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Too Busy? How To Get Educated While Supporting Yourself

Posted on Mar 26, 2017 with No comments

Mar 26, 2017

The is a very clear connection between higher education and a better-paying job. The question becomes, then, ‘How does an adult, working full-time and often with a family, manage to take classes to earn a degree or certificate?’ The answer is very simple: online classes.

What Are Online Classes?

Also referred to as distance classes, online classes are conducted remotely. The student participates in course activity via his computer over the internet through a website run by a college or university. In a true online class, the student does all the course work by computer and never needs to set foot on campus. Some courses, called ‘hybrids’, do require occasional attendance on campus for seminars or exams.

Who Offers Online Education?

Nearly every college and university in the United States offers online classes leading to a degree or certificate, many of which are geared toward working professionals. It is important to attend only a fully accredited college or university, and that information can be found at the school’s website.

What Is Required to Take an Online Course?

The student must have a computer, a reliable internet connection and some basic computer skills.
These include knowing how to use e-mail, down- and up-load files, use a word processing program, and how to conduct research, both online and in print, using reliable sources. Some specialized classes may require additional skills.

What Does A Distance Class Consist Of?

There are usually four main components to an online class: weekly course readings, online or print; participation in weekly discussion forums; writing assignments; and exams or final projects.

Are Distance Classes Easier Than On-campus Classes?

This is a common misperception and it is utterly false. In a distance class, nearly all communication is done in writing. Course websites are complex and require careful reading and navigating. Participation in discussion forums is required and must be done on schedule.

So Why Take An Online Class?

The advantages are many. Course work can be done at any time that is convenient for the student, day or night, so long as deadlines are met. Being near a campus is not necessary, so courses can be taken at a school in a different state, or even a different country. The learner is in complete control of when and where course work is done. For example, a nurse who wants to further their career could work whenever they need to while earning a BS in respiratory therapy online when they can. It’s a win win.

Online classes are challenging in ways that face-to-face classes are not. But for a busy working adult, they are the path to career advancement and better paying jobs.


What to Know about Owning a Home While in College

Posted on Mar 23, 2017 with No comments

Mar 23, 2017

As most young adults head off to college, they assume that they will need to stay in an on-campus dormitory or, at best, in an off-campus apartment or college housing. For some, however, buying a house while in college can be a great use of money.

It may prove to be a real investment that will set you up for financial success for the rest of your life. Be sure to make these four considerations before making payments on a house while you are in college.

Consider Your Credit Score

In order to be approved for a loan, you will need at least a good credit score if not an excellent one. The way to build a credit score is to have a credit card account or loan account open that has a low balance and that shows on-time payments. 

You will also need to prove income and have an excellent debt-to-income ratio. If you do not qualify for a loan on these terms alone, you may need to have help getting a loan by finding a co-signer.

Be Sure to Get Title Insurance

If you buy a home, be sure that the deed comes with title insurance. This is indemnity insurance in case foreclosures or other problems come up in the future with the title to your property. 

This could happen if the authorities discover that previous owners did not have full ownership of the home. If you are getting a mortgage through a lender, the lender will most likely insist that title insurance be on the home.

Consider Maintenance Costs

While owning your own home during college can help you save money on rent, you must consider the other costs of having a home. You will be paying for all the utilities yourself and will need to have the time and money to maintain the home both inside and out. 

If anything breaks down, leaks or quits working, you will be the one to have to foot the bill rather than a landlord. Be sure you have the money to cover these unforeseen costs should they arise, and the time it may take to fix these problems between classes and homework.

Earn Equity and Save Money

One of the biggest benefits of owning a home is the chance to build equity. As you pay down your mortgage and the longer you live in a home, you will build more equity. 

In addition, as a homeowner, you can find many ways to save money, such as by renting out a portion of the house if it is a multi-family dwelling, or by renting out bedrooms to other college students. In some cases, the rent you receive each month could cover your monthly mortgage payments.

Buying a house while in college is not right for everyone because many lenders insist that you have 20% of the cost of the home for a down payment. 

However, if you are able to get a loan with a good interest rate, you will find that the house will generally pay you back as you gain equity and consider using it as a rental even after you have graduated. With property in the right location, you may even find that you can make money off your college home as you live in it.


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