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Category: Advice to Students

Thinking About Law School? Rankings Matter

Thinking About Law School? Rankings Matter

Over the next couple of months I think I am going to write a few blog posts on college education in America. This comes certainly from my perspective, but I have been a college educator for over 2 decades now and I have worked closely as a transfer and first-year academic advising fellow (in addition to my teaching duties) for the past 5 years. Therefore, I have given hundreds of presentations to students about what to expect in their undergraduate…

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So You Want to Take Online Courses?

So You Want to Take Online Courses?

Over the past few years I have moved about one half of my pedagogy online. Unlike an in-class experience where I feel like I know what I am doing I am constantly doubting myself about my online teaching. I think I do a pretty good job in-class, but translating that into a good experience for students online is more difficult. In fact, that is the biggest “problem” that faculty who teach online tend to have: how do they translate the…

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My Advice to New College Graduates: Live Like a College Student

My Advice to New College Graduates: Live Like a College Student

The end of the school year is always bittersweet for me. On the one hand, I get to watch several students graduate who I have become close with over the past few years. On the other, my world is much sadder that they are gone. It is also the time when commencement speakers will offer all kinds of advice to upcoming graduates. So consider this my version of a commencement address to my students on personal finance. My Advice to…

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Parents: 10 Things to Consider Before Taking Out PLUS Student Loans

Parents: 10 Things to Consider Before Taking Out PLUS Student Loans

One of the great or perhaps unfortunate things about my commute is that I get to tune in for some full-length NPR programming. I especially love Tom Ashbrook’s show On Point. In fact, he seems to be inspiring a lot of blog posts lately. Anyway, I was listening to a recent segment on a growing segment of student loans that is becoming more worrisome. Specifically, parents who are taking out loans to pay for their children’s higher education. I won’t…

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Track Your Finances With Personal Capital

Track Your Finances With Personal Capital

Before I begin this post I should note that I use Personal Capital to track my expenses, but I am not affiliated with the company. I get no money or anything for promoting their services (although I wish I did). One of the things that can improve any financial situation is tracking your finances. I actually track some of my finances with three different services. Specifically, I use Credit Karma, Mint, and Personal Capital. I like Credit Karma because it…

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Being Normal Financially Sucks or Take a Different Financial Pledge

Being Normal Financially Sucks or Take a Different Financial Pledge

There are many things where I want it to be “normal.” I want to be a “normal” weight, which means I have to lose a few pounds (well more like 50). I want to have a “normal” family, which means having children. I want to own a home, which is normal. I want to go on a family vacation to Disney World, etc. However, when it comes to finances being a normal American for lack of a better word SUCKS!…

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Greetings From South Africa

Greetings From South Africa

Well, we are into the 2nd full-day of our trip. Technically, we have been on this study tour for four days, but the first two days were basically traveling and flying into South Africa.  A colleague of mine and I are leading a group of 12 students on a study tour of South Africa, where we are interesting in questions concerning how South Africa has dealt with its past, while trying to build and sustain a democracy. We call the…

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We Need to Talk to People About Student Loans

We Need to Talk to People About Student Loans

I have spent a good deal of time on this blog talking about our own struggle with student loans. I have talked about how I was an idiot for taking out the loans I did because I had my schooling paid for. I did it to finance my lifestyle instead of living bare bones like I should have. Because of that decision I am now paying for it. Next month will be my 10 year anniversary of paying back my…

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Rethinking the Idea of Work

Rethinking the Idea of Work

If you are like me you have been disturbed by the politics of the past week, if not the past year. The Brexit vote, the drumbeat of declinism in the United States, the resurgence of xenophobia in France, Austria, the Netherlands, the UK, the U.S., and other places, and the constant threat of terrorism from groups like ISIS, make it seem like the world is coming apart. I wholeheartedly reject that idea. However, the values that I hold dear: diversity,…

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Advice to New College Graduates

Advice to New College Graduates

Yesterday I attended our commencement ceremonies. I was fortunate to be one of the commencement readers and got to say the names of my students as they walked across the stage. The end of the semester and commencement are always very sad times for me. Not only because I will miss the students in my classes, but it is the realization that I may never see many of my favorite people again. After four to five years of getting to…

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