July 2013

  • How to Ace Required College Courses in September

    Barry Lenson

    Are you headed to college in a few weeks? If so, chances are that you’re not thinking about the college courses that you’ll take when you hit campus again. But if you stop to think about it, chances are that you’re experiencing some low-level anxiety already about one or two of the courses that are on your plate. The courses that are causing you a little worry right now could be Algebra, Calculus, Physics, Writing . . . or something else entirely. Heck, only you know what’s scaring you the most. Who are we to say? But even though we don’t presume to know which courses are weighing on your mind right now, we do have a suggestion for you. Why Not Take those Courses Online Right Now? If an upcoming course is scaring you, ...

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  • Americans Pick Colleges Because of Projected Career Success

    Barry Lenson

    Back in the ancient days when I went to college, few of us had any idea why we were going to college. We lined up and paid our tuition simply because the thought that college was a “good thing” to do, or because a college was a good place to “find ourselves” or have a really good time.  Sure, some of us went to college because we wanted to become physicians or attorneys. But many of us really had no idea why we were planning to spend four years on campus. That kind of fuzzy thinking is now a thing of the past, according to “Americans Say Graduates’ Jobs Status Key to College Choice,” a recent Gallup Poll. Gallup surveyed 1,012 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and in the District of Columbia. Gallup a ...

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  • Act Today to Reduce the Cost of Your College Education

    Barry Lenson

    [caption id="attachment_4401" align="alignright" width="270"] Burck Smith, StraighterLine founder and CEO[/caption] Many forward-thinking educators are predicting that big changes are coming soon for American colleges and universities. As competition increases between traditional colleges and providers of online courses, for example, the cost of college could actually fall. That’s only one change that could be in the offing. If you want to know more, take a moment to read this excerpt from testimony that StraighterLine’s founder and CEO, Burck Smith, gave before Congress on July 9th, 2013 . . . “In higher education, accreditation, and the public subsidies to which it is tied, make it difficult for course-level competition to ...

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  • How to Save Money on College Expenses

    Barry Lenson

    Reporter Megan Kowalski interviewed personal finance consultant Hitha Prabhakar for USA Today recently, and came up with some excellent strategies for cutting college costs. If you’re heading to college soon, you’ll want to check out Kowalski’s article for yourself. Some of Prabhakar’s winning strategies include: using used furniture and textbooks . . . buying supplies as you need them instead of in one pop . . . ditching your car . . . taking a roommate . . . completing AP classes in high school to knock them off ahead of time.  Those are all good ways to cut expenses. But because we’re StraighterLine, we have some other ideas too. The biggest one is to complete most of your core curriculum courses online at StraighterL ...

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  • MOOCs for Credit? Not Quite Yet

    Barry Lenson

    "MOOCs are certainly welcome to the online education landscape. But they have their limitations. For most students, and especially for adult learners, there is a lot of need for that interaction with faculty and engagement with other students." -          Frank Mulgrew, president of Post University’s Online Education Institute, quoted in “MOOCs Expand on College Campuses,” by Devon Haynie, US News, June 21, 2013 If you read the article that we cite above, you’ll learn some interesting news about MOOCs.  You’ll discover that a handful of universities are now offering MOOC-style classes to their current and future students.  “By combining in-person instruction with online learning,” Haynie writes, “they hope ...

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