college

How to Transform Your Home into a Work Study Area

Working from home is hardly a new phenomenon, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it an unplanned requirement for many offices and universities alike. 

One of the first orders of business: setting up a work-from-home space that’s as functional and comfortable as possible. 

Since we’re trying to avoid going out to stores, you’ll ideally want to create this makeshift workstation using things you have around your house. The good news: You likely already have everything you need, as long as you get creative.

Follow these tips to create a home workspace that’ll make you happier and more productive.

1. Designate a Specific Study Area

One of the keys to successfully working at home (whether professionally or academically) – aside from self-discipline and a strong Wi-Fi connection – is having a comfortable, convenient workspace. And no, the couch doesn’t count! 

Working from home, it’s easy to get distracted by clutter, home responsibilities, pets, children and more. When creating your workspace, consider what type of environment you work best in. Do you need total privacy? Background noise? It’s a good idea to define what kind of things may distract you, so you can eliminate them. 

  • If available, choose a separate room for your workspace, with good lighting and easy access. Then you can close the door to keep your work in and family, friends, and pets out.
  • Pick a room or other space where you can minimize distractions, far away from the kitchen, laundry room, and television noises.
  • Select a workspace that is large enough to complete your work. Working from two or three separate areas of the home is far less productive than working from one designated area.

Studies have demonstrated that noisy classrooms can be detrimental to student focus, engagement, memory, and overall learning. The same applies to noisy working spaces at home. The quieter the space, the better optimized it is for learning. If you’re sharing a space, a pair of noise-canceling headphones will help block out distractions and keep you in the zone. 

2. Plan Your Workspace

If you take the time to plan your workspace in advance of actually setting it up, you will maximize your chance of putting together the most productive, functional, and visually appealing workspace at the lowest cost. 

There are five study room essentials you’ll need to work well from home:

  1. Access to natural light
  2. A comfortable temperature
  3. Good air quality
  4. Comfortable furniture
  5. Strategy for minimizing distractions

It doesn’t matter if you are sitting at a proper office desk or your makeshift office in the corner of your living room – how you sit and position your computer is important.

Ergonomics, the study of the correct positioning of your body while at rest or work, plays an important role in ensuring comfort and maintaining good physical health long term. When setting up your home workspace, you’ll want to make sure that it is ergonomically correct.

Your space needs a desk or table that is at work height. You’ll know your work surface is at the correct height if, when you sit up straight, your forearms are parallel to the ground and your wrist is not bent up or down when you type or use the mouse.

Use the ergotron workspace planner to help you set up your workspace. This tool will tell you exactly where to keep your monitor, keyboard, chair and desk based on your height.

3. Get Connected

Make sure your workspace is conveniently located near a power outlet. 

If you’re going to be doing a lot of video calls, test out a mock call in your new workspace to see how it looks. A plain wall that isn’t too distracting is a good backdrop, and proper lighting will make the video quality better. While you’re at it, test out the WiFi signal in that area of the house to make sure it is strong.

You’ll be doing a lot of charging throughout the day – phones, laptops, iPads, headphones, and every other device you own. Keep things organized and avoid overwhelming all of your outlets and floor space by getting a work-only power strip. It makes it easier to keep all your tech organized, charged, and close by.

4. Get Organized

Make sure you have all the materials you need for working or studying close at hand, so you don’t waste time fumbling around for your textbooks or ruler. Keep classic school supplies like pens or pencils, erasers, paper, notecards, highlighters, and so on in assigned areas on the desk or in a drawer.

Stocking Your Space with Supplies

Here are four essentials to keep close by in your study space:

  1. Traditional Calculator
  2. Pocket Dictionary
  3. Thesaurus
  4. Notepads

Even though your phone can probably do all four using your phone, it’s an open invitation to distraction by the million other things you can do on it.

Make use of the desk drawers to keep things you need close by but not spread out all over the desktop. If you don’t have enough (or any) drawers, use boxes, small crates, etc. that you can stack on or below the desktop of your study area. You can also organize assignments and notes by using bulletin boards, cork tiles, and wall calendars.

Too much clutter around your desk can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. It’s a good idea to take short breaks throughout the day anyway, so when you do, take a moment to tidy up your workspace before resuming. Keep only what you need at that time in front of you; A cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind.

5. Make Your Space Comfortable

Turn your work area into a place you love. Invest in a supportive, ergonomically correct chair and position your computer to eye-level. Consider a desk that is a proper height and provides ample space for your computer, keyboard, monitors, etc. Don’t have a lot of room? That’s ok – here’s 21 Desk Ideas Perfect for Small Spaces.

The most effective learning spaces are those that are well-lit. Natural light and other sources of blue light are shown to increase productivity, alertness, and focus. 

To reduce eyestrain, you’ll want to set up sufficient lighting in your workspace. Choosing a sunny spot near a window helps. If you need to supplement overhead lighting, consider borrowing a floor lamp or table lamp from another room to create a well-lit desk.

Other options include: brightening your space with greenery, hanging a favorite piece of art, setting up speakers, or bringing in a fan or small space heater. Your work area sets the mood for getting things done, so you want to make it a comfortable, inspiring space. Looking for more ideas? Check out this blog post on How to Create a Great Study Space.

Here’s a tip: DON’T work from your bed or couch.

You want to be comfortable, but not so comfortable that you lose focus or fall asleep. It may sound cozy, but if at all possible, it’s best to avoid working in your bed. Otherwise, you’ll begin to associate your bed with work and may have trouble falling asleep at night.

Due to the lack of structure when working from home, it’s easy for work life and home life to start overlapping – and that’s one thing you want to avoid as much as possible. Even in a small home, try to create a workspace that’s separate from your relaxation zone to create some mental distance. 

In a time where it’s easy to lose motivation, connection and certainty, look to ways to bring joy into the home. Using creativity to brighten your space, interacting with others virtually and maintaining positive energy can have a lasting impact. A friendly smile is just as encouraging on your screen as it is in your office hallway or classroom. 

Be sure to connect with us @ecampusdotcom on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook for more resources, tips, and some great giveaways! And when it’s time for textbooks, eCampus.com has you covered for all your course material needs at savings up to 90%! 

Top Tips for Writing College Essays

College essays are probably the most common and demanding assignments you’ll receive in higher education. Instructors use them as daily tasks, final projects, and a chance to hone valuable written skills. Some essays are simple, others are complex and nightmarish. Whatever the case, when you know what to do, the concept of the essay is a lot harder than writing the essay itself.

But if essays could become a part of your daily routine, you should know what your professors are looking for. You might have written essays in high school, but with higher education, comes higher standards. So, how do you write a college essay? Read on for some tips and tricks on the expectations of writing essays that can help you ace your assignment!

Essay Structure

While the criteria each instructor has in mind is different, the structure of the essays are the same. You might recognize these elements from high school essay writing, and that’s because things don’t change much. For the most part, what you learned in high school still holds true in college. The key components of an essay we were taught in middle and high school – the introduction, the body, and the conclusion – are still major parts of the essay structure. There are, however, a few additions made in higher learning. 

The Introduction: Prompt and Personal Statement

The introduction paragraph consists of two parts: the topic sentence and the thesis statement.

Your topic sentence is what your essay is about.

Topic sentences tend to be attention grabbing to spur the reader to continue reading, using wit, humor, and other appeals to engage the reader. The goal is to catch your reader’s attention and inform them of your topic.

Your thesis statement is what you’re arguing.

Your thesis should show a clear bias to let your readers know where you stand on the subject and must be something you can argue. The thesis statement is the most important part of your essay. This will be what you’re trying to prove – the very reason you’re writing the essay. The thesis statement can be followed by your main points (the topics of your body paragraphs) but this is not required. They are usually listed within or after the thesis statement, often presented as “this is my thesis and here’s what I’m going to talk about to prove it.”

The Body

Your body paragraphs lay out your argument.

Your points and supporting evidence will make up these paragraphs, backing your argument in a coherent way. You should have three or more body paragraphs, each covering a different point you identified in your introduction statement.

Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence.

You want to introduce the reader to your topic before diving into an explanation, and you want a smooth transition between paragraphs. Topic sentences in body paragraphs should prepare the reader for the explanation.

Each body paragraph should have an explanation.

You must tell the reader why this topic supports your argument by providing supporting details and evidence.

Each body paragraph only needs 1-2 well developed pieces of evidence.

This evidence will be the “how” to your “why.” In your explanation, you describe how your argument is valid, so your evidence is there to provide an example. You can have more than two pieces of evidence, but too many makes it more about the evidence than your opinion. You should be supported by your evidence, not supporting your evidence.

Each paragraph should be at least 4 sentences long.

Any less than four sentences leaves no room to prove your point, and can lack depth to support your argument. However, too many sentences can be long-winded and hard to read. You don’t want to bore your reader or leave them lost in the endless sentences. Try to be aware of your paragraph length and don’t ramble.

The Counter Argument

The counter argument acknowledges the other side of the argument. Here, you acknowledge who you are arguing against and why they might have the opposing opinion. The rebuttal is the part of the counter argument in which you explain why the opposition is wrong and you are, in fact, right.

The Conclusion

The conclusion should restate your thesis and summarize your argument. Use the conclusion as an opportunity to complete your thoughts, restate any supporting evidence you feel is worthy of review, and offer a strong final statement.

The Annotated Bibliography

In just about all of your college essays you’ll have to cite your sources. However, some essays require an annotated bibliography. The annotated bibliography is a bibliography that requires a summary of each source. This gives your reader a better understanding of your supporting evidence by giving them an idea of what the source is about. It also works as a deterrent to using sources you don’t quite understand, or those that have little to do with the subject.

You might find useful sources and already written annotated bibliographies on your school’s library database. This can make supporting your argument and writing your bibliography much easier. For sources that don’t have annotated bibs, you’ll probably have to write your own. Some professors require you to write your annotated bibs in your own words, in which case, a how-to could be helpful. 

Annotated bibliographies are usually used for research essays. While you might be required to produce an annotated bib for a research paper, if you’re writing an argumentative essay or another essay that doesn’t rely too heavily on support, using an annotated bib isn’t necessary unless it is explicitly stated that it.

Planning

Set aside time.

Do not try to write your essay the night it’s due. Professors usually set essays to be turned in by 11:59pm on whatever day they’ve chosen. You don’t want to be scrambling at 11pm because you haven’t started yet. Procrastination is a bad habit that you’ll want to break for the sake of your grade.

Carefully read your assignment.

Before you begin planning you must know what your assignment is so that you can make choices and set goals. You don’t want to misunderstand the instructions, so carefully reading the assignment will ensure you start on the right track. Within the instructions you can find the word count, the prompt and options, and the due date.

Read the rubric.

If your instructor provides you with a rubric, become familiar with it. Rubrics are like cheat sheets on how to ace an assignment, telling you what your instructor is looking for and how to achieve it, so you only stand to gain by reading it.

Choose your prompt, topic, and/or position.

Your prompt, topic, and position you will make or break your essay. You want to write about something you know, or something you can confidently argue and support.

Start with an outline.

Outlining your essay before writing your first draft can provide much needed structure, organizing thoughts and ideas. Outlining makes it easier to know what you want to say and where you want to go, rather than trying to go on as you write. In your outline, you can address requirements like your thesis, paragraph topics, and evidence to be incorporated in your essay. Skip this step and you could find your sentences incoherent and unorderly. 

Find sources, or use the resources provided to you.

Finding sources to support your argument coincides with outlining. When you’ve decided what your main points will be, collecting sources, quotes, and data you intend to use basically eliminates half of your work. This will allow you to keep your supporting evidence on hand rather than searching for something that works in the middle of a draft. You’ll also have an idea of what arguments will and will not work, so you can change your points early on rather than when you’re halfway done with the assignment.

Writing

Follow the essay structure.

Use the tools given to you and ensure that if a particular structure has been requested, you follow the guidelines. 

Be clear and concise.

Do not write vague and unfinished thoughts, and do not ramble, leaving a run-on sentence in your wake. You want to elaborate on what you are saying, but it doesn’t have to come at the cost of the reader’s attention.

Do not turn in your first draft.

While you might think your first draft is a winner, you shouldn’t use it as your final draft. You’ll want to give yourself time to review and potentially rewrite parts of your essay to maximize the efficiency and clarity of your argument. Not only that, but some professors require both a first and final draft to be turned in. They expect to see the development of an argument and changes made in peer review or in the wake of new information.

Final Steps

Proofread.

Look over your essay once more to make sure it’s clear, informative, and persuasive. Proof reading is like a wall. Paint a wall and you’ll notice all of the scrapes and cracks. Change your font and you’ll see mistakes you didn’t before, if there are any to be revealed. Double-check your formatting. 

MLA Format.

Professors tend to take formatting seriously, and one’s ability to follow such simple guidelines is important. In many instances, points will be deducted for incorrect formatting. This also carries over to citing sources, as your bibliography is expected to abide by MLA citation rules.

Basic MLA formatting follows these rules:

  • 12 pt. Font
  • Times New Roman
  • Double Spaced (The one good thing to come out of a page count
  • 1-Inch Margins

TIP: Want to know more about MLA formatting? Check out Purdue University’s guide, “MLA General Format.”

Submit your final draft.

Once you have finished writing and reviewing your final draft, submit it to your instructor.

College essays get easier with time and experience. Building up your skills and following this guide will make you a pro in no time! 

Be sure to connect with us @ecampusdotcom on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook for more resources, tips, and some great giveaways! And when it’s time for textbooks, eCampus.com has you covered for all your course material needs at savings up to 90%!

Works Cited

How to Prevent and Resolve Roommate Conflicts

Conflict happens. At some point or another, it’s going to happen with you and your roommate. The question is, how will you deal with conflict when it inevitably arrives?

Many conflicts can be resolved easily with mature and respectful conversation between roommates. Other conflicts may be more difficult to resolve and may require assistance through a formal mediation process. In extreme cases, conflicts may not be able to be resolved, resulting in a room change for one or both roommates.

Maintaining a harmonious roommate relationship requires courtesy, mutual respect, lots of communication and an acceptance of others’ differences.

There are two things you need to know when dealing with roommate conflicts. First, how to prevent them. Second, how to peacefully reach a resolution.

How to Prevent Conflict

1. Know the 10 Most Common Triggers for Roommate Problems

  • Money (rent – who’s not paying on time?)
  • Allocation of shared spaces
  • 3rd wheel syndrome (someone’s girlfriend/boyfriend is always around)
  • Messiness / cleanliness
  • Sharing items (food)
  • Study habits and sleeping patterns
  • Noise levels (especially during sleep and study times)
  • Lifestyle differences (cigarette, drug and alcohol habits)
  • Socializing 
  • Values / morals

Before you agree to be roommates, have a conversation about how conflict will be handled if it ever does arise. Talk about how you like to be approached about issues. Be thorough, don’t gloss over a potential issue.

2. Sign a Roommate Agreement

Everyone has quirks: things that you like, things you can’t stand, etc. But when you’re living in a small room and have little personal space, little issues can cause big-time conflict.

Set boundaries early in your roommate relationship – be clear and specific about what will or won’t be allowed in your room or shared space. Write down the rules and make sure each person has equal input. 

Make a plan for who pays and does what/when. Make a plan for things like: how the utilities will be paid, if you’ll share food, and how the apartment will be cleaned. When there’s a problem, look back to this for the terms both you and the other person signed and agreed to in the beginning.

You may think you don’t need a roommate agreement if you’ve decided to live with a friend or someone you already know. It may not be obvious right away that you need one, but after a few weeks – you may start seeing your differences and how they affect each other. 

When you start by talking about your behaviors and preferences, you’ll understand each other better and are more likely to avoid disagreements. Check out this roommate agreement contract template to get an idea of what to include. 

3. Be a Good Roommate

All relationships are two-way streets. When you do run into a conflict with your roommate, be respectful. Take the high road. If not the high road of understanding, then do the basics of building a good partnership.

Ways to be a considerate roommate include:

  • Communicate (without emotion if you can)
  • Establish boundaries (and re-establish them if needed)
  • Respect boundaries
  • Be polite and considerate
  • Be flexible (adapt, compromise)
  • Clean up after yourself 
  • Don’t borrow; but if you do, return the loan in a timely fashion

If you did something that was not thoughtful or considerate, apologize. Taking ownership for wrong actions is often the best way to prevent more conflict.

4. Keep Communication Open

You shouldn’t have to live ignoring your problems and believing that there’s nothing you can do about what’s going on. Finding solutions and brainstorming options can be a great learning experience and lead to stronger relationships in the end.

It is normal to have tension and conflict with another person when you live so closely. But before you make up your mind that you are the one who has been wronged, ask some questions. Reach out to the other with a desire to understand where they are coming from. That doesn’t mean you have to agree, but it does mean you need to keep an open mind that if two people are living in a space there is potential that there could be two sides of the story.

Most roommate conflicts are the result of miscommunication or, in some cases, a total lack of communication. If you can communicate effectively, it will be much easier to develop a comfortable living environment for yourself and your roommates.

How to Resolve Conflict : Confrontation Tips

1. Listen to Their Concerns

Know the difference between just hearing and really listening. For example, while your roommate is expressing his/her concerns about your habit of leaving papers all over the place, are you simply waiting for your turn to defend yourself, or listening? 

Use the LARA method to communicate.

  • L stands for Listen. In this stage of LARA, active listening needs to be practiced, by maintaining eye contact, nodding your head, and showing that you are listening.
  • A stands for Affirm or Acknowledge. Much like active listening, this stage requires saying something affirming like “I can understand why it’s difficult for you to talk about this and why it is so important to you.”  Acknowledge the feelings and needs behind what is being said.
  • R stands for Respond. This is when you can respond to what was said – address the interests and needs that your roommate brought up. 
  • A stands for Add. This is when you can provide additional information or options about solutions.

2. Communication is Key

Sometimes the best way to solve the issue is to have a conversation about what’s bothering you. You should let your roommate know what action bothered you and why. This way, they are aware of what they should and shouldn’t do while living with you. Communication can be extremely effective in most situations and helps to build the relationship with your roommates. 

Try to avoid a “me versus them” mentality. Resolving roommate conflicts should be both roommates working together to fix a problem; problems will often get worse if one roommate lays all of the blame on the other.

When addressing the issue:

  • Approach your roommate in private 
  • Make sure that your roommate has time to talk. If someone in the conversation feels rushed the effectiveness of the conversation may lose its value. 
  • Be direct. Address behavioral issues rather than personality issues. This will help to make your roommate feel less defensive.
  • Be patient. Hear your roommate’s point of view.
  • Make sure that each person gets a chance to express what they feel the problem is.

3. Use “I” Statements

Statements that begin with “I”, “From my perspective”, or “The way I see it…” make it clear that you are speaking for yourself. “I” statements focus on your experience, thoughts, feelings, reactions and decisions and not on any beliefs or judgments you may have made about the other person.

Sentences that begin with “You”, such as “you always” or  “you are” make broad, inaccurate generalizations about the other person and often lead to the other person feeling blamed and judged.

If you are using “I” statements it becomes difficult to make accusatory assumptions about the other person’s intentions or behaviour. “I felt intimidated by your response” has quite a different impact than “You are aggressive with me.”

4. Compromise

Living with other people requires some compromise. Compromise means you get some and you give some. You can’t control everything about your space like at home. You are living with other people. Be prepared to compromise.

Tell your roommates you prefer to keep the room cold at night. Then ask what they prefer. If they like it warm, you will have to come up with a compromise. Be willing to meet somewhere in the middle.

5. Bring in a Mediator

After exhausting your other options, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you live in a dorm, visit your RA. It’s their job to help you handle conflicts. Talk to them about the issues you’ve been having with your roommate and set up a time where they can sit down with you and help mediate a conversation about issues. A third-party influence can make a huge difference in working through problems.

Outside of a dorm or college living situation, a friend can mediate the conversation for you. Mediation can take a while to resolve issues as you work through everything, but it’s better than endless arguing with your roommate. This mediator will act as an unbiased third party, making sure that the conversation doesn’t go off topic and that everyone stays calm. During mediation, you have to respect everyone involved in the conversation and really listen to the questions and answers. This way, you can reach an agreement and solve the underlying conflict.

As adults, we all have the capacity to co-exist with others who are different than ourselves. Getting to know a college roommate and figuring out how to live together can be one of college’s great learning experiences. When the relationship is successful, roommates can build a friendship or establish a contact that will last a lifetime. 

Even if you realize you’ll never be good friends with your roommate, using these tips to avoid conflict will help maintain an enjoyable, productive atmosphere in your college dorm or apartment. 

Be sure to connect with us, @ecampusdotcom on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook for more resources, tips, and some great giveaways! And when it’s time for textbooks, eCampus.com has you covered for all your course material needs at savings up to 90%!

References:

  1. https://reslife.net/ra/resolving-roommate-conflicts/
  2. https://www.seguetocollege.com/home/how-to-prevent-roommate-conflict
  3. https://studybreaks.com/college/roommate-conflicts/
  4. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/resolving-conflicts-with-your-college-roommate-1986790
  5. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/college-roommates_b_941984

Most Popular College Majors

When it comes to college majors, a student has many, many options. There are thousands of individual majors out there, and with all those choices it’s hard to know where to go. So how do you choose? Well, it could be that students are following their passions; however, practicality and demand are definitely factors in choosing a major. So which majors do students prefer? Here is a list of the most popular college majors and fields of study.

Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice is the study of criminology–crime and criminals. Criminal justice majors learn about criminological theory, criminal psychology, and the criminal justice system. Some Criminal Justice topics included in this major are Public Safety and Law Enforcement, Corrections, and Social Work.

Average Salary in Criminal Justice: $29/Hour, $59.8K/Year

Popular Careers in Criminal Justice:

  • Lawyer
  • Forensic Science Technician
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Corrections

Best Colleges for Criminal Justice:

  1. CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  2. Liberty University
  3. University of California – Irvine
  4. Florida State University
  5. Northeastern University

Anthropology and Sociology

Anthropology is the study of human beings and our development of society and culture. Anthropology majors focus on the histories of our societies and the roots of our cultural traditions and functions. Degree topics include Archaeology, Social/Cultural Anthropology, Biological/Physical Anthropology, and Linguistic Anthropology.

Average Anthropology Major Salary: $31/Hour, $63.7K/Year

Popular Careers in Anthropology:

  • Attorney
  • Diversity Officer
  • Foreign Language Teacher
  • Foreign Science Officer
  • Human Resources Representative

Sociology is the study of our social lives as humans. They seek to understand the impact the social world has on our behavior and the impact our behavior has on the social world, considering and investigating problems and circumstances in our social world. Sociologists can study health, marriage, sexuality, education, social inequalities, and much more.

Average Salary for Sociology Majors: $40.10/Hour, $83.4K/Year

Popular Careers in Sociology:

  • Education
  • Social Work
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Business
  • Politics / Public Relations

Best Colleges for Anthropology and Sociology:

  • Yale University
  • Harvard University
  • Columbia University
  • The University of Pennsylvania
  • Pomona College

Finance & Accounting

Finance & Accounting majors focus on financial planning, investment decisions, financial reporting, and more. Finance & Accounting majors will learn about different parts of the financial world, like predicting future financial performance. Fields include Sports Accounting, Forensic Accounting, Corporate Finance, Personal Financial Planning, and Auditing Information Technology

Average Salary in Finance & Accounting: $24.18/Hour, $63.9K/Year

Popular Careers in Finance & Accounting:

  • Accounting
  • Finance Analysis
  • Investment Management
  • Investment Banking
  • Business

Best Colleges for Finance & Accounting:

  1. University of Pennsylvania
  2. Georgetown University
  3. University of Notre Dame
  4. Washington University in St. Louis
  5. Boston College

Communications

Communications majors study techniques and methods of best communicating information. These majors learn how to research and interpret information, using what they’ve learned to communicate said information most effectively. Communications majors might go into Interpersonal Communication, Film Studies, or Strategic Communication, to name a few.

Average Salary in Communications: $30/Hour, $62.4K/Year

Popular Careers in Communications:

  • Journalism
  • Marketing & Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Digital Broadcasting
  • Customer Service

Best Colleges for Communications:

  1. Northwestern University
  2. University of Southern California
  3. Stanford University
  4. University of Pennsylvania
  5. Pomona College

Education

Education majors study teaching, in theory and practice. Education majors learn to help their students understand their chosen subjects through techniques and engagement. Education majors can go on to teach K-12, vocational training, foreign language, and so on.

Average Salary in Education: $17.11/Hour, $52.5K/Year (with a Bachelor in Education)

Popular Careers in Education:

  • High School Teacher
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • College Education Administration
  • Teacher’s Assistant
  • Vocation Education Teacher

Best Colleges for Education:

  1. Vanderbilt University
  2. Brown University
  3. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  4. Boston College
  5. Brigham Young University

Engineering

Engineering majors focus on how things work, and how to make them work better. This major studies real-world problem solving and the improvement of our world. Engineering is another extensive field, with interesting options like Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Engineering

Average Salary in Engineering: $42.01/Hour, $87.4K/Year

Popular Careers in Engineering:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Engineering

Best Colleges for Engineering:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  2. Stanford University
  3. California Institute of Technology
  4. Rice University
  5. Princeton University

Biology

Biology is the scientific study of living organisms, like you and I. These majors seek to understand how these organisms function, what their role is, and what characteristics they have. Biology majors who are more interested in animals can study specifications include Zoology (the study of animal life), Botany (the study of plant life), Marine Biology (the study of marine life, and Ecology (environmental studies). 

Average Salary in Biology: $32/Hour, $65.9K/Year

Popular Careers in Biology:

  • Microbiology
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Healthcare
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Biology Teacher / Professor

Top Colleges for Biology:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Stanford University
  3. Yale University
  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  5. Duke University

Psychology

Psychology majors study human behavior and the inner working of the mind. These majors strive to understand why people think and behave the way they do, and how internal and external factors affect this. The field of psychology is broad, giving these majors plenty of options, like clinical psychology, child and family psychology, and counseling.

Average Salary in Psychology: $19.6/Hour, $40.8K/Year

Popular Careers in Psychology:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology Technician

Best Colleges for Psychology:

  1. Stanford University
  2. Yale University
  3. Harvard University
  4. Vanderbilt University
  5. Rice University

Nursing

Nursing majors study healthcare and the practical use of medical knowledge. The majors learn how to navigate healthcare settings, interact with patients, and assess and react to the situations they might encounter. A nursing degree can create options like Registered Nursing, Administration, and Health Departments.

Average Salary in Nursing: $37.24/Hour, $77.5K/Year

Popular Careers in Nursing:

  • Registered Nursing
  • Psychiatric Nursing
  • Nursing Assisting
  • Progressive Care Nursing
  • Human Resources

Top Colleges for Nursing:

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • University of Rochester

Business & Management

Business & Management majors study the components of management and business operations. These majors are taught the aspects of business and management, preparing them for critical thinking and decision making. Business and management majors will come to understand accounting, economics, business ethics, and other areas of business.

Average Salary in Business & Management: $28/Hour, $58.3K/Year

Popular Careers in Business & Management

  • Sales Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Financial Analysis
  • Business Analysis
  • Personal Banking

Top Colleges for Business:

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Southern California
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Sources

  1. Trachta, Ali. “The Most Popular College Majors.” Niche. Niche.com Inc, 2019. Web. 18 June, 2019.
  2. Franek, Rob. “Top 10 College Majors.” The Princeton Review. TPR Education IP Holdings, LLC, 2020. Web.
  3. Popular College Degrees and Programs.” MatchCollege. MatchCollege.com, 2020. Web.
  4. Grudo, Gideon. “The 10 Best College Degrees to Get a Job.” Debt.com. Debt.com, LLC., 2020. Web.

Your Guide to Transferring Colleges: Facts, Tips, and Advice

The pursuit of a college degree is no longer a straight-line trajectory. Switching between full and part-time status, taking time off, and transferring schools are common choices for 21st century students. In fact, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, about one-third of all students will swap institutions at least once before earning their degree.

It’s not so rare to find yourself at an institution that isn’t the right fit. Getting a degree is a big investment of time and effort, and it’s important to make sure you’re in the right place for your goals and having a positive experience as you study.

Why transfer colleges?

Most transfer students change schools due to three types of variables: social, geographic, and academic.

One excellent reason to transfer is because you are unhappy. If you find that the school you are attending is not the best-fit college for you, you don’t have to settle for four years of misery. Now that you have more clarity about what you want out of your college experience, you are even better equipped to find one that will meet your academic and social expectations.

Another reason to transfer is if your current school does not have a strong program in your major or area of interest. Some students who are rejected from their first-choice school attend another school with the intention of later transferring. Others begin their education at a two-year community college but ultimately want a four-year degree.

Whatever the reason, the good news is that today’s college students have more educational options than ever before. Follow our step-by-step guide to make the transition as smooth as possible.

1. Consider why you want to transfer

Before you begin researching and applying to schools, take a step back and decide if transferring is absolutely necessary. Struggles with bad roommates or difficult professors are likely to improve over time, and it’s important to give yourself adequate time to adjust to college life before considering a transfer. Many prospective transfer students can find it difficult to process their feelings about this decision. 

Write out exactly what’s not clicking with your current college, or what you love about the place you’re thinking of transferring to. Write a couple pages without censoring yourself (and maybe even do the classic pro-con list).

2. Begin your college search, again!

Now that you’ve determined you definitely want to transfer, there are a few bases you’ll need to cover. First, do your research! 

Although you’ve been through the college admissions process once, it’s different the second time around when you’re trying to transfer. Deadlines differ based on when you’re hoping to switch schools, and each college has to coordinate with the other on credits, financial aid, and more. 

Establish a list of what you do and don’t want in a college. For instance, look for colleges that have your major, your desired location and social environment. Using College Board’s BigFuture college search can help you narrow down colleges that are a good fit for you based on your requirements and preferences. 

Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few schools you’re seriously interested in, be proactive about getting to know the school. 

  • Do a campus visit 
  • Meet with the director of the department you’re interested in
  • Speak with students who are currently studying what you’re interested in studying
  • Speak with other transfer students 
  • Sit in on a few classes

3. Meet with an academic advisor or transfer specialist 

If you haven’t already, speak with your academic advisor about transferring. Chances are, they’ve gone through the process before with another student. They’ll know who to talk to in the registrar, admissions, and financial aid offices at your school. Plus, they should be able to give you an idea of which credits will transfer. 

A school serious about making the transition easier for students will have professionals to do just that. Schools with a transfer counselor send a signal to prospective students that they understand the challenges and welcome transfer students to their institution. Talking to advisors on both ends will help you to devise a plan so you’re prepared for a successful transition. Come prepared with questions about the campus, student life, academics, and more.

4. Find out which of your credits will transfer

Every university has its own transfer policy. This should be listed on their website. Not only will this policy include important info like application deadlines, but will also tell you their policy regarding transfer credits.

The transfer policy will tell you if you can transfer credit from exams, or apply credits from two-year degrees towards the completion of a bachelor’s degree. Some universities require that students have earned a specific amount of credits (sometimes up to two years’ worth) at their home university before transferring, meaning that it might be worth it to wait another semester or two to make the transfer.

Some universities won’t accept credits if you are changing majors, but others will allow you to transfer these credits towards elective courses. Some universities won’t accept credits from courses in which you earned a grade lower than a C. Prospective transfer students quickly discover that there is incredible variety in transfer policies between universities.

Send your transcript to the university you hope to attend to find out which of your credits will transfer. There are some schools, however, that will not accept transfer credits. If that’s the case, you have to weigh whether starting totally fresh will be worth it.

Check out collegetransfer.net to simplify this research process. This website helps students easily navigate their options in transferring based on your exact situation, goals, and experience.

5. Plan financially for your transfer 

Finances will, no doubt, play a huge role in your ability to transfer. Make sure you’ve spoken with a financial aid administrator at the school you hope to attend to get a clear picture of your financial aid. 

There may be a price difference between your current college and the one you plan on transferring to, but this is only one piece of the equation. Other expenses to plan for are moving expenses, differences in cost of living between locations, and application fees. In addition to this, students may face having to retake certain credits if they are not able to transfer them. 

Another note on financial planning – you should fill out the FAFSA each year. It can be harder for transfer students to get scholarship money but many schools have a fund especially designed for transfer students. As you research colleges and universities, make sure to look at the ins and outs of their financial aid policy, as well as researching other forms of funding (like scholarships and federal aid).

Scholarships.com is a great resource for funding in general, but also has specific scholarships for transfer students. 

6. Apply! Transfer Application Process

Once you’ve got the deadlines figured out, make sure you stick to them. Universities have very different transfer deadlines. Some only accept transfer applications in the spring. Other schools will have deadlines in the fall for those that want to transfer mid-year and another in the spring for those who want to begin at the start of the official school year in August or September.

Your application to colleges as a transfer will be similar to the applications you submitted as a high schooler, except your college GPA will be considered in the process as well. Resist the temptation to copy and paste old application material when you transfer. You have a new perspective, new experience, and new insights. Make use of them.

Your application will likely require one or two essays, many schools will require transfer students to write specifically on the topic of why they are transferring. In general, you can expect to provide the following items to your prospective transfer school:

  • College application
  • High school transcript
  • Letters of recommendation
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • College transcript
  • Application fees (or fee waiver)

7. Secure your spot

Finally, to make it official, turn in deposits, housing preferences and any other forms you need to complete in order to commit to your new college. Also, take a deep breath; you did it! Now, get ready for new challenges, friends and opportunities.

8. Find your place

Many transfer students can feel separate from the rest of the community at their universities, most of whom bonded during freshman orientation already. You may need to take a more active role in building a satisfying social life for yourself.

This might mean joining social groups, actively approaching other students before and after class, spending time at the campus cafe, etc. Find out if your new university hosts a transfer orientation. Many do, and it’s a great way to connect with other students in the same situation as you. Remember – making friends and building a community for yourself can take time. The important thing is to stay open and put yourself out there.

No college is perfect. And most new experiences feel scary or uncomfortable at first. That scary feeling always precedes a great time in life – because it means you’re taking a risk and making an investment. Check out the support systems in place at your university. Feelings of displacement and insecurity are common with new students and your school can probably offer you some resources, including someone to talk to with whom students can process their feelings and make a plan for succeeding in a new environment.

Planning ahead is the key to making a successful transition. Remember: You’re on no one’s timeline but your own. Choose your classes wisely and dedicate yourself to getting the most out of this experience. The rest will fall into place with time!

Be sure to connect with us, @ecampusdotcom on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook for more resources, tips, and some great giveaways! And when it’s time for textbooks, eCampus.com has you covered for all your course material needs at savings up to 90%!

References:

  1. https://www.nacacnet.org/globalassets/documents/knowledge-center/transfer/nacac-jkcf-planningtotransfer.pdf 
  2. https://www.affordablecolleges.com/resources/college-transfer-guide/ 
  3. https://www.campusreel.org/how-to-transfer-colleges 
  4. https://www.collegexpress.com/interests/transfer/articles/adjusting-new-campus/ups-and-downs-transfer-experience/