College Students Choose Interesting Approach to Global Warming

From time to time, an interesting idea or story may come along that gives us, as parents, insight into our students.  An interesting item in the Boston Globe recently reported on some college students’ approach to saving our environment.

The University of Rhode Island recently hired an energy services company to conduct an experiment regarding students’ behavior around some wasteful energy habits.  The school chose three habits common on campus: leaving computers on when they weren’t being used, keeping heat or air conditioners on when no one was in the room, and taking excessively long showers.

The university then set out to conduct a semester long program to see if they could change student behavior in these areas. They asked students to pledge to reduce energy consumption and then they posted reminders in dorms. They concluded that, in the area of environmental conservation, college students may be teachable!

Read moreCollege Students Choose Interesting Approach to Global Warming


College Lingo for College Parents: Talk the Talk! – Part 3

We’ve written two earlier posts about some of the college vocabulary it might be helpful for you to know. Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2.   Here is a third installment.

Every profession, activity, or area of interest has its own jargon or set of specialized vocabulary.  College is no different.  College administrators, faculty members and students develop a set of short-hand terms that can be confusing to those not familiar with them.  As a college parent, you may be surprised at how quickly your college student will pick up the appropriate lingo.

If your college student slips into “college-speak” and you don’t understand what she is talking about – ask!  She may express impatience, but she’ll probably explain.  However, if you want to be able to at least begin to talk-the-talk, here are five more terms to get you started.  Please remember that there may be some variation in the use of these terms at various institutions.

Read moreCollege Lingo for College Parents: Talk the Talk! – Part 3


College Parent Orientation: A Key Beginning

Most colleges hold orientation sessions for incoming students – whether a day long event or an overnight during the summer, or an event held a few days before the semester starts in the fall.  However, many colleges now also offer orientations for the parents of those college students.  This may be a day long event or even an overnight event.  If your child’s college conducts an orientation for parents, you should definitely take advantage of it if possible.

Holding a special orientation for parents is recognition on the part of many colleges of the importance of your continued role in your student’s education.  Colleges hold these orientation sessions to help you learn more about how you can most productively help your student, and to help you learn more about the place where your son or daughter will be spending so much time.

Reasons why you should attend Parent Orientation

There are several important reasons to attend the Parent Orientation session offered by your child’s school.

Read moreCollege Parent Orientation: A Key Beginning


College Textbooks: Keep, Sell, Donate?

In our previous two posts, we considered the high cost but importance of textbooks and possible ways to save money when buying them.  In this final post on the topic, we’ll consider what students can do with their books at the end of the semester.

Your college student has just completed his course.  He bought his textbook and used it diligently throughout the semester.  Now that the course is over, he’s wondering what to do with this pile of books.  He has several options.

Read moreCollege Textbooks: Keep, Sell, Donate?


Where and How to Buy College Textbooks

In our last post, we considered the importance of college textbooks and some of the reasons why they are so expensive.  In this post, we’ll consider some possible ways of obtaining books. Our next post will consider ways students can sell books at the end of the semester.

Students may buy new books from the campus bookstore.

When your student considers possible ways of getting his textbooks, he’ll need to weigh convenience and cost.  The most convenient way to purchase his books is through the campus bookstore.  Bookstores work to make the task as convenient as possible.  If the student knows the name of the course and the instructor, the bookstore can usually tell him exactly what he needs for the course.  At many schools students can pre-order their books and have them waiting for them when they arrive or even delivered to their dorm.  However, this convenience comes with a price.  Campus bookstores are the most expensive way to buy a textbook.

Alternatives to the college bookstore may take a bit more work, and definitely some pre-planning, but there are alternatives out there.  Here are a few possibilities.

Read moreWhere and How to Buy College Textbooks


College Textbooks: Tools of the Trade

This is the first of three posts about one of a student’s most valuable tools – her textbooks.  In this post, we’ll consider some essential facts and tips about the importance of textbooks.  In our next posts, we’ll consider some alternative ways to purchase books and some thoughts about reselling them later.

Aside from tuition, one of the major expenses your college student will encounter during the college years will be the cost of textbooks.  Students often head off to college knowing that they will need to buy their books and supplies, but having no idea how much to expect to pay.  As college parents, there are some important points about textbooks which you can help your student anticipate and understand.

Read moreCollege Textbooks: Tools of the Trade


College Lingo for College Parents: Talk the Talk! – Part 2

A while ago we did a post about some of the college vocabulary it might be helpful for you to know.  Here is a second installment.

Every profession, activity, or area of interest has its own jargon or set of specialized vocabulary.  College is no different.  College administrators, faculty members and students develop a set of short-hand terms that can be confusing to those not familiar with them.  As a college parent, you may be surprised at how quickly your college student will pick up the appropriate lingo.

If your college student slips into “college-speak” and you don’t understand what she is talking about – ask!  She may express impatience, but she’ll probably explain.  However, if you want to be able to at least begin to talk-the-talk, here are five more terms to get you started.  Please remember that there may be some variation in the use of these terms at various institutions.

Read moreCollege Lingo for College Parents: Talk the Talk! – Part 2


My College Student Received His Financial Aid Package, But What is Federal Work Study?

Your child has been accepted to the college of his choice.  Congratulations!  You’ve received that all-important financial aid package and you’re all thinking about how to make it work.  A portion of this financial aid package is labeled Federal Work Study.  What exactly does that mean?

The Federal Work Study portion of the financial aid package is the portion that a student can earn through a part-time job on campus.  Not every campus job will be designated as a work-study job, but there are usually many different types of jobs available on campus which will qualify.  These jobs may include anything from working in the library, tutoring, cafeteria jobs, maintenance jobs, or clerical office positions.  Students apply for the jobs and are paid, usually federal minimum wage.  Obtaining a work-study job is usually handled during the first couple of weeks of the semester.

Work Study funds are provided to the school by the federal government.  The college will determine how to use these federal funds and which jobs will be designated as work-study positions. The awarding of funds to students is based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  Each school sets its own policies, procedures, and deadlines for applying for these jobs.

There are a few things which parents and students should consider and remember as they look at the work-study portion of the financial aid package.

Read moreMy College Student Received His Financial Aid Package, But What is Federal Work Study?


Those Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer Mean College Summer Storage

Your college student has almost made it through that tricky first year of college!  Congratulations to her and to you!  She’s anxious for summer break and you are looking forward to having her home.

But wait, you have a flash of memory of moving her to college last September!  You remember the bulging car, maybe with cartop carrier or trailer attached, and you remember all of the things she’s taken back to school or bought since then.  The thought of doing this whole thing in reverse is causing a small panic attack.

The first thing to consider is whether or not your student needs to bring everything home again for the summer.  If she is returning in the fall, are there some things that could remain at school and be ready for her when she gets back?  Probably.  But you’re not sure how to go about storing things.

Read moreThose Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer Mean College Summer Storage


The Course Syllabus: Roadmap to Success

This is one of those posts designed to help you, as a college parent, understand your child’s world in college.  It may be helpful as you have conversations with your college student throughout the semester.

Almost every college course will begin with a syllabus.  It is generally handed out to students on the first day of class.  Some instructors may post their syllabi on line.  The syllabus is the roadmap of the course.  It lets the student know, at the very beginning of the course, what the expectations are, how to contact the instructor, what assignments will be due, and often a class by class or week by week plan of what will be happening.

Here are ten important pieces of information that may be gleaned from the syllabus.

Read moreThe Course Syllabus: Roadmap to Success


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