Top Tools And Resources To Navigate The College Experience

Obtaining a higher education provides many personal and professional benefits. The right degree program equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to enter or advance in the field of their choice. A college education also puts students in a better emotional, financial, and social position to accommodate their preferred lifestyles. Unfortunately, the life of a college student (at any age or stage) is time-consuming, expensive, and tedious. 

The Truth About College Life

Whether you talk to a teenage first-year college student or a returning professional, you’ll find they face various daily issues. From keeping up with the costs of college and everyday needs to juggling outside obligations (home, work, and family) and maintaining a grueling study schedule, the problems are all-encompassing and require significant dedication. 

There Is Help

Luckily, tools and resources are available to make the college experience more manageable. Continue reading to learn more. 

Federal Student Aid

College isn’t cheap. However, the government does provide financial assistance to college students with low or no income. The federal student aid website is an essential resource to help lighten your load. You can receive education grants and financial aid to cover the cost of tuition, room, board, and other necessities. The best part is this resource is free to use, and any funds received don’t have to be repaid. 

Scholarship Websites

Another way to lighten your financial burden is to apply for scholarships. These are financial rewards provided to students to further their education. You can receive several hundred or thousand dollars towards tuition and other associated expenses. Similar to grants, scholarships are free money and don’t require repayment. 

Businesses and educational institutions year offer scholarships to new and existing college students. They advertise these offerings on websites and include eligibility criteria, ranging from income and ethnicity to fields of study and areas of interest. 

While some scholarships don’t require you to do anything but sign up to be considered, others may ask you to write an essay, present a portfolio, attend an interview, or perform other tasks to qualify. Checking these sites regularly can enable college students to secure a considerable amount of money for their education. 

Online Courses And Study Guides

Money isn’t the only issue college students encounter. Many students also struggle with taking exams or comprehending complex subjects that ultimately complicate their learning experience. Not to mention, the results of specific exams and tests can dictate whether a student is eligible to enroll in specialized schools, courses, and degree programs. 

Take law school, for instance. Students must pass the LSAT to be accepted into an accredited college. However, these entry exams are complex and can take multiple attempts to accomplish. 

Fortunately, resources like online courses and study guides exist to help students master their studies. College students can take advantage of these opportunities to enhance their understanding of complicated subjects. An LSAT study guide can assist students in creating a schedule, taking practice tests, and identifying strengths and weaknesses to improve their scores. 

Online courses that offer tutoring, workbooks, proven strategies, and other resources to students work the same way.

Personal Villages And Communities

Most college graduates will tell you that they couldn’t have made it as far as they have without the support of their friends, family, and community. They provide financial, emotional, and physical support that enables students to navigate the college experience. Whether it’s mom and dad helping with everyday expenses, your partner watching the children while you attend school, or your friends giving you a shoulder to cry on when things get tough, it can go a long way to giving you the motivation you need to succeed. 

Community members ranging from teachers and city council representatives to religious leaders and small business owners are equally essential in enhancing the assistance you receive from your loved ones. City officials fight for educational resources and develop programs. Religious leaders advocate for students and create scholarship opportunities (while also providing spiritual and emotional guidance). Teachers write recommendations and give advice. Lastly, small businesses give back to the community by volunteering their time, dedicating resources, advertising jobs, and sponsoring college students. 

The college experience is filled with ups and downs. Those that manage to weather the storm ultimately reap the benefits of having a degree. As navigating higher education at any age or stage in life can be complicated, students are encouraged to utilize resources like those listed above to make things more manageable.