Welcome to the Career Explorer Blog!

Jun 19 2009

When the financial aid runs out – how do you survive on little to no money for expenses while in college? Since the economy has taken a bit of a nose dive, students are starting to see the signs of struggle when it comes to living and going to school on a budget. There is a resource that can help when financial aid doesn’t cover all expenses – work study.

Established as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, work study programs fall between a loan and a grant. Students can work up to 20 hours a week in libraries, residence halls or dining halls for money that then can go to college-related expenses.

President Obama wants to ensure that at least 25% of college work study funds are used to support public service opportunities instead of jobs in dining halls and libraries. This means they are trying to open up private and public sector roles so you can gain valuable work experience while in school. The opportunity may be there to even choose how to contribute your service to emerging Energy Technician or Green Job corps and get practical experience in fast-growing career fields.

Start exploring your possibilities today with Career Explorer.

By Laci Wright

Jun 10 2009

We’ve all heard of the midlife crisis, but have you ever stopped to think how much going through one costs? I’m not talking about midlife crisis clichés – new cars, new spouses, or new wardrobes – these midlife “crises” are professional. For individuals considering a drastic career change involving a new education, deciding how to afford it can often make or break the decision to change paths.

As many of us are already aware, committing to an education can be a rewarding, yet expensive life decision. Like other big-ticket purchases, if you decide a new education is worth the financial cost, you’ll have to make room in your individual or family budget.

Kevin O’Leary, a working dad and husband, recently decided after spending ten years in an advertising career that he wanted to make a career switch. His new desired profession? A physician’s assistant. As one might expect, the world of advertising usually doesn’t teach the skills needed for the medical career lifestyle, so Kevin will soon be on his way back to school.

Before making a commitment to his new education, Kevin tested the waters of the medical profession by spending some time working in a hospital near his family’s home in San Gabriel, California. Once he felt sure this was the right decision, he made plans to attend a two-year certificate program in the fall of 2010.

The next step? Make room in the family budget. Here are the O’Leary family’s strategies for saving education money. They might work for you too!

1. Stockpile cash. By cutting spending, trimming down 401(k) contributions, and holding off on making contributions to their young daughters’ 529s, the family can put this money toward Kevin’s education.
2. Stay nearby. Consider local programs in your community to cut down on commuting expenses.
3. Plug tuition gaps. Check out education-specific saving plans and apply for federal loans and scholarships.

Have any other tips for fitting an education into your budget? Let us know what worked for you and your family!

By Abbey Reinhardt

Apr 14 2009

In today’s competitive world, having an education is more important than ever. But how do single or working mothers balance earning their degree with their hectic schedules? There is a solution: Scholarships4Moms.net is a website designed to help women both achieve their higher education goals and maintain their families.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 80% of single working moms lack the education they need to get ahead. Gaining additional skills leads to better job opportunities – and can be very beneficial for your family. The U.S. Department of Labor also crunched the numbers and people who have an Associate’s degree earn an extra $6,500 a year, and with a Bachelor’s degree, you can earn an extra $19,000 a year.

Going back to school can be difficult for people, especially working moms for whom money is tight.  But if you’re having trouble figuring out how to afford to extra costs of a babysitter or the tuition itself, don’t lose hope!

Scholarships4moms.net is offering $10,000 scholarship for working mothers for the upcoming Fall semester. You can use the money for tuition, babysitters or even save some it for your children’s future educational costs.

The deadline to apply is April 30th and this scholarship is open to all U.S. residents over the age of 18.

If you’re a working single mom wanting to go back to school and make a better life for yourself and your family, don’t put it off – take the next step to a better future.

By Laci Wright