Tagged: veteran students

Tips to Avoid Online Education Scams

Posted by Christine A. Shelly

Read more by Christine A. Shelly at Google+


militaryauthority.com online education scamsNobody wants to be called a fake or handed a phony product. Especially when your future is at stake. Phony diplomas can cost you your job, your reputation, and your future earning power. You’ve decided to pursue an online degree – but how can you tell which schools are legitimate and which could cost you more than you bargained for?  Service members, veterans and their families can protect themselves while looking for a degree program by checking for these signs:

 #1- You’ve checked the U.S. Department of Education accredited schools database and your school isn’t listed.

Military education benefits and federal student aid packages require the student to be enrolled at an accredited institution. Bogus schools are more concerned with collecting your money than they are with complying with accreditation standards or delivering quality education.

#2 – The school website, brochure, ad (or all three) make the promise of a degree in exchange for very little work, very little interaction, and a flat rate fee.

If their slogan is “Nobody turned down!” you want to turn the other direction. A degree that’s worth anything will require hard work. It’s not just handed out to anyone and everyone. Gaining knowledge, insight and experience is far more than a simple point and click consumer transaction. Few legitimate institutions charge by the degree.

#3 – They ask you for your bank account information.

A few years back, there were some schools whose “financial aid” departments contacted students and offered them scholarships or grants to attend. All they required in exchange, they said, was the student’s bank account information in order to process an administrative fee. Other schools will invite students to a mandatory financial aid “seminar,” that wind up being high-pressure sales pitches with promises of big scholarship checks for a small fee.

These schools should not only be avoided, they should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission.

#4 – The school has a name that is strikingly similar to a Big Name school.

Disreputable schools often rely on name recognition to lure students into their unaccredited programs. But where a degree from Columbia University in Missouri carries weight, a degree from Columbia State University in Louisiana does not. In fact, Columbia State University in Louisiana was closed due to court order.

When in doubt, contact your state (or the state where the school is located) attorney general’s office and confirm that it is 1) a legitimate business in good standing and 2) accredited by an accreditation body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

You’ve worked hard for your reputation. Protect it by selecting a reputable school. Do your research, ask questions, rely on people you know you can trust — and trust your gut. When in doubt, check out the school finder at militaryauthority.com — that’s a good place to start.

Find a School Now!

 

References:

http://www2.ed.gov/students/prep/college/diplomamills/diploma-mills.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diploma_mill

http://www.cimea.it/files/fileusers/Diploma_mills_Luca_Lantero_EN.pdf

 

Ms. Shelly has spent more than a decade working in higher education. She currently serves as executive vice president for Grantham Education Corporation. Ms. Shelly is passionate about changing lives – about making college education accessible and affordable to more people and preparing students and graduates for success.


The Best Education Advice I’ve Never Received

Posted by Christine A. Shelly

militaryauthority.com education advice ive never receivedA new school year has begun in most parts of the country. And since September 11, 2001, the start of the school year also provides a poignant reminder of freedom, democracy, and all that we hold dear. While it is true that the educational system in our country is in need of improvement in many areas, we can’t ignore the fact that few places on Earth provide the freedom to pursue the number and variety of educational and professional opportunities we have here in the United States.

Whether this marks the start of your first or final semester, the beginning of a new academic year can bring on a case of the butterflies (or worse). Many students experience anxiety and stress about their educational path and future job prospects. After more than a decade’s worth of experience in higher ed – and my own learning adventures – I have two pieces of advice that you aren’t likely to get from your education officers or even from your family.

Don’t be a follower.

You’ve probably been told by many well-wishing people “follow your passion.” Or, “follow your heart and the rest will fall into place.” Although it sounds wonderful, this kind of advice is better suited for relationships than for your education and future work.

In today’s economy, simply doing what feels good isn’t a sustainable practice – it can lead to frustration, accumulating debt, and a string of broken dreams. Plus, if you’re a working adult with a family to support while you go to school, you have responsibilities that you can’t simply shirk to follow your own interests.

Instead – bring your passion with you. Whatever you do, give it 110%. Find something to love about whatever you’re doing and give it all you’ve got. Look for the opportunity to share your passion with others and leave your own unique mark.

Strive for harmony, not balance.

“Work/Life balance,” as blissfully ideal as it sounds, is something that everyone seeks but few accomplish. It’s an incredibly popular topic that has everyone from CEOs to bloggers weighing in with their opinions and ‘how-to’s.’

Be careful about setting yourself up to achieve someone else’s idea of a balanced life. What works for them may not work for anyone else. Struggling to achieve an unrealistic ideal adds unnecessary (unhealthy) pressure.

What I would propose instead, is to strive for harmony as opposed to balance. Think about those televised singing competitions – sometimes a group is asked to sing in harmony together. It works well for some groups; others, not so much. In some groups, each of the singers wants to extend their 15 seconds of fame so badly, they sing over each other and refuse to yield the spotlight. The result is a musical mess that hurts to the ears.

Accept that there will be times when one aspect of your life takes priority over another. One area of your life will “sing lead” for a while and the others will support it and make it shine. You are the only person who can decide your priorities – your “lead singers,” if you will. Too many lead singers and you get a train wreck of a song. Too many backup singers and the music doesn’t really shine. The challenge is in making sure the right voices are singing lead at the right time.

The decision to earn your degree is one of the most important you can make, and if you’re reading this, you very likely already understand that. No matter where you are in life – whether you’re a working adult, a veteran, a military spouse or recent high school graduate, as you move forward in your educational pursuits and your professional career, you will be on the receiving end of all kinds of well-meaning advice. I hope the two pieces of advice I offered will help guide you toward achieving your goals. Best of luck to you as you begin the fall semester.

I’d love to hear from you. What kind of education or career advice has helped you? What do you wish you’d known when you started out?

 

 

REFERENCES:

http://research.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/publications/2013/4/statisticalreport-2013-2-validity-sat-1st-yr-gpa-2010-sample.pdf

http://www.militaryauthority.com/benefits/education/reap/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/economy

 

 

Ms. Shelly has spent more than a decade working in higher education. She currently serves as executive vice president for Grantham Education Corporation. Ms. Shelly is passionate about changing lives – about making college education accessible and affordable to more people and preparing students and graduates for success.

Must-See Websites for Military Students

Posted by Christine A. Shelly

militaryauthority.com must see websites for military studentsMilitary students – that is, students who serve their country while they work toward completing a degree – have a perspective that is unique to other students. So it makes sense that the resources they need while they’re in college might be a little different than those of the average first year college student.

Below is a list of websites that we’ve found helpful for military students. From student support organizations to scholarship assistance to academic help, these are some of our favorites. We can’t possibly list them all, but if there’s a site you’ve found particularly helpful, let us know in the comments below. Be sure to tell us what you find useful about it, too.

 

Financial Support

http://www.foldsofhonor.org/

This foundation helps military families with scholarships and offers support for children and spouses of disabled or deceased service members.

 

Research/Academic support

http://calnewport.com/blog/

What started out as a college blog project has become one of the most utilized student resources on the web for study advice and strategies. Study Hacks says their mission is ‘demystifying student success.’ 

 

http://www.refdesk.com/

This is an extensive collection of reference material, databases and other resources to help you find and check facts.

 

http://www.collegeboard.org/

The CollegeBoard website has a substantial amount of information for students applying to and attending college.

 

Life/Work Resources

After Deployment – In-depth information, assessments and tools for transitioning/post-transition military.

 

http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

Request your service records at this website. You’ll need your military service records for college applications, plus you can have them evaluated to determine how much of your training and experience can be counted toward your degree. 

 

Studentveterans.org

Student Veterans is an organization whose focus is to empower military veterans with the educational resources imperative to success in the 21st century. They do this through support and advocacy on behalf of veterans.

 

http://www.acp-usa.org/

This website is dedicated to connecting veterans to corporate business leaders through two free programs. Bonus – Jon Stewart just joined their advisory council.

 

http://www.militaryauthority.com

And my host for this list, MilitaryAuthority.com is a site created for the military community that includes helpful information about education benefits, career planning, pay, retirement planning and healthcare benefits. There’s also a message board for locating and connecting with other military friends as well as helpful tools for finding military-friendly schools.

 

These sites are just a few of the online oases available for military students – and just fyi, mentioning them in this list does not constitute an endorsement. We weren’t compensated in any way. The Internet has made staying connected and informed so much easier – but you have to wade through a lot of garbage to get to the gems. Hopefully, this list will offer student service members a good place to start. 

 

REFERENCES:

http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

http://calnewport.com/blog/

http://www.militaryauthority.com/benefits/education/education-advice/

http://www.acp-usa.org/

 

 

 

Ms. Shelly has spent more than a decade working in higher education. She currently serves as executive vice president for Grantham Education Corporation. Ms. Shelly is passionate about changing lives – about making college education accessible and affordable to more people and preparing students and graduates for success.