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For-Profit or Not-for-Profit School Choices

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With so many choices of online higher education, it is hard to choose just one option. From a two-year community college program to a top-tier university, you have many choices at your fingertips. While some schools are advertising to you non-stop on TV ads and online, it is hard to tell if a for-profit school is right for you, or if you should research a not-for-profit school. For-profit schools are just that, they run like a business and sometimes are publicly traded companies. Not-for-profit schools are considered a traditional school that takes funding, but besides overhead, the money earned goes back into the school itself. Here are a few tips to check before deciding which is best for you:
Accreditation – Not all schools are accredited by a regional or national agency. This means they may not be recognized by employers or other schools if you decide to transfer or get a higher degree such as a master’s or doctoral degree. In terms of importance, I would say that this ranks #1. You do not want to spend your money on a school that does not give you a leg up on your peers and cannot help your future.
Completion time – Compare what your timeframe is vs what the school’s completion time for the program is. Many schools promise you will be done in a set period of time only to find out you missed your timeline due to an internship, thesis, lab work, and other requirements that you may need.
Grants and Scholarships – Do you need help funding your education? If so, this is a very important item to check off your list. This may take a bit of research on your end but it is well worth it. Grants and scholarships are different than financial aid because you do not need to pay them back unless there is a clause that states repayment for a term not met by the agreement.

Grants vs Scholarships

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Should you apply for both? Is it worth your time and research? The simple answer is yes. Scholarships and grants are free money to help you in your educational journey. Different from financial aid student loans, where you must pay those back, these are based on many factors. That being said, since there are so many options to choose from, you should start your research as soon as possible to see which are best for you.

A grant is a form of financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants, and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants are just some of the options for you to apply for.

Many nonprofit and private organizations offer scholarships to help students pay for college or career school. This type of free money, which is sometimes based on academic merit, talent, or a particular area of study, can make a real difference in helping you manage your education expenses.

Traditional Online Learning

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What happens when traditional learners miss physically touching a textbook or writing a paper on a notebook instead of in their computer? Many online students complain that everything they do is computer-based. This becomes frustrating and many students think that this is not what they signed up for. So, what can students do in order to still have that traditional feel of school, even if they are studying online?

  1. Go to your library! You can still pick up books at the library, even if the library is closed. Do an online order to pick up your books and return curbside. This way, you are not just studying from your computer only. You can actually turn the pages on a book to break up the monotony.
  2. Use an audiobook. You can listen to your schoolbook while you are driving, exercising, or working on other tasks. You can listen to these books that you need to complete for school while you’re learning a new cooking recipe.
  3. Don’t forget to meet with your teachers and counselors in person if your school allows it. It’s important to have physical interaction with the people that are helping you accomplish your goals. Don’t forget about the resources you have at your disposal.

Stress Relievers for Online Students

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Staring at a computer all day can take its toll on your body. Restlessness, eye strain, body soreness and sedentary sitting can all lead to unhealthy students. Here are some ways to make sure you are working out more than your brain during the day:

Use a stand-up desk – Stand up desks are geared towards those who want to be able to sit down and stand during their work or study day. It is a great option to allow a student flexibility and a healthier work day.

Audio books – When required, many students choose to listen to audio books for class. Why? Students can then can run, jog, walk or exercise all while listening to a required book for school. This also helps reduce strain on your eyes after a long day on the computer.

Videos – Work out or stretch while watching videos. Videos are also important in online class. They are used as class materials and allows a student to watch all while stretching or working out.

Take breaks – Plan out time for specific classes each day. Know your limit and stop when you know you are burning out. Take a break and do something fun or creative to reset your brain for getting back into class.

HyFlex Learning: Part II

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Some college bound students are hesitant about getting their degree online due to the lack of interaction that they would get with in-person learning. The good news is that there are plenty of schools that will allow students to have a hyflex educational experience. Hyflex learning presents the components of hybrid or blended learning in a flexible course structure that gives students the option of attending sessions in the classroom, participating online, or doing both.
Hyflex Learning is when a student can learn in a more flexible manner. This method allows for students to take their course either in person or online during either during the set class time, or at a time of their choosing. Students can choose if they’d like a combination of classes that involve in-person, synchronously online, and asynchronously online. Students can decide how to participate.
Students can use two types of learning methods for hyflex learning. Synchronous online environments occur in real-time with participants actively participating together. Asynchronous environments are not in real-time but students can learn and participate on their own schedule.

Here are some key points for hyflex learning:

  • Attend classes at your own pace, your own choice of in-person or online learning.
  • Technology is highly valued in hyflex learning for real-time virtual instruction, recorded classes, learning modules, materials, and student portals.
  • Learners can decide if they want in-person instruction (synchronous), or at the time and place of a learner’s choice (asynchronous)
  • Allows students to make their own schedules around work, extracurricular activities and family time.

3 Credit Cards to Help Your Bad Credit

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When you struggle with bad credit, you may find it hard to get approved for just about anything. The good news is, if you want a credit card, there are some companies out there that will still approve you. Most are secured, meaning you will have to pay a deposit.

Here are 3 credit cards you should check out when trying to rebuild your credit history:

  1. Capital One Secured Master Card: This is a secured card meaning you will have to put money down on it. The good news is, you have 80 days to do so. Your interest rate may be really high, but that’s to be expected with any credit card if you have bad credit.
  2. Discover It Secured: This is a secured card. In order to apply, you must first apply for a regular Discover Card. If you’re denied, then they may offer you this card, but there’s no guarantee.
  3. First PREMIER Bank MasterCard Credit Card: You must have a bank account in order to qualify for this card.

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The New Credit Score System Might Make It Easier to Get Loans

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Those with little to no credit history or between 500 and 600 on their FICO score may see an increase in loan opportunities.

UltraFICO, a new type of credit score system, will help consumers establish a credit score based on their banking and savings habits rather than credit cards, loans and debts. It’s meant to help the over 7 million people who fall in the upper-500 and lower-600 range, which is typically the minimum for lenders.

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Image via The New York Times.

How Your Credit Score May Affect Your Engagement

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Planning on popping the question? Well there are certain ways that your credit score might play a factor in that decision.

  1. Spray out payments if it’s not possible to make the purchase in one fell swoop.
  2. Use the credit card rewards to plan a honeymoon.
  3. Another great perk of rewards is finding cards that have 0% interest.

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Image via Glenn’s Freedom Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

Products for Testing Your Home

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Statistics show that there is at least one home invasion every 15 seconds. Many of those times, the home owner is present. It makes sense then that so many homeowners are looking for solutions to stay safe. Check out these great affordable products recommended by consumers, industry experts and security professionals. They are guaranteed to keep your home break-in proof.

  1. Frontpoint: Frontpoint has really awesome reviews from customers, especially for their great customer service. They are competitively priced with no hidden fees. They also have an easy DIY (self-installation) security system with cellular alarm monitoring.
  2. Protect America: Protect America is very popular with their customers. They offer great value for a low price. You can even get their price-lock guarantee that ensures your monthly monitoring bill stays the same.
  3.  LiveWatch: Unlike many other companies, LiveWatch requires very low commitment. You only beed to sign on for a 1 year contract and they offer the lowest monthly price for cellular monitoring.

Image via Security Alarm.

How to Find Cheaper Auto Insurance Premiums

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Good drivers, rejoice: It’s likely easier for you to find a cheaper auto insurance premium!

Insurance companies want to work with good drivers and promote safety on the road, so it only makes sense that they’ll want to partner with people don’t have any marks on their driving records.

These are the different types of insurance you can purchase:

  • Uninsured/underinsured coverage.
  • Minimum required insurance within your state.
  • Usage-based insurance programs.

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Image via Farmers Insurance.

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