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Money Magazine: Tuition Insurance and Coronavirus

July 28, 2020
Some college families consider tuition insurance amid the pandemic

Chances are, college is the biggest investment families will ever make next to buying a home. According to College Board, the average cost of a 4-year public university for out-of -state students in $42,970, and $26,590 for in-state students. So it’s no surprise to see the growing interest in tuition insurance amid the pandemic, as college families are looking for ways to protect their investment.

Money Magazine contributor Joanna Nesbit interviewed John Fees, co-founder of GradGuard about how tuition insurance works, what’s covered, and what’s not.

How does tuition insurance work?

GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance reimburses tuition, room and board, and academic fees if a student completes a covered medical withdrawal. Plans also cover mental health conditions – which are on the rise among students – including depression and anxiety. Untimely death of a student or tuition payer may also be covered.

It’s important for students to know there are limitations and exclusions that apply, and plans must be purchased prior to the start of classes.

What isn’t covered by tuition insurance?

GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance is not “drop-out insurance.” As stated in the Money article, student’s can’t simply decided they need to go home. They must be assessed by a licensed medical practitioner and obtain a written recommendation to withdraw. Other exclusions include injuries during amateur sports competitions, participating in a riot, or pursuing in extreme sports such as mountain climbing or bungee jumping.

Pre-existing physical or mental health conditions might be covered. Fees advises that the best thing students with pre-existing conditions should do is to obtain a doctor’s note saying they’re well enough to start college.

Can tuition insurance help protect against uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic?

Epidemics and pandemics are typically excluded from most insurance policies. But until further notice, GradGuard’s plans include coverage if a student becomes ill due to COVID-19. It’s important to be aware that if campuses close, and students are sent home again like they were in the spring, tuition and housing fees would not be reimbursed by tuition insurance.

GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance also does not provide refunds due to fear of being on campus, or if the method of instruction has changed — such as moving in person classes to online.

The bottom line:

Many families may not find the need for tuition insurance, especially if their student’s school provides a generous refund policy or they can afford the cost of an unexpected extra semester in the event the student had to leave school. However, most families find it difficult to afford the extra cost and thus are smart to purchase tuition insurance, and make sure their investment is protected.

Looking to buy tuition insurance? First, ask your school if they offer it. Another easy way to find out is to use GradGuard’s College Search Tool.

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7 Activities For Students While Learning Remotely

June 17, 2020

The rapidly-spreading COVID – 19 outbreak is devastating the world and putting billions of people’s lives at stake. Many educational institutions all over the world are being closed to contain the spread of this virus. 

As Covid-19 demands social distancing, most students are experiencing isolation, away from their schools, colleges, teachers, and classmates. Many student are likely feeling restless while they are at home. Students can take it this as a challenge and engage themselves in activities which can increase their knowledge and boost their personal growth.

So, let’s check out these 7 activities that can help students to make the best of their time during the COVID – 19 outbreak.

Study efficiently at home

During the lockdown, students can focus on their studies at home by revising their old lessons. They can go through the important questions and look for answers. They can also reach out to others for help if needed.

Maintain a routine

Many famous psychologists believe that maintaining a daily routine can help people to maintain good mental health during a crisis. 

Due to the lockdown students are falling out of their routine. As a result, they are having difficulties both physically and mentally. To get out of this situation, students should keep a personal planner to remember upcoming deadlines for projects and exams. They may also schedule a time for important nonacademic activities, such as exercise and video calls with friends

Use modern technology for learning

Students can’t access their school during the lockdown. So, to maintain the standard learning procedure, they may use smartphones or tablets to connect with their teachers/classmates and get enough study materials to learn at home. They can also use online training software on their tablets or phones. Students just need to plug their headphones, concentrate on learning, and forget about anything else for the time being.

Learn a different language

Students could spend their idle time learning a new language during the lockdown period. It will be easier through different apps such as:

  • Duolingo
  • Tandem 
  • Google Translate
  • Language Drops
  • Quizlet
  • Rosetta Stone
  • Memrise
  • Mondly
  • MosaLingua Crea
  • 50Languages
  • HelloTalk

Learning a language is a valuable skill which might create great opportunities for students to grow their career and prepare for life after college.

Work on group projects

Students should join online group studies with their classmates. This way they can improve their knowledge, grow a deep understanding of their lessons, and also be able to reduce the level of anxiety and stress. Students may be able to study in groups and join in constructive discussions via videoconferencing, message boards, and group chats.

Join an online book club

Students may also start an online book club with friends. Via a group video conference call, they may select a few books, choose a story, set a reading time, and discuss the book with friends.

Learn how to cook

Apart from studying, students may learn to cook or start helping their parents to cook. This is a great way to spend time with family and learn something useful. Do not forget, COVID – 19 has negatively affected women in a variety of ways. So, help your mom, sister, and grandma as much as possible. 

Though things are different right now, that doesn’t mean we can’t make accommodations to make things feel normal again. Make use of these tips to get the most out of these strange times.

Author Bio- Patricia Sanders is a financial content writer. She is a regular contributor to debtconsolidationcare.com . She has been praised for her effective financial tips that can be followed easily. Her passion for helping people who are stuck in financial problems has earned her recognition and honor in the industry. Besides writing, she loves to travel and read various books. To get in touch with her (or if you have any questions regarding this article) email her at sanderspatricia29@gmail.com.  

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10 Things Nobody Tells You About Life After College

June 1, 2020

College is all fun and games until you graduate and find out what really happens. Without any doubt, post-graduation life is not as carefree as college. Star-eyed graduates expect their dream jobs to fall in their lap as they set foot into the real world. However, the truth is that the adult-world has more challenges than anyone prepares students for. 

People often advise students on how to survive college and reach the finish line, but how many people tell you the next step after you cross it? 

Here are 10 things no one tells you about life after college:  

  1. Getting Your Dream Job Is Not Easy

Not to scare you, but getting your dream job right out of college is not easy. You are competing against thousands of other applicants who graduated with you and possess the same knowledge and expertise. 

Wanted to work in Fantasy Sports Software Development? There is a high chance that it may not happen for a few years or at all. We recommend you stay adaptive and flexible; get what you can and work for the rest.  

  1. Post-Graduation Depression Is Real

Between all your bills, college loans, and societal pressure, it is very easy to succumb to depression. But you got to trust yourself and hang on. There is so much left out there in the world for you to explore and experience. Don’t give up without righting for what you really want!

  1. It’s Time To Update Your Closet

What do you mean I can’t be in my sweatpants all the time? Time to buy a perfect blazer, and maybe a couple of new button-down shirts as well. You got to look the part to get the part. 

  1. People Will Ask You About Your Job… Pretty Much All The Time

It’s not really the worst thing on the planet, but it will undoubtedly feel like it when you are constantly asked about your job. Your friends and family will ask this question every time you meet, and new people won’t spare you either. 

  1. Hanging Out With Friends Requires Planning And Effort

Seeing your friends frequently is one of the best parts of college, hands down. But once college is over, people scatter to different parts of the globe and hardly see each other. Once all your college friends find jobs and get busy with work, you will need a lot of planning to hang out. 

  1. A Workday Is Longer Than A School Day

Even a jam-packed day at school will seem shorter than a workday. Even a typical day at work can drain you, so be prepared to be exhausted by the end. 

  1. Summer Vacation? What’s That?

Remember your college spring break or summer vacation? Unless you become a teacher, those are almost non-existent after graduation. Consider going on a big trip right after graduation before you start a new job instead. 

  1. College Does Not Teach Anything About Personal Finance

If you are a finance graduate, this may not apply to you, but for others, it’s a different story. The debit/card cycles are never-ending, and you will feel trapped. Be careful about how you spend money!

  1. Brace Yourself For More Parental Expectations

Finishing college means you are an adult, which naturally comes with a lot of family expectations. Prepare yourself for questions regarding work, living space, marriage, etc. 

  1. The Real World Does Not Care About Your GPA

It’s true! No one cares about your GPA in the real world, and it hardly matters when landing the right job. On the other hand, your skills and networking capabilities will take you a long way.

It is ok to be unsure about what to expect after graduation, but we hope these 10 tips gave you some idea. Welcome to the other side!

Bio: Nouman Ali provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing. He occasionally writes articles for Dynamologic Solutions.

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Do Standardized Tests Measure Educational Quality?

May 28, 2020

Standardized tests play a key role in today’s education system. They can take the form of aptitude tests that measure scholastic readiness or achievement tests that measure subject-specific knowledge. But how well do standardized tests measure educational quality?

Arguments in Favor of Standardized Tests

There are various arguments in favor of standardized tests. Here are the main reasons why they are good for measuring educational quality.

Standardized Tests Enable Consistent Assessment

Every teacher grades pupils differently. When college admissions committees only see overall grade point averages, nuances between teachers with higher and lower expectations are lost. So, standardized testing can act as a balancing force. Standardized tests can provide colleges with objective data with which they can compare prospective candidates.

Standardized Tests Prepare Students for College

If students attend high schools that do not offer advanced placement courses or a large number of extracurricular activities, standardized testing can enable students to set themselves apart from their high schools. Tests like the ACT and SAT give students the chance to show they are smart and motivated, so they will not be judged on their high schools when applying for college. And passing some specific standardized tests is required to gain entry to some degree programs. For instance, passing the Law School Admission Test is vital for prospective law school students. As for LSAT dates and deadlines, the test is held four times a year, in February, June, September or October, and December, and the registration deadline is about one month before the test date.

If students are enrolled in highly competitive high schools, standardized testing can also be beneficial. That is because it enables students to show they are intelligent and qualified, even if being in a class of many high-achieving students prevents them from being top of their classes.

Arguments Against Standardized Tests

Opponents of standardized tests typically say the test promotes a teaching-to-the-exam study method, meaning students only learn-and-repeat what is required by the curriculum. The opponents say that undermines students’ abilities to innovate and critically think. They, therefore, believe that standardized tests are not the best way of measuring student performance.

Teaching to the Test

Standardized testing means the main focus is on obtaining high grades. That means teachers feel compelled to teach students solely so that they can pass the tests. And in some schools, teachers spend less time teaching the arts and social sciences because they feel it is more important to prepare students for standardized tests in areas like math and English. That can lead to a less-rounded education for students.

Multiple Choice Tests

Standardized tests consist of multiple-choice questions or open-ended questions, and some feature both. Opponents of standardized tests that only use the multiple-choice format say the tests are too simplistic and do not reflect accurate student intelligence. On the other hand, tests that feature open-ended questions enable students to show their knowledge and apply critical thinking, often through extended responses.

Final Thoughts

Standardized tests are good because they are quantifiable and enable comparisons. But, as noted above, there is a negative side to standardized testing. There are other measures that can show how well schools and students are performing, such as graduation rates, enrollments in advanced placements and other college prep courses, and college remediation rates for recent high school graduates.

So, do standardized tests measure educational quality? Yes, they do. However, if they are used as the sole source of measuring educational quality, they are not wholly reliable. Standardized tests should be just one of many measures that are used to evaluate students’ abilities and their readiness for college or a career.

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5 Perks of Graduating College in the Winter

May 27, 2020
5 Perks of Graduating College in the Winter

Graduating in December means finishing all your classes and requirements mid-school year, and getting your diploma just in time for the holidays. It might not come with wrapping paper and a bow, but it’s a pretty impressive gift. If you’re a winter grad or are thinking about graduating next winter, take a look at this list of perks that can come with finishing college in December.

It can be a money saver.
If you’re graduating early, that’s one less semester’s worth of fees and costs that spring up between classes. Dealing with student loan payments after college is tough, and this can help cut some of those costs you’ll be faced with.

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Helpful Advice When Applying to College

April 29, 2020

The college application process is an exciting time. This is an opportunity for high school students to figure out where they are going to go next. There are a number of hurdles that high school students must cross and one of them is the college application process. There are a few tips that students need to keep in mind as they are applying to college.

Know the Deadlines

This is at the very top of the list when thinking about 10 Tips When Applying to College. It is critical for everyone to remember that college is competitive and schools receive thousands of applications from qualified applicants every year. They are not going to bend the rules just because one person missed the deadline. Make sure to know the deadlines and get all of the materials in on time. Furthermore, when a student misses a deadline, this shows a lack of maturity, preparedness, and time management skills. Know the deadlines and get everything in on time.

Read the Instructions Carefully

Not every college application is going to be the same. There are going to be some differences from school to school. Particularly when it comes to essay prompts, it is important for students to read the instructions carefully. If students submit an essay that doesn’t address the prompt at the top of the page, this is not going to look good for the school. Therefore, every student must read the instructions along with each individual application. While this might sound like a lot of work, it is important to put the best foot forward.

Proofread All Submissions

Students have plenty of time to complete their college applications. Therefore, there is plenty of time to proofread. Spelling and grammar mistakes on college applications exude a sense of carelessness. This does not reflect well on the applicant. It is helpful to get another set of eyes on every essay. Sometimes, it is hard for students to pick up mistakes in their own work. Having someone else read it is a good idea. This way, all spelling and grammar mistakes are caught before they reach the desk of the committee.

Think About Recommendations Carefully

One of the most important parts of every college application is the letters of recommendation section. This is an opportunity for the committee to get to know each applicant on a personal level. Think about who is going to present the applicant in the best light possible. Try to get letters of recommendation from different areas including academics, athletics, and other extracurriculars. Each letter should show a different side of the student. Not much is going to come from three letters that all say the same thing about the student. Try to create a well-rounded picture with the letters of recommendation.

Tips for Applying to College

These are a handful of the most important tips that everyone needs to remember during the college application process. Keeping these tips in mind will set up every student to be successful in the future.

BIO: Brett Clawson has a degree in Business Management and has started a couple of small businesses. When he’s not focusing his time on those, he spends time with his wife and two sons. His oldest son has entered the wonderful realm of college, and he now enjoys sharing tips that he and his son have found essential for college life.

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The Top College Towns of 2020

April 22, 2020

Choosing a college is no small feat. There are a ton of factors that come into play, from academic programs to athletics. One factor that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked is location. The town or city a school is located in can play a big part in both your college experience not to mention your life and work after graduation.

When making our choices, we considered several factors, including student life and culture, available recreational activities, nearby attractions, and availability of high-speed internet and other college necessities. Here are our picks:

1. Gainesville, FL

Gainesville houses the University of Florida, known for its research programs, athletics, and parties. Gainesville was, at one time, one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, thanks in part to its excellent climate, beautiful landscape, and large number of entertainment options. 

When it comes to living in Gainesville, there’s plenty to do, including several state parks and museums to check out, and the Gainesville Raceway is a popular spot. The town also has a growing startup culture, so if building businesses is your thing, you’ll be in good company once you graduate.

2. Berkeley, CA

Located across the Bay from San Francisco, Berkeley has a long reputation as a great place to live. The weather is beautiful, the atmosphere is electric, and creativity and activism are everywhere. The University of California is regularly ranked as one of the best in the country, and the area has a rich history dating back to the late ‘60s and the hippy movement. What more could you want in a college town?

Berkeley also has another major advantage: it’s situated only an hour or so away from Silicon Valley. This makes it an ideal candidate for folks in the tech space, as well as potential founders looking to fund startups.

3. Boulder, CO

Boulder has a reputation as one of the best places to live in the US, with gorgeous surroundings, excellent art and food cultures, and the popular University of Colorado providing a backdrop. Like Berkeley, Boulder has a bit of a hippy past, and between that and the beautiful natural landscape make it an ideal spot for adventurous students and adults alike.

There’s a ton to do in Boulder, especially if you like outdoor activities. The entire area is surrounded by nature preserves, recreational land, and climbable mountains. The city also regularly makes lists of the best places to live in the US, including “Happiest City,” “Brainiest City,” and “Best City to Raise an Outdoor Kid.”

4. Athens, GA

Home of the University of Georgia, Athens rounds out the list of best college towns. Unlike some of the other towns on the list, rent in Athens actually falls below the national average, making it an affordable town both during school and after graduation. Music is a big part of the culture, with several national acts, including R.E.M. and Widespread Panic, coming out of Athens. The University of Georgia is home to the Georgia Bulldogs, and their games are a big part of life in Athens.

One downside to living in Athens is that you may have a harder time finding reliably fast internet here, especially if you’re living in the more outlying areas. If that’s the case for you, there are rural internet options available that might help.

These four college towns have something for almost everyone, whether you’re a football fan itching to get on down to Georgia or a budding software engineer looking to make it big in Silicon Valley. Just don’t forget to squeeze in some studying and secure your college renters insurance upon move in!

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Home Away From Home: Completing a Long Distance Campus Move

April 22, 2020

Long-distance moves are already stressful and exhausting, but when your destination is a college campus with a new dorm, a full class load, and an entirely new social circle, it can feel downright overwhelming. Here are a few tips and suggestions to keep in mind as you prepare to leave the familiar comforts of the well-known behind and launch into the geographically distant academic adventures that lie ahead.

Go Into Things Healthy

It’s a good idea to take some time before your big move to ensure that you’re in tip-top physical, mental, and emotional shape as you go through the rigors of a larger move. A few suggestions for ways to do this include:

  • Getting a checkup.
  • Sleeping well in the days and weeks leading up to the move.
  • Eating healthy food.
  • Exercising.
  • Meditating and/or praying on a daily basis.

If you can pursue health and wellness in the lead up to your move, you’ll be able to weather the drama and chaos much easier.

Pack Smart

When it comes to your move you may think you’re on your own. After all, none of your friends or family are likely coming with you to live on campus. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask friends and family for help

Pull the classic “if you come and help me pack I’ll get everyone pizza at the end of the day” pitch. This turns the event into less work for yourself as well as a fun opportunity for everyone to hang out one last time before you leave.

Plan Your Trip

Before you ever hop in the car or turn the key, make sure to carefully plan out your trip. What route will you take? Do you need to stop along the way to rest? Are you giving yourself plenty of time to get there even if you’re held up by a minor issue like traffic or an extra rest stop visit? Taking the time to plan things out can make everything more peaceful as you go.

Set Your Expectations

When you arrive on campus you’ll likely be exhausted and overwhelmed. That’s why it’s important to set your expectations ahead of time. Try to time your arrival so that you have enough time to unpack and then crash and get some rest. In addition, take time before you arrive on campus to associate yourself with several of the classic college concerns of any student, such as choosing classes, looking for extracurricular activities, nailing down financial aid, and understanding where all of the on-campus sports and exercise equipment is.

In addition, if you’re living in a dorm, associate yourself with some of the wiser considerations when it comes to moving in with a roommate. For instance, make sure to create a roommate agreement, discuss appropriate decor, and define boundaries. Before you do any of that, though, remember to be patient and strive to create a good relationship at your initial meeting.

Making It a Smooth Move

If you take the time to foster your health, inform yourself, recruit help, and plan ahead you’ll be able to make a cross-country college move much easier on your mind, body, and soul. When the big day comes, instead of feeling overwhelmed and scrambling, you’ll feel empowered and ready to embrace the adventure that lies ahead.

Remember that renters insurance and tuition insurance are musts when going away to college! GradGuard offers both so you can have even more peace of mind when going through this transitional time.

BIO: Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture.

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15 College Student Benefits You Might Not Know About

April 20, 2020

College is a unique time in life. When else will you be surrounded by people your own age, and study among people with your same academic interests? It’s the time when you’re existing in that state of not being a kid anymore, but not quite being a grown adult yet either. But did you know that college is also a time when you can get tons of discounts and rewards just for being a student? Businesses and schools have perks for students that a lot of people don’t know about. Here are 15 that are definitely worth checking out:

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What You Need to Know About Applying for College

February 28, 2020

After 12 years of general education, the time has come to join the big leagues. No matter what degree you’re aiming for, going to college can be exciting and frightening at the same. It all starts with you trying to find a reputable college.

If this is your first time applying to college, you might be feeling a little nervous and confused. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Your college experience should always be an exciting experience.

Here’s what you need to know about applying for college.

Research Early On

You don’t have to wait until you graduate high school to look for a college. In fact, it’s recommended that you search during your time in high school. You should spend a majority of your junior year in high school looking for colleges.

Your senior year should primarily focus on learning the admission process. The admission process can vary, so it’s important to research each college and its requirements. This is where college admissions counseling comes in. They’ll help you set up everything and guide you through the process.

Determine Whether You Should Take the SAT or ACT

Once you’ve figured out what college you want to attend, the next thing you need to consider is what test to take. You can either take the SAT or the ACT. Both of these tests are used as an entryway into most colleges and go over the same subjects. The only real difference is how they’re scored. SATs are scored using a scale between 600 to 2400 while the ACTs measure scores by using 1 to 36.

In general, it doesn’t really matter which test is taken as most colleges take both of them. It’s just that some students do better with the SATs than the ACTs and vice versa. It is possible to take both of them. In fact, taking both of these tests can increase the likelihood of you getting accepted.

Be Ready to Face Rejection

If you get rejected by your college, don’t get discouraged. You can always apply again. But don’t sit around waiting for one college to accept you. Just because one college gave you a rejection doesn’t mean all of them will.

Sure, it may be a little heartbreaking to know that after all of the hard work you’ve done, all you received was a rejection letter. However, even the best of the best get rejections too. They could have the perfect grades and credentials, but the college rejected them anyway.

Applying to college is an exciting process, but it can also be very difficult. So, it’s important that you start off on the right foot. These tips aim to help you achieve just that.

BIO: Brett Clawson has a degree in Business Management and has started a couple of small businesses. When he’s not focusing his time on those, he spends time with his wife and two sons. His oldest son has entered the wonderful realm of college, and he now enjoys sharing tips that he and his son have found essential for college life.