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Month: March 2015

The One State with Low Student Debt

The One State with Low Student Debt


There is only one state where the average college student has less that $20,000 of debt when they graduate.  In all 50 United States, we can only find one state with this statistic and that award goes to the western state of New Mexico.  Student debt is becoming a bigger and bigger issue in America.

In a study released in November 2014, New Mexico was found to be the only state where the average college student graduates with less than $20,000 in debt.  

They weren’t far below that mark though, their average came in at $18,656.  New Hampshire came in with the highest ranking student debt, at $32,795.  As more students borrow and borrow more, it drives the cost up – leading to more and more students borrowing.

One of the biggest problems with student debt is it holds the graduate back from their full life potential after graduation.  Having over $30,000 in student loans leads to putting off buying a house, getting married, saving for your own children’s education, starting a business, or saving for retirement.  This delays the benefit that these adults could be to our economy.

Rethinking the traditional college route is becoming more and more of a necessity in our world today.  Testing out of courses and taking online courses can help shorten your time spent on campus and decrease your total college cost.  In addition, the average CLEP prep book is $30 – compared to the average $300 textbook for a traditional classroom course.

There are other options out there, besides binding yourself to thousands of dollars in student debt.  Let’s step back and look at the conveyor belt way of college.  Maybe there is a different way to do it.

How to Schedule a CLEP Test

How to Schedule a CLEP Test

schedule_CLEPScheduling a CLEP exam used to be as easy as calling your proctor, telling her what exam you were going to take, and picking a day.  Now, thanks to some revisions by CollegeBoard, there are a few more steps to take before you can go CLEP a class.  So here is a basic rundown on how to schedule a CLEP exam.

Visit the CLEP CollegeBoard website 

Once there, register for your chosen exam.  Note that you will need to create a free account with CollegeBoard.  You will fill out all your personal information (once!) and it will save for future exams.  Also, you will need to go find your exam and “add it to cart”.  This is just registering for the exam.  You will go ahead and purchase the exam there ($80.00).  Print your ticket and save the PDF copy to your computer.  I had to reprint once and was very glad I had saved it!  🙂

Call Your Proctor

This part doesn’t really change.  Just work out a date with your proctor and put it on your calendar.  Don’t forget!

Go Take Your Exam

Take your ticket with you when you head off to take your exam.  It has a code on it that you will need and your proctor will need to see your ticket as well.  You will also need to pay the proctor fee – usually around $20.00.  You don’t prepay that because it is going to your center, not CLEP.


There are a few more steps now, but nothing major.  Once I had done it a few times it was no big deal.  Just make sure you pre-register and take your ticket with you!  For more information on CLEP exams in general, visit my page: CLEP Exams.


Skills for College Students

Skills for College Students


Skills for College Students: Reading, Writing, and Keyboarding

There are several skills that everyone should learn.  Not only will they help you succeed in school, they can help you be successful in the rest of your “normal” life.  Having these skills not only allows you to study and communicate effectively, they can help prove to prospective employers that you care about learning and that you have the ability to learn.  These are skills that you can’t be taught, you have to teach them to yourself.  You have to have the desire and the discipline to sit down and learn them.  So, without further delay, here are a few skills for college students to learn and develop – in class, their personal life, and the workplace.


In our technological age, this skill is becoming more and more vital for students to know.  Being able to type well and quickly will save you time in class, as you type out notes.  It is also an asset in a job hunt.  Make sure you include your typing speed on your resume!

Figure out how fast you type with a fun typing game!

And learn how to type or improve your skills with a free, online program!

Speed Reading

We can all read, but being able to read quickly for information is a skill most of us have to learn.  I highly suggest that all college students take a speed reading course.  It probably won’t make you the fastest reader in the world, but just improving your speed a little bit is a good thing.

See how fast you read with this fun, quick test!

 Writing to Share Information

Writing is becoming a lost art.  Texting, with it’s short bursts of information, has become the only way many people communicate.  And now with autocorrect, we don’t even have to know how to spell anymore.  Being able to write clearly and effectively is a skill that professor and employers are looking for.

For a fun course in writing, try Institute for Excellence in Writing.  I’ve taken multiple courses from them and love them!