ONLINE COLLEGE COURSES
How to learn something for nothing
(from New York Times, April 14, 2010, Education Section)
Using the internet as an educational tool is not new but it has been refined over the years. Typical users are college students who would benefit from extra help while making their way through a course where the subject matter is difficult or unfamiliar. It can be like having a personal tutor along for the ride. Most courses are free, self paced and not for credit.
A young man named Richard Ludlow started “Academic Earth” (academicearth.org) in 2009 after MIT’s Open Courseware helped him pass linear algebra as a Yale undergraduate.
Academicearth.org offers courses from 10 universities with130 full courses and over 3500 video lectures.
Other similar web sites are :
- Carnegie Mellon open learning initiative (OLI.org)
- Open /Courseware Consortium (OCWconsortium.org) (see also “opencourseware”) represents 250 universities around the world Offering13,000 classes in different languages.
- itunes U at the itunes store
- Khan Academy
- Google any of the websites mentioned in this article and it will lead you to unimagined treasures.
July 5, 2012
HIGHER EDUCATION LINKED TO LONGER LIFE
Education may not only improve a person’s finances, it is also linked to better health habits and a longer life, people who have a bachelor’s degree live about nine years longer than those who don’t graduate from high school according to an annual report from the Centers fo Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. “Highly educated people tended to have healthier behaviors, avoid unhealthy ones and have access to medical care when they need it”, says the report’s lead author, Amy Bernstein, a health services researcher for the National Center for Health Statistics
The report also found that 24% of boys and 22% of girls were obese in households where the heads of family had less than a high school education: the figures are 11% of boys and 7% of girls where the head of the household had a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Poor people sometimes live in less healthy communities with less access to healthy foods and places to be physically active, Bernstein says. “It’s all interconnected”.
May 26, 2012
FREE APP FOR TEST PREPARATION
A new app is available to help you prepare for standardized tests such as the SAT,CRE, LSAT, CMAT and MCAT.
BenchPrep content can be accessed from IPad, IPhone, Android or web and will soon add other resources. These study materials are more than just digitized versions of paper books. You can use your fingertip to to take sample tests, tap through flash cards write notes or sketch on the screen and access progress reports, graphs, and charts tailored to your subject. There is also an optional study schedule, which lets you key dates, and times and set up notifications based on the upcoming test.”
“One of the favorite features is the ability for users to text chat with others in real time who are studying the same subject"
While the app is free, content typically costs $100 to $200.. You need an account to use this app,, but it is free.
Nov. 28. 2011
Ideas for new college students from a former student and scholarship winner:
- As soon as you are accepted at any of the schools to which you have applied, contact the Financial Aid Office(s) to determine what assistance may be available with your expenses.
- When you first get to school and begin classes, ask your professors for their ideas about:
- HOW to study for their class and others.
- WHERE to find valuable resources about their subject.
- WHAT kind of test they give and how to best prepare for them.
- LISTEN to these suggestions. They are the key to your success in those courses.
- Make it your business to meet other people by joining clubs, activities and study groups for your class.
- Use the mentor assigned to you by the Mark Ulmer Foundations, or find one on campus to whom you can turn to for advice. It could be an instructor, teaching assistant or someone in the Native American or multi-cultural office (one of the counselors you like).
- Use the e-mail address of your school. It's convenient and probably easier to use than other commercial ISP's.
More information on FAFSA:
You have a better chance at getting Federal Financial Aid if you are able to qualify as an independent student.
If you are able to answer "yes" to any of these life scenarios and are able to provide proof, you should apply as an "Independent Student":
- Over the age of 24
- Supporting a dependent
- Married (note: If you are divorced, you automatically revert back under you parent's wing)
- In the military or a veteran of the US Armed Forces
- In foster care, a ward of the court, an orphan or homeless.
For more information on this subject, see New York Times, "Education Life", April 18, 2010 issue.
Good news! If you have not already filled out forms for the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), know that as of January 1, 2010, it has a new simplified version. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is hoping that more students will be encouraged to fill out the forms “often used by states and colleges to determine aid amounts”
Technology has helped simplify the process. Student applicants can expect to find “fewer questions…friendlier navigation…more information…(and) less duplication” For example, “students who express interest in particular colleges now get an instant estimate of Pell Grant and loan eligibility and links to graduation rates and other information”. “For more information:
or call -Federal Student Information Center,800-4-FED-AID
(quotes from USA Today, January 6, 2010)
We have been informed by one of our students that Haskell Indian Nations University may be a good way for Native Americans to attend college. Haskell is a four year university located in Lawrence, Kansan. Aside from the fact that the school has a solid curriculum and is very supportive to athletes in their academic pursuits, the cost for room, board, tuition and fees is less the $250.00 per semester for Native Americans.
Check it out at Haskell.edu.
From time to time, I will try to write a column or brief description of some program or idea that may be helpful.
The one this time is a remarkable series of program's that some of the really good schools are offering to allow low income students the chance to go to college without coming out loaded down with debt.
The University of North Carolina is a great example. They have initiated a program called the "Carolina Covenant". Under this plan, Shirley Ort, Financial Aid Director, says she can offer a Carolina Covenant to any eligible student, whether from in state of out of state. The student must come from a family with an annual income at of below 200% of the federal poverty level- about $40,000. The plan cover room and board, tuition fees, books and a laptop, which is required of all students.
This is a good example of why it is a good idea to contact the Financial Aid Office at every school to which a student applies. These is a lot of aid money out there; it is up to the student, with the help from counselors, to find it.