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What people don’t tell you about student loans

Know that you will have debt because student loan debt follows borrowing habits and is not independent of debt from your credit cards. Think hard about when and why you borrow the money you need for college.

Don’t be caught without an undergraduate degree. A well-rounded college education is crucial to your career success.

Stay informed and get personalized information and tips to help you successfully complete your college degree.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 48 million Americans are currently looking for work. There are many job opportunities for students and graduates.

Earn your bachelor’s degree while working part-time. Students need to have an income to pay tuition and living expenses, and this can be easily accomplished by working part-time at a low-paying job. Additionally, exploring financial education resources like Invest Diva can provide valuable insights into managing expenses and investing wisely while pursuing your degree.

Work at an organization that hires and develops college graduates for work. Examples include:

Nursing homes, clinics, hospitals, and military bases

Non-profit organizations

Non-profit, government, and education institutions

Private nonprofit organizations or for-profit colleges and universities If you plan to study at an institution that has a good track record with returning students, such as an institution that has a strong reputation for graduation rates or a particular major, consider a full-time or part-time job at that institution. You will have less of a financial commitment and may receive more job opportunities. Student loans can make the job search easier. If you want to pursue a graduate degree or professional program, the U.S. Department of Education’s New College Scorecard can help you determine which degree programs have the highest acceptance rate and which have the lowest. See a sample New College Scorecard. See the United States News College Compass for up-to-date information on U.S. News & World Report rankings.

How to use a credit card to help pay for school

According to websites like SoFi, most student loans and grants are funded by your income. For example, a student loan for a four-year bachelor’s degree would be funded with your paycheck for the duration of the degree. For most schools, the federal government charges a portion of the cost of the college education. As a result, if you don’t have any financial aid, you might be tempted to borrow from a credit card. However, borrowing money from a credit card for college tuition or school fees can be very risky, because you don’t know how much the bill will be until you pay it back. Although some schools may offer a variety of financing options for students who do not qualify for financial aid, it’s always a good idea to check before taking out a large sum of money from your credit card.

Your personal situation

Having to pay for college without aid puts a lot of pressure on your parents, but that’s why they’re there for you. If you want to finance your own college education, you must understand that the money you’ll need will depend on the state you live in.

Student loans are typically considered an extension of your

Crystal Head Vodka

Check out this video of Dan Aykroyd promoting Crystal Head Vodka. This unique spirit is quadruple distilled, triple filtered and then “filtered” through Herkimer diamonds. It comes in a crystal skull shaped bottle, which Dan describes in greater detail in the video. The sales pitch is 8 minutes long, but at 5 minutes in they start focusing on vodka rather then ghosts and mystery.

If you’re interested in how good the vodka is, see John Hodgman’s video review after the jump. Continue reading “Crystal Head Vodka”

Swords and Soldiers for WiiWare

Thor, from Swords & Soldiers

I’ve been playing Swords and Soldiers on Nintendo WiiWare for the past week so. It’s billed as a “Sidescrolling, 2D Realtime Strategy game”, where the player takes control of one of 3 different factions: the Aztecs, the Vikings, or the Chinese. The generalization of real world races comes across as slightly racist at times, but Romino Games wasn’t going for accuracy. According to their February 8th press release:

“We’ve done plenty of research into the historic background of the three factions. And then we threw all of it out of the window, but made up some entertaining bits which seemed sort of more fun. Finally, we added some other totally irrelevant funny bits about hot sauce and bolted them on for maximum absurdity.”

And therein lies the first element of the game’s charm. It’s goofy and offbeat humor are less offensive then the cartoons I grew up with 20 years ago. The game’s lingo speaks to a younger generation of internet uses without alienating other games. There are achievements names like “4 the Horde!”, “RickRolled” and Viking’s saying “nom nom” as they eat barbecued meat.

The second element is the seemingly limited control you have over the on screen action. The player has 3 methods of interacting with the game:

  1. Building Units
  2. Casting Spells
  3. Choosing Paths – certain levels only

When you build a unit, it immediately starts marching towards the enemy base. Arrow sign post You can’t make it wait for more units, and you can’t have it speed up or slow down to keep pace with other unit types. This necessitates building just the right unit at just the right time, especially when resources are limited. For most of the spells you can cast, you’ll have to to choose a target. On certain levels you click an arrow to direct your troops to take either the high road or the low road. Often this doesn’t matter at all, but it can be used strategically to bypass the opponent’s forces, so it’s something to keep an eye on.

Initially such limited controls seems like they would make the game boring. Indeed, a player can button-mash their way through the Viking campaign as they get used to creating different types of units, upgrading, and casting spells. The Aztec campaign, which I have yet to complete, offers much more challenge, with many stages requiring well-timed spells and units and I imagine that the Chinese campaign will only offer more varied and exciting game play.

My bottom line: For the hours of fun an varied gameplay Swords & Soldiers offers, it’s well worth the $10. For all the latest news on your favorite video games, check out GameMite.

Garfunkel and Oates

Garfunkel and Oates. I don’t remember what I was reading when I first saw the name, but I’m hooked like velcro. Before I go on, here’s a video of them playing one of my favorites, Me, You and Steve (warning: contains some curse words):

The duo consists of Kate Micucci, who you may have seen on Scrubs and Riki Lindolme who you had a brief role on Buffy: The Vampire Slayer among other things. I’m not sure how to describe them… nerd-folk? As I write this, they have 9 songs available for download on their website, all of which I’ve downloaded and listened to repeatedly. Being nerdy, I value wit above all other virtues, and Garfunkel And Oates’ lyrics do not disappoint. I’m hopeful for an album that I can give them money for and a tour that includes the east coast. In the mean time, give them some folkonomic love; download their songs, and watch their videos

If you’re like me and find yourself frothing for more, Riki made a short that uses 3 of Garfunkel and Oates’ songs called Imaginary Larry which I adore and also put some of her own songs on her website. Kate has her own songs on CD Baby, mySpace and iTunes. You can follow Kate or the band on Twitter.

Let’s Pizza

Unilever developed a pizza vending machine that bakes fresh made pies in under 3 minutes. While I’m sure it’s not as good as going to a pizzeria, I’d love to the option of having pizza right now.

Youtube Music Video Mashup

This video is hot. Essentially, this guy Kutiman grabbed youtube clips of people playing instruments and mixed them together. If you haven’t already, press the play button. If you aren’t digging it right away, wait until about 45 seconds in, when it really takes off. Who knew youtube could be a platform for jam band music videos?

At the moment he’s got seven videos in all, plus a “making of” video, all of which are worth watching and can be seen at Thru-You [via Gizmodo]

Healadin Guides

Paladin IconI’ve been playing a Holy Paladin in World of Warcraft for several years now, with time off between the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions. Since hitting level 80 and getting into heroic instances, I’ve been trying to absorb the collective wisdom of paladins holier then myself, in order to become the best healer I can be.

I started off with the Holy Paladin Guide at elitistjerks.com, based off recommendations by the folks at The Instance podcast. The Elitist Jerks guide goes into great detail about each tool in a holy paladin’s arsenal, plus it covers glyphs, consumables (potions and food), add-ons and talent builds. It focuses on where you want your holy paladin to end up, so parts of it may be out of reach if you’ve just hit 80, but the talent builds and glyphs are easy and inexpensive ways to boost your healing as soon, or even before you hit level 80.

The second guide, which I only recently discovered, is Paladincraft.net‘s Pre-Raid Gear List for Paladins, specifically their Holy Gear Guide. As the name implies, this guide gives you some very basic guidelines for what stats a holy paladin will need to get into level 80 raids, and then lists gear that will help you meet that criteria, arranged by slot, along with where to acquire each piece and suggested enchants. This guide is great because it helps someone new to level 80 focus on which heroics to run and which reputation to grind as they build up to raiding.

As far as caveats go, searching for the Elitist Jerk’s guide always leads me to an old version of the post, but the latest is stickied in the Elitist Jerk’s Paladin class mechanics forum. Also, much of the information that I linked directly to may be out of date as soon as Patch 3.1 drops. Consider yourself warned.

A Boy and His Blob (Wii)

One of my most cherished, and most lent, NES cartridges was A Boy and His Blob. In the game the player controls a boy, who is aided by a blob like creature. The blob can assume different forms depending on the flavor of jelly bean he is fed. Together they explore the sewers, gathering enough treasure to purchase yet more jellybeans and vitamins that they use to poison the evil emperor of Blobolonia, freeing it’s people from his merciless rein.

I was excited to learn (from Joystiq via GoNintendo via Nintendo Power)that a new Wii Boy and His Blob was in development by WayForward Technologies. I was ecstatic when I saw the artwork as I’m a big fan of the hand-drawn art stye. There aren’t really any details beyond what’s in Nintendo Power, but I look forward to hearing more about this game and hopefully purchasing it.