Your Guide to College Life
Thursday July 24th 2014

Pursuing A Law Degree

Pursuing a degree in law, while a major undertaking, can definitely lead to a rewarding and secure career.

Careers in law can take you to many different specialized areas including

Divorce Law
Real Estate Law
Civil Litigation
Environmental Law
Bankruptcy Law
Foreclosure Law
Intellectual Property Law
Labor & Employment Law
Patent Law

and many others.

So just about anyone can find some field of law that they might be interested in specializing in if they can make it through the proper schooling. In the US getting your degree will take anywhere from 5 1/2 years to 7 years (3 of which will be in actual Law School).

Once you complete your schooling the bar exam is next and will be administered by the state in which you wish to practice law. This exam takes a minimum of 2 days in the US and a few states actually have 3 day exams.

After you’ve made it through this process (many say it’s a tough one) it’s tiem to set up or associate your self with a practice.

A lawyers average salary varies from state to state but here are some useful figures about the top 10 places lawyers tend to earn the most:

1. San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara, CA
2. San Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City, CA
3. New York – White Plains – Wayne, NY – NJ
4. Santa Ana -Anaheim – Irvine, CA
5. Los Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale, CA
6. Modesto, CA
7. Wilmington, DE – MD – NJ
8. Washington, DC – MD – VA
9. Oxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura, CA
10. Chattanooga, TN -GA

(source of underlying data – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2009 Occupational Employment Statistics survey.) as referenced from abajournal.com.

As mentioned above Bankruptcy and Foreclosure law are 2 areas of specialty in law and as of this writing there is plenty of work in these specialties and a law firm to look into is Rosicki Rosicki & Associates located in Plainview NY and you can find out more at RRA Philanthropy.

College Loans – Getting Your College Loan

The school year is starting and everybody is getting ready for the new semester but the question of paying for school can be a big one in the minds of many students.

 

While some students have parents that have put aside the funds for them to attend college many students find that they have no such fund or that the savings is a bit short of what they need to make ends meet.

In these situations getting a college loan is one of the biggest ways many students are able to continue their educations past high school.

But getting a loan can be a bit confusing.

Just doing a quick search on the web looking for loans for college brings up a maze of options and websites that try to entice you to apply for your loan through them.

Of course, as is the case with most things, having options is a good thing. However having too many options can be confusing and the task of choosing the best option often seems daunting when faced with the sea of choices.

So what to do?

First you’ll want to gather up your basic information to determine how much money you’ll need for a loan.

What college will you attend?

How many years will you go for?

What will the costs of books be?

Will you live on or off campus?

What will lodging costs be (if any?)

What grants and scholarships do you qualify for?

After you have added up the costs and subtracted any grants or scholarship money from the total you’ll come up with the amount that you’ll need to get loans for.

There is a huge offering of scholarships and grants and a few great sites that you can access to find the ones that apply to you .  Other relatively cheap financial aid is also available and for the most part this information can be found on only a few select sites.

A nice resource for finding these sites and getting more great information for students is students.gov and you can see info about getting loans for college and other financial aid here.

The site lists many valuable resources as well as giving excellent advice relating to all things education.

Unfortunately the site will be retired at the end of this year so while it’s still up take full advantage of the resources found there and make sure you bookmark the resources that you need now.

By following the advice you find and taking a logical approach to your search you will likely find a much smoother road ahead on your quest for higher education.

 

 

Student Financial Advice – Tips for Future College Students

Money management is one of the most important skills for a student; this is one thing that every student will have to deal with, even if you are enrolled in a distance learning MBA or any other online program. Personal finances are far from easy, so to make it a bit easier for your Campus Central created a short tutorial for future and present college students to handle their finances. So to start this student financial advice tutorial we will begin with money management.

It is very easy to get tempted, you have your own money to manage and it can be very easy to spend it on things you couldn’t before as there is no one here to stop you. The only way to avoid that trap is to play it smart, going slow is the only way to keep your finances in order, so the first tip and first student financial advice is to let everything settle down; don’t rush your impulses and spend money on things you might later regret that may also leave you in financial trouble.

So here are a few things you can do to keep your student finances in order. You can join a credit union, make sure that you investigate a bit and find a good one. If you are considering getting a credit card, you should avoid it at all costs unless is absolutely necessary. Make sure that you avoid getting any kind of debts that are unrelated to your school. The most important financial tip for anyone in any situation is to save and then spend. Anyone can buy something on his credit card, but when the time comes to pay the debt it can get really tough, so if there is something you want to get, save the money first and then you can buy whatever it is that you wanted to get.

Organization is very important, you need to learn to pay your bills on time, as once you lose track of them it can get messy. It is important to track your spending habits, write down your expenses, that way you will be able to create a budget. Take the first month as an example of how much you spend and how much you need, eliminate all the unnecessary things from your list, and make sure that you put something aside every month.

Campus will be a great source of your expenses, so you need to make sure that you know what is important and what isn’t. If you want you can save some money by buying used textbooks and sell them at the end of the term.

Another great way to save money is to give up your car. A car needs maintenance, insurance, gas, parking, registration, all of that requires a significant amount, you can use public transportation, it will save you money.

Another thing you can do to save money is to avoid going out and hanging out too much with the big spenders, it is easy to get hooked into buying things when you are around people who spend money because they have a greater budget than you do.

A college is a place where you will not only learn about your subject of choice, but this is the best training for your future life. The habits you develop in college will stick around, so if you manage to learn how to make smart choices and save some money that will stick with you for the rest of your life.

The last option for your student financial advice is getting a job. That may not be a bad idea, but only if you can maintain your academic achievements. Your college and your grades is what matters, they are your priority, so if you are going to get a job, make sure that you can keep the same level as you did before.

Student Finances – Repayment Assistance & Programs for Students with Dependants

Most students have to deal with some sort of financial misfortune, the ones that have the hardest time are the students that took a student loan and then have found themselves in a situation where they simply can’t repay that loan, which is where repayment assistance comes in handy. Also, for students with a young child under the age of 12 there are various financial programs available that will help you deal with your financial struggles while you finish college. Let’s take a look at these student funding options.

student funding options
Student Funding Options

For repayment assistance or loan forgiveness student funding options there are nearly hundreds of variations, the basics are simple. With given conditions the federal government or a privately held financial aid company can grant a forgiveness of the loan or a part of the loan such as the rate of the loan. In either case you will have to qualify for repayment assistance.

With private loans the qualification needs will have to be presented by the company that gave the loan or college that gave the loan, but for federal government loans to qualify you will have to either perform some type of voluntary work, perform a military service, opt to teach or to practice medicine in certain communities they assign you to or to meet any other criteria given by the forgiveness program, which also goes for private loans.

As for the programs for students with dependents there are several options. There are two basic types of programs for students with dependants, programs for single parents and programs for married couples. In most cases, it all depends where you get the program, government, private, college itself, the student with dependant whether married or not will receive a standard allowance that was set in accordance to the needs of the students with a child.

In some cases the first draft of the allowance is not sufficient so after taxes the student budget can be increased resulting in an increase for the financial need and a great allowance. Every single bit of your life and your expenses may fall under the allowance, the cost of living, the cost of raising a child, like day cay centers and even medical costs in some rare cases.

FinAid website has a dependency status form that will help you determine if you are eligible for such a program.

If you need to look into more types of student funding options like student loans, grants and scholarships, you can do us here at Campus Central, your free college resource.

Student Finances – Programs for Students with Permanent Disabilities

If you have a permanent or any type of disability you may be able to qualify for a college grant or several other types of financial aids for students with permanent disabilities. Depending on the disability you may be able to get financial aid that will help you fund your entire education or at least a good part of it. Let’s see what makes you eligible for a permanent disability or other types of disability aids.

students with permanent disabilityFinancial Assistance for Students with Permanent Disabilities includes:

1. Recognizing valid claim of permanent disability in which case the student doesn’t have to outline documentation repeatedly.

2. Treating all students with permanent disability through the avoidance of time restriction regarding the forgiveness of the loan.

The basic need for students with personal disability should be met by these student funding options, but in most cases another form of student financial aid is needed.

To know if you qualify for a student with permanent disability aid you need to have one or more of the following questions answered with yes:

1. Have you got an operating limitation the result of a mental or physical impairment?

2. Any performance or limitations restricting your ability to execute a way of life essential for your studies at a university level, or even to obtain a job?

3. Is it expected that the functional limitation will remain with you as long as you live?

This was taken from the financial department of the US government website for student financial aid – for permanent disability support you need to:

1. Be regarded as a person with a permanent disability from your provincial educational financial office, as stated by the US Student Loan Program;

2. Be described as a US citizen, permanent resident or a protected individual who continues to be accepted or is enrolled in a certain amount, diploma or certificate program that runs for at least 12 weeks with a designated educational institution;

3. Be signed up for at least 40 percent of a full course load (for full-time funding) or perhaps be enrolled between 20 percent to 39 percent of a full course load (for part-time funding). However, should you be studying between 40 to 59% of a full course load, you’ll be able to decide to get considered a component-time student.

4. Demonstrate financial need;

5. Maintain satisfactory grades

6. Pass a credit check if you are 22 or older and applying for a Student Loan for the first time.

Eligibility for most Student Grants is assessed automatically when you apply for a US Education loan through your province or territory of permanent residence.

Be sure to go through our website and read about other student funding options available.

Student Finances – Student Scholarship Options

Scholarships are probably the most sought out student financial aid available, mostly due to the fact that they don’t have to be repaid, unlike student loans and most others student financing options. Each year there are thousands and thousands of scholarships being given by various sponsors, both government and private.

student scholarship options
Student Scholarship Options

The two most common ways to look for a scholarship are either through college aid office or using the internet and major free scholarship search sites such as FastWeb. Then again you can always check the newspapers and look in the public library for new scholarships being given each year.

But you have to understand one thing, unlike grants, which are also a form of student financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid; scholarships are given to students with certain qualifications or extraordinary achievements in a certain activity or in some cases for special talents. But in some cases students with only great scores without any special talent or ability can be given a scholarship for a certain field of study, also minority groups and people with high financial need can also be given a scholarship.

If you use an online search like FastWeb you will be able to look for scholarships that match your profile. The search on that website will compare your background and your achievements with the possible scholarships and get you only those scholarships that match with you. Aside from that you can even apply online for a scholarship using FastWeb.

You are probably asking why you would need to look at bulletin boards and public libraries for scholarships when websites like this have it all. Well, this is a free website that offers their search service based on the scholarships submitted to them and other online media sites, there are those scholarships that aren’t listed in the database like local scholarships or some private industry scholarships. So if you don’t find what you are looking for online it is best to check around libraries and your school or even the local financial aid office.

Most of the student scholarship options are based on achievements, so many students without 4.0 GPA never ask around as they think there are no scholarships for them, which is wrong. There are plenty of student scholarships for average students that have different qualifications, like scholarships for certain ethnicities or even lefthanders.

Aside from finding the right scholarship you need to know a few more things, like the basics of scholarship scams, which are quite common these days. The website we mentioned offers free service, also, the scholarships should be free for you, and there are those that ask for money in order to give you money, which are 99.99% a scam. There are several things you need to know about how much a scholarship can benefit you, the only way to know that is to compare your specific situation and prerequisites with the scholarship you qualify for, that way you will know if some part of the scholarship may be taxable.

In many cases scholarship is not enough for students, so if that is your case be sure to read our articles on grants, student loans and other student funding options.

Student Finances – Student Grant Options

The best options for future students when it comes to financial issues regarding college are grants and scholarships. Grants are given by the government and unlike student loans there is no money to be repaid once your studies are finished. In other words a grant is an award given by the government or a government agency that pays or help pay for your tuition without you having to pay that money back to the government.

student grant optionsThere are two basic types of college grants available, direct college rants, which is a grant where you directly apply to the federal government and there are also pass-through college grants, which are grants where you apply to a state agency which asks the federal government for a grant. These grants can be acquired in over 1,000 different grant programs which are offered by 26 federal grant agencies.

The amount which you will receive via college grant varies and it is based on several factors depending on your needs, but the most influential factors are expected family contribution, the cost of your college, the enrollment status, meaning are you a full time college student or a part time college student, and do you attend the school for a full year school term.

The grant once you are approved will be paid either directly to your school account, or will be mailed by check or will be a combination of both, depending on the college grant program for which you apply.

There are various types of college grants for which you can apply based on your needs and your circumstances. There are grants for students with special needs, of which the most popular one is the Pell grant. This type of college grants is given to students who are the most financially challenged due to some of the possible factors like illness or low financial status due to unemployment of the parents.

There are also college grants for special categories like military schools and church grants. The most popular type of grants, but the one that is very hard to get, is the grant for special talents. You can qualify for special talent grants if you excel in academics, or certain sport or even if you are a good photographer, there are no limitations to the possibilities of attaining a special talent grant.

Other types of college grants include:

-    Grants for specific studies
-    Industry sponsored grants
-    State sponsored grants
-    Grants for women

If you want to learn more about grants you can do so here at Campus Central, for specific information about a certain grant and the application forms you can visit Grants.gov.

Student Finances – Student Loan Options

There are three main types of student loans anyone can go for, those are federal student loans, most known is the Stafford loan, then there is the parent loan and also private student loans.

student loan optionsMost students go for federal government loans like Stafford and Perkins loan as they have very low interest rates and you don’t have to go through a credit check or offer collateral. If you want to apply for a federal government student loan you can fill in the online application at FAFSA government website.

The most known and most used type of federal government loan is Stafford loan and it comes in two main variations, FFELP or Federal Family Education Loan program which is provided by private lenders and FDSLP or Federal Direct Student Loan Program which is provided by the US government.

They are broken down into subsidized and unsubsidized loans. A subsidized loan is when the government pays the interest while you are in school and unsubsidized are the ones where you pay all the interest, but you can postpone paying the interest after you graduate. The subsidized loan can only be acquired by those who can clearly demonstrate the financial need.

The repayment of the loan usually begins 6 months after graduation. The standard term for loan repayment is 10 years, but there are different ways of loan consolidation you can qualify for. The loan rate is fixed at 6.8%.

Parent loans are the responsibility of the student’s parents, so the student has nothing to do with the loan. So when student takes the responsibility of paying the loan and fails to make the payment the parents will be responsible. Parent loans usually have a fixed interest rate at 7.9%. The repayment of the loan begins 60 days after full disbursement of the funds and the term is like with Stafford loans, up to 10 years.

Private Student loans are used to make the ends meet, to pay for the gap that government aid leaves you with of paying the entire education. Students can get private loans from private lenders such as banks or lending companies, but unlike federal government loans, private loans depend on your credit score.

Private student loans are more expensive in the long run than federal government loans. The rate of private student loans can vary, and is rarely a fixed rate, so it is better to first exhaust all of your federal options before considering a private student loan as an option.

These are the three basic types of student loans and the most commonly used student funding options. Remember that there are other funding options available, so be sure to investigate every possibility before you sign anything.

Student Finances – Student Funding Options

For most teens the biggest issue in choosing the college of their dreams are the funds needed for the tuition and other expenses. Most future students have to look for an alternative funding option in order to attend a college and realize their dreams. Well there are various student funding options that may be of help to you.

student funding optionsFirst of all not all the funding options work the same way as loans, some like scholarships don’t require you to repay the money back. Also, some student funding options and grants available are given based on the financial needs, while other simply recognize the student’s achievements and give grants and scholarships based on that. In the end, if everything else fails, don’t give up, you can have a part time job to pay off your first year and once you get a solid average for your first year you can reapply for most of the student funding options we will present in this article.

The first and the most obvious student funding option are student loans. There are different requirements you need to meet depending on your financial status, academic achievements and of course the state you are in or plan to take out a student loan. Not all states and schools offer the same types of student loans.

The second student funding options are grants. Mostly grants are given based on financial need, but they may also be given based on other criteria, like achievements. The best part about grants is that they don’t have to be repaid.

There are also scholarships options as one of the most popular student funding options available. Like grants, scholarships don’t have to be repaid and they are based on academic achievements, community engagement and other criteria.

If you have a permanent disability there is a high chance that you can qualify for programs for students with permanent disabilities as your student funding option. With a documented permanent disability you have a high chance of receiving a program that will fund your entire education or a great part of it.

If you have a child less than 12 years old you are able to qualify for programs for students with dependants. In most cases you will receive a monthly payment in a certain amount based on your needs and the needs of your child. There are various dependant based types of programs available.

And if you are a student who is no longer attending his studies but have a problem with repaying your student loan, a student funding option available is repayment assistance.

These are some of the student funding options available for students. You may qualify for one or for more of these programs based on your financial needs, academic achievements, community engagement and even health issues like permanent disabilities and learning disabilities.

Selecting a College – How to Choose the Best College for You

There are many things you need to consider when choosing a college, your passion, your goals, your future career, proximity of the college. The most important thing is to realize what is important to you, which will help you in a great way to select the right college and maybe even to discover options that haven’t crossed your mind.

selecting a collegeThe best place to start is with the basics, finding the appropriate colleges that suit your academic needs and your personality is the first step. We all have our own needs, some of us don’t want to be far away from home, so location is one of the things we need to consider when choosing a college. The same can be said about the size of the college and especially the cost. So these are the things you need to focus on in order to narrow down your list of colleges and choose among the ones that qualify and find the one that fits you perfectly.

The location of the school plays a significant role and you have to think carefully about this when selecting a college. Maybe you want to study in a certain school but the climate is not good for your health, or maybe you simply want to be close to home, or far away from it. Getting the right location may be important to you so think it through with all the pros and cons. In regards to location of the college the setting is also important to some. So if you want the great outdoors find a nice rural city college, or if you are a metropolitan kind of guy go for a big city with night life. That part should pose a problem in the end when selecting a college. The most important thing is to think through what kind of change are you expecting college to be, if you want a change go for the opposite of your lifestyle while growing up, if you like it the way it is then there is nothing more to talk about.

You know how they say, size doesn’t matter, well it does, at least when you are selecting a college. Again, like with location, a great influence on your preferences for the college size may have your past, like what kind of school did you go to, large or small, did you grow up in a large city or a small one or do you like anonymity or places where everyone knows everyone. But there are other benefits to each, small colleges have better student to faculty ratio and they offer a more personalized study course, while large colleges may offer a wider selection of courses and activities.

Type of college is one of the important factors that come into play when selecting a college. Do you want an all boy or all girl college, or the classic mix? Also do you prefer a college that is religion oriented like catholic colleges or even public or private college? You should also consider if the college provides broad specter of education or it has a certain specialty in a specific area.

And of course there is the cost of a college and options for financial aid and scholarships involved. This is one of the most thought about things when selecting a college. Different colleges have different prices, but there are always ways to cut the cost of your studies by applying for financial aid, work study programs, scholarships and of course student loans. If you have any special skills you may qualify for a scholarship, always have that in mind when you are in high school, it may be of great help.

If it comes down to a choice between public or private college the cost definitely goes to public schools, they offer a much lower tuition rate. But if you compare your costs of living in another state to go to a public college compared to some private ones, the cost may be the same. Don’t ever dismiss a school because of the price tag that came with the application, the sum can turn out to be much lower after the financial aid, or it may turn out to be higher when you add the cost of books and housing.

These are all of the things you have to consider when you are selecting a college. Each one of these may be a deciding factor for you, so think every bit through and come up with the best possible choice for your future.

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