Education &amp; Training http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12010/all en-US How to Make Good Money Teaching English in China http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-good-money-teaching-english-in-china <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-good-money-teaching-english-in-china" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/teacher_showing_painting_to_students.jpg" alt="Teacher Showing Painting To Students" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The demand for English teachers in China is high, with some estimates showing 300 million of the 1.4 billion strong population currently studying the language. Because of this widespread desire to learn English, there are lots of opportunities to teach it. Salaries for English teachers is usually between $1,200 and $2,100 per month, with added extras like free accommodation, insurance, language classes, flights to and from China, bonuses, and lunches on top of this. In a country where the cost of living is significantly lower than in the U.S., a teacher's salary can buy you a high standard of living. (See related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-while-you-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Make Money While You Travel</a>)</p> <p>Teaching English can be a great way to earn money abroad and learn about a new culture. Maybe you're a student looking for an exciting and fulfilling way to spend your gap year. Perhaps you're searching for a great job that can enable you to save money while you're traveling the world. Or you might even be seeking a new career that will allow you to permanently relocate to a completely different location.</p> <p>Whatever your motivations, teaching in China is an incredible experience, and in many instances it can also be financially rewarding. If you're ready to jump in, here's how to land a good paying job teaching in China. (See related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-jobs-for-expats-and-travelers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 3 Best Jobs for Expats and Travelers</a>)</p> <h2>Get qualified</h2> <p>Many institutions across China prefer candidates who have a university degree and will also look for some form of teaching qualification. The most widely recognized certificates are the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate. Though you may be able to find jobs without any qualifications, it will be harder and the salary is likely to be far lower.</p> <p>A TEFL course will provide you with basic understanding of the techniques and knowledge you'll need to teach abroad, as well as a much better chance of landing a good-paying role. It's quick and easy to obtain via an online course or a classroom setting, that range in price between $190 and $2,500.</p> <p>When I taught English in China, the school paid for my TEFL training on-site, so I didn't have to have the certification before landing the job, but this isn't always the case.</p> <h2>Research in which area in China you'd like to live</h2> <p>China is a vast country, and everything including the culture, weather, salaries, living costs, and infrastructure vary from region to region. Because of this, it's important to do some research on China before you start applying for jobs. Keep in mind that most teaching positions come with a minimum of a one-year contract so it's important that you're happy with the location you choose.</p> <p>There are lots of big cities to pick from, with more than 100 cities that contain populations of more than 1 million residents, and these are where the majority of job opportunities lie. The bigger cities also tend to have the best-paying positions whereas more rural areas generally offer lower salaries. The very best tend to be in cities like Shanghai and Beijing, though these places also have a higher cost of living than the rural locations.</p> <p>I taught English in the small(er) city of Yangzhou in the Jiangsu Province and my salary wasn't as high as some jobs in Beijing and Shanghai, but the cost of living was so much lower that I was able to save more money than my friends teaching in the more popular cities.</p> <h2>Find positions to apply for</h2> <p>There are lots of different ways to go about searching for jobs, but your number one tool is going to be the internet. Your online TEFL certification provider will likely have a section on their site where they list available jobs, and sites like <a href="http://www.eslcafe.com/" target="_blank">eslcafe.com</a> and <a href="http://jobs.echinacities.com/" target="_blank">jobs.echinacities.com</a> are popular starting places. Another great way is to look for blogs written by people who have experience teaching in China and may be able to refer you to schools they worked in.</p> <p>There are also lots of recruitment agencies that act as third parties in the process by connecting you with schools that have open positions. Though many of them are trustworthy, bear in mind that they make money by successfully filling roles. Because of this, they may be tempted to bend the truth from time to time and possibly even promise things that won't actually materialize, so it's best to tread with caution.</p> <p>To minimize the chance of getting &quot;ripped off&quot; by spammy postings or bad recruiters, try to find contacts through sources that you can trust, and do your own research on the school and surrounding area.</p> <h2>Make sure you're applying to reputable schools</h2> <p>When you start researching teaching in China, you're likely to come across lots of horror stories. I've certainly read plenty of blog posts and articles written by people who have tried it, and for various reasons ended up in positions that they've hated. But you shouldn't necessarily let this put you off doing it altogether. Use it as inspiration to ensure you find a reputable school where you'll be treated well.</p> <p>Searching online is where you'll be able to gauge whether a school is reputable by reading detailed reviews by teachers. You'll start to get a picture of whether it's somewhere suitable or not. Though reviews are not foolproof, they're a starting point, and unless you get a word of mouth referral from someone you know, they're the best option available to you.</p> <p>I personally taught for Shane English School and there are many reasons why <a href="https://www.goatsontheroad.com/10-reasons-to-teach-for-shane-english-school-in-yangzhou-china/" target="_blank">I'm happy to recommend them</a>. They paid on time, offered bonuses, and truly valued all of the teachers that worked at the school.</p> <p>Whatever school you go with, it should offer return flights to your home country, health insurance, monthly salary, a proper working visa, and continued on-the-job training. You'll likely do a Skype interview with the school before accepting any teaching position, so guage their professionalism over the phone and go with your gut.</p> <p>As an added security measure, ask your contact at the school if they can request a chat with other foreign teachers working at the school. I did this with a couple of schools that I applied for and received some very constructive feedback (both positive and negative), which helped me to choose the right school for myself.</p> <h2>Make some extra money tutoring</h2> <p>It's worth noting that once you're in China, you'll find that many parents (often the parents of your own students) are looking for their child to have some extra one-on-one time with an English teacher.</p> <p>Tutoring jobs can pay very well and are a great supplement to your regular pay. In my experience, you can often land tutoring work for around $30/hour per student. Because many teaching contracts in China only require you to teach for 20 hours per week, there's generally plenty of time for teachers to pick up work on the side.</p> <p>If you want to find tutoring jobs, just look around at bulletin boards at different schools to see if there are any postings and ask other teachers and parents at your school.</p> <h2>Apply for your Chinese working visa</h2> <p>It's extremely important that you don't consider teaching English in China with anything other than the correct working visa. It's called a <a href="http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/zgqz/t84245.htm" target="_blank">&quot;Z&quot; Visa</a> and is the only one which will entitle you to work legally, despite what some unscrupulous people may tell you. Working without one can land you in serious trouble as you'll essentially be working illegally and may even be classed as an illegal immigrant. If you're caught, you'll face a fine and could potentially be deported.</p> <p>Once you have your job offer, your chosen school should help you work your way through the process, but there are a number of basic steps you'll have to follow. You need to send your school copies of your passport, university degree, TEFL certificate, and sometimes a criminal record and medical check as well. Upon approval, the school will then supply you with an invitation letter and work permit, which you take to a Chinese embassy or consulate to obtain the Z Visa.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-good-money-teaching-english-in-china">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-cities-for-single-millennials">The 6 Best Cities for Single Millennials</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tourist-towns-that-are-actually-great-to-live-in">6 &quot;Tourist Towns&quot; That Are Actually Great to Live In</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap">6 Ways to Get College Kids Home for the Holidays for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-get-your-master-s-degree-abroad">3 Reasons to Get Your Master’s Degree Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Travel English teacher moving abroad moving to China relocating teaching English teaching jobs Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:30:10 +0000 Nick Wharton 2068115 at http://www.wisebread.com ​How College Applicants Can Tour Scores of Campuses for $15 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/how-college-applicants-can-tour-scores-of-campuses-for-15-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-college-applicants-can-tour-scores-of-campuses-for-15-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/asian_student_on_the_street_looking_at_the_camera_smiling.jpg" alt="Asian student on the street looking at the camera smiling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's nothing new for high schools to host college fairs. They're a quick way for students to learn about a large number of potential schools. What's new is that increasingly, reps at those fairs are handing teens Google Cardboard or other virtual reality headsets so they can take a quick tour without ever leaving their high schools.</p> <p>Saint Francis High School, a private Catholic school in Mountain View, California, recently hosted a fair where two colleges were giving virtual tours, said counselor Hector Camacho. He thinks the higher education market was wise to become an early adopter of virtual reality.</p> <p>&quot;When we're discussing fit, it's one thing to describe a college on paper, but it's a whole other thing for a student to take a virtual tour of a school across the country,&quot; Camacho says.</p> <p>While most students would like to tour all their top university choices in person to get a feel for the campus, that's not always economically feasible, since college visits can cost thousands in airfare and lodging. Virtual tours can be part of the winnowing process to eliminate &quot;maybes&quot; and get down to a short list of schools that the student will visit in person. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-for-college-students-to-save-loads-of-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways for College Students to Save Loads of Money</a>)</p> <p>A virtual tour is, at its simplest, a series of photos of the college campus that can be viewed from 360 degrees. You won't need a high-end VR headset like an Oculus Rift. Colleges want as many students as possible to take the tours, so you can usually view them on a computer, on a tablet or phone for free, or for a more immersive experience, on the $15 Google Cardboard.</p> <p>Where to find college virtual tours? One place to start is <a href="http://www.ecampustours.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ECampus Tours</a>, which provides 1,300 of them, including one of Harvard, where you can see the <a href="http://www.ecampustours.com/tour-home-page.aspx?UnitID=166027#.WgC9omiPJPY" target="_blank">chandeliers in the freshman dining hall</a> or the shops at Harvard Square. These tours are generally 360-degree photos that you scroll through, not something you wear a headset to view.</p> <p>Beyond that, look on the school website. Usually, the &quot;visit campus&quot; section has a link to the virtual tour if the school has one.</p> <p>Here are a few examples to get you started.</p> <h2>1. Harvard</h2> <p>Beyond the views on ECampus Tours, you can see more of this coveted institution through <a href="https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/visit/virtual-tour" target="_blank">its own virtual tour</a> &mdash; which costs $0 to view. The photography here is really beautiful, especially of the stained glass in Memorial Hall.</p> <h2>2. Princeton</h2> <p>On <a href="http://www.youvisit.com/princeton" target="_blank">Princeton's virtual tour</a>, which you can click through on a computer or download the app to view on your phone using a VR headset, you follow a footpath through campus as if you were really walking around. It even has a recorded student tour guide to tell you what you're seeing &mdash; in multiple languages.</p> <h2>3. Kent State University</h2> <p>This Ohio school integrated its <a href="http://www.youvisit.com/kent" target="_blank">free virtual tour</a> with the campus interactive map, so you can seamlessly &quot;walk&quot; from place to place.</p> <h2>4. The Savannah School of Art and Design</h2> <p><a href="http://www.youvisit.com/tour/scad/80558?tourid=tour1_02_23_17_09348" target="_blank">SCAD's tour</a> is everything you'd expect from an art school. The beautifully designed presentation allows you to take it as a free 2D guided tour as an introduction to the school. The school sends new students <a href="https://www.scad.edu/blog/virtual-reality" target="_blank">cardboard VR goggles</a> in its welcome package so they can enjoy the tour in 3D and learn more about the campus.</p> <h2>5. Trinity University</h2> <p>This San Antonio, Texas, school's <a href="https://new.trinity.edu/admissions-aid/campus-visits-programs" target="_blank">virtual tour</a> is available for computers, mobile devices, or even Oculus Rift. Highlights include the Murchison Tower and the Esplanade.</p> <h2>6. University of Hartford</h2> <p>This Connecticut school wisely took the 360-degree photos for <a href="http://www.youvisit.com/tour/hartford?pl=v" target="_blank">its virtual tour</a> in autumn, so that you can do some leaf-peeping from your desktop or VR headset. The student tour guide mentions the places where Katharine Hepburn, who grew up in a home now part of the campus, used to play.</p> <h2>7. University of California, Berkeley</h2> <p>Admire blue California skies while &quot;strolling&quot; outside the Cesar Chavez Student Center or admire the boulevard leading up to Sather Tower in <a href="http://www.youvisit.com/berkeley" target="_blank">this virtual tour</a>.</p> <h2>8. Dartmouth College</h2> <p>Not content with just one tour? This New Hampshire school <a href="https://admissions.dartmouth.edu/visits-programs/virtual-tours" target="_blank">offers virtual tours</a> of the campus, the engineering department, and the athletics programs.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-college-applicants-can-tour-scores-of-campuses-for-15-or-less&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F_How%2520College%2520Applicants%2520Can%2520Tour%2520Scores%2520of%2520Campuses%2520for%252015%2520dollars%2520or%2520Less.jpg&amp;description=%E2%80%8BHow%20College%20Applicants%20Can%20Tour%20Scores%20of%20Campuses%20for%2015%20dollars%20or%20Less"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/_How%20College%20Applicants%20Can%20Tour%20Scores%20of%20Campuses%20for%2015%20dollars%20or%20Less.jpg" alt="​How College Applicants Can Tour Scores of Campuses for $15 or Less" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-college-applicants-can-tour-scores-of-campuses-for-15-or-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on">8 College Perks You Might Be Missing Out On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-frugal-things-every-college-care-package-should-include">11 Smart, Frugal Things Every College Care Package Should Include</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-college-courses-that-will-boost-your-career">7 College Courses That Will Boost Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-certifications-that-add-big-to-your-salary">7 Certifications That Add Big $$ to Your Salary</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult">8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training applying to college college application college student college tour dartmouth harvard princeton virtual tour Tue, 05 Dec 2017 09:30:09 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2065225 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 College Courses That Will Boost Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/7-college-courses-that-will-boost-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-college-courses-that-will-boost-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/confident_female_college_students_raise_hands_in_class.jpg" alt="Confident female college students raise hands in class" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The job market is full of college-educated Americans. With so many people boasting bachelor degrees, associate degrees, and even master's degrees, it's no longer safe to assume that a college degree is the magic ticket that will kick-start a career.</p> <p>According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 90 percent of businesses value skills far more than they do any particular degree. That means that individuals, regardless of the level of education they are pursuing, should carefully choose classes that will not only help their degree, but also their future employability. (See also <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-skills-todays-employers-value-most?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Skills Today's Employers Value Most</a>)</p> <p>Here are a few great skills-boosting electives to consider.</p> <h2>1. Business writing</h2> <p>Not all business writing classes include the same curriculum, but this type of course typically teaches students how to write memos, professional emails, reports, grant applications, presentations, cover letters, and resumes. These classes occasionally also focus on utilizing word processing software, creating technical graphics, and developing a professional online portfolio.</p> <p>This elective should leave you with a large collection of sample writing for your online portfolio, a few more writing skills to add to your resume, and an enhanced ability to communicate non-verbally.</p> <h2>2. Communication and public speaking</h2> <p>Communication skills can help you speak with confidence, interact effectively in groups, and deliver speeches and presentations. The ability to communicate effectively can be vital to landing jobs, building professional relationships, and kick-starting a career.</p> <p>These classes give formal training in group communication, creating and delivering presentations and speeches, and delivering an effective interview. Individuals learn soft skills like how to interact with an audience, how to dress professionally, and how to read body language, too.</p> <p>Classes that focus on business communication might also focus on communicating effectively over a variety technological platforms, including social media sites, phones, presentation programs, and visual communication programs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-public-speaking-less-terrifying?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Public Speaking Less Terrifying</a>)</p> <h2>3. Digital communication and electronic marketing</h2> <p>As of 2017, well over two billion people use social media. Due to that staggeringly high number, the importance of social media communication has grown significantly over the last decade. New jobs, like social media managers, have been created. Even if individuals don't pursue a social media job, expertise in digital communication and electronic marketing is a valuable skill.</p> <p>Nonprofessional social media experts can still use social media to locate jobs, engage in social networking, and promote their own work online.</p> <p>Classes typically start by examining the basic principles and concepts behind the use of digital information and communication technology. Once a baseline is laid, students often learn about the marketing and communication use of various digital tools (from email, to text, to social media). By the end of the class, students will know the best marketing and communication strategies using these various digital tools. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-high-paying-jobs-that-didnt-exist-10-years-ago?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 High-Paying Jobs That Didn't Exist 10 Years Ago</a>)</p> <h2>4. Computer software skills</h2> <p>Computer software skills can be imperative to career success in many traditional office jobs. People (even those who don't have a college degree) can increase their employability if they have advanced software skills. Community colleges, in particular, tend to have a few courses that focus primarily on walking students through the ins and outs of various software programs.</p> <p>These courses tend to focus on presentation, spreadsheet, and document processing software. The curriculum also tends to focus on current business standards for document creation and formatting.</p> <h2>5. Web development and programming</h2> <p>While not all office jobs require programming skills, basic knowledge of web development can be a useful career enhancer. Editors, web managers, writers, and various other positions prefer to hire candidates that already know the ins and outs of creating or at least maintaining a website.</p> <p>These classes cover programming languages such as Python, HTML5, JavaScript, and C++. Individuals can utilize these new skills to create a website, build an online portfolio, spruce up a resume, and pursue projects that require sophisticated website or tool development. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-certifications-that-add-big-to-your-salary?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Certifications That Add Big $$ to Your Salary</a>)</p> <h2>6. Entrepreneurship</h2> <p>Budding entrepreneurs or self-employed professionals could benefit from a course that focuses on the practical aspects of startups. Before diving headfirst into their world-changing business idea, hopeful entrepreneurs can arm themselves with knowledge that can help them succeed.</p> <p>This class typically teaches students about the challenges of opening, running, financing, and marketing a successful startup or small businesses. The class also delves into the typical behaviors and beliefs of successful business owners, and leaves students with the knowledge they need to succeed on their own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-7-blogs-for-entrepreneurs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Top 7 Blogs for Entrepreneurs</a>)</p> <h2>7. All-encompassing professional skills classes</h2> <p>Not all, but some colleges have begun to create classes that focus entirely on helping students build the necessary skills to thrive in a professional work environment. If you can't work a few skill-oriented classes into your schedule, you might want to see if you can find a class that just focuses on general skill development.</p> <p>Boise State University, for example, offers a series of courses on professional development. Some of the skills these courses focus on include self-awareness, teamwork, leadership, networking, and interviewing. Students tackle individual and team-based activities. Many of the activities are designed to mimic typical workplace scenarios, so that students can develop skills and experiences that are relevant to a professional workplace.</p> <p>Individuals, no matter their current educational status, may benefit from attending college classes that teach useful career skills. If a college class isn't possible for you at this point, you can search for the multitude of free or cheap books, websites, or video resources out there to help build your skills.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-college-courses-that-will-boost-your-career&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520College%2520Courses%2520That%2520Will%2520Boost%2520Your%2520Career.jpg&amp;description=7%20College%20Courses%20That%20Will%20Boost%20Your%20Career"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20College%20Courses%20That%20Will%20Boost%20Your%20Career.jpg" alt="7 College Courses That Will Boost Your Career" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-college-courses-that-will-boost-your-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult">8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field">Are You Pursuing an Overcrowded Career Field?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses">Get Smart About Money With These 18 Free Online Courses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-dont-need-a-college-degree-to-succeed">Why You Don&#039;t Need a College Degree to Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-one">How to Find Freelance Clients - Part One</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Education & Training business writing college courses courses electives employability entrepreneurship job skills programming public speaking web design Fri, 01 Dec 2017 09:30:09 +0000 Samantha Stauf 2063301 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/african_woman_sitting_at_an_exam_in_college.jpg" alt="African woman sitting at an exam in college" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you have never been to college, have some college credits from many years ago, or simply need to retool your education for a career change, there is much to be gained from going back to school. However, adult learners face a lot of risk factors that lead to dropping out before finishing a degree; things such as family obligations, financial shortcomings, and a tendency to attend school part time.</p> <p>With college costs steadily growing, the stakes are high; attending school without finishing a degree program could mean dealing with a mountain of debt and no job to help pay it off. Before diving into a degree or certificate program, do your homework to give yourself the best chance of success as an adult learner.</p> <h2>1. Choose a school that accommodates adult learners</h2> <p>One challenge adult learners face is feeling like they don't fit in with the much younger students on campus. Some find that the counseling services the school offers do not make sense for their situation in life. To avoid this problem, seek out a school that actively recruits older students.</p> <p>LendEdu ranks the <a href="https://lendedu.com/blog/colleges-for-adult-learners/" target="_blank">25 best colleges for adult learners</a>, taking into account factors such as on-campus child care, weekend classes and flexibility, and affordability. Its most recent list gives the top-ranking position to Delaware's Wilmington University, a private college that offers a wide range of professional certificate programs in addition to degrees.</p> <h2>2. Consider credit transferability when choosing a school</h2> <p>Another way the best schools accommodate nontraditional students is by accepting credits from other institutions. If you have earned prior credits from an educational institution, get an idea of how many would be accepted toward your new degree. Figure this out before enrolling, because the more credits that will transfer, the faster and cheaper your degree will be.</p> <h2>3. Choose a major that will help you reach your goals</h2> <p>Some 18-year-olds are OK with spending a couple of years in college finding themselves before focusing on a major that will lead to a specific career. Adults, not so much.</p> <p>A recent report from the University of Texas showed that the choice of academic major was the biggest factor in determining how much graduates from UT earned. In fact, your major appears to matter more than how good a school you get into, the report says.</p> <p>&quot;[G]raduates who majored in architecture and engineering at a UT System open-access college have median earnings that are higher than 61 percent of all UT System graduates at selective colleges,&quot; the report reads. After architecture and engineering, the highest earning major categories for UT students were computers, statistics, and mathematics; followed by health, then business. The lowest-earning majors were in the arts, psychology and social work, and biology and life sciences.</p> <p>Of course, you can't just blindly choose a major based on how much money graduates make. It also has to be a good match for you. Take an online assessment or work with a career consultant to figure out what field best matches your strengths.</p> <h2>4. Tap a range of funding sources</h2> <p>Don't assume that because you're an adult, you won't qualify for aid. In fact, there is no age limit for receiving federal student aid in the form of grants, loans, and work-study programs. There are also scholarships for adult learners, such as the Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarship, reserved for students age 35 or older. If you are or have been in the military, there are a host of <a href="https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/military" target="_blank">student financial aid programs for veterans and military personnel</a>. Also, find out if your employer pays for continuing education; many workplaces will fund entire degrees for employees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-17-companies-will-help-you-repay-your-student-loan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 17 Companies Will Help You Repay Your Student Loan</a>)</p> <p>Once you have exhausted every avenue for funds you don't have to pay back, look into using your own assets for school as well. Although you should always proceed with caution when tapping into retirement accounts, it is possible in some circumstances to withdraw money from retirement accounts to pay educational expenses penalty free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, You Can Pay for Education With an IRA</a>)</p> <h2>5. Investigate online or hybrid programs</h2> <p>Going to school around a busy schedule of work and family makes online college a popular choice. You can often watch lectures on your own schedule and avoid wasting time traveling to and from a campus. You can try many online courses for free &mdash; usually without credit &mdash; to see if online learning works for you. Check the <a href="https://www.edx.org/" target="_blank">courses listed at edX</a>, for example.</p> <p>A growing program type that appeals to many nontraditional students is the hybrid model, which combines online lectures with some classroom time for discussion. For instance, Northwestern University offers hybrid graduate programs aimed at professionals, which combines online lectures with a limited number of on-campus seminars.</p> <h2>6. Take your exams early</h2> <p>If you need to take the LSAT for law school, the GRE for graduate school, the GMAT for business school, or even the SAT, sit for it well in advance of school application deadlines. This takes a bit of the pressure off; when you know you have time to retake the test if necessary, you can relax and do your best.</p> <h2>7. Make a plan to balance life, work, and school</h2> <p>It could be that many adult learners end up dropping out because they mistakenly assumed they would somehow &quot;find time&quot; for coursework. Even if you start slow, going to school is like a part-time job, and you must allocate the hours to make it happen. Finding the hours might mean cutting back on work, eliminating a pleasurable activity such as watching TV, or dropping out of organized activities such as a sports team. One activity you cannot borrow hours from without negative consequences is sleep.</p> <p>It's also important to make sure family members, friends, and even coworkers and bosses know and respect that you need time and space to complete your coursework. You may have to say no when someone asks you to work overtime or pass up on volunteering for organizations you may have helped in the past.</p> <p>Research shows that when we work with interruptions, not only does it take time to get back on task, but we feel more stressed and frustrated. To avoid wanting to quit, it's important to carve out space for yourself to work uninterrupted. Build child care costs into your college budget if necessary, and make sure you have a quiet place to work away from the bustle of household life.</p> <h2>8. Know the tax benefits</h2> <p>Make sure you don't miss out on tax breaks available for returning students, such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit, and tax deductions on interest on student loans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-skip-these-8-tax-breaks-for-students?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">Don't Skip These 8 Tax Breaks for Students</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Tips%2520for%2520Going%2520Back%2520to%2520School%2520as%2520an%2520Adult.jpg&amp;description=8%20Tips%20for%20Going%20Back%20to%20School%20as%20an%20Adult"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Tips%20for%20Going%20Back%20to%20School%20as%20an%20Adult.jpg" alt="8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap">How Your Child Can Earn College Credits in High School (For Cheap)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field">Are You Pursuing an Overcrowded Career Field?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-dont-need-a-college-degree-to-succeed">Why You Don&#039;t Need a College Degree to Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan">Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Education & Training adult learners college continuing education credits majors online courses student aid taxes tuition Mon, 27 Nov 2017 09:30:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2057597 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_saving_for_education.jpg" alt="Woman saving for education" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most parents with college-bound kids know about the traditional 529 college savings plan. It allows parents or grandparents to put money into a tax-advantaged savings or investment account that can later be cashed in to pay for college expenses. But did you know that some states &mdash; and a large consortium of private schools &mdash; offer another kind of 529 plan as well?</p> <p>It's called a <em>529 prepaid tuition plan</em>. With this kind of plan, you use your college savings dollars to buy tuition credits, locking in today's tuition prices. Considering how much news there is about the skyrocketing cost of college, this seems attractive in many ways. Parents can pay for college now and not worry that price increases will outpace their earnings. Better yet, a prepaid tuition plan is an investment that shouldn't ever go down in value &mdash; if you buy a credit worth a year of college now and the stock market crashes next week, you still own a year of college as long as the program delivers on its promise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings</a>)</p> <p>However, there are a number of factors to consider before committing to this lesser-known type of college savings plan. Here are some questions you need to ask.</p> <h2>What if my student doesn't go to the selected college?</h2> <p>Plans can change: Maybe you've been gung ho about your child attending your alma mater or the local state college, but your child isn't interested in either. Or, maybe your kid wants to follow in your footsteps and attend MIT, but doesn't get accepted. What happens to your prepaid tuition savings?</p> <p>You'll have to read the fine print to find out what you will walk away with if the student doesn't use the credits you purchased at the intended university. Any plan will likely allow you to change the beneficiary. For example, if Sally doesn't want to go to the University of Illinois, you can use her credit for her little sister instead. The Private College 529 Plan, which has nearly 300 participating schools including Stanford and Boston University, will also allow participants to roll their balance over into a traditional 529 college savings plan.</p> <p>In addition, various states' plans have provisions for using purchased credits toward other schools. For instance, Florida's prepaid tuition program is designed to be used at state universities and colleges, but funds can also be used for out-of-state or private schools.</p> <h2>What if my child gets a scholarship or doesn't go to college?</h2> <p>Again, provisions for refunds vary by plan. Some will refund the amount of tuition the plan would have covered. Under certain circumstances, some plans will pay you only what you put in &mdash; which would be a major loss of investment growth if the money sat in the account for years.</p> <h2>Will prepaid tuition be a better investment than stocks and bonds?</h2> <p>No one can predict what the markets will do. On the other hand, prepaid tuition programs typically offer participants a predictable outcome: Pay in X amount and you will receive a certificate for a semester of college. As long as the plan does what it promises, prepaid tuition plans won't lose value. However, this is no guarantee that you will end up with more value than you would have if you'd invested in the market.</p> <p>By way of comparison, private college tuition rates increased 2.4 percent per year in the past 10 years, and the cost of public four-year colleges increased 3.5 percent per year, according to the College Board. During the same decade, the S&amp;P 500 increased an average 7 percent &mdash; even taking the 2008 crash into account. So if you invested in a prepaid college fund a decade ago, your discount on present-day tuition will only equal half as much as the gains you would have gotten if you'd put the money in a traditional 529 savings plan that matched the S&amp;P 500's performance.</p> <p>A prepaid plan will probably decrease your risk and ease your worries about market fluctuations, but it could cause you to miss out on investment gains when the market is doing well.</p> <h2>What if the plan runs out of money?</h2> <p>When you put money into a prepaid college plan, the plan administrators take your money and invest it, along with the money from other plan participants. When your kid is ready for college, the plan is supposed to pay the school the cost of tuition &mdash; even if its investment growth falls short of the tuition cost. This could happen in a down market.</p> <p>Plans can also fail to meet their goals if not enough new investors buy into the plan. If this happens too many years in a row, plans can fall short of their promises and leave families in the lurch. This risk attracts a lot of criticism to prepaid plans, and has pushed some states to end their programs. Before investing in a plan, find out what it guarantees and what it doesn't.</p> <h2>The bottom line: hedging market risk</h2> <p>All the 529 prepaid plans out there are different. Participating in one could help you hedge market risk that you'd otherwise face with a college savings plan, especially if you only invest part of your savings in the prepaid plan while investing the rest in the market. Be sure to read all the fine print to learn what will happen if things don't go as expected.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fshould-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FShould%2520You%2520Save%2520for%2520College%2520Using%2520a%2520529%2520Prepaid%2520Tuition%2520Plan-.jpg&amp;description=Should%20You%20Save%20for%20College%20Using%20a%20529%20Prepaid%20Tuition%20Plan%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Should%20You%20Save%20for%20College%20Using%20a%20529%20Prepaid%20Tuition%20Plan-.jpg" alt="Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-taking-out-student-loans">6 Questions to Ask Before Taking Out Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap">How Your Child Can Earn College Credits in High School (For Cheap)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training 529 plans college higher education prepaid tuition saving money scholarships school tuition Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:30:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2037240 at http://www.wisebread.com Are You Pursuing an Overcrowded Career Field? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/row_of_business_people_waiting_for_an_interview.jpg" alt="Row of business people waiting for an interview" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to a career, knowing what you want to do is half the battle. The other half is actually finding a job in your chosen field. In some job markets, an influx of eager candidates has rendered certain fields completely overcrowded with qualified workers.</p> <p>If you're ready to earn a degree or certification and pursue a set career path, you may want to do some research first. Ensuring that you'll actually be able to find a job in your desired field can prevent you from feeling like you &quot;wasted&quot; the time and expense of your education or training.</p> <p>Here's how to discover if you might be pursuing an overcrowded career field.</p> <h2>Look into national and regional statistics</h2> <p>The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles an <a href="https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/home.htm" target="_blank">Occupational Outlook Handbook</a> that lists the projected outlook and employment changes for specific jobs over a 10-year period. If the projected growth of jobs in your desired field is low or nonexistent, you might want to pursue another career.</p> <p>Some job markets are more saturated in certain areas than others. If you're looking for more localized information, each state has a department of labor that collects state level stats about career prospects. The Idaho Department of Labor, for example, created a Jobscape Career Search Tool that allows citizens to check out the demand for specific jobs each year. The stats can be filtered by region using a ZIP code or city name. That can really help residents get a sense of job prospects. Here is a resource for finding each individual state's <a href="http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/ProjectionSites" target="_blank">labor statistics site</a>.</p> <p>When stats are projected over a longer period, it can be difficult to determine if the major growth has already happened. You may want to find stats that project shorter term growth (typically over a two-year period) for the occupation. <a href="http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/ShortTerm" target="_blank">Projections Central</a> is a solid place to start. It lists short-term projections of occupations by state. If the change in employment prospects is either negative or low, it might be a sign to move or pursue a different career.</p> <h2>Check job search sites</h2> <p>Another way to get a feel for a crowded career field is to browse common job listing sites and see what the current listings are. If there doesn't seem to be a lot of job openings for your chosen profession on a local, state, or national level, the career field might be overcrowded. If there are tons of jobs available, you might be safe.</p> <p>Continue to keep an eye on the job listings as you prepare to enroll in a college or certificate program. If anything changes or doesn't change, it could give you some valuable insight on the state of the job market. If job listings for the career never seem to crop up, that's a very bad sign. If the same job listings remain month after month, that can be a good sign that companies are struggling to find candidates.</p> <p>Note this method is far more useful for careers with shorter educational requirements. The state of the job market today won't necessarily tell you what it will be like a few years down the line for careers requiring advanced degrees.</p> <h2>Seek advice from a college career counselor</h2> <p>Students can seek career advice from on-campus resources. A college career adviser, depending on the school and the individual's experience, can be a valuable source of information.</p> <p>If the adviser isn't any help on career-specific questions, students can stop by the career services office. The professionals employed in career services may be slightly better equipped to help you determine if your first career choice is a lucrative one. If they don't have specific information about your intended job prospects, they can at least help point you in the right direction to find the information you need.</p> <h2>Ask professionals in your desired field</h2> <p>Networking can be helpful in determining if a specific degree is lucrative or not. Ask around to see if any family or friends might know someone who pursued the same degree or job field in the past. If you find someone, politely ask if they'd be willing to meet up and answer some of your questions. Consider asking how easy it was for them to find a job, what the competition was like, and if they've seen an influx of new graduates suddenly flood their market.</p> <p>If you need ideas for alternate career paths, many state government websites list the hottest jobs in their state for individuals to pursue. Indiana, for example, has a <a href="https://netsolutions.dwd.in.gov/hh50/jobList.aspx" target="_blank">Hot 50 Jobs list</a>.</p> <p>If your heart is still set on pursuing a career in a crowded field, take steps to ensure that you can outshine every other recent graduate during your job search. It may also be worthwhile to research which regions and states offer a more lucrative job market in that specific field.</p> <p>And as a final note, remember that different states have different certificate and education requirements to work in certain jobs. Make sure when you pursue an education that you will meet those requirements.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fare-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FAre%2520You%2520Pursuing%2520an%2520Overcrowded%2520Career%2520Field-.jpg&amp;description=Are%20You%20Pursuing%20an%20Overcrowded%20Career%20Field%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Are%20You%20Pursuing%20an%20Overcrowded%20Career%20Field-.jpg" alt="Are You Pursuing an Overcrowded Career Field?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult">8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-dont-need-a-college-degree-to-succeed">Why You Don&#039;t Need a College Degree to Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-jobs-for-the-next-10-years">8 Great Jobs for the Next 10 Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-my-career-clueless-college-self">5 Tips for My Career-Clueless College Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-colleges-with-the-best-programs-to-get-you-jobs">8 Colleges With the Best Programs to Get You Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Education & Training career counseling career fields college job markets oversaturated prospects shadowing statistics Mon, 09 Oct 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Samantha Stauf 2032526 at http://www.wisebread.com Yes, You Can Pay for Education With an IRA http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/education_fund_coins_652348714.jpg" alt="Education fund in jar" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When most people think of saving for a college education, they usually think of 529 savings plans or Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESA). These accounts allow you to grow your money by investing in select mutual funds, much like a typical retirement account does. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings</a>)</p> <p>While both of these accounts are great investment tools to pay for a college education, there's another option you may not have considered. A Roth IRA can also be used for educational expenses. There are pros and cons for each way to save for college. Here's a brief rundown:</p> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><strong>Coverdell ESA</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>529 savings plans</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Roth IRA</strong></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>No tax deduction from contributions.</p> </td> <td> <p>No tax deduction from contributions.</p> </td> <td> <p>No tax deduction from contributions.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Withdraw your contributions tax free.</p> </td> <td> <p>Withdraw your contributions tax free.</p> </td> <td> <p>Withdraw your contributions tax free. (If you withdraw interest, it will be taxed.)</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Annual contribution limit: $2,000 per beneficiary.</p> </td> <td> <p>No annual contribution limit but most states limit total contributions to $300,000.</p> </td> <td> <p>Annual contribution limit: $5,500, or $6,500 if age 50 or over.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Anyone can contribute but the amount they can contribute is limited by their modified adjusted gross income. Ability to contribute phases out once modified AGI reaches $220,000.</p> </td> <td> <p>&nbsp; Anyone can&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; contribute.</p> </td> <td> <p>Must have income in order to contribute. People with high incomes ($181,000 for married couple) are prohibited from contributing.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Can be used for higher education and qualified K-12 expenses. Beneficiary must use account by age 30.</p> </td> <td> <p>Can only be used for higher education expenses.</p> </td> <td> <p>Can be used for higher education, first home purchase, qualified medical expenses, and retirement.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Account under guardian's name won't impact beneficiary's FAFSA.</p> </td> <td> <p>Account under guardian's name won't impact beneficiary's FAFSA.</p> </td> <td> <p>Withdrawals will increase your earned income and can affect beneficiary's FAFSA.</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <h2>Roth IRAs</h2> <p>A Roth IRA differs from a traditional IRA in that the income you contribute is already taxed. The beauty of a Roth IRA is that the distribution you take from your contributions is <em>not </em>taxable (as long as the use is approved).</p> <p>Let's say your child is a college freshman. You withdraw $15,000 from your Roth IRA for their first year of school. None of this money will be taxed, as long as it is from your own contributions and not from the interest earned. Withdrawals are considered returns of contributions initially, for tax purposes. They are considered interest earnings second.</p> <p>Now, you are likely thinking, &quot;But aren't IRA withdrawals subject to penalties if you withdraw them early?&quot; Generally, yes. Normally, you must be age 59 &frac12; or older, and have had the account for at least five years to withdraw without incurring a 10 percent tax penalty. Why? Well, all IRAs are retirement funds, primarily. They are designed to be withdrawn only as folks approach retirement.</p> <p>But no penalty applies if the withdrawal is for qualified educational purposes (or a first home purchase, or qualified medical bills). Even if your child or grandchild has a scholarship for full tuition, it's no problem. Roth IRAs can be used for any qualified educational expense, including room, board, books, and supplies.</p> <p>If your child or grandchild ends up not going to college, or not needing all the money, you can simply keep the money to continue funding your retirement. Note that to place money back into a Roth IRA, it will be subject to annual contribution limits ($5,500 if under age 50, and $6,500 if age 50 or older).</p> <h2>Traditional IRAs</h2> <p>You can also use traditional IRAs to pay for college. Essentially, traditional IRAs reverse the tax advantage of a Roth. You get a tax deduction upfront for all money contributed to a traditional IRA &mdash; but all withdrawals will be taxed at the federal and state level.</p> <p>As with a Roth IRA, if traditional IRA distributions before age 59 &frac12; are used for qualified educational expenses, they are not subject to the 10 percent penalty. However, they will be subject to tax. The IRS will get its money whenever you withdraw from a traditional IRA, regardless of what you withdraw it for.</p> <p>Because of the tax implications, while it is <em>possible </em>to use a traditional IRA for educational expenses, it may not be the most prudent move. If you want to tap into IRAs for college expenses, a Roth IRA is the better bet financially.</p> <h2>An important caveat</h2> <p>Realistically, tapping your IRA to pay for your child's education should rarely be your first choice. It can be a smart move if you have a considerable amount saved and a lot of time left before retirement to pay it back. Otherwise, you'll be draining the account of funds you very much need. It may be wiser to use an educational savings account to save for your child's education instead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a>)</p> <p>However, there are still benefits of using an IRA over an educational savings account if you know your retirement will still be secure. For example, by combining the funds into one account, you will have more flexibility in choosing whether to spend your savings on education &mdash; and how much &mdash; or to continue to hold it for your retirement.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fyes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520To%2520Pay%2520For%2520Your%2520College%2520Education.png&amp;description=Yes%2C%20You%20Can%20Pay%20for%20Education%20With%20an%20IRA"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20To%20Pay%20For%20Your%20College%20Education.png" alt="Yes, You Can Pay for Education With an IRA" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anum-yoon">Anum Yoon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed">How to Save for Retirement When You Are Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan">Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid&#039;s College Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-retirement-account-is-right-for-you">Which Retirement Account Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-moves-for-retirement">8 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Moves for Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Retirement college contributions distributions higher education qualified expenses Roth IRA saving money traditional ira Wed, 04 Oct 2017 08:00:07 +0000 Anum Yoon 2029157 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Smart About Money With These 18 Free Online Courses http://www.wisebread.com/get-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_man_using_laptop.jpg" alt="Young man using laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A growing number of leading business schools and universities are offering free personal finance courses online. Why not take advantage of these sophisticated resources to grow your knowledge and take your finances to the next level? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-get-free-personal-finance-classes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Places to Get Free Personal Finance Classes</a>)</p> <p>These free online courses are sometimes known as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Many are either based on university courses, or actually are the same university courses that have been offered to paying students on campus. Although you will not get credit toward a degree for taking a free class, you can certainly learn a thing or two that will help you manage your finances and become a better negotiator, entrepreneur, and investor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-continue-your-education-without-going-back-to-school?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Cheap Ways to Continue Your Education Without Going Back to School</a>)</p> <h2>1. Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making</h2> <p>This <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/finance-everyone-smart-tools-decision-michiganx-fin101x-1#" target="_blank">introductory personal finance course</a> through the University of Michigan covers the basics of personal finance, teaching frameworks and methods that will better equip you to make sound everyday financial decisions.</p> <p>Time commitment: 6 weeks, 5&ndash;6 hours per week.</p> <h2>2. Behavioral Economics in Action</h2> <p>Offered through the University of Toronto, <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/behavioral-economics-action-university-torontox-be101x-0#" target="_blank">Behavioral Economics in Action</a> teaches students how economics drives consumer decisions and how to develop tools that lead to better financial decisions.</p> <p>Time commitment: 6 weeks, 4&ndash;5 hours per week.</p> <h2>3. Personal Finance</h2> <p>Purdue University offers <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/personal-finance-purduex-pn-17-2" target="_blank">Personal Finance</a>; Improve your money management by improving your understanding of key personal finance concepts such as investments, credit, and insurance.</p> <p>Time commitment: 5 weeks, 3&ndash;4 hours per week.</p> <h2>4. Analyzing Global Trends for Business and Society</h2> <p>The Wharton University of Pennsylvania offers an online course on <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/analyzing-global-trends-business-society-wharton-trends1x?source=aw&amp;awc=6798_1502742497_0d3411ef1fd94a7d7eb647004262589a&amp;utm_source=aw&amp;utm_medium=affiliate_partner&amp;utm_content=text-link&amp;utm_term=301045_https://www.class-central.com/" target="_blank">learning to understand global trends</a>, including how you can use that knowledge to make better financial decisions and investments.</p> <p>Time commitment: 7 weeks, 3&ndash;4 hours per week.</p> <h2>5. How to Start a Startup</h2> <p>With Stanford University's video course <a href="https://www.class-central.com/mooc/2572/how-to-start-a-startup" target="_blank">How to Start a Startup</a>, you'll learn the fundamentals of launching a new business; including how to develop product ideas, make sales, market products, and hire your first employees.</p> <p>Time commitment: 1,000 minutes of video.</p> <h2>6. Stocks and Bonds: Risks and Returns</h2> <p>Another Stanford video course, <a href="https://www.class-central.com/mooc/2453/stanford-openedx-stocks-and-bonds-risks-and-returns" target="_blank">Stocks and Bonds: Risks and Returns</a> covers the basics of stocks and bonds, including how value is established, what affects market prices, and what you actually get when you buy a stock or a bond.</p> <p>Time commitment: Self-paced.</p> <h2>7. Finance Theory I</h2> <p><a href="https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/sloan-school-of-management/15-401-finance-theory-i-fall-2008/" target="_blank">Finance Theory I</a>, offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, teaches you how the economy and capital markets work, including an introduction to complex investment instruments such as derivatives and options.</p> <p>Time commitment: Semester-length course.</p> <h2>8. Retail Fundamentals</h2> <p>Learning <a href="https://www.edx.org/course/retail-fundamentals-dartmouthx-rfundx-0" target="_blank">how retail works</a> can give you an advantage as a consumer. This course from Dartmouth covers the basics of how businesses select inventory and set prices to maximize profit.</p> <p>Time commitment: 4 weeks, 3&ndash;4 hours per week.</p> <h2>9. Economics of Money and Banking</h2> <p>This course from Columbia University teaches the <a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/money-banking" target="_blank">basics of banking and monetary policy</a> and offers insight into the financial crisis of 2007&ndash;2009 from the perspective of financial institutions.</p> <p>Time commitment: 13 weeks, 5 hours per week.</p> <h2>10. Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator</h2> <p>Negotiating effectively is one of the most effective ways to get ahead financially. This course from Yale promises to &quot;<a href="https://www.class-central.com/mooc/4336/coursera-introduction-to-negotiation-a-strategic-playbook-for-becoming-a-principled-and-persuasive-negotiator" target="_blank">help you be a better negotiator</a>&quot; by teaching tactics and tools to reach a better deal.</p> <p>Time commitment: 9-week course.</p> <h2>11. Personal &amp; Family Financial Planning</h2> <p><a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/family-planning" target="_blank">Personal &amp; Family Financial Planning</a> from the University of Florida teaches the fundamentals of personal finance and money management including budgeting, credit, and taxes.</p> <p>Time commitment: 9-week course.</p> <h2>12. Investment Vehicles, Insurance, and Retirement</h2> <p>Khan University's <a href="https://www.khanacademy.org/economics-finance-domain/core-finance/investment-vehicles-tutorial" target="_blank">Investment Vehicles, Insurance, and Retirement</a> course teaches the basic principles that will allow you to grow your money through investments and protect your money through insurance.</p> <p>Time commitment: Self-paced.</p> <h2>13. Securing Investment Returns in the Long Run</h2> <p>In the course <a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/investment-returns-long-run" target="_blank">Securing Investment Returns in the Long Run</a> through the University of Geneva, you'll learn about active vs. passive investing and how to evaluate the performance of your investments to achieve good long-term returns.</p> <p>Time commitment: 4 weeks, 1&ndash;3 hours per week.</p> <h2>14. Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning</h2> <p><a href="http://cat.ocw.uci.edu/oo/getPage.php?course=AR0102092&amp;lesson=001&amp;topic=1&amp;page=1" target="_blank">Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning</a> from UC Irvine aims to teach you how to set and reach your financial goals by improving your knowledge of personal finance.</p> <p>Time commitment: 30 hours.</p> <h2>15. Free Online Personal Finance Course</h2> <p>This <a href="https://cals.arizona.edu/sfcs/personalfinance/introduction.html" target="_blank">personal finance primer</a> from the University of Arizona will teach you how to navigate the perils of today's consumer economy by mastering personal finance principles.</p> <p>Time commitment: 15 hours.</p> <h2>16. Econ 252: Financial Markets</h2> <p>Become a smarter investor with this <a href="http://oyc.yale.edu/economics/econ-252-08" target="_blank">economics course</a> from Yale, which aims to help you understand the inner workings of financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies, and securities markets.</p> <p>Time commitment: Semester-length course.</p> <h2>17. New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs</h2> <p>If you are thinking about starting a business, <a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/startup-funding" target="_blank">New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs</a> from the University of Maryland will help you figure out how to fund your venture.</p> <p>Time commitment: 3&ndash;5 hours per week.</p> <h2>18. Marketing in a Digital World</h2> <p><a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/marketing-digital" target="_blank">Marketing in a Digital World</a>, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will teach you how digital tools are revolutionizing the way products are bought and sold, and how this is providing unprecedented advantages for consumers.</p> <p>Time commitment: 4 weeks, 6&ndash;8 hours per week.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fget-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FGet%2520Smart%2520About%2520Money%2520With%2520These%252018%2520Free%2520Online%2520Courses.jpg&amp;description=Get%20Smart%20About%20Money%20With%20These%2018%20Free%20Online%20Courses"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Get%20Smart%20About%20Money%20With%20These%2018%20Free%20Online%20Courses.jpg" alt="Get Smart About Money With These 18 Free Online Courses" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-smart-about-money-with-these-18-free-online-courses">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals">9 Online Forums That&#039;ll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know">The Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-moves-you-can-make-during-your-commute">10 Financial Moves You Can Make During Your Commute</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-online-tools-to-manage-your-money-in-under-10-minutes-a-week">5 Online Tools to Manage Your Money in Under 10 Minutes a Week</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training entrepreneurship freebies investing learning massive open online courses money management online courses resources Tue, 03 Oct 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2028482 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 College Perks You Might Be Missing Out On http://www.wisebread.com/8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/i_am_prepared_for_exam_very_well.jpg" alt="I am prepared for exam very well" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College is expensive. Many students struggle to find the funds to attend college and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-avoid-student-loan-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">avoid massive student debt</a>. And while student debt is an ongoing issue, there are many ways a student ID can provide big savings elsewhere. Savvy college students can utilize free or discounted activities and products to maximize their college experience and minimize their expenses. Here are eight college perks that you might be missing out on.</p> <h2>1. Reduced or free museum admission</h2> <p>Many museums and art galleries offer free or reduced admission to college students. New York University, for example, has a program called <a href="https://www.nyu.edu/life/arts-culture-and-entertainment/free-museum-access.html" target="_blank">Museum Gateway</a> that grants free admission to nearly a dozen museums and art galleries in New York City.</p> <p>Even if the college doesn't have a direct partnership with the museum to provide free admission to students, the museum might still have a student discount. The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, for example, offers free admission with a valid student ID. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20+ Freebies for College Students</a>)</p> <h2>2. Student discounts on computers</h2> <p>Computers are a vital tool. While students can access computers at local and college libraries, it can be a tad inconvenient. Computer manufacturers have created student discount programs to lower the monetary burden of students who need a computer.</p> <ul> <li> <p><a href="http://hp.force.com/external/hpacademy?AOID=51289" target="_blank">HP Academy</a> offers students 20 percent off HP products.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.dell.com/en-us/learn/purchaseprogram/university" target="_blank">Dell University</a> offers students 20 percent off Dell products.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/b/sale" target="_blank">Microsoft</a> offers students up to 10 percent off Microsoft computers.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/landingpage/students-and-teachers/" target="_blank">Lenovo</a> offers students 15 percent of Lenovo products.</p> </li> </ul> <p>If you get really lucky, the university might also offer additional savings or a free computer or tablet upon enrollment.</p> <h2>3. Discounted or free software</h2> <p>Software can be essential for a successful college career. Spreadsheets, word processing, presentation programs, and graphics editing programs are expensive. Thankfully, as a student, you are spared the high cost of the programs.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Office 365 is free to all students with a valid student ID. You can either download the programs from your college's website or from <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education/products/office/default.aspx" target="_blank">Microsoft</a>.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/buy/students.html" target="_blank">Adobe</a> offers students 60 percent off the price of their photography and design apps.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>4. Free access to gyms and rec centers</h2> <p>Most on-campus colleges tend to have a gym and rec center that are free for students to utilize. The perks offered in the gyms are highly dependent on the school. Perks range from workout equipment, one-on-one personal training, online, or on-site workout classes, lap pools, lazy rivers, hot tubs, rock climbing centers, and indoor recreation rooms for various intramural sports. Gym and rec center memberships are expensive, so it's definitely worth taking advantage of this perk.</p> <p>If you're an online student without access to your university's gym, private gyms often offer a student discount you can cash in on.</p> <h2>5. Free entertainment</h2> <p>Colleges often offer free admission to movie screenings, plays, guest speakers, sporting events, and concerts. These college-funded events can be great ways to fill your free time without dipping into your bank account.</p> <h2>6. Free mental health counseling and services</h2> <p>College life can be stressful. Students who are mentally and emotionally healthy have a slightly higher chance of succeeding at school. In order to help students maintain a good mental health, many colleges offer free individual, group, or couples therapy. The sessions are meant to help students deal with issues, manage their personal problems, and develop coping strategies. This is a free service that can, in many cases, save your educational career.</p> <h2>7. Discounted airfare and hotels</h2> <p>Whether it's for summer break, visiting the family, or returning to school, plane tickets and hotels can be horrendously expensive. The good news is that there are travel sites that offer discounted prices to students.</p> <ul> <li> <p><a href="https://www.studentuniverse.com/" target="_blank">Student Universe</a> lets students buy flights and hotels at a discounted rate. A student ID or class schedule will often be required to prove that you are a student.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.cheapoair.com/deals/student-travel" target="_blank">CheapOAir</a> has a student travel page that offers discounted rates.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.statravel.com/" target="_blank">STA Travel</a> offers an International Student Identity Card that provides discounts on flights and hotels.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>8. Clothing discounts</h2> <p>Students can receive special discounts at dozens of clothing retailers. This is especially true for students who need more formal clothing for internships or their first job after college.</p> <p>Once you have a little money to spend, go shopping for a few work-approved outfits before you graduate. Check out Banana Republic, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Club Monaco, Sam's Club for student discounts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-sites-where-the-right-email-address-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Sites Where the Right Email Address Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520College%2520Perks%2520You%2520Might%2520Be%2520Missing%2520Out%2520On.jpg&amp;description=8%20College%20Perks%20You%20Might%20Be%20Missing%20Out%20On"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20College%20Perks%20You%20Might%20Be%20Missing%20Out%20On.jpg" alt="8 College Perks You Might Be Missing Out On" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-college-perks-you-might-be-missing-out-on">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-genius-ways-to-stock-up-on-school-supplies">6 Genius Ways to Stock Up on School Supplies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-effortless-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-shopping">4 Effortless Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Shopping college perks college student discounts saving money shopping tips student discounts Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:30:17 +0000 Samantha Stauf 2023006 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cute_college_student_walking_around_campus_on_sunny_day.jpg" alt="Cute college student walking around campus on sunny day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College is about more than just getting a degree. For many new college students, starting this phase of education is also a time to learn any number of important life skills, from proper laundry care to time management.</p> <p>However, many college students often overlook one important life skill: money management. As a college student, you might assume that money management isn't important, since you've got so little money to manage.</p> <p>Unfortunately, neglecting your money skills in college could have lasting negative repercussions throughout your adult life. Rather than assuming you'll sort out the money stuff &quot;later,&quot; get off on the right financial foot by following these money moves when you start your college career.</p> <h2>1. Open a student checking account</h2> <p>Your brand-new university ID makes you eligible for student checking accounts. This gives you a good home for your money while you're in school, and helps you develop good banking habits.</p> <p>Student checking accounts often have low or no minimum opening deposits, and they also generally do not require you to carry a minimum balance each month. In addition, some student accounts offer perks like a limited number of free out-of-network ATM transactions per month, free checks, and some overdraft forgiveness.</p> <h2>2. Start automating your bills</h2> <p>Once you have a checking account in place, you can take advantage of your bank's online bill paying services to set up automatic payments of your regular expenses. Automatic bill payment allows you to keep your focus on your studies, where it belongs.</p> <p>Of course, the caveat is that you need to periodically make sure your account has enough money to cover your automatically paid bills. One good way to do this is to set up a weekly reminder to check your finances. This will help you establish the habit of keeping an eye on your finances even as they are taken care of automatically.</p> <h2>3. Create a spending plan for your financial aid</h2> <p>Receiving a big chunk of money from your university's financial aid office can be pretty exciting &mdash; whether you're receiving loans you'll have to pay back, or grants that you won't. It's tempting to live it up when you receive your financial aid, but that's a good way to run out of money before the semester is over.</p> <p>Instead, take the time to create a spending plan for your financial aid disbursement before the money hits your bank account. Determine how much of your financial aid will need to go toward tuition, textbooks, lab fees, and living expenses. Having such a plan in place will help you keep your spending in check when you feel the urge to splurge some of your aid money.</p> <h2>5. Keep track of your student loans</h2> <p>Many college students &mdash; including yours truly! &mdash; make the mistake of paying no attention to their student loans until they have graduated. In general, the amount of money you are borrowing can seem unreal, so it's very easy to just ignore the problem until you reach your student loan exit interview just before graduation.</p> <p>However, knowing early how much you owe and how much it will cost you to pay it off is both good for your financial health and can help you remain motivated in your studies. It's much easier to get up for that 8 a.m. chemistry lab when you understand just how much you're paying for the privilege of going to it.</p> <p>If you have federal student loans, you can keep track of how much you have borrowed and what your repayment options will be through the <a href="https://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/" target="_blank">National Student Loan Data System</a>. Just select &quot;Financial Aid Review,&quot; log in, and you can view all of your federal student loans in one place. If you have any private student loans, you will need to contact your lender for information regarding your loans.</p> <h2>6. Build up an emergency fund</h2> <p>When I was in college, a classmate's financial aid package was re-evaluated at the end of her first year. The school's financial aid office decided that she could count on an additional $1,500 from her family for her second year, even though she knew that it would be impossible to ask for that additional money. By working some serious overtime that summer and living off tuna fish and ramen, my classmate was able to scrape together the additional money. But this situation could have potentially meant the difference between her returning to school and her dropping out.</p> <p>An emergency fund can make this kind of unanticipated financial change much less stressful than it was for my classmate, especially when you are already living on a shoestring.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-creating-your-emergency-fund" target="_blank">Building an emergency fund</a> might feel impossible when you're in college, but don't forget that small amounts can add up to something really helpful. Start with an automatic transfer of $5 &mdash;$10 per week into a savings account. Add in whatever excess money you come across &mdash; including the cash you get for selling back textbooks or some of the birthday money Nana sends every year.</p> <p>Though your fund will grow slowly, working steadily on it will ensure that a financial aid (or other emergency) does not jeopardize your education.</p> <h2>7. Learn from your financial fumbles</h2> <p>Every time you make a financial decision as a college student, you have the opportunity to learn from your choices. The trick to learning from financial mistakes rather than repeating them, is to look back on the choices you made with curiosity and compassion for yourself. You're a college student, after all, and learning is the entire job description.</p> <p>Take each moment of money regret as an opportunity to figure out where your financial weaknesses are. You'll finish college with a much better understand of yourself and your money temptations, as well as potential solutions for avoiding those temptations.</p> <h2>Learn about finances before you enter the real world</h2> <p>It may feel like adding financial responsibility on top of your educational requirements will be too much to handle, but college is actually a great time to work on your money management skills. Taking good care of your finances as you are engaging in higher learning sets you up for financial success after graduation.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Money%2520Moves%2520Every%2520New%2520College%2520Student%2520Should%2520Make.jpg&amp;description=7%20Money%20Moves%20Every%20New%20College%20Student%20Should%20Make"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Money%20Moves%20Every%20New%20College%20Student%20Should%20Make.jpg" alt="7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook">CSS Is One Source of College Financial Aid You Can&#039;t Afford to Overlook</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-financial-aid-might-not-cover">6 Things Financial Aid Might Not Cover</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-common-financial-aid-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them">The 10 Most Common Financial Aid Mistakes — And How To Avoid Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training automatic payments bills checking accounts college emergency funds financial aid money moves savings student loans students Tue, 29 Aug 2017 09:00:05 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2009181 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_514475258.jpg" alt="Woman building credit in college" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a college student, your credit score probably isn't a priority. You're too busy worrying about exams, homework, and scraping together enough money for a pizza on Friday night. But building good credit when you're in college is important. It can make it easier to rent an apartment, apply for a good credit card, and buy a car once you graduate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Credit Cards for College Students</a>)</p> <p>Many college students graduate with no credit score at all. That's because they've never used a credit card or paid off an installment loan, such as for a car or mortgage. They haven't even started paying off their student loans yet.</p> <p>Graduating with no credit makes life after college more challenging. Here are five big reasons why you should start building good credit when you're still in school.</p> <h2>1. Renting an apartment</h2> <p>In a recent survey by national credit bureau TransUnion, 48 percent of apartment landlords said that the results of a credit check rank among the top three factors they consider when deciding to lease an apartment to a potential renter.</p> <p>If your credit is bad, or if you don't have any credit at all, you'll struggle to rent an apartment on your own. You might have to rely on a co-signer, usually a parent, to sign the lease with you. If you can't find a co-signer, and you haven't built any credit while in college, finding your dream apartment, or even just a starter apartment, can get difficult.</p> <h2>2. Buying a car</h2> <p>Unless you buy a car with cash, you'll probably have to apply for an auto loan to finance the purchase of a new vehicle. Auto lenders study your credit, too. If they find that you don't have any history behind you, they'll be far less likely to approve you for the loan you need to buy that new car.</p> <p>Again, you might have to rely on finding a co-signer. This can be even more difficult for an auto loan. Not only are co-signers on an auto loan responsible for any payments you don't make, the loan will also be counted as their debt. This can make it more difficult for your co-signer to apply for new loans of their own.</p> <p>Overall, it's much easier to walk into an auto dealership knowing that you already have a credit history of your own.</p> <h2>3. Applying for student loans</h2> <p>You'll want a good credit history if you'll need to apply for private loans to help finance the cost of graduate or professional school. It's easier to get federal PLUS loans for graduate and professional schools with a lower credit score. However, you are limited in how much you can borrow through these federal sources.</p> <p>If you must borrow more, you might have to rely on private loans. And private lenders will take a close look at your credit. If you don't have a credit history, qualifying for one of these loans will be more challenging.</p> <h2>4. Being approved for credit cards</h2> <p>There are plenty of credit cards out there with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">low interest rates</a> and valuable rewards programs. They can give you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back on purchases</a> or let you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">earn travel rewards</a> when you use your card.</p> <p>Without a credit history, and the credit score that comes with one, you'll struggle to qualify for one of these good cards. You might instead have to settle for a basic card with a higher interest rate.</p> <h2>5. Getting car insurance</h2> <p>Not having a credit history can even make qualifying for car insurance more of a challenge. If you do want to drive, and you can no longer stay on your parents' auto insurance policy, you'll have to apply for car insurance on your own. And many insurance companies today look at their own version of a credit score when determining who qualifies for insurance and at what rates.</p> <p>The lower your credit-based insurance score, the less likely you'll qualify for auto insurance &mdash; and the more likely you'll have to pay a higher premium if you do qualify.</p> <h2>Building a credit history</h2> <p>The best way to build a credit history while in college is to apply for a student credit card. These cards often come with lower limits. Some might even be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-secured-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">secured cards</a>, meaning that you have to make a deposit into a bank account associated with the card. This deposit makes up your credit limit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <p>Once you get a card, use it, but use it wisely. Only buy what you can afford to pay off in full each month. Then pay off your entire balance by every due date. As you generate a record of on-time credit card payments, you'll steadily build a credit history. At the same time, you'll start building a solid credit score, too.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Reasons%2520Building%2520Credit%2520in%2520College%2520Helps%2520You%2520Win%2520at%2520Life.jpg&amp;description=5%20Reasons%20Building%20Credit%20in%20College%20Helps%20You%20Win%20at%20Life"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Reasons%20Building%20Credit%20in%20College%20Helps%20You%20Win%20at%20Life.jpg" alt="5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debunking-8-common-credit-score-myths">Debunking 8 Common Credit Score Myths</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-after-the-holidays-moves-your-credit-score-will-thank-you-for">5 After the Holidays Moves Your Credit Score Will Thank You For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-surprising-ways-bad-credit-can-hurt-you">15 Surprising Ways Bad Credit Can Hurt You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training building credit co-signers college credit history credit score loans payment history renting students Mon, 28 Aug 2017 08:30:14 +0000 Dan Rafter 2010394 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Surprising Ways to Get More College Financial Aid http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-ways-to-get-more-college-financial-aid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-surprising-ways-to-get-more-college-financial-aid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beautiful_thoughtful_graduate_student_girl_young_woman_in_cap.jpg" alt="Beautiful thoughtful graduate student girl young woman in cap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The cost of college has risen so high that even middle and higher-income parents may qualify for some financial aid. Beyond how much money you earn, how a family structures college savings and general finances in the years leading up to and during college can have an impact on how much aid you're offered.</p> <p>It wasn't always like this. Once upon a time, students could pay their tuition at a public university with the money they earned working during summer. Now, students would have to work full-time all year to pay the average public school tuition, which has skyrocketed to $10,000 for in-state students and $25,000 for out-of-state students for the 2016-2017 school year, according to the College Board. Private colleges and universities are charging an average of more than $33,000 per year. And don't forget, you still need to set aside money for room, board, books, and Albert Einstein posters.</p> <p>All this means that most American families have a gap between what they can pay toward college and what college costs. Fortunately, a university's published &quot;sticker price&quot; is not what most families pay, especially for private colleges. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, even students with household incomes of $110,000 or more received an average of $15,240 in the 2013-14 school year to defray the cost of private nonprofit colleges, and $1,860 for public schools.</p> <p>And that's just the federal grants, loans, and work study jobs. Many schools also offer institutional aid consisting of grants, scholarships, and loans. Some well-endowed schools even promise to cover the entire difference between the family's resources and the price (usually incorporating a combination of loans and other aid types). These financial aid packages can be so large that some families pay less for the most expensive colleges than they would have paid for their local state school.</p> <p>How much aid a student is offered depends on a lot of things. Much of it has to do with how a family's finances are organized and how they fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from the year before their kid starts college. Let's look at strategies for students to maximize available college funds.</p> <h2>1. Be strategic with college savings accounts</h2> <p>First of all, parents should make <em>retirement </em>their top savings priority, not education, because you can get loans for education, but there are no loans to fund retirement.</p> <p>&quot;It's just like being on an airplane: Help yourself first before assisting others,&quot; says Carol Stack, author of <a href="http://amzn.to/2vQaOq7" target="_blank">The Financial Aid Handbook: Getting the Education You Want for the Price You Can Afford</a><em>.</em></p> <p>Second, parents should keep any money they do save in their own names, not in a joint account or a Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) account in the student's name. Your assets count against you even more than your parents' assets do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a>)</p> <p>For the same reason, grandparents or other well-wishers outside the immediate household should avoid directly giving students money for college. If your grandma wants to help with college, great! She should hold onto that money in her own account, not gift it to you. As long as it's in grandma's name, those assets don't get reported on the FAFSA.</p> <p>Some college-savvy financial planners even advise against taking out 529 accounts, those state plans that allow money to grow tax-free but can only be spent on qualified educational expenses, because 529s opened by parents will count on the FAFSA as parental assets and increase the expected family contribution (EFC). Gary Sipos, founder of College Cash Solutions, a for-profit company that offers advice on choosing a college and getting financial aid, always warns clients against them.</p> <p>&quot;In no case in the decade or so I've been doing this, have I ever seen a case where a 529 plan was a good idea,&quot; Sipos says.</p> <p>In Sipos' experience, even though these plans offer tax benefits, the harm to students' chances of getting financial aid can cost the family as much or more than they saved in taxes.</p> <p>However, most college savings experts stand by 529 plans.</p> <p>&quot;The 529 is probably going to be one of your best options,&quot; says Joseph Orsolini, a certified financial planner with Illinois' College Aid Planners.</p> <p>If a grandparent wants to save for college in a 529 plan, they should open their own account, not contribute to one set up by the parents. This way, it's not counted as a parental or child asset. Even then, Orsolini warns, caution is needed to avoid having the account hurt the student's aid chances. If your grandma owns the plan and pays the first year tuition out of it, that payment is counted as your income, and could decrease the amount of aid you qualify for the next year.</p> <p>&quot;You want to withdraw starting the second half of sophomore year,&quot; Orsolini advised. Because the FAFSA looks backward to past years' tax returns, at this point, you'll be in the clear and the student income from Grandma's 529 plan won't affect financial aid.</p> <p>If you're a student who already has money in your own name, you might consider spending that on things you'll need for college &mdash; like test prep classes, or a new computer &mdash; before the period reported on the FAFSA. Once you start paying tuition, spend your own money before your parents spend any of theirs. If your parents want to pay your tuition, they can instead make up for it with a gift later or by helping you pay off any loans you take out.</p> <h2>2. Fill out the FAFSA, even if you think your family makes too much money</h2> <p>The FAFSA is the first step in getting need-based aid, and it's a pain in the butt to fill out. Among other things, it asks for tax returns, your household income, and assets. High income, say over $200,000 a year, lowers your odds of receiving grants and loans, so if your household falls in that category, you may think there's no point in going through the agony. <em>Fill it out anyway.</em></p> <p>There are so many factors affecting whether you will get aid &mdash; like how many people are in your family and whether any of them will be in college at the same time as you &mdash; that you might qualify for at least subsidized loans, despite high income. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-common-financial-aid-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 10 Most Common Financial Aid Mistakes &mdash; And How To Avoid Them</a>)</p> <h2>3. File early, and accurately</h2> <p>The opening date for turning in the FAFSA has been moved up, and it's important to get that thing in within about a month of opening day. If you plan to start college in the fall of 2018, that means turning in the FAFSA starting Oct. 1, 2017.</p> <p>Financial aid is first come, first served, Sipos explains. If you wait until spring, financial aid officers may be running low on funds to distribute. &quot;They might give you half the award they would have given you if you had applied a few months earlier,&quot; he says.</p> <p>In addition, if your FAFSA has errors, it can get kicked back to you for corrections and then you have to go to the back of the line.</p> <h2>4. Spend more time with your poorer parent</h2> <p>If your parents are divorced and live separately, you only have to put the income and assets from <em>one </em>of those households on your FAFSA. So do you put down your mother's income or your father's income? The rules simply say that you submit the information about the <a href="https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/parent-info#who-is-parent" target="_blank">household you spent the most time in</a> during the preceding year &mdash; even if it was only one day more.</p> <p>For example, say your parents are divorced and you split your time evenly between their houses. Your mother and her new husband make $300,000 a year and have a million bucks in the bank. Your father is on disability, and has no assets beyond his house and car. If you are presented as his child, your chances of getting financial aid are greater. While you're in high school, make sure you spend more than half the year living with your dad.</p> <h2>5. If you work, watch your earnings</h2> <p>If you, the high school or college student, earn more than $6,400 in a year, colleges will consider that as money you could be paying in tuition, and reduce need-based awards accordingly. Of course, most student jobs don't pay much, but even at minimum wage, working 20 hours a week all year would put you over the threshold. There are many reasons you may want to work, including wanting to be self-sufficient or gaining valuable job experience. Just remember that once you pass the $6,400 per year threshold, increased tuition costs may eat up 50 cents of every dollar you earn.</p> <p>Instead of working more than 15 hours a week for pay during the last year of high school, when your income must be reported on the FAFSA for your first year of college, consider spending your time doing something that will boost your college application, from studying for the SAT or ACT to doing volunteer work.</p> <p>This is also a warning to parents: Paying your kids a good salary to work for you might help you taxwise, but the penalty in the financial aid application could eclipse any tax savings.</p> <h2>6. Don't dismiss more expensive colleges</h2> <p>School aid offers can vary, based both on how much the school wants you and also how much the institution is. Once you have the financial aid promises in hand, you may be surprised at how much you're expected to pay differs from the sticker price.</p> <p>&quot;[D]epending on a family's income and a college's available aid funds, the cost paid by the family for attending even the most expensive Ivy League schools may be less than the cost of attending an in-state public university,&quot; reads <a href="http://amzn.to/2vLp9Wj" target="_blank">Paying for College Without Going Broke</a> by Kalman Chany, a popular primer on navigating the financial aid process.</p> <p>Don't make a final decision until you have all the aid letters in hand, because the sticker price is not an apples-to-apples comparison.</p> <h2>7. Don't automatically choose the best college you got into</h2> <p>Many schools reserve their best merit aid offers for the top 25 percent of applicants, based on test scores, Sipos explains. That means if you barely squeak into a great school, but would be one of the top students at a good school, you'll probably get a better aid offer from the good school. Sipos counsels families on this strategy when applying for colleges, using information schools publish about their students' median college entrance test scores.</p> <h2>8. Look into whether you have to report your family's small business income</h2> <p>Sipos used to be a general financial planner, but he was inspired to specialize in college financial planning when he met a couple who was drowning in debt despite having run a successful business for years. They'd sent three daughters to Ivy League schools, and because they earned a good income, and their business was worth a lot, they'd never bothered to fill out a FAFSA.</p> <p>What the family didn't know was their business met the legal description of a <a href="http://www.finaid.org/fafsa/smallbusiness.phtml" target="_blank">small business that does not count</a> against students for financial aid purposes. Family farms fall into this category, as well. The family would have qualified for financial aid if they'd applied, Sipos says, leaving them ready to retire after their kids graduated, instead of running double time to dig out of debt.</p> <p>&quot;They could have saved $30,000 a year if they had exempted their business. The financial aid officer didn't mention anything,&quot; he says.</p> <h2>9. Put money into non-reportable assets</h2> <p>If your parents have car loans, credit card debt, or a mortgage, it makes good sense to pay them off as much as possible, not only to reduce their debt but also to increase the amount of aid you might be eligible for. You have to report how much money and other liquid investments your family has on the FAFSA. That means your parents' bank accounts are considered money they could be putting toward your education. But the <a href="https://www.cappex.com/hq/articles-and-advice/financial-aid/fafsa/How-to-Shelter-Assets-on-the-FAFSA" target="_blank">value of your family's primary home</a> and personal possessions such as cars don't count against you in assessing your need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings</a>)</p> <h2>10. Make sure the school knows about all special circumstances</h2> <p>Besides the volumes of information the FAFSA asks for, you can also include a letter explaining the family's circumstances &mdash; and in many cases, you should. For instance, if you have a disabled sibling who needs expensive care, or another challenging circumstance, let the school know so it can take that into account when calculating your family's ability to pay.</p> <h2>11. Negotiate with the financial aid office</h2> <p>When you get your aid letter, it's not necessarily a &quot;take it or leave it&quot; proposition. You can let the school know if other schools offered you a better deal, and urge them to take another look.</p> <p>If you haven't already written a letter about special circumstances, now is the time to do that. Finally, if the year reported on the FAFSA was an unusually good year financially for your family &mdash; your mother got a huge bonus, for example, or your parents sold an investment property &mdash; you can provide previous and subsequent tax returns to support your case, Sipos advises.</p> <h2>12. Join the military or a public service program</h2> <p>Two members of my family became the first in their respective lines to go to college, thanks to the GI Bill, a program that helps service members and veterans cover education costs. That's just one of the college benefits available to veterans and service members. It's worth looking into.</p> <p>Outside of the military, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, the Peace Corps, and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program are all avenues for paying off student loans or financing college.</p> <p>Some people might look at the above tactics as gaming the system. It's certainly possible to pass beyond optimizing into the shady territory of trying to hide income and assets.</p> <p>&quot;I lose my patience with people who are affluent &mdash; and they want to hide that affluence? Come on,&quot; Stack says.</p> <p>While it's up to the individual to decide which legal financial aid optimization tactics are appropriate, reputable college financial planners see no problem in making a financial plan that maximizes the chance of getting aid.</p> <p>&quot;You're just following the rules,&quot; Orsolini says<strong> &quot;</strong>It's no different from putting money in a 401(k) to minimize your tax burden.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F12-surprising-ways-to-get-more-college-financial-aid&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%2520Surprising%2520Ways%2520to%2520Get%2520More%2520College%2520Financial%2520Aid.jpg&amp;description=12%20Surprising%20Ways%20to%20Get%20More%20College%20Financial%20Aid"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/12%20Surprising%20Ways%20to%20Get%20More%20College%20Financial%20Aid.jpg" alt="12 Surprising Ways to Get More College Financial Aid" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-ways-to-get-more-college-financial-aid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult">8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira">Yes, You Can Pay for Education With an IRA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan">Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for">9 College Expenses You Aren&#039;t Saving For</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Education & Training affording college college college expenses college savings continuing education saving money saving money for college Tue, 22 Aug 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2007138 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's What You Need to Know Before Buying a College Meal Plan http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-need-to-know-before-buying-a-college-meal-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-what-you-need-to-know-before-buying-a-college-meal-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smiling_student_on_lunch_break_in_cafeteria_looking_at_camera.jpg" alt="Smiling student on lunch break in cafeteria looking at camera" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before heading off to college, you need to budget for its many expenses. On top of tuition, course materials, and room and board, many people also forget about one important line item: food! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 College Expenses You Aren't Saving For</a>)</p> <p>The unfortunate news is you often don't have a lot of options for combating the high cost of college campus meals. But at least you can go into the situation informed, so you can make appropriate budget allowances. Here are six things every student should know about college meal plans:</p> <h2>1. Residential students are often required to buy one</h2> <p>First of all, you may think that you have the option of whether or not to buy a meal plan. Turns out that if you're a student living in university quarters, your school will likely require you to buy one. Make sure to read the fine print, because freshmen can be required to pay up for a &quot;platinum&quot; plan. For example, for the 2017-2018 school year, the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey required its freshmen living on campus to purchase an unlimited $3,200 per semester meal plan.</p> <p>Even students living in dormitories with kitchens can be required a minimum buy-in for food costs, according to The New York Times.</p> <h2>2. &quot;Lighter&quot; meal plans are often only available to upperclassmen</h2> <p>If you find that a top-tier meal plan is excessive and you want to downgrade, you may have to wait a few semesters (or years). It's not uncommon that lighter versions, such as a 10-meal per week plan, are only available to students with a certain number of semesters under their belts. Freshmen may be required to buy plans with 15 to 19 meals per week.</p> <h2>3. Rollovers may not be allowed</h2> <p>Some schools allow you to apply unused meals from one week to the next, and others don't. To help you make the most out of your meal plan, check the applicable rules regarding rollovers. Tight rules may make skipping meals at participating cafeterias and vendors a big financial waste. You don't want to skip a meal you've paid for, only to have to pay for off-plan food later when you're hungry.</p> <h2>4. Cost per &quot;swipe&quot; can be higher</h2> <p>Some college dining plans provide cards with a preloaded number of swipes that students can use at participating on-campus eateries. Sound good? Well, the problem is, that convenience comes at a cost: Cardholders often end up paying more &quot;per swipe&quot; than somebody paying for the same meal with cash.</p> <p>If you're looking for variety, going the DIY route is more budget-friendly. Instead of swiping for overpriced coffee at the on-campus coffee shop, invest in a small coffee pot for your dorm room. By buying your own ground coffee and milk, you should be able to crank out two Americanos with milk per day for a total cost of about 60 cents. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try</a>)</p> <h2>5. Meal plan expenses aren't eligible for tax credits</h2> <p>Many college students are eligible for two great tax credits:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Lifetime Learning Credit: This credit allows you to deduct up to 20 percent of your first $10,000 in qualified education expenses, up to $2,000 per taxpayer.</p> </li> <li> <p>American Opportunity Credit: This credit enables you to cover up to $2,500 of undergraduate college costs.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Unlike expenses for course-related supplies or tuition, meal plan fees aren't eligible toward either one of these tax credits. Even when required as a condition for enrollment or attendance, meal plan fees aren't considered qualified education expenses. This is especially frustrating, because up to 40 percent of the American Opportunity Credit is refundable, even if you don't owe any federal taxes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-skip-these-8-tax-breaks-for-students?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Don't Skip These 8 Tax Breaks for Students</a>)</p> <h2>6. Higher costs contribute to higher student loans</h2> <p>According to Student Loan Hero, the average 2016 graduate took home $37,172 in student loan debt, up 6 percent from 2015. With their average student loan burden going up, students have to look for ways to drive down costs. And increasingly expensive college meal plans aren't helping.</p> <p>According to U.S. Department of Education data, the average college charged about $4,300 for a 19-meal per week contract for the 2015 academic year, or $7.50 per meal. In the same year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found the average American spent just $4,000 eating at home for a 12-month period (that's just $4 a meal!). That means the average college student with a meal plan pays 87.5 percent more per meal.</p> <p>It turns out that cutting back on that pricey college meal plan doesn't just help you ward off the extra pounds, but it also helps keep the student debt monster in check.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fheres-what-you-need-to-know-before-buying-a-college-meal-plan&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHeres%2520What%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520Know%2520Before%2520Buying%2520a%2520College%2520Meal%2520Plan.jpg&amp;description=Heres%20What%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20Before%20Buying%20a%20College%20Meal%20Plan"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Heres%20What%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20Before%20Buying%20a%20College%20Meal%20Plan.jpg" alt="Here's What You Need to Know Before Buying a College Meal Plan" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-need-to-know-before-buying-a-college-meal-plan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life">5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-college-expenses-you-arent-saving-for">9 College Expenses You Aren&#039;t Saving For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime">Should You Borrow Student Loan Money From Amazon Prime?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training college food costs meal plans requirements students tax credits Tue, 15 Aug 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Damian Davila 2001478 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Advice Would You Give a College Freshman? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-advice-would-you-give-a-college-freshman-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-advice-would-you-give-a-college-freshman-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_college_student_585509908.jpg" alt="Giving advice to a college freshman" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to An G, Betty, and Amy for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Students across the nation are going back to school. This is an exciting time for many of them, especially for new college students who may be living on their own for the first time and experience more freedom &mdash; and responsibility &mdash; as adults.</p> <p><strong>What advice would you give a college freshman?</strong> What was the most important lesson you learned during your early adult years?</p> <p>Tell us what advice you would give a college freshman and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win:</p> <ul> <li>Follow us on Twitter</li> <li>Tweet about our giveaway for an entry.</li> <li>Visit our Facebook page for an entry.</li> </ul> <p>Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards:</p> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa313/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa313" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_5qsytaby">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, August 21st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after August 21st on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook or Twitter.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and U.S. resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us what advice you would give a college freshman and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-advice-would-you-give-a-college-freshman-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-care-for-your-pet-affordably">Ask the Readers: How Do You Care For Your Pet Affordably?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-dream-job-0">Ask the Readers: What is Your Dream Job?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Giveaways Ask the Readers college advice Tue, 15 Aug 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 2000991 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Dorm Essentials That Make Student Life Easier http://www.wisebread.com/14-dorm-essentials-that-make-student-life-easier <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-dorm-essentials-that-make-student-life-easier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-501795383.jpg" alt="College student bringing dorm essentials that make life easier" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Dorms are designed to be no-frills living spaces that house students who are more focused on learning than luxury. But dorm life doesn't mean you have to sacrifice every creature comfort. Here are 14 dorm room essentials that will make life easier, safer, and healthier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a>)</p> <h2>1. Oscillating fan</h2> <p>Dormitories aren't known for their elaborate climate control options. A compact but powerful <a href="http://amzn.to/2vAoBn6" target="_blank">oscillating fan</a> will not only help keep you cool; it'll generate a bit of valuable white noise to mask any late night revelry.</p> <h2>2. Earplugs</h2> <p>And while we're on the topic of noise, stock up on disposable <a href="http://amzn.to/2viPwkx" target="_blank">foam earplugs</a>. If you're a light sleeper or used to the uninterrupted silence of a private bedroom, the adjustment to dorm life can be rough. Though earplugs won't block out noise completely, they'll dampen it enough that you can get some sleep. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fall-asleep-when-you-cant?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Fall Asleep When You Can't</a>)</p> <h2>3. Blackout curtains</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2vBfvpS" target="_blank">Blackout curtains</a> promote sleep by keeping out early morning sunlight. They're especially useful in rooms with east-facing windows or in urban settings where blinking traffic signals and bright security lights are hard to escape.</p> <h2>4. Microwave and mini-fridge</h2> <p>This kitchen duo will make food preparation and storage a snap &mdash; helping you avoid spendy trips to off-campus restaurants. But before you buy, check with the university housing staff or student handbook to determine which in-room appliances are allowed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-small-appliances-for-students?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Small Appliances for Students</a>)</p> <h2>5. Stainless steel flatware</h2> <p>Rather than throw away money on disposable utensils, invest in a <a href="http://amzn.to/2vg5dul" target="_blank">set of flatware</a> for dorm room dining. No need to buy new; you can easily assemble a mismatched collection from yard sales or thrift stores.</p> <h2>6. Shower caddy</h2> <p>Since most dorms feature communal bathrooms, you'll need a handy way to transport your personal care items. Grab-and-go <a href="http://amzn.to/2fqH9zI" target="_blank">shower caddies</a> have a place for all the hygiene goods that keep you looking great.</p> <h2>7. Antimicrobial flip-flops</h2> <p>No matter how clean they may be, those communal showers have a distinct &quot;ick factor.&quot; Protect your feet and stop the spread of germs by investing in a pair of slip-resistant <a href="http://amzn.to/2vBQdIo" target="_blank">antimicrobial shower sandals</a>.</p> <h2>8. First aid kit</h2> <p>Headaches and colds are a fact of life (especially during finals week). Keep a small supply of pain relievers, cough drops, and cold medicine on-hand to make dorm life easier during trying times. And when emergencies happen, make sure your first aid kit includes rubbing alcohol, antibiotic ointment, bandages, and aloe vera gel for burns. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-first-aid-kits?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best First Aid Kits</a>)</p> <h2>9. Clip-on light</h2> <p>All-night study sessions are a time-honored tradition among college students. Use a <a href="http://amzn.to/2wESqPU" target="_blank">clip-on light</a> to illuminate your textbook and not your snoozing roomie. With a flexible &quot;gooseneck&quot; design and durable clip, they're perfect for bunk bed rails and headboards.</p> <h2>10. Desktop organizer</h2> <p>No matter how virtual our workspaces become, everyone needs a <a href="http://amzn.to/2vBwubU" target="_blank">desktop organizer</a> to hold highlighters, pens, sticky notes, and assorted chargers and cables. And when your course load gets heavier, at least your desk won't be a total mess.</p> <h2>11. Bed risers</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2vg3vct" target="_blank">Bed risers</a> are an inexpensive way to reclaim precious square footage for seasonal clothes, luggage, and sports equipment. Some risers even come with built-in electrical outlets and USB ports for easy bedside charging.</p> <h2>12. Over-the-door shoe organizer</h2> <p>To maximize limited space in your dorm room, think vertically. <a href="http://amzn.to/2fqd7Mx" target="_blank">Over-the-door shoe organizers</a> aren't just for footwear. Use the pockets to hold scarves and gloves, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, utensils, and packaged snacks.</p> <h2>13. Flexible furniture</h2> <p>In tight spaces, every item needs to pull double duty. Keep an eye out for small-scale multiuse furniture (an ottoman with a built-in storage compartment or a shelf that can also serve as a room divider). Also, consider items like folding chairs and <a href="http://amzn.to/2vBJRc5" target="_blank">TV trays</a> that can be easily stored when not in use.</p> <h2>14. Cleaning kit</h2> <p>Spills, stains and other minor mishaps need quick attention. Assemble a small cleaning kit with stain removers, laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaner, and a microfiber cloth. It'll definitely come in handy when those inevitable &quot;oops!&quot; moments happen.</p> <p>Let me wrap things up with one final, but crucial, tip: Before investing in any item that can be shared, check with your soon-to-be roommate. Together, you can coordinate shopping lists to avoid duplication or split the cost of big-ticket purchases.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F14-dorm-essentials-that-make-student-life-easier&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F14%2520Dorm%2520Essentials%2520That%2520Make%2520Student%2520Life%2520Easier.jpg&amp;description=14%20Dorm%20Essentials%20That%20Make%20Student%20Life%20Easier"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/14%20Dorm%20Essentials%20That%20Make%20Student%20Life%20Easier.jpg" alt="14 Dorm Essentials That Make Student Life Easier" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-dorm-essentials-that-make-student-life-easier">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now">The 8 Best Ways to Save on Back-to-School Supplies Right NOW</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-genius-ways-to-stock-up-on-school-supplies">6 Genius Ways to Stock Up on School Supplies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-back-to-school-items-you-can-sell-for-extra-cash">6 Back-to-School Items You Can Sell For Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Shopping back-to-school back-to-school shopping college college freshman dorm essentials dorm room school supplies shopping for college Thu, 10 Aug 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Kentin Waits 1999315 at http://www.wisebread.com