All Articles Tagged "back-to-school"
Are you one month away from crossing the finish line and gathering your Bachelor’s degree only to hear family and friends ask you, “What’s next?” Are you fed up with your current job and mulling over the idea of getting an MBA?
As more people look towards an MBA for career advancement or change, one of the main things many think about during this time is the name of the college in which they apply to. Although prestige comes with an Ivy League MBA programs, you can still be a success in the business world without having a Harvard or Princeton degree. Instead, here are nine colleges/universities to contemplate, instead of taking a trip down an Ivy-laced road.
While you were sleeping in this Labor Day morning, the TODAY show was taking a look at a new retail trend in girls clothing. The increasing number of overweight children in the U.S. and the higher number of girls who are simply growing bigger and taller at a younger age has prompted more stores to carry “plus-size” girls clothing.
According to the report from the show’s consumer correspondent Janice Lieberman, larger-sized children’s clothing has always been around. And for boys, it’s typically called “husky.” But for young girls, finding stylish clothes is difficult. Sears, Gap, Children’s Place and other stores are responding to the need. Sears has a “Pretty Plus” line for girls between the ages of seven and 12. Other retailers are offering bigger sizing for girls as young as three, most of it online.
In the studio interview, Morgan Joseph, an 11-year-old who is already 5′ 9″ tall, talked about the troubles she’s had shopping for clothes, noting that she even had a problem finding an outfit to wear on the show that would fit and be “age appropriate.” Sitting beside her mother Sharon, she said she plans on launching her own line of clothing.
“I don’t want [other kids] to go through what I had to go through,” she said at one point.
She also has a problem with the term “plus size.”
“I don’t really enjoy the word ‘plus,’” she said. “I think there should just be numbers like they do for other kids.”
With back-to-school shopping happening later this year, there are probably a lot of parents out there still grappling with this issue as well. Across all age groups, retailers have found value in selling plus-size clothing with more stores and brands — like H&M and The Limited — offering larger sizes. The Los Angeles Times quotes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says more than a third of Americans are obese and nearly two-thirds of women are overweight. At least half of women wear a size 14 or larger. As a result, this is a growing segment of the retail industry, with sales expected to reach about $7.5 billion this year.
Parents, schools and politicians are fighting the growing childhood obesity issue. School lunches coming under greater scrutiny and more emphasis being placed on exercise and the health problems that arise for children who’ve put on a lot of weight. But, as the segment shows, it’s not just an issue with obesity. Some kids just grow quickly.
Do you agree with Morgan that retailers should use a different term? Should “plus-size” clothing come under a different name?
It’s that season again. Some of you have driven your kids to what you hope is their home for the next four years: college. Some of you may have kids who’ll share classes with some of the celebrity kids on the next few pages who are also entering their freshmen year. I tell you, we’ve watched some of them grow before our very eyes! By the way…none of your kids did it alone so congrats to all the parents for helping your kids make it this far!
Classes are slowly coming back in session, so it’s no time to slack on school supplies for your kids (though some people are noticeably waiting a little longer to buy those supplies). With various technologies out there geared toward students, sending your children to school with just a ruler, a pen and some paper probably won’t be enough.
If you are thinking about buying a laptop, smartphone or tablet for your 14 or 15-year old you are thinking right.
“Parents today see the value in helping their kids get an early start on becoming more comfortable with technology, which is why you’re seeing more tech in smaller and younger hands every day,” advises a Best Buy spokesperson, who spoke with us via email. He notices the change in technology affecting even how normal school supplies are marketed. “You’ll also notice that the growth in technology has also altered other back to school supplies. For example, many backpacks now include a pocket for a laptop.”
Access to the Internet is also becoming an increasing way students are getting access to their homework, e-textbooks and other class material.
Making Your Purchase Affordable
Nowadays, it’s important that parents budget for these technological needs. Although a laptop or other technologies might seem rather costly, there are ways to make these classroom necessities a little more affordable. “It’s always a good idea to start with your school and ask about any software site license programs they may have, as well as group technology buying programs,” recommends a Best Buy spokesperson.
If you are not tech savvy enough to handle another piece of equipment, many stores have salespeople willing to help you understand and work the device. (Your kids might know how to work it already!)
Online versus In-Store Shopping
If you are more of an in-store shopper, use the back-to-school sales to your advantage and go into a store for your child’s latest gadget.
“Parents looking at new technology should stop into local stores with their children to check out new gadgets to better get a feel for how well the keyboard fits them, how heavy the device might be if it needs to be portable” and other features and benefits, adds Best Buy.
Online technology shopping is also another great (and increasingly popular) option, with plenty of back-to-school and online shipping and delivery deals that will increase your savings. Check your daily email newsletters and the gadget’s official website and you might find discounts for students beginning high school and college.
What Gadget Works For Your Child
If you have a younger child who is in grade or middle school, many parents should be looking for a desktop PC, if you don’t already have one. Besides being able to monitor your child’s computer access in an open place in the home, desktop PCs are less likely to be destroyed.
For students in high school and beginning college this year, laptops are more of a benefit to their academic success. Laptops are great for older students who have more classwork requiring note-taking, going online for research, typing up essays and for students who are “leaving the nest” for college. Once your child hits college, a laptop is almost essential for every major.
From the grade-school level to high schoolers, here are a few gadgets you should consider purchasing for your child to maximize their success this school year.
The New York Times has a new trend alert: Parents and kids (teens in particular) are waiting until school is actually in session before doing a big chunk of their back-to-school shopping.
As television viewers and newspaper subscribers, we’ve been seeing ads and circulars crowing about the back-to-school season since July. But this shopping season may be shifting to a later date on the calendar. Teens want to see what the latest styles are before committing. And parents are waiting for better deals. Add later school start dates and the forces of nature — a warm summer means people aren’t really thinking about down vests and other winter gear — and you have a lot of retailers who are scrambling to scrounge up sales where they were once forthcoming.
The economy is very likely playing a big role in this, as it is in everything else. The article makes the point that shoppers are trying to assess what they really need before they start shopping. Moreover, if shoppers know they can wait a little longer and get a discount, they’re going to wait.
But the nature of back-to-school shopping could be changing also. Research from American Express shows that the number of Americans that will include electronic devices in the back-to-school shopping mix is up nine percent. The NYT article makes reference to the slowing of school supply sales; old-school items like notebooks and pens. The research says that 86 percent plan on spending more on clothing and accessories, but it doesn’t say when they plan on doing that shopping. Or where. CBS News reports that more people are doing their back-to-school shopping online.
It’s that time of year, again. Cool air mixing in with summer heat and the flock of yellow school buses clogging up your morning commute can only mean one thing: back-to-school season is upon us.
One of the drawbacks of adulthood (right below not having a summer vacation) is missing out on the fresh start that comes with a new school year. But just because you’re all grown up doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the new energy this time of year gives students. Reliving these childhood rituals can give you the fresh start going back to school brings.
1. New Clothes
Back to school shopping takes on a whole new meaning when you’re a teenager. It wasn’t just about buying clothes; it was about creating an image. Clothes change how others view you and how you view yourself. It’s as true today as it was in high school. The stores are already rolling out fall fashions. Splurge on a new jacket or a versatile outfit that captures your vision for fall.
2. New Lunchbox… And Diet to Match
Take it back to elementary school and ditch the grocery bag for a cute lunchbox your younger self would be proud of. While you’re at, take the time to reevaluate what you put in it. There’s no need to wait until New Year’s to start eating right. There are all types of bags and containers to accommodate healthier food options.
3. New Office Supplies
Something about a fresh notebook sets my heart aflutter. It may sound kooky, but a blank notebook always makes me optimistic; it’s a literal blank slate. Get rid of the baggage from this summer’s workload by replacing dried out ink pens, messy notebooks, and broken supplies with new tools for your trade. Have a little fun with bright colors and designs that perk up your workspace.
4. Decorate Your Space
The holy grail of high school was getting your own locker, and decorating your space was not to be half-stepped. Apply that sense of pride to your office. You spend most of your day there, anyway. Decorate your workspace with images that inspire and energize you.
5. New Schedule
You may not be able to switch homerooms anymore, but you can spice up your routine. Try taking a later lunch to miss the midday rush. Or institute your own free period. A quick walk around the block during the second half the day can do wonders for your mood.
Used to be that school supplies mostly consisted of pencils, paper and a new backpack. Nowadays, college students also have to make an investment in new tech supplies if they’re going to make the grade.
Schools still provide students with access to a computer lab, but for many, a laptop has long been a college necessity. College computer labs are accessible, but most useful for printing documents or a quick email check. The latest MacBook Pro will put you out about $2,000 (whew!), but there are perfectly good alternatives in the $500 to $700 range all over the Internet.
Also on the must-have list are mobile phones. Not the “free with your contract” deal, but the latest smartphones, which can cost a couple hundred bucks even with a commitment. Add the monthly cost of service, and there’s a real expense.
This infographic produced by OnlineColleges shows that students aren’t just using their phones to call home and text their friends. They’re accessing social networks, and using them for school- and work-related tasks. At this point, a student who doesn’t have access to social networks — whether via a broadband connection or mobile device — is at a severe disadvantage. The ability to access information on the go has upped that ante.
The latest digital option for many students are e-books. There can be some savings on books purchased electronically. For instance, I once bought a book of classic short stories for 99 cents on Kindle. But USA Today points out that, in some cases, the savings is small. In other cases, the need to ultimately print out the book, in part or in its entirety, can drive up the cost. And at some schools, e-books are required.
Then there’s the cost of purchasing the device on which to read these books. Amazon’s Kindle starts at $79 and goes up to $199 for the Fire tablet. Barnes & Noble just knocked $20 off the price of the Nook, but it too approaches $200. And then there’s the iPad, which promises a brand new learning experience, but starts at $399. Apple offers education pricing, which includes a $50 gift card for apps if you’re purchasing the device for school.
Speaking of apps, USA Today also has a list of apps especially for students, many of which are free.
Add to these tech expenditures the increased cost of tuition. In many states, the cost for in-resident tuition at state schools is going up. In some cases dramatically. Here are some ways we recently suggested to help pay for college.
-Research from the National Retail Federation shows that those who do their back-to-school shopping online spend 27 percent more than the average shopper. Online shopping can total as much as $874 versus the average of $688. Other figures: one-fourth of shoppers begin their shopping two months in advance; half start three weeks in advance; more parents are sending college students pre-paid gift cards (with an average of $71 available); and 30 percent of Americans say they have a child between the ages of three and 17, which is likely contributing to high enrollment numbers.
-About 1.7 million undocumented young immigrants can begin applying for temporary status here in the U.S. The move will affect people who were brought here as children. Eligible applicants are between the ages of 15 and 31; came here before the age of 16 and have lived here for five years (providing proof of residency); have finished high school, are in the process of doing so, or have served in the military; and have records that are free of serious crime. Legal status must be renewed every two years.
-If you get a raise in Atlanta or Boston, chances are you’re still broke. According to an Aon Hewitt survey, the average salaried worker got a 2.8 percent raise this year, which is barely above the inflation rate. Atlanta and Boston tied for the lowest projected raise for 2013: three percent. The best is Denver, which is projected to give 3.6 percent raises next year.
-Factory owners have been losing business to a company called Unicor, aka Federal Prison Industries, a part of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons that has been working with inmates since 1934 to prepare them for life on the outside. Unicor pays its employees between 23 cents and $1.15 an hour, doesn’t have to pay taxes and doesn’t have to provide healthcare. As a result, they win business, factories lose, and they end up having to make cuts. The government is stepping in to curtail Unicor’s ability to bid for business, but the company argues that they are doing a service to their inmate workers, who they claim are less likely to re-offend.
-This is going to be the most expensive year for gas in history. National averages are now $3.90 per gallon.
Summer’s over in less than a few weeks. The vacations are coming to a close and we’re putting away the bikinis and 50 Shades of Grey. And with the end of summer comes the back-to-school season for many. It’s time to pull out the syllabi and textbooks for another school year.
Whether you are going back to college or attending college for your freshman year, here are a few tips and reminders of how to get prepared.
Double-Check Your Financial Aid Packet
Financial aid is the gift that keeps on giving. Log-in to your college Web portal and make sure your financial aid packet meets all of your needs like your tuition, housing and meal plan. If there are discrepancies, follow-up with your financial aid office quickly to ensure your grants and loans are situated.
Do your back-to-school shopping during your state’s “tax holiday.” Not every state has one, but if yours does, or you live within traveling distance to a state with a tax break, it might be worth it to make the trek. (As long as you don’t spend more money on gas getting there.) Among the states with a tax holiday are Florida, New York, and Maryland. No matter where you are in the country, you can also follow these money-saving back-to-school tips. Maybe there’s a trip to the outlets in your future?
And, just an FYI, some states also have tax breaks on things other than back-to-school items.
Use a credit card with a good warranty program. We depend on so many gadgets. And if one of them breaks, it’s costly to replace. CardHub.com has analyzed the pros and cons of the different cards to find the ones with the best programs. Amex and Discover topped the list.
Get health insurance. Planned Parenthood has pulled together an infographic that outlines the benefits for women of the Affordable Care Act. Did you know that half of women put off doctor visits because of the cost? And more than two-thirds of women pay more out-of-pocket expenses than men? Since the law was passed this year, 45 million women have been promised no co-pays for preventative care. And nearly five million women will get tax credits to help pay for insurance.
Save on energy costs. Using energy efficient light bulbs, making sure your air conditioner is in good working order and unplugging appliances that use power even when they’re off. These are just a few of the ways you can save on your energy bill.
Follow these tips and spend less at Target. Because you know you can’t walk out of there on a normal day without spending at least $100. Put the markdown schedule in your calendar!
Become a freegan. The freegan movement has been on the rise for the past few years, but it’s hitting the mainstream these days via Project Runway. One of this season’s designers, Fabio Costa, is a proud freegan. So what is a freegan? A person who cuts down on consumption, environmental impact and cost by dumpster diving, participating in swaps, scouring Craigslist’s free section, squatting and foraging. Learn more on this Freegan website.
Prepare for a move to Niagra Falls. Starting this fall, Niagra Falls, NY will try to attract young professionals with $3,942 (up to $6,984 over two years) for to help pay student loan debt. Recipients have to live in the downtown area and should be in the clear with landlords, mortgage brokers and student loan administrators. Funding for this program will last for two years and subsidize 20 recipients. Who doesn’t want a view of the Falls?