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  • 10 Reasons Your College Degree Makes Your Life Better

    Pursuing a college education and deciding on a degree is an important and challenging decision: financially, academically, personally, socially, intellectually, and physically. Most students question why they are trying to get a college degree at some point during their college experience, especially after their first semester or two when the focus requires a narrowing to a specific interest or field. This list is designed to show you the reasons to finish, stay on track, and complete a goal you set out to pursue.

    You'll make more money. Figures range from several hundred thousand to a million dollars or more over your lifetime when compared to only having a high school diploma.

    You'll have more opportunities in your career. A degree can mean more job openings, more chances at promotions, and more flexibility with which jobs you can enjoy.

    You'll have more control and knowledge in your own life. You'll be better educated about the things that have an impact on your day-to-day life: knowing how to read a contract from law classes, balancing a checkbook or understanding how loans work from accounting classes. You can better understand retirement plans and savings from finance classes. A college education can empower you in all kinds of ways to be more in control of your life's decisions and allow you to make more informed and smarter choices.

    You can handle more challenges and adversity. From having more savings available for emergencies to having marketable skills and an education during an economic downturn, having a degree can come in handy when life has its ups and downs.

    You'll always be valuable. Having a college degree today is what having a high school diploma was considered a few decades ago: the base education. Consequently, having a degree now will open doors for the future, which can lead to an employer funding your future education. Corporate training and education sponsorship will continue to grow your skills and marketable education.

    Intangible Reasons to Get a College Degree

    You'll understand your choices more and examine decisions critically. The critical thinking and reasoning skills you learn in college will stay with you for a lifetime. These are important problem solving skills that develop in the advanced classes at college. These allow you to be proactive in your life and decisions.

    You can be a valuable resource/inspiration to others. Many social service positions, from doctor and lawyer to teacher and scientist, require a college degree at minimum. Being able to help others with your academic skills is a great reward and can be especially important for younger generations who will learn an education is important early on in their life.

    You'll have more access to resources. In addition to the financial resources you'll have access to through your higher income, you'll also have access to the network of friends and peers you connect with in college. Your roommate from freshman year who is now a lawyer can assist in legal advice, your friend from chemistry class who is now a doctor can prescribe health advice, and the professors you connect with may bridge you to a job are the kinds of benefits and resources that are hard to plan for -- but that can make all the difference in the world.

    You'll have a strong foundation to build your future education upon. As you continue and advance in your career, you may find the desire or need to obtain a higher level degree such as a masters or PHD. Having an undergraduate degree already under your belt will better allow you to pursue your aspirations when they further develop later in your career.

    You'll build confidence, self-worth, and self-respect. You may be the first person in your family to graduate from college or you may come from a long line of graduates. Either way, knowing you earned your degree will show you completed a long-term goal you set out to do. You’ll carry your success onto the next stages of life and build upon them to grow further in your professional and academic endeavors.

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  • Pursuing a College Degree in a Recession: Is it Worth it?


    Wondering if now is a good time to get a college degree? Even considering investing into an education can have an intimidating effect on your financial situation. With grants and scholarships, prospective students can still be burdened by student debt and loans. Being in a recession multiplies these burdens and worries, leaving you with one question: is it all worth it?

    Economic downturns and recessions change the status quo for employers and employees. As companies spend less and hire less, growth remains flat. If companies can’t adapt and provide a lasting service or product when consumers are spending less, the company will begin to fail. When companies fail, employees are laid off, unemployment rates increase, and suddenly the job pool is filled with skilled and unskilled prospective workers alike, all looking for a position. This is great for companies that are growing and hiring, as they have a prime selection of employees that are altogether skilled, educated, and eager to work. However, the job hunters, especially those less educated and degreed, will have a hard time filling roles that others are more suitable to fill. With only so many jobs available on the tree of employment, those that are standing on a ladder of education will reach the top picks. Those low-hanging jobs that may have been available in better times are fewer in a recession, and also picked by the more educated if times get hard. Jobs that require just a high-school degree are disappearing, but those requiring post-secondary education are increasing. A Georgetown study predicted that by 2018, 22 million new jobs would be created that require college degrees, but at least 3 million fewer people would earn college diplomas or bachelor degrees. All in all, degree holders will have many more opportunities than those who drop out. The under-skilled and under-educated are left empty handed, so what can they do?

    The good news is, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, the higher your education, the more earning potential you have and also the lower unemployment you will face.

    However, there are plenty of stories every day of young students rushing into an expensive college without a financial plan or budget, taking out huge amounts of debt and student loans, then being unable to find a job after graduating. With interest and large monthly payments looming over them, things can get scary fast. We can see that a higher education is worth it for both income and employment opportunities. This is true regardless of a recession, and recessions can provide the perfect chances to make a positive change in your education and future. Maybe you’re working a part-time job or no job at all. You have the time to further your skills and education. Scholarships exist everywhere and aren’t just based on financial need. There are plenty that are merit-based and awarded for academic success and aptitude. Spend time searching and applying for all you can, even ones you don’t think you qualify for, you’d be surprised. It takes a lot of time and work, but the money you save is more than worth it. You can also find paid internships and coops during school to help earn, and do your job-hunting, research, and networking before you graduate so the transition from college to workplace will be smooth. Use your time wisely, focus on your studies, and do the best you can. When the economy bounces back and companies are hiring up, you’ll stand out with your new degree.

    For those unable to acquire the solid financial backing required to attend college nearly debt-free, there are other options you may not have considered. Massive online course providers such as iStudySmart.com offer dozens of classes that can be taken online while students lounge at home in pajamas, at a fraction of university costs. According to an mnn.com article, “some believe these classes will replace many of the requirements in traditional two-year and four-year colleges. In the Pew study, roughly 60 percent believed that online coursework would change higher education by 2020. "There was a strong sense that, at a minimum, blended coursework — some combination of offline and online coursework — was going to be the reality for many students," said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, which conducted the survey.”

    Classes taken online with iStudySmart.com can be used to pass college-equivalency exams and earn hundreds of hours of course credit before you even set foot on a campus or classroom.  You read that right. You can earn your Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degrees off-campus. This credit can be transferred to over 3,800 colleges and universities when you’re ready. Visit istudysmart.com to learn more about testing out and to see what classes you have to choose from.


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  • Meet a Few Members of our Staff


     In today’s modern world we might call an 800 number and  speak to one person in India and another in South Dakota; yet they all work for the same company. Then there are the times you call and speak to one person at a company and they give you the information you need but you call back only to get a new person who has no idea what you’re talking about. Here at iStudySmart.com the staff is customer oriented and gives you the feeling  of the old days. The days when you knew your grocer, when you saw the same Doctor from your birth and when you would walk in the barber shop and everybody knew your name.  

    We try to fill your needs on a personal level and understand your circumstances in order  to tell you what degree plan works with your schedule, your family, and your social life.  Are you a paramedic, LPN/LVN or Respiratory Therapist looking into becoming a Registered Nurse? We will help you decide if Western Governors program fits your lifestyle or if Excelsior College is the better choice. If you  have no idea what degree you want but have a lot of college credit we might recommend you look into our partners at The National Education Alliance Counseling Center (NEACC).  The NEACC will help you find the quickest path to degree completion, the least expensive degree and show you how to get the most credit for your prior college credit, military/corporate training, licenses, certificates and/or credit by examination (AP, CLEP, DSST and ECE).  The NEACC degree exploration system will also provide you with a complete list of iStudySmart.com courses you need to complete your degree. 

    Meet some of our staff and know who you are talking to! 

    Educational Consultant:  Ashley McCoury. 

    I am here to help you through the sometimes stressful process of finding the courses you will need to graduate from college and get that life changing degree you have always wanted! If you have questions about how testing out works, where to take your test, when to take your test and which test to take (CLEP, DSST formerly the DANTES exam or ECE) I can help! 

    President:  David Wright 

    Are you a college, company or hospital interested in a partnership with  iStudySmart.com?  David is the one to contact! He can set up a discount program for your employees or students.  If you have interest in creating a library for your facility give David a call.


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  • Become an RN with iStudySmart.com - Did You Know We Have Nursing Courses?

    iStudySmart.com offers over 60 courses across multiple studies including business, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Did you know nursing courses are also available? iStudySmart.com has over 31 nursing credit hours in study courses such as Health Safety, Chronicity, Reproductive Health, Life Span, and Research. For students who have already completed their LPN/LVN certification, these courses can provide a quick transition to bridge to RN. You may have been thinking about becoming an RN before, but never thought you had time to take the necessary classes and earn your nursing degree.

    iStudySmart.com understands every student is different. You learn at your own pace and have your own study habits. You may also have a busy schedule and life/work responsibilities may be keeping you from attending classes on a physical campus. We wanted to give you an option, and let you know your career and life goals don’t have to take the back seat just because you have a busy schedule. With iStudySmart.com’s nursing courses, you can study when you want, where you want, and test only when you’re ready and comfortable with the material. After learning the material on a schedule you decide, and passing just one exam per course, you earn college credit that is transferrable to an accredited college toward an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. Once you have your degree in hand, finish your clinicals, and pass the NCLEX-RN (board) exam, you will be a registered nurse! If you’re ready to start on your RN journey, you don’t have to wait any longer. Let iStudySmart.com help you reach you RN goal.

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  • Wondering What Happened to Regents College?

    Now Excelsior College

    Nearly thirty years ago Regents College made history when it was founded on the philosophy that “what you know is more important than where or how you learned it.” A radical concept in its day, the College changed the way adult learners can use prior credit and knowledge to earn a college degree. It changed the way people can obtain additional credit by not making residency at the College a requirement. And, throughout this period, it has helped propel students ever upward toward their lifetime goals.

    On January 1, 2001 the College made history again. On that day it officially changed its name to Excelsior College.

    Latin for “ever upward,” the name Excelsior more closely captures the spirit of the College’s mission and philosophy. It closely mirrors the determination of its students and graduates, the spirit and commitment behind what the College does, what its degree programs have meant to thousands of lifelong learners who have realized the goal of earning a college degree, and what it will mean in the future to those who follow.

    It also reflects the many developments that have occurred since the College received its independent charter in 1998. Significant progress toward developing new programs and services has been made, from the introduction of two master’s degree programs, to the availability of online research resources at its virtual library, to increasing its alumni base to more than 89,000 graduates worldwide.

    And, as the College adopts a new name, its commitment to students becomes even stronger. Regents College was an innovator in 1971, and Excelsior College will continue to provide cutting-edge services and educational opportunities to adult learners everywhere. “Ever Upward” is more than a motto: it's a sign of things to come.

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  • Making the Transition from LPN/VN to RN


    Written by Roger Ruiz, RN, BSN, MBA

    The nursing shortage has created opportunities for LPNs to advance their education to become RNs… and maybe their only option for thriving in a diminishing LPN market. With a growing and aging population throughout the United States, patients are becoming increasingly complex to care for.  In the increasingly competitive healthcare market, hospitals favor hiring and retaining RNs over LPNs for many reasons.  Better nursing staff education will result in better patient outcomes. RNs have been trained to make decisions and perform patient care interventions that require critical thinking and decision making abilities…an area that LPNs lack not because they do not have the talent to do so.  Without the required formal nursing education to pass the state board examination and earn the designation of RN, many LPNs often become frustrated because they realize their shortcomings….not because they are not capable.  The “nursing law of the land” dictates that LPNs are limited in scope and practice.  Employers translate that into lower wages for LPNs as opposed to higher salaries for RNs.      


    In their journey to attain and retain Magnet status, many large hospital systems have removed LPNs from the acute care inpatient settings and re-assigned to outpatient care areas.  In reality and the broader scope of this matter, LPNs will likely be phased out the outpatient settings by attrition (taking early retirement, frozen wages, etc.).  LPNs may be retained only if they are enrolled and will complete an RN program within the next 5 years.  The message is clear, if the highly experience LPN wants to remain competitive in the health care industry….get your RN degree!  For fulltime working LPNs, an excellent choice to make the transition from LPN to RN is through a self paced distance learning program such as Excelsior College of New York.  Start your journey from LPN to RN by preparing to test out successfully and complete college credit through examination. 

    The time and money you use to finance your RN degree program are an investment in your family and most importantly….you!

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  • iStudySmart.com Includes Additional Educational Resources At No Extra Cost

    November 30, 2011

    San Antonio, TX – November 30, 2011 – iStudySmart.com is pleased to announce that in 2012 they will be providing SmartClub members with additional educational resources at no extra cost.  In addition to the current materials that are available to SmartClub members, they will now receive the use of ACCESS, a website full of educational material. This educational support website was designed to compliment the iStudySmart.com courses.


    To enhance the learning experience, iStudySmart.com has searched through more than 36,000 college online resources from 250+ colleges and universities and found resources that compliment the iStudySmart.com courses.  ACCESS also includes educational resources in subjects that are not yet offered by iStudySmart.com. 


    Not only are there more resources available with iStudySmart.com’s new support materials, there are different methods of instructional delivery to help students succeed in their own educational endeavors.

    Educational resources are available for visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners through videos, imagery, recorded lectures, sound bits, hands on materials and interaction. Resources include online materials, professionally produced videos, practice tests, professor lectures, test descriptions, audio downloads and more. 


    How Will ACCESS help me Succeed?

    • Invaluable educational resources
    • Variety of subjects that line up to over 140 courses or exams 
    • Including CLEP, DSST, ECE, Admission Exams, Professional License Exams, and more
    • Find answers to frequently asked testing out questions such as

                  • Where do I take the examination? 

                  How much does the exam cost? 

                  • Do I qualify for financial aid?

                  • Where can I find grants and scholarships?

                  • What types of exams are available for specific subjects?

                  • Where is the nearest test center?

           • Free copy of Accelerated Paths to Degree Completion eBook


    “These are just a few of the many resources available through ACCESS to help our students achieve their educational goals,” said David Wright, President of iStudySmart.com.  “We look forward to helping you achieve your goal!”





    David Wright, President 






    iStudySmart.com helps students get the most for their money. The iStudySmart.com courses are more than an overview. They contain everything students need to know to pass the standardized exam for college credit. iStudySmart.com’s quality, in-depth study materials map to over 80 CLEP, DSST, and ECE exams. This allows students to earn college credit by examination with the college of their choice.

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  • The National Education Alliance Counseling Center: Advocates for the Students Served

    Have you considered going back to college and earning a degree to help you compete for promotion in this tough economic climate?  You’re not alone.  In fact, more than 18 million students are pursuing degrees across the nation today!

    The majority of adult learners, because of busy schedules and commitments, cannot take time off to attend classes on campus.

    More Than 5 Million Of These Adult Learners Are Pursuing Degrees At A Distance.

    Hundreds of colleges and universities offer thousands of degrees at a distance. How can anyone know which college or university is right for them?  The National Education Alliance Counseling Center empowers students to compare where they stand toward thousands of degrees at a distance from hundreds of accredited colleges and universities nationwide – that’s how you can know!

    Far too many students discover that much of the credit they have earned in the past will not apply toward the degree and/or college they are interested in.  The problem is that they presume losing credit in transfer is simply the price one has to pay when transferring to a different college or university.  That doesn’t have to be the case. 

    The experts at the National Education Alliance Counseling Center build electronic education records for students which include every potential source of college credit earned in the past.  Then, this electronic education record is systematically merged into the curricula of numerous degrees matching the student’s desired area of study and level of degree (Associate, Bachelor, Master, or Doctorate).  The best options for the student to consider (based on his or her unique academic accomplishments and stated needs, goals, and desires) are then presented in detailed degree plans for review. 

    Dare to compare – that’s what the National Education Counseling Center empowers students to do so they can make an informed decision before investing their money, time, and effort into pursuing the degree.  Every student receives several degree plans to consider from the professional team at the National Education Alliance Counseling Center.  When the student is ready to apply for admission, we even transmit the chosen degree plan to the participating college or university and request a courtesy pre-admission review to make sure the student has a clear understanding of what the future holds. 

    And the counseling center’s job is still not complete, they provide a continuum of counseling support from exploration to admission and onward to graduation. 

    You see, every semester, when the student is preparing to enroll in the next course or two at the college, the counseling center’s staff is available to guide them in the use of iStudySmart.com courses and the hundreds of resources that are available on the student support website, to help them make maximum use of nationally recognized college level examinations.  These examinations are accepted by more than 2,800 accredited colleges and universities across the nation.

    However, with the National Education Alliance Counseling Center at your side as your advocate, they will guide you in the use of iStudySmart.com courses in concert with courses taken from the participating college. This accelerates your progress to degree completion, while saving a considerable amount of time and money along the way. 

    The National Education Alliance Counseling Center is your advocate, providing you with a lifetime of support! Make loss of credit in transfer a thing of the past.  Get the credit you deserve with our support!

    Visit www.nationaleducationalliancecc.com


    Are You Ready to Find Out Which College Will Accept the Most of Your Credits?

    iStudySmart.com is giving you free membership into the National Education Alliance which includes a $100 savings toward the Counseling Center.  Use Coupon Code iSSSAVE and start saving today!


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  • Better Job Market for Recent College Grads

    According to a recent article by USA Today, 2011 college graduates are entering a better job market than 2010’s graduates. Additionally, employers have an increase in open positions and plan to hire 19.3% more recent graduates than last year.


    Because of the recession and the need for employers to “tighten up their belts” in 2010, employers had 40.5 applicants per job but didn’t have enough jobs to fill for all the applicants. However, with the recent hiring increase, employers have only half as many applicants per job as last year.


    This job market increase is important for current college students as well. College students who chose to complete college credit through standardized exams can help them complete their degree faster, allowing them to get a head start on their careers. Credit by exam is accepted at over 3,800 colleges and helps adult learners complete college credit while saving money.


    iStudySmart.com provides over 60 effective study courses to assist college students in testing out. The study courses are available in Traditional, Advanced and Premier formats. The courses are structured so adult learners can study at their own pace, where they are most comfortable and test out when they’re ready.


    For a full list of iStudySmart.com’s courses, click here.


    Source: http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/employment/2011-04-21-college-grad-job-market.htm

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  • Receive $100 Off National Education Alliance Counseling Centers’ Transcript Evaluation Service

    As a special holiday gift, the National Education Alliance Counseling Center (NEACC) is giving adult learners National Education Alliance member pricing on its college counseling transcript evaluation service. That's a savings of $100! The offer is available through December 31, 2010. iStudySmart.com, a provider for the National Education Alliance, encourages adult learners to take advantage of this special opportunity.


    What is the National Education Alliance Counseling Center?

    • Searchable database of over 380 colleges' degree programs
    • Matches your previous college credit  and work/life experience by degree program
    • Search results are ranked to maximize allowable transfer credit, helping you to find the shortest path to completing your degree
    • Provides cost comparison of many colleges and degree options in one centralized location
    • Avoid individual transcript evaluation fees (ranging between $75-100 for each college)

    For more information, visit the NEACC website.


    As an additional gift, the National Education Alliance is providing adult learners with a FREE One Year Individual Membership. Don’t miss out - the deadline to register is December 31, 2010. 


    Visit the links below for registration information:

    ·         NEACC Registration

    ·         NEA Free One Year Membership Registration

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