Education is one of the most valuable assets that you can possess, because it can open doors to so many opportunities, professionally and personally. In today’s competitive environment, you must arm yourself with as many advantages as you can.
In order to make it in this world, you need to establish the fundamentals such as reading, writing, and arithmetic, at the very least.
If a person doesn’t master those basics, they’ll most likely struggle in every aspect of their lives, even with simple everyday tasks.
Not knowing the fundamentals also makes you more vulnerable to being taken advantage of when it comes to things such as reading contracts, getting better deals, and etc.
Some people are fortunate to be gifted with both street and business savvy, and have the ability to become successful without going to college.
College isn’t for everyone and some people prefer to go the entrepreneurial route by starting a business (online, brick-and-mortal, etc.) and or becoming an investor.
These days, some folks are choosing a hybrid career path, by earning their degrees online, learning how to master skills using web-based training, working a corporate job, and starting a business part-time as a side hustle.
Millions are taking this hybrid approach to safeguard against the instability of the job market.
They get their degrees in order to have credentials in hopes of scoring a good-paying job, and they start an online business to help supplement their corporate incomes.
Just as college isn’t for everyone, neither is being an entrepreneur.
In my opinion, the hybrid career path is the smartest path to take, because you get the best of both worlds; a college degree that can help you get a good paying job, and a side hustle to provide extra income and a safety net.
In today’s landscape, we all need multiple streams of income to protect against our unstable economy and an uncertain financial future.
Navigating the educational system can be a daunting and complex task, which is why I’m going to share some of the basics of online education.
Let’s dive in…
Online Education Basics
Filling out an application for a degree course at a University is a lengthy process.
The whole procedure is extremely complex. It is an agonizing wait until the admissions department verifies the details in the form and gets back to you regarding the status of your application.
The method of application for an online degree depends on the college or university in question and each institution has its own set of procedures.
Some of them give you the option to fill out an online application, whereas others require the physical paper copy of the form after enrolling online.
However, you need to be aware of the potential logistical problems involved in both application methods.
Some of the online applications need to be filled in one sitting and cannot be done in parts.
In these situations, it’s not possible to save the half-completed form and then return later to finish it or pick back up where you left off.
This means that you must have all the documents required to complete the application.
With physical applications, you run the risk of it getting lost in the mail or it being rejected due to uncompleted sections.
There is no way to check, unless the admissions department informs you of the mistakes.
The smartest thing you can do is retain a copy of all the forms you submit, physically or online in order to have a backup.
Filling out the application is the easy part, it’s just time consuming and the details need to be accurate to avoid rejection or delay.
The potential roadblock you need to be concerned about is the accreditation and whether your application will be judged on the merit, it deserves.
Most online universities are more concerned with the fact that you are willing to pay money to get admission in.
You must do your research on the university's background, genuineness and identity before you decide to enroll for any course, because many students have been burned.
I’d like to reiterate, when filling out your application form to enroll in online education, to make sure you have completed all of the required details for obvious reasons.
Secondly, ensure that you have provided all the relevant documents.
You can take advantage of career guidance agencies if think you need extra help.
Better yet, you could contact the administrative office of the college or university you’re applying to if you require clarification about their enrollment process, because they’re the best source of information.
The most critical part of the enrollment process is making sure your application is completed before the deadline.
It doesn’t matter if you’re enrolling online or mailing in a physical application.
If you don’t meet the deadline, the institution may reject it.
Therefore, it is vital that you complete all the necessary formalities well in advance and send the form before the deadline, to avoid disappointment.
Managing Online Education Expectations
Everyone has expectations, whether high or low. Oftentimes, high expectations lead to disappointment, because things typically don’t always go as planned.
Students have to manage their expectations as they pursue their degrees online, because the process is no walk in the park.
A large majority of students end up being disappointed and uninspired once they see how much hard work and dedication is involved.
The disillusion is more noticeable in students taking online courses, because they tend to struggle much more when compared to students going for their degrees using traditional methods of physically being on campus.
However, the long-term benefits of completing any educational qualification can fulfill a student's high expectations.
The work involved for completing an online degree is the same required for completing on-campus programs.
Most online degrees are difficult to manage as students are expected to study on their own without the guidance and instruction from a teacher or lecturer.
A massive amount of self-discipline is required to manage an online education program, while simultaneously holding down a day job, and or taking care of a family.
Time management is an extremely important skill for students to master, because it can help them handle all of the moving parts such as; studying, employment, a household, and etc.…
Most students find it difficult to cope with the stress and burdens of an online degree.
One of the best ways to get a realistic picture of what’s involved in getting an online degree is to read the accounts of students whom have gone through the process.
You’ll find that a number of them will describe their experience in glowing terms, while others will speak quite candidly about their inability to cope with the workload, or the lack of time to meet the deadlines or the problems they faced due to an unsupportive employer.
There’s always going to be some resentment if you go for your degree while employed, though this may not be an issue if you are taking the course for further advancement in your present job with the support of your employer.
The best way to manage your expectations is to be honest with yourself in terms of accepting the fact that getting an online degree will be challenging, especially if you have competing priorities.
It takes a lot of effort, but if you expect it to be difficult, and yet achieve your goals, then it will give you tremendous satisfaction and a sense of achievement.
Obtaining your degree is the best way to satisfy your high expectations, which will help you to avoid disappointment.
The key is to accept the fact that getting any type of degree is challenging and will require hard work and dedication.
This prepares your mind to develop that “I Can Do Attitude” and you’ll push through any roadblocks that may get in your way.
Selecting the Right Online Degree Program for You
In the early nineteenth century, there were a limited number of degrees being offered in a few of the traditional subjects.
The students who got those degrees had no choice but to accept the jobs that were related, which severely limited their career options.
Today, this is no longer the case, because there’s a wide range degree programs in a variety of disciplines.
University education has become so evolved in the recent years, that there is a degree for almost any field you wish to specialize in.
This wide variety of degree types is perfect for people who want to take up higher education, make a career change, or upgrade their educational qualifications.
It is not only the campus schools that offer a wide range of degrees, but there are online universities and colleges that offer an extensive range of educational degrees.
Thousands of results will show up if you log on to the Internet to search for online university degrees.
Searching with the name of the course will give numerous results as well and you can conduct a comparative study of the entire list to help you make the right choice.
Selecting the best course from the vast multitudes of available programs will take hours, if not days of deliberation to arrive at a decision you’d be comfortable with.
A good approach to looking for programs that fit your criteria is to simply perform searches on the Internet.
For example, if you’re interested in getting a law degree type some like “online law degrees” in your favorite search engine.
Then pick a few and compare the details of each.
After conducting your comparative study, you can shortlist a few courses and begin to check out the institutions offering those programs.
This may take you a couple of weeks, with so many options to choose from!
The first step however, is to be certain of the area you want to specialize in, be it law, medicine, information technology, management, administration, etc.
You have to focus on that particular field and conduct the search accordingly to determine the right degree for you.
If you consider the field of nursing for instance, there are courses available for beginners, those looking for basic qualifications, or even registered nurses seeking to upgrade in their field.
Therefore, it is essential to select the right field and the area you are interested in. You are the best judge for your personal needs, so conduct your research keeping this fact in mind.
With so many choices available for online degrees, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
Another way to begin your search is by checking out an online college or university that you may have heard about or someone may have recommended.
By considering the recommendations from those you trust, greatly increases your chances of picking a credible school in which you can obtain a valid degree from.
Remember, there are shady educational institutions out there that scam students out of their money.
With the help of Internet searches, it is possible to select the right type of degree course that meet your needs.
It’s your personal choice, but you have to make sure that you are selecting a credible online university or college.
With information overload and promotional hype, it is quite easy to get confused.
Therefore, you need to examine all your options carefully before making a decision.
College is expensive and making one mistake can cost you a fortune, not to mention time that you’ll never get back.
So, take your time and do your research on the schools that makes it on your shortlist.
The Quest of Finding the Perfect Online Degree
How do you find the right degree among what seems to be a million choices available?
There are a lot of decisions you need to make and questions you need to ask before you make your choice.
I already briefly touched upon using the Internet and getting recommendations from those you trust for making a list of potential schools that you could do further research on.
Let’s go a little more in-depth with how to find the perfect program for you.
The first step, however, is to decide the manner in which you are going to obtain your degree, whether it would be a traditional 2 or 4 year college degree or web-based.
There’s no shortage of choices for in-person college degrees, but they require you to be present on campus by following a set schedule, which is not idea for a lot of people who have jobs and a household to manage.
On the other hand, an online degree program is perfect if you have personal commitments.
Your quest to find the right degree is easier if you know what fields you’re interested in, because it allows you to narrow down your search so that you’re not all over the place.
If you have no clue, you’re going to be overwhelmed by the endless choices of online courses and may be tempted to just give up.
Have you heard the old saying, “A Confused Mind Does Nothing?”
To avoid being in this predicament, you must have at least a rough idea of what interest you in the field of education.
While you could ask the people you trust for their opinions about what field they think you should go into, you ultimately must make this decision on your own.
Don’t choose a discipline that you’re not interested in, because you’ll end up resenting your choice and will hate every step of the way, and may eventually drop out of the program.
After you’ve choosing a program, you must decide what you want to get out of it.
Will it be for personal accomplishment, to advance your professional career, and so forth?
Your reason WHY is always an important factor when you’re trying to achieve goals in life.
Getting a degree with skill sets that are in demand in the current times, will definitely improve your career prospects.
Since you’ll have to work towards getting your online degree in the privacy of your own home, you better make sure you enjoy the course curriculum.
The biggest advantage of an online degree is that you are not restricted by the routine attendance of on-campus classes and can study at your own leisure.
The beauty of taking online classes is that there are no location and time zone constraints, which makes them perfect for people who have other commitments.
However, you need to make sure that the online University you select offers the support and flexibility needed for you to complete your degree course, while simultaneously handling your other commitments.
The course content, the flexibility and the skills you will learn are the most important factors to consider when selecting the right program.
It’s important to establish a set of criteria before you begin doing your research on potential online degree programs.
This will allow you to immediately filter out the schools that don’t you’re the criteria of what you’re looking for so that you don’t waste time.
Example List of Criteria to Model:
- I must select a major I'm passionate about
- Is the degree program accredited?
- Can I afford this program?
- Is this program fully online?
- Does this school have a good reputation?
- Is the school known for providing great support?
- Do others feel the program is of the highest quality?
You must be self-driven and select a program that you are genuinely passionate about in order to get your online degree, even without the help of a tutor or lecturer.
The Employer's Perception of an Online Degree
Most individuals choose to take an online degree program so that they can advance themselves career wise or even make a career change.
It may not be possible for them to go back to school to take a university course due to personal commitments like taking care of their family, working full time, etc.
An online degree program can help in those scenarios, especially where careers are concerned.
Some employers still question the validity of online degrees and don’t see them as being the same as diplomas earned at traditional universities.
A lot of employers believe that if a person doesn’t sit through 4 years of a traditional university, their degree is less valuable.
The good news is that some employers applaud folks that obtain their degrees online, because it demonstrates their level of commitment despite having other competing priorities.
These same employers sometimes view these self-driven individuals as action takers, which sets them apart from the rest of the competition.
Online degree programs are trending upwards and most of the job posts are filled with these candidates.
These online graduates are meeting the demand for workers with specialization in certain fields that were all but unknown in the past.
This is the result of industries coming and going.
Online degree programs have revolutionized the world of industry, business and education.
Attitudes are gradually changing, but online degrees are still being debated and challenged by some employers.
Attending a traditional university or college instantly gives value to the degree, as it’s easily identifiable, so is the degree presented by that institute.
Online degrees are not easy to trace and substantiate, hence the skeptical attitude of the employer.
However, both kinds of degrees involve the same amount of work, but an online degree teaches the student useful personal qualities like time management skills and working on one's own initiative.
Related Article: 13 Ways To Master Time Management
These qualities can be an added advantage for the job seeker to beat their competition.
Employers are well within their rights to check out the educational background of candidates with online degrees.
They are wary of candidates with online degrees from relatively unknown institutions due to the presence of fake agencies and may even decide not to hire you depending upon their criteria and company’s culture.
This is because online degrees are still looked upon with suspicion as compared to a degree from a regular university or college.
However, some of the larger online universities are now well-known enough and need no explanation due to their brand awareness.
One question a prospective employer may ask is why the choice of an online degree instead of a regular university course.
There needs to be a convincing answer ready for this question.
No matter how hard you try to prepare for an interview, it is difficult to predict the view a prospective employer may take in regards to an online education.
It is always better to be prepared for any questions or any eventuality that may be presented at an interview.
Online degree holders are still viewed with skepticism as their degrees are not considered valuable or credible by some of the potential employers out there.
While you may be faced with this issue, don’t stress about it, because there are thousands of companies out there for you to choose from, and a percentage of them will not discriminate based upon you having an online degree.
Studying Abroad Online
Experiencing beyond the comforts of your country without having to leave home is an opportunity which is now available to everyone thanks to internet technology.
Leaving home to travel to an unfamiliar place can be very enticing. This, however, poses a huge challenge on the finances and emotional attachment of students.
For this same reason, students tend to settle for their local universities to get their education for future career opportunities.
In turn, students sacrifice their ambitions to obtain the best diplomas from prestigious and highly acclaimed universities abroad.
Being educated by scholars abroad is now, more than ever, attainable through online scholastic programs.
You’ve have to love technology!
These programs have gained more and more popularity throughout the years, since they were first launched.
Just think for example; someone who’s interested in getting a degree in metaphysics at Harvard University can do so even if they are living in the Netherlands.
How cool is that?
Continents away from their school of choice, a student can still obtain a degree in their chosen field.
The course curriculum of schools abroad is often times comparative to what local or domestic universities offer.
Sometimes it’s hard to find the subject matter you’re interested in getting your online degree in from schools that are overseas.
There are countries which are the sole providers of specific training.
This specialized training can be a great asset to the person who completes the program by giving them a competitive edge over their competition.
Another benefit to studying abroad is getting a sneak peek into how other countries strategize their curriculum.
As a case in point, Britain’s educational structure is different from that of the US. The British technique of training students has a heavier bearing on the final examination. This includes an essay with three thousand words progressively worked on by students all throughout the school term.
This is an effective method used to help students with memory retention and to improve overall in their field of study.
On the surface, fees and other charges may seemingly appear expensive for students who enroll online to obtain their degree from abroad.
Yet, if you analyze the expenses that it entails when a student is actually abroad, it will show that in the long run savings have been made.
As opposed to staying at home, going to another country altogether, needs so much more than just paying enrollment fees and other charges.
A student needs to rent a dorm or an apartment, buy food and pay for transportation. If this is not enough, there are electric bills, phone bills to call home and other expenses to pay for while away from home.
On the one hand, if a student decides to stay at home within his or her country, all those expenses are avoided.
This is why it is more beneficial to stay at home and get your degree online rather than going there.
There are other universities who offer to help out interested and qualified students to go to their country to obtain their education.
This is also a good deal if the university enrolls the student as a free scholar because of their qualifying status for such programs.
Nonetheless, if this is not the case, staying at home is still the best option for the average person.
If you do decide to study abroad, be certain that before enrolling into any academic programs offered online by these universities, do your due diligence.
Being aware of the advantages and disadvantages before venturing into anything is the best way to make the best decisions and to combat indecisiveness.
Before you decide on an abroad academic program to enroll in, research as much as possible to get the facts.
Online Education - A Boon for Army Personnel
Each and every country maintains an army that consists of courageous individuals ready to defend the country and preserve their way of life.
However, a career in the army often times leaves army personnel little or no opportunity to pursue higher education for the betterment of their future, once they retire.
Some army training institutes may include some kind of formal education for these individuals, but it is not a norm.
Online education can come in handy for military personnel, because they can obtain a degree at their convenience.
Online education has made it possible for everyone to obtain an education at their convenience.
It has opened up a new world of equal opportunities for all individuals to pursue their learning interests.
It has helped people who did not have the opportunity to obtain a standard college degree, to get the same level of education as those attending universities.
Online studies have made education accessible to all, and that includes army personnel as well.
It has provided an opening for the military personnel who want to advance their educational qualifications, but cannot find the time for it while performing their vital duties of serving their country.
Most of the online schools and colleges accept applications from army personnel and some of them may have a reservation policy for seats for any course they might like to select.
Online education is perfect for the army, because they can study at their convenience while performing their military duties.
The army encourages its personnel to pursue degrees so that they can be prepared for their life as a future civilian and apply their skills to resolve various problems they may have to face, during their military career.
Since the increasing popularity of online education was observed by army personnel, the military has set up its own online educational institution; in the U.S. it’s known as the American Military University or AMU.
AMU offers a wide range of courses for military personnel and it has become very popular since its inception.
Some of the courses offered at AMU include space research, general studies, English Literature and many other subjects.
There are degree programs to fit just about everyone’s needs, from Associates to the Master's degrees in practically every subject.
The flexible fee structure at AMU allows many recruits to pay for the course out of their salary.
The fees are affordable and the arrangement is to pay as you learn, so most of the recruits simply pay for each semester rather than paying for the full course all at once.
This way they are not financially burdened and can study at their own pace.
Less stress can equal better academic performance.
Online education has revolutionized the manner in which army personnel can benefit from higher learning by preparing them for a post military career.
The education levels give them specialized skill sets that they can use to further their overall earning potentials after their retirement from the military.
They have every right to a formal education and they should be given every opportunity to pursue it.
Online Tutoring – What Is It?
With the explosion of computer usage worldwide, it’s no surprise that online tutoring is gaining popularity among students.
Online tutoring works much the same as traditional at-home tutoring does.
You log on to your computer, and through online “classrooms”or “instant messaging” to get assistance in the subjects you’re having difficulty in.
Thanks to the internet, your computer will allow you to have quickly gain access to qualified professionals practically around the clock.
That’s a beautiful thing!
Is Everything Offered Through Schools “Online Tutoring”?
That is a big fat NO!
To be true online tutoring, you need to have the feeling of a classroom or face-to-face learning session.
There is a back and forth component to online tutoring that the following examples don’t provide:
- You download several text documents for a nominal fee, whether it is for a computer science or a biology course. You study the documents and probably take some sort of online test…this is not online tutoring.
- You download a computer software program for a nominal fee. This program provides you with some instruction and a few practice exercises…this is not online tutoring. When students are engaged in true online tutoring, they will feel like they are interacting with the professional teaching them. In many cases, online tutoring sessions will occur in “real time”, meaning questions of the students are answered immediately by the professional. It will not be like the online bookstore in example number one or the self-study course. It will be hard work!
Are All Online Tutoring Providers The Same?
Again, that is a no. Some online tutoring providers focus on helping elementary-aged children, while others focus on SAT/ACT study or college coursework.
Finding the right tutor for your needs may take some time and a little research. You will also want to look for an individual or company with a good reputation and a proven track record.
When working in the cyber-world, you cannot see a diploma hanging on the wall behind your tutor.
Make sure to ask for references, accreditation, and years of experience when you go with an individual.
When you work with a company, check them out with the Better Business Bureau and look for licensing information, complaints, positive reviews, etc.
Online Tutoring: Two Advanced Processes Used
Lecturing and asking questions is an effective tutoring technique at the beginning of a tutoring situation.
It gives the tutor and the student a better understanding of the subject being taught, how it will be taught, and the level of skill which has been reached by the learner.
However, once use for a short while, online tutoring providers need to challenge their students to do better.
Here are some ways an online tutor may try to challenge those they are tutoring:
Making the Learner Summarize the Subject Being Taught
Online tutors have done a great job when they can lead a student through the steps needed to solve the given problems.
However, in the real world, the tutor will not be there all the time to do this leading.
Therefore, the student needs to be able to summarize the subject being taught by providing the steps required to answer a problem in the correct order.
Rote retelling of the steps (memorizing) is not what the tutor is looking for when they use this technique!
The tutor should have the student state steps of a process in their own words and then have them show an example of the complete process without prompting from the tutor.
When the student has mastered this for a particular subject, the online tutor can focus on a new concept, starting the steps of tutoring over again.
This is a rinse and repeat process that makes the information stick in your brain.
Requiring Drawings and Diagrams
The written word is a powerful tool for learning. However, the use of drawing and diagrams can cement an idea or concept in a student’s mind.
The use of drawings and diagrams is especially critical for students that are more visual learners.
Online tutors should not just provide these drawings and diagrams for the student!
They should have their student build a model or draw a picture as an example of a concept.
This act of doing can help the student retain the information much more dramatically than when they just hear the concepts or see them in writing.
As a student or parent, you should watch for these more advanced techniques of tutoring.
While lecturing, reading and answering questions can be effective at teaching the basics, the more advanced methods are required for true retention and ultimately permanent understanding of subjects.
What Are the Benefits of Online Tutoring?
If you are thinking of hiring an online tutor, you have probably asked yourself just what benefits you will enjoy.
When you choose online tutoring for your learning needs, you will find many benefits:
It is convenient:
- Online tutoring can be done practically anytime from home. With a simple internet connection, you or your student can log on and start learning!
- You don’t have to worry about being somewhere on time to catch the tutor. With all of the other running you do, having the flexibility to get the tutoring you or your student needs anytime is a real plus.
- No traveling is required! With the cost of gas rising, being able to stay at home and still get tutoring needs met is a great thing.
- Online tutoring covers many different subject areas. From foreign languages to algebra, history to biology, you will find a professional that is available to tutor you online.
It is practical:
- Online tutoring can get you or your student through those core subjects that are causing difficulty. When you or your student need good (or even just passing) grades, a tutor can help with the skills needed.
- This form of learning is motivating, stimulating, and interactive. Instead of a two dimensional book or text document, those being tutored will be receiving instruction from an online “personality” that can speak back, answer questions and make the subject being learned more interesting (and sometimes fun).
- Learning will take place in a real-time, one-on-one situation.
All that is required: A computer, an internet connection, an online tutor, and a student having trouble in a particular subject. Another added benefit is the retention that has been shown to occur with online tutoring.
Adding the visual mode of the internet, along with the regular classroom teaching and text book reading, gives the student a better comprehension of the course material and a longer retention of what is being learned.
So, as you can see, the benefits of online tutoring are numerous.
Students of any age can be assisted in practically all their studies with the help of understanding classroom teachers and a knowledgeable online tutor.
Homeschooling and Online Tutoring
In the United States, you will find that the number of families homeschooling their children are growing every year.
Whether it’s because class sizes in the public school system are getting too large or the price of private education is getting too high, many parents are skipping organized education and are opting to be their child’s primary and secondary teacher themselves.
However, outside assistance when homeschooling can be beneficial to both students and parents, especially as the student gets older and the subjects become more difficult and advanced.
This is where online tutoring can play an important role.
When it comes to the education of a home schooled student, online tutoring can open doors that might not otherwise be possible.
In many cases, online tutoring can actually teach the student a subject that the parent is unable to teach, due to lack of knowledge or skill in that subject area or have forgotten because they’ve been out of school for so long.
Not only can the student learn a subject through the online coursework, but can get the traditional homework help through tutoring that they will need to succeed and pass the course.
You cannot look at online tutoring as just for the students. Parents of home schooled students are benefiting from these programs every day, too.
Whenever the parents need to “freshen up” on a subject that they took 15 years ago, or when they just need a better understanding of the subject their child is learning, online tutoring can successfully fill that need.
Variety is sometimes called the spice of life, too, and online tutoring can give that to a student who is home schooled.
With most learning coming straight from a textbook, worksheet or verbally from the parent, an online tutor adds another mode of learning to the mix.
Giving the students an interactive experience online can help them to retain the information learned, instead of forgetting it immediately. Not only will the mode of learning be different, but so will the teacher.
When online tutoring services are used, the home schooled student will be working with a professional educator right in their own computer room!
This is a better way of learning, as the student will be shown how to do problems or learn about events in the method of two very different individuals: the parent and the professional educator.
Related Article: Beginners Guide To Homeschooling
How to Find Online Tutoring Providers
When you have decided that an online tutoring service is in order, there are many ways you can go about finding the one that will fill your needs.
With so many online tutoring providers on the internet, it is best not to go with the first one you find. As with other types of services: some are good, and some are horrible!
Just looking at a website may not be enough to know if the services are right for you or the student having difficulty. So, get some advice from the experts in information – go to your public library to start!
Yes, libraries still do exist!
You can ask the librarians there for advice and recommendations on online tutoring services for specific subjects or needs.
There is a possibility that the library itself offers online tutoring services, but usually you will find that they offer free access to many of the various online tutoring sources available on the net.
Next, you can surely go to the internet. The web is going to be your primary source of information about the online tutoring service you choose.
Here are some pieces of information about the online tutoring company you should look for:
Their method of tutoring
a)) Homework help with instant, real-time answers
b)) Personalized lessons
c)) Chat or email responses
d)) Tutoring sessions with more than 2 participants (online classrooms)
The qualifications of their tutors
a)) Level of education
b)) Certifications earned
c)) Number of years’ experience
The length of time the online tutoring company has been in business
a)) Look for complaints against the company online
b)) Consider that a company that has been in business for some time must have satisfied customers or they wouldn’t still be in business
The price of the tutoring service
a)) Look for deals or packages on numerous subject areas
b)) Find something that fits your budget
Some tutoring services may be locally owned and operated, so you can find them in your hometown online Yellow Pages.
Scrutinize them in the same way as those you find online! Just because they are located in your hometown doesn’t mean they are qualified educators.
Once you have found that perfect online tutoring provider, anything is possible. This service can open doors and provide you or your student with numerous resources to achieve the expected educational goals.
Advantages of Online Tutoring for College Students
As everyone knows, college classes move quickly. It is not unusual to be assigned dozens of pages of text in a college class every week, if not on a daily basis.
For many students, that pace is just too great a challenge to overcome without outside help. This is where online tutoring can really come in handy.
Many professors and advisors suggest that students find extra help outside of the classroom. In subjects like mathematics and science, students find the concepts hard to grasp and need extra help, practice, or to be shown a new way to tackle what is being learned.
However, with a full schedule of classes and quite often a part or full-time job, these students have a difficult time hiring traditional tutors.
Over the years, tutoring has been thought of as two people sitting at a table trudging through those 50lb heavy textbooks.
The hours the tutor could work were limited, where the participants in the tutoring session could meet was often difficult to schedule, and finding qualified tutors was a chore.
All of these items have been overcome with the growth and availability of online tutoring.
One of the main advantages of online tutoring for college students is the flexibility of this sort of service.
Unlike traditional tutors, which can only be scheduled during the day when the student and tutor are not busy, online tutoring can be done anytime from anywhere.
Even in the middle of the night, a college student can find the professional help he or she needs to succeed in their most difficult subjects.
Another advantage of online tutoring is that many times it is free through the college or university.
Oftentimes, it is students helping students, but that can be an advantage, too, since a graduate student in a particular field has just been through what an undergraduate is currently studying.
Some colleges have simple exchanges of emails or document review, while other colleges go so far as to have instant messaging and voice-based tutoring sessions.
The last advantage is that there are so many online tutoring services, each and every college student needing help should be able to find it.
Even with specialized subjects, the student can find the professional help needed to succeed or, possibly, excel.
The Difference between Online Tutoring and Face-to-Face Tutoring
No matter how much is done to advance online tutoring, it will never be the same as face to face instruction. This is not a bad thing, since having a wide variety of learning methods helps students retain what they are learning better.
However, there are some aspects of online tutoring that can be a problem if not dealt with early on.
Someone using an online tutoring service will sometimes feel isolated from the tutor and any other participants in the tutoring sessions, if it happens to be a group as opposed to one-on-one.
The lack of another human sitting in the same room can make the person being tutored feel alienated from the education professional and the other students.
There may also be problems in relation to misinterpretations of text, since you cannot see a smile, a frown or a shrug over the internet.
The main way to address these possible pitfalls of online tutoring is to allow for “socialization” time. If everyone gets to know each other through discussion, misunderstandings will be kept to a minimum.
Even when it is just one tutor and one student, comments can be taken the wrong way.
What takes a short time face to face can take weeks online, so it may be necessary to continue getting to know your tutor and any other participants over a long period of time.
One of the differences that make online tutoring so popular as opposed to face to face tutoring is the fact that it can be done anytime.
Face to face tutoring requires much more scheduling than online tutoring, as you need to pick a time and a place.
With online tutoring, the college student can have the help they need right in their own home or dorm room, so long as they have internet access, anytime they have a spare moment.
The best thing to remember when using online tutoring instead of face to face instruction is to be open to almost anything.
It will take a great deal of time and effort on everyone’s part to create a group identity and a positive, open relationship.
Leave those expectations that are unrealistic at the sign in page when you log onto your online tutoring session.
Reasons to Look For Online Tutoring For a Child
Believe it or not, you shouldn’t only consider an online tutoring service if your child is struggling.
You should actually look for an online tutor if your child is right at their grade level or even achieving results above the rest of the class.
The reasons for providing your child with online tutoring when they are struggling are much the same as when they are not.
Here are some specific reasons to consider online tutoring with every child:
- With classroom sizes on the rise, the teacher and possibly an aide have only so much time to give each student in a day. With the number of students per classroom rising as high as 30 students, your child can feel anonymous and lost in the shuffle. When you provide your child with online tutoring, they get more one-on-one, personalized attention than they could get in their classroom. Better understanding can come from this sort of tutoring experience.
- When a child is gifted, they can easily become bored with the lessons in the classroom. However, socially, it may be inappropriate to advance your young child to the next grade level. This is where online tutoring comes into play. In addition to the regular classroom work, an online tutor can provide your gifted child with challenging assignments geared to keeping him or her on grade level, while also keeping them excited about their education.
- Many parents just have difficulty helping their children with classroom work. All adults have not had training in teaching and may have not seen a particular subject in many years. This is especially true with more specialized, advanced subjects you will find in the high school level. Having online tutoring available for your child can get them the help or the advanced challenge they need without placing stress on the parent-child relationship. Kids are also more open to tutoring experiences on one of their favorite media – the computer!
- Nowadays, tutoring can actually make your child feel special! Just like athletes get a “personal coach” and movie stars get a “personal trainer”, your child can have a “personal educator”. This can lead to a special feeling, which will in turn lead to higher achievement.
- So, no matter what level your child is performing at, an online tutoring service may be a beneficial addition to your child’s education.
Differences between Email Online Tutoring and Live Tutoring
Depending on the level of difficultly your child is experiencing in a subject, you may want to decide whether e-mail tutoring or live tutoring is the right way to go. Both have good points, but both have their cons, as well.
Online Tutoring By E-mail
The way it works is the student simply sends a question about a particular subject over e-mail. It can be a simple question all the way to facts needed for a term paper or to answer a chemistry project.
It is best to look for a specialized e-mail tutoring service for your particular needs, as a writing tutor getting an e-mail about an advanced physics question would not provide you with the assistance necessary.
Normally an answer is not provided, per se, but the resources to find the answer to the question are provided back.
Many times e-mail tutoring is free! This is a big draw for this type of online tutoring service.
Public libraries, colleges and universities have recognized the need and benefits of this type of help and are willing to cover the cost to provide it.
A negative when it comes to this type of tutoring is that answers can take up to 2 days to arrive in the e-mail inbox.
When you are working on math problems that are due the next day, having to wait for your homework help is not an option.
The only way e-mail tutoring is effective is when the student asking the question has time to wait on the answers.
Live Online Tutoring
It is amazing how with just a computer and an internet connection, you can get your child tutoring help at anytime from anywhere!
That is how online tutoring works live. Using instant messaging programs occurs in real-time.
Students can log into the tutoring service and be connected to qualified education specialists around the globe.
Even at midnight, students will be able to find the help they need in most, if not all, subject areas.
Immediate conversation can begin, with questions being asked and answers being giving.
A negative when it comes to this type of online tutoring is that it can become a costly endeavor.
Some online tutors make up to $40 an hour, which is not including the fee of the company you find the tutor through.
However, the immediate help in a variety of subjects may make the price of live online tutoring well worth it!
Online Tutoring: Two Basic Processes Used
Everyone knows that no two students learn in exactly the same way. This makes classroom teaching a real challenge, since teachers and their aides do not have the time or the resources to provide a different lesson for every student in the class.
This is where online tutoring services can be beneficial – through individualized tutoring!
However, even tutors cannot be everything for everyone. They follow a process when tutoring students having difficulty or needing more challenging curriculum.
Here are some ways that an online tutor may work with you:
Traditional Explanation and Lecturing Techniques
For some, this is the quickest and easiest way to attempt to teach a subject. This technique is especially important for tutors when they need to make clear aspects of a subject area or to explain key points needed for understanding.
However, since this is the method most students are getting in their classrooms, online tutoring services tend to ask their tutors to keep this method of teaching to a minimum.
Asking Questions and Evaluating Student Answers
More important than the concepts of a subject is the understanding of those concepts by the student.
Online tutoring services can easily use a question and answer technique when providing assistance to students.
When using this method of tutoring, the professional educator should be sure to follow these guidelines:
- Always keep the questions asked open-ended
- Avoid questions with a simple “yes” or “no” answer
- Make the student think – have him or her decide how to tackle a problem and tell the steps required to reach a solution
- Rephrase questions when you see a student is faltering o Simply rewording an existing question can cause a light bulb to illuminate in a student’s mind
- Break up existing questions into smaller parts and get the student to answer each part individually.
The key to this online tutoring technique is actually quite challenging, as the tutor cannot hear how the student is answering.
The tutor cannot see the body language or facial expressions of the student, either.
The tutor can only read a cold response. An online tutor has to be skilled at “reading between the lines” and getting to any difficulty the student is having.
Studying for Your Online Practical Course
It may come as a surprise to some individuals that you can actually study online for a practical degree just as well as an academic qualification.
Critics of the system do not like the fact that online colleges offer practical courses and degrees, because they believe that it devalues the professions, such as engineering and plumbing that need practical experience as well as theoretical knowledge.
However, online courses can offer just as much value, if not more than attendance based courses for a variety of reasons.
The first reason that an online course can be of more value than an actual attendance course is because the theory side of the professional qualification is given far more time and consideration by the students.
If an individual is looking forward to doing the practical, then he or she may not concentrate in class, but by being forced to learn the theory and complete various assignments on it before being even allowed to touch the practical side of things, then they are much more likely to actually take the information in and thus be able to use it in a professional situation.
The second is that the individual can do it in his or her own time rather than sticking to a class schedule.
Although this may be viewed as a disadvantage by some individuals within the profession in question, it is not in this case, because it gives the individual time to take all of the information in and think logically about it.
He or she would have to get the theory process in order to be able to use it in a real life situation and giving him or her time to study it is the only way that this is entirely possible.
Practical degrees can take a variety of forms as well, so if you are looking to study for a practical degree, then you can choose the best one for you.
It may be that the course materials are sent to you and you simply communicate online. It may be that you have to fully work online in a class-based environment with other students.
It may be that you have to complete assignments online, but the course materials are left for you to work through in your own time.
Finally, it may be a semester based set up where you work online as you would if you were actually attending a university or college.
If any of those options sound more appealing to you than others, then that is what you should look for in terms of course content and makeup.
Practical online degrees do have to have a placement as well to ensure that they are indeed valuable for an individual to complete.
As it is an online degree, then the likelihood is that you will be able to choose your own placement in and around your local area.
However, some online degree providers do insist that you should attend their own placement areas. For example, an online college offering a nursing degree may have links with certain hospitals local to them.
If they do, then you will have to travel to complete the placement, and this is not optional.
If you want to complete the degree, then you will have to go at some stage, but when may be up to you.
If this is inconvenient or not possible then, you could look elsewhere for a degree, but it is something that you should know about in advance before applying.
Online practical courses and degrees do have a distinct value in the workplace.
They can help bring staffing levels up if they happen to be low in a certain professions, which would also improve the workings of the country no end.
However, make sure that you have selected the right practical course for you before applying. They vary greatly and will not suit everyone, so be aware of that in advance!
Community College Education
Several folks explore and look for a University they wish to attend after graduating from high school.
Parents are usually concerned about how they’re going to pay the tuition of a University.
Another concern of parents is the methods of teaching. Once their kids choose to enroll in a particular university, they may or may not, feature specialized and personalized advantages with which their youngsters were customary to having in high school.
Truth be told, bigger universities are inclined to be quite neutral when it comes to teaching students.
A great alternative to sending your children directly to a University is to enroll them into a 2 year community college.
This can provide them a nice introduction into college that’s focused on prerequisite and obligatory courses, which will make the transition into a 4-year University much easier.
More and more people find that those beginning 2 years at a community college makes the transition from a minute pond to a more magnanimous lake are practically lighter to manage.
Rather than departing directly from pampered high school environment into a liberated university is like pushing them into the depths of the ocean.
Most universities frequently accept less ostentatious academic degree classes as auditorium courses.
Two year community colleges are less expensive than universities, and can allow a person to enter the workforce earlier than a 4-year school, because they’ll graduate sooner.
That means you are able to really graduate and start out earning practically sooner than waiting on a 4 year academic degree from a university.
Attending a 2-year community college is also perfect if you’re not prepared to attend a 4-year university or uncertain about what career path you want to take.
Remember, you could transition to a 4-year university at any time during your 2-year attendance at a community college as long as you can satisfy the university’s entrance prerequisites.
Community Colleges – A Stepping Stone to University Education
If you are fortunate enough to live in a place where a community college provides classes, then you should make it a point to take advantage of the facility.
This can be a great help to further your educational qualifications to advance your career.
Community colleges provide some intensive courses in various educational areas. The courses are quite affordable and provide an impressive level of training.
Community colleges play an important role in providing affordable education; yet they are considered inferior in comparison to University education.
This consideration is quite further from the truth. In fact, a good number of nurses are students of community colleges and are very well trained in their jobs.
The associate degree nursing program provided by community colleges are rigorous courses that provide very good clinical experience and comparable to that of the bachelor of nursing degree courses provided by Universities.
However, if you possess nursing training from a community college, most hospitals will not consider you a candidate for any administrative nursing position, as this requires a Bachelor's degree.
There are many advantages of learning at the community college levels. One of the biggest advantages is the fact that the teachers are dedicated to teaching.
They are more approachable and helpful to the students. They are not simultaneously working on their own projects and usually devote all their time to teaching at the community college.
Students are never considered as an interruption in the pursuit of their own agendas.
Community Colleges are a supportive system for those individuals who are going back to academics after a long gap or for those who may not have been getting top grades in high school.
The teacher to student ratio is lower in community colleges hence; the teaching faculty can provide more personalized attention to the students. This is a great advantage to the students who require extra coaching.
Students who complete the two-year degree program at a community college are likely to go on to complete their four-year degree.
Research indicates that students who start at universities for four-year degrees usually drop out of the course mid-way.
A two-year community college degree will also help to increase the earning capability of the individual even if he or she doesn’t complete the four-year degree course.
There are some disadvantages associated with community colleges that you should be aware of.
There’s always going to be those pros and cons in life, right?
Some universities do not accept transfer credits of courses completed at the community colleges.
Be certain to check out the courses required at the university that you plan to transfer to for further education to avoid disappointment.
Another problem could be the availability of certain courses that you may want to take, or the limited number offered at the community college.
A community college education can be a useful, instructive and an affordable option for formal education.
It can be considered as a stepping-stone to the higher level of University education.
4 Disadvantages of Community College Education
A community college education has many advantages; however, there are a few disadvantages that need to be addressed.
We prefer to look at the positive side of things, but choose to ignore the negative aspects.
Fortunately, in case of community college education, the positive aspects far outweigh the negatives.
In case you decide to take up courses at a community college and plan to go on for further studies at the university level, you should be aware of the bigger picture.
Disadvantages associated with community college education:
- Students, who plan to transfer to a university after completing a two-year community college course, should make sure that the courses they are taking are compatible to those available at the university level. Most often, these are compatible, but there may be some exceptions that you should know about. In case you are planning to attend a University located near your present community college, you can verify if they have some agreement that will allow the transfer of associate degree graduates to the university.
- Another disadvantage of is that it does not provide residential accommodation to students. They are mostly commuter campuses, as they prefer to spend on academic development rather than on student housing. Residential campuses are convenient for students to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities that may be held at the college. Community colleges in the rural areas usually provide hostel facilities to their students.
- Community colleges offer limited choices for specific classes as compared to those offered by a university. You may also require an extra semester or an extra year to complete your associate degree. Universities, on the other hand offer a greater amount of flexibility and choice of classes, especially for the lower level graduate courses.
The libraries at community colleges are much smaller compared to those at universities.
This therefore limits the students' ability to do research. The simple reason for this is the fact that universities have a larger fund to spend on the libraries and research facilities compared to community colleges.
Universities have deep-pockets and can afford build large libraries that benefit their students.
Many state governments are passing laws to make it mandatory for the colleges within the state to accept the transfer of community college credits, in a bid to retain qualified workers in the state.
Some universities offer distance education programs to benefit those students who live far away from the campus.
This enables a larger number of people to access the educational opportunities that may not have been possible in the past.
If you wish to discontinue your education at the community college level, you’ll be limiting your earning capability to a large extent.
Community colleges serve as a springboard to university level education. Therefore, you should consider the benefits of transferring to a university, even though community colleges may offer a better learning environment.
Advantages of Universities
A degree from a university means many things to many different people, and only you can define what it means to you.
You must determine whether or not now is the time for you to pursue a university degree.
If you’re unsure about the advantages a university degree can bring, let’s take a look at some of the advantages to a university education in relationship to that of a community college degree.
Money - The first obvious advantage of a university education would be in future earning potential. A four-year degree trumps a two-year degree almost every time.
There would have to be exceptional circumstances for someone with a two-year degree to earn more over the course of a lifetime than someone with a four-year degree in the same exact field.
While a degree does not guarantee employability, it does improve the odds as well as the income potential that is associated with the field you are entering into.
If you have a two-year degree, the decision to continue your educational pursuits can be a tough one, but it is well worth the effort in the end.
Housing - This is another distinct advantage that universities offer over community colleges.
In fact, many universities are now offering housing opportunities to students with families in addition to those students who have no families.
Colleges and universities are offering all kinds of value when it comes to housing and meal plans.
A great deal of the college experience is missed when you do not live on campus.
For this particular reason, students wishing to enjoy the experience that dorm life provides often consider universities over community colleges.
Diversity - This is another key component that is often missing at the community college level.
International students find no real price breaks between universities and community colleges, so they tend to opt for the housing and cultural atmosphere that universities present rather than going with the limiting educational, residential, and cultural experience offered by many community colleges.
You will find students of different races, religions, cultures, and nations on the university level-far more than will typically be seen in a community college, unless you are attending community college in a very culturally diverse city such as New York.
Culture - This is something that is often lacking on the community college level, as they are largely commuter campuses.
You will not see quite the opportunity to experience art, music, the theater, and other wonderful experiences that universities pride themselves in offering to their students.
There is nothing quite like the cultural offerings of most large universities, and if you get the opportunity I hope you will take the time to stop and experience some of the wonderful things that being in a university community present you with an opportunity to experience.
Research opportunities - On a university level you will have the opportunity to participate in research projects with certain professors if you prove yourself worthy and express an interest.
This is something that isn't as likely on the community college level as most professors in a community college are dedicated to teaching rather than research.
You will find that the experience of working on a large-scale research project is unlike anything you are likely to experience again if you ever get the chance.
Confidence - There is nothing quite like a college degree from a university to help you become a more confident person both personally and professionally.
This is something that really can't be achieved on the community college level, but can only be experienced by getting a degree from a university.
If you lack confidence when dealing with others or in your career, I hope that you will find that your university education is just the thing to help you feel more confidence on all levels in your life.
These are just a small sampling of the many benefits of attending a university over a community college education.
I hope you will carefully consider these when making your decision about which is best for your personal education needs.
A College Degree to Open Doors to a Great Career!
Education opens the doors to a completely new world of jobs and dream careers. Education is the best gift one can give oneself.
There are plenty of educational opportunities available for those who seek to further their economic goals in life.
A good college education is the best option for this. Although experience is essential, a lifetime of experience will not help to achieve the same level of education that an undergraduate college course will convey.
A college degree entails a huge investment of time and money, but in the long run it increases the individual's earning potential and improves the overall quality of life.
Every level of college degree increases the earning potential. For instance, a yearlong degree course in any technical field can provide higher advancement in the career when compared to a high school diploma and the earning potential will increase manifold incase the individual upgrades from the associate degree program to a bachelor's degree.
By the same logic, graduate students who opt to study for their master's degree have a greater earning potential when compared to the majority of students who start working after attaining the bachelor's degree.
A college education is very costly and the reason why most people avoid going for higher studies.
Most often, due to pressing responsibilities, people have to quit studying and start working in order to earn a living.
Due to improvements in information technology, it is now becoming easier to obtain a degree for those who have sacrificed their dreams of higher learning.
It is now possible to take classes online or join Saturday classes or night classes in order to get a college degree.
This can now be done simultaneously while pursuing your career, in order to achieve your goals for a brighter future.
Lack of a college degree can seriously hinder your chances of a good career opportunity.
The lack of formal education will limit your possibilities much more than the lack of experience in the particular field.
Today most businesses seek to hire employees with college degrees rather than those with experience, a trend that is continuing to grow.
In order to remain competitive in the workplace, you will need to equip yourself with the proper type of education and training required to perform well at the job.
If you are already employed, you can check with your company to see if any incentives are provided to employees who are continuing with their education.
Sometimes, some companies are willing to reimburse the education expenses if the degree you are studying for, is directly beneficial to your current nature of work.
A college degree and education in general, is never a waste. Even though, your degree may not be of use in the job that you are applying for, the fact that you have a degree can give you an edge over the other job applicants.
Therefore, it is vital to have a college degree and a formal education if you wish to gain a foothold in today's competitive job market and business environment.
Finding the Right College Program
Have you heard the phrase, “To Each His/Her Own?”
This is one basic principle in life we live by.
Every one of us has different wants, needs, and preferences we’d like to have met in order to realize our full growth potential.
The same holds true when it comes to earning a college degree for future careers.
The way to gauge how well a specific type of environment may accommodate a student is by knowing which career path to take.
Then, it will be easier to make sound decisions where to take it. To see beyond the present and knowing what drives a student to achieve goals in life is what separates success from failure in education.
After knowing what to take, the most important decision comes into play, where to take it.
There are 3 available education options students could choose from…
- Community Colleges
- Online Home-based Self-study
Though all of them are good, it boils down to your preference, and which will amplify your learning skills the most.
A financial bearing is also a key factor in this choice. As well as, emotional stability and physical impediments can contribute largely on being able to get used to the environment of choosing schools.
Culture of online education, universities and community colleges are very different. They all bring in teaching techniques that are derived from environmental aspects.
Take for instance, universities uses lecture because of the huge population in the student body. It is quite hard to use discussion dialogues with so many students inside a class of a hundred, more or less.
As opposed to college community classrooms that usually take place in a more intimate setting, with just enough students to have debates, discussions, and better interaction among students and teachers.
Then, there is the online self-study education, which is entirely different from the other two options.
Students learn every lesson in utilizing online interactive programs. There is virtually no supervision and definite schedules to abide by unlike with colleges and universities.
Students learn at their own pace and on their own time.
Relative to location, the three education options have different impacts on students. With the vastness of university campus, a fit student can move around with no problem from one building to another.
The problem is that university buildings are usually miles apart from one another.
Not only will a student need to be fit to move around, but must adjust their schedules properly to avoid being late.
With colleges in local communities, travel time is not as difficult.
Some of the classrooms are situated in one or just a couple of buildings all within a close proximity of one another.
This type of setup makes it less stressful for students including those that are disabled to make it to their classes on time.
Internet based education purges time and distance factors posed by both universities and colleges.
A student could be in Paris or anywhere in the world, but may obtain a degree from a prestigious school in the USA or UK.
All that is needed is an internet connection the rest is history.
All these considerations are very much dependent on the adoptability of students and their willingness to graduate no matter where, what or how.
A lot of times the willingness to take on the demands of a college education is present; however, obtaining the resources to sustain is the challenging part.
Students have to deal with high university tuition fees, dormitories, food, laundry, etc.
Since community colleges are local, students can stay at home and still get a degree.
Their expenses are a lot less than attending a university, which allows them or parents to save a lot of money.
On the flip side, fees and charges that are paid by enrollees online are higher than community colleges and sometimes universities even.
Educational Financial Aid
After senior-high planning for a college education is the most rational thing to do. Most folks, however end-up not getting the degree they wanted, because of the financial burden associated with college.
But before you get too upset dealing with this reality, there is actually a way around this blockage to your ambitions.
Though higher education is almost synonymous with high cost, there is assistance that's readily given to students by the universities themselves.
Here are three of the most common forms of financial assistance options:
- University Scholarships
- Federal Pell Grants
Let us take one type of aid at a time.
Starting with the most popular, college or university scholarships…
There are no standardized qualifiers to be awarded a scholarship. Some are based on the scholastic merits or standing of students during high-school.
Others are sponsored by bigger companies and uses competition of some sort to award students scholarships.
In addition to this, another way is through companies that grant it to their employees as a part of their benefit package.
No matter how individuals obtain scholarships, the most important thing to remember is that they help put people through college without having to pay it back, which help to keep them out of student loan debt.
Let's go to the next topic, federal Pell grants. Just the same as with scholarships, this type is also not payable.
The basis for qualifying for this financial assistance is somewhat different. The gauge used is assessing a family's earnings. Students first must qualify depending on the formula that is being utilized to, more or less, see whether there is a real need for aid or not.
Only students that are allowed this privilege are those who will not be able to continue on finishing their degree.
Therefore, you're automatically disqualified if you are a fresh high school graduate.
Depending on the financial standing of a student's family, it is a shared responsibility. This aid is just partly responsible for paying a certain amount of the sum reasonable enough to finish school.
Let’s briefly talk about Student Loans…
Before you take out any type of loan, you must be certain to research it, look over the fine print, and even go as far as getting a contract attorney to read the contract.
Take your time so that you don’t get yourself caught in a financial bind.
There are three common student loan types available for those that are in real need of financial assistance…
Subsidized Loan - You must have good grades, which will defer interest collection until later on after finishing school or you discontinue the program.
Unsubsidized Loan - There are no qualification demanded to obtain an unsubsidized scholar loan, which will start subsiding interest right away.
Perkins Loan - For extra financial aid you may apply directly through the university’s registrar loan department for this loan. It's just like any other loan that needs to be paid back monthly with interest at a lower cost.
Other Types of Loans
This type of loan allows parents to borrow money to compensate for any costs not covered by the student’s financial aid package. Parents typically get 10 years to pay this loan off.
There is a disadvantage to getting private loans. The reason is that it poses no guarantee to the loaner and it is basically founded on credit standing.
The good thing about these loans is that, unlike government based loans, they can be flexible in terms of the amount they can lend families. This can go beyond just the student's tuition fees.
There’s no shortage of student loan sources available to fund a college education.
But, you must do your research before signing on the dotted line to avoid the possibility of regret and even taken advantage of.
You should seek the help of a competent counselor that can guide and provide you with sound advice, and even put together a strategic financial plan for funding a college education.
Educational Savings Accounts
When it comes to getting a college education, financing is one of the most important considerations that you will need to make.
Unfortunately, for far too many, it is one the last considerations that is made when it comes to the educations of their children.
If you are a parent you owe it your child and yourself to plan ahead and plan carefully in order to cover the cost of your child's education.
Fortunately, there are a few great ways in which you can do this.
The most common is to begin by opening up an educational savings account for your child (under the age of 18).
When you open up an educational savings account for your child, you can contribute up to $2,000 per year per child.
This is a combined total contribution, and can include the money giving by grandparents, friends, and family in addition to your own personal contributions.
The money from these funds can be withdrawn tax-free as long as they are used for educational purposes.
Educational expenses in this case include books, tuition, fees, supplies, and college room and board provided that your child is at least a part-time student.
If you do not use all the funds for your child, there are options as far as what to do with the remaining funds in the account.
The first option would be to leave the funds in the account and allow the account beneficiary to withdraw them up until the age of 30. There is a penalty involved and the beneficiary will be required to pay income tax on those funds.
You could also elect to roll those funds over to the next child under the age of 18 who will have educational expenses in the future.
The money you set aside in these accounts to cover the cost of the education of your child or children are not tax-deductible.
However, it is a great way to begin saving money and investing in the future of your child.
If you begin investing the maximum amount of $2,000 per year upon birth your child, you should have a nice nest egg to help cover educational expenses.
If your child is fortunate enough to qualify for scholarships and other sources of financial aid, you can turn the funds over as a graduation gift or save it for the next college student in your family that comes along.
Either way, you've saved yourself the stress and worry that goes along with providing for your family by having this fund set up for your children.
There are programs that you can sign up for that allows you to subsidize your contributions with donations from corporate sponsors as their way of thanking you for buying their products or using their services on any credit cards that you, your friends, and your family members have registered to go into your child's account.
Every edge you give yourself when it comes to investing in the education of your children is an edge worth having.
College tuition rates are rising at an alarming rate, while corporate expectations of college degrees are rising at the same near lightning speed.
This means that a college degree is more critical for our children than in past generations.
Take the time now to check into securing the future of your children by establishing an educational savings account.
Let friends and family know that any gifts they are planning to give your children that involve money would be appreciated if they instead invested in the future of your children rather than now.
You can also ask your family and friends to sign up their credit cards with a service that allows subsidizing of contributions in order to provide a little bump in donations to your child's college savings account.
These little steps add up to significant savings over the course of 18 years.
You just might find that the investment you are making is adequate to cover the costs of your child's tuition in full.
Financial Motivation for Two-Year Education
No matter how you look at it, college is expensive and there’s no sugarcoating this fact.
There are however, ways in which you can greatly reduce your overall expenses when it comes to getting your college degree.
The first method, which in many cases is the most preferred, is by attending a community college for the first two years of your journey to higher education.
Believe it or not, you can literally save thousands of dollars over the course of spending two years on the community college level.
You will hear all kinds of arguments on why it is better to attend all four years at a university.
The universities almost always make these arguments. Unfortunately, their opinions are a little bit biased in these matters.
Most universities offer equivalent courses with community colleges, meaning that the first two years of study should transfer with no problems or snags along the rocky road to your degree.
The universities make money each semester you begin class as a student. It is in their best interest financially to have you from the beginning rather than as a transfer.
It’s just business!
In fact, many universities offer lower level classes as auditorium classes. They pack more students into classes and have fewer professors or graduate students teaching the courses and maximize their money off the first and second year students, rather than those in upper level courses.
That’s another reason to consider a community college for the first two years of your education.
Getting back to the expenses of a community college, most are largely commuter campuses. This means you won't face the high housing costs that are associated with universities, particularly if you are attending college close to home.
Community colleges also offer far less distractions than most major universities.
This doesn't mean that there aren't ample social opportunities; it simply means that there are fewer of them. This also leaves fewer distractions than universities present when it comes to studying.
Community colleges simply cost less all around. While it would be nice if you could receive a full four year education at this level, they are able, for the most part, to keep expenses down by not requiring the level of qualification that universities require of their professors for upper level courses.
You will have excellent, if not a superior quality of education at lower levels than you would have on the university level, but you will also eventually need to move on to the university level in order to complete your education.
For this reason, you would do well to save half of your savings over university costs for each of the two years you are attending community college and apply it to your university education.
This will ease the burden of the additional costs of the university and feel as though you are paying the same amount for tuition throughout your education regardless of the fact that you are literally saving thousands of dollars on your educational expenses.
Some states have educational savings plans that allow parents to save for tuition at current costs by enrolling.
These plans cover two years of community college education and two years of university education.
By locking in today's prices you are eliminating the inflation. When you consider the fact that college tuition is increasing at an alarming rate, this is by far an excellent way to go.
You should check with your state and see if they offer a similar plan to parents of younger children and what the requirements are in order to enroll your child today.
If you are looking for a real value in education whether or not you only go for your two year degree of move on to a university in order to finish your four-year degree, you should find that a community college education offers a significant value for the money.
Most people find that every penny they spent in a community college was a penny well spent.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The first thing a student wishing to join college should do is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
This is known as FAFSA and it is an application for financial aid from the federal government. This form should be filled well in advance, so that any problems that may arise can be taken care of before the deadline of awarding the aid.
It will also ensure that you get the full financial aid available. The last date for the application varies every year and is sometime in the beginning of summer.
Since there are a large number of students applying for the financial aid, it is better to be prepared with the form well in advance, to avoid the long queues.
Most of the educational institutions require the FAFSA form to be filled out for awarding any kind of financial aid, be it a departmental scholarship or federal financial aid.
It may be worthwhile to make inquiries at the financial aid office of the institute you plan to join regarding any other formalities to be completed. They may have additional forms in order to apply for financial aid from the federal government or university.
The other factor you need to keep in mind is that financial aid is provided only for one academic year. Free Financial aid is not guaranteed, nor is it automatically renewed every year.
Therefore, you have to apply every year.
A number of changes may take place in the eligibility criteria every year and this will decide whether you get the financial aid for the particular academic year.
A subsidized student loan will begin to accrue interest upon graduation or as soon as you cease to be enrolled for the course.
The unsubsidized student loan will begin to accrue interest from the day it is granted. Thus, you will owe a substantial sum of money as interest as soon as you graduate, if you use an unsubsidized loan to take care of the education expenses.
Student loans enable a large number of people to obtain a college education, which would not have been otherwise possible.
Unfortunately, some people do not use these student loans wisely, end up with irresponsible spending habits, and increase debts.
Therefore, it is vital to utilize the loans judiciously and for the purpose they have been obtained.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid allows the student to apply for Federal Work Study Programs and Federal Pell Grants, apart from student loans.
Student loans should be the last resort for financial aid. There are a number of scholarships, grants, work study programs and loans that you may be eligible for.
The best source for finding this information is the Internet. You may also visit the high school or college financial aid office for any information that you may require on the subject.
No one can deny that education is one of the most valuable assets that you can possess because of its power to open doors to an almost limitless number of possibilities and opportunities.
However, getting college degrees can be challenging both financially and time-wise.
While there are pros and cons to obtaining a degree, the path that you choose needs to be based upon your available resources.
Not everyone has the means or the desire to attend a 4-year university.
Just as some folks have no desire to get a degree from a community college.
The route that you take has to be determined by you and you only, because ultimately you have to live with the outcome.
I’m not saying not to get advice from those that you trust including family, friends, and even career counselors.
But at the end of the day, you have to make the choice of whether you’re going to attend a community college for 2 years and then transfer to a university, only attend community college, or go straight to a university.
The best approach is to take your time, weigh all of your options, and determine the best route to take based upon your resources and time availability, create a plan with contingencies, and then take action.
Also, consider using the hybrid career path, by earning your degrees online, working your corporate job, and starting an online business part-time as a side hustle.
No matter how many degrees you earn, you must protect your livelihood by creating multiple streams of income just in case you get laid, furloughed, or fired.
Remember this; no one is going to care about your livelihood more than you.
Usually the person with the most options wins the game of life when executed properly.
Now that you know a little bit about the basics of online education, there’s one thing left to do…
Take action on this knowledge!