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5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Taking Your First Online Class
Monday, August 20, 2007
5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Taking Your First Online Class
by: Kris Bickell

Just a few short years ago, the idea of taking a college course through the Internet was something online “techies” considered. Now that people realize how convenience it is to take a class without leaving home, more and more people are taking advantage of using their computer to learn.

But while the technology used for online classes is so simple just about anyone can become an online student, you should ask yourself the following 5 questions first – and save yourself a lot of stress!

1) Do you have the time?
Many people think – mistakenly – that online courses are “easier” than traditional campus classes. But most online classes require regular participation. So, you must have the time to “log on” to your course several times each week, complete the assignments and do your homework, and interact with the other students.

All of this takes time…and, you have to account for the time you would normally have spent in the classroom. If you have the time, you will find taking an online class to be very convenient!

2) Do you have the discipline?
Sure, most online classes don’t require you to be on the computer at a specific time (although some do). So it is up to you to make sure you check in on your class several times each week. With a busy work schedule, sports, hobbies, housework, kids, it’s easy to put your class low on your priority list. And that could mean big trouble when it comes time to get your grade.

It’s not the teacher’s job to remind you to keep up with your work – that’s your responsibility. A simple way to make this work is to create your own schedule, so each week you know exactly when it’s time to “go to class”!

3) Do you have the money?
While there are many free or low-cost online “self help” courses available, college courses almost always cost the same whether you take them on-campus, or online. Colleges have to buy the software, train their faculty, and offer student services after hours – so expecting online courses to be less expensive is not reasonable.

On the other hand, the same financial aid is often available for online classes, just as with campus classes. So, money should not stop any student from furthering their education!

4) Do you have the right technical skills?
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a computer “genius” to take an online class. The technology has become very simple for students and teachers to use, so that students who can “surf the Internet” and use email usually have the necessary technical skills.

Before getting started, the school offering the course should have a sample course, tutorial, or other training to help you determine if there are any skills you need to learn, so you can become a successful online student!

5) Do you have the right computer equipment?
Since most online classes are taught through the Internet, students usually don’t need any special computer equipment. However, most online classes require students to have reliable access to the Internet, an email account (and the knowledge to use it), a word processor (such as Microsoft Word), and antivirus software. Check with your school to see if there are any other requirements.

A high speed internet connection is usually not required, but if instructors use graphics, videos, audio lectures, or other big files, a high speed connection (such as DSL or cable) will help you open the files, and do you work, more efficiently!

Are you ready now to take your first online class? Then it’s time to contact your local college, or search the internet for an online class directory, and see what online courses you can take!

About the author:
Kris Bickell is the owner of Hi-Speed-Internet.com, a helpful site for consumers comparing high speed internet services. For information on high speed DSL, Cable, and Wireless Internet, visit: http://www.Hi-Speed-Internet.com,and sign up for the free email course “5 Simple Ways To Increase Your Computer Speed”. © 2005 Hi-Speed-Internet.com


5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Taking Your First Online Class

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posted by Beebee @ 6:58 PM   0 comments
3 Alternatives For Investing For Your Child’s Higher Education Costs
3 Alternatives For Investing For Your Child’s Higher Education Costs
by: Jay Fran

With higher education tuition increasing at double digit year over year percentages an effective saving plan for your kid’s education is becoming much more important than it has been before. Most families will discover that their future higher education costs will be much more than they have saved for their kid’s education. This leaves many kids to be faced with obtaining financial aid to pay for a portion of their college education. The goal of this article is to explore the pros and cons of 4 common investment options when saving for college. This article will also explore why some of these options are better than other when considering a portion of your kid’s education may be funded by financial aid.

529 College Savings Plan: - A 529 college savings plan is a fairly new investment option for college saving. It allows just about anyone to save for college. There is a long list of benefits of a 529 college savings plan, but perhaps the most important is that your earnings grow tax free if you use it for qualified education expenses. Additionally, the maximum amount you can contribute to a 529 plan can go as high as several hundred thousand dollars depending on your State. In the event you do not use the funds for college, you can still withdrawal your earnings, but you will have to pay taxes and a 10% penalty. The penalty will be waived if your child receives a scholarship, or your child becomes disable or dies.

529 plans can typically be purchased through a broker or mutual fund company, but a disadvantage is that investment choices can sometimes be limited. Since qualifying for financial aid is based on a calculation that considers your kids assets, another big benefit of a 529 college savings plan is that the money in the plan is classified as a parents assets so less that 6% of the value counts against your kid’s financial aid eligibility.

Uniform Gifts to Minors Act/Uniform Transfers to Minors Act

(UGMA/UTA Custodial Account): - The benefit of a UMGA/UTA Custodial Account is that there is no limit on the contribution and it is easy to set up at most financial institutions. However, the limitations far outweigh the benefits. The first limitation of a UMGA/UTA Custodial Account is that these types of accounts offer very little tax advantage. If your child is under 14, only the first $800 of income is tax free, the next $800 is taxed at your child’s tax rate and after that there is no tax benefit at all. The other big limitation is that the account has to be set up in your child’s name. As a result, if your child needs financial aid all of the assets will be reviewed at a 35% rate. Therefore, this type of account is not advisable for those who may need financial aid.

Coverdell Education Savings Account (CESA): - A Coverdell Education Savings Account is very similar to a 529 college savings plan. The main difference is that with a Coverdell Education Savings Account you can only contribute $2000 per child and to qualify your adjusted gross income must be less than $110,000 if single and less than $220,000 if married filing jointly. The account is classified as a parent’s asset so less that 6% of the value counts against your kid’s financial aid eligibility.

In the end, parents should consider planning for college to be a highly important process. The above 3 alternatives can make this process much more easy and financially sound.

Copyright (c) 2005, by Jay Fran. This article may be freely distributed as long as the copyright, author's information and the below active live link is published with the article.

About the author:
http://www.motorcycle-financing-guide.com/directory/directory.php Jay Fran is a successful author and publisher at Motorcycle-Financing-Guide.com, a website that offers a wide selection of online motorcycle lenders providing online application facilities for motorbike - motorcycle loans or motorcycle refinancing.


3 Alternatives For Investing For Your Child’s Higher Education Costs

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