I originally thought about writing two separate posts, but I found it easier to combine these two into one.
Some students live in cities containing many colleges and/or universities. Some of them are technical schools, offering diplomas, certificates, or Associate degrees. Some are four-year institutions. On the other hand, some students live in small towns and cities, and have no other option but to leave that area to attend a four-year college or university for their career goals. Still, there is the underlying need to choose the right school to attend, especially from a financial standpoint.
Careers like engineering, medicine, or even business require certain programs that may be only offered at a particular institution. But many liberal arts and sciences are offered at several institutions—both local and distant. Students should take time to evaluate what career they wish to pursue and find the least expensive way to do that. If a student is awarded scholarships, then the financial aspect looks easier to manage. But in regards to student loans, students must understand that majors such as Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, English, are structurally the same at any institution. Even areas of education and health professions carry similar curricula. Students must become certified, registered, and/or licensed after graduation regardless of which college they attend.
For example, an aspiring Biology major sees that two prospective colleges have that field of study. One institution costs three times as much as the other. Why pay three times as much for practically the same subject matter and curriculum? Unless a scholarship is awarded, that student may need loans to pay for school. Even if the cheaper school required the use of student loans, the amount is still three times less that what would be needed for the other school in the example.
Another thing students should seriously evaluate is the average salary of their career choices. If I wanted to become a teacher in elementary school, and I researched the salary range of new graduates, that may give me some indication of how much student loan money would be appropriate for obtaining that particular degree. If one’s starting yearly salary is $35,000, then paying $35,000 for college is not cool, and neither is repaying that much in student loans.
My advice: look at the median salary for your career choice. Look at the history of the career salaries and how much they have changed over time. It is rare that a new graduate will make far above the average salary, so be mindful of this when you are convincing yourself that you can easily pay back student loan amounts. Rent, utilities, and other bills may take precedent over student loans as they are essential for day-to-day living. But you also want to be able to save for retirement, for emergency, and enjoy some of your money. So limit what you owe.
I hope this helped you in your academic endeavors. God Bless.
"Adults with positive self-concept and high self-esteem are more responsive to learning and less threatened by learning environment." (Mackeracher, 2004)
Consider this: a student has made two not-so-good grades on the first couple tests given for a class. The next test is coming soon, but this student has already told himself that will probably fail the next test. He believes his grade overall will suffer because of his pattern of less-than-satisfactory grades.
Perhaps, many of you have experienced or you are currently experiencing this feeling. You may be approaching final exams and feel like there is so much pressure placed upon you to do well and pass the class. Maybe you had turn in a few essays that weren't too great and feel like this next paper will not be any different. You could be a clinical student trying to perform examinations in a new area and feel like you cannot grasp the equipment functioning. While the learning situation or learning environment can be overwhelming, it is important that you, the student, remain positive.
Mackeracher (2004) points out that a positive self-esteem and self-concept can make adult learners more receptive to learning and feel less threatened by the learning environment. This means that students should look deeper into how they view themselves, feel about themselves, and/or value themselves. They have to know that the same attributes that granted them the opportunity to attend that college or university are still there. They may be more enhanced. The same ambition that led to the decision of a major or career field should be the same ambition that goes into studying, preparing for and attempting those learning situations.
Try these suggestions:
Quote obtained from: Mackeracher, D. (2004). Making Sense of Adult Learning. University of Toronto Press; Toronto.
College is a place of higher learning, where students attend courses in the pursuit of a career. College is also the place where people meet and become friends, or build connections and networks that last years beyond completion. In the effort of enjoying the new atmosphere, students can easily lose sight of why they are there. So many events take place that can control a student’s time, leaving very little for the academics. I know that some students attend school for athletic reasons or because they were awarded scholarships for arts and music. Sometimes, their extracurricular activities are included in their curriculum. Nevertheless, students must establish priorities early and continue them throughout their time in college.
I remember attending many social events on campus—movie nights, parties, cultural events, and there was even a Spades tournament where my friend and I won second place. I can also recall the numerous events I missed. Because I worked part-time and had a rigorous course schedule, I had to learn to balance my social life with my academics. With each year, I found myself more and more busy with school work. By the time I started attending clinical education for my major (Radiologic Sciences), my friends barely saw me. They knew that every semester for 7 weeks (either the first half or second half of the semester) I was unavailable. Between courses on campus, clinical education, and my job, spending time with friends on or off campus was impossible.
My overall point: Remember why you are there. You chose to attend that college or university hopefully because of a combination of the following reasons:
Some key points to consider: