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Weekly Journal

Weekly Journal

News & Views in Higher Education

The Average Student Debt Burden in Each State. An interactive map shows information by state on average student debt of graduating seniors.

Improving the Transfer Process for College Students. Over eighty percent of community college students are seeking a four-year degree, but less than fifteen percent will succeed.

A Do-Over Scholarship. This scholarship is great for students who've lived a little, for if only you could "do it over", you would do things differently. The folks at Uniqo want applicants to write a 250 word essay (submitted online) about a "Do-Over" for their life. And they will award $1500 to the lucky winner (who will be notified on or about September 30, 2016.)

Global Women's Initiative Advancing Aspirations Global Scholarship is awarding $15,000 in scholarship $$$. Deadline August 23. The winner will be announced on November 13, 2015.

Amazon Student Scholarship. The Amazon Student program was created exclusively for college students, offering many benefits, including the opportunity to win scholarships toward tuition and reduce textbook costs. It offers a six month free trial (with the option to cancel at any time), providing free two day shipping on most products, exclusive student giveaways, deals and promotions, and the ability to stream a large library of movies, TV shows, and music. The scholarship offers the chance at $5,000 each in scholarship money and $500 toward textbooks for 50 students.

Jump start higher learning with free online college courses. Many great resources available on the Internet give reference to a range of free courses. You'll be motivated to find yourself learning psychology, mathematics, essay writing and more with these wonderful sites. Check out Open Learn, CourseRA, EdX, Open Culture, Academic Earth and Open Education Database (OEDB) to get started.

Interested in getting academic credit for your work/life experience? Two recent publications from the American Council of Education (Credit for Prior Learning) and Blackboard (The Currency of Higher Education), show alternative options to college credit for older students.

More news on college credit. Competency-based education (CBE), in which credit is awarded on student learning (rather than time spent in a classroom), may streamline the path to a degree for a large number of students, according to a report from the American Enterprise Institute.

Still not sure about online education? The number of students enrolling in online courses continues to increase, according to the Online Learning Consortium. About 5.3 million students took an online course in 2013, the study shows.

If you are over 50 and returning to school, The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Plus 50 initiative is helping community colleges across the nation start or expand programs for students over age 50, helping them complete their degree program and advance career objectives. Plus 50 has provided grants to 138 colleges, helping to implement workforce training programs, accelerated formats and flexible scheduling.

Everybody is downloading applications these days for their smart phone or Ipad. So we thought it would be fun to jot down some notes on some of the best apps for adult students when they return to school.

1. Mind Your Mint. When you go back to school, you will probably be on a budget, and need to find a way to buy all those textbooks while juggling your regular expenses. The free Mint app can manage all your personal finances within one program. Monitor all your accounts (banking, credit cards, investments, loans), and categorize and add transactions. Track spending (increasing savings), set up a budget and get bill reminders. From Intuit, the makers of QuickBooks; for Iphone and IPad.

2. The iHomework app. This application keeps you organized by keeping track of your courses, assignments, readings, and schedules. Can set an alarm to notify of upcoming academic deadlines. Cost: $1. (Features iCloud syncing across your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Mac. Possible glitch when used on multiple devices, read user reviews.)

3. The Notability iPad app. Helpful for note-taking, PDF annotation, and recording. Can add hyperlinks and photos. Latest version 5.61. Available for iPad, iPhone, and Mac. (Users report possible glitch: might crash on some systems.)

4. MyFitnessPal app. The calorie counter features more than 5,000,000 foods, 350 exercises, and a helpful barcode scanner for almost any food brand. Totals daily calories for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (yes, include that snack.) You can add your friends, family, or hubby for group support.

5. MindNode for mind maps. Mind maps are a visual depiction of idea brainstorming, starting with the main idea and moving out from there. This app makes a mind map easy. For Iphone, IPad and Mac.

6. Course Assistant Apps from Wolfram provide added assistance. App up on Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Calculus, Statistics, General Chemistry, Physics, Music Theory, and more. Provides a video tour of each.

More applications abound...be sure to check them out!


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