How to Know You're Choosing a Worthwhile Online Master's Degree (Guest Post)

How to Know You're Choosing a Worthwhile Online Master's Degree (Guest Post)

Online degrees earned a bad rap, since many early online degree programs were offered by for-profit universities focused on pumping out graduates as inexpensively as possible. However, that reputation is changing as traditional universities begin to embrace distance learning and online degrees.

Many top universities are beginning to realize that their reach should not end at the edge of campus, and online graduate opportunities are expanding. If you've decided that an online program might be right for you, how do you choose a quality program? 

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Calming Parental Fears: How to Approach the College Selection Process

Calming Parental Fears: How to Approach the College Selection Process

Choosing a college is a momentous decision: one that will have an enormous impact on where you’ll be and what you’ll do for the next four years of your life. It feels like it should be entirely personal, like the only one really impacted by your decision is you.

Of course, if your parents are helping you pay for school, they (quite accurately) feel like they have a considerable stake in the decision as well.

Here are some strategies for managing the college search profess in a way that will make everything far smoother, less conflict-prone, and more comfortable for everyone involved. 

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Is an Online Degree a Good Idea?

Is an Online Degree a Good Idea?

Are online degrees a good idea? Will an online degree provide the same quality of education you would receive in a brick and mortar location? Will the degree be as respected?

Several major online programs have been embroiled in scandals and revealed as frauds. But an increasing number of respected universities and colleges are now offering online courses of their own. So, here's the question: is an online degree a good idea for you? 

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What is College For?

What is College For?

It is easy to take things for granted—to forget to question why we make the plans we do, or why we interact with the world in certain ways. Sometimes we are so busy chasing a goal (graduation, a job, a plan, etc.) that we forget to pause for a moment and ask ourselves very real and foundational questions. For example: 

WHAT IS COLLEGE FOR?

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The Benefits of an Honors College

The Benefits of an Honors College

Choosing a college is an incredibly exciting and (often) stressful process. For high-flying high school students, private schools and liberal arts colleges often seem like the logical choice. However, an Honors College at a large public university can offer incredible opportunities and benefits for academics, social life, and broader opportunities. 

I was a student at the University of Oregon's Honors College. Here's why that was a great fit for me (and why an Honors College could be a great fit for you, too). 

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Choosing an Engineering Major--An Unconventional Method (Guest Post by Destenie Nock)

Choosing an Engineering Major--An Unconventional Method (Guest Post by Destenie Nock)

Sometimes even the path to engineering isn't a straightforward one... 

I was 16 when it came time to apply to Universities. Like most teenagers I had no idea what I wanted to do. People love having choices in life, but at that point I felt like the infinite possibilities was almost paralyzing. I felt overwhelmed by the choices and the different outcomes that each outcome presented. Trying to make the right decision in terms of career, my future family, and everything all felt like it was riding on which college I chose to go to. That was a lot of pressure on a single decision for my 16-year old self.

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Knowing When It's Time To Go

Knowing When It's Time To Go

Most of us have felt that sinking discomfort from time to time: I’m not in the right place. This isn’t the right fit. What am I doing here?

For many college students, this is a cyclical question that comes and goes with the expected flow of the academic years and progress toward fulfilling a major. This can be particularly significant during sophomore year, when you’ve finished the “honeymoon” phase of your four years and you understand enough about your college life to really start to question it. Like the infamous “Freshman 15,” the “Sophomore Slump” is well known for a reason: it is a common occurrence and can have a major impact. For most, it is a phase to get through. For some, it leads to transferring to another school or to dropping out of college entirely.

I want to share a couple of my own stories about feeling like I had to move on, and what I decided to do about it.

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An Average American Studying in Australia: Experiences and Lessons You Can Apply to Your Own Travels--Guest Post by Danny Conway

An Average American Studying in Australia: Experiences and Lessons You Can Apply to Your Own Travels--Guest Post by Danny Conway

I always love it when I get the opportunity to feature writing from people whose student experiences are very different from mine. Danny Conway is a student from Columbus, OH who is currently studying chemistry at the University of Melbourne. Although he characterizes himself as an "average" American, I would argue that the decision to pursue a full undergraduate education abroad is anything but "average." I hope you enjoy!

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The Benefits of a Community College Education: Guest Post by Mark Rothenmeyer

The Benefits of a Community College Education: Guest Post by Mark Rothenmeyer

The low cost of tuition allows you, the student, to fulfill courses required for graduation while also taking classes to broaden your perspective, pursue your interests, and determine your future major. Many students arrive at expensive, four year institutions with the “undecided” block checked and spend a great deal of money trying to find their passion when they could have spent dramatically less had their search began at a community college.

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Education in the UK vs. the US: "What is Foucault?"

Education in the UK vs. the US: "What is Foucault?"

This is a blog post about liberal arts, the United States system of higher education, and my brief experience studying in Northern Ireland. Specifically, about the difference witnessed between my “breadth” of educational experience in liberal arts and the “depth” of background evidenced by my peers in the law program.

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Choosing a College: Gut Feelings and Pro/Con Lists

Choosing a College: Gut Feelings and Pro/Con Lists

This decision really could be the most important one you have ever made. That being said, I am also of the opinion that most people can thrive at a whole range of colleges. I think you can happily settle into many different environments, pick from a variety of majors, and develop an active and satisfying undergraduate college experience.

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Small Town, Small School, Big Opportunities--Guest Post by Rebecca Rothkopf

Small Town, Small School, Big Opportunities--Guest Post by Rebecca Rothkopf

One of the most beautiful things about going to school in a rural area is the strong connections that form between students, faculty, and staff members. Stellar academic work and students actively involved in extracurriculars really do get noticed. The purpose of college is to challenge yourself and grow. The faculty and staff get that, and can serve as a solid support system if you are willing to reach out.

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Lessons from the Mitchell Scholarship: Narrative and Success

Lessons from the Mitchell Scholarship: Narrative and Success

Two years ago this weekend I went to the Mitchell Scholar Finalists weekend in Washington, DC. The twenty finalists came from across the country and had an enormous variety of interests and backgrounds. We had made it through the first selection process, and then a Skype interview. The finalist weekend in DC started with a reception in the Irish Embassy, chatting with the other finalists, members of the selection panel, and community members involved in the US-Ireland Alliance.

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Location

Location

I chose my school through an intricate combination of whimsy and research. I did the campus visits, I wrote to a couple of professors, and I read through reams information. But the biggest factor in the selection process was that I went with my gut. I can’t explain why exactly. But here’s a huge piece of my decision that drove my father absolutely nuts:

I refused to go to the Midwest.

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