AnneOnCollege.net

Learning something new every day!

About Me...

In June 2007 I decided to look into returning to school for my Bachelor's degree. I had been managing okay with my Associate's degree, but the idea of moving back home [South Florida] without more education under my belt was not so appealing. By the end of July I had started my first class. Two years later I am five classes away from completing that degree and my oldest child is about to start her college journey. View my complete profile

About This Blog...

With this blog I hope to share some of what I have learned through my experiences as an online student and now, mom of a college student. Here you will find great scholarships, student deals, and other information to help with your voyage into higher education. Happy Studying!

Winter Break


Only one week left then break is over. I have been making the most of this break by spending quality time with my kids and baking lots of cookies. Sometimes doing both at the same time. I have finally cracked the code of delicious not burnt cookies. Trust me, for years I have struggled with either underdone or burnt on the bottom cookies. This causes me to want to bake bars instead of drop cookies. And you never get as many cookies with bars. Although they are good that way.

So, I was baking a bunch of cookies for my daughter about a week and a half ago; right before school let out. And what I noticed was every time I had two sheets of cookies in the oven the bottoms would burn. But when I had one sheet going the cookies would come out just fine. I did not really give this a whole lot of consideration at the time; this came later.

Then, my daughter helped me bake a final batch of cookies the Thursday prior to school letting out. She inadvertently turned on the top oven instead of the bottom. Yes, I have a double oven with top being smaller; almost like a glorified toaster oven. Not wanting to waste the energy to heat the bottom oven we decided to use the top. It takes a little longer, but the cookies come out perfectly.

The day after Christmas I set to baking: bread, cookies, etc. While I had my bread dough rising in the lower oven I baked my cookies in the top oven. First I made oatmeal scotchies. I love these. They consist of oatmeal and butterscotch chips and are the best! I made these in the form of bars as that is how I prefer these. But now that I have perfected the drop cookie my next batch will be dropped and not barred. These came out soft and chewy and yummy.

On to the chocolate chips. I used some white chocolate swirled chips; they were from last year and set to expire in January. Oops. After we tested to cookie dough, it is just too good to pass up even if it is not good for you, I made drop cookies. I was lucky and got three dozen chewy and yummy cookies that looked so round and perfect you would swear they were store bought. I should have taken pictures. Next time, I promise.

Now I said I baked and spent time with the kids. Not a lie, we played Clue. This was fun as I imitated the sound from Friday the 13th every time I accused the killer of using a knife. I knew this was not true; I had the knife. But I needed other clues. My kids learned this from me and now use it against me. At least they pay attention.

Well, it is back to family time and enjoying one more week of no school. My next course is Project Management. I smell a research paper of some sort. Yuck!

How are you spending your winter break? Tell me all about it. And, Happy Holidays!

Money Saving Tips Prior to Hitting the Stores

I know this is a bit off topic, but feel it a worthwhile post all the same. During these tough economic times, I know this is nothing new, we have to watch every penny. During my online, and offline, shopping I have come across several sites that are a "must see" before any shopping trip.

First let us start with the rebate shopping sites. There are several out there and you must decide which is giving the best rebate in the manner best suited to your needs. I know of three good sites I have personally used.

  • Ebates.com - Ebates gives an incentive to join and periodic incentives to continue using their site. Additionally, they offer rebates on all purchases made through their site links and give a list of coupons for various vendors.
  • Cashbaq.com - Cashbaq is similar to Ebates. They too give incentives to join and rebates on purchases made through their site. You may want to vary your shopping between the two to get the most for your shopping dollar.
  • Upromise.com - Upromise is a bit different. Yes they also offer rebates on purchases made through their site, but there is more; they offer cash back on purchases made by using your frequent shopper card for places like Kroger and CVS or by using your Upromise Mastercard. Additionally, there are specific product purchases that give cash back. But the main difference between Upromise and the other rebate sites is your Upromise money is specifically geared towards college savings. If you have no need for this, then try one of the other sites.

Second I want to touch on a coupon site I have found to be quite useful. Retailmenot.com is a great site to find coupons for online and offline use. Some may already be listed on the rebates sites above, but this is a good place to find additional savings.

Lastly, remember to find the stores you like to shop the most and sign up for their newsletters. Some stores offer email online incentives and coupons. I have received several coupons for free stuff from Bath and Body Works and have been notified of unadvertised sales from Old Navy by way of email newsletters. You can also check out sites like freebies4mom.com for additional savings and updates.

Happy Saving!

Finals... finally

It is that time of year again. Those of you in school know exactly what I am talking about. Finals! Some of you may have already finished up your fall semester; congratulations to all of you. Many of you will finish the semester this week; I am among the latter. As the week winds down and the last day of class approaches take a moment to reflect on your courses taken over the past few months. Did anything particularly memorable happen this past fall? It does not matter if it was good or bad or neither. What matters is the experience and what you take from it.

I am finishing up my third statistics class of 2008. What I learned most is I have learned, or rather retained, very little from any of my statistics classes. I have opted to retake one of my tests in addition to my final for this week. And in between baking, dental appointments, and an attempt to re-engage my exercise schedule I have been studying.

Finals always seem harder given they are scheduled right before a break. Winter, spring, or summer, does not matter, we are ready to be done and get started on that all too welcoming break in classes. I get two glorious weeks free of tests and papers, free of thinking, free to spend the days with my children who are growing up way too fast.

Before the true festivities can start I must finish, thus final-ize, my class. I will be prepared. I will do well. I will pass. I will not let the holidays distract me from the task at hand. And my hope is no one else will either. Good luck on your finals and have a wonderfully happy holiday season!

Is Going Back to School the Right Thing for Me?

This is something I asked myself on more than one occasion. After high school I enrolled at my local community college. I soon dropped out. After thirteen years of school my heart was not into it. Instead I got my first full time job as a bank teller and started a family, unexpectedly. I was 19.

Two kids later, I decided it was time to return to school. Again I went to my local community college and enrolled; this time I was ready. Deciding I like working with numbers Accounting was a logical choice for me. My mom's heart was set on my obtaining a Bachelor's and possibly becoming a CPA. My heart was set on making it through school and taking it one day at a time. After two and a half years I left school with my Associates and my third child.

Thirteen yeas later, in the summer of 2007, I decided once again it was time to finish what I started all those years ago. I now live in a rural area with the nearest school an hour away. This time going back to school was going to be a different kind of challenge.

The decision to return to school was not made lightly. There were certain criteria to be met: flexible schedule, accreditation (very important), and cost. Traditional college was not going to be an option for me. So I set my sights on online schools. This was not as simple as one might think.

I looked into University of Phoenix first, but never applied. Then Liberty University was mentioned to me. I am not religious but it is nearby, offers online courses, and I know it is a legitimate school. The only drawback was the number of biblical study courses I would have to take. I applied and was accepted. Then someone mentioned Keiser University out of Ft. Lauderdale. I checked them out. They are a brick and mortar school and offer online courses. But there was one twist; you take one course each month instead of multiple courses at the same time for several months at a time. This sounded perfect for me.

I had completed my FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) while deciding on my school. The FAFSA generates a number based on your income. The Financial Aid department uses this number to determine the type(s) of loans you are best suited for and if you qualify for any grants or scholarships. By having this completed I was able to enroll in school and set up my loans within thirty days.

Today I have one year to go until I finish with my Bachelor's in Accounting. This has not been an easy road. Commitment is key, as well as time. If you are not committed to the long term and time is something you are not willing to give up, then this may not be the best thing for you.

If you are ready to take the next step, then remember to do your homework on each school. Make sure your area of study is available and there is staff willing to assist you along the way. Check out my other blog articles for scholarship sites and the link to FAFSA. Good luck!

Link Referral Sites... Are They Effective?

So, I am a member of a site that is supposed to draw traffic to your web page. What happens is you add a link to your site with a short description. Then you click on other people's links and review their sites, while generating traffic (your clicking on their link). So far I have about 11 comments (on the link referral site, none on my actual site) and about 160 clicks (again, no actual comments on my actual site). This then makes me wonder if this link referral site is actual worth it for the sake of generating interest in my blog.

Out of approximately 160 clicks to view my site not one comment has been made on my actual site. Are any of these people reading what I write? Are they checking out any of the great reference sites listed? What about clicking on any of the links pointing to scholarship or educational information sites listed in my sidebar? My guess is no. I have not seen any evidence of one click through from my sidebar. I made it easy to comment; all one has to do is check a box to rate each post. Nothing.

What good is it to draw traffic to one's site if no one actually gets anything out of the visit? I am still not showing in any google search. And, although I do want constructive criticism, I did get one review questioning my posts sending readers away from my site. And here I thought the point of giving reference information was to reference information.

I will continue to work this referral program since I have found some good sites by way of it. It may not be giving me what I want right now but that could be a two-way street. Maybe this last comment was on to something. Maybe I need to give more about me. My qualifications. Information I have garnered that do not require a link to another page.

Until next time...

A Great Deal, Useful Student Network, & A Free Online PDF Editor

In my search for the best deals and useful sites available I found a sweet deal direct from Microsoft just for students (requires an .edu email address). The complete MS Office 2007 Ultimate sells for $325 to $824 online; Walmart has it listed for $599.99. You can buy the student addition for about $119, but it does not include everything.

Do you have any pdf files that need to be edited? What about multiple files you would like to condense into one? With PDFHammer you can do all this with no program to download. And this is offered at absolutely no charge.

Then there is this great site I happened upon. Have you ever missed class and all the notes with it? Ever need another perspective? How would you like to earn points redeemable for rewards just for contributing your notes and blogging with other students? At isleptthroughclass.com you can exchange notes and ideas with other students and get information on college life or search for a job. You must have a .edu email address to register.

For more information click on the links below:
  • Microsoft Office 2007 (Ultimate) for $59.99 - This is a great deal directly from Microsoft for students. This includes the following: Word 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Outlook 2007, OneNote 2007, Groove 2007, Publisher 2007, Access 2007, InfoPath 2007, and Accounting Express 2008. You must have an email address ending in .edu to qualify.
  • I Slept Through Class :: College Class Notes - A site for students needing help with their classes. Look for notes for a class, post notes from a class, or network with other students. Earn points for submitting notes and blogging on the site. Redeem points for gift cards to your favorite stores. There's also a job search specifically for college students. You must have an email address ending in .edu to register.
  • PDFHammer.com - "With PDF Hammer you can quickly and easily edit PDF files online, without the need to install anything. Upload your PDF files to PDF Hammer from your Web browser, perform your edits, and then download back to your computer. The visual editor lets you see the pages of the PDFs as you edit them."

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