Majors,” “Organize Your Study Space” and “Student-tested Tips to Ace Your Final Exam.”

43. Why Boys Fail – Richard Whitmire is a former editorial writer for USA Today, and writes numerous articles on how males can improve their productivity in the classroom. The majority of the posts are summaries of other educational articles he has found on the web, and cover topics like minority teachers and students, college gender gaps, and single sex education. Recommended posts: “Reading Aloud” and “Where the (ADHD) Boys Are.”

44. Gearfire – Students who need some advice on how to save money throughout the semester should check out the articles on this site. The posts touch on numerous topics on how students can live on a cheap budget, as well as day-to-day living advice. Recommended posts: “The Big Secret Key to High School Success” and “10 Gadgets to Help You Sleep Better.”

45. Study Successful –  The topics on this blog cover everything from electronic books, to how to get motivated for school and productivity. The site’s author is a 19-year-old medical student who is studying at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Recommended posts: “Procrastination: The Convential Theory” and “5 things we can learn from the AWESOME Barney Stinson.”

46. In Like Me – Lynn Radlauer Lubell is the founder of Admission by Design, (an educational consultancy), and is also a a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School. Her posts are packed full of statistical information to help college-bound students with the admissions process. Recommended posts: “Save Money: Check Out Graduation Rates” and “How to Impress a College Admissions Officer.”

47. Student on Campus – This site is full of unique and  informative articles about student finances, the latest technological tools for students, and social media. Some of the most entertaining posts cover popular Youtube videos, college drinking games, and how to design your dorm room. Recommended posts: “Back-to-School : Top 10 iPhone Apps for College Students,” “StudentOnCampus Recommends: Amazon Student” and “20+ Websites Which Will Save You $$$$ During College.”

48. College Blogaversity -“I write my blog to take a different twist to what everyone else in my field is saying,” explains Paul Hemphill. “The fact that I have videos with my blog makes my point. Videos are easier to do and easier to receive from the perspective of the viewer. As a result, students will more likely view my message than someone else’s who doesn’t use video.” Recommended posts: “College Double Major: Waste of Effort, Money, and Time” and “Community College – The Vital Alternative.”

49. Teen College Education – “I started my blog originally because I wanted some sort of a summer job as a sophomore going on vacation,” writes Andy S. “Then after I wrote a few articles, I started to really enjoy the topic and now I hope to spread education information to everyone I can. I feel that as a teen living through everything, I can provide unique insight into my topics. I hope that students will learn from my experiences and research so that they can have the best educational experience possible. I also hope to give students a different perspective to the daily school routines that they are used to.” Recommended posts: “Our Society of Grades,” “Secrets on How To Study For Finals” and “Top 10 Tips that High School Students Wish they Knew Before College.”

50. Pre-Med Hell – Specifically for medical school students, the posts on this site are written by a group of authors who are all undergraduate students, and they describe their articles as “rants of neurotic pre-meds.” Book reviews and interviews with their fellow classmates or doctors are also included in the articles. Recommended posts: “Exercise 101: Five Tips for a Better Pre-Med Work Out” and “Interesting Read: How to ace the personal statement.”

51. College and University Blog – This unique blog is full of entertaining articles which touch on why students drop out of school, the use of social media in classrooms, and the most common myths about college. Recommended posts: “College Dropouts: 10 Reasons Why Students Quit School” and “Building Successful Relationships with Professors: 5 Tips for College Students.”

52. The Mad Grad – These posts are a combination of educational and personal reflections, and are written by two former college students who experienced the “after-college crisis” firsthand. Their site was also listed as one of the “Top 10 Gen Y Blogs” by Ryan Stephens Marketing in 2009. Recommended posts: “College in America – Infographic” and “MTV’s hired- A great show for recent grads (or anyone!)

53. Cammy Bean’s Learning Visions –  Cammy Bean works as an eLearning instructional designer as well as as writer, project manager, and multimedia producer. The majority of her posts are directed towards students who are pursuing a career in technology, and they reflect her own insights on how students can become more successful through eLearning. Recommended posts: “The Unofficial eLearning Salary Calculator” and “The Two Faces of ePortfolios.”

54. Not Just Your Average Admissions Blog – Blogger Andrew Flagel is the current Dean of Admissions and Associate Vice President for Enrollment Development at George Mason University. His posts cover everything about the college admissions process and how students can get the most out of their education. Recommended posts: “How to live your life – what you want versus what we might” and “Cheating Harvard and Lying on Your Application.”

55. University of Venus – This is a brand-spanking new site which was recently launched in January 2010. With a mixture of personal experiences, opinions, and reflections, these authors update their readers on reading and writing tips as well as the latest in educational news. Recommended posts: “Effective Use of Chocolate aka How to Bribe Your Registrar” and “The Disappearing College Catalog.”

56. Smart College Visit – The specific goal of this blog is to help college-bound students prepare for their future campus visit. Parents could also find some helpful advice from these articles, which range from academic programs, travel tips, and how to become a successful entrepreneur. Recommended posts: “Women Entrepreneurs on College Visits – 10 Questions to Ask,” “Student-to-Student: Questions to ask on a College Visit” and “Information Overload.”

57. NextStepU –  Next Step Magazine’s blog is an “award-winning college-planning resource for teens, adult learners, and school counselors.” Post categories include financial aid tips, how to plan a timeline for college, as well as themed posts like “Tuesday Tour Day” and “Wanna Win Wednesday.” Recommended posts: “Some outstanding colleges ‘fly under the radar’” and “How does your school counselor compare?

58. College Times – The posts on this blog range from politics, science, finance, relationships, employment, humor and most of all…controversy. The topics are so diverse they cover everything from how to build a perfect playlist for your iPod, how to last longer in bed, or the latest movie and book reviews. Recommended posts: “10 Worst Beers You Should Avoid in College,” “Choosing the Best Laptop for College in 2009” and “College: When Second Choice Is Best.”

59. Find Your College Card – “FindCollegeCards blog is a blog dedicated to those currently going to college, and those preparing for college,” writes the author. “Here, you’re going to find great money saving tips, education advice, and many other articles.” Recommended posts: “Writing a College Essay in 7 Days or Less,” “How to Request Official College Transcripts” and “What Colleges Accept Low SAT Scores?

60. Life After College – Author Jenny Blake is a UCLA graduate who currently works as a Career Development Manager and internal coach. She is also the author of “Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want” which is set for release next March. Recommended posts: “Live for the Dip” and “8 Ways to Organize Your Life with Google Docs.”

61. Dissertation Research – From the Regents Center Library at the University of Kansas, this blog is full of advice for students who need help with their research papers. Post topics include statistical abstracts, transliteracy, or sites to help you with your business research. Recommended posts: “New search engine, NowRelevant.com” and “Another Free Citation Tool.”

62. Get Into College Blog –  Author Steve Schwartz works as a professional college counselor in New York City, and posts his expert advice on how students can get into college. Post topics range extracurriculars and recommendations, to SAT’s and the college essay. Recommended posts: “5 Reasons Not to Be Discouraged By a Low GPA,” “College Selection Tips | Picking the Right College,” and “College Application Supplemental Material | What to Include, What to Leave Out.”

63. My College STAT – As stated on their site: “Our goal is to humanize the erratic admission process by showing the students behind the scores. By sharing user-submitted information including test scores, grade point averages, extracurricular activities, and personal distinctions, myCollegeSTAT allows students to compare themselves with admitted students.” Recommended posts: “College Admissions: an Afternoon with the Experts” and “When Financial Aid is the Final Word.”

64.  University Parent Connection – “Our site is intended to help parents navigate their student’s college and local community,” writes Sarah Schupp. “[Our mission is to provide] comprehensive information that will easily help you navigate the university and its surrounding community during your visit, as well as provide you with helpful tips and resources when you are back home!” Recommended posts: “Five Traits That Matter in College Admissions” and “The College Transfer Process.”

65. College Puzzle – Dr. Michael W. Kirst is a professor of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University. He has also written ten books, two of which are “The Political Dynamics of American Education” (2005) and “From High School to College” (2004). Recommended posts: “Linking Secondary School Curriculum To College General Education” and “Beyond Adoption Of Common Core Standards For College Readiness.”

66. Surviving College – “Surviving College Life is every student’s guide to the ins and outs of college,” writes blogger Jamie, a recent UC San Diego graduate. “Here you’ll find tips about relationships, finances, productivity, studying, health, and beginning your life as an adult.” Recommended posts: “Ridiculously Easy Ways to Kick Distractions for Productive Study Time” and “Final Exam Survival Tips.”

67. Google Student Blog – “Jessica Bagley and I started this blog to keep students informed about products, tools, tips, programs and opportunities at Google that are relevant for them on and off campus,” explains Miriam Schneider. “We hope that students will learn about Google products that will make their lives easier and find out about ways and opportunities to get involved with our efforts.” Recommended posts: “Student Tip: Use Google Docs and Calendar to Import Class Syllabi” and “Google Scholarship program kicks off in China.”

68. Cramster Blog – This site is essentially an online community of study groups for schools, courses, or even textbooks. Users can generate their own customized quizzes or search for practice problems in subjects like math, physics, computer science, chemistry, and much more. Recommended posts: “The Study Tips to End All Study Tips” and “C’s Get Degrees… But I Want an A!

69. Layers of Learning –  “We’ve both been involved in the education world for many years, and both currently home school our children,” write Karen Loutzenhiser and Michelle Copher. “Our hope is that Layers of Learning is a source of inspiration for hands-on style learning projects for teachers and parents alike…We cover new topics every day and hope that our projects spark interest and make learning fun for kids. Every day our articles fall under one of four categories: Explorations (hands-on learning units), Expeditions (field trips), Experiments (great science experiments and projects), and Explanations (teaching tips and our philosophies).” Recommended posts: “Twelve Books To Read With Your Kids” and “Pre-school and K Curriculum.”

70. Stay Out of School – “StayOutOfSchool.com investigates why one of the greatest, albeit hard-headed, creative thinkers of our time advises young, creative college graduates to stay out of graduate school,” writes author Elizabeth King, who is also the President of Elizabeth King Coaching Inc., a test preparation company. Her post topics touch on art, pop culture, creativity, music, and much more. Recommended posts: “Creativity: What Is It, Anyway?” and “Critical Thinking: What Is It, Anyway?

71. iStudent Advisor –  This “interactive international higher education guide” has great advice for students who are interested in studying abroad. There are also study guide resources for those who are interested in studying in Australia, Canada, Europe, Ireland, the UK, and New Zealand. Recommended posts: “IELTS vs TOEFL: Which is Better?” and “How Important are University Rankings?

72. Admissions Hook - The categories on this blog include how to find scholarships, as well as tips and tricks from experts in the educational industry. Numerous essay editing tips are included on the site, and students can also read various writing samples. Recommended posts: “Choosing an Essay Topic,” “5 Tips for Writing a Scholarship Essay” and “5 Scholarship Essay Don’ts.”

73. College Admissions –  “Blogger Jeannie Borin, M.Ed, has an extensive educational background having served as counselor, school administrator, admissions director, teacher and curriculum supervisor for over twenty years in both the public and private sectors. Her affiliation with the National and Western Association of College Admissions Counselors as well as the Higher Educational Consultants Association keeps her on the forefront of innovative and current trends in college admissions and education.” She is also the Founder and President of the Los Angeles based independent college counseling firm College Connections, and writes for two other blogs: College Connections and Jeannie’s FYI College Admissions Blog. Recommended posts: “Tips For The College Fair” and “What to Do When Colleges ACCEPT You.”

74. Graduated and Clueless –  “I was inspired to write my blog based on my inability to find or create the life I wanted after I graduated and moved to Boston,” writes blogger Jeff Sanders. “I hope students and graduates will learn that college is not a real-world preparatory institution.  By that I mean college is designed to teach you how to learn, not to qualify you for any specific job.  The real world is a completely different beast that requires completely different skills than what you learned to master in the classroom.  Some skills do carry over, but the big stuff (personal finances, finding a job, office politics) is only learned through experience on the job, not in school. Take your education into your own hands and learn what you need to on your own.  Don’t rely on a school, job, or another person to hand you success.  You have to create it for yourself. Recommended posts: “Top 3 Things a Recent Grad Should Do” and “Should I Go to Grad School?

75. 168 Hours –  “I started writing my blog because I’m interested in how people spend their time now and in the past, and how we can all spend our time better,” explains author Laura Vanderkam. “The blog builds on my book, ‘168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think’. I hope students will learn that we can choose how to spend our time, and that time management isn’t about just saving five minutes here and there. It’s about filling our lives with things that deserve to be in it.” Recommended posts: “Feeding the Idea Beast” and “How did you spend the 2016 hours of summer?

76. Head4College – “I started my blog as a compliment to my college planning business, McLaughlin Education Consulting,” explains Sharon McLaughlin. “Through my college planning service, I assist clients with both the admissions process and the financial aid planning process for undergraduate and graduate school. Having worked as college administrator in admissions and financial aid for over twenty years, I knew that students and parents are frequently making college planning decisions with outdated information. Trends are changing with college entrance testing, the economy has lead to changes in financial aid funding policies and increased the competitiveness of college admissions. It is important to educate families on the current trends and issues in college admissions and financial aid, so that they make informed decisions when choosing a college and comparing financial aid awards.” Recommended posts: “The Homesick Freshman” and “For College Transfers The Time Is Now.”

77. A Better Education – “I am a former teacher but found I didn’t enjoy teaching,” writes blogger Tracy Stevens. “I left education for many years but when my son had a hard time starting in Kindergarten it reignited my passion for it…In my quest to help him find the best model, school, and help we could find him so that he could thrive, I found myself researching, reading and thinking about education all the time. I thought I might open my own school so I applied for a Building Excellent Schools fellowship and was denied because my application wasn’t about college prep and had an arts focus. I wrote to Daniel Pink after reading his book ‘A Whole New Mind,’ telling him about my experience, asking ‘what’s a girl to do?’ It was his suggestion that I write a blog about education.” Recommended posts: “Brain Rules by Dr. John Medina” and “The Nature and Purpose of Education by Maurice Holt.”

78. The Pre Req – Author Ashley Singh started blogging after she participated in a Unigo.com video series about her college campus, and was then asked to do a weekly video blog on the MTV show College Life. “From my site, I hope that students will learn that it’s important to take in the world around you and think about what’s going on for yourself.  Instead of accepting what is told to you and taking it all as the truth of what’s happening, the only truth that matters is your own, whatever that may be.” Recommended posts: “How to Survive Finals” and “5 Ways to Beat the Back-to-School Blues.”

79. College Blender – This site is unique because it is essentially a community of students and faculty/alumni members who want to share their opinions and advice on everything college-related. If you are a student or currently work at a college or university, you can write for the College Blender by signing up to be a member of the community. Recommended posts: “Students on Ways to Reduce Student Loan Debt” and “How to Start an Essay? Think Airplane Takeoff.”

80. Creative Learning Systems – “I have children of my own, and they attend school in New Zealand, which is totally different from the schools I knew when growing up,” writes Dr. Yvonne Eve Walus. “I was born and raised in communist Poland, where the standard of education was extremely high. As a 9-year old, I learned about non-decimal forms of arithmetic operations (binary and hex and others), two years later the syllabus included trigonometry (sine, cosine, tan etc.) In other subjects the standard was as high: discursive essays, laws of motion, ancient history, detailed biology…” Her advice for students? “You have a unique learning style, a ‘best for me’ way of learning. Find out what it is and homework will be a breeze.” Recommended posts: “Troubled Teens and Learning Styles” and “Chinese Wisdom and Learning Styles.”

81. Fragment/Framework - “I began blogging about my teaching strategies, practices, experiences, and theories a few months after I first started teaching Introductory Composition as a Master’s student at the University of Cincinnati,” writes Kathryn Trauth Taylor. “I continue my blog today as a doctoral student at Purdue.  In my field of Rhetoric and Composition, many scholars have studied and encouraged reflective practices–it is one of the core values of the field, as I see it….Through blogging, I hope to connect with other Composition instructors–especially graduate student instructors who are forming their teaching personas for the first time alongside me. My site is not really geared towards my students, specifically. Rather, I share it with peers, professors, family members, and other friends in academia.” Recommended posts: “Writing Literacy Narratives” and “Introductions & Transitions.”

82. Improve Your Learning and Memory – “As a faculty member who has seen students struggle inefficiently for some 47 years, I knew that I knew a lot about learning they did not,” writes W. R. (Bill) Klemm, a Professor of Neuroscience at Texas A&M University. “So I wanted to share this information. hope they will recognize their counter-productive learning behaviors, and as a result make what I say, ‘better grades, with less effort.'” Recommended posts: “Multi-tasking and Memory, One More Time” and “Music Training Helps Learning & Memory.”

83. Kapp Notes - “The blog turned out to be the perfect place for me to keep my ideas in one place and to share with my students and others in the field,” writes Karl Kapp, who works as an educator, consultant, speaker, as well as an author of several educational books. “I want [students] to learn about the industry and to gain a perspective about what it takes to be a practicing professional in the field of e-learning and instructional technology. The second thing I want students to learn is to use and become comfortable with Web 2.0 tools.” Recommended posts: “Definition: Metacognition” and “Want to Teach Math, Science and Engineering to Kids? Think Guitars.”

84. Grad Hacker – “I found that productivity blogs geared towards grad students was lacking [when I started my blog],” writes the Grad Hacker. “I may or may not have been wrong as, in hindsight, [but I] found that a lot of people had these ridiculous habits that made them seem productive, but I felt were in the end, simply ridiculous. That’s what started the How to Act Productive Series, which in the end brought over a lot of traffic to my site.” So what does the Grad Hacker want students to learn from their posts? “That keeping a list or two and doing work goes a long ways… And that there are alternatives to traditional career paths after you get a PhD.” Recommended posts: “How to Act Productive Tip #13: Start Late” and “How to Act Productive Tip #10: Bring Massive Amounts of Work On the Plane.”

85. My Montessori Journey – “I started writing the blog to document my transition from teaching elementary special education in a public school setting to teaching Montessori preschool in a private setting,” writes blogger Laura L. “At the time I started the blog (May 2008) there were only a few blogs that featured Montessori education and I had been inspired by those few quite a bit…Now there are lots more bloggers writing about their experiences incorporating Montessori principles into a variety of settings, which is really exciting. I hope that my blog readers will come away with new ideas and new ways of thinking about how to present activities to young children.” Recommended posts: “The many facets of socialization” and “Record Keeping in the Montessori classroom.”

86. Eduplan Blog –  EduPlan is a consulting firm which is comprised of numerous certified career coaches, business consultants, college and graduate school advisers, and personal branding strategists. Their posts provide various tips on essay writing, applying for college, personal branding, and salary negotiations. Recommended posts: “How to Hire an Educational Consultant” and “Top 10 Tools for New College Students.”

87. GradSpot – “After graduating from college, I was surprised at how unprepared we (grads) were to confront many of the issues that were confronting us at the start of our independent adulthood, ranging from career to financial to healthcare and other issues,” writes Stuart Schultz, co-founder and CEO of Grad Spot. “In order to make sure that future classes of graduating college students had all of the information and tools to help them not only transition to life after college but thrive in the real world, we created Gradspot.com. I hope that from Gradspot.com and our book, “Gradspot.com’s Guide to Life After College,” students will learn how to tackle the major issues they’ll confront in their first year or two out of college, from securing a job, to finding a place to live, to understanding health care, to getting their credit and finances in order, and more.” Recommended posts: “Why Unpaid Internships Are Hard to Find” and “Balancing Full-Time Work with a Part-Time Degree.”

88. Academic Remediation – This author works with elementary school children who are struggling to keep up with their fellow classmates. The categories on this blog include ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, and advice for students who struggling in math, reading, and writing. Recommended posts: “On Dyslexia” and “A Question from a parent on autism and reading comprehension.”

89. Omniac Education –  This blog is a great resource for parents or students who need advice on exams, the college admissions process, or how to write a college essay. The articles touch on various topics such as financial aid, SAT or ACT exams, and test anxiety. Recommended posts: “A Useful Concordance Table for the SAT and ACT” and “High School Grades Matter More Than You Think.”

90. Learning Circuits – This blog is “dedicated to sharing ideas and opinions about the state of learning and technology.” The main feature of this blog is their “Question of the Month” series where other educational bloggers can respond to a question posted in an article, which is then re-posted in the LC blog post. Recommended posts: “Voice-Over in eLearning” and “Presenting the Value of Social Media for Learning.”

91. StuVu – The blog otherwise known as Student View allows college students to post their own photos, videos and reviews of their college experiences to other students. Some of the posts provide entertaining advice like how to cure a hangover, or tips on how to get into the college spirit. Recommended posts: “Last Minute Grade Improvement” and “Switching Majors in College.”

92. Algebra Homework - The authors of this blog write about the different online resources that are available for students who are struggling with their algebra homework. Recommended posts: “Simplifying Algebraic Expressions,” “Advantages of Taking Online Lessons for Algebra Homework Help” and “The Need of Algebra and Geometry Help.”

93. College and University Search – From the College Bound Network, these articles provide expert information on everything related to the college admissions process, such as high school transcripts, application deadlines, and recommendation letters. Recommended posts: “Rankings, Schmankings–How Do I Get Into These Colleges?” and “Confusing College Admissions Lingo — Defined!

94. Playing Your A Game – Author Kantis Simmons is an “educational guru” who delivers “content rich information through books, articles, keynotes, seminars, e-mails, consultation, and conferences.” His tagline is “helping students play their ‘A’ game in school and life,” and he has been invited to speak at many schools and conferences to talk about how students can achieve academic success. Recommended posts: “7.25 Ways to Overcome Apathy or Lack of Motivation in School as a Student” and “Key Questions to Ask Your High School Counselor and College Advisor Today!

95. StudentStuff - This unqiue blog provides numerous tips which cover everything from Diet Coke and long-distance relationships, or how to work out to music. Post categories include health and fitness, career and money, activism and awareness, or studying abroad. Recommended posts: “Don’t Wait…Study Abroad Before it’s Too Late” and “Planning your major: Why You Should Work for Money and Not Love.”

96. The Ivy Coach – Bev Taylor, the Ivy Coach’s founder and president, has been featured in numerous broadcasts and publications like the US News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and many more. She provides expert advice on how to find the right college, letters of recommendations, and issues that are facing educational counselors. Recommended posts: “Waiving Rights on the College Application” and “Senior Slide and its Impact on College Admissions.”

97. College Jolt –  The articles on this blog provide background information on the different types of college majors, as well as campus politics, what students should bring to college, and the perks of being a student at a community college. Recommended posts: “The Sophomore Slump: Suppressing the Slide” and “Time Wasters: Least convincing excuses for missed assignments.”

98. Rethinking Learning – This site is geared more towards teachers who are looking for a forum to converse about the future of education. There are also politically-driven videos posted on their website which highlight three educational issues: Learning, teaching, and fairness. Recommended posts: “Tread Softly on Their Dreams” and “Mentoring and Coaching – Do you need it?

99. eduFire – Even though updates are scarce, this entertaining blog writes about a variety of different topics like homeschooling, educational technology, tips for teachers, and the latest in educational news and politics. Recommended posts: “Entrepreneurial Education (time for us to coin a phrase…)” and “Micro-Learning: You Heard it Here First.”

100. That Rooftop Voice – Heather Trahan is a doctoral student in the English Department at Bowling Green State University, but she is also a teacher for a General Studies Writing course as well.  Her poems been published in the Detroit’s Metro Times, Word Riot, Slow Trains, the Healing Garden Journal, and many more. Recommended posts: “The writer who doesn’t believe in writer’s block gets writer’s block” and “Advice for grad students–how to stay relaxed, and remain joyful.”

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Where to buy or rent textbooks online

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Top textbook sitesChegg.com

Chegg.com not only offers free shipping both ways, after 30 days you can get a full refund for an unopened book, or a 75% refund for a book that you have already used. There are three different types of rental periods: Semester (125 days), Quarter (85 days), and Summer (60 days). If you decide to return a book within 30 days of receiving it they will deduct a $5 shipping fee per book ($10 maximum).

BigWords.com

This site gathers information from various textbook sites and calculates each price as well as the total shipping amount. Its easy-to-use format helps users compare different textbooks costs, and they also offer product and author reviews. Some textbooks are eligible for a refund if they are returned after 30 days, however this varies depending on the seller. There are also special deals so you can get free shipping.

CampusBookRentals.com

There are no shipping fees, and once you receive your textbook you will be provided with a prepaid UPS shipping label. You can rent your book for the Semester (130 days), Quarter (85 days), or Summer (55 days), but they also offer 15 or 30 day extensions. If you return your textbook within 30 days after you order it you will receive a full refund, and if you want to purchase your textbook after renting it they subtract the rental fee off of the cost. However, if you damage or lose your textbook you will be charged for the full value.

BookRenter.com

This is another site that offers free shipping both ways. You have 10 days to return a book after the due date otherwise you will be charged a minimum fee of $10. You will also receive an e-mail or a textbook message to remind you when your book is due, but beware because if you lose or fail to return your textbook you will be charged 140% of the retail price.

Amazon.com

Amazon is a great option for students because they are one of the largest book stores on the Internet, and there is also a section where you can sell your new or used textbooks. There is free shipping for any order over $25, and you are allowed to return unopened items after 30 days but you will be charged for shipping.

TextSwap.com

This site is a “free textbook exchange service” so students can connect with each other and trade textbooks free of cost. First you select the school you are enrolled in, (there are over 50 American schools signed up on the site), and then you can search for a textbook by its name, author, or even course title.

Textbooks.com

There are three different types of rental periods, (60 days, 85 days, or 125 days), but if your semester is longer than 125 days you can get a free extension as long as you provide documentation from your college or university. You can return your book after 30 days and get a refund if you include your packing slip, but there is a return fee of $5 per book (maximum of $10). If you rent a textbook and it is not returned on the due date they will extend your rental by 15 days at no cost, but if you don’t return it after the 15 days you will be charged with a replacement fee.

CollegeBookRenter.com

You can rent books off this site for 60, 90, or 190 days, and you are provided with a prepaid return label upon delivery. If your textbook is not returned on the given due date you will be charged with a 15 day extension fee and you will be notified via e-mail. If you do not return the book after the 15 day “grace period” or if the book is returned damaged you will be charged for the full list price.

BetterWorldBooks.com

This site offers free shipping for anywhere in the U.S., but international shipping costs are approximately $3.97. You can return your books 30 days after purchasing them for a refund, or 45 days if you purchase them internationally, however you will have to pay for shipping. Right now the site is promoting a “Bargain Bin Blowout” which allows users to purchase 5 used books for $15.

BarnesandNoble.com

If you order over $25 in textbooks from this site you will not be charged for shipping, but this does not qualify for rented or used textbooks. You can rent textbooks for 60, 90, or 130 days and you are given the option to extend your rental period if you’re interested. If you don’t return a rental on the given due date they will provide you with a 15 day extension, but if it still isn’t returned after those 15 days they will charge you the full retail price minus the rental cost. The site also offers free return shipping for textbook rentals, and you can get a full refund if you return a book within 21 days of it being delivered to you.

ecampus.com

Shipping costs approximately $3 depending on where you live and how fast you want it shipped to you, and you will also be given a free UPS return shipping label with your textbook. If your order total is more than $59 you could be eligible for free shipping, and if it is over $250 you can choose a “bill me later” option which allows you to pay for your textbooks within 90 days. If you decide to return your book within 30 days after receiving it you will be charged for shipping along with a 10% restocking fee. Also, if your book is not returned by the given due date you will be charged 20% off the list price, and after a week you will be charged for the full listed price.

Half.com

Unlike other textbook websites, the seller of the textbook decides how long you have to return an item to get a refund. Not only that, some sellers may not accept returns at all so pay close attention to the details provided when you order your textbooks. Shipping costs a minimum of $3.49, but if you buy two or more items from the same seller you can get a shipping discount.

ValoreBooks.com

This site has a “Free Textbook Giveaway” so students could be eligible to win free textbooks for a year. Items are refundable 30 days after the purchase date, and you can also sell the textbook back to the site if you choose to. If an item is returned “due to customer error” you could be charged a restocking fee of up to 15% of the total price, but if an item is returned “due to seller error” you will get a full refund. Shipping costs for rentals are free, however this depends on how quickly you want your textbooks delivered to you.

NelsonBrain.com

Formerly known as CencageBrain, this site lets you download the first chapter of the book you ordered for free while you’re waiting for its delivery. There is free shipping for textbook purchase orders over $25, and you can get a full or partial refund 30 days after purchasing your textbook. If you do not return your textbook a week after the due date they will give you an extra week free of charge, and you can extend your rental for up to 130 days. Shipping costs approximately $3.99, and if you damage the book or do not return it a week after the due date you will be charged for the full price.

Bookbyte.com

There is a 14-day “Money Back Guarantee” for all used and new textbooks, (but you will have to pay for shipping). Shipping costs $5.95 if you want your textbooks shipped to you within 3-7 days, and you also have the option of choosing the standard shipping of 5-20 days, which costs $3.65 per book. Users can also research the prices of the textbooks they want via text messaging.

Alibris.com

Standard shipping costs $4.65, but expedited shipping could cost $8.14 or more. There is also a list of items you can get for free if your total purchasing order is more than $57. Heavy books may have additional shipping charges, and if you are not satisfied with the condition of your item you have 60 days to get a refund.

TextbookStop.com

When you order a book off this site you will be provided with a prepaid return shipping label, and you are eligible for a full refund if you return the book 10 days after you received it. If you ordered the wrong book and you have to return it, you will be charged a $10 restocking fee. You also have the option of extending your return date by 15 or 30 days, or even a semester.  If the book has “minor damage” you will be charged a third of the list price, but if it has “major damage” you will be charged the full price. Although delivery costs can be expensive, you could be eligible to receive coupons codes which you can enter to get free shipping.

Ekeggy.com

If you sign up to become a EKeggy member you can get a $5 discount off your textbooks, and they will pay for the shipping if you want to return your book. Shipping costs approximately $2.99, and you can rent textbooks by the semester (125 days), or the summer term (61 days). If you do not return a rental 5 days after its due date you will have to pay a 6% late fee every week until the book is returned.

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Top 20 financial aid twitterers

Friday, August 27th, 2010

1. @Fafsahelp – Get tips on everything related to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and read up on the latest news concerning student loans and scholarships.

2. @studentloaninfo – This “Student Loan Ninja” updates readers with articles she discovered while surfing the web, all of which discuss student loans and financial tips for students.

3. @BethWalker_CFC –  Beth Walker is a “college funding expert” who posts numerous links to articles each day which provide various tips on scholarships, and how to save and/or apply for college.

4. @Student_Loan_US –  Specifically for college students in America, these links cover the latest in private student loans, the Student Loan Consolidation Program, and politics.

5. @MoneyCollege – These tweets provide links to other articles about student loan horror stories, credit card debt, student employment, and even free music downloads. Users can also send in their own “college financial survival” tips to the author.

6. @CollegeBlogs –  The financial aid guru Lynn O’Shaughnessy discusses the latest in educational and financial news for college students; many of the tweets reference articles published on her blog, the College Solution.

7. @securestudent – Read up on the latest in financial literacy news that is circulating around the web. Some tweets link to articles which provide tips on how students can avoid debt and maintain their bank account balance.

8. @StudentLoanNews – Some of these posts discuss student scams and loan repayment rates, but the majority of the tweets cover the latest political issues and events which are affecting the cost of higher education.

9. @educationmoney – Read up on the most frequently asked questions regarding student loans and bad credit, as well as tips for high school graduates and the latest in educational politics.

10. @GraduateCheap –  These tweets cover numerous scholarship contests and opportunities for low or middle-income families, Pell Grants, and financial aid for minority students and single mothers.

11. @CollegeGamePlan – This humorous twitterer updates followers with articles he found which discuss tips on student debt and taxes, college applications, financial survival, and student loans.

12. @College_Experts – Get advice from college advisers and counselors who provide information on student loan debt, how to get accepted into college, or how to ace your exams.

13. @planettuition – This twitter account provides up-to-date news on financial aid, statistics on student loans and employment, as well as facts on the future of higher education.

14. @DodgeCollege – From textbook rentals and salaries, to college costs and student loan debt, followers of this account get updated on the latest in tuition costs, scholarships, and educational news.

15. @MYFinc –  Learn how to “map your future” and your finances by reading articles on identity theft, tuition costs, how to raise your credit score, and employment after graduation.

16. @nasfaa – From the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), read up on the latest in American politics and how it affects your education.

17. @GradGuard – These tweets cover numerous complex issues every college student should be aware of, such as tuition and renters insurance, refund policies, and health care.

18. @intstudentloans – International students or students interested in studying abroad could learn a thing or two from these tweets. Stay up-to-date on the types of student loans that are available in different countries.

19. @CheapScholar – Doug Schantz works as a college administrator and his goal is to help others find out ways to make make education more affordable for college students. His posts discuss the cost of textbooks, tuition discounts, and health insurance tips.

20. @Green_Panda – College students/graduates can check out this twitter account to read up on personal finance, student scams, cheap travel options for students, and “what is cool on the web” regarding the latest in student loans and education.

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Prepping for the SAT: Some Cost Effective Methods

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

There is little doubt that test preparation can affect your SAT exam scores. Students seeking admission to the most selective universities have been known to pay significant sums of money for personal tutorials to ensure they are well-prepared for these all-important tests.

While it is clear that preparation does matter, those with limited budgets simply cannot afford the costs associated with private tutorial services. But those on a budget should not ignore this important test preparation – they just need to seek out the most cost-effective options.

Options to Consider

Amazon.comFirst, students should gain access to sample tests. These practice exams help students become acquainted with the format of the tests and the styles of questions being asked. Familiarity is a real key to reducing the overall anxiety that comes with taking such important standardized tests.

Students can gain access to one copy of the exam free at the Peterson’s College site. You will need to register and you will be limited to but one sample but it is a great place to start and again the point of emphasis is that the test can be accessed free of charge.

Two of the agencies offering private tutorial options have entered the video game market. Students looking for additional test prep practice options can turn to the Princeton Review for My SAT Coach and to Kaplan Test Prep for the game FutureU.

The games are from two gaming industry giants, Ubisoft and Aspyr. FutureU which is currently available for download to a PC or Mac computer but the My SAT Coach is available only for Ninetendo DS. Both will set the user back about thirty bucks.

A standard, cost-effective option that many students and parents swear by is the College Board’s $19.95 “Official SAT Study Guide.” The reason that most find it the item to purchase is the booklet provides four critical elements.

College Board Booklet
The guide first offers a basic tutorial on the test-taking process. Second, it contains a math review of the key topics that students can expect to see.

Third, it gives students the chance to practice taking timed tests. Finally, it is similar in format to the real process: it is done without a computer using the traditional pencil and paper format that is a hallmark of the SAT.

Other such options do exist. There is the Princeton Review’s Cracking the SAT, Barron’s SAT 2400, Gruber’s Complete SAT Guide, and Kaplan SAT Premier Program. Each works in a similar manner.

Other Important Considerations

If students find that they are weak in the vocabulary areas, they can turn to another tech option, a new site called VerbaLearn. While there is no attempt to tie the building of vocabulary to the actual style of testing one faces on the SAT, access is free and the site is designed to prepare students for any nationally-normed test (SAT, ACT, and/or GRE). The key to making this site effective is to spend time on vocabulary building then return to the actual sample tests to determine if you have indeed built your fundamental vocabulary to a more appropriate level.

Lastly, there is always the issue of self-motivation. Those with a desire to prepare and an ability to structure their own time will find all of these more cost-effective tools great options to consider.

If on the other hand structure isn’t your strongest suit and procrastination an issue, you may well want to consider the test-preparation classes and their related-tutorials. The only issue to remember is that this latter option is the most expensive way to go.

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