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New Blog Address
Monday, March 31, 2008


I've recently moved the SMB College Life blog to my own server. The design has been changed to increase readability. The new blog address is www.smbcollegelife.com/blog. If you've linked to our blog or use our RSS feeds to quickly view new posts please update them to the new address.

New Blog Address: http://www.smbcollegelife.com/blog

New RSS Feed location: http://www.smbcollegelife.com/blog/feed

Thanks for using SMB College Life!
posted by Shawn @ SMB College Life @ 1:21 AM   2 comments
Student loans affected by economic decline
Monday, March 24, 2008
I couldn't help but use this picture to aid my discussion tonight. We all know that Bush loves oil and continues to get richer everyday from soaring gas prices. He continues to give away billions of dollars to third world countries who don't even want our help so that he can potentially add another zero to his bank account. Meanwhile our own country, the country Bush is supposed to be looking out for first, is in the midst of the biggest economic decline in years. The decline is so bad that many financial institutions are backing out of the student loan sector.

What this means for all of us struggling college students is that we may not be able to finance our continuing education, all because of one man's greed. That $90 billion that was spent in Iraq this year could have gone to helping the next generation become strong enough through education to be able to take on the weight of America. College students are the future of this country and yet we might find ourselves flipping burgers or serving drinks next semester because we could not get the funding to pay tuition.

College students need answers now! I can't sit back watch our country's economy continue to decline while I try to decide whether I should schedule next semester's classes. I need to know that I'll have the funding I need to finish my final year in college. The media states that federal funding will still be available to students who qualify, but what if you don't qualify? Just because my parents aren't living in a cardboard box doesn't mean they have the money to fund my education.

Education is the real future of this country! Not some pointless war in a country who would rather have America mind our own business. If we stayed out of other people's business we might be able to fix the damage to our country now before it gets too late. Hopefully the next president will be able to fix the ruins that Bush intends to leave behind.
posted by Shawn @ SMB College Life @ 12:29 AM   0 comments
Spring Break 08'
Saturday, March 22, 2008
The week back from spring break can be one of the hardest weeks in college life. Harder than the week before and even harder than finals week. The week after spring break we have to leave the place we've grown to love, the place we've had fun in the sun all week, the place were unforgettable memories were made and friendships made stronger, only to come back to our college town and continue on with the grueling semester. I found that this week is so hard for me because I cannot get back into the swing of doing work. Not only have I suffered from jet lag, but I've also been reluctant to begin new assignments or even make it to early morning classes.

These actions and feelings will soon pass as we are faced with more due dates, projects, and tests. For some, spring break can be a reminder of a few important things. It can remind us of exactly where we want to be in life and is a great indicator of why we are working so hard now. If we work hard now to achieve the things we want then we can play hard in the near future. Most people cannot see past the present, but for those who can, let spring break be a reminder of the things you want or the lifestyle you are working so hard to achieve.

Thanks for using SMB College Life.
posted by Shawn @ SMB College Life @ 11:05 AM   0 comments
Education and Finances by Guest Writer Tisha Kulak
Thursday, February 28, 2008

Education and Finances: Two Top Priorities of a College Student

The first years in college are where the seeds of a financial foundation are planted. While many students can still rely on their parents for financial assistance while still in school, many young adults will take on this responsibility on their own. Some may get a job to support themselves financially during the years of school. Others may find work as a means of socialization and extra spending money.

One common roadblock for a lot of first time college students is a lack of credit starting out. Students who want to become more financially independent of their families or those who are planning early for a life after college, are interested in building their credit the right way.

A good place to start is at the bank. Approach the bank where you currently have an open account and speak to a manager about applying for a credit card or a line of credit. If you find you are not yet eligible for the card, ask about the steps you need to start taking to be in the right position. Once you do qualify for a credit card of your own, take the time to understand everything involved with credit card responsibility. Initially, your credit limit will be low – perhaps a few hundred dollars. As you begin to use the card and all of your bills are paid on time and in full, you will see your credit limit begin to increase. This does not mean you have to spend more. The credit limit increases also raises your levels of responsibility. By continually making on time payments for the require amounts, you are steadily improving your credit history and credit score.

As a college student, you may not yet realize the importance of good credit in the time after college. Without good credit, you may find it difficult, if not impossible, to rent an apartment, buy a car, and in some cases, find a job. If you ruin your credit early in life, it is a good bet you will spend a large portion of your life trying to build it back up again. Students have a lot to focus on during the college years. In addition to education, financial stability ad good credit should be the most important things students should focus on if they wish to remain ahead in the game of life after graduation.

* * * *

Tisha Kulak is a writer for www.creditorweb.com, where she writes about student credit cards and responsible credit card use.




Thanks Tisha for this great article! As college students we must all carefully control or finances so that we do not tarnish our credit history. If we get off to a good start now, we will be able to build a solid credit history that can help us with purchases in the future.

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posted by Shawn @ SMB College Life @ 11:36 AM   1 comments
Be My Valentine
Sunday, February 10, 2008

Valentine's Day is here again. It's time to show that special someone just how much you appreciate them. For most people, Valentine's Day may bring some headaches while trying to figure out how you are going to "one-up" yourself from last year. You can't do the same thing as last year; no that would be too dull. You have to figure out how you can do something better than last year.

ProFlowers
Most people buy flowers, candy, chocolate, and teddy bears, while others make dinner reservations and plan elaborate occasions. One of the challenges that we are faced with as college students is how we can make the little money we have stretch into something big enough to show our valentine just how much we love them. How can we spend as little money as possible to awe our significant other? Not having a significant other is the cheapest way to go, but for those who do you have to be creative.

You don't have to spend a fortune to show someone just how much you appreciate them. Try using your talents or skills to make something that shows your valentine just how special he/she is to you. If you are an artist you can make a drawing. A musician can write a song. If you like to read or write use words in a love letter to express your feelings. If you are good at math or science, well, you're probably screwed....just kidding. Use science to come up with the perfect equation that will always equal your significant other. You want to capture the idea that he/she is the only one in your universe but you want to do it in a cost effective way.

The best way to shock and awe is to do the unexpected. Go out of your way to do something that you normally wouldn't do to surprise that special someone.
Newton's Third Law States:
Every action creates and equal and opposite reaction
Use the laws of physics to create a great reaction from your significant other without spending a lot of money this Valentine's Day. After all, they say the best things in life are free! Be creative, think outside of the box, go the extra mile, and your Valentine will know that you truly appreciate them!

Happy Valentine's Day and good luck from SMB College Life!
posted by Shawn @ SMB College Life @ 8:10 PM   0 comments
FAFSA SCAMS
Thursday, January 31, 2008
An interesting article was brought to my attention today and I wanted to share it with everybody. The article discusses a particular case where a mother searched the internet to fill out the FAFSA form, found what she thought was the FAFSA web site, but was charge $79.99 to fill out the "free" FAFSA form.

"It's been 11 years since I graduated from college, and I just assumed they started charging a fee," said Moyes, a York mother of four.
One of the things that I emphasis on the College Cost page of SMB College Life is that there are many web sites out there who claim to be the official FAFSA web site and actually scam people into paying to fill out the complete FAFSA form. Who knows what else these web sites could be doing with your information. Please, if you are planning on filling out the FAFSA form, be very weary of where you go to fill it out. The REAL FAFSA web site can be found at fafsa.ed.gov, which is a government run agency who will collect and PROTECT your sensitive credit information. The Daily Collegian at Penn State University covered the story where Mrs. Moyes had a lot to say about web sites who are scamming hundreds of uninformed parents into paying to fill out the free FAFSA form:

"It's a scam. They charge you money for something you could do for free," Moyes said.

"I don't understand ... What is the government doing?" Moyes said. "It's the federal government that's getting screwed."

"Everything from my e-mail address to the adjusted gross income -- everything I put in [at FAFSA.com] -- was either blank or needed a correction," Moyes said.


A spokesman of PHEAA, Short for Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, made a very important statement that should be heard by all:

"They should see a red flag whenever there's a cost associated with the FAFSA," Reiber said. "There's free help available, so they don't have to pay that $80 or a couple hundred dollars to have help completing that form."

Parents and students: Please read the article about the FAFSA scam, which is located at http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2008/01/31/applicants_confused_by_fafsa_s.aspx

Also, please be informed, and make wise decisions when it comes to planning, applying and financing a college education! It's easy to fall into being scammed into paying for things that should be free, not receiving proper financial assistance for college, and paying ridiculously high interest rates on student loans. At SMB College Life we provide you with all the information that you need to successfully plan, apply, and finance your college education and we frown upon the many people out there who try to take advantage of the uninformed parents and students.

Thanks for being informed by SMB College Life!

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posted by Shawn @ SMB College Life @ 10:34 AM   2 comments
Live your dreams, don't just dream them.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I've been trying to get back in the swing of things for the new semester so it has been a few days since I've posted. I really wanted to take some time tonight to share this new video which I've picked to be the video of the week in the Entertainment section of SMB College Life. I personally think this video is great, the song has a great message and we can forget to just let things go sometimes. I first heard this song when I watched "Meet The Robinson's," the new Disney movie. It might not seem like the typical movie that a college kid would watch, but I guess I'm not a typical college kid.

For those who have not seen the movie I highly recommend renting, no buying because I think you will like it so much that you will want to watch it again. The first time I saw it I liked it so much that I played it a second time. I guess I really relate to the story line and feel as though it's me they are talking about sometimes.

As a kid I've always had crazy ideas and have always been interested in fixing things, making things better, or figuring out how stuff works. As I grew older I found myself always thinking and trying new things. I love inventing things, making things better and trying new business ventures. Unfortunately I've always felt as though people, or things were holding me back from a lot of the things that I wanted to create.

College was probably the best thing that happened to me because it lets me work at my true potential. College has also opened multiple doors in my life and helped me to find passions that I never knew I could have. My college education has provided me with the knowledge, resources, and desire to accomplish the things that I've always wanted to do. One of the things that college helped me to accomplish is the creation of SMB College Life. I've wanted to create and operate my own website since I was about 12 years old, and have finally be able to accomplish it thanks to my college education.

Through the creation of SMB College Life I found a real passion for helping people. The main idea, the core or foundation of SMB College Life is the fact that I want to help students plan for their college education, pay less for their education, and save money on everyday things that they may need. The drive to get this website published was that I had a very hard time planning for college and paying for college. Basically my parents wouldn't or couldn't help me with college so I was on my own. I had to go through the process entirely on my own, without guidance, cosigners, scholarships or anything. I felt abandoned, and still do, but realized that I could do something about it by trying to help other students who may be in similar situations.

So basically, through the creation of something that I've always wanted I was also able to find a way to help others, and I feel great doing it. People always ask me why I spend so much time on the website and my answer is simple; I want to make a college education easier and less expensive to achieve. I don't want to see people have to struggle through the process or pay as much for their education as I have. The website is only one of the many opportunities that my college life has made possible to me.

My college life and education has been the break that I needed in life. It has allowed me to liberate myself from the things that held me back, provided the knowledge and resources that I needed to achieve some of my dreams, and opened the doors to endless possibilities in my life. Through my college life I was able to create something great, something that helps me feel better about myself, and helps other students achieve their college education.

My point here is the same as the song, and the movie. Let things go, don't stop fighting to achieve your dreams, and create something...no matter how big or small it is. I'm always thinking of new ideas and have created a lot of things in the past few years. I have failed more times than I can count and have succeeded only a handful of times. No matter how many times you fail, you have to get back up and try again.

Start taking action and turning your ideas into creations. You may succeed, or you may fail but at least you will be able to say that you tried; that you took action and accomplished something that you believed in. Most people can't get past thinking or wishing they could create something and never take action. That will not make your life fulfilling! Taking action on your ideas and creating something will make your life richer than you could ever imagine. In some cases this could mean money rich, but I'm talking about FEELING rich inside. I can wake up most mornings and feel absolutely amazing because I've been able to take action through my college life and create something. It just so happened that my creation is one that helps hundred and hopefully thousands of students just like me. You creation could do this too but you have to take action.

Listen to the video and watch "Meet The Robinson's" and my message might become a lot clearer.

Thanks for using SMB College Life!


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posted by Shawn @ SMB College Life @ 11:03 PM   4 comments
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