Benefits of a College Education

The importance of obtaining a college education can’t be understated. In an uncertain economy, having a college degree is a substantial step towards ensuring better job security and a better overall salary. However, it’s economic problems that make it difficult for some to entertain ideas about a college career. The good news is that there are many ways people can go about gaining a college education.

The reasons for taking the big leap and going to college are for both personal growth as well as financial independence. A college degree is a big self-esteem boost, and the career options that open up are many times more than those for people without degrees. Being able to earn a good living and support oneself and ones family in an enjoyable career is what earning a college degree can do.

Many people see financial issues as reasons not to go to school. While it’s true that four-year universities can be expensive, there are many options available that help to lessen the financial burden. Student loans are available and scholarships are given out by most schools. Not only that but many colleges offer comprehensive financial aid to those who qualify. City colleges are also inexpensive options for those who want to begin a college career. Either way there are a number of different kinds of colleges that fit into many budgets.

Family and work are other reasons many people feel they can’t enroll in college. People who work and have kids understandably don’t have much extra time on their hands. But a full-time college course isn’t the only option out there. Many schools offer night and weekend classes which are ideal for people who work and/or have children. There are also many online universities that people can enroll in, and take courses right from the privacy of their own homes.

Another perceived impediment many people face is going back to school at an older age. Age shouldn’t be a factor when considering going to college. It may be a cliche, but it’s the truth: it’s never too late to go back to school. Gaining an education and, subsequently, a rewarding career isn’t something exclusively for the young. Improving one’s life and overall happiness is something everyone can achieve.

Four-year universities are not the only options either. Those who don’t have the time to make such a lengthy commitment can opt for a two year college program, which will yield an associates degree. For many, an associates degree is the first part of obtaining a four-year degree. However, an associates degree opens up many exciting and high-paying job opportunities.

Associates degrees are offered in a number of fields. Students who are interested in this particular degree program can enroll in a nursing certification, business courses, criminal justice or accounting classes, just to name a few. Students with an associates degree in nursing, for example can expect to earn over 60,000 dollars a year to start.

Salary ranges for college graduates varies depending on the particular career path. that being said, it’s well documented that people with a college degree earn significantly more than those without one. Statistics show that those with only a high school diploma, on average, earn just over 27,000 dollars per year. Conversely, those with college diplomas average just over 51,000 dollars per year.

So the benefits of going to college are clear. And in today’s modern world college has never been more accessible. Those considering taking the big step can be confident in the knowledge that going back to school will open up many doors and lead to a better life.

College Tours for the Bright Minds of Tomorrow

College tours are a must for all the aspiring minds who are about to start a new chapter in their lives, for the ones who wish to shape their future according to their terms and conditions, for the ones who wish to come out with flying colours from the college of their choice. College tours can help you decide the college you would like to join. This is a very significant decision and you need to be well-aware about the college you would like to visit.

During the college days, we prepare the foundation of a career. Shaping a good career is not easy. Admission to a well-reputed college is not enough. As a student, you need to collect maximum information about your college. Information could be related to admission procedure, programs offered, dorm accommodation, security or anything that you wish to know. College tours can be an eye-opening experience for many. College tours actually give the aspiring students and their parents a great opportunity to validate if the information provided in the official website of the college is true. There are some colleges that promise superior quality services but when you actually join the college you realise and understand the advertising gimmicks.

As you venture this new journey for four years, the college campus eventually becomes your second home. So, apart from the courses offered, there are several factors that one needs to consider before taking admission in a college. As you chase your dreams, make sure you take all the necessary steps to make the college tours beneficial and effective to help you shape a bright future. This is the most crucial decision of your life and every penny you spend on college education should be worth. College tours should be considered seriously so that you do not miss out on any crucial point. Visit some of the colleges that you have decided to join, before sending the applications. The future of your life will depend largely on your choice of college.

College tours can also be fun. Visit the different colleges in a group or with a senior from the college you wish to join. This will be a smart move. You can discuss different issues and extract maximum information from the admission office and the department you would be joining. If possible, interact with the lecturers and get to know about their style of teaching.College tours can be beneficial in the long run.

College Preparation For First Generation College Students

Just this afternoon I had a brief conversation with a woman whose daughter is now in high school. My wife and I have a son who is now in college and when (I’ll call her) Rosa and I originally talked about our kids some years ago her daughter was in the 4th grade. That was seven years ago.

We’ve talked about school and college and college preparation before. It just so happens that I volunteer with a group called Reality Changers that could be a help to her daughter. I have been a tutor with them for over five years and now I also teach public speaking to those who come early to our Monday night program in Solana Beach, California. Part of the reason that I volunteer is that I didn’t have the resources available 30 years ago that Reality Changers provides. I know what it is like to be qualified for college and not have the support.

Reality Changers helps build first generation college students. Students who qualify attend what we call “RC” for free. There is also a College Apps Academy that focuses on college applications including personal essays for those applications. If you Google College Apps Academy or Reality Changers I’m confident they will come up. In fact, if you search for the Reality Changers YouTube Channel you will find over 200,000 subscribers and close to 100 Million views.

Recently one of Reality Changers’ graduates was on America’s Got Talent with his daughter. On Saturday at the RC graduation ceremony at the University of San Diego I saw another graduate give a moving speech in front of over 1500 people about living in his car with his family for years before finally getting an apartment and joining Reality Changers in 11th grade. Now he is a sophomore at UCLA and he considers this a victory for those who are homeless as he once was.

What I’m getting at is that this nonprofit is not exactly anonymous. More and more people find out about it everyday. And not only is it not anonymous, it’s truly productive and lives are being changed.

During the past decade or so, Reality Changers has grown from four students in the original class – one of whom was the performer on America’s Got Talent that I mentioned in the paragraph above – to around 100 graduates this year.

This year those students graduating high school have earned over $10,000,000 in scholarships. In the past 11 years RC students have earned a total of over $25,000,000 in scholarships.

The opportunity for students is there. You have to reach out and take it. Schools can now get the College Apps Academy on their campus.

Whatever enrichment program you choose, start as early as you can so that you make it part of your routine and budget your time around it. My parents were told when I was entering 7th grade that they needed to start getting me ready for college and they laughed it off. How crazy to think about college so early. The years go by before you know it.

Even though I’ve been mentioning the free program in our community for years, I am sorry to say that Rosa and her daughter don’t seem to be interested. She says that her daughter is interested in going to college, but she thinks she’s too busy for Reality Changers.

My concern is that some people could end up going to college at a “lower level” than they could have. With the right preparation a student might get a full ride scholarship to Columbia instead of simply attending San Diego State on a partial scholarship. Or maybe they could earn a 3/4 scholarship to the University of Redlands instead of getting a couple thousand dollars in scholarships at a community college. The first student willing to be assigned to me at RC was a guy I’ll call Diego who might not have graduated from high school if not for the program. Diego went on to discover that he loved the atmosphere at Palomar College, one of the best community colleges in the nation. We have also had 11 students during the history of RC who became Gates Millenium Scholars. Google it! I mention these examples to point out that students of all academic levels benefit from Reality Changers.

While I welcome people who would join us in San Diego County to volunteer alongside us, that’s not the main reason I wrote this article.

I’m sure there is probably a program near you similar to Reality Changers. Maybe it’s not as thorough or maybe it is. We might be biased, but we think RC is one of the best programs in the nation. I hope your local program is thriving like ours.

Take advantage of the resources that are there. Don’t get so busy that you can’t see your way clear to getting your student a mentor and guidance through the process of not only college preparation, but navigating the application process of several colleges.

I’m gratified to know students who were freshmen in high school when I arrived as a tutor who will be entering their junior year in college this fall. In a couple more years I’ll be able to see them graduate from college. Of the first group that I got to know all the way from freshman year to graduation from high school there were three who got into Cal State San Marcos, one at Palomar College, one at UC Berkeley with a full ride scholarship, one at UC Santa Barbara, one on a full ride scholarship to Columbia, two at Syracuse – one on a full ride scholarship – and one is a Gates Millenium Scholar at the University of San Diego.

One thing Reality Changers teaches is that if you are accepted to all the colleges and universities to which you apply, you didn’t stretch yourself enough because you only applied to safe schools. You want to have some ambition and apply to some colleges that you think might reject you. You should get at least one rejection letter. Then you will know that you reached for the stars and you never know, you might be accepted to Harvard or Dartmouth or Stanford or Columbia when you weren’t sure you’d make it.

Mold a Degree From Thousands of Free College Courses

Shagging a college degree using a home school approach seems an impossible dream after high school. When home school kids become college eligible they have to enter the institutional environment of so-called traditional colleges to acquire a degree. However, things have changed. Traditional college and even online colleges are no longer the only alternative paths to a college or graduate degree. College bound students and adults reentering college to improve job skills can now pound out a reasonable homes school approach to their college education.

Exploding communications technology and the generous contributions from colleges and universities to the reservoir of courses available to the public for free is making it possible. We are now able to patch together our own college degree programs. We can do it on our own without an academic counselor, institution, or a bureaucrat telling us what we can or cannot do in seeking higher academic pursuits. This 21st century phenomenal opportunity is available to us whether or not we have earned our high school wings through home schooling or traditional means.

If we can teach and mentor our kids through home school K-12 curriculum if we choose in all 50 states, why can’t we do that for our kids and ourselves when it comes to college? Why can’t we acquire credit for our home schooled self-taught university courses from 100% accredited colleges and be awarded a degree – all for little or no cost? Can we, in fact, promote a college degree and follow up with a graduate degree? Yes, we can.

The self-designed home school college program can target fields from Astronomy to Zoology and more. Just by documenting practical experience and writing down what we know, what we do, and how we do it demonstrates what has been learned along the way. Taking any one of the growing list of free college courses with everything available at no immediate cost opens a treasure chest of opportunity. This combination will stand shoulder to shoulder with any traditional college grad, who enrolled in the college offering the free course and paid for the credit. The courses offered are complete in every way except for providing the college credit because the courses are offered free.

Degree program modules come from MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Penn State, Michigan State and dozens of other well-known prestigious schools that offer the courses free to the public. Some of the finest experts in their respective fields of study teach these that are offered free by their universities.

Are there accredited schools in the world that will take our bundled free courses and accredit them for us? There are 17,000 universities around the globe that are accredited in one official jurisdiction or another. Surely there are more than a few that will accommodate the new paradigm of a home school college degree. There is indeed a university out there that will give college credit for completed work regardless of the source so long as it is officially recognized as legitimate learning. The free college courses are all found with a brief concentrated search online to identify the courses to design and fulfill a complete degree program.

How to Pay for College: Top 7 Student Aid Questions Answered

You’ve decided to get your degree. Now it’s time to think about how to pay for college. There are many student aid options available to help you pay for college: government, businesses, community organizations and even individuals.

The government is the largest source of available financial assistance for college, and it literally offer billions of dollars in student aid. Start there. Then look to other sources for financial assistance such as, college scholarships and educational loans.

Here are your top 7 questions answered about how you can pay for college:

1 – Can I afford to go to college?

Of course you can. Financial support for college is available to everyone, no matter their circumstances. Many public colleges, community colleges and technical schools provide educational programs at affordable prices.

2 – What kind of student aid is out there to help me pay for college?

  1. College Grants – Free government funds typically awarded on a need basis.
  2. College Scholarships – Free government funds typically awarded on the basis of merit, among other things. College scholarships are also available from private individuals, companies, non-profit groups and community organizations.
  3. Educational Loans – Funds borrowed from the government or through private lenders.
  4. Federal Work-Study – Part-time jobs provided by participating schools to give students in need a chance to earn money to support their education.
  5. GI Bill: Military Benefits for College – Specific government funds set aside and awarded to current and former military and their dependents.

3 – How do I apply for financial assistance for college?

Simply fill out the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) form at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ to qualify for financial aid. This must be repeated every year and will determine what type of financial aid you are eligible for.

4 – What determines how much financial assistance I will receive for college?

All financial aid awarded depends on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This is what schools use to determine how much federal financial support you will receive. Remember all that personal financial information you provided on your FAFSA form? Here is where that information will be assessed to make the determination.

5 – Do I qualify for student aid even if my GPA is not the best?

Though many scholarships are awarded based on academic performance, most government aid is based on financial need. However, keep in mind that most student aid comes with academic stipulations. For example, to stay eligible for a Pell grant – one of the most common need based grants – you must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 GPA.

6 – If I qualify for financial aid for college, what can I use it for?

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and board
  • Books and supplies
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel

7 – How can I find out more about financial assistance and how to pay for college?

Check out these helpful resources for finding financial support for college:

  • College Board: Financial Aid Easy Planner
  • College Board: Financial Aid FAQs
  • Student Aid on the Web
  • Federal Direct Loans
  • StudentLoans.gov
  • College.gov