One of the most discouraging things about college can be finding useful information about college. One of the biggest things that happened to me, which lit a fire under me was when I was accepted into college and NEEDED help with financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc. The person I turned to was the financial aid adviser of the university which accepted me and I was soon frustrated as I felt I received little or no help with financing my college education. I turned to the financial aid office feeling very scared and alone after receiving my acceptance letter thinking I would receive answers about how to finance my college education. Because my parents could not help me financially with college I was left to financing my education on my own. I figured that if I could turn to anyone it would be the financial aid adviser who was being paid by the university I planned to attend.
I was absolutely clueless about how the college process worked and thought that I would be able to receive help when it came to financing my education because I was left to do it on my own. It seemed as though the more questions I asked my financial aid adviser, the more aggravated she got, and she began treating me as though I should already know the answers to the questions I asked. The only reason I was there was to find out how I would be able to finance college, and as a paid professional of a university I assumed she would do everything in her power to find a solution for me. When I asked about grants and scholarships she simply said that I didn't qualify for anything and quickly tried turning my attention toward student loans to fund my education.
Leaving her office I felt smaller than I've ever felt before as I receive no help funding my college education. I was forced to turn to student loans to fund my education as my tuition bill deadline closed in. Basically the information that I'd spent a year researching had failed me and only led to dead ends when it came to receiving aid to finance my college education. Because my parents weren't willing or able to cosign my student loans I was subject to many student loan rejections, followed by finally being accepted for qualification subject to inflated interest rates. My student loans continue to haunt me to this day because of the amount needed to fund my education and the outrageous interest rates.
The goal of SMB College Life is to inform students about college life as much as possible by providing pertinent information about college searching, planning, funding, and so much more all in one place. I do not want you to feel as clueless or as helpless as I felt after graduating high school nor do I want you to spend more money than you need to fund you college education, especially if your parents cannot or will not help you. This is what drives the research and development which goes into building SMB College Life. At SMB College Life you will not get turned down, you will not find information leading to dead ends, and I will not make you feel as though you should already know this very important information. SMB College Life thrives on helping college students find the information that they need to succeed in college.
I would like to talk about some recent additions to SMB College Life that should greatly help you in your college life journey. Recently added to SMB College Life is our Grants page which will provide you with all the information you will need to search, find, and receive grants to fund your education. We also offer additional resources to turn to which list most, if not all of the available education grants in the United States, which you can use to help fund you college education. Our Apply To College Section offers all of the information that you will need to apply to college as well as PDF college applications which you can download and fill out for free. We also provide additional tips to help waive the cost of traditional college applications. We have added music videos to our entertainment page which will be updated weekly and will grow into a database which you can use to view your favorite music videos.
As our partnerships grow we continue to work on our shopping section behind the scenes. We are currently compiling a list of partners as well as coupons presented to us to offer directly to you for savings on things that you may need throughout you college life. Not only do we want to pay as little as possible for tuition, we also want to save you money on the products you may need throughout your college life. Once we have a good, solid shopping section we will update it all at once for you to receive the maximum savings through merchants, distributors and retailers which you are accustomed to.
The one section that we are having trouble bringing together is our scholarship page and our student loan page. What we need is CREDIBLE information that we can offer to you. Our research is turning up very little CREDIBLE information to offer you so we are asking for professional help. We need the help of financial advisers, professional experts, and government officials to collect the most CREDIBLE information to our users about scholarships and student loans.
If you are one of the people mentioned above, know someone mentioned above, or have any CREDIBLE information that you would like to share with thousands of other college students then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us more. We are currently working setting up appointments with financial advisers in our area as well as government officials but could use your help in developing these pages.
Christmas comes only once a year. It is time for us to get together and spend quality time with family and friends. Christmas is a very special time for college student because not only do we have get a break from the sleepless nights of homework and projects, cramming for exams, and ultimately busy schedule of college life, we also have the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with the ones we love the most.
I wanted to take some time today to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and I hope that you are all enjoying time away from school and work to be with your loved ones. I want to keep this short and sweet because I would like to get back to spending time with my family but Merry Christmas everybody and thanks for accepting the launch of SMB College Life as well as the Official SMB College Life Blog. I appreciate the individuals who have taken the time to visit the site and the people who continue to return for information, entertainment, savings and more. Since the official launch of the SMB College Life website and Blog you guys have been very supportive and responsive to all of the information that I've provided. If all goes as planned I intend to continue providing new information, resources and savings in an attempt to lower the debt of most college students in America.
This Christmas season I found myself thinking about all the people that have been important to me throughout my college life. I can't begin to express my gratitude for the friends and family members that have stuck by me through thick and thin this year. My college life has taken its toll on many relationships of mine simply because of my work ethic, focus and dedication which is required of me through my major. This Christmas I am thankful for all the friends and family members who have continually supported any and all of my actions and shortcomings this year. I realize that there will be people in life who let us down and claim to be there through thick and thin and tend to fall short of their claim. This is life and Christmas provides us college students with a great opportunity to be thankful and to acknowledge the people who stick to their claim and have stayed by our side through the good times and the bad this academic year.
Today I send out a special Merry Christmas to all of my friends and family who were there for me and stuck by me this year! I recommend we all take this time off of our hectic college lives to acknowledge our true friends and family members. Thanks to all the family and friends who have been so supportive through our college lives this year!
A big question comes to mind early this morning as the search continues for credible scholarship information to provide to you on SMB College Life. In my previous post I offered the 2008-09 Student Financial Aid packet which is a publication from the US Department of Education. My relationship with the US Department of Education is fairly new when it comes to finding credible information to provide to you, but has been a long, and very expensive relationship when it comes to money provided by them for my college education. The thing that really perplexed me when researching the US Department of Education is that they will provide exceptional information about tax credits, government grants,receiving student loans, managing college finances and so much more, but I have yet to find any scholarship information provided by them. The big question that comes to mind as I sort through pages of information provided by the US Department of Education is why they don't give any information about scholarships. Searching through their database I cannot seem to find anything about scholarships provided to students to help them pay for college.
You can see for yourself by going to their Web site and clicking on Apply For Scholarships & Loans under the Find & Pay For College section. In this section they provide links to receiving government student loans for college as well as information about paying for these loans, financing college through federal student loans, federal student consolidation information for student loans, but nothing about scholarships.
What really puzzles me is that this is THE government paid and controlled agency for United States Education, yet they do not provide information about receiving free money for college. Instead they direct you through links which take you to information about receiving loans through them, paying for your loans, and consolidation your loans through government consolidation programs. All of these things are making the government MORE money!
There are two logical explanations that I can think of which could be reasons for this lack of information. One reason is that there are too many scholarships available that they do not have enough time to dedicate to organizing and providing them on one of the most used college resources ON THE INTERNET (currently ranked #3,788 out of hundreds of million, if not billions of websites on the internet today).
From this idea comes my second justification for the US Department of Education not providing scholarship information in their college information database. Could it be because they want to make as much money as possible from college students by making us think that government loans are the only way to finance our college educations? Why else would they only provide information on every possible way for students to finance college, in which the government profits from?
One would think that they US Department of Education would capitalize on their internet rankings and help millions of student reduce their debt substantially by providing information about receiving free money through scholarships to finance college. I guess by doing this it would reduce their ability to profit from the millions of college students who use federal student loans to pay for college.
Through SMB College Life I want to offer as much useful information as possible that will benefit college students financially. The idea of SMB College Life is that the average financial debt for college students is ridiculously high and we will focus our efforts on finding information to help college students reduce this debt. There are few resources available which offer free information that will financially benefit millions of college students. We hope to fill the need of information about grants, scholarships, and other forms of free money, as well as savings on your college life needs through our corporate sponsorships and partnerships. We need to help each other save money, because it seems as though the ones who are trusted to do so aren't delivering the most beneficial results that they could. So who is left to turn to??
The US Department of Education has recently released its student financial aid packet for 2008-09. This packet will be helpful to graduating high school seniors this year as it just about everything you need to know about the financial aspect of preparing for college. This 58 page powerful resource provides information that students should know before they apply to college, tips on reducing the cost of your education, federal grants available, and so much more. Parents can find important information about income eligibilities and special tax credits that you and your soon to be college student will receive for 2008-09 school year. If your are graduating from high school this year and are looking into a college education than you must read this free guide provided by the US Department of Education. There is a ton of information that this booklet covers and is too much to list here. The table of contents alone is four pages! Be sure to grab this guide from any of the following pages at SMB College Life:
Some great news has come to my attention and I needed to alert all college students as soon as I possibly could. The news is that top private schools have devised a program that will allow them to eliminate, yes ELIMINATE!, student loans for college students with families with a combined income of less than $100,000 per year. With this program they will also decrease the need for student loans for the ladder college students by 10%. These top private schools plan to replace student loans by offering grants in their place. So what does all this mean?
It means that the students and parents no longer have to worry about the price of tuition when they are searching for colleges. Average families can now have the opportunity to receive the highest level of education that used to seem like it was only offered to the wealthy. The new program initiated by top private schools offers students the chance to break free from the chains that financial giants used to hold college students back and allows college students to now focus solely on their education. Most financial institutions were "striking gold" so to speak as they were enjoying yachts, high rise suites, and beach front mansions paid for by poor college students who needed student loans to pay for college. They may now be forced to give a piece of the pie back as they will loose earnings from the high interest rates they once charged college students.
This program will be in full affect in September 2009 by top private schools such as U Penn, MIT, and Harvard to name a few. What does this mean for other universities and state schools that aren't private schools? Well, most universities strive for excellence and do what it takes to get their name as close to the top private schools as possible. This means that it may only be a matter of time before they adapt their own version of the Student Loan Elimination Program.
Thanks to top private school like U Penn, MIT, and Harvard, which have initiated the move forward, tens of thousands of students will now be able to afford better education through college. This will also lift the burden off hundreds of thousands of college students who's education and college life will continue through the year 2009. As most college students know, one of the biggest stresses in college comes from our financial situation, and particularly our growing debt due to student loans. This new plan will alleviate much of this stress for the majority of college students, allowing us to perform at a whole new level. Imagine the possibilities of the future that could come into play because of this simple act of eliminating student loans.
Make sure you pass this big news onto your friends, family, brothers and sisters and anyone else who could benefit from it! News like this can't go to waste!
Finals week is usually the most stressful time in our college lives. Not only do we have to worry about studying for an examination that covers the entire semester worth of material, we also have to worry about finishing final projects, homeworks, and make sure we tie all the loose ends together. For some people, their scholarships depend on receiving good grades in order to keep their current financial status and this can also be a huge stress. It's funny how something as small as a letter can have that much power over your college life. What's really odd about the whole grading system is that society continues to accept this ridiculous form of human judgment. I know that there needs to be some sort of system in which students are judged, or classified if you will, but one can't help but think why, out of all the brilliant people in the world why hasn't someone come up with a true system of judgment for students.
Lets look at the Pennsylvania SAT's for example. Studies over the years have shown that the SAT's were a poor judgment of high school student's knowledge; basically the tested were flawed so the director of such things decided to change the tests around to better scale a high school student's smartness. What's really ridiculous about the whole SAT thing is that the minute you sit down with a financial aid adviser and you ask them how much financial help you can receive for college the turn directly to your SAT scores. This is a huge problem for me.
Now I'm not the smartest person in the world, but I do like to think that I am knowledgeable. I also happen to have completed 3 years of engineering studies in a very good university so I'd like to think that I use my brain a little. With all that aside I'd like to go back to the time in my history when I was taking my SAT's how they have helped me through my college life.......they didn't! When I took the SAT's I scored much lower than a lot of the kids I knew, yet most of these kids we drinking everyday after school, staying out late every night, getting in trouble with the law, and never once opening a book to study. It was obvious that these kids we not smarter than me, until we took the SAT's.
A little time comparison shows that some of these same kids who scored much higher than me on the SAT's are now flipping burgers, working in coffee shops, and well, doing a whole lot of nothing (sorry guys and girls). Here I am, the stupid one (according to the SAT's) finishing a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering, running a respectable website, which happens to provide ground zero information about college life (try getting that from the old farts who run some of the other college websites!), and completely paying my own way. The SAT's did a great job at judging me! In fact, I'm so glad that they judged me the way they did because when it was my time to talk to financial aid they said "Sorry kid, no help for you. Here's a pamphlet though on the lenders that pay us off to advertise for them. They can lend you ALL the money you need to pay for college, and they'll pay for the Mercedes that I've got sitting in the parking lot." That's a little exaggeration, but you get the point.
Here I am, a kid straight out of high school, screaming at the lady that I AM smart and that I NEED help because my parents can't provide financial help for me and what does she tell me? "If you manage to keep your grades up this year we can talk about a scholarship for next year." WHAT!?!? Just like that I was brushed to the side as the stupid kid who scored low on his SAT's. For the high school students out there, especially my brother, I hope that the new SAT system does a better job of testing a student's true abilities. If it were up to me, everyone would receive a scholarship in the beginning and would have to prove why they shouldn't receive one, not the other way around.
By the way, I did receive a scholarship my second year in college. For my entire first year in college I decided to prove myself and did so by maintaining a 4.0 GPA....yeah, me, the stupid kid (according to the SAT's). You know what I received for that? $500.00............
Divided over 2 semesters..............Don't get me wrong, I was very grateful for the money I received, but I literally gave up my life for an entire year, just so that I could study ALL the time, only to receive $500.00 (I do have witnesses that can vouch for this). I'm sorry that I'd not scored higher on the SAT's, and I'm sorry that I also lost interest in college pretty quick, but I still love what I'm studying and I like to think that I'm smart, regardless of what other people say or how insignificant pieces of paper like to judge me. I know my abilities and that's all that matters to me anymore. Can I get A's on every final this semester? Probably, but will I give up my life for another slap on the wrist? I don't think so. I'll try my best but I'm no longer bending over for a system that doesn't return the favor.
What have I gotten out of SAT scores? Nothing. What have I gotten out of college grades? Very little. I like to think that I am very smart kid, and have been told so by many people including people owning or working for very large corporations. These people have rewarded me for a job well done and for that I will perform miracles.
This brings me to the conclusion of my late night college life story......what am I doing with SMB College Life. Well, I decided that I wanted to help the students out there, who have faced similar situations and need some help with college. What I can do for now is provide the best information that I know is available and hope that students choose to use it. With SMB College Life I can provide a medium, a common ground if you will, where students can find all the information that I was once in search of. I can provide you with everything I know and maybe, just maybe help one student get through college a little easier that me. Maybe the help provided by SMB College Life will help you to stay motivated to achieve the better grade with which people will judge you. If I achieve that than my efforts were a success. Through SMB College Life I strive for greatness and hope to be able to provide thousands of student with financial aid and advice each and every semester. Can I do it? You tell me........
One of the group projects that I've been working on for the past few weeks is almost finally over. Pictured to the left is one of the preliminary sketches for a water powered generator that would create enough voltage to power a cellphone. The requirement was that it must produce at least 1.8 volts of electricity. A little information was provided for us pertaining to turbines and generator power, but overall we were required to make all the proper design calculations and complete a WORKING prototype as the final product.
This was the first design project that I have done from start to finish (performing design calculations, designing a system, and building a prototype) so I was very excited to take on the challenge at first. Around the same time of this project being assigned I also received two other projects from different professors. My hopes were that I would be able to put as much work as needed into this project in order to design the best system possible, but soon found myself juggling my time between all three projects and just trying to make them all work.
The only downfall of all these projects at one time is that I did not have enough time to solely focus on one individual project, and always found myself running from group to group and switching gears for different projects. I'm a strong believer that multi-tasking simply does not work and that it should be avoided whenever possible. I believe that focusing all your efforts on one task yields 10 times better results than spreading yourself thin over a number of different tasks. Professors try to say that multi-tasking is a standard in the industry and that people usually work on many projects at one time. I beg to differ. I'm sure their are companies who believe in multi-tasking, and that may work well for some. I like to focus on the companies who steer clear of multi-tasking to achieve great success.
Google is a great example of a company that's success has been achieved solely by small teams that focus on one individual project. By doing so they have not only become a multi-billion dollar company, but they have become a leader in software development in only a few short years. They Have become so large that they can virtually give away free software and still make billions of dollars each and every day! Can anyone come close to Google? If you don't believe in multi-tasking you might have a shot..... Apple Inc
So how did Apple manage to do it? They employ teams of designers, engineers, software specialists, artists, and more and allow them to focus on one small part of a larger design. By doing this they achieve greatness by getting every single aspect of each of their products almost perfect. They have enough teams to focus on every detail of a design and never spread themselves to thin to produce anything less than perfection. Focusing all their efforts on one thing at a time has led them to be a leader in the industry, exploding past their opponent which is ummmmm.....oh, almost forgot....Microsoft.
These two companies are only two of the greatest examples that I could think of where steering clear of multi-tasking has led to leading their specific industries and technological greatness. If you can find a company that has huge success due to multi-tasking then by all means comment about them here, and if multi-tasking works for you then congratulations on being the ladder. I like to take advice and follow the footsteps of the people who have achieved remarkable things, and in my book, multi-tasking is NOT the way to go.
Because of this I will strive for greatness from SMB College Life by not multi-tasking in order to provide the best college information network that I possibly can to you. Excellence does not emerge overnight; just look at Apple or Google's timeline. Look for much more to come at www.SMBCollegeLife.com
One of the reasons we decided to come to college in the first place is because we wanted to work towards a career that will allow us the freedoms and lifestyle that we want for ourselves. Whether your hopes and dreams include someone else or not you should always remember then and try to think of them when times get hard in your college life. Your dreams, no matter how big or small, will drive you to succeed as a college student. Some people wish to have the freedom to travel, some wish to by nice cars, and yet others wish to land the job of their dreams. Dreaming of obtaining all of these things is thinking big, but definitely not too big.
You should never limit your dreams or goals for success because this will limit your ability to produce and perform at your maximum achievable level. For example, Thomas Edison set out to do what everyone before him had failed to do. His dream was to produce a device that could convert electricity to ambient light(light bulb) and to mass produce them for use in every household in American. Edison achieve his dreams within 2 year time, when others before took nearly 40 years of experimenting and calculating to fail.
With the right determination in life anyone can achieve anything that they want to. Surrounding yourself with winners is so important to achieving your dreams. If you surround yourself with negative influences throughout your college life then you will not succeed to your maximum ability and will only be wasting your time, as well as your professor's time. Learn to love what you do and give you best at it each and everyday. It is your life and you can make it anything you want.
College life can get hard at times, especially at the end of the semester. When the work starts to pile on, the projects seem to become never ending, and finals seem near impossible just remember your dreams. Think of that dream car that you've always wanted and how great it would be to drive it to work someday. Better yet, think of that exact moment, when it's clear that all your hard work has paid off and your heart pounds as the salesman finally places the keys in your hand.
How great would it feel to drive that car for the first time? It would probably be an amazing feeling, but might not be as great as walking through the doors of your dream job everyday and remembering exactly how hard it was to get there. That dream job can very well be a reality, but you have to want it. You have to want it so bad that you are willing to do anything for it; even if that means staying up all night to finish a homework assignment, or giving all of your free time to making a project the best it can possibly be before turning it in.
Remember your dream job when you're so swamped with work that you feel you'll never finish or when you're the last one studying in the library before finals. Think of the job that you want when you graduate and remember that your efforts today will make the difference tomorrow. If you give it all you've got each and every day in college your dreams WILL come true. Don't just dream about it.....DO IT! That's what your college life is meant for. Making the difference today will mean living your dreams tomorrow.
I received an email from a professor late in the week concerning a late homework assignment and I thought it would be a great things to share with all college students. The story behind the email was that I completely missed a deadline on a homework assignment due to all the other things that were going on in my college life. I had to write a 1 page paper and email it to my professor by Wednesday, which I was under the assumption that it was due on Friday so I hadn't completed it. Luckily my professor sent me an email saying that I hadn't submitted the paper and that I should get it in a soon as possible. The first time I sat in front of my computer was Thursday morning, when I realized that the assignment was due on Wednesday instead of Friday. I wrote the assignment and submitted it that morning and went on with my day. When I submitted the assignment I clarified in the email that I understood that it was late and that if he did not accept it I was fine with that.
He accepted the late submission and replied to my email with some interesting advice. He basically stated that this late submission might be acceptable in college but will not be acceptable in the real world, while working the industry. He also stated that I should begin to practice my professionalism now because "late assignments and incorrect due dates will be a big problem in the real world." I was a little shocked at first by this email but as it sank in I began to understand where he was coming from.
The reason I am sharing this is because I believe it is great advice for all college students. The reason we are in college is to not only learn the things that we need to know to be successful in our fields but also to practice professionalism that we will use one day in the workforce. College is the time when we need to really focus on improving ourselves by becoming more organized, learning proper communication skills, being prompt and on time, and most importantly time management. These are only a few things that we need to improve within ourselves through our college lives. By taking our time in college seriously and making our faults better we can mold ourselves into professionals that will be very attractive to businesses and corporations when it comes time to search for a job.
This is the college life advice that I have for today. Because of my professor's email I was able to analyze some of the things that I still need to work on to make the transition from a student to a profession. Thanks doctor for your words of wisdom, and I hope that by passing them on they will help other college students to evaluate themselves to improve their professionalism. After all, that is why we chose to come to college in the first place!
I haven't been able to post in a few days because things have been so hectic in my college life. I've been skipping sleep to finish homework, lab reports, and different group projects this week so I haven't had time to post, or to update the site with new ideas. This is one of the things that happens towards the end of the semester as work piles on top of normal work and deadlines close in.
I finally got the chance to build some of my ideas and designs into SMB College Life and I'd like to take this time to explain a few new things. First I've received some graphics that allowed me to change the overall appearance of the site, which should fit in perfectly with our everyday college lives. I've made bookmarking and sharing the information and the things you like about SMB College Life on many of the large software platforms running the internet by the click of a button. Our Bookmark and Share button is located at the top right of each page on the SMB College Life site and is located at the bottom left of each post right here on the official SMB College Life Blog.
To use this button simply rest your mouse over it and a drop-down menu will appear that will give you the option to bookmark that page, or share it on sites like iGoogle, Digg, Facebook, and so many more. This will allow you to acquire our information much easier and efficient with the click of a button. You can also help you friends or family by sharing our information with them.
Other exciting updates happened by request from different users pertaining to the expansion of different sections of SMB College Life. We have added new comedians to the Entertainment section by request from several users. We have also changed the About page so that more information pertaining to SMB College Life can be found more easily. There has also been a recent problem with the links and images that we have provided on our Link To Us page. Apparently they were showing up with a highlighted border around them when copied and pasted directly from the site. We have fixed the links so that they will no longer show up with the highlighted border. If you were having problems with these images and links before then try the new code that we have provided and you shouldn't have any problems.
This is the extent of the updates I accomplished tonight. I apologize for not having more time this week to share my thoughts, ideas, and especially my partner deals with you. With it being so close to Christmas I'm getting daily emails on deals and specials which I will be sharing with you here on the blog. I will try to add them as they come so that I can provide you with the information and savings as quickly as possible. Be sure to check back often for coupons, rebates, and other savings for you Christmas shopping this year.
One of the things we need as college students is some time to unwind after a long day or week. It is very exhausting to have to switch from one project to another, or one homework assignment to another without any time in between to let your mind relax. I think it's very important to give yourself some "down time" so that you don't burn yourself our with all of your college work. This is why we created the Entertainment section of SMB College Life. We wanted to provide college students with the opportunity to out your mind at ease after a long day of classes, homework, studying, projects and lab reports.
Through our Entertainment section we were able to do just that. We have added some great features that should help you to take a break after a long day. We've added a video player that shows you movies previews and allows you to rent or buy movies directly through SMB College Life. The movies are updated almost daily and the newest releases always show up first. There is no obligation to purchase anything, but the option is there if you find a movie that you like. We've also added some news clips, updated daily that from CBS and The Associated Press that should help you stay current with news around the world. We also provide a link which will be very useful for college student following Big Ten Sports.
If comedy is your thing we have integrated some great comedian videos directly into our entertainment section, where new videos are added weekly to keep you laughing your head off. One of the comedians that we feature here is Jeff Dunham who happens to be one of the funniest comedians today. He just did a new stand up on Comedy Central tonight and we hope to have those videos for you to view within the next few days.
We plan to add so much more functionality to this page to help you relax after a long day, maybe before you do some shopping or research on SMB College Life.com. Because we will be adding new functionality and some exciting new features in the next few weeks you should check back with us often. We hope that our entertainment section helps becomes another part of your everyday college life. If you would like to request something for our entertainment section you can comment on this post or send us an email.