Domestic Violence on College Campuses Needs to Stop

 

Earlier this year, a 21-year old student of the University of Washington died after she was strangled to death by her boyfriend in her apartment at University District. The accused, also a student of the same university, was high on drugs and suspected that his girlfriend was conspiring against him. It is only one of a rising number of cases of domestic violence in colleges and universities across the United States.

A survey done by a partnership of The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation in 2015 showed that one in five women say they had been sexually assaulted during their four years in college. Alcohol, drugs, casual encounters and the presence of fraternities and sororities in campus contributed to the prevalence of these incidents. Further, the Justice Department found that 80 percent of these cases are not reported. Hence, the 1-in-5 figure could be an understatement. But in recent years, victims are starting to speak out. Social media, openness among young people and awareness of their rights have helped in bringing to the fore this growing problem. Advocates are more vocal in their criticisms against how colleges and universities for inadequate or inept handling of such cases.

Domestic violence on campuses is not limited to rape or sexual assault. It includes intimidation, physical attacks, battery, psychological and emotional abuse by one partner towards another in an intimate relationship. What complicates an issue of sexual violence is whether the act was consensual, as is usually claimed by the perpetrator, or if it was done forcibly or while the victim was incapacitated. The consequences are dire for the victim. Many drop out, out of frustration and humiliation, especially if the case is not handled well by the school. Oftentimes, victims suffer physical injuries that require treatment and mental health problems related to the violence they have been subjected to. A domestic violence attorney says some victims die at the hands of their partner as in the case of the UW student.

Making a traumatic situation worse for the injured party are law enforcement authorities who are perceived to be lenient towards offenders. The judge in the trial of Brock Turner, a Stanford University student convicted of three counts of felony assault and rape on an unconscious woman, sentenced him to only six months in prison. He was released after serving three months. Prosecutors had recommended six years in prison for the student athlete.

Men and women are supposed to be protected by Title IX, a federal gender equity law that requires reporting of all sexual assault cases from schools. But in 2014, 55 institutions of higher education were investigated for possible violations of this law, according to the White House.

But things are looking better. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, signed into law by Pres. Obama, has a provision called Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SAVE.) Effective July 1, 2015, it calls for schools to report yearly all incidents of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking that occur on campus. This includes acts of violence against gender and national origin. It also mandates schools to provide victims of domestic violence with clear options on reporting to campus officials and the local police department.

School authorities now have a clear guideline to handling domestic violence on school grounds and students feel safer. The amendment bodes well for putting a stop, or reducing, such incidents on campus.

What Should a Graduate’s Goals be After College?       

Graduating from college is one of the best things that can happen to any individual. Not many are privileged to pursue a tertiary education hence, completing a bachelor’s degree should provide a very rewarding feeling to any college student. It should also serve as a motivation to continue pursuing their goals as they start a new chapter in their lives.

College is a stepping stone towards pursuing one’s chosen career although it does not always follow that a student ends up in a job closely related to his major. Regardless, what matters is the education one gained that could help him or her find a decent job after graduation.

In the U.S., research from the Center on Education and Workforce of Georgetown University has noted that the millennials comprise 40 percent of the unemployed sector. But the unemployment rate is already at its lowest level after seven years.

Find a Job

A 2015 Student Engagement Insights survey has found that majority of students hope to get a good job after completing their degree. On the other hand, 62 percent said they want to land in a high-paying job and 56 percent expressed interest in pursuing another degree. Those who wish to take further studies are either aiming for a bachelor’s degree after earning an associate degree or attending graduate school. Many indicated that they want to prepare themselves in fields that need licenses or advanced education.

Start a Business

Enterprising students can also opt to start their own business right after college. Startups owned by young people aged 25 and under are growing these days with some of them gaining success after only a few months in the business. Those who have earned a business degree including those who majored in marketing or entrepreneurship are most suited for this segment.

Starting a business should not be that difficult to college graduates with a business degree. After all, they were taught how to do this in their senior year as a major requirement for graduation.

Attain Personal Satisfaction

Some goals of college students may not really be tangible compared to others. Some claim their goals for pursuing their degree are to attain a broader experience and be happy. The same survey noted that others simply want to achieve a work-life balance, gain more knowledge, be able to travel and give pride to themselves.

Personal satisfaction could also mean finding one’s partner while in college although this does not follow that they end up marrying right after graduation, according to Marina Korol, a divorce lawyer. A 2013 Facebook Data Sciences study noted that an estimated 28 percent of married graduates attended the same college as their spouse.

Be Financially Independent

Along with finding a job and starting a business, many college students aspire to become financially independent moving forward. They feel they need to prove to their parents and to themselves that they can stand on their own and lead an independent life once they finish college. Fortunately, some of those who succeed early are able to enjoy financial freedom and do the things they want. What counts is being able to manage their finances well to enjoy the fruits of their labor for the long term.

Do Volunteer Work

While many college students are aiming to get a job and earn well after college, there are others who have a passion for helping their fellowmen in need or in difficult situations. For this reason, their goal is to join a national or international aid organization such as working for a non-government or non-profit group and the Peace Corps.

Volunteering can actually help a college graduate stand out among other applicants. This is because many employers today look for activities such as volunteering as a unique way of showcasing an applicant’s personality. They are able to determine how well a person can get along with other people as well and practice his other skills through such people-oriented activity.

With these findings, it is clear that most students enroll in college to increase their chances of getting a good job that pays them well.

 

Community Colleges Vs. Universities: Which Is Right for You?

You’ve just graduated from high school and now you’re on the path to higher education. But determining where you should go is only one part of the equation. You first need to decide whether you want to attend a four-year college or start your academic career in a community college. Now, is the best time to explore your options, so don’t wait until you graduate. The following information can be used to help you with your decision.

What You Need to Know About Community Colleges

The main difference between a community college and a university is that one is two years and the other is four years. In a community college, you obtain an associate’s degree upon graduation and in a university, you graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

One reason why students choose two year colleges is because they’re more affordable and quicker to complete. After two years, you can potentially enter into your field of choice. Then you can finish up your academic career and obtain a bachelor’s degree as you work. The courses here are also more vocational, which some students find attractive.

If you have a high school record that’s blemished, then a community college can help boost your credibility before applying to a university. Once you complete your courses, you can transfer your credits to a university course, like for one of USF’s mpa programs.

The programs available at community colleges are generally more general, rather than specific trades like you’ll find at universities. Students will find an array of courses to choose from in the local job market.

What You Need to Know About Universities

Four year colleges cost a pretty penny, so be prepared to make a hefty investment. If you’re committed to completing your courses, then that investment will be more than worth it. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree puts you in a higher income bracket off the bat. So the positions you go after will more than likely pay more.

Universities offer a well-rounded education, with students taken a broader range of courses. This gives you more job opportunities to go after once you graduate. You can choose courses in an array of subjects, including biology, math, music therapy, history and English, to name a few. You can also take electives if you want.

Both on campus and off campus learning opportunities are available, broadening your education. The first two years of university training is spent in generalized courses, then the final two years are when you study your chosen major.

Some of the extracurricular learning opportunities include study abroad trips, internships, field trips and cooperative education programs.

The top downfall of universities is the cost factor. The price range is different from school to school, so it’s important to do your research. However, according to the College Board, the cost for a year at a university for in-state residents is $8,655. If you’re planning to stay on campus, you can expect to pay an additional $9,205, bringing the annual cost to $17,860. Private schools cost significantly more, with students paying $29,056 for tuition and an additional $10,462 for room and board, bringing it up to $39,518 for the year.

Does It Matter Whether You Go to a Public or Private College?

Deciding where you spend the next four years of your academic career can be tricky. You don’t have a choice in which school you get into, but you do have an option of the schools you apply to. One decision you’ll have to make at the get go is whether you want to attend a public or private school. Some students aren’t sure, with many believing that private institutions are better than the private college. But is this really true?

Here’s a quick overview of the differences between public and private colleges, so you can choose for yourself.

Private vs Public Colleges

What is the main difference between the two? Public colleges are funded by the state they’re in and private schools are funded by people outside of the government. Some of the more popular public schools include Ohio State University, University of Texas, University of California and University of Alabama.

There are two types of private institutions, those that are for-profit and those that aren’t. Those that are non-profit include Harvard, Stanford and MIT. Popular for-profit institutions include Devry, University of Phoenix and ITT Tech.

The Cost Difference

The cost of each is another main difference between private and public colleges. Since public schools are funded by the state government, the real cost for tuition isn’t realized by the students that attend. This makes them more affordable to go to. This is also why public colleges offer lower tuition. For the 2014-2015 school year, the cost for tuition was $9,139 for in-state students and $22,958 for out-of-state students.

The cost for private schools is much higher. The 2014-2015 school year was $31,231 These schools rely on contributions from alumni to cover the costs for its programs.

The Sizes of Classes

The class sizes you’ll find in public schools are typically larger – likely due to them being more affordable and easier to get into. But because of the larger class sizes, it can be difficult to develop a close relationship with the professor. The diversity in the student body is also greater, so if you’re interested in schools with a variety of cultures, then public schools are better.

Private schools are the exact opposite, with smaller class sizes and less demographic diversity. The upside to private schools is that you can develop closer relationships with the students and professors.

The Programs and Degrees Available

Since public schools have larger student bodies, they typically have a wider array of programs and degrees. The big universities have a large undergraduate population of around 40,000. This means finding a major that you want is a lot easier. But keep in mind there isn’t much guidance help for the students, so you’ll need to be somewhat of a self-starter. This is due to there being fewer advisors on staff.

Some private schools only have 500 students total, so the range of programs and degrees is significantly smaller than public schools. To make up for their lack of options, they offer specialized courses for paths in liberal arts and engineering.

Physical schools aren’t your only options either. You can also pursue programs that are online, like UIC’s nursing informatics degree.

Should You Go Straight to University or Attend Community College First?

This is a question most high school students are faced with after graduation. If you don’t have the option of getting into your top universities, you may be considering community college as an alternative. When used correctly, community colleges can help you get into four-year colleges that aren’t accessible to you right away. Maybe your GPA wasn’t that great or your money wasn’t right. Whatever your reasons, you may find the following factors to make community college a better choice for you right out of high school.

The Costs of Tuition Are Lower

Every school charges tuition and other fees to students, some of which is more expensive than others. Finding a college that’s within your budget isn’t always easy, especially if you’re basing your funding off of scholarships, grants and financial aid. But even if you’ve decided to take out a student loan, you need to evaluate the cost to see if it’s something you can eventually pay off.

Community colleges charge significantly less than four-year colleges. Plus, the courses you take during your two years here are the same as any university, so it makes sense to pay cheaper to get this out of the way, then transfer your credits to a four-year college once you graduate.

The cost for private universities typically range around $36,000 annually, which calculates to $144,000 for four years. The annual cost for a year at a two-year college is around $2,963. This means you’ll end up saving between $12,000 and $66,000.

You Need to Improve Your Transcripts

Not everyone graduates from high school with great transcripts. If you have less-than-great grades and test scores, you may want to work on your academic resume a little longer before applying to the university you have in mind. Remember, part of your application process is your transcripts, so you need to make sure they look good to the admissions deans.

This is the option students are choosing when they have been rejected by their top school choices. After attending community college and improving their profiles, they have a better chance of getting in.

The Travel Costs Are Lower

There are community colleges just about everywhere, which means you should be able to find one close to home. This reduces the costs to travel initially and for each school break when you return home to visit. You also have the option of staying home and driving to school each day, if you’re not ready to move into your own apartment. Dorms are also available, which is sometimes more affordable than student housing off campus.

Test Out College Life Before Committing

Community college is very flexible, allowing you to explore your options. About 80 percent of students admitted to not knowing what they wanted to major in. This isn’t the state of mind you want when you go away to a university. Going to community college allows you to earn important credits without making any commitments to a major. And if you think you know, but change your mind later, you won’t have to worry about thousands of dollars being wasted.

Choosing a college is an important decision. If you’re thinking about taking Villanova’s master of taxation, consider going to community college first.

Is Your High School Academic Record Good Enough for Top Colleges?

It seems that the pressure to get into an excellent college starts earlier and earlier with each passing generation, while the acceptance rate of these top colleges gets lower and lower. These days, it is probably a smart move to start preparing your college resume around the time you start preschool. And that is no joke either: parents in reality are choosing their child’s preschool based on how well it will qualify them for the Ivy League down the road.

It is crazy, but the reasoning is clear. Parents and children alike feel that the quality of their life will be drastically improved if they get into one of the best colleges in the world. But what about the people who haven’t been preparing since their toddler years? Certainly, colleges still care about intelligence and success first and foremost, and just because you didn’t go to the preschool that Mark Zuckerberg went to doesn’t mean you aren’t intelligent or successful.

Whether you want to go to Harvard or study for Wake Forest’s masters of counseling, your high school academic record will have to be impressive, maybe flawless. So how can you tell if you qualify? How do you know you are in the top five percent of eligible students in the world, or just the top ten percent? Here are some of the boxes you must check on your high school academic record in order to qualify for the world’s top colleges.

GPA

Of course, it all starts with your grade point average, the numerical representation of your high school academic success. If you want to get into an Ivy League school, or a school of comparable quality, your GPA will probably need to be 5.0, or something pretty close. There are ways to compensate for a lower GPA, but once you start to get too low, your chances do as well.

College Entrance Exam Scores

Whether you took the SAT or the ACT, the results will have a big impact on the way colleges look at you. There are students around the world that are turning in perfect scores on both of these tests, and if you are not one of them, you will have a disadvantage. This is one of the major areas where you can compensate for other weaknesses on your resume. Where most of your college eligibility is determined over years, making these categories almost impossible to improve by the time senior year rolls around, the college entrance exam is a one-time affair. It can make or break your application in one morning.

Extracurricular Activities

The quantity, quality, and diversity of your extracurricular affairs will have a larger than expected impact on your college application. Many of the people applying for the world’s best schools will have charity work, clubs they founded, and high ranking student government positions on their resume. So you will need all of that and more to give yourself a fair chance at being accepted to the school of your dreams.

The Pros and Cons of Attending a Community College

Four-year colleges are always emphasized in the media, but there’s no reason to knock community college as an option. High school students have this option, which should be seriously considered. The best way to determine whether community college is right for you or your child is to weigh the pros and cons.

PRO: The Cost

One positive about going to community college is the low cost. The tuition and fees associated with community colleges are a whole lot less than four-year colleges. You can save tens of thousands of dollars by staying close to home, since the tuition for in-state students is thousands of dollars less as well. If you are planning to pay for school out of your own pocket or are relying on a limited amount of money from a scholarship or grant, then you should consider spending your first two years of high education in a community college.

CON: No Specialized Courses

The courses you’ll find at community colleges are pretty general, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. The generalized approach of these courses make it easier for students to find work after graduating. But if you are looking to specialize in engineering, liberal arts or another major, then you’ll need to attend a university. Private universities offer more specialized degrees than those found at public four-year colleges.

PRO: It’s an Easier Transition

High school students will find the transition into a community college to be a lot easier than a larger four-year university. The campuses are a lot smaller, so the number of students present aren’t as overwhelming and the class sizes are also more manageable. Keeping up with the academic pace of a university can also be overwhelming. Some students easily fall behind in these environments, not because they’re not smart, but because they’re not prepared to handle the new lifestyle. Community college will allow you to get used to college life before moving on to a four-year college.

CON: Some Classes Aren’t Transferable

You expect that every credit you receive will be transferable to a four-year university, but this isn’t the case. There are actually a lot of classes that can’t be transferred, especially those that teach a particular vocational skill. It’s a good idea to ask the guidance counselor at your school about this before taking up specific courses. Unless you absolutely want to learn the course, you should opt for others that will help you move closer to obtaining your bachelor’s degree.

PRO: You Are Closer to Home

Most towns have a community college close by, which means you can stick close to home. This is a good idea if you have a job already and want to live at home while you learn. This cuts out the cost for traveling to school initially and for home visits during school breaks. Living in a dorm or apartment would also drive up costs, so this eliminates that issue. Another way to save on travel is to attend the University of Maryland’s mba degree online!

How to Get Into a Good College Without Good Test Scores

If you are reading this, there may be a chance that you just bombed your SAT or ACT. If this is the case, you may have blown your chances to go to that four-year college that you’ve always want to go to. However, you shouldn’t let your low test scores slow you down. In fact, if you got a low score, it may be time to restudy and retake your exam. If you haven’t taken your tests yet, you may want to start thinking of ways to boost your scores. The SAT and ACT or both standardized tests that make it easy for college admissions officers to make their decisions. Here is how to improve your SAT and ACT scores.

Use Readily Available Online Test Preps

One of the best ways to boost your SAT or ACT scores is take practice tests or prep tests. You can go online and easily search for mock tests that you can print out and fill out. What’s great about mock tests is that you can get a feel for the length of the test and the style of questions. Many students don’t do well on their SATs and ACTs because they aren’t prepared for the format.

Study in Advance

Of course, it is important to study in advance. You should be taking test prep and mock exams, you should be exploring notes and you should be reading up well before your test date. In fact, you may want to think about studying a year or so in advance. Having the information memorized and getting the hang of taking the exam may take a serious load off. The last thing you want is to take the exams unprepared, because your scores could determine your collegiate future.

Get an SAT Tutor

Another reason why studying for your SAT and ACT in advance is important is because you can hire a tutor. An SAT or ACT tutor is not like another academic tutor, because he or she will specialize in teaching people how to take very specific types of standard entrance exams. When you hire a tutor, you want to be sure that you do your research and you want to check references. The quality of your tutor is critical.

Time Yourself

When you have a tutor, he or she may also assess your test taking time. It is important to take a test exam in under a certain amount of time, because when you go to take the SAT or ACT, you will be under the clock. Of course, you could petition to take an untimed test, but that could be more trouble than it’s worth.

Get Plenty of Sleep

On top of everything, you want to get plenty of sleep – not just before taking the exams, but also a week leading up to the exams. If you don’t get enough sleep, all that studying and stress will really catch up to you. Whether you are taking the exam to apply to Northeastern University or Harvard, you want eight hours of sleep each night. In the end, you want to avoid cramming at all costs.

5 Benefits of Attending a Brand Name College

There’s a lot of reasons why you might want to attend a prestigious brand name college. Not only is it something that you will be able to boast about for the rest of your life, but it will open all kinds of doors to you that would otherwise be closed. Which is not to say that you can’t get a comparable education at a number of other quality universities, but without the prestige of a major name, you won’t get the same kind of respect and admiration from people when you tell them where you graduated. Ivy league universities and some of the other majorly prestigious colleges aren’t for everybody, but if you do think one of these colleges might suit you, here are 5 benefits of attending a brand name college.

  1. Bragging Rights

Let’s face it, people really do pay attention when you say that you graduated from Yale, or Stanford, or Carnegie Mellon. This means that whenever you are debating a topic with somebody and several people are involved, most people will automatically accept your position as truth just because they will assume that you must be exceptionally smart if you graduated from a brand name college.

  1. Build Your Resume

If you attend one of the more highly regarded universities, it’s very likely that you will have a lot of impressive bullet points on your resume in addition to your diploma. However, even if you took a few years off to travel after college and didn’t have anything too impressive to show for it, the diploma alone will definitely ensure your upward mobility

  1. Easier to Get Into Brand Name Grad Schools

If you are planning to go to graduate school or even earn your doctorate, then you will be spending a lot of your adulthood in academia. As such, you may as well try to get into the best schools possible so that you can really have something to show for all the time and hard work that you put in. That’s why it’s important to get into a brand name school from the very start.

  1. Easier to Find Employment with Major Corporations

Once you do decide to enter the work force, you are going to want to find a high paying job so that you can pay back your student loans and/or really prove to your parents that you actually made something of your education. The good thing is that you will have a much easier time getting interviews and getting your foot in the door with some of the bigger companies that offer higher paying jobs.

  1. More Favorable Starting Positions

The great thing about graduating from a distinguished university is that you will definitely move up the ladder much more quickly. If you graduate from UAB Online with the same degree as someone who graduated from Harvard, you will probably start as an unpaid intern, whereas the other person will start with a salaried position. In all reality, you may both be just as talented, but the brand name schools really do go a long way.

5 Steps to Selecting a College Major

Choosing a college major can be a very difficult decision to make. It’s hard enough to put all the work into studying and taking your SATs, keeping your grades up, applying for colleges, and preparing yourself for the big transition. When you start to ask yourself what you want to do with the rest of your life on top of all that, it can be utterly overwhelming. That said, it’s good to remember that a lot of people actually find careers that have nothing to do with their college majors, so you may as well enjoy your college days. If you’re not sure where to start, here are 5 steps to selecting a college major.

  1. Reflect on Your Favorite Pastimes

A lot of people choose the most secure or open-ended majors because they assume that this will be the easiest way to find a high-paying job. Unfortunately, though, if you don’t truly love what you do, you will burn out pretty quickly and you will usually try desperately to find a way to pursue your original passion. You know, the one that you once thought was impossible.

  1. Research Individuals who are Successful in a Particular Field

Once you can allow yourself to consider what it would be like to actually pursue your passion, you want to make a short list of professionals within that field. You can take a look at the way they got to where they are now and ask yourself if you are capable of doing the same. It’s likely that each person you admire in that field got there a slightly different way, so be sure you can really appreciate the different options you have in your trajectory.

  1. Assess Your Proposed Trajectory

Once you have an idea of the different ways that you could successfully pursue your passion, you want to lay out exactly how you might get there. Will you need to go to earn a post graduate education? Will you need to move to a major city? Will you need to go on a slew of auditions? No matter what it is that you might need to do, you want to write a brief outline of what it would look like.

  1. Talk to People in Various Stages of that Trajectory

Once you have a good idea of what all the proposed steps might be along your career path, you want to see if you can talk to people who are currently in the process of completing all those steps. If you can find a large number of people to talk to, you can get a more balanced understanding of what your proposed future might look like. If you’re meeting a lot of people who seem disillusioned or burned out, then it might be a sign that you should consider a different career path.

  1. Research Alternatives

Once you’ve really done your due diligence with researching your ultimate passion, you may want to do the same for some other interests you have. If you plan to go to Maryville University, then you should look at the different degree programs they offer and talk to people at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. This way you can better assess what your best options are within the university.