All Articles Tagged "college"

True Life: I Wish I’d Known This When I Graduated College…

May 23rd, 2013 - By MN Editor
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Did you just graduate college or will you graduate soon? Well, listen up love this right here’s for YOU. We spoke to the wise women on our Facebook and Twitter pages to find out what they wish they knew about the “real world’ before they graduated from college. (Some took offense to the term real world; but truth be told, for most college students, college provides an escape from “real world” responsibilities. So we think it’s applicable.) Either way, if you want an accurate picture of what you’re in for, check out some of the wisdom our followers have to share.

Student Loan Debt Impacting Our Economy And Your Personal Life

May 11th, 2013 - By CAP
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As the end of spring dawns and summer approaches, many high school students proudly wear their caps and gowns while crossing the stage with their sights set on college. Hoping for a brighter future it seems almost inevitable to acquire debt to finance your college education. The Chronicle of Higher Education estimates that over 60 percent of the 20 million students who attend college each year borrow money annually to help cover costs.

US student loan debt is now looming at over $1 trillion, and we are forced to evaluate the role student loan debt is playing in our quality of life. A study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that 30-year-olds with student loans are less likely to have debts like home mortgages than 30-year-olds without student loans and the same is true for 25-year-olds and car loans. In addition, Pew Research Center found that the measure of debt to income for households under the age of 35 has ballooned to 1.5-to-1 in 2010 from about 1-to-1 in 2001. Meaning that most people carry more debt than the annual income they bring in.

Student debt is even having an impact on graduates getting married. A survey conducted by the American Institute of CPAs showed that 15 percent of respondents opted to postpone getting married as a result of their student loan debt.

The growing reliance on student loans along with the lagging economy and job market is creating a new breed of thirty-something that bet big on their college education and subsequently don’t have enough cash to make investments in assets that can appreciate in value. To make matters worse there is a debate on Capitol Hill about whether or not the interest rates for government-issued student loans will double this July. The 3.4 percent federal student loan rate is expected to go up to 6.8 percent later this summer. Students and graduates with existing student loans would not be impacted, just those applying for future federal loans. With borrowing rates for banks so low, it’s a wonder why student loans are expected to be issued at a premium.

On the bright side, the President along with members of congress are discussing ideas to keep rates down. However, most of the ideas are based on linking student loan rates to market rates like the treasury rate, which would mean student loans could fluctuate up to as much as 10.5 percent, considerably more than the aforementioned 6.8 percent. Some have even proposed allowing rates to be adjustable for the life of the loan, similar to the adjustable rate mortgages that aided in the financial crisis.

The uncertainty over interest rates and the swelling debt being accumulated by current and prospective graduates is having a direct impact on household spending and an impact on the overall economy. Kevin Carey, the director of Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation, a research group in Washington says it best in The New York Times, “It is a new thing, a big social experiment that we’ve accidentally decided to engage in. Let’s send a whole class of people out into their professional lives with a negative net worth. Not starting at zero, but starting at a minus that is often measured in the tens of thousands of dollars. Those minus signs have psychological impact, I suspect. They might have a dollars-and-cents impact in what you can afford, too.”

Now more than even is it important to teach our high schoolers and prospective college students the importance of finding ways beyond loans to finance education. Students may also want to consider going to state schools or community colleges to keeps costs low, or opting for the less prestigious school offering financial support rather than an Ivy League school that won’t give a dime.

We took a look at what we should be teaching our girls about financial literacy. What should we be doing to manage the student loan crisis we’re falling into?

Higher Education Goes Hi-Tech: Ways Colleges Can Improve Their Digital Connections

April 24th, 2013 - By Liz Burr
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According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 21.6 million students were enrolled in American colleges and universities in 2012. With today’s youth constantly texting, tweeting, Tumblring, posting statuses on Facebook and updating Instagram, among other social networking sites at a rapid pace, schools need to engage with applicants and current students regularly. It’s clear the days of shiny brochures, flashy websites and in-person campus visits are no longer enough to attract high-caliber students.

Colleges and universities should embrace social media as a means to build relationships and create emotional connections with prospective students.

Black Enterprise looks at four ways that colleges and universities can improve their digital game. With this new option, it’s definitely something that higher education is exploring.

9 Degrees That Make The Most Of Your Tuition Money

April 23rd, 2013 - By C. Cleveland
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At the beginning of the year, USA Today asked if college degrees were still worth it in this economy. The sight of fresh graduates moving back in with mommy and daddy or settling into service industry gigs makes it easy to question whether higher education is the smart route to take. Even a law degree isn’t a guarantee of a job these days.

But studies show that a college degree still makes a difference in your career. Jobless rates and wage drops are still higher for workers with only a high school diploma. “Degree inflation,” a trend where employers change minimum job requirements to include degrees for positions that once upon at time only needed a diploma plays a part in this.

A college degree doesn’t get you as much as it once did, but it still gives you an advantage over your less credentialed competition.

So, what degrees give you the highest return on your investment? US News & World Report cross-referenced degree programs with starting salaries to find out. We picked out the common specialty areas from the list and added a few from Forbes’ research here.

A New Report Says The Number of Black Professors Is Increasing Slowly

April 15th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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According to a new study, the number of minority professors is increasing in business schools, allbeit slowly. More African Americans are seeking a higher education, but in front of the classroom, there is a dearth of African- American professors teaching in universities and colleges nationwide.

The number of minority (African-American, Hispanic-American, and Native American) professors at U.S. business schools with a doctoral degree has quadrupled since 1994. The increase can be attributed, at least in part, to the efforts of  The PhD Project, a program aimed at increasing diversity in America’s business management ranks.

Much has changed since The PhD Project began in 1994, the program says. Then, there were only 294 minority professors in business schools across the country with a doctorate, according to Hispanically Speaking News.

Just two years ago the stats were bleak. “Forty-two percent of African Americans who attended a predominantly white university never had a single black professor during four years of college,” found a 2011 study. And, reports Clutch magazine, nearly 74 percent of these students said they had only one black professor in a field outside of African-American studies.

According to The PhD Project website, its mission is “to increase the diversity of corporate America by increasing the diversity of business school faculty.”

For This College Student, Vintage Fashion Pays the Bills

March 4th, 2013 - By C. Cleveland
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Jacque Amadi, college student and owner of Lioness, a vintage e-boutique

Jacque Amadi, college student and owner of Lioness, a vintage e-boutique

College students have been finding innovative ways to make money since the birth of higher education. From waitressing weekends, to setting up salons in dorm rooms, hustling is just as much a part of the college experience as the classes themselves. Current students like University of Kansas senior, Jacque Amadi, are giving that hustler’s spirit a tech upgrade.

A psychology major and business minor, Jacque doesn’t have a resume that screams fashion. She dabbled in fashion blogging, but never thought to pursue it professionally. Her online boutique, Lioness, started as a celebration of her hobbies and interests, one she hoped would ease the financial woes that come with a college education.

“I would sell clothes on eBay whenever I needed money,” says Jacque. “And I love thrifting, even if I don’t keep what I find. With blogging and taking pictures – I loved doing it, but I was broke. So, I wanted to do all these things that I love in a way that could make me money.”

There’s one extra twist. Lioness is a digital time machine where the dial is always set to 1995. Jacque may be too young to remember the top news stories of the decade, but the images she saw as a child made a big impression on her.

“At first I was selling any vintage clothes I found, but then I decided to focus on the 90s because I felt that time period was the best time period for African Americans in terms of our exposure and our reach on television,” Jacque said.

Federal Plus Loans Effect Enrollment of Black College Students

February 26th, 2013 - By madamenoire
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From The Grio

Thousands of students couldn’t afford to go to college this school year because the U.S. Department of Education made changes to a popular loan program.

The agency is putting more scrutiny on the PLUS loan program as part of an effort to more closely align government lending programs with industry standards and decrease default rates.

Read more at TheGrio.com.

Cal State University Program Attracts A Growing Number of African-American Students

February 8th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Seven years ago the California State University decided to make an effort to attract more African-American students. And now it has paid off, reports The Los Angeles Times. “About 17,663 African American students applied for fall 2013, up from 16, 588 in 2012 — a 6% gain,” writes the paper.  According to school officials, African American applicants have risen steadily over the last 10 years, in part due to an outreach initiative dubbed Super Sunday.

Super Sunday, which started in 2006, includes campus presidents and top university officials speaking to African American church congregations. During these visits, officials give out guides listing classes that students should take beginning in the sixth grade to qualify for Cal State. The school even offers mentoring help and tips for applying for financial aid. This year there are visits planned to more than 100 predominantly black churches in Northern, Central and Southern California, which is estimated to reach more than 100,000 churchgoers.

“One of the key things is trying to get students prepared for college, but also the idea is to have students and people who influence students like parents and grandparents join together in a voice that says you can go to college, that is a goal you can reach,” Cal State spokesman Erik Fallis told the Times.

Not only is it paying off for the Cal State system, but for the students as well. Since the launch of Super Sunday, the number of degrees awarded to African Americans has increased by 30 percent. “African American and other underrepresented students still suffer a significant gap in graduation rates, however,” notes the newspaper.

Cal State embarked on this effort because given the “demographic shifts in California, colleges have to work harder to attract African American, Latino and other underrepresented students, especially to such fields as math, engineering, science and technology,” said Cal State L.A. President James M. Rosser, to the Times.

Cal State has also launched similar outreach programs for Latino, Asian and Native American students, veterans, and foster youths.

Super Sunday sounds like an initiative perhaps the HBCUs might want to try.

Don’t Get the Grad School Blues: Enroll For the Right Reasons

January 30th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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At this point in your life, graduate school might look pretty appealing. But not every reason is the right reason to enroll.

Black Enterprise takes a look at four reasons why you shouldn’t go back to school, and why you won’t get your money’s worth if you do.

“You’re unsure of the career path you want to pursue, so you go to  graduate school instead. Hey, you might get lucky and really enjoy your graduate school courses and find your way as a result,” writes Jamie Harrison. But you could end up with a lot of college credits and little else.

If graduate school might be in your future, you ought to make sure you’re in the right frame of mind before you make the commitment of time and money. Click through to read more at BlackEnterprise.com.

The Jobs Situation Is Critical: Do You Need a College Degree to Wait Tables?

January 29th, 2013 - By CAP
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The answer to this question is no. I’d dare to say you don’t need a college degree to wait tables, deliver pizzas, mop floors or answer phones. However, according to CNN and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, college graduates of various backgrounds are finding themselves working all sorts of gigs just to make ends meet.

Underemployment has plagued the US over the past few years and although the unemployment rate is getting better the underemployment rate seems to be getting worse. We hear about the US unemployment rate of around eight percent (for the end of 2012), and don’t highlight the number of underemployed working jobs that in no way relate to what they have studied in college and have racked up debt for.

To put things in perspective, BLS data says about 15 percent or more taxi drivers have a college degree compared to one percent in the 1970s. They have also documented that 1 in 6 bartenders, 1 in 5 telemarketers, and 1 in 4 retail workers have a college degree in their back pocket.

A study released by The Center for College Affordability and Productivity says that about 37 percent of employed U.S. college graduates are working jobs that require no more than a high school diploma. Yes, you read that correctly!

After, going through undergraduate school and/or graduate school we all walk across the stage on commencement day with thoughts of a bright future and a great job. But given this economy, it might take a little longer to get to the higher rungs on that ladder.

We discussed the issue of colleges meeting the needs of an evolved student body and the modern day jobs landscape. Students should also take time to think about the career path they’d like to take and how best to craft an educational experience that will get them there.

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