What to do if you are starting college in the spring semester

College photo

Most college freshmen begin their classes in the fall semester that immediately follows their high school graduation. But in some cases, maybe after a deferral from their top-choice school or when they take extra time off from studying after high school, new college students wait until the spring to start.



5 facts about today’s college graduates

Graduation season is in full swing, but what do we really know about all those fresh-faced young adults in black robes — what they actually studied, what their chances are of landing a decent job, how they’ll look back on their college years? Here’s our data roundup:

CollegeGrads_11 Only about 56% of students earn degrees within six years. The National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit verification and research organization, tracked 2.4 million first-time college students who enrolled in fall 2007 with the intent of pursuing a degree or certificate. The completion rate was highest (72.9%) among students who started at four-year, private, nonprofit schools, and lowest (39.9%) among those who started at two-year public institutions.

2 Business is still the most common major. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about a fifth (20.5%) of the 1.79 million bachelor’s degrees conferred in 2011-12 were in business. Business has been the single most common major since 1980-81; before that, education led the way. The least common bachelor’s degrees, according to the NCES, were in library science (95 conferred in 2011-12), military technologies and applied sciences (86) and precision production (37).

CollegeGrads_23 It’s harder for new graduates to find good jobs. It’s no secret that unemployment among recent grads remains higher than it was before the Great Recession. But in a recent report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York went deeper and looked at underemployment among recent grads (defined as people aged 22 to 27 with at least a bachelor’s degree). The Fed researchers used data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to examine whether employed grads were in jobs that typically required a college degree, what those jobs paid, and whether they were working full- or part-time. They found that in 2012, about 44% of grads were working in jobs that didn’t require a college degree — a rate that, while about what it was in early 1990s, increased after the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions. Only 36% of that group were in what the researchers called “good non-college jobs” — those paying around $45,000 a year — down from around half in the 1990s. The share of underemployed recent grads in low-wage (below $25,000) jobs rose from about 15% in 1990 to more than 20%. About one-in-five (23%) underemployed recent grads were working part-time in 2011, up from 15% in 2000.

4 But graduates still out-earn people without degrees. A Pew Research Center report from earlier this year looked at earnings of Millennials (those born after 1980) who usually worked full-time in 2012. Among that group, workers with at least a bachelor’s degree had median annual earnings of $45,500, well over the medians for people with only some college ($30,000) or a high-school diploma ($28,000). The gap has widened over the years and across the generations: In 1965, when the members of the Silent Generation were 25 to 34 years old, median earnings for high-school graduates were 81% of those for college graduates; in 2013, among the Millennials, it was 61.5%.

5 Most grads think college was worth it. The same Pew Researchreport found that majorities of graduates in all three of the largest U.S. generations — Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials — agree that college either has paid off or will pay off, given what they and their families invested in it. Perhaps not surprisingly, the highest-earning graduates were the most positive about their educations — 98% of those making six figures and up said their degree had paid off, compared with 63% of graduates earning less than $50,000. Similarly, people with advanced degrees were even more likely than bachelor’s and associate’s degree holders to say their education was worth the investment — 96%, compared with 89% and 76%, respectively.

This article, 5 Facts About Today’s College Graduates, was originally posted here .

Photo is from here.

10 Tips to Ace Freshman Year


So you’ve seen The Social Network — that’s what college life is all about, right? Studying hard, inventing online social media platforms, evading the Winklevii. But wait, you’ve also seen Good Will Hunting, where those Harvard students are portrayed as living in an ivory tower, separate from the real world.

Perhaps you’ve talked with an uncle who claims college was “the best time of my life,” while a cynical older cousin described it as feeling like a “holding ground before real life begins.” No one would blame you at this point for being confused about what exactly the college experience is supposed to be — or for desperately wondering how to make the most of it.

The truth of the matter is that everyone’s experience is different. You might be on a sports team, getting up at 6 a.m. several times a week. Or you might be into theater, spending long weeks before opening night on stage in tights and full makeup. Some schools have campuses, others are more urban — and still others have mainly students who commute to class. Each school has its own personality and vibe.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t some general similarities across the board. College is a time to make lifelong friends, expand and deepen your knowledge, discover new interests and become independent. You will be going through this experience with thousands of other students across the country (and world!), but at the same time you’ll also be defining your own unique college experience. Keeping that dichotomy in mind, here are 10 of our most helpful tips to have the best experience possible.

1. Keep in touch with high school friends. Meeting new people is exciting. However, if you’ve got great friends, put in the effort to maintain regular contact. It’ll come in handy when you realize you’re 1,000 miles away from home, and it can keep you grounded while you’re trying new experiences. Plus, you can visit another campus when you want to get away for a bit and gain some perspective. You may just find one of your childhood friends is interested in the same career after college, and will make a great roommate (or connection) after graduation.

2. Remind yourself: It’s OK to be homesick. It happens to everyone. Maybe the first three days of school are all excitement, and then it hits you, or maybe it doesn’t sink in until you visit your family over Thanksgiving. Everyone’s got his or her own timetable for this, but remember: Everyone’s going through it! Reach out both to high school friends at other colleges and people you meet at school. You’ll find someone who understands.

3. Try something new. Always wanted to learn the drums? Do it. Or get involved in politics? Check out student government. While all schools are different, the one thing that is true for every college big and small is that there are opportunities there for everyone and everything. This is your chance to dabble in just about anything, so take advantage while you can.

4. Keep doing what you love. Sometimes the message “try new things” can get overblown — don’t forget that it’s OK to also stick with what you love. The new people surrounding you will have different strengths and backgrounds and are going to expand your relationship with that old activity you’ve been doing since you were 5.

5. Look for a mentor. Start by building up your courage and talking to your professors outside of class. Your mentor is someone who will write you a killer job recommendation in four years. They will also take a vested interest in who you are as a person, as well as a student. They’ll give you insight beyond school and influence your development. Ultimately, they’re someone who’s been in your shoes and has come out the other end. They know generally what you are going through and can give you that perspective that those your age can’t.

6. Sleep.

7. Form a study group. This is a great way to make friends, plus you learn more by pooling knowledge. Win win!

8. Do the work. Even if you go to lecture and get the teacher’s interpretation, don’t fail to do actually read Freud’s The Ego and the Id for yourself and form your own opinion. College is a time when your biggest job is to learn; unless you go on to graduate school, you’re not going to find that again!

9. Get off campus. You’ll quickly realize there’s a big world out there outside of campus. So get out there. It’s a great way to maintain perspective and immerse yourself in a different vibe than the one on campus.

10. Trust your instincts. You can’t take all of this advice at once! Try something new or do something old? Get sleep or go off campus? Ultimately, this is a time to listen to and trust yourself.

And perhaps most of all, don’t be too hard on yourself. Given that college is a time to explore, there will likely be points where you are feeling lost. Perhaps everyone around you might seem like they are doing just fine. Remember: You’re not alone. Chances are, if you reach out about your feelings, someone will respond.

As J.R.R. Tolkien said: “Not all who wander are lost.” College is just the time to begin wandering. Good luck on your journey!

This article, 10 Tips to Ace Freshman Year, was orginally posted here.

Photo is from here.

Tips on How to Design Your College Education

lecture hall

College can be one of the greatest experiences of your life. Although going to college may seem overwhelming, by following proper advice you can ensure that you get everything out of college that you need. This article is jam packed with tips to help you’ve a fantastic, worthwhile college experience.


The Pros and Cons of Community College

Woman thinking blackboard

Community college is not what it used to be—in fact, there are major incentives to attending a local junior college. Not to mention the obvious financial advantage, junior college is a place where you can knock out your general courses and explore your other interests on a schedule that works for you. In my own experience, I found that junior college was a great place for me to figure out what major I was going to pursue and where I would eventually obtain my degree from. One of the most impressive professors that I have had the pleasure of learning from taught at the community school I attended, and some of the most interesting people I have ever met went there—think famous rock stars back from a tour in Europe just looking to learn a little Spanish. Maybe I just got lucky, but I’d like to think that community schools can offer something to everyone.


Why You Should Really Go To College, In 2 Charts


 |  By

Some people might tell you not to go to college. Don’t listen to them.

People who go to college make more money, a lot more money, than people who don’t. A chart from the latest Economic Report Of The President, a giant bundle of charts and economic analysis and policy pitches compiled annually by the White House, puts this plainly:

go to college

As you can see, male college graduates make about twice as much every year as male high school grads. The effect is even stronger for women: Female college grads make about 2.25 times as much as high school grads. That is mainly because less-educated women are penalized a lot more than less-educated men.

As you can also see from the chart, the income gap between people who graduated from college and people who didn’t has exploded since about 1980, which also happens to be about the same time middle-class wages started to stagnate and income inequality was starting to yawn wider.

Yes, college is expensive — too expensive for many people. Yes, students are gettingcrushed by loan debt, particularly black students. And yes, even having a college education may not be enough to keep your wages from falling, as this chart from the Economic Policy Institute, a labor-focused think tank, shows:


Despite these problems, college is still worth it. As you can see from the chart above, wage growth has been lousy for everybody since the Great Recession, but it has been much worse for people without college degrees.

Updated to add one huge caveat: People who started but did not finish college seem to have suffered worse income declines than anybody else, according to this chart. Not exactly sure why that would be, and that certainly makes student-loan debt more onerous. Still, you can’t finish college if you never start it.

The answer is not to tell kids to skip college — the answer is to make college more accessible to everybody.

Original article, Why You Should Really Go To College, In 2 Charts, was originally posted here.

Photo is from here.

What is a 1098-T Tax Form and Should I receive one?

tax form

Every year the Business Office receives a number of questions regarding financial aid and the issuance of the 1098-T to students.  The following will hopefully help students regarding education tax issues.   In addition, KCTCS offers additional support: