Surviving Freshman Year at Bentley College

I am currently going to be a senior at Bentley College in Waltham, MA, so I have a lot of experience and know how things work at Bentley. As a freshman at Bentley College you will be living in the Tree Dorms, Slade Hall, or Miller Hall. If you have a choice I would highly recommend that you choose to live in the Tree Dorms because this is where the majority of freshman are going to be living, so there will be more activity going on in the building and you will meet more people. Slade Hall is across the parking lot from the Tree Dorms, so that would be my second choice and Miller Hall is small and kind of isolated, so that would be my last choice for freshman housing. If Bentley offers you the opportunity to live with upper class men I would decline their offer and live with freshman. It will make the transition into college life a lot easier.

I registered for classes during orientation and it is kind of a hectic time. Usually your first two years at Bentley you are focusing on satisfying your general education requirements, so registration your first two years is pretty easy. The classes that you take will pretty much be chosen for you, but you will still have the opportunity to select which professor you would like to take. I recommend that before you attend the Bentley orientation that you go on RateMyProfessors and SyllabusCentral and do a little research on professors so that you end up with some good professors your freshman year.

As a freshman you will mostly be eating at Season’s Dining Hall, Harry’s Corner, Boloco, and A&W. Your meal plan covers unlimited entries into Season’s Dining Hall, but the quality of food there isn’t too good. At Harry’s Corner you can use your discretionary money and Harry’s is good for getting a sub, pizza, or fried food like mozzarella sticks or chicken fingers. Harry’s is also close to freshman housing, so you will probably be going there a lot. Boloco and A&W are on lower campus, which is a good walk, but I think it is worth it for Boloco. Boloco is my favorite food on campus and once again they take discretionary money.

As a freshman your classes should be pretty easy. After freshman year your classes will become a lot more difficult, so I recommend that you buckle down and get some good grades to boost your GPA freshman year. It will be difficult to recover your GPA from a bad freshman year. There are two very easy things you can do to boost your GPA as a freshman. The first is to just go to class and the second is to always do your homework. Even if you homework isn’t going to be collected I still highly advise that you just do it on your own and try to stay disciplined. It is too easy to put your homework off and then get really behind and not be able to learn everything before a mid-term or final. Be sure to pace yourself throughout the semester and you should do fine.

Understanding The Importance Of College Admissions Assistance

Many people do not really give so much importance to college admissions assistance. However, there are still some parents who understand that trustworthy admission help is vital when helping their kids plan their academic future. Astute parents recognize that planning for college should begin in middle school, when their children elect a rigorous course schedule, seek out leadership activities, pursue meaningful summer programs, and engage in creative and athletic pursuits.

All are essential to propel a bright and talented student through a good high school and into the country’s top university. Today’s colleges and universities have become so selective and highly competitive that your GPA and SAT score are not nearly enough to get you an admission. This is also not limited to Ivy League universities.

A lot of students don’t want to put their application at risk by applying to just three or four schools, which was the norm back in the 70s and 80’s. A news report from The Atlantic further reveals that applying to six or seven schools is on the low end; high achieving kids actually send applications to 10 or 15 schools. But while the country’s top schools may only be admitting a small percentage of the thousands of applications they receive, this does not mean that you have a slim chance of getting into the school of your dreams.

By getting admissions assistance today, you can learn and win entrance to the very school of your choice because you’ll have access to information that gives your application a big advantage over other students. You’ll discover college acceptance processes and strategies from different schools, and learn which colleges are the best fit. You’ll learn how the rules of admission have changed.

You’ll also be able to use the latest admission technology and services that allow you a better success rate with the college of your choice. You’ll be able to create polished, outstanding, and compelling admissions essays without stress. And you’ll get live sessions where a college advisor delivers empowering recommendations that allow you to present yourself to admissions committees with intelligence and charm. It’s true that with the increased number of applicants every year, and the globalization of schools, college acceptance to the best universities has become seemingly impossible for some students.

Whether you want to get into the best state schools or the most prestigious private universities, the expert guidance you get through a college admissions service will be a priceless investment for your future. Check out more about this here.

College: Skyrocketing Costs, Student Debt, and Budget-Wise Choices

Not only do student loans and their accompanying debt keep making news, such lending has become big business for the federal government. In fact, federal student loans have nearly doubled since 2007, with the result that the U.S. Department of Education realized a profit of more than $42.5 billion in the past fiscal year. Plus, had Obama and Congress not temporarily lowered student loan interest rates this summer, that figure would have been about $8 billion higher, thus edging out 2011’s whopping $47.9 billion haul.

The other result: Student loan debt now stands at some $1.2 trillion. “That,” says Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, “is a burden which is affecting, for example, the ability of young people to buy a first home, affecting other purchasing decisions they might make, affecting obviously their overall financial condition.”

Meanwhile, Bellevue University’s study,”The Search for Affordable Alternatives: Rising Costs and Massive Student Loan Debt Put College Out of Reach for Many,” found that:

  • 68% of Americans believe degree programs currently cost more than they’re worth.
  • 36% said a degree’s costs have risen disproportionately to its value in the last 5 years.
  • 76% said affordability would be important to them if they were to pursue a degree.
  • 37% said that affordability would be most likely to motivate them to earn a degree in the next five years.
  • Just 40% said that obtaining more education is worth taking on more debt.
  • 55% said they would only pursue a degree if it would not put them into debt.

About such results, Bellevue’s president, Dr. Mary Hawkins, says, “Students of all ages understand the value of earning a degree, but many students are unable to pay more than necessary to earn these degrees. If colleges and universities make their programs more financially accessible, it will give more adults the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to fill the high-tech, high-school jobs of the future.”

So just how much does college cost nowadays? According to the College Board’s “Trends in College Pricing,” on average:

  • At public colleges, in-state tuition and fees rose 2.9% to $8,893.
  • At public colleges, out-of-state tuition and fees rose 3/1% to $22,203.
  • At private colleges, tuition and fees rose 3.8% to $30,094.

Then there’s room and board to pay for, as well as books and school supplies. The latter alone are estimated to add up to about $1,200 at public colleges and $1,244 at private schools.

In other words, we’re talking big bucks here, and costs keep rising. Nevertheless, college and debt don’t necessarily have to go hand in hand. Choice matters and bargains are out there, especially when it comes to in-state tuition. Going public, not private makes a lot of sense, too.

Take a look, for instance, at these three Pennsylvania universities and their 2013-14 tuition costs:

  • Bloomsburg University: $6,622 (in-state); $16,556 (out-of-state)
  • Penn State University: $16,992 (in-state); $29,556 (out-of-state)
  • University of Pennsylvania: $40,594

You get the picture.

College Prep: Questions To Ask When Considering A Post-Secondary Education

As high school students contemplate their future, their plans often include going to college. College prep classes begin early on in the high school career and can be very advantageous to those planning to further their education. However, some students may still be on the fence as to whether or not they should go to college.

For students planning to attend a post-secondary institution, it is crucial to take the time to carefully weigh all of the available options before finalizing decisions about their educational future. There is often a great amount of pressure on high school kids to make the right choice, which can cause unnecessary tension and stress. To make the decision somewhat easier, it is important to ask the right questions in order to make the right choice.

Why Go To A University?

The first thing to consider is whether or not the student wants to get a post-secondary education. Some kids will work on their college prep classes for years because furthering their education is a certainty. However, some students may not even feel the need to think about it until senior year. If students are still undecided about whether or not to attend a university, it is important that they ask themselves if they are serious and diligent enough to take on such a major investment.

The student should consider several factors to determine if he or she should attend a university. For instance, what type of career does he or she desire? Students wishing to become medical doctors, for example, must achieve a four-year degree before starting down the medical path. On the other hand, students interested in pursuing a trade like carpentry or electrical work might only need a two-year degree or vocational diploma. Students should also consider their financial situation and whether they are willing to invest in high tuition costs.

How Much Will It Cost?

There is no doubt about it; going to a university is expensive. Tuition alone costs thousands of dollars, on top of living expenses, books, and other school needs. The cost of going to school will largely depend on the type of university the student chooses to attend. Public universities are much less costly than private colleges, and choosing to attend an in-state school can often cut down on tuition and living expenses.

Students should consider what they are willing to give up or gain when choosing a university. Ideally, the high school senior will have applied for scholarships and grants to their preferred school in order to defray costs. Loans are a frequently utilized option, but it is important not to take on more debt than one can realistically pay off. If the education is going to be extremely expensive, it is important to have a career plan to ensure that money can be repaid.

Choosing whether or not to seek post-secondary education can be a daunting decision, but it can also be a life-changing one. Even if the decision has not been made, it is important to continue working on college prep classes so that the option is there.

Reasons to Make the University of Oregon Your College of Choice

Although I graduated from the University of Oregon and went back there to complete my Master’s Degree, that isn’t the main reason I encourage young people to become students there. The truth is, there are a number of good reasons to choose The University of Oregon, and I would like to share some of them here.

1. Location and a few things the University of Oregon has to offer

The University of Oregon is located in Eugene, Oregon, a city of just over 100,000 people about 100 miles south of Portland, Oregon’s largest city. The climate is moderate with very few days a year of freezing weather and very few days of extremely hot weather. Ocean beaches are a little more than an hour away and the mountain lakes are about the same distance in the opposite direction. I-5, a major freeway runs along the eastern side of the city making the University one of the most accessible colleges in the state.

The city of Eugene is an active community which provides something for everyone. If you are the outdoor type, Eugene is noted for its many miles of bicycle paths, especially the scenic ones along the banks of the beautiful Willamette River.

During the year, running is often spotlighted, as Eugene claims to be the Running Capital of The World. The Olympic Trials for track and field were held at the University last summer, so that title may be more than just wishful thinking.

Art shows and music festivals abound. The Hult Center for Performing Arts in downtown Eugene has something going on every day of the week, and people come from all over the states (and a few nearby states) to attend the annual Bach Festival there.

Eugene offers great restaurants to suit every imaginable taste.

Lane Community College, an excellent Junior College is located just outside the city and offers a wide program of technical courses as well as college transfer classes for those who prefer to start their college education in a smaller institution. (See link to Lane Community College website for further information.)

Each fall, the Eugene Celebration draws huge crowds who turn out, rain or shine to elect that year’s Slug Queen—a rather dubious honor, but it is all in good fun. The festival continues with many other activities to capture the minds of those who are not interested in Slug royalty and it is an experience that is guaranteed to leave you looking forward to next year’s festival.

There are two major hospitals in the area, and health care is readily available in almost every part of the city. An award winning newspaper, The Eugene Register Guard, effectively covers the news, both local and national.

2. A bit about the University of Oregon’s program, faculty, and size

Well-known for its excellence, the University of Oregon offers professional programs such as journalism, education, law, performing arts, music, architecture, planning and public policy. It is a major liberal arts and sciences university and has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s best colleges not just once but several times.

The faculty at the University of Oregon is outstanding, often drawing notable scholars who have taught at the best colleges in the entire nation. Student enrollment for 2010 is expected to be approximately 21,000.

According to the University’s website, 7 governors of the state of Oregon have been elected 7 from among University of Oregon graduates; two faculty members have been Nobel Prize winners, ten have been Pulitzer Prize winners, 19 have been Rhodes scholars, and 129 faculty members have been Fulbright scholars. Many other faculty members are also recipients of various illustrious awards.

The University of Oregon has been recognized as having a larger percentage of its students join the Peace Corp than any other college in the nation. More than 2000 of its graduates have joined.

3. Tuition fees and student housing for 2010

In today’s economic climate, tuition costs are become a very important consideration when choosing a college. The University of Oregon is about equal to other state colleges of the same size falls where college costs are concerned. Tuition for fall 2010 is estimated at about $7428, with another $1050 for books and supplies. Students who will need financial aid or scholarships are urged to visit their website to see what is currently available.

It is hard to estimate the cost of housing as so much depends on whether a student plans to live in a college dorm, share an apartment or house off campus with a friend, or live with his or her own family members.

Upscale dorms and apartments in the immediate campus area are available for those who can afford them, but there are also many rentals off campus. Unless you have relatives you plan to stay with in the area, your best bet is to get in touch with the campus housing director who can help you match your needs with what is available at any given time.

4. Transportation around the campus and town

The University of Oregon is not closed to traffic as so many colleges are these days, but it can be difficult at times to find a parking space. Students can apply for parking stickers, but the parking areas fill up quickly as they operate on a first-come, first-served basis. If possible, students are advised to use alternate transportation such as bicycles, or the public transit system which has bus stops at most corners throughout the campus area.

The public transit system is far reaching, even going to a number of nearby towns so travel around the area is fairly easy. Tokens can be purchased by students at a discounted price, and a printed schedule is available so riders can plan ahead of time for bus arrival and departure times, transfers, and routes that may not be running after certain hours at night or on holidays.

5. Sports

Autzen Stadium, the University’s football facility, has been recognized as being one of the top ten in the whole United States and ground has just recently been broken for a new multi-million dollar basketball facility. The University of Oregon Track and Field program is known not only all over the United States, but world-wide.

Outstanding athletes such as Olympian runner, Steve Prefontaine, NFL stars Joey Harrington, Alkili Smith, and Dan Fouts, track star, Alberto Salazar, and many, many more have all been University of Oregon students. Nike CEO, Phil Knight, has been and still is very active in promoting and contributing to the sports program at the University of Oregon.

The University of Oregon does not concentrate on just one particular sport, but offers fifteen different sports programs for men and women. Unlike many other colleges, the sports program at the University of Oregon is not only self supporting, but it contributes approximately 5 million dollars yearly to academic programs in other areas of the University.

6. Churches

Eugene, where the University of Oregon is located, has many churches to choose from, as well as two Bible colleges within commuting distance. In fact, North West Christian University adjoins the University of Oregon so that would be easy to enroll in classes from both schools at the same time. Eugene Bible College, affiliated with Bible Standard Churches, is only a short drive from the downtown area.

There are even more great reasons for choosing the University of Oregon as the perfect place to continue your post high school education, but those provided above should be enough to convince you to give it a second, and maybe even a third look. A link to the University of Oregon website follows so that you can study its programs in more depth to determine whether or not it is really the best match for you.