The Leg Work of a Scholarship Search

While it may sound appealing to pay someone to do all of the research and documentation for a college scholarship search, it is perhaps best for the student and their parents to do the work themselves.

This is for several reasons; first only the student knows all of their own interests, activities, hobbies and relevant data. A typical scholarship search agency will ask about academic interests and career choices and may miss out on dozens, if not hundreds, of potential scholarship sources. For example, there are hundreds of civic organizations that make scholarship funds available to the children of their participating members. An agency may not take the time to ask for all of the relevant data.

A student should, however, make a comprehensive list of all the groups they and their parents belong to. Does Dad participate in a bowling league? Is he now, or was he ever a Scout Master? Is Mom a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution? Could she be? What about the student? Are they a member of 4-H? A list of all the groups and organizations will turn up dozens of scholarship opportunities.

What about the hobbies and interests of the parents and the student? Does the family watch NASCAR? Are they hikers that are members of a local or national naturalists group? Does anyone collect coins or stamps? Here too are hundreds of opportunities for college funding. Many local, state and national groups provide support to college students and their parents through prizes and scholarships.

What does the student do with this information? There are many free scholarship search engines on the internet, there are many publications that list annual scholarship opportunities and there is always the school guidance counselor who is aware of every local and state opportunity as well as the major national opportunities.

A second reason that a student and their parents should perform their own scholarship search involves family history. There are many groups that grant funds to people from specific backgrounds. For example, there are many Native American specific scholarships for students who can demonstrate their heritage and connection to a tribe or Nation.

Another reason a student should do all of the leg work for their scholarship search is to save money. Most search services will ask for a small fee, and with the cost of applications, materials and travel a college and scholarship search will all ready be taking a toll on a parent’s or household budget.

Finally, when a student performs their own scholarship search they are able to make realistic choices for application. They will know exactly which awards they qualify for, and which they do not. They can locate unique opportunities for themselves based on full knowledge of their parent’s and their own background and can find better success in receiving financial assistance.

Advantages of Campus-Based & Online Business Schools | Advantages of Online Business Schools

After you have narrowed down the type of degree that you wish to pursue, the next step is to determine whether an online or campus based program is the right option for your situation and needs. Both options offer advantages as well as disadvantages, so it is important to carefully weigh both.

First, let’s take a look at online colleges.

Advantages of Online Business Schools

An online school offers the opportunity to gain an education within a method that is much more flexible than campus-based colleges. Studying within an online college environment typically involves online tutorials, web casts and online tests. The great benefit to this option is that if you do not quite understand the material the first time, you have the ability to go back over it quite easily until you are sure that you have mastered it. Students are able to take control of the pace at which they study. In addition, there is also the opportunity to pursue a degree while working full-time, while traveling as well as while caring for a family. Just a few of the reasons that many people choose an online school are family commitments, geographic isolation and disability.

Online schools can also be quite cost-effective for students, which can be a tremendous benefit for students who are also working and/or who live some distance from a regular campus-based school. Not only will students find that many online schools offer lower fees than many campus based schools, but there is also the opportunity to save transportation costs as well.

Advantages of Campus-Based Schools

Campus-based colleges also offer advantages that should not be overlooked. These traditional programs are widely recognized for their ability to offer excellent socialization opportunities as well as the opportunity to learn within a group. They are quite structured and are excellent for students who feel they are not able to function well in a setting that requires individual discipline. An instructor is almost always on-site to physically assist with any problems that may be encountered. This type of program also offers excellent networking opportunities, which can be a big advantage within the field of business.

Types of Business Degrees Available

The type of degree that you decide to earn will depend upon your interests as well as your goals and qualifications. There exists a wide array of different individual course options. It is important to consider that a large number of business degree programs will emphasize one specific function such as communications, e-commerce or management. There are also business degree options that are broader in nature.

Associate’s Degrees in Business

An associate degree in business is the ideal option for an individual who has not yet decided to commit themselves fully to a bachelor’s degree in business or business administration. Students are provided with a solid foundation for further coursework in the field of business through an associate’s degree in business. This degree does provide the opportunity to enhance future career options as well as provide the opportunity for credits to be applied to a bachelor’s degree in business, if you decide to pursue such a degree in the future.

Depending on the program, an associate’s degree in business can typically be completed within about two years. Both campus-based colleges as well as online colleges offer associate’s degrees in business.

Bachelor’s Degrees in Business

Generally, most entry-level business careers require a bachelor’s degree in business or business administration as a minimum requirement. Students with a bachelor’s of business administration, or BBA, will receive the preparation they need to pursue a wide array of different entry-level positions in fields such as financial services, accounting, personnel resources, economics and sales and marketing.

Students who are already employed in such fields and who wish to advance their careers or those who would like to change from a different career to one of these fields may find that an online business administration degree could be the right choice. These types of programs are specifically designed for working adults. There are even some colleges that will award college credit toward your degree based on work experience or previous coursework.

Generally, a bachelor’s in business degree will require most students, who attend full-time, about four years to complete the degree. Some students who are able to take a heavier course load may be able to complete their degrees within a slightly shorter time-frame, while other students may find that it takes five years or even longer, depending on their individual schedules.

Master’s Degrees in Business

There are several different master’s degrees in business as well as business administration which are available to students in different areas of specialization. These degrees offer the opportunity to greatly enhance one’s career; providing opportunity for advancement as well as increased earning potential. A Master’s of Business Administration or MBA program is a popular choice. This program does often entail admission requirements that are more rigid than other types of master’s level business degrees. This is particularly true for business schools that are considered to be high-profile. Keep in mind that a MBA is not a universal requirement for advancing your career, but when an employer requires a broader range of knowledge, this type of degree may be preferred.

Most MBA programs require a bachelor’s degree as an entrance requirement along with business experience that is proven. One of the advantages to many such programs is that they are self-directed. This gives you the opportunity to select the types of courses that you feel would benefit you and your future goals the most. Many MBA programs are designed especially for working professionals who are seeking to advance their careers into upper management levels.

MBA programs vary in length. Students who are able to attend full-time may be able to complete their program in just one year. Students who are also working and/or have families may find that it takes two years or longer to complete the program.

Doctorate Degrees in Business

The highest degree level that can be achieved in this field is the Doctor of Business Administration. Through this type of degree program you gain the chance to choose the courses as well as the electives that will customize your research within a specific topic. More and more Doctor of Business Administration degrees are being offered online; although, it is important to point out that a large number of programs typically do involve residencies. Such residencies, though brief, provide a chance for students to confer with professors as well as interact with other doctoral students. Through the completion of a Doctor of Business Administration degree, students are usually able to achieve advanced leadership positions, consult or teach within their specific field.

The amount of time that is required to complete a doctorate in business will largely depend upon the schedule and needs of the students. Many students pursuing this type of advanced degree also work and have families. As a result, they are often not able to attend full-time. At a minimum, it typically takes about two years to complete this program.

Certificate Programs in Business

An undergraduate certificate is a good option when you wish to enhance your career or your education. Many working professionals choose this option when they feel the need to gain additional expertise within a particular area. These programs are self-contained and are typically short in duration. A certificate program can typically be completed with as few as 16 semester hours of credit. Certificate programs are commonly offered in fields such as accounting, e-commerce and marketing, just to name a few.

The Pros and Cons of an Online College Search

Most college students will get to visit a campus before they enroll. They will have the opportunity to get a real “feel” for the school, get a good idea of what their fellow students are like, and meet teachers in a one on one basis. This gives most incoming students a good idea of what their academic experience is going to be like.

For those doing an online college search there are usually no campuses to visit (though more and more traditional colleges and universities are offering online degrees), there is no library to browse, no student lounge or cafeteria to meet new friends, no face to face experience with professors. This however will not greatly affect most traditional online college students. Why? Because most of the students who enjoy an online college degree program take their courses and classes because the traditional college experience is not an option for them.

The predominant number of people who do an online college search begin their search because they need to take classes in their spare time or at their own pace, and a traditional college or university does not make that opportunity available. While there are many schools that have “twilight” and evening classes available for people working full time jobs, this too can present a problem. Many people who are trying to get an education while maintaining their full time jobs do so because they have families with children or other responsibilities and cannot sit in a classroom for two to three hours twice each week.

For many people an online college search provides a lot of answers. First they get to see how easy it will be for them to set and meet some educational and career goals. The amazing number of degree and certificate programs available can meet almost any need or interest.

Secondly, an online college search may present them with an affordable method of increasing their own earning potential or professional opportunities that they were previously unaware of. For example, some people are convinced they must commit to a full time course load for a four year education, and after performing their online college search realize that they are able to take a part time course load for a two year program or certificate. This can allow them to continue on to a four year degree if they choose, without needing to apply to a different school altogether.

Finally, many people who do an online college search find that there are courses and classes that may not pertain to their field of study, but they can take as part of their degree work. This is often a source of delight for many people who are unaware of the “general studies” requirement that is a basis for any degree program or major.

Options in an Online College Search | online college options

What is an online degree? That question has a lot of answers. There are online degree programs that require a student to login on a regular basis and “post” their work. This could mean an essay answer to a question about the materials studied during the week, it could mean posting responses to the answers of other enrolled students, and it could mean taking an automated and timed test at a school or college web site.

An online degree could also mean purchasing traditional materials for college study, but using them for a correspondence course with exams given by a registered proctor.

There are many ways a student can earn a college degree online, and it is best that they determine the kind of work they would like to do before beginning their online college search.

Many schools itemize the requirements for their students at their web sites. They will give the fields of study and graduate degrees available through the school and most will make a comprehensive listing of the current courses and classes available to students who are enrolled in an online degree program.

If a student has chosen to perform an online college search for schools that don’t require attendance in any class room environments, they may also want to be sure that the college or university they are looking into doesn’t ask for a proctored examination either. Why should they avoid this? Generally, those that choose an “all” online program do so because they do not have the time or opportunity to attend a traditional college class. This will also mean that they probably do not have the time to travel to a school or local library to take a two to three hour exam twice each semester.

When beginning an online college search it is important to be absolutely certain that the school is accredited and that any credits earned through the school can transfer or be accepted by another school, college or university. This is important because many students seek their Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree through their online school, and should they want to further their education at a different school they will not be able to use their credentials if their college is not accredited at the time they attended classes.

An online college search will usually begin with a specific goal in mind, such as a degree in a specific field or major, or a certificate in a particular area. If the student is using a standard search engine they should pay attention to the amount of time the school indicates a degree program will require. If a school is promising a Bachelor’s degree in only a few weeks or a couple of months, it is unlikely that the school is accredited, or it is that they are promising the impossible.

A student beginning their online college search should understand from the beginning that just like a traditional college education requires a number of years to complete, so too will an online program require a certain length of time to be performed properly.

Online Education and the Online College Search

Imagine taking a college class in your pajamas, or beginning your class at four in the morning, or sharing your classroom with students from all around the world. All of these scenarios take place everyday in the online college environment.

While not all online college classes actually occur on the internet, a great portion of them do and any student’s classmates can be located anywhere in the world where there is internet service. For example, a stay at home mom in Wisconsin can be involved in a children’s literature class with a soldier in Korea and a factory worker in New York. Imagine what an incredible range or perspectives, opinions and ideas these folks can share. That is the reason so many people choose to do an online college search, and sign up for a few classes or even for an entire degree.

Many people doing an online college search will usually start with a specific degree, or a single course in mind. Most of these people will begin to accumulate their “general studies” courses first and this is where the unique classes are formed. Once students get into the higher level classes, such as the three and four hundred level courses, they will tend to interact with students who are pursuing exactly the same degree or major as themselves, which is just as exciting and rewarding.

Currently there are hundreds of colleges that make classes and certificate or degree programs available on the internet. For many the experience will have a “standard” format. Students will purchase their study materials, or receive them electronically through their computer. The professor will issue a schedule with deadlines and assignments and the students will work to meet all of the requirements.

When a prospective student does an online college search it is best for them to really consider whether they have the dedication and self-discipline to do well in the online classroom. Generally they will be required to study the assigned materials, compose an essay style answer, post it to an open forum, and comment on one or two of their classmates’ essays. While this may sound quite simple, in fact it involves some serious analysis and thought, and some people are surprised at the amount of work required.

This environment also requires diplomacy in order to create the best and most productive atmosphere. While technology has made this method of learning available, the internet has created various environments where people are openly rude or dismissive of one another’s feelings. The online classroom is no place for such behavior. So, only disciplined and polite students will be allowed to remain active participants in the class.

While many people begin an online college search because they believe it to be a much easier method of earning a degree, it is in fact only a more convenient method, and will still require the tremendous commitment of a traditional educational career at a college or university. The payoff however is the same – the pride in having achieved a high level of formal education.

Universities that Offer Online Business Degree Programs

Capella University
225 South Sixth Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402
Offers online bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in business and management.

Colorado Tech Online
4435 North Chestnut Street
Suite E
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Offers online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business administration and management.

Walden University
650 S. Exeter St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
Offers online bachelor’s, MBA and Ph.D. degrees in business management and administration.

University of Phoenix
3157 E. Elwood St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Offers online bachelor’s degree and MBA degree programs in business.

Kaplan University
888 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10106
Offers online associate degree, bachelor degree and certificate programs in business.

Top Undergraduate Business Schools

Wharton-University of Pennsylvania
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions
University of Pennsylvania
1 College Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104.6376

Office of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania
420 Jon M. Searchsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104.6340

Wharton Doctoral Programs
University of Pennsylvania
1150 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall
3620 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104.6302
Well known for teaching methods that are considered to be innovative as well as for offering a wide variety of undergraduate level academic programs, Wharton is the home of the largest business faculty in the country.

McCombs-University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin
P.O. Box 7337
Austin, TX 78713-7337
Phone: (512) 471-5893
Fax: (512) 471-0853
McCombs has developed a strong reputation for a well-rounded curriculum as well as excellent faculty. McCombs also offers a wide range of internship programs and student organizations.

Haas-University of California at Berkeley
Haas School of Business
545 Student Services #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-1900
The Haas School of Business offers degrees with a perspective that focuses on general management. This unique program is carefully interwoven with the liberal arts program, providing students with an opportunity to gain an in-depth look into business management.

Sloan-Massachusetts Institute of Technology
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142
United States
Tel: 617-253-2659
The core of the program offered at Sloan is research. The curriculum here is designed to prepare students for jobs that are technology based and strong in managerial decision making.

Ross-University of Michigan
Stephen M. Ross School of Business
University of Michigan
Office of Admissions
701 Tappan Street, Room D2260
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business is well known for providing a curriculum that prepares students to enter a host of different management positions. The school is also well known for offering excellent resources, including career development programs and an outstanding library.

Dress for Success

When you are getting dressed for your next college lecture, it may be fine to sport the universal college uniform of flip-flops, a hoodie and pajama bottoms, but that definitely will not work when you are embarking on your career search. If you are a recent college graduate about to enter the professional workplace then it is important to make sure that you are dressing in order to make a positive impression during your upcoming job interviews.

Whether it is fair or not, appearances really can have a tremendous impact on a hiring manager’s first impression of a job candidate. When you take the time to dress professionally, it shows that you have good judgment as well as an understanding of the importance of the situation. It will also demonstrate your interest in the position as well.

Not sure exactly what constitutes business professional? Read on for style tips to help you get started dressing appropriately for your career search.

First, remember that it is always better to be overdressed for the interview than underdressed. Think about what you would wear to visit your grandmother or someone else of that same generation. If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see you in it, then you shouldn’t wear it to an interview. Avoid any clothing that is suggestive or revealing.

When it comes to accessories, be aware that they can be wonderful for accenting your clothing, but they can also destroy your chances for landing the job if you overdo it. Keep your accessories to a minimum and when in doubt, keep your accessories conservative.

It can definitely pay off to do some research regarding the office culture of the company where you will be interviewing. If you know someone who works there or who has interviewed there previously, you might even think about asking them about the office dress code.

In addition, be aware that there are some items of clothing that should be avoided regardless where you will be interviewing. These items include mini-skirts, flip-flops, jeans, sneakers and t-shirts. Along those same lines, make sure that your grooming and hygiene are impeccable. Your hair should be clean and well groomed, as should your nails. Also, avoid strong aftershave or perfume that could be overpowering to someone with allergies or asthma. The general rule of thumb is that you need to be presentable and polished when you arrive for your interview.

Keep in mind that you need not spend money you do not have for clothing in order to dress appropriately for an interview. Even if you are on a budget, you can purchase a few pieces that can be mixed and matched along with what you may already own for great professional results. Look for timeless and classic pieces such as button-down shirts, pants and simple black dresses.

Making the Transition between College and Career

You have finally done it! You made your way through college, have a degree and you are ready to make your mark on the world. Once you are ready to enter the professional world, you may find that things are somewhat different from the world of college. The time period between graduating college and embarking on your first professional position is typically a crossroad. This time can be daunting as well as exciting and overwhelming for most college graduates. Below are some steps that will help to make the transition between college and the professional world much easier.

First, begin by making certain that you have determined the direction in which you want to go next in your career search. While it would certainly seem that you would be 100% certain about the next step after spending several years in college; that is often not the case. This crossroad time period is often the best time to make sure you understand the best type of career that will suit you. Give thought to whether you enjoy being around people or prefer to be on your own. Take into consideration all of your interests, dislikes, weaknesses and strengths when planning your next career step. Take the time at this point to focus your direction on those fields that match your talents as well as your interests.

Always make sure that you have done your homework. You may have thought that you were finished with homework once you had your degree in hand, but that is not the case. Employment candidates who take the time to research the companies that interest them will often have the best competitive edge as well as odds of landing the job they want. Look at the company’s web site and review news articles that talk about current trends and activities of the company so that you can learn as much as you possibly can.

Do not forget to assemble all of the tools you need for your career search. You will need a resume, cover letter, and a portfolio that focuses on your work. Taking the time to develop a professional resume and cover letter will be time well spent.

Spend some time networking. Even with the popularity of the Internet, the importance of networking should not be overlooked. In fact, networking can be one of the most important things that you do when looking for a job. Utilize any resources that are available to you, including your college’s career placement office, former professors, your parents’ friends, neighbors and friends who may already be in the working world. Do not be afraid to ask your contacts for assistance. You may be surprised at the doors that are opened to you through networking.

Don’t Panic, Practice

If you are approaching graduation or you have already graduated and you are experiencing a severe case of panic as you face the prospect of finding a job, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. This is actually a fairly common experience for most college graduates. Rather than dwell on your concerns, it is much better and more productive to spend the time converting your fear into positive action that will increase your chances of landing a great job. Get started with these critical activities.

Focus on expanding your industry specific skills. Many college students make ends meet while looking for their first professional position by working a part-time job. That is great, but do not overlook the opportunity to volunteer for different projects or even request additional responsibility at your current position. Even if the job you currently hold is not exactly in the same field in which you are looking, consider ways in which you can develop skills that are specific to the field in which you ultimately hope to find a job. For example, if your degree is in marketing, volunteer to research marketing strategies at your current position. Your current employer will likely appreciate the initiative and the experience will provide you with real world industry specific skills that you can use as you look for a permanent position within your field. Taking advantage of the opportunity to build your resume and your skills as you look for a job rather than waiting for the phone to ring will pay off in valuable professional dividends.

In addition, spend some time identifying as well as marketing skills that are transferable. Many students make the mistake of believing that just because their previous experience has not been within the same field that they do not have relevant work skills and experience. This is not so. It really does not matter whether your degree is in liberal arts or biology; you have gained some great skills throughout college, including communicating, critical thinking and problem solving. When you stop to give some thought to your activities throughout college as well as through part-time work and volunteer projects, it will become clear that you have picked up some great transferable skills that will look right at home on your resume.

It is also a good idea to spend some time practicing your interviewing skills while you are looking for a job as well. Even if you have a great GPA, a wonderful resume and impeccable references, they will not get you very far if you are not able to present yourself effectively in an interview. If you have gone for several interviews but still have not received a call back, it can definitely be worth it to spend some time practicing your interview skills.