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Trendy (Travel!) Tuesday — 3 Ways to Travel on a Budget

May 19th, 2015 by

summer travelThe summer is finally here! You’ve made it through finals, projects, and end-of-the-year stress and now you have the next few months ahead of you to do what you please.

While it’s certainly fun to relax at home for a while, that novelty can wear off pretty quickly. Travel is fun, of course, but isn’t often that great on your wallet.

But there is good news  — you CAN travel on a budget! Here are three budget-friendly ways to satisfy your wanderlust — without sacrificing your life savings:

1. Find free attractions

Cities like Washington D.C. are chock-full of local must-sees that require no cost to enter. Hot spots like the Smithsonian Museum, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument — all are free to explore. If D.C. is out of your travel area, check out cities within your driving range to see what kinds of attractions they offer for free. You’ll often find luck at local museums or historical landmarks.

2. Consider other options than air travel

While flying is certainly the fastest and often most direct route to a location, air travel isn’t often budget-friendly. Try considering other options like group bus or train travel. Amtrack (train service) and Megabus offer convenient and inexpensive travel options to save you the hassle of driving without breaking the bank for air travel.

3. Use your student discount

Your student ID isn’t just good to get you into your dorm room — many services and businesses offer discounts to students who use their products, just by flashing their ID card. Some places that can help you save on travel include the Lincoln Center (New York), MOMA (New York), The Art Institute of Chicago, Denver Art Museum, Houston Ballet, the New England Aquarium and many more. Wherever you intend to travel, before shelling out full price, make sure to ask about a student discount first!

There’s no time like the present — get out there and start exploring!

For more tips about college, check out NextStepU.com and start your path to success today.

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Major Monday — Physician Assistant

May 18th, 2015 by

dental-assistantHave you always been interested in health and medicine? If you want to work with and treat patients, but don’t want to go through the schooling to become a doctor, a physician assistant major could be a good choice. If you’re a curious and compassionate problem-solver, being a physician assistant will allow you to be on the frontline of patient care.

Education
A physician assistant major often leads to a bachelor’s degree. You would train to practice medicine as part of a team supervised by doctors. Although physician assistants are supervised by doctors, many spend more of their time working on their own and are able to prescribe medications depending on the state. Additionally, expect courses in anatomy, clinical medicine, pharmacology, physiology, history taking and diagnosis, pathophysiology and behavioral sciences. You’ll spend at least one year studying medicine in an intensive classroom environment and spend another year completing clinical training. Classes in high school that are helpful to take include health science, biology, statistics, chemistry and psychology.

Questions to ask
Make sure the program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physical Assistant. You may have to complete college-level study before applying to the program, so ask about the process. Do you have to have work experience for acceptance into the program? Where will you be able to complete your off-campus clinical training?

Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a physician assistant made an average of $90,930 after completing their master’s degree in 2012.

For more information about careers in the medical field, take a Careers-In course at NextStepAcademy.com!

 

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Brighten Your Spring Giveaway — May Designs

May 15th, 2015 by

May-blog

NextStepU loves to share products and companies with you that we think are simply amazing. After all, we know you need gear for college and if you are working, sometimes you want to splurge that hard-earned salary on something fun.

We also know cash is tight, so we love to give things away! For the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing with you products we think you’ll love that are sure to BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY!

Today we are sharing with you May Designs! May Designs offers a variety of customizable paper goods designed to make every day moments more fun and beautiful. The flagship product, the May Book, is a beautiful, simple little notebook that lays flat and fits perfectly in your purse. And in the past 6 years, the growing Austin-based design studio has expanded to offer stationery, greeting cards, invitations, and canvas-bound photo books. With over 300 patterns, monogram options, and 20 inside page options, the best part about May Designs products is making them your own!

Now you have a chance to win a $75 gift card! One lucky winner will be chosen to receive a $75 gift card that is good for three May Books and shipping costs. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter app below. Each action in the app is an entry into the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No purchase necessary. Enter the Brighten Your Spring: May Designs Giveaway before 11:59 p.m. (ET) on 5/21/15. One winner will be chosen shortly afterward and announced the week of 5/25/15. The winner must respond to the email he or she receives in order to claim his or her prize. Any prize winner not responding by 6/25/15 will forfeit his/her prize. Entries will only be accepted through the Rafflecopter application and before the deadline date. 

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Scholarships — The Chely Wright LIKE ME® Scholarship

May 14th, 2015 by

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NextStepU is happy to help guide you toward scholarships and opportunities to earn money for college. Here is a new scholarship we found for you!

Scholarship: The Chely Wright LIKE ME® Scholarship

Amount: Up to five scholarships for $1,250 each

Description: The Chely Wright LIKE ME® Scholarship provides financial support for students pursuing a college degree who actively advocate for LGBT youth and/or to students who are severely affected by teen bullying or suicide of an LGBT youth. Through this scholarship, LGBT affected youth can apply for funding to pay for educational expenses to pursue a degree from an accredited college, university, or technical/vocational program.

Requirements: Use your personal activities and advocacy to demonstrate your commitment to the future of the LGBT community.  The Selection Board will review your advocacy to measure its improvement for LGBT youth and/or the future of the LGBT community. Award criteria are based on demonstration of past leadership, LGBT community service involvement, financial need, academic credentials, personal essay, future goals, and possibly an individual interview. Students will be required to maintain a B- average (GPA) to be considered for selection.  Rare exceptions may be considered with explanation of extenuating circumstances.

Deadline: May 31, 2015

For more information: Visit the LikeMe.Org scholarship website.

Best of luck to those who apply!

> Want to continue your search? Take a look at NextStepU’s database of more than 2 million scholarships after you register at NextStepU.com

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Finals week is so…final.

May 13th, 2015 by

0312_friendsIt’s the end of another year of college for you. While you have plenty to stress out about — finals, papers, presentations, all of the above — try to remember that at the end of it all, it’s another year done. It’s another year you don’t have to do again. You’re one step closer to being out of school and being in the real world. Take a few moments to breathe and think about the warm summer breeze you’ll feel in a few short weeks.

It’s the end of the year in the room you’re in.
It’s time to move out. On top of worrying about studying for finals, working on projects or writing papers, you now have to think about packing everything. Freshman year, I was packed about a week before I left — I was crazy. Now, I leave it until the last minute because I’m so stressed about everything else. Instead of trying to shove everything in your car on your last day, take a 10-minute break to pack a bag or a bin while you’re studying or writing a paper,. Let’s be honest, you’re going to take a break anyway, so using it productively would be better than just going on Twitter.

It’s the end of the year with your friends.
If you’re like me, you don’t see many of your college friends over the summer. Although you get to hang out with your friends from home, you can only reminisce about something funny that happened during the school year so much to people who weren’t there. So yes, everyone is stressed with all they have to do, but make sure you spend time together. It could be just spending hours and hours together in the library — with, obviously, the occasional break for sanity— or maybe you could help a friend pack with the promise that they return the favor to you.

But there are positives to the end of the year.
First, your meal plan is over. So you can stop starving yourself because you ran out of meals a month ago. Second, there’s no homework in the summer! (Unless you’re taking summer courses, in which case I’m sorry that you have to continue doing work.) Lastly, you don’t have to sit in classes anymore! You can enjoy the weather and the company of family and friends.

Emily-intern-2105Written by Emily Mein. Emily attends St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. Sharing information or a person’s story with people is why she loves writing. She can never get enough of Twitter, pasta and Syracuse basketball.

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Trendy Tuesday — Best Entry-Level Jobs

May 12th, 2015 by

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFiguring out which major to choose can be difficult. There are many factors to consider: what’s a good fit for you, what you enjoy doing, what your return on investment (ROI) will be.

While figuring out how much money you’re going to make upon graduation is certainly not the only factor you should consider when choosing a major, knowing you are going to be financially set can be a major bonus once you make it through college.

Here are some trending careers that have excellent entry-level opportunities according to a WalletHub survey:

1. Training specialist
Median annual wage: $61,530

2. Web applications developer
Median annual wage: $62,500

3. Network engineer
Median annual wage: $72,560

4. Attorney
Median annual wage: $113,530

5. Environmental engineer
Median annual wage: $80,890

6. Software engineer
Median annual wage: $87,900

7. Web designer
Median annual wage: $50,670

8. Information security analyst
Median annual wage: $86,170

9. Financial analyst
Median annual wage: $76,950

10. Programmer
Median annual wage: $74,280

Salary estimates from BLS.gov

For more info on careers and major opportunities, visit NextStepU.com and start your path to success today!

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Major Monday — Fire Science

May 11th, 2015 by

iStock_000009758017_MediumHave you always been fascinated with firetrucks? Do you have an itch to jump on when you see one zoom past you? If that familiar siren noise gives you an impulse to lend a hand, are physically strong and can act quickly, a fire science major may be for you.

Education
Fire science is most often offered at the certificate and associate degree level. Expect classes like introduction to fire science, fundamentals of fire fighting, fire fighting strategies and tactics, fire behavior and fire investigation. You’ll learn practical techniques and the theories behind them for fighting fire including how to handle fire extinguishers, chain saws and other tools. You’ll learn how to control different types of fires, investigate fires, clear smoke-filled buildings, rescue victims and handle hazardous materials. Some courses that are helpful to take in high school include physics, health science, chemistry and photography.

Questions to ask
Will your training include actual work at a fire station or does the school have a state-of-the-art facility where you can practice skills? Does the program include training in natural disaster recovery and hazardous material cleanup? Are faculty members trained firefighters with substantial experience?

Salary
A firefighter makes $45,250 a year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic. The same statistics show that a fire inspector or investigator makes $53,990.

> For more information about career and major choices, visit NextStepU.com.

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Brighten Your Spring Giveaway — DormCo

May 8th, 2015 by

DormCo-blog

NextStepU loves to share products and companies with you that we think are simply amazing. After all, we know you need gear for college and if you are working, sometimes you want to splurge that hard-earned salary on something fun.

We also know cash is tight, so we love to give things away! For the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing with you products we think you’ll love that are sure to BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY!

Today we are sharing with you a company NextStepU has trusted for many years — DormCo.com. DormCo is an online store that has everything you’ll need for college dorm life. From twin XL bedding, to trunks, rugs, posters, and more. Check out DormCo.com for more than 4,500 essential dorm items at affordable prices and $2.95 shipping.

Use a DormCo.com gift card to get a head start on your dorm shopping or use it to pick out a great graduation gift for a friend. Be sure to check out DormCo.com for tons of cool dorm products.

Now you have a chance to win a gift card! Four lucky entries will be chosen to receive a $25 gift card that can be used at DormCo.com. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter app below. Each action in the app is an entry into the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No purchase necessary. Enter the Brighten Your Spring: DormCo.com Giveaway before 11:59 p.m. (ET) on 5/14/15. Four winners will each be chosen shortly afterward and announced the week of 5/18/15. The winners must respond to the email he or she receives in order to claim his or her prize. Any prize winner not responding by 6/18/15 will forfeit his/her prize. Entries will only be accepted through the Rafflecopter application and before the deadline date. 

 

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Scholarships — NURSE Corps Scholarship Program

May 7th, 2015 by

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NextStepU is happy to help guide you toward scholarships and opportunities to earn money for college. Here is a new scholarship we found for you!

Scholarship: The NURSE Corps Scholarship

Amount:  Provides nursing students with financial support in exchange for a commitment to serve at least two-years in a qualifying NURSE Corps site. Participants receive tuition, eligible fees, other reasonable costs, such as books, clinical supplies/instruments and uniforms, as well as a monthly stipend of $1,316 for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Description: The NURSE Corps Scholarship Program is a selective program of the U.S. Government that helps alleviate the critical shortage of nurses currently experienced by certain types of health care facilities located in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). Upon graduation, NURSE Corps Scholarship recipients work at these facilities for at least two years, earning the same competitive salary and benefits as any new hire.

Requirements: 
• U.S. citizens (born or naturalized), nationals or lawful permanent residents
• Enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a professional nursing degree program (baccalaureate, graduate, associate degree, or diploma) at accredited school of nursing located in the U.S.
• Begin classes no later than September 30

Deadline: May 21, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. (ET)

For more information: Visit the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program website to apply and for more information.

Best of luck to those who apply!

> Want to continue your search? Take a look at NextStepU’s database of more than 2 million scholarships after you register at NextStepU.com

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