What I Wish I Would Have Known Before College

There is no step by step guide to survive school while pursuing a higher education degree. Many people describe college as some of the best years of their lives. However, higher education is a dramatic lifestyle change that can be hard to adapt to for many students. As a recent graduate reflecting on my college years, there are a few things I wish I had realized before I entered college. Here are a few things I wish I would’ve known, including stress, studying and money management.

In high school I was a three sport athlete, a member of the National Honor Society, the secretary for the student council and part of many other committees. I balanced these activities very well and loved every minute of it. However, the set schedule I was used to changed when I came to college. You are in charge of managing your schedule. No one is there to guide you along. This can be a major change of pace for many people. So my tip to you is to set a schedule. Sit down and plan out your week. Designate times to do assignments, tests and to study. Stick to your routine. Your grades will thank you.

If you had poor study habits in high school, it’s time to make a change. Students are often shocked by how much effort they must put into their classes. Even though students are often told how much time and effort they will have to put into their classes, they are typically stunned when they are actually expected to do it. If you’re really struggling, reach out to your advisor for helpful tips on how to manage your course work. They may also have resources available to you to make studying easier or more enjoyable! Don’t take on more than you can handle. Some students can handle four courses at a time while others may only be able to focus on one. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, that’s okay! Progress isn’t linear. Lastly, ask friends and loved ones what worked for them or look up studying tips online. If one method fails, don’t give up! Everyone is different, you just need to find your niche.

In all honesty, college was the most stressful time of my life. When my routine was no longer existent, I found that I had to discover new ways to manage stress and anxiety. It wasn’t until my junior year that I was able to find ways to manage that stress that worked for me. I found that what worked for me didn’t necessarily work for my friends. I had always been an extremely active person, so I naturally gravitated towards fitness to take my mind off of whatever I was stressed about. Going to the gym at the end of the day helped me relax and refocus. Other stress relievers can be painting, reading a book or even just watching a movie or tv for a little while. Find a healthy coping mechanism and make sure to incorporate it into your new routine.

Last but not least, money. Money can be a huge concern while earning your degree, and managing it can be difficult. My advice would be to set a budget or allowance for yourself. You can make it weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. Factor in the cost of your loans, along with other expenses such as books and materials. When I made my budget, I also included money for food, extracurriculars along with how much money I would put into savings. I really stress putting money aside for savings. When my senior year rolled around, I was able to pay off my whole first semester with what money I had put aside which saved me the stress of paying more interest on my loan. Every bit counts, save what you can, when you can.

For many students, college is a whole new world and what comes along with it can be stressful and overwhelming. Finding what works for you during this time is extremely important. Sometimes, though, a little guidance can be helpful — take it from people who learned the hard way.

Distance Learning Systems Expands Online Learning Program with New Brandman University Partnership

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Distance Learning Systems and Brandman University join forces to offer an affordable and flexible learning format for students to earn an accredited degree online.
Distance Learning Systems has partnered with Brandman University to provide an online learning program enhancing and supporting educational goals. The Brandman Premier Partnership gives Distance Learning Systems’ students increased flexibility and affordability in their continued education.

“Education is vital for success in today’s employment market,” said Dave Christy, President of Distance Learning System. “Our partnership with Brandman allows our students the opportunity to earn college credits in an accelerated, cost-effective environment while staying current with industry demands within their field of study.”

As a Premier Partner, Distance Learning Systems has access to exclusive scholarships that can be applied to multiple pathways including many of its over 80 degree, certification, credential and professional development programs. Brandman also offers custom solutions for staff and provides student-centered services to support them through graduation.

Brandman programs are available at more than 25 campuses throughout California and Washington and online, and through Brandman MyPath, our self-paced online competency-based education modality.

About Distance Learning Systems
Distance Learning Systems, headquartered in Greenwood, Indiana, is believed by many to offer the nation’s most effective online learning platform where students maintain a 97% national average pass rate. Distance Learning Systems (DLSII), currently serves over 10,000 students nationwide with customizable, structured, instructor – led online classes. Students will rapidly complete multiple college level courses recognized by Brandman University. Additionally, 2,000 U.S. institutions of higher learning also recognize and accept ACE course credits. Note: The decision to accept specific credit recommendations is at the sole discretion of each college or university; however specific credit transfers between DLSII and Brandman University have been established. For more information visit: www.dlsii.com or call toll free 1-888-955-3276.

About Brandman University
Brandman University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). It offers academic programs available at more than 25 campuses throughout California and Washington and online, and through Brandman MyPath, our self-paced competency-based education modality. Not all programs are available at all locations. Program availability is subject to change. To learn more, visit www.brandman.edu.

How to Get College Credit Through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

clep2The average cost of annual tuition in the United States range from $3,131 for community colleges and 29,056 for private four year institutions. In fact, the most expensive university charges $51,008 on tuition fees alone. It’s no wonder a lot of people look for ways around paying huge amounts of money for their degrees. College Level Examination Program or CLEP is one of the options a student has to get that college credit, and there are over 2900 colleges that grant them.

How It Works

Every institution will set a minimum qualifying score for CLEP exams. If you reach the required score, the institution will determine the credits it will award the student. It is commonplace for these institutions to place this information on their CLEP policy, so be sure to read this first.

While each institution may have their own standards and metrics for their CLEP, these are the basic standards. Upon passing the exam, students can be awarded up to 12 credits. There are some colleges that place a limit on the total credits that a student may receive. On the other hand, there are also some that grant exemption, but no degree credits.

Each college have varying qualifying scores for every exam. These scores are commonly published in their general catalog or brochure, indicating the scores that they require in order for the student to earn credits.

No Credits Awarded

There may be certain instances wherein the college will not grant credit for a CLEP exam. The two sample scenarios where this may happen:

  1. If the exam is connected to a course. Some colleges will not credit your CLEP exam if you have already attempted to take a course that is directly related to the exam.
  2. If you have already failed in a similar course. In some cases, the college may even not permit you to take the CLEP exam for that particular course.

Retaking the Exam

Students are allowed to repeat a CLEP exam given that six months have already passed since the first one. Retaking the exam before the six months has passed could mean a forfeit of test fees and results.

Before you even start studying for your exam, you first have to check the institution CLEP standards. Find out what credits can be earned, and other factors that may affect the test, the results and credit that you may receive.

Credit by Examination in Texas

High School students in Texas High are now allowed to get credit by examination which is a mandate by the State Law. The students must first speak with their advisers to clarify the process and then undergo evaluation before application. Applications must be given to the advisers by April 2. And the schedule of the examinations will be on April 7-9, 2014.

To be able to get credit ranking, learners must achieve a certain ranking. This is to ensure that the students will do their best in studying. If students have taken the class, the ranking must be 70 % or higher. If they haven’t a ranking of at least 90 % is needed. This is to ensure that the students are in a greater capacity to pass the exam and that they will be motivated to do their best and get a higher score.

credit-by-exam“It’s state law that all educational institutions are needed to provide a means for learners to get credit ranking”. Schroeder said, “We like it for especially kids that are local speaking students, they can successfully pass the lower level Language sessions. Or if it’s a student that wants to take the speech class and not use that term because they want to take another class in that semester.” This program understands the situation of the students and making it more uncomplicated.

According to Schroeder, credit ranking by evaluation is also a way for learners who might have lost a credit ranking due to absences that can easily successfully pass the evaluation without having to be present during summer. The State is ensuring the quality of education through programs in schools that will help and benefit the students. Credit by evaluation is free, while during summer is not. For more information regarding this topic, contact an educational adviser in Texas.

Reasons to take Credit by Exam

Marylhurst College, Marylhurst, OregonAs college tuition prices continue to increase at universities across the country, some learners are looking for more cost-saving, non-traditional routes to college. One way that you can preserve countless dollars on expenses is by getting an examination to get college credit in place of a conventional three-credit course. Many American universities and colleges will actually allow you to test out of certain programs with a credit by exam, allowing you to be able to take more classes that can get prepare you for your upcoming profession. In fact, here are some reasons why you should consider credit by exam:

1. Save Time: Credit by examinations can help decrease the number of hours and classes you may need for a degree program. You have the versatility to schedule the test on your own time and to make a study plan that continues as long as you need it to.

2. Save Money: A test costs only $80! On average, one college is worth $250. Add up 3 credits and that’s $750! You do the math.

3.  Credit = Credit: Over 1,900 organizations allow credits for credit by examinations. Whether you are seated through a class of 400 learners taking notes or passing a credit by exam, the credits are worth the same!

4.  Variety of Resources: With the help of online practice examinations and several third-party sources, you can make sure that you will be guided on your path to success.

5.  Immediate Results: About 100 questions later, click “finish” and viola! The test results are reported directly on the screen at the end of each test. These results are usually sent by mail to the college student and their organization five weeks after the test.

6. Get Ahead: If you look through the record of available test subjects, you’ll probably find that there is a subject you already know well! Take advantage of the practice tests to see how much information you already know. Then test out of programs that you’re already an expert in.

Deferring Cost Thru Credit by Exam

It used to be that students attending college could only get credits by sitting through weeks-long lessons, writing notes and passing a litany of assessments. Now, however, there may be a more effective way of making credits for classes in a shorter period and at a portion of the cost. There are no projects to finish, no assessments to take, and no lessons or classes to attend, just an examination to pass. Sound interesting? Students looking for a more efficient way to generate a degree might want to consider credit by exam programs, which have become well-known among those who want to speed up their time in school and save costs simultaneously.

credit_by_exam“Credit-by-exam programs have been used for years and keep growing today because they offer real value to students and enable them to finish degree requirements more effectively than getting traditional programs,” says Marc Singer, vice provost of the Center for the Assessment of Learning at Thomas Edison State College, which recently arranged several of its credit by exam programs with open programs to make new routes for students to generate credit. Currently 3,000 universities in the U.S. accept credit-by-exam as transfer credit. The programs allow students to generate credit by passing a single examination and are an excellent fit for independent students, students who possess college-level knowledge and students who are excellent test takers.

Credit by exam programs are not, however, a one-size-fits-all strategy to learning. For instance, those students who choose an organized environment and getting a lecturer and other students may not do as well with getting one test that includes a semester’s worth of material. This strategy does tend to work well for busy adult students who have competitive requirements on their time and who want to work individually. Two of the most well-known credit-by-exam programs in the U.S. are the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP exams) and DSST examinations. “Students considering credit-by-exam programs should talk with their educational consultant to make sure credits from the examination they are planning to take can be transferred to fulfill a requirement in their degree program,” says Singer.

College Level Examination Program Test Taking Tips

Do not let test taking get the best of you! Sometimes getting a test can save your money. The CLEP (College Level Examination Program) examination has been the most widely trusted credit-by-examination system and is accepted by over 2,900 universities. CLEP allows you to take an exam to earn higher education credits without getting the course, allowing you to save lots of money.

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Here are some easy tips that will help you keep calm and pass your College Level Examination Program exam:

  • Read the entire question, including the multiple option solutions before putting down your answer. Guidelines usually tell you to select the best answer. Study all the solutions before you choose one, even if the first or second answer choice looks right to you.
  • Pace yourself and keep an eye on the clock. Always make sure you are not going to fast or too slow. The average duration of answering to questions should be about 30-45 seconds. You should have responded to at least 50 percent of the questions in a section when 50 percent of the allotted time has passed.
  • Don’t spend too much time on any one question. If you have no idea what the answer is after you’ve considered it temporarily, go on to the next question. Group or mark the questions so you can come back to it later.
  • Any answer is better than no answer. Do no leave a question blank. There are no penalties for wrong answers. If you can identify obvious wrong solutions, you have increased your chances of answering correctly.
  • Don’t waste your time. Most test takers spend too much into the question by looking for faults in question terminology or styles in appropriate answers. College Level Examination Program puts significant amounts of effort into developing valid, reliable and fair examinations.

Enrolling in a DANTES Catalog Program

DANTES is an off-duty support system for the voluntary educational applications. DANTES primary roles include providing the army employees all the necessary tools to help them achieve their personal education goals. The DANTES Independent Study Catalog courses are offered by domestically approved colleges and universities (with a DANTES Memorandum of Understanding). The DANTES External Degree Catalog lists, certificates and degree programs are available from domestically approved colleges and universities (with a DANTES Memorandum of Understanding).

Dantes_credit_by_examinationTo join any of the programs found in the DANTES credit by examination online catalogs, you need to get in touch with the university and follow the procedure. Remember, before searching for a course or degree program, that there is the possibility of receiving credit through the Military Evaluations Program http://militaryguides.acenet.edu, and through the DANTES Credit by Examination program. Also, many of the service members Opportunity Colleges at http://www.soc.aascu.org colleges offer contracts-for-degree in which, particular use of non-traditional credit is usually optimized for military learners. Be aware before applying to any college of all the specifications that you need to meet, course cost, term lengths, delivery modes, student-to-instructor contacts and testing guidelines. Check for the college’s drop/add date for each course, guidelines for giving “W, F, and I” grades and all return guidelines and schedules. Consider all of these before you join.

In general, although subject to particular service guidelines, specified boundaries, yearly caps and accessibility to financing, learners will be provided either up-front or reimbursable educational costs assistance which may cover 100% of their educational costs and charges. Contact your Service education counselors for current educational costs assistance guidelines and specifications, as these frequently change. And the liability to know and understand the policy falls on you. You should bear in mind that you may be required to make another payment to the university book store for books and materials, this is not standard, but some educational institutions make a requirement of it. Although educational institutions agree to notify DANTES before changing educational costs and generally attempt to avoid changing charges during a school year, prices can change before they are enrolled into the online Catalogs. Make sure to always consult the school to determine the correct price before applying.

CLEP Exams and Veterans

Whether you are still in uniform or have already left the service, you may be looking for a way to generate higher education credit that will have little impact on your hectic schedule. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to learn about a topic on your own time without having to be present at classes and generate higher education credit by simply passing an exam at the end? Thanks to CLEP exams, that possibility has been a reality for many years and you too can take advantage of it. The College-Level Examination Program has been popular with service members and veterans since it was first presented, for valid reason. CLEP exams are just what the name implies: an opportunity to generate credit by exam. You choose a topic to study, set a date to take the evaluation and if you pass, you will earn higher education credit. Thirty-three CLEP exams are currently available in subjects which range from computer and computer programs to English Literature, with the value of an individual exam which range from three to 12 credits. Examining happens year-round.

CLEP_examsHere are some more reasons to take CLEP exams:

  • It’s affordable. In fact, CLEP examinations are 100% free for active-duty members who take a test through DANTES, the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support. (However, this will apply only to your first attempt at a particular CLEP exam; if you fail a test, you must wait six months before you can take it again and then you would have to pay the standard test fee of $80.)
  • You can study at your own time and speed until you feel ready to take the evaluation.
  • CLEP exams fit well with varying plans and short-notice deployments, since you don’t have to be present at a regular class over a period of several weeks, saving you lots of your time.
  • Active-duty CLEP evaluation takers may be able to obtain 100 % free study materials. Check with your installation education center; DANTES offers 100% free, reproducible duplicates of individual exam guides.

The Secret to College: Credit By Exam

For most scholars, the path to earning credit typically involves several weeks of paying attention to lessons, writing down notes, finishing projects and passing a mid-term and final examination. But if you could generate that credit in less time and at a portion of the cost of getting an official course, would you be interested? There would be no projects to finish and no lessons or classes to attend, just an examination to pass. Students looking for a more efficient model to generate a degree should consider credit by exam programs, which have become well-known among those who want to speed up their pace and save money.

Credit_by_exam“Credit-by-exam programs have been used for years and keep growing today because they offer real value to students and allow them to finish degree requirements more efficiently than getting traditional programs,” mentioned Marc Singer, vice provost of the Center for the Assessment of Learning at Thomas Edison State College, which recently arranged several of its credit by exam programs with open programs to create new routes for students to generate credit. Nearly 3,000 universities in the U.S. accept credit by exam as transfer credit. The programs allow students to get credit by passing a single examination and tend to be an excellent fit for independent students, students who possess college-level knowledge and students who are excellent test takers.

Credit by exam programs is not for everyone, especially students who choose an organized environment and getting a lecturer and other students. Deciding to get college credit by preparing for an examination that covers a semester’s worth of content means you have to be self-motivated and regimented. This approach attracts many busy adult students who have competitive demands on their time and who want to work individually. Two of the most well-known credit-by-exam programs in the U.S. are the College Level Examination Program (CLEP exams) and DSST examinations. “Students considering credit-by-exam programs should talk with their academic consultant to make sure credits from the examination they are planning to take can be passed to satisfy a requirement in their degree program,” said Singer.