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Online Degree vs. On Campus: A Comparison

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You can do almost everything online these days. You can apply for a credit card, buy a car, make new friends, or even earn a degree. Today, earning a degree online has become easier and much more accepted. Employers are now considering college degrees obtained online as credible as those acquired from brick and mortar schools. More and more traditional schools are adding online programs to the point where it is now possible to get a major part of a degree from a traditional college through online classes.

While both on-campus and online programs are a good way to acquire an education, most people find themselves wondering which of the two platforms is best. There are several options when it comes to on-campus or online degrees, therefore, choose what best suits you. This comparison between online and on-campus degrees will help you choose what best suits your needs.

Flexibility

One of the major components to consider when weighing options is the amount of time you have daily to work on your degree. Are you able and willing to attend full-time classes or do you require more flexibility for your busy schedule?

Online education offers great flexibility to the learner, making it a great option if you already have a time commitment with work or family. Online classes will match with your schedule – log into your course at a time that best suits you as opposed to having to attend lectures at specific times. On-campus education has limited flexibility. But if you are hoping for a bit of flexibility, on-campus courses usually offer evening and day classes so you can synchronize with your everyday commitments.

Social Interaction

Are you looking for an opportunity to move away from home and participate in campus life? Do you need to interact with your instructors and peers to succeed? Or are you perhaps someone who can thrive in an independent study environment?Michigan_Union_2009

Online education has less social interactions compared to on-campus learning. However, interactions with peers and instructors still happen, through online video. This can be helpful for students who prefer peace and solitude over the sometimes overwhelming social zoo of campus.

If you are the kind of student who requires face-to-face communication with your instructors and peers, then on-campus education is a better option. Besides, you get to experience the extras of campus life, such as clubs, activities and socializing that are hard to substitute in an online environment.

 

Discipline

Something else worth considering while weighing your college options is how disciplined you are. Discipline is essential for on-campus as well as online degrees.

Online programs are good for students with the ability to self-motivate. To succeed in online education, you require a plan or some kind of organization. You will require prioritizing your school schedule and setting deadlines.

If you are the kind of person that requires discipline to get work done, then a traditional on-campus setting is perhaps the best for you. This method gives you the support and motivation to complete tasks and assignments on a daily basis.

Financing

There is a common myth among learners that online degree programs are cheaper. While this can be true at times, it is not always the case. Sometimes, online education costs the same as traditional on-campus education. And there are a smaller number of scholarships and financial help programs available for online degrees.

When comparing on-campus and online degrees, all fees should be well thought-out. Some online programs charge extra fees for lessons and resources, whether the learner uses the resource or not. These fees can add together to a point that an online class that appeared like a bargain, tuition-wise, is pricier than on-campus education when all the fees are added. For that reason, it is advisable for students to always ask for a complete “cost of attending” summary.

Conclusion

With so many factors in play, there is no one-size-fits-all answer in this case. The important thing is to carefully consider your situation and choose what best suits you. Conduct extensive research on both programs before making your choice. If you are looking for more flexibility, then worry not. Online degree programs are greatly accepted today and provided you are diligent in checking out the program, your online degree can be just as precious as one obtained from a traditional school.

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Great Software Choices for Students of All Majors

Getting ready for college after a long summer break is often stressful, especially the thought of endless assignments. However, if you are a student in this golden technology age, college life can be more enjoyable. There are great software choices for students of all majors out there. Most of these are free and they are all designed to make your new school year softer than the last.

Zotero

Every student knows the stress of collecting articles, handling a library, and even worse, creating citations. Zotero is a free tool that helps you solve all these issues. This software was originally a Firefox add-on but has lately become available for Safari and Chrome, as well as through its separate desktop version. It works on Mac, Linux and PC.

Zotero makes it simple to gather research papers off the web, find important articles in your library, attach PDFs and sync it across PCs. This software, with the help of LibreOffice or Microsoft Word plug-in, takes the pain out of bibliography and citations by doing all the weighty lifting for you using any of the main citation styles.

LibreOffice

For every college student, there is a lot of work to do including doing basic stats, writing papers, creating presentations and reading. Regardless of what you are studying or where, you are going to be performing these tasks every now and then. In spite of student discounts, Microsoft Office Suite may range between 80 and 140 dollars.

LibreOffice 4 has a powerful Calc, Writer and Impress Programs with which it offers a free and competent alternative to Microsoft’s Excel, Word and PowerPoint. LibreOffice covers nearly all features you will get in Microsoft’s tools and can open and save like any Microsoft document with a minimum learning curve. Besides, LibreOffice’s free suite includes Base, Draw, and Math. This software is available in Mac, Linux and PC.

ReadCube

Your PDF library is for more than just organization and citations. Students have to skim through many articles, examining figures, underlining essential parts and adding their own notes. If possible, you should be able to refer back to these notes and articles fast.online studying and reading

ReadCube is a PDF manager which has a built-in PDF reader and it makes it easy to find, read and collect articles. This software identifies your articles and turns them into a searchable database which also includes your highlights and notes. Discovering new articles is ReadCube’s specialty, with powerful features including turning all citations into links, finding quick lists of all articles that cite the one you are reading, and presenting a listing of related articles you may be interested in.

Audio Notetaker

Attending lectures and taking notes is a big part of being a student. Every now and then, you might be in the constant dilemma whether to listen to the lecture or to try taking notes. Audio Notetaker is a grand product that brings this plight to an end.

Audio Notetaker examines recorded audio to create easy-to-navigate speech bars. You can improve these bars with text, images, colors, slides, screenshots and PDF documents, and add references and text to boost. Audio Notetaker can be used to record interviews, live lectures, Skype calls and online talks. With this software, a student is able to concentrate on listening while taking short notes, and easily study the recorded material later.

Notable.ac

Some note-making techniques are less than perfect, for instance, printing out slide decks then writing on them or copying and pasting pictures into a word processor. Using Notable.ac, you can solve the note-taking problem. This free software is more than a mere note-taking app. It is a complete platform for students as well as teachers. After creating a course in the system, anybody can upload PowerPoint slides, Microsoft Word docs or the course’s PDFs. The whole class can join in to either collaborate on notes or make their own personal ones.

Although Notable.ac does not currently support highlighting, you can tie slides to specific points on the slide for a trouble-free reference. The lecture panel, presently available only by request, also offers some trends as well as insights into the behavior of the class. Notable.ac is an excellent alternative to platforms provided by the university, and its aspects can give classes a boost.

The growing abundance of original and helpful tools make learning enjoyable. Regardless of what you are studying, your college days can be less stressful with the above software.

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6 Must-Have Websites to Use Throughout College

The internet has millions of websites. As a college student, you want to know which ones are relevant to your studies and which ones are total crap that need to be avoided. This is a tough call but fortunately, we take the stress out of it. In this article, we narrow it down to the 6 websites that every college student needs to know. Whether you are a freshman or have been around for some time, we’ve got you covered. Continue reading to unmask these insanely useful websites for college students.

1. Rate My Professors

Choosing the right professors is the first thing you need to do and thanks to Rate My Professors, you actually can.
Built by college students, the website is specifically intended to help you pick the right professors and avoid the bad ones that can make your life miserable. It contains 14 million user ratings for more than 1.3 million professors. Not to mention that it has 7000 schools. You can choose a professor which students have rated well. This way, you can never get it wrong with your professors. It even lists the best-rated professors and the best schools in the US. It is a very resourceful website for any college student.

2. Copyscape

This website helps students determine the level of plagiarism in their work. It’s also simple to use. For just $10, you can use their premium services to check how unique your assignment is before you present it to your professor. Just copy your work and paste it on their website and it will check the whole web for any match. Every check is charged 5 cents, which means that for $10, you get 200 checks.

3. Overdrive

With Overdrive, you can forget about ever paying for books. Overdrive gives you access to book materials that Amazon charges for. For instance, when you come across a kindle version of a book that’s being charged by Amazon, you can use Overdrive and your library account to have the book sent to your iPad for entire reading free of charge.

4. Scholarship-positions.com

This website helps students get financial aid. It has the best local, national and international scholarships. If you are looking for a website that keeps you posted on the latest scholarships available, no one does it better than the guys at scholarship-positions.com. It even lets you browse the scholarship opportunities in your native country.

5. Glass Door

Glass Door is designed to help students who are both looking for internship opportunities and those looking to get hired for the first time. It basically helps you choose the company to work for and avoid those bad ones.

Glass Door allows you to research companies according to how they have been rated by current or past employees. You will be able to see specific jobs’ salaries as well as learn how different companies conduct their interviews. This information is very important in helping you make the right decision when choosing the company to work for. Plus, it also allows you to search for available internships and jobs, which is something that makes the website a one-stop shop for individuals looking for work.

6. Mint.com

Mint.com is a free budgeting app/website that helps students to make sense of their financial situations. It helps you develop smart money saving skills and generally helps you become a better user of money. After you’ve signed up with Mint.com, you simply have to link your credit card and bank accounts and Mint will give you your statements and even organize them in budget categories. It will show you how you are spending your money. This way, you can easily track your spending.

A Special Bonus – The OpenStudy

Do you hate studying alone? Do you want some help on a certain assignment?
Well, OpenStudy can be of great help to you. OpenStudy is a great community of studying students. You will meet students currently studying the same subjects as you. This means you can ask them for help where you are stuck and share with them important tips and info.

There are literally thousands of websites on the internet and you want to know which ones are useful for you as a college student and the bad ones to avoid. Whether you are looking for some academic help, want financial aid or want to choose a professor, the above websites will help you a lot.

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The Top 6 Reference Websites

The web contains tons of useful information on every subject ranging from politics and history to world economies. Reference websites help to make this information available in a comprehensible, categorized and easy-to-use manner. Whether you want to learn about poverty levels in various countries, American history or the cosmos, there is a wide range of reference websites to choose from. Here are some of the best.

1. About.com

About.com is an information resource website that has been around for almost two decades. It was launched in 1997 as tBrockhaus_Lexikonhe Mining Company with the web address miningco.com. It acquired its current name in 1999.
Today, About.com receives over 80 million unique visitors monthly, making it one of the most visited reference sites in the world. It contains around a thousand topics dealing with varying subjects including science, technology, healthcare, business, and travel. The content on About.com, including articles and videos, is contributed by experts hence ensuring its accuracy and authority.

2. College Navigator

Created and maintained by the National Center for Educational Statistics, College Navigator is a college and universities search website. Using it, parents and prospective students can search for universities and colleges based on a number of factors. You can search for institutions using location, distance from your residence location, length of study time (2 years, 4 years etc), public or private, cost and various others. The website also provides several tools to make searching easier. You can create a favorites list, save your searches, locate an institution on a map and export your search results as a spreadsheet document.

3. Biography.com

Have you ever wanted to learn more about a notable person? Biography.com is one of the most authoritative sources of biographies for thousands of personalities both past and living. Whether you want to learn more about the Pope or Steve Jobs, you will find what you need here. The website includes fascinating facts about notable people including their biggest failures, greatest successes, newsworthy moments and their last day on earth.

4. Great Websites for Kids

With so many dangers facing kids online, having a compilation of the best websites for children is invaluable. This is exactly what Great Websites for Kids has done. The site, http://gws.ala.org/, compiles the best sites for children aged 14 and under. The listings are categorized according to the subject. Current categories include animals, arts, history and biography, literature, sciences, mathematics and computers and social sciences.
All the sites have passed through a strict selection process to ensure friendliness to children. Accepted new sites are added to the listings thrice a year. Twice a year, all currently listed websites are also checked to ensure that they still meet the criteria. Great Websites for Kids is an ideal resource to parents, guardians, teachers and other caregivers.

5. Google Books

Google-eBooksGoogle is the most popular reference site in the world, helping to locate information in the vast wilderness of the web. It does an equally good job as a reference site for books and magazines. It provides a search engine for the easy searching of books. If you find the book you are searching for, you can read it online or see a preview if the copyright holder has granted permission or the book is out of copyright. If the book is available in the public domain, you can download it in form of a pdf document. Google Books also provides information on where you can buy or borrow a specific book.

6. State of Working America

If you want to learn about the US economy and how it affects Americans, this is one of the best go-to online resources. It is completely free to use and is managed by the Economic Policy Institute. It provides detailed figures on aspects such as wages, unemployment, family incomes, poverty levels, and wealth.
To make reading and analyzing the data easier, there are also well-illustrated charts and graphs. You can also read more and study data on specific topics such as inequality, young workers, and women.

The above are not the only reference sites around. There are many others dealing with either general information (for example Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia) or specific information niches. If the above examples do not satisfy your inquiries, a simple Google search should get you the right reference website.

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The Best Places to Learn About Law Online

Law-StudentLaw school is difficult. This is something that most law students will tell you. What makes it so difficult is the large amount of information students have to absorb such as case studies, legal jargon, forms and briefings among others. However, the effort, time and money you put in studying law all pays off once you graduate and you get a well-paying job. The good news is that there are a lot of resources online that can help you with your studies. These online platforms have a lot of information on various levels of your study. The following are some of the best places to learn about law online.

Law School Toolbox

This is a very useful resource for beginning law students. It is important that you get it right from the beginning if you want to be a successful law student. Law School Toolbox is primarily about succeeding on law school examinations. It has valuable tips on passing exams, and once you sign up, you get exams guidelines emailed to you weekly. Besides, you can have course units emailed to you. The topics available include case briefing, in-class note taking, preparing for class as well as other fascinating issues to beginner law students.

Advanced Advocates

This is a collaborative online platform for law students and it is packed with relevant features and content designed entirely for law students. This site has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to review case briefs, edit or create and search for case briefs by subject, authors and party name. You can hold case discussions, review clerk ratings and share outlines. Besides, this online portal has group creation capacity.

LawLink

This is yet another good place to learn about law online. LawLink is a social network for law students and professionals. The services offered in this site include public profile creation, networking, top news, sharing of legal documents and a question and answer section. Joining this site can be beneficial as a student as you get quality information on various law matters from the experts on the site. You get to learn of the top news and how to deal with various legal cases.

Justia

Justia offers legal resources for attorneys. Coincidentally, lots of this information can be helpful to law students. Since you are aspiring to be a great lawyer one day, it is important to be enlightened on what is happening in the real world. The information available on this site includes research, latest legal cases in the news and legal practice. It also has a blog section that covers countless blogs on matters of law.

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Law.Com Dictionary

There are countless legal definitions that one has to deal with as a law student or a lawyer. Knowing these legal terms is important in determining whether or not you will be a successful law student or professional. This online portal is a broad list of almost all legal terms known to man. Every term in the list is followed by its definition. This invaluable online resource has all legal jargon covered. As a law student or professional, this is a site that you will find yourself referring to repeatedly. Besides, this is a great place to find information and your daily news regarding your field.

Social Media Law Student

This is a very popular blog with a lot of valuable information for law students. This online portal focuses on connecting lawyers with new technologies with the hope of making law practice a lot easier. SMLS has a group of the most technologically savvy lawyers, law students and other legal professionals. Information found in this site covers the most recent legal trends, apps, technologies as well as social networking tools. Whether you are a law student or an attorney, there is plenty of helpful information you can learn about law from this site.

ESQChat blogs

Finally, ESQChat is also on the list of the best places to learn about law online. To be a member in this forum, you have to be a practicing lawyer. However, that should not worry you if you are a law student as there is a lot of helpful information for you on the Blog Categories page. These blogs are accessible even to non-members. There are hundreds of these blogs in various categories and from them you are sure to get some interesting and helpful content.