Tag Archives | semester


By www.gotcredit.com

Let’s face it: college tuition is through the roof, and it’s only going to get higher. At the same time, many higher level jobs are only available to those with degrees. Add the two together, and college becomes a daunting and expensive task, rather than a chance to learn and grow as a person. Not all hope is lost, however! There are plenty of methods you can use to cut back on costs and get a degree without having to climb a mountain of debt! Methods like…

Scholarships and Grants

This one is a no-brainer, but sometimes it still just feels like a lottery. Don’t be discouraged, though! If you can name one single thing that makes you stand out, you can bet there is a scholarship or grant for it. Are you short? Tall? Boy? Girl? Can you dance? Can you sing? Are you a liberal? Conservative? What career path are you aiming towards? The answers to those questions and more can all, you guessed it, get you some no strings attached cash. Is it worth it? Yes! If you spend three hours applying for dozens of scholarships and grants and even only get a single $500 scholarship, that’s the same as three hours working a $167/hour job!

Get Textbooks Cheap

Textbooks can be one of the hidden costs of college. Altogether, the price to buy all the textbooks you need for a single year might be a thousand bucks or more. Everyone knows that renting is one way to cut down costs, but another tip is to buy the previous edition of the textbook required. Do they want the 4th Edition? Get the 3rd edition. Oftentimes, the information is exactly the same, and if the questions in the book are different, you can always just work with a classmate. If you rent a used book in an older edition on Amazon, it’s entirely possible that you can get it for a single penny, minus shipping and handling. Yes, that’s a true story. How about that?

Online Classes

The best way to make things cheaper is to make them digital, and classes are no exception. If you’re taking a gen-education class or even some specialized classes, why pay full tuition just to sit in a lecture hall and listen to the professor, when you can pay half, sometimes a quarter as much? On top of that, you get more options and features to help you learn, like these online masters in aging interactive study guides and re-playable lecture recordings.

Live Off Campus

Here’s a little fact for you: if you do the math, on-campus housing at some colleges can be very expensive. Would you spend a thousand dollars a month for a place to live and eat? Two thousand? Three? Maybe if you were rich and wanted a condo. But you’re probably not rich, and are definitely going to be plopped into a noisy, smelly dorm. So what to do? Go ahead and live on campus your first year or two, make some friends, and then book it to an apartment or rental house with them! You’ll no longer have the luxury of paying for everything in a single lump sum payment, but you’ll have the advantage of, well, saving a lot of money and having your own place.

So there you have it, not one but four ways to make sure your money stays your money whenever you ship yourself off to college this fall. Use these wisely, and imagine the looks on everyone’s faces a couple years after you graduate, when you tell them you already paid off your loans!

This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakly.

Image by Ervins Strauhmanis, Flickr

Image by Ervins Strauhmanis, Flickr

That is the question.

Summer courses are a great way to get ahead of your classes, or play catch-up if you took a lighter course load or failed a class. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to studying throughout the summer.

If you decide to take summer courses: don’t panic! Summer courses are not necessarily more difficult (or any easier) than regular classes, but they do require a slightly different approach. Listed below are some things you should keep in mind when tackling summer courses:


Summer courses are condensed into three-month semesters. That means a two semester (full year) course retains all of the material but must be accomplished at twice the speed! Because of this, organization is vital to success. There is also no time for procrastination: you cannot miss classes or skip assignments. There just isn’t any room to fall behind because the workload is packed in so tightly.


The workload and expectations are on par with any other course you have taken. For this reason, it is imperative that you maintain good attendance, participate, and keep up. It is all manageable with good preparation, commitment, and organization. Remember: if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail!


Professors mark the same, lecture the same, and expect the same output from their students during summer semesters as in any other semester. If you feel you’re unable to manage the intense course load, it is important to talk to your professor as soon as possible to discuss what you are struggling with and how to find a solution.

Now, I don’t want to scare you. We’ve covered what’s difficult about summer classes, so let’s have a look at what can be great about them:

Smaller Classes

Summer courses are great for a more personal approach to learning. Classes are often smaller and professors are often less busy. It’s important to take advantage of this situation: talk with your professors during office hours to build relationships, ask as many questions as you want during lectures, and take the opportunity to meet and learn from your peers.

Lighten Your Load: Stay Active

Taking summer courses is also a great way to ease your workload in September. Taking one less course in the winter may give you an opportunity to give more attention to other classes or activities. Also, it’s important to stay mentally stimulated over the summer – you’ll be much quicker off the blocks come September!


Image by winnifredxoxo, Flickr

Image by winnifredxoxo, Flickr

Remember that summer courses are an intense exercise in learning: classes are often five days a week. If you take more than one class per summer semester it’s even more important to stay organized and focused. If you do take a full course load during a summer semester, you should expect to work just as much as you would during the fall or winter.

One of the main disadvantages to summer courses is that it limits your opportunity to earn some money for September. If working and saving up during the summer is a priority, you should ultimately limit the number of summer courses you take.

Good luck!