College Is Way More Than Higher Education

The first day of college begins with hopes and dreams of a new future. You walk around the college, drinking in the newness of a world unknown, where the buildings will become a second home to you as you release yourself into a variety of lectures.

Your first day is filled with trepidation as you imagine what college life will be like. Of course you have watched "Beverly Hills 90210" and "The College Years" and have seen the picture perfect episodes, describing a life of parties and fun times and you wonder what acquaintances you'll make and what extra-curricular activities at college you will be participating in.

The college buzzer rings signaling the start of the first information session and you join the herd of other college students fresh out of their last year of high school, looking around for just a glimpse of anyone you might know, somebody that you could talk to and perhaps enjoy your college days with, to no avail. The college information session begins and as it continues, you sink into your chair as they ramable off all the general stuff that you already knew, because you studied the college handbook as required before attending. You are thinking what all this college stuff is about. College is about the closing of one chapter of your life, and the beginning of another. It's a time of expanding and growing into adulthood. There is a lot of focus on the higher education aspects of attending college, and it's really much more than that.

College is a time to get to know who you are, and what you may want to do in your life. College gives you an opportunity to spread your wings, and learn about things which serve and support you in a "safe" environment. College is a time to network, and relationship with other people.

Some of the most important questions you can ask yourself is What do I like? What am I interested in? What subject do I lose myself in? There will be some required courses and those may not jazz you, but your major should be something that fits like a glove. If you are unsure, don't commit to any one course of direction until you have determined that. There is an abundance of college options, so take your time in choosing the one that best suits your needs. It will save you a lot of time and money and aggravation, in the long run!

The author has experienced the benefits of a college education. She credits her college years for building a solid foundation and rounding out her life. She is a successful entrepeneur and parent and is involved with her community.

By Meghan Semple

Accredited Online Universities - Getting Good Grades

Taking distance education courses requires more motivation and self discipline than traditional college classes. Being able to work at your own pace can result in you falling behind on your work, if you're not self directed. Organization is the most important factor for success in online studies.

Attend the orientation and any study sessions offered by the university, if at all possible. Instructors offer valuable information in these sessions. Utilize on campus resources such as the college library and computer lab. Many schools offer online resources, such as online libraries and tutoring for distance learning students. Take advantage of all resources your school has to offer to get the most out of your education.

Create a schedule with regular times for studying and stick to your schedule. If you are taking more than one class, get a large calendar. Listing all exam and assignment due dates on this calendar makes a great visual aid to help with time management. You can schedule how much time you will spend on each class based on this information. If you have a large paper due this week in one class and an exam next week in another, you can schedule your study time accordingly.

Jump right in and get started on the material. Many successful students get the books early and read the first few chapters before the class starts. If you can get a copy of the class syllabus early, do the first week's work before the class starts. You will be a week ahead of the game when class starts. Try to stay at least a week ahead, whenever possible. Being ahead gives you flexibility if something comes up during the semester to take you away from your work for a few days. If you can't get the syllabus, read a few chapters to familiarize yourself with the material.

Interact often with your instructor to get the most from the course. You can request that the instructor look at your schedule and give you feedback on your progress in the class. Schedule time to participate in online discussions or group projects your program offers. Some instructors require you to post replies on a message board as part of the course. You will be given points for this participation.

As you work your way through the course, follow the syllabus and study guide carefully. Complete all reading assignments and take complete notes on the material you read. Read each chapter when it is assigned. Don't skip the reading and try to catch up before the exam. Reading six chapters two days before the test will result in a lower grade. The same goes for studying. Don't try to study the night before an exam. Study and read a little bit each day for the best retention.

To do well in distance education courses, you must complete all assignments on time. If you have a hectic schedule, try to complete all papers and assignments early. You won't have to worry about something coming up the night before an assignment is due. Working late or having a sick child can throw you off schedule and cause your assignments to be late. Some instructors will give partial credit for late work, while others will give no credit. No instructors give full credit for late work in college.

By Katie Robbins

Online College Programs - How to Apply

The first step to getting your online degree is to apply to colleges. Research several colleges offering the degree program you need. Once you have decided on a school, you are ready to begin the application process. While the requirements may vary slightly, most colleges have similar processes. You will need to fill out an application, either online or on paper. Check with the university for application deadlines. Just about all schools charge an application fee; these fees are usually small.

You will need to include any supporting documentation required by the school where you are applying. You will find this information included with the application. All schools require original transcripts from all schools previously attended. This will include both high school and college transcripts. A few schools look for college preparatory courses in high school. Send your requests early to allow enough time for transcripts to arrive at the college. Some schools will require SAT test scores and immunization records as well.

You will have to meet the admission requirements of the college you will be attending. The requirements vary by school and in some cases can be different based on your major. Be sure to check with the university to determine the requirements. Many schools have a minimum SAT score requirement for admission, although some waive this for some programs or for non traditional students. Non traditional students are defined as older students who have been out of high school for at least five years and have work experience. Students transferring from other institutions are in this category as well.

Many schools require students pass placement tests prior to registering for classes. These tests usually have English, math and writing components. This is to determine if potential students have the reading, writing and math skills necessary to succeed in college. If you don't pass one of the placement tests, you may be required to take remedial courses prior to starting your degree; this is not unusual for people returning to school after many years. Graduate programs will usually require additional testing, such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

When you apply to the school, you can also apply for financial aid. Talk to a representative about programs available to students in the form of financial aid and scholarships. Start the process by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Complete the application even if you don't think you will qualify for federal aid. Most other student loan programs use the same application. To be able to accept federal financial aid, the school must be regionally accredited. Accreditation is a voluntary process and matters mainly for financial aid and transferring credit to other universities. Check with an admissions counselor if you're not sure about accreditation.

Once you have completed all applications and testing, you will find out if you have been accepted into the program. Once you have been accepted, you will be eligible to register for classes and begin the journey toward your college degree. The admissions counselor at your university can assist you in scheduling your courses. There is often an order in which classes should be taken. Once you have registered, you pay for your classes, get your books and attend orientation, if required.

By Katie Robbins

Outstanding Business Professors at WVU, Part 3

Students appreciate teachers that can show them how the material they teach can be applied to the real world.

Dr. Richard Riley, an accounting professor at West Virginia University's College of Business and Economics, goes beyond relating his material to the real world for his students.

He puts them in it.

Graduate students that enroll in Riley's Accounting and Business Consultation course run a complex simulated business, compete with their classmates, sell a portion of the company to venture capital investors and prepare and deliver a performance report to those same VC investors.

"There is a certain element of pride involved in that program," Riley said. "The fact students are in competition with their classmates and have to deal with real world people give them extra incentive to embrace the activity."

"My background is well suited towards students maximizing their potential once they graduate," Riley said. He entered the academic world in 1998 after nine years of professional experience as a CPA and CFO. "I try to make a very strong connection between what I am doing in the classroom and what they will be doing when they graduate in the real world." He also incorporates simulated real world-like activities in his fraud and forensic classes.

Riley became motivated to teach after realizing that students often graduate with plenty of knowledge, but little experience in putting that knowledge to work in the classroom.

"I always focus on students getting hands-on experiences in my classes," Riley said. "The more I can get students' assignments to emulate what they'll be doing in the real world, the better off they will be for themselves and their employer."

Because of his blackboard-to-boardroom approach to teaching, Riley was awarded Outstanding Faculty Member by Beta Alpha Psi in 2000 and in the fall of 2005, he will be awarded Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the College of B&E.

"Students are going through many life experiences as undergrads or grad students," Riley said. "With so many things going on besides my class, I need to make sure they are prepared when they go to the real world. Students will understand everything I have taught them once they get out there, but providing for that connection is my most important job."

By Jonathan

All About Grants for College Students

Grants are a type of student aid that is awarded by the government. Grants for college students do not have to be repaid.

Grants are based upon financial need, as calculated by the federal aid program. The first step in applying for government grants is by completing the FAFSA.

Of course every student and parent would rather receive grants instead of loans, since they do not have to be repaid. So the student hopes to see a grant award when the results are returned from the application.

There are a few things to be aware of, however, when expecting a grant. The funds available for grants are limited, therefore the grant will not usually fully fund educational expenses. If the student is planning on attending a community college where tuition rates are lower, it is possible that grants will cover a greater percentage of the tuition and fees.

The second thing to be aware of is that when the need analysis is done by the government or school, the expected contribution of the parent is usually higher than in reality what is possible for most families. This expected contribution effects the amount available to the student for grants.

Another significant factor is that if the parent or guardian claims the student as a dependent on income tax returns, this effects the amount of aid available to the student. In general, a student who is 'independent' of the parents as far as the tax law goes, will receive more in financial aid awards.

First year students may find that they receive less grant awards than they do in subsequent college years.

By Michael Carter

Education - Let The Learning Begin!

You've probably heard it since you were little, 'get a good education and you'll go far in life.' Maybe you used to wonder how truthful your relatives were when they said those words to you. Maybe now you know or wish you had listened to them a little harder. Whatever the case may be, it's undeniable that education is vital to your success for many reasons.

Income is most likely the first reason that comes to your mind. Without a solid education, you will probably not be able to find the best paying job to support you and your family. Yes, it's correct that with hard work and persistence, people have been able to get great jobs without an education, but those cases are uncommon. You need to attend school to truly be looked at as a prime candidate for employment - no question.

A college education will be able to prepare you effectively for employment. You will learn skills and acquire the essential information about your major which will lead you right toward the job you want. So, don't eliminate this critical step because education will be the thing that serves you with a secure future.

Another reason you will want to receive a good education is for basic writing and conversation skills. If you want to come across as being confident in all situations, you will need book smarts. Street smarts can only get you so far- so don't depend on them. Writing letters, answering correspondence and speaking on the telephone are all aspects of jobs that you will need education for. You learn basic math and writing skills through education and without these, you won't be able to show yourself to others as confidently as you desire.

Education will make you self-assured because you'll be able to present yourself wherever you go. From college debates to formal affairs, you'll know what's current in the world, how to speak about it and how to make great, interesting conversation- all because of education.

Sometimes, education comes with a large price tag. Tuition, books and living expenses are very expensive when it comes to college. You can always loans, grants or a scholarship to help you, so don't despair. If you want an education bad enough, you'll get one. It doesn't matter the size of your bank account, let your drive pull you toward the education you so desperately need. Don't settle for average and keep learning all the way up and throughout your senior years. Education shouldn't end after college, it should continue it so you can constantly improve yourself and your mind.

The author has found that people who are striving to better themselves are happier and have a calmness and peace of mind about them. The common denominator centers around education and learning about new and different subjects.

By Tara Cicconni

Online Education and Digital Divide

Digital Education is really coming along thanks to the US Military and their expenditures in the IT Framework to make training available. The IT companies doing this training are in fact able to pass on this technology to the private sector immediately and it is helping us with the digital divide.

The United States Navy is trying many of the online Internet learning some of which we have discussed here on this site: Online Training by the US Navy is very good;


We are very much for schools. I have always supported schools:


But we are in a new era and I really believe we can do more to educate our people faster and cheaper than ever before if we use the tools of modern technology. I support ideas from Bill Gates on this issue, I believe in The First Lady's strong commitment to education, I have always admired University of PHX and their online program and I am excited to see the bi-lateral support on the NO Child Left behind program. I am totally 100% behind the efforts to make this program work and to get behind problems of the past in education and move into the new era with these new tools.


I am glad to see that the US Military is moving forward and being efficient with taxpayer's money, so that they have more money for new ships and planes and research and development to keep us strong and safe. Good Move, great work on this. Isn't it great when we can get everyone on the same page and propel the future of mankind to our destiny? Think on this.

By Lance Winslow

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