Ways of Saving Money on Textbooks

Ways of Saving Money on Textbooks

Saving money on textbooks will ease your budget as a student. As grants respond to your tuition needs, there are also ways of decreasing textbook expenses.

Book exchange

You can start a book exchange with friends and classmates. In a book exchange, you will pool together your current textbooks. This will work well for students who share most courses. Members can get textbooks they need for the particular day, and return them after use. The problem with this is that you will be sharing textbooks. So, you may not have enough time for each of your texts.


If you want to borrow your textbooks from the library, make sure that you get your reading list early. Head to the library as soon as you get the list to borrow your needed texts. You have to move quickly because libraries may have limited copies.

Buy online

Buying via the Internet may sound high-tech, but you can actually save if you know where to look. Visit sites, such as Ebay, for discounts. Even major online stores, such as Amazon, offer discounted books. You can also download electronic textbooks for free from reputable sites. Just make sure that you only download materials that are not copyright protected.

Buy used

Used books are always cheaper. So browse through stores that sell used books; you may just find your needed texts. It may not work if professors insist on you having the latest editions. However, for instances when you are using an old edition, you can even buy from someone who is at least a year ahead of you in school.


You can also rent textbooks. Textbook rentals will let you use their textbooks for a long period of time, perhaps even for the whole term. Prices are usually less than half of the textbook’s retail price, maybe even lower at 80% off.


If you have a friend or neighbor using the same textbook, you may each pay half for the same textbook. You have to make sure though that you do not share the same class hours. You do have to adjust to the fact that like in the book exchange, you will not have as much time with the textbook as when you are the sole owner.

Time is up…

If you do decide to buy your textbooks, used or brand-new, you can sell them after the term is over. This way, a portion of your money comes back to you.

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Habits of Highly Unsuccessful Students: A List

Habits of Highly Unsuccessful Students. A List

You’ll find tons of self-help articles for students who are having a difficult time just trying to get by every single day in school. So instead of giving you tips on how to breeze through college and graduate school, what we’ll give you is an idea on what makes a student inefficient and how not to fall into the trap of becoming one. If you find yourself falling under any of the categories below, it’s time to re-evaluate your current studying habits and turn them into more productive ones.

* Unsuccessful students revel in mediocrity.

This is a common tendency among students especially when school work starts piling up. The aim is no longer to ace an exam or paper, but merely to get a passing grade. Because you’ve already turned down a night out with your friends to write a paper, might as well maximize the time by writing it the best way you can. If you get an A for a well-written report, at least you can say that the Friday night spent all by your lonesome was time well spent. In the academe, you will be surprised to find out that mediocrity is the norm, but it doesn’t mean that you have to be a mediocre student. There are plenty of opportunities for you to shine, so you might as well grab these opportunities – whether they be in your homework, your essays, and your extracurricular activities.

* Unsuccessful students act on impulse.

Hasty decisions almost always lead to complications and bring an even bigger hassle than what you were originally dealing with. This is not to say that you should forego spontaneity in all cases. Rather, learn to distinguish between decisions that need to be thought through and those which you can make on the go. For example, submitting a thesis topic proposal about something you just thought of two minutes ago can have problematic repercussions. Take the time to consult your teachers, counselors, and parents or guardians in your decisions. Their inputs on your academic plans will be invaluable in the long term.

* Unsuccessful students procrastinate to no end.

Yes, there are students who work best under pressure. But there are also those who use this excuse just to slack off and procrastinate. If you’re having an “off” day and cerebral activities are the last thing on your mind, there are still tons of productive things you can do that require minimum brain exercise. Remember those handouts you were looking for last week? Chances are, they’re somewhere in that pile of files and handouts you’ve left on the floor of your room. Rearranging your files, and making them accessible, is a non-cerebral, productive activity which will help maximize your studying time. Do you have a very important paper due next month, why not head to the library and take a few minutes just browsing through resources that you can consult when you make your draft. You may not read through them, but at least you already have a short list of your references.

* Unsuccessful students dwell on failures and negativity.

If you easily get discouraged and dwell on your self-perceived incompetence, this may translate to even lower grades in the future. This is because negativity gives rise to feelings of resignation in doing your school work, which will consequently result in poor academic performance. What you should do is use your failures as a jumping off point for improvement. Take them as lessons and vow to avoid committing the same mistakes in the future. For example, if you turned in a hastily done essay last semester and your teacher called your attention on your carelesness, spend a few minutes re-reading your future essays, correcting simple grammatical lapses, and refining your output.

* They employ short-term thinking and don’t see the bigger picture.

A clear example of this would be not studying for an exam, thinking that one failed exam couldn’t possibly drag down your entire GPA. Another example would be seeing one’s studies as an end in itself. Especially for those in graduate and medical school, some students think that getting good grades doesn’t matter as long as they graduate. If you’re in high school, bear in mind that getting good grades, not just passing ones, are your ticket to getting into the best colleges. This is true for college students who plan to go to graduate, medical, MBA, or law schools. When you apply for college, you will be submitting your academic records, which reflect how you did in high school.

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The Rewards and Challenges of Becoming and Being a Medical Doctor

The ambition to become a medical doctor is a goal that must be steadfastly followed. Medical school itself, with its demands on one’s physical and mental abilities, may already be too stressful for many. The end of it, however, is still not the end of the road for some.

If you want to be part of the medical community, you still have to apply to medical school. Medical schools will be looking at your GPA and your personality when you apply. Even if your grades are not as high as most top medical schools in the country require, give yourself points by completing requirements that are needed. These requirements include credits in the natural sciences and the social sciences. You will also need to submit a personal statement. If you have observed examples of personal statements written for medical schools, they give accounts of community involvement or other instances that support your medical school bid. These examples of personal statements will also shed light to characteristics needed in order to become a fully-fledged doctor.

Being in medical school

When already in medical school, be prepared for long hours of studying. The first two years are mostly spent inside the classrooms, listening to lectures, and being exposed to the basic disciplines of medicine such as human anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, pathology, and medical ethics.

Many students, especially those who did not major in the sciences in college, have difficulties in subjects like biochemistry and pathology, so having a rich background in the sciences is essential.  It is also much difficult to cram in medical school, so you do have to keep up for every lesson.  Second year may already find some students experiencing burn-outs while third year becomes a temporary reprieve because it is more clinical than theoretical. Many medical students in their first and second year pull all-nighters to study for an exam. These years are also the time when being sociable becomes a plus factor because many medical students join study groups so that they can perform in their exams better.

At this stage of their medical training, medical students begin making supervised rounds in hospital wards. However, your responsibilities also increase when you reach fourth year because you will be have surgical rotations.

The difficulties of becoming a full-fledged doctor

The road to become a full-fledged doctor is very long and stressful. You need to have a bachelor’s degree, which usually takes 4 years, to enroll into medical school. Then, after four intensive years in medical school, you have to take three more years of residency (at the very least) to earn a specialization. Residency is much more difficult than the already stressful medical school because you will put your knowledge to practical use while earning several hours of sleep debt every night you are on-call. The number of years of residency will depend on the specialization, which can range from 3 to 7 years. If you still want to get a higher rank or receive more specialized training, you have to go through a fellowship after your residency, which can last for two to three years.

Rewards and challenges

The challenges are not over after you become a full-fledged doctor. You still have to go through regular stressful situations and may get sued for malpractice. However, if you love your job and do well in your specialization, the financial reward may be as high as more than a million dollars annually. Of course, there are also specializations that can only reward you around $100,000 annually. To earn more, you need to choose more complicated specializations such as neurosurgery.

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Getting to Know the Top Ten American Law Schools

Getting to Know the Top Ten American Law Schools

The ranking of law schools in the United States depends on several criteria, including both qualitative and quantitative data. Some lists focus on only one criterion. However, after putting together the results of surveys, the top ten law schools turn out to be schools that are consistently making the lists of the best. If you want to become a successful lawyer one day, acceptance into one of these schools gets you closer to your goal.

The top-ranking law schools in America as of the year 2008 are:

1. Yale University
2. Harvard University
3. Stanford University
4. Columbia University
5. New York University
6. University of California-Berkeley
7. University of Chicago
8. University of Pennsylvania
9. Northwestern University
10. University of Michigan

Some information about the best American law schools: the top 5

Yale University Law School claims top place as the best law school in the United States (2008). Its intimate classes, with one of the lowest student-to-teacher ratio in the country, contribute to its healthy learning environment. It has also not forgotten the less-privileged, with its scholarships and outreach programs.

Coming in close to Yale Law School is Harvard University Law School. It prides itself with its ability to provide a broad selection of legal subjects and degrees, from a Bachelor in Law to a Doctor in Juridical Science.

The current third-placer, Stanford University Law school established its law department in 1893 and its law school fifteen years later. It is a good place to do research because it boasts of a library that contains more than half a million books.

Meanwhile, New York University’s School of Law goes further back to 1835. It is known to be one of first law schools to accept female enrollees. Columbia University Law School also makes it mark by employing professors who have established private or public practices.

And the rest of the top 10

Berkeley Law of the University of California – Berkeley tries to make itself stand out with its intellectual property program. The University of Chicago Law has its own brand of making students and faculty active, through its six published journals. The University of Pennsylvania Law School’s cross-disciplinary studies enables students to understand other fields in order to later on function as fully developed citizens. Finally, Northwestern University Law School promotes its accelerated JD program while Michigan, although tenth over-all ranks five for the number of law professors.

Your move…

Knowing the top ten and their best qualities should motivate you to start preparing for your application to meet the stringent requirements of these law schools. There are many available examples of personal statements specific to law school. These examples of personal statements will familiarize you with what law schools are looking for. If your grades are not that high, your best chance to be accepted in a top-ranking law school is a personal statement that conveys a personality compatible to law school.

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Making Use of One of the Three Most Common Types of Personal Statements

Making Use of One of the Three Most Common Types of Personal Statements

Because a personal statement must make an applicant noticed, its 3 most common types revolve on engaging topics. The personal statement or school admission essay must reflect the applicant’s personality. This is a must because the admissions committee wants to get to know you first, the applicant, even through ink and paper alone.

The needs of admission committees have given rise to the 3 most common kinds of personal statements: rising from adversity, use of a quote that summarizes your experiences, and use of a metaphor to illustrate what your life has been so far. Using any of these three does not necessarily mean that you will be writing a tired, overused essay. When you put in your unique angle and your own specific details, you will be able to write an effective personal statement. To make sure that you are doing the right thing while still relating fresh ideas, browse through examples of personal statements.  These examples of personal statements will provide you with techniques on how to completely customize your admission essay.

Overcoming the odds

One common type of personal statement is the “rising from adversity” theme. The topics that can be dealt with can vary greatly. Your personal tragedy may be as serious as being a first-generation immigrant who felt like an outcast at high school because of language and cultural barriers or being someone who has supported oneself through college (in cases of applying to graduate school). If you have disabilities, then you can also discuss how you overcame them. Disabilities that you can focus on in your personal statement can include learning disabilities such as dyslexia or physical disabilities. Adversities may vary in gravity such as having to adjust constantly through your formative years because you moved from house to house several times due to your dad’s job.

No matter what the odds in question are, it is the way that you handle your situation that the admissions committee is more interested in. If you have proven that you are made of stronger stuff than the next person without sounding too arrogant, you may just win a slot into the school of your choice. However, remember to keep your tone positive even though you are discussing problems that you have once encountered.

How a quote defines your life

Although some advise against using a quote in your personal statement, there are still several examples of personal statements that make effective use of it. If you do want to use a quote that will define your experiences in life, choose one that has not been overused. Look for quotations from less famous sources in order to present an intriguing take on an otherwise overdone personal statement tactic. You may even use a quote from your mother, your father, or any person that has had a significant influence in your life.

One of the reasons people do not recommend using the quote in the personal statement is that, sometimes, the writer does not come up with an essay that is directly connected or relevant to the quote. Sometimes, the quote feels isolated from the essay. To avoid this common problem, remember to make references to the quote once or twice in your essay so that the reader will see the connection.

Your life as a metaphor

Another common kind of personal statement is the use of a metaphor to describe your life. As with the quote, do be careful not to use an overdone comparison. If handled well, you may project yourself as a creative and philosophical person. You may also be able to convey ideas properly when using metaphors.

Again, similar to the quote, create a clear connection between the metaphor and your life or a specific point in your life. Doing so will tell the reader that your thoughts and ideas are organized and flow coherently.

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Using Examples of Personal Statements as Guides

Copying someone else’s work as your own is considered criminal, which is something akin to violating someone’s intellectual property rights. Using a sample as your guide, however, is helpful. Because the members of the admissions committee read hundreds of personal statements every year, the chances that they will read a plagiarized essay is not that slim. So, come up with your own attention-grabbing personal statement, something that will really stand out from the pile.

There are many examples of personal statements found in books and on the Internet, all of them aiming to improve your understanding of what a personal statement is. These samples touch on several situations because each admission candidate is unique. For example, there are personal statements designed for those applying to law school and personal statements that are appropriate for foreign students. You will be able to choose essays that are nearest to your status and use them as your guides.

How examples of personal statements act as guides

Though most candidates know that personal statements, otherwise known as admission essays, must reflect their self beyond the resume, a lot of applicants are still confused about how to write them. Some only know how to list down all their achievements and best personality traits as if they were writing their resume. Examples of personal statements will then help them structure their essays.

If you are having trouble with what content to use, good essay samples will make you realize what to avoid and what to include. You will also learn to make your essay more interesting. Excellent examples of personal statements will show you that there is a need to make words flow more easily and to make ideas coherent.

Through examples of personal statements, you appreciate what makes a personal statement readable. You will also need to apply what you have learned from those samples so that your personal statement will not be boring or clichéd. The last thing that you want to do is bore your audience from the very first line – this may make your essay unreadable and be ignored, resulting in your not getting accepted into the college of your choice. A dragging and pointless essay may reflect a dull or apathetic personality. Examples of personal statements also show you how to gracefully handle some topics, such as bad grades, or how to highlight factors that can make your essay stand out.

Controlling your use of personal statements

Reading different kinds of sample college admission essays are very important when your aim is to perfect your personal statement. If your grades are not particularly spectacular, you need all the boost you can get. You need to skim through all the samples that are available to produce properly structured but original work. You have to remember that, though there are thousands of examples of personal statements out there, you will not be able to find one that will define you exactly. So, use the samples as mere guides and not just reword or rephrase the text from the samples. Remember, copying ideas is a form of plagiarism too.

Themes of personal statements

If you read through many good examples of personal statements available online, you will notice that these essays stick to a particular theme. These themes can include overcoming adversity, highlighting a personal achievement at school, at home, at church, or in the community. When you write your own personal statement, stay focused on the theme. Do not include unnecessary details that will only add clutter to your ideas. Most institutions of higher learning would prescribe a specific word count to the personal statement; so, stay away from useless anecdotes and make each word count.

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Balancing Humility and Self-promotion in Personal Statements

Balancing Humility and Self-promotion in Personal Statements


Striking a balance when it comes to writing the admissions essay or the personal statement is very important. Though arrogance definitely has no room in your admissions essay, it is still advisable not to be overly modest.  Excellent examples of admissions essays present a balance between humility and self-promotion. If you have been trying so hard to avoid everything that promotes your good points, you barely have anything that you can call a personal statement.

A personal statement is not just a college or a graduate school admission requirement, but it is also the primary means to project your personality and highlight specific achievements that your other requirements do not show. Schools use the personal statement or admission essay as a way to get a picture of the kinds of students they will accept. Grades may be an important factor for the admissions committee, but personal traits are also very significant factors that can determine a student’s future success in his or her desired field.

What makes an admissions essay effective?

A personal statement is a written illustration of the characteristics that make you and your desired field compatible. The admissions committee will be alert about the way you talk about your most important achievements. The committee members will see through what you are plainly saying, discovering who you really are. So, you realize that you can talk about the same thing in different ways.

An achievement that you feel will make you sound arrogant can be handled gracefully. A well-written personal statement will not just discuss the achievements the applicant is proud of, but also, it should state how making that achievement has been a learning experience or a reward to be thankful for. By writing this way, you do not have to remove your most important achievements from your personal statement. These accomplishments and your gracious reactions to them make for a very effective personal statement.

To create a balance in your personal statements, write about overcoming difficult times and personal weaknesses. Your personal statement is also your chance to explain bad grades and to express a desire for self-improvement. There are many examples of personal statements online that promote this balance between strengths and weaknesses.

How does becoming over-modest ruin your chances in getting accepted?

While humility in itself is a good trait, becoming too modest in your essay may not necessarily increase your chances of getting accepted into your desired school. For some schools, the personal statement becomes a tie-breaker when you and other candidates present resumes and college records of almost similar achievements and scores. If you have opted not to highlight your best points, your competitor to the slot may be chosen instead of you. It is balance, not omission, that will get you accepted.

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Top 7 misconceptions about financial aid

Top 7 misconceptions about financial aid

There are many misconceptions about financial aid.  Many people are afraid to request for financial aid because of these, especially because of the top 7 false beliefs.  Financial aid is actually more easily granted than most people give it credit for.  It is a purely defeatist attitude to say that it is just too impossible to get the grant before even trying to apply for it.

Requirement-based misconceptions

Financial aid seems to be the sort of thing that your straight A student friend has, or something that you can attribute to a classmate who is being raised by his grandparents.  Anyway, those are two misconceptions.  One misconception is that financial aid is only offered to the gifted ones: the straight A students, the outstanding athletes and the promising musicians or leaders.  Financial aid actually does not discriminate.  Once the need is established, you can be granted aid.  Two, you can only apply for financial aid if you are obviously poor.  This misconception can also be reiterated by saying that if you are wealthy, you cannot apply for financial aid.  Actually, the basis for the grant is not wealth but need.  Apply for the aid even if you think you are too well-off.  Then you will be given an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) based on your family’s wealth and expenses.  A third misconception based on requirement is that a foreigner cannot apply for financial aid.  If you are a foreign student, look for schools that thrive on being multi-ethnic or you can try for athletic or academic scholarships.  The last but not the least misconception based on requirement is that part-time students cannot apply financial aid.  Having less credits in school does mean that you do not need help.  You have to maintain a minimum of six credits however.

Misconceptions on financial aid itself

Three misconceptions on the idea of financial aid are: that millions of dollars intended for financial aid are unclaimed every year, loans are not financial aid, and you can apply for it at the last minute.  The first two are somewhat related.  The first misconception can be a line from a scam.  Be wary of people offering financial aid that will be needing an initial fee.  Because the government is responsible for about 70% of the aid, there may not actually be enough for all those who need it.  This means that the government also offers financial aid through loans.  Student loans are also financial aid, but in a different form. Now that you know that financial aid reaches those who need it, you have to be on time with your application; many people will be needing the grant.

There are examples of personal statements that can help win financial aid

Do you know that your personal statement can help you not just get in a college or graduate school but it can also earn you financial aid?  Excellent examples of personal statements will show the admissions office that you are truly worth the grant.  You must be able to convey your purpose and goals.  Anyway, you must be more confident now that you know how much easier it is to get financial aid.

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