higher education http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/16483/all en-US How to Increase Your Child's Odds of Winning a Scholarship http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-increase-your-childs-odds-of-winning-a-scholarship <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-increase-your-childs-odds-of-winning-a-scholarship" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000040968700_Large.jpg" alt="increasing his odds of getting a scholarship" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No doubt about it, college is expensive. And taking on large amounts of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness">student loan debt</a> can damper a student's (and parent's) finances for many years after graduation. Scholarships are a viable solution to helping foot the pricey bill of a degree, but many students and parents view scholarships like a mythical, magical solution that is unattainable.</p> <p>While that's not necessarily true, it is difficult to score a good one. Popular scholarships are overwhelmed with thousands of applicants, while the unclaimed scholarships are so specific that only a handful of college students qualify.</p> <p>While it is important to be realistic about the scholarship search before you begin. Rarely do students land a full-ride scholarship or get all of their expenses covered through scholarships. However, don't let this discourage you or your child from applying. Even a $1,000 to $5,000 scholarship can be highly beneficial towards school costs. Here are some tips on increasing your child's chances of winning a scholarship.</p> <h2>1. Get to Know the College Counselor</h2> <p>Your child's college counselor will be the best person to ask about scholarships. Many times local businesses will contact your college counselor directly and even ask them to select the student for them. A college counselor can be an important key to getting access to lesser known scholarships, but they will want students to be respectful of their time and efforts.</p> <p>Similarly, the financial aid director at a community or junior college, or a university, can help connect you to aid after you have been accepted to the school.</p> <h2>2. Go Local</h2> <p>An Internet search of available scholarships will quickly show you thousands of scholarships available all over the world. However, every other student who is researching scholarships is going to have access to the same information. Many times local scholarships increase your chances of winning college money.</p> <p>Make a list of all the services and companies your family uses. Ask each business if they have any available scholarships. Many credit unions, libraries, dentists, and even used car dealerships offer local scholarships because giving out scholarships can provide them a tax break and gain them media coverage.</p> <p>Communities will also pull businesses together and collect scholarship money, so check with your City of Commerce office for details. For example, Culver City, California collected <a href="http://www.cccommunityscholarships.org/">$144,000 from local businesses</a> and awarded 142 students scholarships in June 2015.</p> <h2>3. Look Towards Employers</h2> <p>If your teen has a part-time position, have them inquire with the company about available scholarships. You might be surprised to find out that many companies offer their part-time employees college scholarships or college reimbursement. Fast food companies such as <a href="http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/content/mcd/corporate_careers/student_zone/scholarships.html">McDonald's</a>, <a href="http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Company/Responsibility-Giving-Detail/Scholarship">Chick-Fil-A</a>, and <a href="http://downloadebookpdffree.tk/manual/pdf/burger-king-employee-guide.pdf">Burger King</a> are just a few places that have scholarships available for employees. <a href="http://www.starbucks.com/careers/college-plan">Starbucks</a>, <a href="http://corporate.publix.com/careers/why-publix/tuition-reimbursement">Publix</a>, and <a href="https://ups.managehr.com/earn-and-learn-program.htm">UPS</a> all have college reimbursement programs in place for employees that have been with the company for a specific amount of time.</p> <p>If your child is currently unemployed, securing a part-time job with a company that allows for tuition reimbursement can save them over $1,000 each year they work there and attend school.</p> <h2>4. Treat Scholarship Applications Like a Job</h2> <p>Applying for college scholarships is no easy feat. Students should treat it like a part-time job. Applications and essays should be filled out carefully and specifically adhering to each scholarship's requirements. Avoid recycling essays and answers for scholarships, since this can result in sloppy applications that do not win money. Instead, personalize the application as much as possible for each scholarship.</p> <h2>5. Don't Ignore Small Scholarships</h2> <p>Many applicants will steer clear of scholarships with small award amounts and only apply for scholarships that are $1,000 or more. The truth is that it doesn't matter how you get the money for college, as long as you get it. If a scholarship is only worth $100&ndash;$200, look at what is required. An application and short essay can easily be completed within an hour or two, and winning the scholarship would be equivalent to earning $50&ndash;$100 per hour.</p> <h2>6. Make a List Before You Start</h2> <p>Before you begin searching scholarships and filling out applications, sit down and brainstorm. Make a list of everything that might attract scholarship boards. Is your child a first-generation college student? Perhaps your student has lost a parent, volunteered, or has participated in interesting hobbies, such as bagpiping or 4-H.</p> <p>A list will help you quickly fill out applications, and it will also help you search for more specific scholarships.</p> <p>When I was a high school senior, I earned $1,500 in scholarships and $500 in tuition reimbursement. It definitely was not enough money to send me to any college or pay for all of the expenses, but it was helpful all the same. Even though I applied to several scholarships online, my scholarships came from a local used auto business and a donor through the community college. Both were secured with the help of my college counselor. My part-time position at Starbucks earned me a $500 in tuition reimbursement, and I would have earned even more if I had been more diligent with applying each year.</p> <p>The money for college is out there; go get it.</p> <p><em>Have you or your child ever won a college scholarship? Share your experience. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-increase-your-childs-odds-of-winning-a-scholarship">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-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt</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/8-part-time-jobs-that-offer-college-benefits">8 Part-Time Jobs That Offer College Benefits</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/15-free-ways-to-learn-something-new">15 Free Ways to Learn Something New</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-great-sources-of-financial-aid-for-switching-careers">7 Great Sources of Financial Aid for Switching Careers</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/10-surprising-ways-a-college-education-will-improve-your-life">10 Surprising Ways a College Education Will Improve Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Education & Training college tuition higher education scholarship school loan Thu, 25 Feb 2016 10:30:38 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1662475 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/college_graduate_debt_000028074368.jpg" alt="College grad learning sobering facts about student loan debt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Student loans are a catch-22. Most of us rely on them to get a college degree, which can help us earn about a <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-college-degree-is-worth-1-million-2015-05-07">million dollars more over our lifetimes</a> than those of us without college degrees. On the other hand, the debt we've accrued can impact our financial life decades after we've graduated.</p> <p>Currently, about 40 million American borrowers collectively owe $1.2 trillion in student debt. Some might say student debt is a fair trade given the income potential with a college degree, but there are some sobering facts about student loan debt that might surprise you. Here are five that could make you re-assess higher education loans.</p> <h2>1. Each Graduating Class Becomes More Indebted</h2> <p>It should come as no surprise that the level of student loan debt is rapidly rising. While in the 2003&ndash;2004 school year, only 2% of graduates <a href="http://trends.collegeboard.org/student-aid/figures-tables/cumulative-debt-bachelors-degree-recipients-sector-over-time">carried loan burdens</a> in excess of $40,000, by 2011&ndash;2012, that number exceeded 18%, according to the College Board. And it's likely getting worse.</p> <p>In 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that the class of 2014 was the <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/numbers/congatulations-to-class-of-2014-the-most-indebted-ever-1368/?mod=wsj_nview_latest&amp;mg=blogs-wsj&amp;url=http%253A%252F%252Fblogs.wsj.com%252Fnumbersguy%252Fcongatulations-to-class-of-2014-the-most-indebted-ever-1368%252F%253Fmod%25">most indebted class</a> ever, with an average student loan debt of $33,000. But they didn't hold the title long. Along came the class of 2015 to claim that dubious distinction with an average student loan debt of $35,000. The number will likely continue to increase from year to year, with many college students getting deeper in debt before they're able to purchase their first home.</p> <h2>2. Student Loan Repayment Can Take Longer Than Expected</h2> <p>The standard repayment plan with a federal student loan is 10 years for a bachelor's degree. But unfortunately, many graduates are unable to pay off their student debt in just one decade. On average, it takes about 20 years to <a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2014/10/07/student-loan-expectations-myth-vs-reality">repay student loan debt</a> for a bachelor's degree. And if you're on a income-sensitive federal loan repayment plan, such as Income Based Repayment or Pay As You Earn, you could also be paying for up to 25 years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-pay-back-student-loans-faster?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Pay Back Student Loans Faster</a>)</p> <h2>3. There Is a High Default Rate</h2> <p>Perhaps you see yourself finding a job shortly after graduating and paying down your debt in no time. But life doesn't always go according to plan, and keeping up with student loan payments can be more difficult than expected. In 2012, about 35% of student loan borrowers were 90 or more days behind on their student loan payments.</p> <p>Different reasons play a role in student loan default. Some graduates are unable to find work, or they end up earning less than anticipated. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 260,000 people with a college or professional degree made at or below the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2013.pdf">federal minimum wage</a> of $7.25 per hour in 2013. This undoubtedly is frustrating for graduates who spend tens of thousands of dollars for the opportunity to get ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-student-loan-refinancing-can-save-you-big?ref=seealso">4 Times Student Loan Refinancing Can Save You Big</a>)</p> <h2>4. Student Debt Can Keep You at Home Longer</h2> <p>Because of high student loan debt, moving into their own apartment or buying a home after graduation is out of reach for some grads. One survey found that 27% of those with student debt&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2012-09-06/student-loans-debt-for-life">move back in with their parents</a> after graduation. If that wasn't bad enough, another survey found that the median net worth of young households without student debt is <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/05/14/young-adults-student-debt-and-economic-well-being/">approximately seven times higher</a> than the net worth of those with student debt. This could explain why 40% of young borrowers delay major purchases like a house, and why approximately 14% of young borrowers delay marriage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-definitive-guide-to-pay-as-you-earn-a-great-student-loan-repayment-plan?ref=seealso">The Definitive Guide to the Pay As You Earn Federal Student Loan Repayment Plan</a>)</p> <h2>5. You Can't Run or Hide From Student Loan Debt</h2> <p>Student loan debt can haunt you forever. You might qualify for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness">federal student loan forgiveness</a> after 10 years if you work in public service, but typically this is one type of debt you can't escape.</p> <p>Federal loans can be discharged or canceled if you become permanently disabled or die. Some private lenders offer this provision, but not all. And if you think bankruptcy can remove the burden of student debt, you're in for a rude awakening.</p> <p>It doesn't matter if you didn't complete your education or if you can't find a job, private and federal lenders eventually want their money. You can apply for a deferment or forbearance, which temporarily lowers or suspends monthly payments in the event of hardship &mdash; but payments eventually resume.</p> <p>Student loans &mdash; like getting an education &mdash; are serious business. Avoid compromising your financial future by borrowing wisely.</p> <p><em>How heavy is your student loan burden?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">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/student-loans-how-to-make-post-college-decisions">Student Loans: How to Make Post-College Decisions</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-avoid-student-loan-debt">12 Easy Ways to Avoid Student Loan Debt</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-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness">8 Ways to Get Student Loan Debt Forgiveness</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/share-your-thoughts-consolidating-student-loans">Share Your Thoughts: Consolidating Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Education & Training college financial aid higher education repayment student loans Mon, 30 Nov 2015 18:00:46 +0000 Mikey Rox 1616761 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Great Sources of Financial Aid for Switching Careers http://www.wisebread.com/7-great-sources-of-financial-aid-for-switching-careers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-great-sources-of-financial-aid-for-switching-careers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coworkers_at_computer_000014305206.jpg" alt="Students participating in fellowships and grants for adult career training" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With ever-growing competition in the job market, it's imperative to improve and develop our professional skill sets. Although higher education and career training can be an expensive investment, there are many sources of financial aid in the form of adult <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-score-extra-scholarship-money-for-college">career scholarships</a>, fellowships, and grants. Consider these seven.</p> <h2>1. Government Opportunities</h2> <p>Federal, state, and local governments often have money set aside to award grants and scholarships for adult learning. These opportunities are not very well advertised, but they are easily found if you know where to look. The best source of information on these is your State Education Bureau and the <a href="https://studentaid.ed.gov/">Federal Student Financial Aid Center</a>.</p> <h2>2. Scholarships for Women</h2> <p><a href="http://www.scholarshipsforwomen.net/">Scholarships for Women</a> is an excellent site that lists little-known financial aid opportunities for women. Many of them are expressly dedicated to specific demographics, including race, religion, family structure, field of study, sexual orientation, and education level.</p> <h2>3. Scholarships for Working Parents and Those Who Want to Work Abroad</h2> <p>If you are returning to college to finish a degree or start a new one as an adult student, <a href="https://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarships-by-type/scholarships-for-adult-students/">Scholarships.com</a> has a number of links for adult learners. Some are specialized for working parents who are returning to the workforce after some time away. If you're adventurous and looking to have a second act abroad, the <a href="http://www.peacecorps.gov/50plus/">Peace Corps</a> has a special initiative to entice experienced professionals 50 years of age and older to join its ranks.</p> <h2>4. Vocational Training</h2> <p>There have been a number of recent news stories about the lack of well-trained tradespeople, since these jobs remain very much in demand. If trade school interests you, there's money available to help you make that career transition. Check out the link for trade school scholarships at <a href="http://www.collegescholarships.org/scholarships/vocational-school.htm">CollegeScholarships.org</a>.</p> <h2>5. Financial Aid for Senior Citizens<strong> </strong></h2> <p>You're never too old to learn, and many senior citizens are returning to school as a professional second act, or to pursue a long-held educational dream. Many schools (especially state schools) offer scholarships and grants specifically for senior citizens. Contact a college near you to learn about specific financial programs for seniors.</p> <h2>6. Career-Specific Opportunities</h2> <p>If you know exactly what field you want to study and need the funding to make it possible, <a href="https://www.scholarshipexperts.com/scholarships/by-major">ScholarshipExperts</a> gives you a way to search by topic of study. And the topics vary widely &mdash; from the liberal arts to science to business to trade school.</p> <h2>7. Culinary School</h2> <p>In recent years, our national palate has gotten more sophisticated thanks to the craft food and beverage movement, as well as the popularity of media properties like the Food Network. More people than ever are pursuing further culinary training, and happily, there are a number of educational funding opportunities available. The <a href="http://www.jamesbeard.org/education/scholarships-and-grants">James Beard Foundation</a> and cooking schools such as <a href="http://www.chefs.edu/tuition-and-financial-aid/scholarship-opportunities">Le Cordon Bleu</a> offer financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants.</p> <p><em>Are you considering returning to school or switching careers? How will you pay for it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-great-sources-of-financial-aid-for-switching-careers">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-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year">8 Money Moves Students Should Make During a Gap Year</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-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt</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-college-freshman-budget">The College Freshman Budget</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/15-free-ways-to-learn-something-new">15 Free Ways to Learn Something New</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training fellowships financial aid grants higher education scholarships Fri, 08 May 2015 13:00:08 +0000 Christa Avampato 1410186 at http://www.wisebread.com Learning Without the High Cost of Higher Education http://www.wisebread.com/learning-without-the-high-cost-of-higher-education <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/learning-without-the-high-cost-of-higher-education" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4858338936_586122b374_z.jpg" alt="man holding up books" title="man holding up books" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Lots of college students graduate with an overwhelming amount of student loan debt. And to make things worse, they then struggle to find a job that'll provide for their basic living expenses as well as the repayment of that debt. I think it's safe to say that the myth of guaranteed success through a college degree has been exposed. Fortunately, you have opportunities everyday to learn and improve yourself outside of a traditional degree program. And that improvement will open the door to new career opportunities.</p> <p>So how can you acquire useful skills outside of a college setting without having to pay enormous sums of money? Here are four ways. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-free-ways-to-learn-something-new">15 Free Ways to Learn Something New</a>)</p> <h2>Read Good Books</h2> <p>There's probably no better way to increase your level of success than to read quality books.</p> <p>What are you interested in learning and doing? Whatever it is, there's a book out there that can help you do it better.</p> <p>If you really want to take a college class, find the syllabus online and see what textbooks they're using. Then get the books yourself, and learn on your own time.</p> <p>Remember, if cost is an issue, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/duh-libraries">the library</a> is always available.</p> <h2>Improve Your Communication Skills</h2> <p>No matter what career or business you pursue, you must be comfortable presenting your ideas. Being comfortable doing this in front of an audience will do wonders for your confidence and self-esteem.</p> <p>One way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today">improve your communication skills</a> is to join Toastmasters. Give a talk about what you're learning. Not only will you get over your fear of public speaking, you'll also develop leadership skills.</p> <p>Another way to improve is to take a training course from Dale Carnegie. They offer courses in areas such as Human Relations, High Impact Presentations, and Sales Success. Best of all, the <a href="http://www.dalecarnegie.com/events/?F_c=19" data-mce-href="http://www.dalecarnegie.com/events/?F_c=19" target="_blank">first session is free</a>.</p> <h2>Learn a New Language</h2> <p>You don't need to go to college to take Spanish 101 or French 201. There are many audio programs available that'll teach you how to speak a foreign language on your own. Two of the popular ones are <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1617160857/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1617160857&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Rosetta Stone</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743550420/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0743550420&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Pimsleur</a>.</p> <p>And using your driving time is a great way to learn. It's been said that if you drive 25,000 miles each year at an average speed of 46 miles per hour, you'll spend the same amount of time in your car as a typical college student spends in a classroom. What are you doing with that time?</p> <h2>Create Your Own Health and Fitness Program</h2> <p>Success is never about just making money. If you don't take care of your body, you won't have the energy you need to do great work.</p> <p>There are two components to health and fitness: the quality of your diet and your physical condition. Improve the quality of your diet by reading a good nutrition book. I recommend &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061473677/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0061473677&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">You: Staying Young</a>&quot; by Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz.</p> <p>To improve your physical condition, get some exercise everyday. It doesn't need to be a lot. You <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-going-to-the-gym-is-a-waste-of-money-time-and-resources">don't even need to join a gym</a>. Do pushups and pullups for your upper body, crunches for your midsection, and use a jump rope for your lower body.</p> <h2>Demonstrate Your Expertise</h2> <p>This last step is important; the knowledge that you gain is useless if it stays inside your head. Give a talk about what you're learning at your Toastmasters club. Or start a blog and demonstrate to the world what you know.</p> <p>Do all these steps, and you'll be amazed at the quality of education that you receive &mdash; an education that expands your options and enriches your life.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/darren-wu">Darren Wu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learning-without-the-high-cost-of-higher-education">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/15-free-ways-to-learn-something-new">15 Free Ways to Learn Something New</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-times-you-should-choose-private-school-over-public">7 Times You Should Choose Private School Over Public</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/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</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/my-2016-budget-challenge-affording-education">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Affording Education</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/high-end-content-for-www-prices">High-End Content for WWW Prices</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Education & Training Personal Development higher education online learning reading Fri, 09 Nov 2012 10:37:01 +0000 Darren Wu 955102 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Free Ways to Learn Something New http://www.wisebread.com/15-free-ways-to-learn-something-new <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-free-ways-to-learn-something-new" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7878004748_4c8d06b245_z.jpg" alt="pottery class" title="pottery class" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're still paying off your student loans (or soon will be), learning might feel like more of a chore than fun. The good news is that learning can be fun <em>and</em> free. Below is a list of 15 ways to learn something new at no cost. So take a look, go forth, and expand your mind! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-frugal-skills-and-how-to-get-them">20 Great Frugal Skills &mdash; and How to Get Them</a>)</p> <h2>1. Lowe&rsquo;s and Home Depot Classes</h2> <p>Both home improvement headquarters offer free classes. Past classes at <a href="http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/ContentView?pn=HT_WS_WeeklyWorkshops">Home</a><a href="http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/ContentView?pn=HT_WS_WeeklyWorkshops"> Depot</a> have included lawn maintenance and bathroom workshops, and Lowe&rsquo;s has partnered with Habitat for Humanity for <a href="http://responsibility.lowes.com/community/our-partnerships/habitat-for-humanity-women-build/">Women</a><a href="http://responsibility.lowes.com/community/our-partnerships/habitat-for-humanity-women-build/"> Build</a> &mdash; clinics dedicated to teaching women home improvement tips and tricks. Lowe&rsquo;s also has a <a href="http://www.lowesbuildandgrow.com/pages/default.aspx">Build</a><a href="http://www.lowesbuildandgrow.com/pages/default.aspx"> and</a><a href="http://www.lowesbuildandgrow.com/pages/default.aspx"> Grow</a> clinic geared toward kids. Check out your local store to see what they have coming up.</p> <h2>2. Grocery and Kitchen Store Classes</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re anywhere near a <a href="http://www.williams-sonoma.com/customer-service/store-events.html">Williams</a><a href="http://www.williams-sonoma.com/customer-service/store-events.html">-</a><a href="http://www.williams-sonoma.com/customer-service/store-events.html">Sonoma</a>, you&rsquo;ll have the most options. They offer complimentary technique classes for everything from knife skills to braising. Of course, they&rsquo;re trying to sell you a product, but you&rsquo;re still going to learn something. Oh, and you&rsquo;ll get a 10% discount in-store the day of the class. As for other grocery and kitchen stores, ask the manager if they have any events coming up or check out their website. Most of Publix&rsquo;s classes are at a cost, but they might have a few for free!</p> <h2>3. YouTube</h2> <p>YouTube is probably the easiest (but at times, the worst) place to learn on the Internet; people are really into YouTube tutorials nowadays. You can learn to play the ukulele, apply makeup, or sing like Lady Gaga, all in one convenient place. Of course, YouTube has its downsides (like if the person trying to teach you doesn't really know what they're talking about), but anything has to be better than <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_orL8BFFqo">Phoebe&rsquo;s method of guitar lessons</a>. And if you can't find something that strikes your fancy, just stay on the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDtalksDirector">TEDTalks YouTube</a> channel and let the ideas roll.</p> <h2>4. Foodie Sites</h2> <p>If you like to cook (or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/teach-yourself-to-cook">would like to like to cook</a>), get on the internet and check out the bevy of free culinary classes. Head over to <a href="http://allrecipes.com/video/main.aspx?prop24=PN_3.0.0_TN.Video">Allr</a><a href="http://allrecipes.com/video/main.aspx?prop24=PN_3.0.0_TN.Video">ecipes</a>, <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/food-network-top-food-videos/videos/index.html">Food</a><a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/food-network-top-food-videos/videos/index.html"> Network</a> (to learn from ole Alton sans cable), or <a href="http://www.bhg.com/videos/video-index.htm">Better&nbsp;Homes&nbsp;and&nbsp;Gardens</a>&nbsp;(there are also decorating videos as well as food!). <a href="http://cookingschool.epicurious.com/?intcid=epi_promobar">Epicurious</a> has a pretty boss &ldquo;cooking school&rdquo; from the Culinary Institute of America, but after the first class, you have to pay. It is, however, a one-time fee, so if you&rsquo;re passionate about being a better cook, it would be worth it. Try it out and see!</p> <h2>5.&nbsp;Coursera</h2> <p>Here&rsquo;s the skinny on <a href="https://www.coursera.org/">Coursera</a> &mdash; two awesome Stanford computer science professors started this website with one specific goal in mind &mdash; education should be available to everyone for free. Classes are designed and taught by professors from Stanford, Princeton, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Michigan. But this isn&rsquo;t just a bunch of online lectures to watch (and potentially snooze through). These classes come with time restraints, a syllabus, homework, and in some cases, a certificate of completion. You&rsquo;re not losing anything by not &ldquo;attending,&rdquo; but you&rsquo;re gaining everything by not having to pay hundreds of dollars a month afterward.</p> <h2>6. edX</h2> <p><a href="https://www.edx.org/">edX</a>&nbsp;has courses from some of the Ivy League schools missing from Coursera &mdash; Harvard, Berkeley, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sit-in-on-a-class-at-mit-for-free">MIT</a>. &nbsp;Their classes are also free and online, and you get a certificate of completion for them. For fall 2012, there are seven courses offered, but bookmark the site if you can't find something you like right now. And in the meantime, the <a href="http://www.extension.harvard.edu/open-learning-initiative">Harvard Extension School</a> Open Learning Initiative has quite a few videos for learning at your leisure.</p> <h2>7. PechaKucha 20x20</h2> <p><a href="http://www.pecha-kucha.org/">PechaKucha</a>&rsquo;s premise is simple &mdash; 20 pictures, 20 seconds. The event started in Tokyo as a way for young designers to network, but it turned into a way for people around the world to learn from each other. Each speaker has almost seven minutes to tell a story, whether it be about a business or an adventure. Most events are free, and if there isn&rsquo;t one in your area (most likely there is &mdash; they&rsquo;re everywhere!) you have the option of either <a href="http://www.pecha-kucha.org/night/start-a-city">starting&nbsp;one</a> or watching one of almost <a href="http://www.pecha-kucha.org/presentations/">500 presentations&nbsp;online</a>.</p> <h2>8. Parks and Recreation Classes</h2> <p>No, I don&rsquo;t mean my favorite show (although you could learn a bit about politics from Leslie Knope). I mean, of course, the best part of city government across the world. Classes range from identifying edible plants to arts and crafts to, well, recreation classes. Some do cost a small amount of money, but many are free.</p> <h2>9. Libraries</h2> <p>Libraries, of course, offer a wealth of information in the form of books, but most also offer courses. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-you-should-support-your-local-library">Turn to your local library</a> and see what&rsquo;s available, whether it be computer classes, basic life skills, or languages.&nbsp;</p> <h2>10. Volunteering</h2> <p>When I was volunteering at a recent event, the director of the organization I was volunteering with said the best thing. Someone made a comment about not having anything to give away, and the director said, &ldquo;Yes we do &mdash; knowledge!&rdquo; And there you go &mdash; when you volunteer, you can learn something. A great example is Habitat for Humanity &mdash; you can help someone own their own home AND learn how to fix yours. There are also tons of community gardens when you can learn all about fruits and vegetables. Check out volunteer opportunities in your area, and learn something!</p> <h2>11. Podcasts</h2> <p>I never quite dipped into the land of podcasts before this year, but I tell you what &mdash; there are some very educational ones out there. From <a href="http://www.openculture.com/2006/10/university_podc.html">podcasts</a><a href="http://www.openculture.com/2006/10/university_podc.html"> made </a><a href="http://www.openculture.com/2006/10/university_podc.html">by</a><a href="http://www.openculture.com/2006/10/university_podc.html"> universities</a> to podcasts made by public radio, there are multiple options to get your brain juices flowing. And if your brain needs a break, there are a ton of comedy podcasts. Check out the store section in iTunes, and get to downloading.</p> <h2>12. Skillsharing</h2> <p>From online to in-person, <a href="http://www.skillshare.com/">Skillshare</a> is a website dedicated to just that &mdash; sharing skills. Unfortunately, not too many of the classes offered on the site are free, but they can be found.</p> <h2>13. Cuppings, Wine Tastings, and Beer Tastings</h2> <p>This is a very specific category. If you love consuming caffeinated or alcoholic beverages but aren&rsquo;t sure what you&rsquo;re talking about, be sure to go to the free cuppings, wine tastings, and beer tastings sometimes offered by local groceries, liquor stores, and coffee shops. While you&rsquo;re there, ask every question you can think of.</p> <h2>14. From Your Family</h2> <p>A great, possibly untapped resource is your grandparents. Your grandfather probably changed his own oil, and your grandmother can probably sew up a storm. Take a minute to sit down with them and find out what they know. You&rsquo;ll have a chance to learn something new and bond with a loved one.</p> <h2>15. From Your Friends</h2> <p>Along the same lines, tap into your friends! I recently hung out with an old roommate in North Carolina, and while we were waiting for a table at a restaurant, we ventured into a yarn store. She picked up an unfinished scarf and two needles and finished the row. I had no idea she was could knit &mdash; I could have learned so much while we were living together. Oh yeah, by the way, at <a href="http://www.knittinghelp.com/">Knitting Help</a>, you can learn how to knit for free.</p> <p><em>How do you learn for free?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-free-ways-to-learn-something-new">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/great-ways-to-invest-in-yourself">Great Ways to Invest in Yourself</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/learning-without-the-high-cost-of-higher-education">Learning Without the High Cost of Higher Education</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/9-fun-activities-to-help-you-tighten-up-your-work-skills">9 Fun Activities to Help You Tighten Up Your Work Skills</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/3-ways-to-get-a-legit-business-education-online">3 Ways to Get a Legit Business Education Online</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/learn-all-the-frugal-skills-you-need-with-these-9-great-video-tutorials">Learn All the Frugal Skills You Need With These 9 Great Video Tutorials</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Personal Development free courses higher education skills Wed, 19 Sep 2012 10:24:42 +0000 Jennifer Holder 954556 at http://www.wisebread.com