Make Your Next Four Years in College a Success

First-year college students are beginning to settle in. We wish you the best of luck on your college career. But, we also want you to be a wise scholar! Today, a college degree is not all that is needed for a successful future. You next four years in college should be a time of study and learning, but you should consider more.

Here is some advice for college students to use their time as best they can:
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Can I Save College Tuition Money?

Yes! The answer is yes. Of course there are the more typical ways of saving on college costs: stay at home and save dorm fees, graduate early by taking courses in the summer and intensive courses during May terms and holiday breaks, go to a non-tuition school, go to a less expensive community college for your first two years before declaring a major, and stay in-state for lowered in-state tuition.

Here are a few more ideas.
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College Admission Despite a Blemished High School Record

Perhaps your high school career hit a rough patch or two: a failing grade, a bad freshman year, a suspension, even bad SAT/ACT scores.

Can you still get into a competitive college? Yes, especially if you face your problem head on in your college application. You can use your college essay to do just that.

Here are some suggestions to handle a problem in your high school record with your personal essay.
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Cover Letters for College Grads

You’re done with classwork, but now you have another challenge—getting a job. Once again, it’s probably a first—and you thought you were done with those. You may have had jobs before, but this time you are looking for a professional job that may start you on your life’s career. Your job application has to be very good, and that includes writing a stand out cover letter, your first impression.

Certainly you can look at cover letter formats and follow them to a tee. But, if you write according to formula and you make it very correct, your cover letter has the chance of ending up like so many others, maybe even forgettable. That won’t land you an interview.

Rather you want to stand out. Here is some advice for being a bit different.
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The Essay: The Hardest Part of the College Application

Most everyone chokes at writing the college essay. It does not fit the regular format of a high school essay, you think it should sell you but you don’t want to brag, and you think it has to be perfect and intellectual.

The college essay is just a letter about you to the College Admission Office.

No, it’s not in letter form, although it probably could be. But, it is a window into who you really are. You might be a great student and a go-getter, but what are the softer sides of you, the “what-I-do-at-home-or-with-friends” kind of thing.
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How to Choose a Roommate Your First Year in College

Your roommate can actually shape a lot of your college experience, but to find someone you like and even someone you might become a life-long friend to can be difficult. It used to be as a college freshman your roommate was a stranger chosen by the college whom you met your first day on campus. But, with social media today you can “get to know” your future roommate before you move in and make it permanent.

Here are some ways to start a conversation with a potential roommate and learn about him/her before you begin to share space on the first day of the rest of your life:
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Lower College Enrollment, Lower College Costs?

A dip in the birthrate means there are now fewer high school graduates, especially in the Midwest and the Northeast. There is also a decline in non-traditional students as people are being slowly absorbed back into the work force because of an improved economy. In all, the number of college students has dropped steadily over the last five years. 2016 is the worst year in enrollment figures, down by 81,000. The fall off can be seen in these numbers – 2011, 18 million; 2016, 15.6 million.

The upswing will not come until 2023, but this increase in students will be represented by lower income students and racial and ethnic minorities who will have more need of financial aid. This kind of shift in the number of tuition-paying students can break a college budget.

So what does this mean, especially for colleges in the Northeast and the Midwest? Savvy college applicants should know.
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College Students: Summer Job or Summer Classes?

Money is always an issue for most college students. When summer rolls around, it can offer time to get a job to save for expenses and to help defray student loans and their costs. But, is it always a good idea to work all summer?
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College Students Can Be Given More than Cash

Parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and friends are giving gifts to high schools graduates as they prepare to head off to college in the fall. An average graduation gift is $78, and from parents cash gifts average around $120. In all, about 5.6 billion dollars are given each year to high school graduates!

Maybe you shouldn’t be giving cash. Those dollars can be put to better use. Here are some more interesting ways to gift soon-to-be college students.
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What a College Freshman Should Know

It’s a new adventure, but it can be scary too—landing on a college campus for the first time in your life! Here are some things to keep in mind as you transition to college so it won’t be so scary.
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Choosing a Major

College is about your future, BUT your future in what? Everyone who goes to college must think about a major. Although in most colleges the first two years are devoted to general education courses before deciding on a major, having an idea about what you will major in can help guide you in course selection.

Here are some things to think about when choosing your major.
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