Sometimes, that first semester of college doesn’t go quite as planned. Maybe you want to change your major, and a different school seems more suitable. You may need to move closer to home because of family obligations. Or, maybe your current college just doesn’t feel like a good fit. Whatever your reasons for transferring schools, there are steps you can take to make the transition less stressful. These four tips are a good place to start.

Know What’s Expected
You’ve likely already researched other colleges and found a couple that appeal to you. The next step is finding out exactly what they expect from you as a transfer student. The prerequisites for a program can differ from school to school. What sort of grades do you need? Do you need letters of recommendations from your professors? What are the application deadlines for each school?

The answers to these questions will determine your goals for the remaining year or semester. For example, you may need to spend more time studying to improve your grades, or you may want to get more involved on campus to improve your chances of acceptance.

Consider Prior Acceptances

If you received other acceptance letters when you first applied to college, take a look at those schools first. Do you still want to go to any of them? If so, you can contact them to see if you can transfer without reapplying. Depending on the school, you may not have to repeat the application process. Score! Just make sure it really is what’s best for you academically. Otherwise, you could find yourself in the same situation next year — unhappy and looking to change schools.

Talk to an Advisor
No matter how thoroughly you’ve researched your new school, it’s always a good idea to contact an academic advisor both at your current school and at your prospective school. The advisors can confirm which credits are transferable and which ones aren’t. Ask about articulation agreements: Having this type of arrangement helps the process go more smoothly.

It’s also a good idea to keep copies of your transcripts, syllabi, and course materials. In the event that one or more of your transfer credits are denied, you’ll need this paperwork to file an appeal. The more credits you can successfully transfer, the more time and money you’ll save.

Live on Campus
Even if you’ve lived on campus already and didn’t exactly love it, consider trying it again at your new school. Most of the people in your year have their groups of friends already. You’re starting from scratch, and making new friends will be easier if you stay in a dorm. You may find that you get along with your roommate quite well. If the idea of a roommate makes you shudder and you have a flexible budget, most colleges offer single-room options.

Starting over at a different college has its challenges. You can make the transfer less stressful, though, by planning ahead of time and getting involved in campus life.

Whether you’re a student considering a change, have yet to declare a major, or are just beginning your college search, knowing which degrees are the most viable in terms of potential income can help you make a wise decision. Check out this list of the college majors that offer the highest salaries after graduation.

Economics and Mathematics

With just a bachelor’s degree, young economists and mathematicians can earn about $60,000 per year. That amount can double after roughly a decade in the career force. This undergraduate degree is also an excellent springboard for doctoral studies in areas such as economics, business, and other niche subjects.

Marine Engineering

If you’re interested in marine vessels and structures, you can put your passion to work and enjoy a fantastic salary in your first years as a professional. Marine engineers can make more than $70,000 in their first five years on the job. That amount can increase to approximately $125,000 per year by the midpoint of your career.

Chemical Engineering
Chemical engineering, which mixes the disciplines of the physical sciences, life sciences, mathematics, and economics, also offers an enticing starting salary and enticing midcareer pay projections. Chemical engineers can also earn more than $70,000 when they start their career. After a decade of experience, they can expect to make more than $125,000 annually.

Nuclear Engineering
Nuclear engineers can make up to $70,000 per year in their early career and $128,000 by the midpoint of their career. Nuclear engineers also report high career satisfaction and feel their work has a positive impact on the world. These professionals apply the principles of nuclear physics to study and to manipulate nuclear energy and radiation.

Actuarial Science

Actuarial scientists can make roughly $60,000 within their first five years after graduation. That amount can more than double by the 10-year mark. Actuarial scientists explore how risk affects insurance, finance, and other fields.

Actuarial Mathematics
Actuarial mathematics is a more specialized field that also looks at risk through the lens of mathematics and statistics. Actuarial mathematics, however, focuses on insurance concepts. With a bachelor’s degree, you can expect to make about $57,000 in your early career. With about a decade of experience under your belt, you can pull in an annual salary of approximately $130,000.

Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineers enjoy a high starting salary and excellent midcareer pay. You can enter the career force immediately after receiving your bachelor’s and make roughly $95,000 in your first five years. Even if you complete a master’s or a Ph.D. in another field, you’ll find a hard time topping the first-year pay that a petroleum engineer receives.

These top-paying jobs all offer high starting salaries, solid potential for career growth, and excellent job security. You can start even at an entry-level position and enjoy these great benefits. Most high-paying jobs that just require a bachelor’s degree are in the engineering field, with actuarial mathematics and science also topping the list. Though the top-paying jobs in America are in the medical field, you can enter one of the above fields with just your undergraduate degree.

Ideally, you should be able to sell your old textbooks. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t work out that way. A new edition may have just come out, rendering your textbook obsolete. Perhaps you’re in a highly specialized field, and not many buyers are biting. Whatever the case, you have other options for reusing or re-purposing your old textbooks. Take a look at these three ideas.

Donate Online

If you know where to look, you’ll find plenty of websites that accept old textbooks. This donation method lets you get rid of your textbooks from the comfort of your home. The downside, however, is that most of these organizations only accept certain types of books.

Books for Africa accepts fiction and nonfiction books, whether they are hardcover or softcover. It accepts most college textbooks that have a 2002 or newer publisher date. Certain subjects — like law and medicine — must have a 2007 or newer publisher date. As its name suggests, this organization sends books to students in need in Africa.

Books Through Bars sends books to prison libraries. It accepts mostly paperbacks, and the most highly requested subjects include African-American studies, trade skills, small business, and urban fiction. If you would rather donate your books to soldiers, make sure to check out Books for Soldiers or Operation Paperback.

Donate Locally

Donating your textbooks to a local business or organization is a great way to help your community. It does involve lugging around a bag of heavy books, but you’re also more likely to get rid of them faster.

Try contacting the library to see if it accepts donations. In most cases, the staff will be happy to take your old textbooks off your hands, either to add to their bookshelves or to sell during fundraisers. You could also donate your books to a local thrift store or to charitable organizations like The Salvation Army.

Are you feeling ambitious? Go a step further, and collect other people’s used books so you can run your own book drive. Running this type of event would look great on your resume.

Upcycle Your Textbooks

Makers, crafters, and artists have come up with some really cool ways to repurpose old books, and they were kind enough to post instructions online. Do you have a nosy roommate? Try turning a textbook into a secret safe, or make a hidden drawer out of book spines. Do you like to show off your unique style? You can turn old books into jewelry, wallets, or even a tablet cover.

Other upcycle projects include book lamps, picture frames, headboards, wall art, and iPhone charging docks. If you get good enough, some of your pieces may even be sellable to other students on campus or through Etsy.

Your old textbooks don’t need to gather dust in a forgotten corner. You paid good money for them, so why not make the most of them? You can find an organization that wants your textbooks, or failing that, you can transform them into something fun and useful.

If you don’t have a summer job lined up yet, now is a good time to start looking. You may as well use your newly freed-up time to earn some cash, right? Or maybe you want to start gaining experience in your field of study. Whatever your goals are, you’ll find the job you want more easily if you start early. Here are a few ideas to help you with the hunt.

Stick to Your Goals

Before you even get started with a job search, you need to know what your idea of a “perfect” job is. Do you want something that’s related to your major? Is the pay rate your main concern? Do you want to continue working in the fall? The answers to these questions will give you an idea of where to start your job search.

Seasonal positions are great for students who want to stop working when school starts. If you want to keep part-time hours during the year, look for nonseasonal work that offers flexible hours. Did you move back home for the summer? The manager at a chain store might be willing to transfer you to one of the stores in your college town. If experience is your main priority, a summer internship might be just what you need.

Target the Top Industries

According to, certain industries are more likely to hire students for the summer: construction, landscaping, tourism, recreation, hospitality, and office work.

Some of the more seasonal positions include summer camp counselor, water park attendant, construction worker, landscape worker, and tour guide. If you work at a hotel or a restaurant, you might have the chance to stay on part time in the fall. Offices aren’t as likely to take you on permanently, but you might get your foot in the door as a temp worker.

Look Beyond Online Postings

While it doesn’t hurt to search for jobs online, not all job postings end up on the internet. Start with your college’s resources. Check the job board. Attend any networking events or employment fairs taking place on campus. Consider stopping by the career center to speak with a career advisor.

You can also tell friends and family you’re looking for a job. They may know of an opportunity or be willing to recommend you to their employer. If you enjoyed your previous job, contact your old boss to see if there are any openings.

Make Your Own Job

Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. However, if you think it would suit you, you should go for it. Buying items such as books or video games and reselling them for a profit is one way to earn money. You can even use the CampusBooks Buy Vs Rent tool to buy cheap books, and sell them for a profit. If you’re artistic, you can sell your wares on Etsy. You could also start a company that walks dogs, cleans houses, or provides guitar lessons — the possibilities are endless. You’ll have more responsibilities working for yourself than for someone else, but you’ll get to set your own hours and pay rate.

It’s never too late to get that perfect summer job.  Start hunting for your summer job today!

Are you thinking of signing up for a study abroad program? Spending a semester or two outside the U.S. can be the experience of a lifetime. You’ll meet new people, have the chance to learn a new language, and see a different part of the world. However, it tends to be costly, and you’ll probably feel homesick. Read about these pros and cons of studying abroad to see if it’s the right choice for you.

Con: Homesickness

Speaking of friends, you’ll be leaving them behind. You’ll likely experience culture shock, too, which can make feelings of homesickness more intense. The first few weeks in a new country will be the hardest. You’ll need to learn how to get from one place to another, the food will be different, and you’ll have to adjust to any cultural differences.

Fortunately, there are ways to decrease culture shock and feelings of loneliness. There will likely be other U.S. students in the same city as you. Reach out to them. Try to make friends with the locals. You can also keep in touch with family and friends back home using Skype or any other video-chat software.

Pro: Learning a New Language

Whether you want to improve on the language you’re already studying or you want to try something new, you’ll learn faster by immersing yourself in it. Learning a second (or third) language is useful, even if it’s not part of your degree requirement. It can open up doors for you when it’s time to look for a job. And, of course, you’ll also be able to impress your friends when you go back home.

Con: Cost

When you study abroad, you have to deal with more expenses. You’ll have to pay for the flight there and back. If you’re planning to go sightseeing, you’ll need to account for that in your budget. Depending on where you travel, the exchange rate could hurt your wallet even more.

There are ways to make your study abroad program more affordable, however. It’s possible to transfer financial aid to the cost of the program, and there are scholarships or internships you can apply for. Just make sure to apply for programs and funding early, so you don’t miss any deadlines.

Pro: Traveling

By staying in one location for one or two semesters, you’ll have more time to explore the city than you would on a regular trip. Along with visiting the usual tourist attractions, you’ll also get to see how the locals live.

Another perk of studying abroad is how close you’ll be to other countries. You can make the most of your trip by visiting other places on the weekends. For example, if you’re staying in France, you can easily take the train to Austria or Germany. Are you studying in Australia? That puts you that much closer to New Zealand.

These are just a few factors to consider before you apply for a study abroad program. The most important thing is to do your research and make preparations well ahead of time.

Your college campus might feel like a ghost town during the summer, especially if all your friends have left. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. There are fewer students around, sure, but there are still places to go and things to do. Here are just a few ways you can make the most of your time on campus this summer.

Focus on Your Goals

Look at it this way: Fewer social events mean fewer distractions, which in turn makes it easier for you to focus on your long-term goals. If you’re taking a class, you don’t need to deal with the stress of a full course load. Aim for a higher grade than you normally would. Are you working full time? Decide how much money you can reasonably earn this summer, and pick up extra shifts when you get the chance.

If you’re going to school as well as working, you may find it more practical simply to find the right balance. Are you not working or studying? Consider applying for an internship, a summer job, or a volunteer job that relates to your area of study.

Make a Bucket List

Working towards a goal is important and everything, but you don’t want to burn yourself out. Make a list of things you’ve wanted to do throughout the school year but didn’t have a chance to do. For example, there may be attractions or restaurants in the city you never had time to check out. Now is the time to visit them. Is your dorm room or apartment in need of a makeover? Check out decoration ideas on Pinterest, and get started on your new project.

Other bucket list items could include trying a new hobby, such as mountain biking, photography, or cooking. There are plenty of activities that are cheap or free. For example, you can learn how to build your own website just by reading (or watching) do-it-yourself guides online. Would you rather spend time outside? Geocaching keeps you active and entertained.

Focus on Your Health

With more free time than usual, you don’t need to settle for a packet or ramen noodles for dinner. There are plenty of easy, healthy recipes you can make, no matter how big (or nonexistent) your kitchen is. Taco salad, homemade microwave lasagna, and overnight oats are just a few options that will help you ignore that KD box in the back of the cupboard.

Another perk of staying on campus during the summer is that it’s easier to make use of on-campus facilities because fewer students are using them. Stop by the gym or go for a swim in the pool, and enjoy the extra space. If you haven’t had your annual physical exam this year, schedule an appointment at the health center before it gets booked up.

These are just a few ways you can make the most of your summer on campus. The key is to get out there and keep busy. Doing so will not only make the months more enjoyable, but it will also give you something fun to talk about when your friends come back in the fall.

Summer break is here, and hopefully you’re dreaming of hot, sunny beach weather and all the fun things you can do with your new college buddies. But consider the summer a time for self-improvement, not just for fun. Whether you choose a job, internship, travel, summer courses, or volunteering, you’ll come back to school next year just a little bit smarter and more ready for the professional world.

Save-Up with a Summer Job

A summer job probably doesn’t sound like the most fun thing to do with all that time off you get during the break, but the financial and professional gains are highly beneficial.

Even if you’re only working at a local shop, you’ll get experience in how the professional world works and you’ll likely get experience dealing with the public. You’ll also make money which can be spending money for your next year at college.

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Maybe your summer job could even be to start that side-hustle you dreamed up in your entrepreneurship class. That might not make you a lot of money, but you’ll certainly gain a lot of business savvy.

Level-Up with a Summer Internship

A summer internship is a great way to get a leg-up in your future industry. There’s a lot to learn about the professional world that’s difficult to get from college classes. A summer internship could also help you decide what you want your major to be, or if you’ve chosen the right major for you.

If you’re lucky, a summer internship will even be paid. A paid internship can help offset the costs of not living at home for the summer or build-up your spending money for the following school year.   A great resource for college internships is

Refresh Yourself with Summer Travel

A summer vacation will sound very nice after your finals. And you deserve it! When making summer travel plans, consider how to also get some professional or life-experience benefits from the trip.

If you’re headed to New York, maybe schedule a meeting with the advertising firm you’d love to work for. If you’re going abroad, soak in as much culture as you can; it will change you more than you know.

Help Others with Volunteer Hours

If you’re not sure what you want to do over the summer and haven’t made any plans, consider donating your time. Giving back to your community and volunteering can have professional benefits, look good on your résumé, and be very emotionally rewarding.

A volunteer position with some organizations can also give you professional insight into how non-profits function.

Get-Ahead with Summer Classes

We know this might sound terrible: you just finished a class, so you probably don’t want to take another. But, taking summer classes can put you ahead of the game in college. Summer classes help students to graduate on time and to save a little money. Consider taking online or community college classes during the summer.

It might seem a long way away, but the school year will be over before you know it. It’s time to get your summer plans in order.

Entering college is an exciting time for any student, promising new experiences and challenges. You’ve probably heard that college will be the best time you’ll have and that it’s a place where you’ll learn lots and forge friendships that will last a lifetime. But what aren’t those around you revealing? These are just some of the things no one ever tells you about your freshman year.

You’ll Need to Study

No really. You might have been one of those high school students that managed to retain enough information to still pass tests, but those days are over. College introduces you to much more complex topics and densely presented information. If you don’t review the notes you’ve taken during class each day, the ideas simply won’t stick. Establish good study habits early to make sure you’re not left behind.

There Are Better Study Spots Than the Library

The library might have all the books you need, but it’s not usually the best study spot. So many students congregate here that it’s often noisy and distracting. For a really productive study session, check your books out and find a quiet spot on campus or an empty classroom. When people see you working, they’ll give you a wide berth, so you can study in peace.

You Might Feel Lonely

You’re probably approaching college anticipating big parties and late nights spent chatting to fascinating people about life, love, and the universe. You’ll probably experience all that, but during your freshman year, there’s bound to be loneliness too. It’s normal to feel like a fish out of water when you move from a familiar high school to college, where you may not know anyone at all. It’s OK to take some time and find out where you fit. You’ll get there, but don’t be surprised if you feel lonely in the meantime.

There’s More to College Social Life Than the Greeks

Pledging for a sorority or fraternity might seem like an easy way to find your people, but there are plenty of other ways to connect with like-minded souls. If Greek life doesn’t sound appealing, trust your gut and look for an activity that is. Colleges have many social organizations, including sporting groups, bands, student newspapers, activist groups, and more. Pay attention during freshman orientation and explore all your options. 

While joining groups is a wonderful way to meet people, it’s also not for everybody. Don’t be afraid to ask your lab partner to lunch, for example. A chance pairing could be the start of a great friendship.

Some People Aren’t Drinking

While boozy parties are a part of college life for some students, many people aren’t partaking. You won’t become a social pariah if you abstain from alcohol, so don’t feel pressured to knock a few shots back just to fit in. You can always find plenty of people who aren’t drinking at campus movie nights, games nights, and other events. Keep an eye on your college website and noticeboards to find alcohol-free fun. 

Being a freshman isn’t always easy, but knowing what to expect should help you confidently transition from high school senior to college student.

Have you heard of Thrivent? They bring a unique, not-for-profit approach to everything they do—putting people before profits in all aspects of their business. It’s the philosophy and the mission they’ve been guided by for over 100 years. One that’s backed by over $116 billion in managed assets of people who trust and believe in a different way of doing business, and a unique way of looking at money as a tool, not a goal. They help they’re members be wise with money, because when people are more financially secure, they’re free to live more content, confident and generous lives.

Introducing: Thrivent Student Resources



Thrivent Student Resources puts that philosophy to work in the lives of those who are on their journey to college. They provide a thriving hub of tools and resources related to helping you achieve your college dreams with as little debt as possible. They’ve spoken with experts, former/current students, teachers, administrators and parents to collect resources together that can help you make wise money decisions when it comes to your college experience.

How To Get Started

Joining their online community connects you with:

  • A dashboard with a to-do list of goals and tasks to guide you through the process
  • Our student loan crowdfunding tool called GradPath
  • Scholarship opportunities, as we add to our growing database
  • Educational resources about how to pay for college
  • Lessons on how to be wise with money during college
  • Fun and useful tools to help with your college funding needs


Let them help you on your journey to college with less debt. They have the tools and resources you need

to make informed decisions about how to prepare, plan and pay for college. Whether you’re going to a trade school, local university, vocational school or any other form of higher education, Thrivent Student Resources wants to get you to graduation with less debt.

Why Is This Important?

Student loan debt is at an all-time high. Thivenet’s  approach to educate on this matter is The New School Mindset. This means being wise with your money by only borrowing what you need. Here’s what they believe are the core values of The New School Mindset:

  • Borrow as little as possible to pay for school. Not a dollar more, not a penny less.
  • Look at education as an investment and calculate your ROI. Your loan payment should not be more than 10% of your usual income and you should be able to pay it off in 10 years or less with the right plan.
  • Have a plan of action to fund your education. They can help determine what you need and then track your progress.
  • Don’t leave free money on the table. They have the tools to help you apply for scholarships early and often. Every free dollar helps!

Your senior year of college is a time of transition as you focus on securing your degree while looking ahead to your career after graduation. Keep the following tips in mind as you prepare for this vital year of study.

Take an Internship

The period before your senior year is the perfect time to complete internships. An internship lets you put what you’ve learned in the classroom into practice and decide whether your chosen career path is really right for you. Volunteer for as many different tasks as you can to get a real sense of what you might do once you graduate. Talk to the professionals you meet about their own career paths, and learn how you might land your dream job.

While there are no guarantees, internships can lead to job offers. At worst, you’ll network with people in your field and gain on-the-job experience that should help you in your chosen career.

Clean Up Your Socials

If you’re like most college students, you probably document your life on your favorite social media pages. Take time before your final year of college to think critically about what you’re posting and clean up what’s already there. With 75 percent of hiring managers checking candidate profiles and a third rejecting applicants based on what they find, your socials could help or hinder your career transition. 

Browse through your photos and delete any from drunken nights of revelry, or at least make them private for friends only. Nix the posts complaining about boring lectures and annoying parents. Cleaning up social media also involves sending the right messages into the world. With a year up your sleeve, you can make yourself look incredibly employable. Start posting photos from volunteering jobs and sporting engagements. Write posts about the positive steps you’re making to become job-ready. Join LinkedIn if you haven’t already, as this is the No. 1 social media channel that businesses use.

Learn a New Skill

If you’ve completed lots of credits in your past years of study, you might find you have fewer academic demands as you near graduation. While it’s tempting to put your feet up, it’s smarter to use extra time to your advantage and start learning a new skill.

But what kind of course should you enroll in? Browsing through job ads for positions you’d love should provide inspiration. Perhaps employers in your industry often look for candidates who can speak Chinese or use Adobe InDesign? Take the opportunity to gain these skills through your college, a community center, or another training venue. Even if you feel like you have a particular skill, like coding HTML, studying it formally will help you prove your proficiency to potential hiring managers. Short courses could be completed before you return, while longer ones may take all year. Consider your college workload when selecting a training course to ensure you don’t spread yourself too thin.

Your senior year can seem daunting as the prospect of graduating looms large. But with the right strategies in place, you can feel confident that you’re prepared for what lies ahead.