It is the ultimate cliche this year, but we really live in unprecedented times and there has never been a college semester like fall 2020. The news really comes fast and furious these days, so in an effort to bring you up to date on some of the noteworthy headlines we compiled a list of articles and subjects that really stand out.

Infections on campus before classes start

Classes have barely begun and already there are some campus outbreaks. While this might seem worrisome, the vast majority of infected college students are ok. The risk is spreading the disease to others, especially faculty, staff, parents, and grandparents.

There are actions you can take to minimize your risk of getting infected or spreading infection. Of course you already know to wear a mask, wash your hands, stay home if you’re sick, and practice social distancing. Of course that’s easier said than done on a college campus, if you can avoid crowded indoor areas like house parties, bars, and restaurants, that will go a long way to preventing the spread of COVID 19.

Colleges are doing what they can to minimize infections risks and with some basic common sense you can too.

Tuition Discounts and Corona Fees

One positive aspect of the pandemic is you might be able to get a tuition discount. These colleges are offering tuition discounts. The flip side is some schools are actually adding coronavirus fees to their tuition bills. Be sure to ask your school if they offer discounts for remote learning, and if they are adding extra fees for the pandemic. It can’t hurt to ask for a tuition discount, or to waive any coronavirus fees.

Remote vs in person

There has been a lot of controversy regarding on campus and distance learning. Depending on what year you are and what your major is, as well as your personal health situation and your proximity to high risk individuals, sometimes distance learning might make sense. Other times on campus learning in an outdoor socially distanced environment might make sense. Some students are even living in hotel rooms to maintain social distance outside of a crowded dorm setting while having the option of attending on campus class when available, and a quiet space for distance learning.

Collect Unemployment

Did you know you might be eligible to collect unemployment? Yes some students are collecting unemployment while attending school. You might be eligible, and if you are it’s a great supplemental income source for you while you focus on your studies.

College Football is Out

It’s a sign of the enduring pandemic that college football is mostly out, like any other team spectator sport. Hopefully this serves as an inspiration for us all to wear our masks and be smart so that we can help defeat the dreaded COVID 19. This will pass and one day and when we eventually do get back to normal it will make us appreciate things all the more.

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is devastating lives, livelihoods, and personal, business, and government finances around the world. Unfortunately the American higher education market hasn’t escaped this economic destruction either. College and Universities are facing a perfect storm of reduced enrollments, reduced endowments, and increased expenses all at the same time.

No longer Recession Proof

Higher education typically has been considered a “recession proof “ industry, with students going to school regardless of economic conditions and in fact enrolling in higher numbers during recessions in order to ride out bad job markets and improve their skills. During the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic, American colleges and universities responded with quarantines and masks much like today. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in modern history forcing colleges and universities to suspend classes while faculty and students fear catching the virus on campus. This in turn is leading to lower tuition and dormitory revenues, and increased costs due to more stringent cleaning, more personal protective equipment for faculty, staff, and students, increased healthcare screening and staff, and lower capacity due to social distancing.

Reduced Funding

In addition to lower revenues, public colleges also are facing the potential of reduced state funding due to decreasing state tax revenues. Loss of lucrative international students due to travel restrictions and a hostile domestic political environment further undermines the school’s finances. This would force schools to increase tuition and student debt would soon follow. (So now might be a good time to question a liberal arts degree and possibly pursue a more marketable / lucrative degree). Private colleges, even those with decent endowments, are also facing financing pressures due to declining enrollment and there is the potential that some colleges might close.

Layoffs and Cost Cutting

Schools are also responding by laying off faculty and staff, including the University of Akron, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Ohio University. They are also putting construction projects on hold, and freezing hire and raises. These are drastic measures and if the fall semester suffers from 15% or more enrollment drops as experts predict, then many schools will not survive in their current form and might end up closing or becoming a satellite campus.

America will get through the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, but the future of American Higher Education will look very different than it does today.

The fall 2020 semester is going to be unlike any that has happened in modern history. With the covid 19 pandemic surging again, it’s now questionable whether or not classes will be held on campus. It’s looking increasingly likely that next year will be conducted through either a hybrid model of on campus and remote learning, or remote learning only.

Freshman or Upperclassman

As a student, these are unsettling times but know that you are not alone. Everyone is in the same boat. If you are an incoming freshman, you are actually in a good position since you have more options. With all of the uncertainty, it might make sense to take a gap year and let this blow over and start your college experience in the fall of 2021. If you are an upperclassmen, then a gap year really isn’t an option and your choices are whether or not to continue your education in person, remotely, or a hybrid model. It’s probably not a good idea to drop out of school because of the pandemic, as that could have a lifelong effect on your career and earnings.

In Class?

Depending on your school, in class learning might not even be an option at all. For example, the entire California State University system will not be holding in class learning in the fall 2020. Other schools such as the University of California system will offer limited in class learning. If your school does offer in class learning as an option, there are other factors to consider before choosing this option. Even though your school might allow it, some professors are revolting against teaching in person classes. If there is a local outbreak on your campus in the fall, then classes might quickly have to transition online. On top of all that, any in class experience will have to conform to all the latest CDC guidelines including masks, social distancing, hand washing etc. So while there are actions you can take to prevent getting sick, even if you are allowed to go to live classes it will be a very different and tenuous situation.

Remote and Hybrid

Remote and Hybrid learning looks like the most likely learning models this year, and with remote learning although it is far from perfect at least you don’t have to worry about your class being cancelled. If you can choose a hybrid model with some in person learning and some remote learning, this seems like a good option as it reduces the chance of encountering or spreading the virus, and also is more flexible in case the in class learning has to be shut down.

The bottom line is it’s going to be a difficult year for everyone, just remember this will pass at some point and make smart decisions for your future and in consideration of your community so that you can continue your education while helping to minimize the spread of covid 19.

As a college student, you’ve probably been assigned a textbook or two that has an “inclusive access” code. You may be wondering what is the inclusive access code, and why do more and more textbooks seem to have this code? As several recent lawsuits demonstrate, inclusive access is really more about generating recurring revenue and profits for textbook publishers than it is about generating improved academic outcomes for you.

What are Textbook Inclusive Access Codes?

To understand the inclusive access codes, you need to understand the college textbook market. Textbook publishers only make money when a new textbook (print or digital) is sold; they don’t make any money on used textbooks or textbook rentals. So naturally their incentive is to get you to buy new textbooks every time and undercut the used and rental markets, and eliminate your choice to buy or rent cheap used books or make money selling your used textbooks.

These codes were invented by textbook publishers a few years ago as a response to the rapid rise of online used textbooks and textbook rentals eating into publishers profits. Since the codes can only be used once to access supplemental material, after the one time use the used textbook has no access code and therefore no value. Students are forced to buy new textbooks each term to get the codes, which definitely benefits the publisher’s bottom line but not so much your wallet or education.

Things have changed since we wrote about access codes in 2016, when the codes were part of bundled textbook packages which included the book as well as supplemental material accessible through the one time access codes. You had a choice of buying the textbook a la carte, or buying the textbook/access code bundle. Today, with “inclusive” access, you no longer have a choice. You are forced to buy the textbook with the inclusive access code for one time use, then stuck with a used book that you cannot resell. It has gotten so bad, that scammers have popped up selling fake second hand access codes.

Who Benefits?

The inclusive access codes are just the latest tactic that college textbook publishers have long employed to maximize their revenue from struggling college students. In past decades, their preferred tactic was to come out with a new edition every year or two on subjects that really don’t change much year to year (think Algebra, Chemistry, Psychology, etc) so that professors would assign the new books, and undermine the resale value of the previous editions. This worked great for a long time, until the advent of online competition which greatly expanded student choice, and textbook rentals. To respond to this new competitive threat, the marketing geniuses at the big publishers invented the access codes to kill the used and rental markets.

The publishers try and sell the inclusive access codes as some educational miracle that will help your grades tremendously and they are only doing it for you, the student (wink wink). Since there have been no studies that compare academic achievement results for students with access codes vs students without codes, we will just have to take the publishers at their word that they have your best interests at heart.

What happens from here?

There has been a lot of pushback from students and the college bookstore industry against the publishers. Since only big chain and campus bookstores can sell the access code books, this eliminates competition and drives up prices. Several lawsuits have been filed from both students and off campus college bookstores to open the market back up, so let’s hope these lawsuits are successful and the publishers finally learn that their student customers don’t like these monopolistic tactics that harm students and benefit the publishing industry. Until then, ask your professors to assign books that don’t have these codes so that you can benefit from a free market economy and get the best textbook at the lowest price.

At present, approximately 20% of undergraduates have a disability, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. While notable headway has been made in recent years with regards to accessibility, many students living with physical and developmental disabilities are still finding it difficult to gain an inclusive college education. Educational institutions need to build more wheelchair ramps, widen more doorways and passages, and embrace assistive technologies more readily. These technologies can, after all, make a college education increasingly more accessible for students with disabilities. These devices and systems, of which the following are just a few examples, are all designed to increase, maintain, or improve the educational abilities of a college student with disabilities.

Sip-and-puff systems aid students with mobility concerns

Sip-and-puff systems are often used by college students living with limited mobility. These systems make use of assistive technologies to send various signals to a device by making use of air pressure on a straw via sipping (inhaling) and puffing (exhaling). Computers, mobile devices, and a range of other technological devices can all be controlled via n sip-and-puff system, giving a student with disabilities greater access to course material and study aids.

There are a number of sip-and-puff systems that can be utilized by college students. Origin Instruments have a range of product offerings available that allow users to control a keyboard, mouse, or joystick with ease by making use of head mounted or gooseneck interfaces. Sip-and-puff systems can even be used to gain control of a TV remote or to play video games with friends or family. These systems are, therefore, not only credited as being a useful educational and practical tool but a social one as well.

Applications make communication easier

Mobile device technology is making it increasingly easier for students with disabilities to communicate and learn. The majority of assistive apps are available for both Android and Apple devices with many being free of charge. There are, for instance, a range of communication apps for cerebral palsy users that make it significantly easier to communicate both with lecturers and peers. Text-to-speech (TTS) apps such as Speak It! and I Can Speak lend a voice to non-verbal and verbally challenged students, adding a great degree of normalcy to their everyday lives. The technology operates by scanning the typed words and then reading it back in a synthesized voice. Thanks to the constant technological advances being made, TTS applications are rendering a more realistic and accurate service than ever before.

Sound-field Systems boost assistive learning

Sound-field systems are a great asset to any college classroom. Not only do these systems benefit students with hearing loss, but also those living with various auditory and learning difficulties according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Problems such as articulation disorders, central auditory processing disorder, and language delays are not uncommon in college students and can thwart learning significantly.

Sound-field systems, which make use of a microphone and mounted speakers, make college education increasingly accessible by amplifying sound and eliminating distance-related disturbances between lecturer and listener. Apart from being used in the classroom, sound-field systems can also make conference centers and meeting rooms a lot more accessible to both students and educators with disabilities.

Getting a college education is without a doubt a great achievement – especially for an individual living with a disability. Thankfully, earning an educational qualification such as a college degree and even enjoying college life in the broader sense of the word has become significantly easier to achieve thanks to the constant development of assistive technologies.

It’s hard to write brilliantly without reading voraciously! To be a good academic writer and maintain writing skills, students need to accumulate tons of information and knowledge from reputable, authorized sources. And, given how unreliable the information from the web may be, the safest option to polish your writing is reading books by professional essay writers – from seasoned essayists, to young and talented writers from a popular essay writing service.

In this article, we’ll show you some of the best essay writing books available.

A Professor’s Guide to Writing Essays: The No-Nonsense Plan for Better Writing” by Dr. Jacob Newman

Emphasizing the importance of a proper approach to the writing process as the key aspect of writing itself, the author contends that an essay’s success doesn’t lie in the plan or theme, but how you view the process of its development. Throughout the book, Newman teaches the reader how to find a professional approach to essay writing and stick to the right vector during the process.

100 Ways to Improve Your Writing” by Gary Provost

This incredible handbook was written in 1985 but still hasn’t lost its impact and popularity with writers. In this helpful source, you’ll find all necessary tips and recommendations on academic writing, an insider’s facts and suggestions, and other useful tricks you can use in your writing. In addition, this book contains examples of noteworthy writing pieces. Despite being deemed slightly outdated and irrelevant, the book has proven to be a great help in learning how to craft an outstanding academic paper!

College Essay Essentials” by Ethan Sawyer

Acclaimed writing mastermind Ethan Sawyer introduces the reader to the fundamentals of paper writing, providing vital knowledge for successfully developing college essays. In his book, Sawyer guides readers through every key stage of the writing process, from introduction to finale, teaching them how to arrange their thoughts and statements into an accurate and comprehensive piece of writing.

Essay Becomes Easy” by the EssayShark team

Essay Becomes Easy is of the best handbooks to dissect academic writing to the bone! EssayShark, one of the leading writing services, offers you a hands-on guide on how to write like a pro and learn the intricacies of academic writing with the highest efficacy. With the professional insight from the experts of EssayShark, the process of writing gets easier!

In Conclusion

Expert handbooks on academic writing serve as useful tools for aspiring writers who are in dire need of guidance from acknowledged academics. With the ultimate list of essay writing books that we have covered in this article, you will sharpen your writing perception and obtain effective armor for crafting first-rate science papers.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has sent college students into a world of the unknown. As you were kicked out of your dorm room, you may have been wondering where you would land and how you would get there. Campuses were scrambling to close and all of the money you invested in tuition and fees was hanging in the balance. Now that the dust is settling, you may be wondering how you can recoup some of your costs. After all, you paid for an entire semester of on-campus living and learning.

Ask for a full refund

Begin by asking for a full refund. You may not be successful, but it’s not a bad starting place to make your case for reparations. Keep in mind that most college campuses took a financial hit during the pandemic. Facilities and payroll had to be maintained, and many institutions had to spend additional money to provide technical assistance for remote learning. At the same time, you paid for something you didn’t get, so asking for a refund is not out of line.

Negotiate a partial refund

Create a list of the additional expenses you incurred as a result of having to abandon your residential experience. Include travel expenses, new housing, food costs, technology needs, and anything else that would have been provided on campus. Write a letter to your campus and ask for a partial refund to cover the expenses you have incurred. Discuss the hardships you have experienced, as you have had to restart your life without the necessary resources.

Take collective action

If your campus isn’t responsive to your requests, use your voice and harness the power of student action with a formal request for a refund. Students across the country have created petitions and have even filed lawsuits demanding the return of unused activity fees and tuition. Colleges are dependent upon students returning in the fall, so leverage this to yield even a partial refund of your tuition and fees.

Seek credit for future classes

In addition to a refund of tuition and fees, consider asking for a scholarship or grant that can be used toward classes you’ll take in the fall. The federal government allocated $14 billion in aid for higher education. Some of this funding must be used for direct aid to students. If your college is reticent to offering you cash now, you may be able to negotiate a free or partially free semester of college tuition to be used in the future. Exercise all of your options as you look for a way to get something back for what you had to endure.

For years, the MBA program has remained the most popular master’s degree in the United States of America- until recently. In 2019, business school applications saw a steep decline by 9.1 percent, according to The Wall Street Journal. This decline did not necessarily signal the end of the MBA’s reign, however. Closer examination showed that many students were venturing overseas to pursue their master’s degree while others were reevaluating the popularly traveled path in lieu of other professional education alternatives. Regardless of the changes, the MBA continues to command attention in the professional world- increasing professional ranking and giving candidates an upper hand in the salary department. However, as with any postgraduate program, it is important that you ascertain whether an MBA is right for you, your career goals and your industry.

Are You Looking For A Career Enhancer Or A Career Change?

Almost 93 percent of MBA graduates say they end up getting the job they initially wanted. A key part of that puzzle, however, is ensuring that that dream job is directly linked to an MBA path. For instance, professions that can benefit from an MBA career include marketing executives, accountants, and business analysts.

However, someone wishing to progress in the medical field may find very little benefit in pursuing an MBA unless they have plans to launch their own medical practice. Alternatively, you may be looking for a complete career change and wanting to prepare yourself professionally. Whether it is gaining the skills to launch your own business, building up your marketable skills, or pursuing a second career, an MBA may be the stepping stone you need.

Do You Lack The Management Skills For The Next Step In Your Career?

Most candidates choose a Master’s in Business Administration degree because they are looking to acquire the specialization and upper management skills needed to succeed in their dream position. This is completely dependent on the pathway you choose. However, for those that have worked in an industry for a long time, they would have gained those skills on the job. Many employers also offer on the job training for management positions, so this route may also be an option.

Do You Have The Time To Dedicate To Studying, Research, And Networking?

Studying for an MBA demand a high level of commitment. According to past publications, the life of a full-time MBA student can include 10+ hours in class followed by 10-15 hours preparing. Then there is course work, personal projects, and networking events to attend. Luckily with the introduction of flexible learning and options to fast track your postgraduate education, working professionals are now able to better balance their MBA studies. Many colleges now offer online MBAs, distance learning and 1 year MBA programs instead of the standard 24-month duration. This minimizes the costs to you thanks to less or nothing on accommodation, lower semester fees and the ability to continue earning while studying.

Will The Financial Benefit Outweigh The Costs?

The average cost for a 2 year MBA program is $60,000 depending on your program, mode of study and college. Some higher-ranked business schools can cost as much as $100,000. On the other hand, while MBA graduates can expect a post-salary increase of 77 percent.

Consider whether this is financially worthwhile, particularly if you will be funding your studies with loans. In 2016-17, this averaged $66,300, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Meanwhile, the average salary for an MBA graduate with 1-year of professional experience stands at $52,872. While the initial increase in salary in lucrative, if you are a seasoned worker in employment for 15 years or longer, employers will be looking more towards your work experience and not accreditations. Therefore, if you are at this stage an MBA may not have the payoff you expect in the interview room.

Before making the decision, determine whether an MBA is the right fit for your individual goals rather than overall. If you can positively answer these questions then you may be on the correct path.

As we head back to school after our spring break in quarantine, or Coronavacation, we have to adjust to the new normal, which for the time being appears to be online learning. It’s important to stay focused and not lose sight of your degree in these unfamiliar times. Here are a couple of tips to help make online learning work for you:


Set up a space to work. Preferably one that is quiet and where you are sitting upright. Trying to take online classes on your bed could result in an unexpected nap. Make sure your space has all of your materials ready to go. On average it takes 23 minutes to refocus once your work is interrupted. That means set that phone and social media aside during work time!


Some classes will be in real time, but others will let you set your own pace and it’s easy to get off track. Create a weekly to-do list, giving yourself tasks everyday. Make sure you have due dates on a calendar or set up on an alert system on your phone.


One big drawback of this new way of life is the lack of human contact! Exchanging ideas, notes, and even a laugh or two can liven up learning. Create a Zoom study group and watch your mood lift. Smiling can actually trick your brain into happiness and even boost your immune system. Hey even a fake smile can reduce stress and lower your heart rate so if you can’t meet with classmates give yourself a few smiles in the mirror each day.


Self care may be one of the most missed aspects of college life. You need to take care of yourself or nothing else will go smoothly. It’s ok to stop and rest. Browsing social media may sound like a great free time activity, but it can often lead to more stress, comparisons, or negative feelings. Self care time should be free of that. Positive examples may be: a hot bubble bath, binge watching your favorite show, cooking yourself a healthy dinner, calling your best friend, reading a non-school book, even taking a shower and putting on clean clothes.


Lastly, ask for help when you need it. Whether that’s asking your teacher about computer problems (remember teachers are learning this new system too) or asking for help because this new life situation has caused you stress or anxiety. There is nothing to be ashamed of there, we are all feeling out of place… even though we are right at home.

The coronavirus pandemic has inspired panic and confusion across the higher education landscape, with canceled exams, final performances, and graduation ceremonies. College students have been evicted with little notice. School leaders are scrambling to triage students and accommodate the resources needed. The information available is overwhelming and not always accurate. Here are some actionable steps and advice amidst the chaos.

Moving out

Many students learned about the campus closures at the same time as administrators, creating a whirlwind of questions with few concrete answers. Be patient, and share resources when possible (but not your vape pens, please). Some students have pooled together to rent storage lockers; others with residences close to campus have offered to store belongings for those from out of state. Many students rely on financial aid and campus resources, and travel costs can be daunting, as can securing consistent meals. This public health crisis has only emphasized the socioeconomic divide in higher education. Some schools are reimbursing student travel costs; others are providing takeout meals. Keep communicating with school officials for updates on everything from health care to dining halls and shelter. Stay informed of recommended safety measures while you adjust to the unknowns of these closed campuses.

Learning from home (or a friend’s couch)

Institutions have moved their courses online. Most universities have offered virtual coursework and degree programs for years, so students can expect an effective substitute for their on-site academic counterparts. But without the desks and equipment, and with the sudden flexibility, especially if you’re easily distracted or rely on more kinesthetic classroom experiences, virtual learning can create barriers. It’s important to cultivate a learning space and engage in the online class discussion. Print off slides and lectures. Take notes during presentations. Develop virtual classroom strategies that will keep you accountable. And, just like you would on campus, leave the hard seltzer in the fridge until after class.

Making it a staycation

Spring break is looking a whole lot different this year. Instead of packing bikinis and sunblock, college students around the United States are preparing for a long-term hiatus at home (if a home is available). Having wrapped up midterm season, you deserve a break. Get creative with the resources you have. Look up some at-home face mask recipes. Give yourself a luxurious pedicure. Pick up a book you’ve been eager to read. Take a walk around the neighborhood or at a local park. Find ways to enjoy the break in your routine.

Maintaining hygiene

It may sound redundant at this point, but amidst the stress and the unknowns, make sure to take care of yourself. Take your time cooking healthful meals, exercise, and get plenty of sleep. Sing “Happy Birthday” twice as you wash your hands. There’s still a very real risk for the regular flu and sinus infections, and the clinic is the last place you want to be right now.

Many students rely on universities for safe shelter, social stability, meals, and mental health support. Help one another. Make time to call and check in on your friends. Share your own tips and tricks as you navigate the next few weeks. The campus community shouldn’t suffer just because you’re not on campus.