Recession and Online Education

During times of economic recession when employment opportunities are minimal and layoffs are abundant, adults naturally seek opportunities to make themselves more marketable to employers. Whether individuals need to acquire new skills to enter an entirely different career field, or they simply want to fine tune skills that they already possess to keep their existing jobs, education is often the solution. However, unemployed or working adults with families and busy lives may have difficulties fitting college courses into their hectic schedules. Recession May Drive More Adults Students to Take Online Classes by Steve Kolowich is an article that discusses the reasons many adult students will choose online learning in the current economy. In this article, I will summarize Kolowich’s article. I will also provide an analysis of what I think has created this enrollment trend: cost, convenience, and completion.

Article Summary

Adults often choose times of economic hardship to go to school. Currently, more adults are selecting two-year colleges and private for-profit colleges than traditional four-year universities for their educational needs. Many of these students will take online courses. The 2008 Sloan Survey of Online Learning anticipated that all types of colleges would experience increases in enrollments, but non-traditional schools could see the greatest jumps in enrollments. Elaine Allen, one of the report’s authors, attributes this to the fact that non-traditional schools offer online classes.

Online classes offer many conveniences that traditional college courses do not. Students can take online classes at times that work for them. They do not have to leave their homes to go to school. They are still able to care for the needs of their families. Individuals can save on gas by not having to drive to campuses.

Online enrollment has been steadily increasing since 2003. More than a fifth of all students enrolled in higher education were taking at least one online course in 2007. Over half of the colleges surveyed in 2007 thought that it was critical to offer online courses to students. In addition, 70% of the colleges noticed an increase of student interest in online learning. Students are beginning to choose colleges specifically for their online programs.

Cost

Because of the recession, jobs are scarce. Tough economic times put “more people in the pipeline, looking, and hoping for opportunities” (Stevenson, 2008). Taking classes or earning a degree gives individuals an edge over the competition in the job market. “The majority of continuing education students today are most concerned with first getting into the academic pipeline” (Stevenson, 2008). Adults enroll in programs that offer classes to complete degrees they did not finish in the past. “A lot of people want to increase their skill levels or get that degree they didn’t have. The threat of losing their jobs can be as big a motivator as the actuality” (Kolowich, 2009). The cost of losing a job or not obtaining a new job is greater than the cost of education. In addition, non-traditional colleges offering online courses often cost about the same of even less than traditional universities.

Unemployment benefits often pay educational costs during the first year of unemployment. Unemployed individuals can use these benefits to take classes. Some companies give educational benefits to employees that they had to layoff. Former employees can use these benefits to learn new skills. Individuals are able to enroll in classes without worrying about how to pay for them.

Convenience

Many adults who would like to go to traditional universities to earn degrees are unable due to busy schedules. They have to work or search for new jobs. They have children to care for and households to run. “They may prefer to go into the classroom but they need to work or stay at home and they don’t have the time. An online education may be their only chance to get a degree” (Johnson, 2006).

Online courses offer much more flexibility than traditional classroom classes. Students can participate on days that are convenient for them. If they have to do their schoolwork early in the morning before going to work or late at night after the children are asleep, they can. Online courses still have participation requirements and assignments with due dates, but if students know that they will be busy on days assignments are due, they can simply do these ahead of time.

Many online programs allow students to take only one or two courses at a time to be “full-time.” This allows busy adults to focus on a minimal amount of subjects. Their other responsibilities would make it difficult to take four to five classes at one time as is necessary to be full-time at traditional universities.

Students do not have to leave their homes or jobs to attend online classes. They can participate in class from anywhere that has a computer with internet access. Time is not wasted driving to campuses, finding parking, and walking to classes. Parents do not have to worry about finding childcare for their children during class times. Students do not have to rush from work to school to home feeling as if they are constantly on the go. Online classes offer conveniences like these that traditional courses cannot.

Completion

According to Stevenson (2008), “today’s non-traditional student is interested in one thing: completion, completion, completion.” Adult students want to earn or complete their degrees as quickly as possible. “Students earning a bachelor’s degree from University of Phoenix take one class at a time for five weeks per course” (Johnson, 2006). This means that students can complete up to 10 – three credit courses in a year or 30 semester credits. Accelerated online degree programs like this are a big attraction to individuals who desire to complete degrees quickly.

Conclusion

Because of our country’s current economic recession, more often adults are enrolling in degree programs. Some hope to find new jobs, while others aspire to keep the jobs they have. Education is an effective way increase employment opportunities. Many of these individuals choose to attend non-traditional colleges. Non-traditional schools offer several advantages to benefit the busy adult. These advantages include cost, convenience, and completion. Non-traditional institutions “tend to offer programs that have traditionally been tailored to serve working adults” (Kolowich, 2009). Online courses offered by many of these schools are the ideal educational alternative for busy adults.

References

Johnson, F. (2003, August 21). Online Education Helps Fight Enrollment Dip. Enterprise/Salt Lake City, 36(7), 9. Retrieved August 1, 2009, from Regional Business News database.

Kolowich, S. (2009, January 16). Recession May Drive More Adult Students to Take Online Classes. Chronicle of Higher Education, 55(19), A11-A11. Retrieved August 1, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.

Stevenson, J. (2008, September 15). Streamline the Pipeline. Business West, 25(9), 38. Retrieved August, 1, 2009, from Regional Business News database.

Special Finance – Making the Most of Your New Auto Loan

It’s time to trade in that time-honored old vehicle for something newer. Perhaps you’ve outgrown the vehicle with new family additions, or perhaps you simply need something more reliable. Regardless of the reason, you now find yourself in need of a new vehicle. Before you even step foot on a dealership, you’ll need to determine how you want to pay for the new vehicle. Three options are available for you to use; buy, lease or finance.

Buying a car outright is the most affordable way to get a new vehicle. However, most consumers simply don’t have the cash up front to do this. Leasing is a popular option, but it actually becomes more expensive over time than most consumers would like. That leaves auto financing. This is the most common way to purchase a new car, today.

Auto financing offers you more than one option. The most common way to finance your new car is through the dealership. However, being well armed before heading to the dealership is important. The first thing that you should do is get copy of your credit report. You can do this free, once each year. Some states will allow you to have an additional copy per year, as well. Viewing your credit report beforehand will help you avoid expensive surprises when you get to the dealership.

Once you know how your credit stands, you’ll need to define your budget. This includes how much you can afford as a down payment, as well as what you can afford in monthly payments. As a general rule, your car payment should not be more than 20% of your monthly income. However, the amount that you put down on the car, combined with the interest rate that you receive, will dictate just how expensive those monthly payments are. Use an online auto loan calculator to help you determine just how much you can afford.

Now that you know how much you can afford, you are ready to get that loan. You can do that before heading to the dealership, as well. Some dealerships inflate the interest rate on car loans, in order to gain more profit. However, you can get a loan from a different source and save money, in many cases. Credit unions, your local bank and online lenders can all offer you a viable alternative to dealership financing. Take your time and sort through your options before making a choice. Choosing the first option that presents itself may cost you more in the end.

If you do decide that you want to finance through the dealership, you’ll need to be on your toes. Remember, just because the salesperson says one thing on the lot, it doesn’t mean that it will be that way in your contract. Ensure that you read the contract thoroughly. In addition, knowing your auto financing information will help you ensure that you get the right interest rate from the dealer F&I officer. If you feel that you are being “taken for a ride” do not hesitate to leave. Your wallet will thank you in the end.

Evaluating Different Methods of Advertisements

Advertising in today’s economy is just as important as it has ever been before. The reason is simple; people are watching where they are spending their money. In addition, the methods of how to advertise have changed over the past decade. Large companies are now pushing more for advertising online and people are increasing their shopping and browsing online. We now have three main methods to advertise. We have online advertisement, television advertisement and brick and mortar advertisement. These can all be effective but some cost significantly more than others and may not yield the desired results for the money invested. So, what is the best way to advertise, you need to review what methods you think will work for your businessTelevision advertisement is the most expensive and can yield the quickest benefit depending on which slot you pick to advertise on. In other words, you will most likely benefit more to advertise during the 5:30-9:00 time slot if you happen to be a car dealership. The reason being is several people work during the day and you want people that are working to see your advertisement. Therefore, you will end up paying more for this type of advertisement. So make sure you reap the most benefit you need to look at your business and decide if when would be best for you spend money on this type of advertisement. You also should keep in mind if you should use this type of advertisement during one particular time of the year.Brick and mortar advertisement is something similar to a shotgun blast and can be very effective for a decent price. However, you lack the ability to enforce branding as much with this type of advertising that you often can accomplish with advertising on the TV. The brick and mortar method consists of using advertisements in the local paper, billboards and even on the radio. These can be effective if people running your campaign can provide statistics on the genre of the group that responds to ads from each source. As an example if you selling products that cost thousands of dollars you would not want your advertisement playing on a radio station that predominately targets a younger audience that may not be able to afford your product or services.Online advertising can be the cheapest but also the most difficult to achieve because you have to rely on people to go to your website or find your advertisements. Large companies are getting better at online advertisements by using search engines to advertise for them while including website address with their TV commercials. Larger companies are training people to regularly visit their website by offering specials online.I discussed three different methods to use advertise. You can advertise on TV, brick and mortar advertising which includes radio, billboards and newspaper advertisements or you can advertise online. The way to select any of these groups is to know the age, gender and potential income of your audience in addition to seasonal adjustments in their buying patterns.

Playing Online Poker For a Living – 4 Simple Tips That Can Help You Play Cards For a Living

Card game addicts can soon start dealing out cards no matter where they are, before you could even say “Indiana Jones”. These people love this game, and no matter what, they will always find a plain simple excuse to play it. Some play online for a livingIf you are quite in their league too, it is no wonder if your fingers itch all the time to try out your luck and fortune at the card games. Well, the solution to itching fingers is only a few clicks away. You can find many web sites where you can play poker online and also win money if you are a host to good fortune and tricky skills.Card players find it easy to play card games online, since here, the ambience is quite relaxed and quiet. You never know with whom you are playing. It could be an old man or woman, or a child as well! But one thing is for sure- here no one will be able to peep and have a look as to whether you have a winning hand or not. Here, no one is there to rush you, no one to call the shots but you. But even though this seems as if the rules here are quite easy and relaxed, actually, they are not. You have to abide by certain laws which if you neglect, will result in your disqualification.o Before you start to play, you must try to decide if you are willing to play poker for your entire income. To do this, you will have to look back at the games that you played in the past, and how you handled your bankroll after a big win. Did you jump into the stakes or invest your winnings?o Then again, if you had never the chance to see so much money while playing poker, but lost about ten tournaments in a row, you have to remember what your action was. Did you move down or up in stakes? These reactions of yours are necessary to judge whether you will be able to make a living on poker.o The main trick is not how much money you win, but how you win it. When you do not have a winning hand, you have to see that you lose very little of cash. But when you have the best hand, you have to try to call the right shots at the right time to milk in a lot of money out of your opponent’s pockets. To maneuver the game carefully you have to assess the situation accurately and rely on your gut instincts.o Another key skill that you need to hone is patience. You might be able to rely on your instincts, and make quite sharp decisions at the crucial moments in the game; you might be able to calculate thoroughly the result of every move of every player around the table; you might be able to tighten your purse strings when you have no winning hand, and get the best odds to win the most when you turn out to be the lucky one, but there is still a chance that someone might come about and upset your plan and shatter it to rubbles. During these times, it is necessary that you do not lose your head, but start to build another plan, so as to win back what you have lost.These rules will help you to get to the very peak where you can earn a lot of money, and there will be no stopping you as well. Remember, rules are important in a game, so that you do not get disqualified, and you can always use them to your advantage.