With some professors, you’re eager to forget their names the moment you walk out of the final exam. Others, however, you always want to remember as they inspire you to try harder, achieve more, and pursue new endeavors. As you get ready to leave school, you might want to thank those professors who made your university life better; but how do you express your gratitude on a limited student budget?

Write a Note

When today’s students want to express themselves, they send a text or fire off an email to the recipient. However, a handwritten note requires more time, thought, and energy, which makes it more special. However, it doesn’t require any cash (as long as you have paper and a pen handy), so it won’t eat into your budget. Share an anecdote or express your gratitude in the note, then mail it via the postal service or hand-deliver it to your professor’s office. Just make sure you write legibly. Feeling creative? Make your not into a card.

Buy Office Supplies

If you paid attention in class (of course you did!), you might have noticed what office supplies your professor preferred to use. Maybe he or she had an unnatural love for different colors of dry erase markers, or perhaps your favorite professor was always marking passages in books with sticky notes.

An office-supply gift might not offer the most appealing option, so think about your professor’s tastes and habits. If you know he or she always carried a cup of tea through the school’s corridors, a new mug or set of teacups might offer a better alternative.

Make a Donation

Many professors support specific causes. Maybe your favorite teacher frequently discussed a particular charity or cause that was close to his or her heart. Consider making a small donation — even $5 or $10 — in your professor’s name, as it’s a kind and thoughtful way to express your gratitude as you embark upon the next phase in your life.

Gift a Potted Plant

You can pick up a flower or plant at the supermarket for less than $15, but it makes a great gift. Your professor can take it home or keep it on campus, depending on his or her preferences. If you know that your favorite teacher has a somewhat black thumb, go with a plant of the hard-to-kill variety, such as a succulent.

Get Busy in the Kitchen

If you’re an aspiring gourmet chef, hit the kitchen to thank your favorite professor. A tin of cookies or a tub of dip might not last forever, but your teacher will appreciate your thoughtfulness and enjoy a delicious snack when he or she goes home. Are you lacking culinary skills? A gift basket with edible treats might offer a more realistic solution. You could also gift a bag of your professor’s favorite coffee or a small gift card to a favorite restaurant.

Many professors sacrifice their time and energy to give every student an opportunity to succeed. When a teacher makes an impression on you — the good kind, anyway — expressing your gratitude right before graduation sends a powerful message.


Your graduation ceremony is behind you, and you’re ready to plan your next move. Perhaps you’re considering moving to an employment hotspot or taking a year off to pursue an internship abroad. However, there’s another great option you might not have considered: living with your parents. Reasons like these encourage nearly half of 18- to 24-year-old college graduates to live in their family homes after the big day in May.

It’ll Help You Save Some Money and Pay Back Student Loans

If you’re like 69 percent of recent college graduates, you’re up to your eyeballs in debt. According to the Institute of College Access & Success, the average college graduate in 2014 needed to repay $28,950 to clear their student loans. How do you plan on doing that if you’re paying for rent, food, utilities, and more?

Even if you’re lucky enough to graduate debt-free, you probably don’t have a nest egg behind you. You’ll need this when you move into your own place because you’ll be expected to pay for the first and perhaps the last month’s rent, a security deposit, and movers. Then there are all the costs of daily living to consider, such as groceries and utility bills. Even if you score an entry-level job, meeting those expenses is challenging for most recent graduates.

Most parents will happily charge their kids a nominal amount for room and board. This will allow you to save the money you need to get on your own two feet.

It’ll Give You a Place to Be While You’re Looking For Work

The Global Financial Crisis may be far behind us, but it’s still affecting the employment prospects of young graduates. A 2015 report published by the Economic Policy Institute found that 7.2 percent of young college graduates are unemployed. A further 14.9 percent are underemployed, or employed in jobs beneath their qualifications. You might have studied to be an engineer or lawyer, but in reality you could find yourself waiting tables or working a cash register until you find work in your field.

Living with your parents can be a great safety net while you’re looking for work in your chosen field. Parents tend to be more understanding about long stints of unemployment and times when money is tight than flatmates. It’s also much easier to focus on finding a job when you don’t have to worry about your next meal or keeping the power on.

You’ll Be Close to a Great Support System

Adjusting to life after graduation can be challenging. You’ve lost your usual routine and the social opportunities it provided. You’re faced with the reality of finding full-time work and making the transition from college kid to full-blown adult. All these challenges can take a real toll on your mental health. Your parents will often be your greatest cheerleader when you’re feeling down. If you’ve got siblings at home, you’ll also benefit from their company during this challenging time.

Living with parents isn’t always a bed of roses, but there are such compelling reasons why it makes sense after graduation so don’t rule it out before giving it serious consideration and talking it through with your family.

Summer might seem like the perfect excuse to travel or to work on your tan, but it’s smarter to use your downtime pursuing an internship. A National Association of Colleges and Employers survey found that candidate experience plays a key role in hiring decisions for 95 percent of employers. Nearly half of employers want the experience of new graduates to come from internships or co-op programs. The Collegiate Employment Research Institute’s Philip D. Gardner said most employers won’t even view the resumes of candidates without internship experience. But where do you find an internship? These websites are the perfect places to start.

YouTern: Internship Site Powered By Interns

YouTern uses high-tech matching software to pair your skills and career goals with the needs of the companies in its database. Take a few minutes to create your free YouTern profile and let the site find the internships that will suit you best. Who really has time to trawl through irrelevant internship postings anyway? As new opportunities arise, YouTern will send them to your email or smartphone so you don’t need to feel chained to the site. The Savvy Intern blog, part of the YouTern website, also has some useful advice.

Looksharp: Innovative Website for Internships and Entry-Level Jobs

Looksharp says it’s the largest online internship and entry-level jobs market targeted at students and recent graduates. Like YouTern, Looksharp encourages you to create a free profile so the more than 30,000 companies in its database can find you. This is easy with tools that can pull information from your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. Facebook, Charles Schwab, and HP are among the organizations advertising internships through the site. Looksharp offers tools that help you refine your resume and cover letter and get advice about handling recruiters and interviews.

Internships.com: Top-Rated Internship Site

Internships.com’s user-friendly interface and large pool of internship positions that represent all 50 states helped the company to be named as one of Forbes’ top-10 career websites. Anyone can browse positions, but you’ll need to sign up for a free account to apply for an internship. The clever search function makes it easy to filter results according to their compensation, location, employer type, and more. If you’re not sure what you want to do, take the Internship Predictor quiz, which can help you decide on the best internship for your personality.

InternJobs: Internship Site Backed by Leading Jobs Network

Part of the AboutJobs.com network, InternJobs has helped students and recent graduates find their ideal internship positions for two decades. While it charges businesses to list their opportunities, it offers its services to internship seekers for free. InternJobs is a global site, so if you’re looking for adventure, you might browse internship opportunities in Australia or Qatar! Of course, there are also plenty of positions close to home with organizations like the Center for Biological Diversity, Food and Water Watch, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Your next internship could be just a click away. Point your browser to these websites and start searching for your ideal opportunity.

You’ve tried to forget about your student loans over the last four years, but now that you’re ready to graduate, you have to face facts. A student loan exit interview prepares you for your first payment and ensures that you understand the rules and regulations you must follow going forward. Below are some tips to help you make the most of the interview and prepare yourself for repaying your student loans.

Resist the Urge to Skip It

While exit counseling might not seem like the most enjoyable way to spend your time as you prepare to leave college, don’t assume you can blow it off like a group study session. You’re required to participate in exit counseling if your loan came from the federal government, so resign yourself to this necessity.

Fortunately, it’s not a long or involved experience. You’ll meet a loan counselor on campus or take part in the interview online. Either way, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes of your time. Afterward, you can meet your pals for coffee in the quad.

Make a List of Questions

Just like a job interview, a student loan exit interview goes both ways. Your interviewer will likely ask you questions and provide you with essential information, but you’re allowed to ask a few questions of your own. To ensure you don’t forget anything, make a list of questions to ask, such as:

  • When must I make my first payment?
  • How much will each payment cost?
  • How long will it take to pay off the debt?
  • Do you have multiple options for payment plans?

Take a pad of paper and a pen to the interview. That way, you can write down the answers to your questions. Alternatively, ask the interviewer for any literature he or she has, such as brochures or fact sheets. The more information you have, the better prepared you become.

Take Stock of Your Future

If you’ve already found a post-graduation job, you know how much you’ll earn each month. Federal loans often involve repayment plans that represent a percentage of your income. If you know this information now, you can start making plans.

However, even if you haven’t yet snagged a job, you can research the types of careers you might want to pursue. How much do entry-level jobs in your chosen industry pay? That will give you an idea of how to structure your finances in the future.

Provide Useful Contact Information

After you graduate, will you return to your parents’ home or move into a new apartment? It’s often best to provide a relative’s address until you find permanent housing. It’s also a good idea to set up a new email address. You’ll stop using your university email after graduation, and you’ll want your loan officer to have a convenient way to contact you.

Whether you took out federal or private student loans, the exit interview is an essential part of starting your new life after graduation. You’ll know exactly what to expect, which means the first bill won’t come as a nasty shock.