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Resources and Tools for Educators to Help Students Be Successful

Posted on February 16, 2022 by Darius Goldman

The amount of information out there on how to help your students succeed can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are strategies that take the uncertainty out of helping college students succeed. We’ve compiled the top resources to help your students achieve their goals and have fun while doing it.

Be Creative

Getting students to engage in the learning process will maximize their results and help each student reach their full potential. One of the best ways to capture your students’ attention is to be creative and think outside the box. For example, implementing debates and games can help keep them engaged and eager for future lessons.

Provide Relevant Study Materials

Although lectures and tutorials will provide most of the content for your course, some students will need additional help to grasp your subject thoroughly. One of the best ways of overcoming this barrier is providing online resources, such as workbooks, ebooks, and past papers. These high-quality materials allow your students to get a feel for exam-style questions and drastically improve their preparation. In addition, all content is available from within Blackboard to make them simple to access at home or on campus.

Vary Your Instruction

When you vary teaching methods, you provide students with more learning opportunities. Every student has different strengths and weaknesses. Instead of just focusing on one method that only appeals to a single learning style, varying your teaching techniques allow you to cater your lessons to different learning styles. Students will be more successful if they are more engaged and are taught in a style that speaks to them.

Set Achievable Goals

To engage your students throughout the semester, you want to set challenging yet attainable goals for them. Work with them to determine goals that they’d be happy with and how you can work together to achieve them. This can help hold your students accountable and allow them to reach their potential.

Set High Expectations

Cultivate an academic environment in your classroom by setting high, but not impossible, expectations for your students. Push students to achieve higher standards and they will eventually get there—and along the way, offer lots of praise. Of course, some may take more time than others, but all students want to be told, “You’re smart, and you’re doing a good job.”

Be Transparent and Ready to Help

Provide your students with a clear and detailed syllabus at the beginning of the year. It should explain your grading policies, attendance rules, expected class behavior, and any other information they’ll need. For example, if you assign essays or research papers, give them a copy of your rubric, so they know exactly what’s expected of them. One reason some students fail is that they are not clear on what is expected of them during a course.  

If a student gets a C- on an essay but never had the reasoning behind the grade explained to them, they won’t know what to improve on in the future and will likely put in little effort on the next assignment.

Continually Grow in Your Profession

With new ideas and research available, it is essential to keep up with the latest information through online forums, workshops, and professional journals. This willl lead to increased student interest and greater success. In addition, teaching the same lessons each school year can become monotonous over time. This can result in uninspired teaching. In this case, students will pick up on this and become bored and distracted. Including new ideas and teaching methods can make a huge difference. 

Here are 15 of the best teacher resources to get you started!

Best Teacher Resources

1. TeachHUB Education Blog

Technology, teaching strategies, and classroom management – this blog has these all covered. Every week, new content is published about using technology and practical teaching strategies. This blog also provides ways to utilize classroom resources to build stronger relationships with students.

2. Library Stuff

A law librarian’s blog that shares daily bits of education news, current state, conferences, periodicals, and tons of other information can be exhausted for professional development. Stay in the loop with the latest updates on education by subscribing to this personal teacher website.

EdWeek offers daily news and fantastic advice on addressing everyday classroom scenarios for passionate educators. In addition, browsing this blog will provide you with easy access to e-books, professional development kits, and links to follow-worthy blogs related to education.

Learn to code with these one-hour tutorials designed for learners of all ages in over 45 languages.

5. The Hechinger Report

Showcasing in-depth journalism at a whole new level, The Hechinger Report deals with the latest innovation and everyday issues on education and academics. In addition, the website tackles a plethora of timely topics, including blended learning, early education, higher education, high school reform, teacher preparation, and so much more.

6. High Techpectations

Lucy Gray designed her blog to inspire today’s educators. Here, she shares ideas, resources, downloadable PDFs, and multiple valuable links for the savvy teacher. Plus, you’ll get easy access to her YouTube workshop by joining in!

7. Education World

Education World is a complete online resource for teachers, administrators, and school staff to find high-quality and in-depth original content. In addition, they offer more than 1,000 free lessons.

8. Everfi

Everfi offers free digital courses that are interactive and standards-based. The focus is on real-world learning, with classes offered in financial literacy, STEM, social-emotional learning, health, and wellness,

9. Edutech for Teachers

A blog created and maintained by an instructional technology specialist based in Central Philadelphia. The site is dedicated to sharing innovative teaching strategies using digital media and the latest technology devices to engage students further and provide a millennial educational experience.

10. Library of Congress

The Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library’s vast digital collections in their teaching.

According to their website, the mission of the National Gallery of Art is to serve the USA in a national role by preserving, collecting, exhibiting, and fostering the understanding of works of art at the highest possible museum and scholarly standards.

12. National Geographic

Bring National Geographic to your classroom through lesson plans, maps, and reference resources.

13. The New York Times

Teach and learn with The Times. Articles and questions, writing prompts, and lesson plans coordinate with The New York Times Learning Network for teens. This site also provides access to professional growth resources and webinars for teachers and students’ activities.

14. Newsela

Newsela is a database of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Indexed by broad themes (e.g., War and Peace, Arts, Science, Health, Law, Money), stories are student-friendly and can be accessed in different formats by reading level.

15. NSTA

National Science Teachers Association promotes excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. This site gives teachers access to NSTA magazines for students and teachers and lesson plans.

Students want to succeed and oftentimes the best way to help them do that is by creating an engaging, goal-oriented lesson plan. Get creative, tailor your lessons to your students, and always be learning yourself. If you feel stuck with your current teaching style, these resources are here to help! Did we miss any resources?  What resources have you used to help your students succeed? Drop them in the comments!

Posted under: School Resources

Everything You Need to Know About Private Loans

Posted on November 29, 2021 by Darius Goldman

Attending college can be difficult for many students to afford without financial assistance. With even a semester of community college costing thousands of dollars these days, college affordability often makes a big difference in which college you’re able to choose. Thankfully, several higher education loan options are out there to help you pay your college bills, including scholarships, federal aid, private loans, and Income Share Agreements (ISA).

Private loans for college are worth considering if your federal student aid allotment isn’t enough to cover your tuition and other costs. However, some private lenders will tell you to consider taking out federal loans before weighing their products. 

This is because of the protections that the government affords its borrowers. However, those same private lenders will present their student loan options as customizable to your financial situation while positioning the federal government as one-size-fits-all.

At Meratas, we offer a host of alternative financing options to help students pay for their education. Options like installment plans, Income Share Agreements, and other Buy Now, Pay Later financing choices can oftentimes be a better fit than a traditional private student loan. Many of our options offer more flexibility than what is often available with traditional private loans.

However, if you’ve exhausted all your other financing options, you may need to turn to traditional private student loans to finish your education.

Unlike federal student loans, private student loans offer variable interest rates in addition to fixed rates. So if your credit history is strong, it could also lower your interest rate, as well as if you have a cosigner with a high credit score. 

When comparing private lenders to federal loan options, ensure that you do the research for yourself and know exactly what you want. After all, not all lenders are created equal.

What are private student loans?

Unlike federal student loans, which the government designates, independent lenders issue private student loans. These can be traditional banks or credit unions or student loan-specific organizations like Sallie Mae.

Each organization has different eligibility requirements, interest rates, and repayment terms. So, it’s a great idea to compare other options before choosing one. Even though private student loans may not always be your best financial option, there are some situations where taking out a personal student loan makes sense. Let’s look at three types of private student loans for college and beyond.

 In-school loans for students and parents

The beauty of in-school student loans in the private marketplace is that there are many to choose from. Whether you’re a college freshman, a scholar seeking a doctoral, or are the parent of one — there’s something for everyone. Sallie Mae, for example, offers 13 different education loans, from paying for the private kindergarten of your toddler to financing your study for the bar exam.

But with varying loan types come more choices. Take repayment as one example: College Ave offers undergraduates four options while they’re in school:

 Refinanced loans for graduates

Private lenders offer the option of refinancing federal and private loans into one new loan. The key difference between private refinancing and federal loan consolidation could cost you more in the long run, as the repayment term could lengthen. 

However, private loan refinancing could award you a lower interest rate and could help you save on the total cost of your debt. In addition, a solid credit score and steady income may help you qualify for the lowest interest rates.

Private lenders promote their average customer’s savings by refinancing. So it’s especially crucial to proceed with caution if you’re refinancing federal loans as well and would lose their associated protections and forgiveness programs.

You should know some things before you refinance any of your student loans, such as what interest rates you’ll end up with, how much you can afford to pay each month, and if you meet all the lender’s requirements.

The repayment process for private student loans

There are a few ways to make using private loans more manageable. First, aim to put extra money toward your loan’s principal to knock it out sooner. Doing so could save you a lot of money on interest.

At the same time, pay attention to the interest rate on your loans. If it’s variable and keeps climbing, look into refinancing your student loans. Refinancing is a fancy way of saying “swapping an existing loan for another.” Qualifying for a lower interest rate by refinancing will lower your monthly payments, too.

Finally, reach out to your lender if you wind up struggling to keep up with your private student loan payments. Some will work with you if you’re having a hard time. For example, they might allow you to defer payments temporarily or lower your interest rate.

It always pays to max out your federal borrowing options and alternative financing options first before resorting to private loans. But if you need to borrow privately, aim to find loan servicers with the most favorable terms. Then be vigilant about paying them off as quickly as you can once you graduate.

The most common repayment processes include:

Immediate repayment: You will start making principal and interest payments while still in school. This could help keep down your out-of-pocket costs, but it might present additional financial pressure while you’re in school.

Interest-only repayment: You will only pay the interest while in school, which could reduce the total cost of the loan payment you’ll have to repay. Even if the monthly interest costs are minimal, you’ll have to budget this into your monthly expenses and might need to take on a part-time job to cover the payments.

Deferred repayment: You will only start paying back the loan amount once you’ve graduated or dropped below half-time enrollment. Interest could still accrue during this time, making your overall debt higher.

Refinancing your private student loans: You might get a lower interest rate if you have a solid income and excellent credit. Depending on your specific situation, this can help you spend less money over the life of your loan program. However, keep in mind that lower monthly payments might mean an extended loan term. A longer-term could cost you more, so weigh out the pros and cons of refinancing private student loans.

In general, repayment terms for private loans for graduate students can range anywhere from five years to over 20 years, but remember that the interest will add up over time.

Options to Consider Before Private Student Loans

Unlike traditional private student loans, Buy Now Pay Later options are relatively new to the financial aid scene.

There are three different types of buy now pay later options that Meratas helps schools offer to their students: Installment plan, Flat plan, Hybrid plan.

Buy Now Pay Later options are proven to increase conversions. No consigner is required for students, making your program more accessible to students.

Our Installment Plan option is a fixed payment plan for students. Tuition payments are divided equally, and they are collected over the course of a few months. 

The Flat Payment Plan incorporates all of the flexibility that your students want with the reliability that you need.

The Hybrid Plan means your students don’t have to start paying back their tuition until they’re making over the minimum income threshold and their payments are linked to their income by a percentage.

How to know if you’re eligible for private student loans

While the government considers your level of financial need when issuing financial aid, private lenders have different requirements. Factors that are considered can include your income, credit score if you have a cosigner, and debt-to-income ratio. Eligibility will vary by lender, but having a low credit score or no credit history will likely make it difficult for you to qualify. Having a cosigner can help if their credit score and income meet the eligibility requirements.

Overall, the decision to take out private student loans is one you should consider carefully. However, if you’ve already exhausted federal student loans and other alternative financing options but still need funds for school, a private student loan may be the last option for finishing school. Carefully work through your options before taking out private student loans. If you’re interested in learning more about great financial aid or alternative financing options for schools or programs, check out our student’s page!

Posted under: Tuition Options

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This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Meratas strives to provide a wide array of offers for our users, but our offers do not represent all learning institutions or course programs.

We endeavor to ensure that the information on this site is current and accurate but you should confirm any information directly with your selected learning institution and read the information they provide.  Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, Meratas makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content contained herein, which has been provided to us by our school partners.. We assume no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained herein or the operation or use of these materials

At Meratas, we believe in transparency and partner with reputable companies to enhance your potential for success. Earnings figures are indicative, not guarantees. Earnings figures are taken from ZipRecruiter for the New York, NY region, and can be reviewed here.  Using this link, you may review earnings figures specific to your state of residence.  Success stories are not typical; results may vary. Placement rates are not a promise of employment.

Meratas is not responsible for third party products, services, sites, recommendations, endorsements, reviews, etc. All products, logos, and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Their use does not signify or suggest the endorsement, affiliation, or sponsorship, of or by Meratas.

We endeavor to ensure that the information on this site is current and accurate but you should confirm any information directly with your selected learning institution and read the information they provide.  Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, Meratas makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content contained herein, which has been provided to us by our school partners.. We assume no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained herein or the operation or use of these materials.