Tag Archive | "online education"

FAFSA Scams of 2016: What You Need to Know

FAFSA-scams-2016By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS

With 2016 now here, it is time to think about filling out the FAFSA for your 2016-17 school year. If it is your first time doing so, it can be a very stressful task. The FAFSA asks for a lot of personal information, and it can be very intimidating to sit down and attempt to fill it out for the first time. If you are a dependent, you will not only need your own financial information, but also your parents’ or guardians’ financial information. Unfortunately, there are people out there that want to take advantage of potential students by tricking them into thinking they can offer help when you are filling out the FAFSA. Here are tips for avoiding two of the best-known (and convincing) FAFSA scams:

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Student Profile: Rebuilding Health for Developing Countries

American Public University Alumna, Prasida Khanal

American Public University Alumna, Prasida Khanal

Interview with APU Alumna, Prasida Khanal

The following profile is the fifth in a series of student profiles of our students and alumni at the university.

Job title: Health Services Manager at Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties, St. Paul, Minnesota

Degree earned: Master of Public Health, 2015, American Public University

What led you to choose a Master’s in Public Health?

My home country of Nepal has been crushed with a decade-long Maoist insurgency, political instability, poverty and a humanitarian crisis. These were difficult times for many Nepali families like us, who lost a loved one, or were persecuted or exiled. Amidst the chaos, I was fortunate to receive a scholarship to study dentistry in one of the most reputed universities in Nepal, the B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences. I worked as a community dentist in rural and underserved areas. While I realized that I could improve the oral health status of my people, there was always the chance that they would go back to a house without water or sanitation. During my work in Nepal, there were diarrhea epidemics and women who died during childbirth. These issues encouraged me to take steps forward to improve the health of the public. I feel blessed to have joined APU to help make my dreams a reality.

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Posted in Editor's Pick, Education Options, Email Newsletter, Online LearningComments (0)

Upgrade Your Holiday Wishlist

holiday-gift-giving-studentBy J. Mason
Online Career Tips Editor

It’s a magical time of year for many, even for those of us who have outgrown our belief in Santa. For those celebrating Christmas it’s the time to share time with the people you love, and give gifts. If you could stuff your stocking with something besides candies and trinkets, what would you put in it for school?

Besides wanting material items like the new Kindle, noise canceling headphones, or anything off of your Amazon wishlist, what about something intangible? Start a school improvement list, instead of just wishing for things to magically change.

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Have You Created an Outline Lately?

creating-outlines-online-classBy J. Mason
Online Learning Tips Editor

Along with your arsenal of sticky notes and note cards there’s one other item you should always prepare in class, an outline. Every good research paper has a sense of order to it and one of the best ways to achieve that is through an orderly collection of thought.

If you have ever created a mind map to help in writing a paper, then an outline is not too far off from this approach. The outline should begin with your direction, or thesis for the paper. Separate out the main points by “chapters” or stages. Give each stage supporting statements, or factual information from your class text. This is a great tool for those averse to writing papers. Once you’ve finished the outline you have a blueprint for the paper. You can refer to your blueprint and build on it as you conduct your research. In my writing process for class I like to create the outline before diving into the work. This way you can fill in the blanks as you move through the text.

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Walking for the Holidays and Public Health Benefits

walk-during-holidays-public-healthBy Dr. Samer Koutoubi
Program Director, Public Health at American Public University

As you sit down to enjoy the festivities of  Thanksgiving Day, and the upcoming holiday season family get-togethers, parties, and shopping, you may experience difficulties maintaining a normal exercise schedule and training regimen. Don’t let the holidays take over, start planning a workout a schedule in advance to maintain your overall health for the holidays.

Did you know that you can burn a lot of calories while walking? An average person who weighs 180 pounds can burn 100 calories per mile while walking. So let’s walk off the weight during the holidays! Also, eating healthy and burning calories can help you lose weight and protect you against chronic diseases. Make a game of it. See how many calories you can burn during your daily activities around the house. For online students, this is a great habit to keep; especially during intense weeks of nothing by studying and sitting in front of the computer. Making the time to get up and move are vital to your health.

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The Positive Aspects of Student Loan Debt

positive-impact-student-loansBy Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS

Whether you hear presidential candidates speaking on it, read it in the newspaper, or see it on the news, student loan debt seems to be an insurmountable problem with no solution and no positive consequences. While the total student loan debt in this country is absolutely absurd, that does not necessarily mean that student loan debt is completely negative. In fact, there are a handful of good things that come out of student loan debt, and some of these benefits are described below:

  1. Loan debt can be viewed as an investment in human capital.
    The government provides money to college students in hopes that they will use that money to earn a degree and become a valuable member of society. There is no denying that individuals with a college degree earn more money on average than an individual without one. Even though interest rates can be high and tuition costs can be excessive, many college students end up earning a degree that pays off in the long run. The ultimate hope of the Department of Education is that every individual that starts college has that same outcome.
  2. Loan debt helps fund other aid-based programs.
    The Pell Grant, one of the best forms of Federal Student Aid (FSA), is funded through the interest received on student loans. The Pell Grant is given to financially-needy students, and it is not required to be paid back. While the Pell Grant may not help all students, it does help those that otherwise may not have a chance to go to college.
  3. For individual students with loan debt, they can use it as a vehicle to build credit and boost their credit score.
    Young people have to start somewhere when it comes to building credit, and taking out school loans (and paying them back in a timely manner) is a great way to show creditors you are financially responsible. Contrary to popular belief, manageable student loan debt may actually aid you when it comes time to buy a house, car, or other large purchase. For example, some of the First-Time Home Buyer loans require individuals to have at least three open lines of credit (for at least a year) to prove they are capable of handling debt.

Rising student loan debt is still a major problem in this country. However, the bigger problem lies with irresponsible borrowing, non-completers, and students not positioning themselves for gainful employment. Managing your student loan debt is actually a great way to build credit, and it hopefully resulted in a college degree that can be put to use immediately. It may be much easier said than done, but having student loan debt does not have to be a black cloud over your head; in fact, it can reap you (and the economy) major benefits.

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Student Profile: Helping Our Heroes

American Military University Alumnus, Jason McClaren

American Military University Alumnus, Jason McClaren

Interview with AMU Alumnus, Jason McClaren

The following profile is the fourth in a series of student profiles of our students and alumni at the university.

Job title: Manager, Safety and Emergency Management, Brazosport Regional Health System

Degree earned: M.A, Emergency and Disaster Management, 2014, and B.S., Fire Science Management, 2011, American Military University

What led you to choose a master’s in emergency and disaster management?

My goal as a child was to do 20 years in the Air Force, retire, and teach JROTC, but after seven years as an Air Force firefighter that was cut short due to a death in my family. The death required me to relocate to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where there were no positions available in my career field at any of the nearby bases. At that point, I had a choice to start at the bottom of a municipal fire department and work my way back up the ladder or pursue my education. I chose the latter, getting my bachelor’s degree in fire science. While working on that, new career opportunities were opening up. I discovered the field of emergency management, and it fit great with my personality and my ideas on how I wanted to be involved with emergency response for the future of my career.

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Student Profile: Intelligence Studies Student to Cyber Threat Professional

American Military University Alumnus, Eric Sifford

American Military University Alumnus, Eric Sifford

Interview with AMU Alumnus, Eric Sifford

The following profile is the third in a series of student profiles of our students and alumni at the university.

Job title: Vice President, Information Security Engineering, Bank of America

Degree earned: B.A., Intelligence Studies, 2013, American Military University

What have you been up to since earning your degree at AMU?

Since earning my degree with AMU in 2013, I PCSed to Fort Gordon, Georgia, where I was assigned as a Counterintelligence Cyber Collection Technician. I was deployed back to the Middle East in late 2014 in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE, and I obtained two additional certifications: Information Systems Security Engineering Professional (ISSEP) and Professional Certified Investigator (PCI). In August 2015, I began the transition to leave for retirement from the Army, and in September 2015, I began working for Bank of America as an Information Security Engineering Specialist at their Corporate Headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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