A New Way to Finance Education

Phoenix-based Grand Canyon University (GCU) made history when it made a $230 million public offering on the stock market last November. GCU, the first regionally accredited nonprofit college in American history to become a for-profit company, was the most successful IPO in 2008.

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Is there a shortage of financial aid? How to Afford a High Paying Degree

Many are touting that there is a shortage in financial aid ahead, and predicting that there will be few options for many students through 2012.  In a US News article by Kim Clark  she states that, “only about 50 percent of college students are expected to receive free money in 2011 and 2012.” So how can the other 50% afford a college degree?

Finding Free Money

The best strategy for obtaining, “finding” money for college is applying for financial aid and scholarships early, finding schools recruiting in your area, making top grades, saving and cutting expenses. Scholarships are the best source for “free money” and although it may be tough to find the right scholarship, we recommend searching on StudentScholarshipSearch.com to find one that will help you, and joining ScholarshipPoints.com which requires no essay or test scores to qualify*.  But before you go on the hunt for scholarships, there are money saving decisions you should consider from the start, such as: is the cost of the program worth it?

Find a Program That Works for YOU

Finding the right education program is the clearest path towards earning more, but it has to make sense.  The most important feature that should influence your enrollment decision is the program offered – not the price, but the reality is that if you are investing in an education program you should research if and when you will be able to pay back loans and college expenses after graduating. The numbers are out there, all you have to do is a bit of research to find the highest paying degrees and the starting salary in a variety of fields.

Thanks to online schools education options are expanding and more students have access to higher education. Current students fill credits on summer and winter breaks by taking an online class specific to their major, and others are opting for the 100% online route to save on cash and time.  It is no longer just the well known and established online programs at University of Phoenix, DeVry University or Cappella University, many established campus schools such as Boston University and Quinnipiac University offer successful online options too.  Learning online means learning at your own pace, online education, however, is not right for everyone.

Just like a traditional program, online colleges are no walk in the park! You have to commit time to learning and be self motivated, to make the grades, but when financial aid is not available this is a viable path towards successfully getting your degree and starting a career.  Online programs can range in costs, but offer additional savings in travel and parking and the ability to keep a current job. A benefit of working while earning your degree online is tuition reimbursement.  Many employers will compensate an employee for their education efforts by increasing pay, or through tuition assistance and reimbursement programs.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask For Help

If you are having trouble securing scholarships and financial aid in 2011 do not give up on ways to earn your degree. Ask your employer, get in touch with financial aid experts and scholarship foundations. Education is a very valuable asset that can help you achieve personal as well as professional goals.  If you are struggling with a financial situation and have tough financial aid question visit www.financialaidforum.com to find resources, and get answers from financial aid experts.

Top 10 Online School Reviews

Students on computerGetting information through a school is okay, but what potential students really want to know is what other students think. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 online school school reviews from colleges ratings by you, the students.

  1. Western International University
    Overall Grade from Western International University Reviews: A 

    With 17 degree and certificate programs, Western International University Online has a high student referral rate and provides quality education to adults. Degree programs include business, health science, criminal justice, science & engineering, and technology. Students WIU an A+ for the quality of their overall academic experience saying “The majority of the instructors are really on the ball and very proactive with the students and helpful. My questions always get answered in a timely manner.”

    >>Learn more about Western International University

  2. University of Phoenix Online
    Overall Grade from University of Phoenix Reviews: A 

    On CollegeGrader.com 110 Students rated University of Phoenix-Online Campus (use Arizona in state drop-down to find the University Of Phoenix Online-Campus review), for an overall grade of: A. Of those students 87% said they would attend this school if they could start over. While Academics Overall received an A-, the students in this survey rated the Quality of Professors at a B+, 85% said faculty members are Friendly, and similarly 81% said faculty members are Helpful.

    >>Learn more about University of Phoenix

  3. American InterContinental University
    Overall Grade from American InterContinental University Reviews: A- 

    Founded in 1970, American InterContinental University offers a variety of associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees. Available programs include technology, business, media production, criminal justice, design, visual communication, among others. Students rated the faculty among the best aspects of AIU, saying “I have had some of the best professors and they teach the material in a way that is wast to understand but challenging at the same time”.

    >>Learn more about American InterContinental University

  4. Strayer University
    Overall Grade from Strayer University Reviews: A- 

    Strayer University online offers an array of Master’s degree programs such as Education, Health Services Administration, Accounting, Information Systems and Public Administration. The university also offers some bachelor and certificate programs. The academics at Strayer were given an A overall. Here is what one student had to say: “I am a single mom, that works full-time and is a full-time student. I seem to have found the perfect school that is geared towards working adults that want an education that will enhance their qualities and make them more marketable in the workforce.”

    >>Learn more about Strayer University

  5. Walden University
    Overall Grade from Walden University Reviews: A- 

    Like most online schools, Walden University offers a variety of programs, however they are one of only 12 online schools to offer a doctorate degree in education. Out of their 35 degree programs, 17 of these are in the education field- perfect for teachers wanting to get back to school! Students seemed to like the academic quality of Walden most, giving the school an A. One student said, “as an online institution, they are the best”.

    >>Learn more about Walden University

  6. Ashford University
    Overall Grade from Ashford University Reviews: B+ 

    With over 100 different degree programs to choose from, Ashford University provides many options for students looking to obtain a degree. The majority of the programs are for students looking to get their bachelor’s, though there are some Master’s programs as well. Students rated both the faculty and overall academics B+ and said such things as “this school offer everything I want in a online school”.

    >>Learn more about Ashford University

  7. Kaplan University
    Overall Grade from Kaplan University Reviews: B+ 

    Kaplan University Online has nearly 100 degree programs to chose from, ranging from certificate programs to master’s level. Some of the many degree programs include areas of study such as Arts and Sciences, Information Technology, Nursing, Concord Law, Health Sciences, Education, Criminal Justice, Business and Legal Studies. Students gave the university a good overall rating, with the standout rating being overall academics with an A-.

    >>Learn more about Kaplan University

  8. DeVry University
    Overall Grade from DeVry University Reviews: B 

    At DeVry University, the flexibility of online education is one of the biggest draws for new students. DeVry university offers a number of programs at the associate, bachelor and master’s levels. Programs include business, computing and technology, health sciences, education and humanities. The faculty were given an A- and over 75% of students said that teachers were friendly and helpful.

    >>Learn more about DeVry University

  9. Grand Canyon University
    Overall Grade from Grand Canyon University Reviews: B 

    As a regionally accredited school, Grand Canyon University offers courses in the arts, business, education, law, and health sciences. GCU is committed to preparing students to become global citizens, critical thinkers, effective communicators, and responsible leaders. Students have rated aspects of the college with faculty and academics both earning Bs.

    >>Learn more about Grand Canyon University

  10. Capella University
    Overall Grade from Capella University Reviews: B 

    Capella University‘s online degree programs include Certificates, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral programs. Students can find programs in a number of fields including business, criminal justice, education, technology, and health sciences. While the overall rating is a B, the quality of the programs earned a B+ from students.
    >>Learn more about Capella University

Florida Tech raises $59 million

To the theme song from “Rocky” and flashing lights inside Florida Tech’s Clemente Center, President Anthony Catanese announced Saturday that a four-year campaign drive brought in $59.4 million.

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S. Korean Colleges Aim to Prosper in Worldwide Online Education

By Jeffrey R. Young


Photo of South Korean man - S. Korean Colleges Aim to Prosper in Worldwide Online EducationJi Kyu Hynn wanted to take a break from teaching his business class last week, so he signaled a producer to stop a camera. He stood up from a desk in a small studio here and opened a thick, soundproof door that seemed like a space-age airlock.

Mr. Hynn, a professor at Hanyang Cyber University here, said teaching for an online university takes some getting used to, and he’s still adjusting. For one thing, he rarely cracks jokes in his taped lectures, because such quips seem strange in the vacuum of the studio. And he steers clear of references to current events, since the lectures are reused for the next year or two, and such references can make the video lectures feel dated.

Like their professors, South Korea’s 17 online colleges are still adapting to the new realities of teaching at a distance. The country has invested heavily in the virtual universities in the past decade, and much of their facilities and software is state-of-the-art. But observers say some of the online ventures have struggled to find as many students as expected, because the country already has plenty of traditional universities and a culture that reveres face-to-face education.

So Hanyang has begun a new strategy: to look beyond its borders to attract more students from around the globe. The country exports flat-screen TVs and cars, so why not export high-tech education as well?

“Our market will be in Southeast Asia, maybe Africa, maybe the United States,” said Byung Tae Yoo, the university’s vice president. The university has even changed its motto, painted with a world map on a wall of Mr. Yoo’s office: “To the world, for the future.”

The institution already has 12,000 students and offers 15 degree programs, including a master’s degree in business. Tuition is about a third of the price of a traditional university here, and it primarily attracts working adults. So far only a few hundred foreign students are taking classes, most of them Koreans living abroad.

To attract more of a global audience, Hanyang will make some changes. First, it plans to deliver more of its courses in English rather than Korean, the language in which most are now taught. And faculty members are looking to deliver educational material to cellphones.

Hanyang isn’t the only Korean education project hoping to make a splash worldwide. Such ambitions were on display at last week’s “eLearning Week 2010″ conference and trade show here, which drew some 1,000 participants from elementary and secondary schools as well as higher education. The event, organized by four government agencies, drew a sizable number of foreign attendees. Conference sessions were held primarily in English and simultaneously translated into Korean and Chinese.

In a keynote speech, Haeseok Oh, special adviser to the South Korean president for technology issues, said the country is promoting its IT and software sectors as global players, in an effort he dubbed “smart Korea.” That blended with the conference theme of going beyond current learning technology to move to “smart learning.”

Exactly what “smart learning” means was a point of debate throughout the conference, but clearly the country hopes to cash in on it.

“Korea is planning and is trying to make a big inroad into making money off of e-learning,” said Ann K. Brooks, a professor of education at Texas State University who has spent 10 years working in Asia. “They’ve invested an enormous amount in hardware, and they’re really good at it.”

‘It’s Just a Struggle’

Can South Korea become a worldwide hub of “smart learning”? And can Hanyang Cyber University achieve its dream—which officials here state nonchalantly during interviews—of being the best online university in the world?

When I sat down with Se-Yeoung Chun, president of Korea Education & Research Information Service, to ask him about the biggest obstacle to those goals, he was quick to respond: the language barrier in foreign markets. Specifically, English.

“Korean people really hate English. It’s just a struggle. It’s like a demon, you know,” he said with a laugh, as two of his colleagues laughed nervously at his frankness. “We cannot escape from the demon. We must fight with the demon.”

Lately South Koreans have attacked the “demon” with technology, sometimes in ways that can seem over the top.

One example: The army of robots designed to teach English to schoolchildren. The South Korean government has committed almost $100-million to this project. I saw a demonstration earlier in the week, when I toured the Center for Intelligent Robotics, at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology.

They are clearly an engineering achievement. The roughly three-foot-tall robots can maneuver, recognize speech, and display facial gestures as they broadcast audio. But considering how nuanced and personal the best teaching is, the robots leave something to be desired.

Mr. Chun said many South Koreans try other high-tech approaches as well, signing up for teleconference learning with native English speakers in other countries.

The cyber universities have tried to tap into that market, too, offering “practical English” courses. They are making partnerships with foreign online universities, so that students in South Korea can try a course or two in English taught at an affiliate abroad.

Hanyang, for instance, formed a partnership two years ago with eCornell, which offers short online courses in several areas of business and management.

The first couple of hundred students in the program struggled to keep up with the English-language courses at Cornell University, and about half of them dropped out. But since then, Hanyang has worked harder to pick the right students and help them through, said Chris Proulx, chief executive of eCornell, in an e-mail interview. Last year 78 percent of the Hanyang students completed Cornell’s online courses.

Hanyang is in talks with the University of Queensland, in Australia, in an effort to add more such partnership, according to officials at the eLearning Week conference.

Getting the Word Out

But why would students elsewhere in the world turn to a South Korean university for an online course?

The pitch is that institutions in South Korea can offer the best technology and teaching designs, said Yeonwook Im, a professor of technology at Hanyang.

Campus studios here have all the latest teaching equipment, such as large-screen electronic whiteboards that cost about $10,000 each. Most of the courses consist primarily of slickly produced video lectures; the Web interface developed by the university allows students to quickly skip to each major topic of each lecture and includes interactive exercises and online discussion boards.

The teaching model here assumes that students can get to high-speed connections. In South Korea, where the broadband infrastructure is among the best in the world, that’s not a problem. But in developing counties, it’s already proving a challenge, said Ms. Im.

Another challenge is getting the word out to new markets. The initial plan is to reach out to Korean-born students who have migrated to other countries and who already know the Hanyang name. Like many of the online universities in South Korea, Hanyang Cyber is affiliated with a well-known college here, Hanyang University. Their facilities are side by side, and they have the same president, although technically the two institutions are separate, each with its own faculty and administration.

But talking with students at Hanyang University suggests that the cyber version may have its work cut out for it. Several said they would never consider going to an online college, because they felt they’d be distracted by the format and would need traditional classes.

In fact, one of Hanyang Cyber’s most successful strategies to keep students—most of whom are working adults—has been to increase the amount of nonvirtual activities, to help them feel more connected to the institution. The events include informal dinners with professors, optional lectures in a classroom on the campus, even a festival with sports events.

Chan Mo Joo, a senior at Hanyang University, expressed an attitude echoed by his classmates, and perhaps by online students as well. “I prefer to go to a normal school,” he said.

Originally published in: The Chronicle of Higher Education | International.

Cook Up a Hot Culinary Career with Online Schools

Do you have the special touch in the kitchen that makes your friends and family beg for another dinner at your place? Do you bake cakes like nobody else in the neighborhood? Do you fire up a mean grill and create your own recipes that have friends sighing in delight? A career in the culinary arts might be where you hang your chef’s hat!
Online Degree Programs to Unlock Your Pantry
Earning your degree in culinary arts can lead to numerous career paths, all of which have the potential to feed your love of cooking. Many culinary professionals begin with a vocational training program that lasts a minimum of two years. Those who intend to move up into the management side of the culinary world often take business courses that result in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
Work in the industry matters, too. Take every opportunity you have to work in a kitchen, no matter how small your role might seem. The more experience you have behind the whisk, the easier it will be for you to move up the culinary ladder.
Culinary Career Paths Start with Online Schools
What can you do with a culinary career? There are several different possibilities on the menu. Here are just a few that might tempt you:

  • Restaurant Manager
  • Caterer
  • Pastry Chef
  • Baker
  • Personal Chef
  • Executive Chef
  • Saucier

Online degree programs can also lead to other job opportunities, like cooking instructor, prep cook, or baker, or a degree might pave the way for you to own your own restaurant. The job outlook is sweet for those in the culinary business. Though the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job growth of only about 6 percent through 2018, the high rate of turnover in the business means more opportunities for truly dedicated culinary experts. At a median annual salary of $47,210, the income for those in the culinary world can be sweet, too.
Are you ready to turn your cooking skills into a budding career? Online degree programs in culinary arts and hospitality are the door to the kitchen!

How to Get a Scholarship

Almost every college bound student tries to get a scholarship because it provides free money for college that doesn’t have to be paid back unlike student loans. Scholarships are a great way to fund your college education providing you can get one. There are many types of scholarships and while hundreds of thousands of students receive scholarships every year it can be a challenge to get one. There are many types of scholarships and many things you can do to help you get the scholarship you need.

The most common scholarships are merit scholarships, need based scholarships, athletic scholarships, and school based scholarships. Students who excel in academics can get a scholarship on the basis of their overall academic achievement. Students who excel in a sport are sometimes offered a scholarship by a school if the student will play the port on their team. Need based scholarships are given to students who can not otherwise pay for their education. School based scholarships are given to students to attend a specific college or university.

No matter what type of scholarship you are hoping for there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting the university scholarship you want. One of the most important things to remember is to start applying early in the school year. Most scholarship programs have early deadlines so make sure you give yourself plenty of time.

You should start your scholarship search locally because local scholarships are usually less competitive because they are only for students in a small area. Local businesses such as banks, clubs, and civic organization usually offer small scholarships for local students.

Before you fill out scholarship applications read the requirements so you know you are eligible and do not waste your time. You also need to follow the instructions carefully so you fill out the application correctly and make sure it is considered.

Your scholarship application should be neat and presentable. Some scholarships can be applied for online so all you have to do is proof read your application for errors. However, some scholarships require your application to be mailed in so make sure it is neat and packaged nicely.

One of the best resources to help you find the university scholarship you need is your school counselor. They can help you find scholarships you may not know about and give you application tips.

Doing well in school by maintaining a high GPA and being active in school and civic activities are the best way to ensure that you will be eligible for and will receive a college scholarship.  For those needing more information http://www.onlineschoolsrus.com/ is a great source.

The Everest Experience and What It Can Mean For You

Everyone in the world has the potential to become something more. At Everest, we believe that having access to a college education is among the most important things that can help you take more control of your future.

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Full Sail Announces 30th Anniversary Scholarship Fund

Founded in 1979, Full Sail has grown alongside the entertainment industry for the past 30 years. Over that time, our commitment to providing students with the education they need for successful careers in entertainment media has only gotten stronger, and as we celebrate our 30th anniversary, one of the ways we’re building on that commitment is by establishing the Full Sail 30th Anniversary Scholarship Fund.

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