Tag Archives: Colleges and Universities

Smart Ways to Save Money on a U.S. Bachelors Degree


The cost of a U.S. Bachelors ranges from $10k a year at community colleges to $55k a year at expensive institutions. As the cost of college sky rockets, students and parents are looking more closely at value versus investment. Here are three ideas that both domestic and international students can do to reduce the cost of earning a U.S Bachelor’s degree:

1. Many U.S. colleges and universities offer online courses that you can take from home in your first or second semester. If you can take a few courses without being on campus in your first year, go for it. For international students, this means staying at home with your parents while taking U.S classes. It is a great idea and can save you significant dollars. You save on boarding and lodging while earning a U.S degree. Can’t beat that!

2. Many international students don’t know about community colleges or they have a bad impression about community colleges.  Even after you enroll in a 4-year university, you can still take some courses at a community college and have them transferred. This will also save you some money.

3.  Some universities have campuses around the world that offer the same degree as they do in the U.S. See if a campus is less expensive and take a few courses at that campus. This has multiple benefits. In your resume you can say that you have lived and experienced different cultures and countries. This is invaluable. Also, you earn the same degree for a lower cost. And you may be able to select a country that is closer to your home country, making travel back and forth less expensive.



Ten Commandments for a Good College Essay


Vector image of the Nobel prize medal, annotatedImage via Wikipedia

How to write a good college essay:

Writing  a college essay is hard work. In fact, it is probably one of the most difficult assignments that students will encounter in their educational career. Staring at a blank page with nothing to say or not knowing what to say is a sinking feeling. Essays require many iterations; they should be reviewed by people from different backgrounds and age groups. Getting your friend to review your essay is not a great idea! First, the Admission Officer in all likelihood is older than your friend and second, most of your friends will not want to hurt your feelings. There are extensive resources on how to write a good essay. A few are listed at the end of this article. Just as how it is important to know how to write a good essay, it is equally important to know what not to do.

Ten Commandments for Writing a Good College Essay:

  1. Thou shall not lie by passing off someone else’s work as yours. You can always ask someone to review your essay and give you ideas. But if someone else is writing your essay for you, well then, that is a bad idea.
  2. Thou shall not use words that would require the reader to use a dictionary.
  3. Thou shall not tell stories that are not true simply because they sound impressive.
  4. Thou shall adhere to the length recommended by the university. If the university requests a two page essay, writing five will not put you on top of the heap.
  5. Thou shall not list every award you won since you were in elementary school.
  6. Thou shall not elaborate on how you are 100% confident about winning the Nobel Prize.
  7. Thou shall not whine about what a tough life you have had.
  8. Thou shall be truthful about your goals and accomplishments.
  9. Thou shall not cut and paste.
  10. Thou shall not commit spelling and grammatical errors.

Below are some great resources for how to write a good college essay:





 It is hard work, but if you do the work, you will be proud of yourself and you would have an important skill!

Dr. Uma G. Gupta is the CEO and Founder of PlanetGPA.com

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A crowd of college students at the 2007 Pittsb...Image via Wikipedia

Selecting universities is complex, time-consuming, and tiring. The mistake that most students and families make is that they treat college selection as an intellectual decision. It is. But it is also a highly emotional decision. If you apply a set of criteria, you will arrive at a long list of universities, all of which meet your criteria. But some universities inherently will have greater appeal to you. It will feel right to you. And like all decisions of the heart, you may second guess yourself and worry about your decision. This is natural. Be confident that the dust will settle. The anxiety will go away. Listen to your head and to your heart. You will never go wrong!

Dr. Uma G. Gupta, CEO and Founder, PlanetGPA.com

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Masters in the USA


The Graduate School LibraryImage via Wikipedia

There are many graduate schools in the US. Students have plenty of choices in terms of what they want to study. The other good thing about US graduate programs is that some amount of funding or scholarships are usually available to good students. A great website for information about graduate programs is the Council of Graduate Schools at http://www.cgsnet.org/Default.aspx?tabid=359

Best wishes!

Dr. Uma G. Gupta is the CEO and Founder of PlanetGPA

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Not all US universities are equal..


International_Studies_Grad_14Image by shawncalhoun via Flickr

International students who want to study in the US – note, not all US universities are the same. Simply because you have "heard" about a university doesn't mean it is good. Simply because your neighbor or friend attended that university doesnt make it good. At the very least, you should check to see if the university you are considering is accredited. See link:  http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/

Why does accreditation matter? Think about it like a car or a house. You want someone to inspect the car or house and tell you that it meets basic standards of quality. That's exactly what accreditation means for universities! There are other considerations as well – but start with asking if your university is accredited.

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