Academics & Tutoring User Posts

Money Jar with College Fund Hundred Dollar Bills
Can a Foreign Student Work in the USA?
I am a loyal believer in equality and have a quite explicit and probably ironic view. So hold the applause, below is a humorous and satirical Q and A with the classic liberal, the stinky republican, and the independent with all of the technically correct answers.

Q: What type of visa do I have?
Liberal: As long as you’re attractive in a way that doesn’t uphold the narrow Eurocentric ideals of beauty, it doesn’t really matter, does it?
Conservative: If you get a visa, the government is wasting money, if you don’t get a visa, the government is wasting money. No visas, just gun rights.
Independent: You should know what type of visa you have but most likely it’s an F-1 visa. All of the restrictions and details can be found with (USCIS) United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.

Q: Is there a difference between on campus and off campus work?
Liberal: All the differences between institutions in addition to the institutions themselves are social constructs of white, cis gendered, hetero sexual, upper class, men. Thus, the difference is all in our heads.
Conservative: One is sissy women’s work that gets paid more than it should, and doesn’t give back. The other is hard men’s work that gets paid less than it should and gets taxed more than should be legal. Thanks Obama.
Independent: Most leniency is given to students with on-campus jobs. Optional Practical Training (OPT) can be applied for during or after getting a degree and must be preapproved by the USCIS. You also must be enrolled in school for at least nine months. It usually takes 90 days for the application to clear. This may also approve students for a year of work after graduation.

Q: Are there benefits to majoring in STEM for my visa and future work?
Liberal: Are there benefits to dismantling the patriarchy? Are there benefits to recognizing systemic racism? Benefits come when you open up your horizons by acknowledging the systems that govern our lives. Reevaluating the root causes to why the most privileged individuals lead most STEM fields and making a change with your own STEM major will change the way everyone around you thinks, promise.
Conservative: Not for ‘mericans, so no, there isn’t a benefit to you majoring in any STEM field, promise.
Independent: Starting in 2008, if an international student majors in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math), they will be allowed to stay in the United states for an additional 17 months (this means 29 months under the F-1 visa, and extra time to apply for the H1B visa and work). To qualify you must work for a company enrolled in the E-verify program and be studying a subject from this STEM list.

Q: May I work off campus if I have severe economic hardship?
Liberal: Working more hours isn’t going to solve the root causes of you systematic oppression. Maybe try wearing red lipstick to show the world you mean business when it comes to feminism; that will get you more respect than a hardworking, blue collar job will.
Conservative: This economic hardship you’re experiencing is most likely because (a) you aren’t working hard enough to get ahead or (b)… well there are no exceptions so, no, sorry, you can’t.
Independent: If you have completed one academic year, are in good academic standing, show evidence of hardship, and prove that on-campus employment is not sufficient to meet your monetary needs, you may apply to meet under the F-1 visa of Severe Economic Hardship. This grants you the right to search for 20 hours a week of off campus work during the academic season and full time work during vacations.

Q: Can a foreign student work in the United States?
Liberal: Does it create a precedent for good international relations? Does it continue to work towards the elimination of inherent white privilege? Then you’ve got the job!
Conservative: Only if they’re doing the great work of the lord and they aren’t taking the jobs that our forefathers earned for us, duh.
Independent: Foreign students may work in the United States under certain conditions and restrictions. You must receive permission from your school and many schools do not allow international students to work during their first semester or academic year. Subsequent years are valid with F-1 visa status.

For more information about working in the United States as an international student and in the subsequent years, visit this website.

Photo Credit: Tax Credits

Picture of Undergraduate Students at Nazareth College Graduation, selfie
Choosing What Colleges to Apply to in Three Easy Steps
Every year, the formulaic responses from counselor to student is scrutinized and subsequently criticized, and it’s no wonder why. With the average public school guidance counselor in the United States having an obligation to nearly 500 students (a static ratio for over a decade) and half of the country’s public schools absent of a committed counselor all together, students are not getting the personal attention they require or deserve. Affluent private schools usually have the funding for their students to be walked through the process; but the less advantaged students who seek a better future or a competitive college are being wronged by this lack of funding.

In fact, the average prospective high school senior spent $37.88 in 2012 for each college application (while applications can be as expensive as $90 for schools as rigorous and choosy as Stanford), and it isn’t rare these days for an individual student to send out ten to twenty college applications when less than two decades ago, even eight was a perplexity. As paper applications turn to more common and standard electronic versions (the most common electronic application, Common App, is utilized by over 500 colleges), the deterrence usually brought on by excessive and redundant paperwork has been substituted with an encouragement to “over apply.”

This lack of counselors, which almost guarantees a lack of individual attention in low income areas, combined with expensive and easily accessible applications leaves high school students with a dire need for guidance regarding which applications are worth a hefty fee and time investment and which applications are not worth the lost time or money. Here's my recommendation on how to narrow down your choices while going through the college application process.

Make a list of 15 to 20 schools where you think you would be happy. Consider the size of the student body. Do you want a small school with small class sizes or would you be more comfortable in a larger university? Consider the location. Do you want to be close to home or explore a new place for a while? Is the school in a city or rural area? Consider the academic selection. Do they offer your major or courses you would be interested in taking? Consider the personality fit. You can check out reviews from students who attend each college to explore the diversity, social scene, and general feel of each campus and see if they fit what you are looking for in a school. These 15 schools should contain both a few safety schools and a few reach schools, as well as practical schools whose SAT and GPA averages contain your scores.

It’s time to do some research. Notice that price isn’t something listed as an important thing to consider—the price tag isn’t everything. Many students are too intimidated by a school’s tuition to even apply, but some of the most expensive schools are also those that give the most financial aid. Research the financial aid packages for the colleges on your list; some schools also have calculators on their websites to help estimate a ballpark number of what you will have to pay. Creating a spreadsheet of pros and cons for each school can be helpful in the narrowing process; this allows you to physically see if you favor the school or not by the length of each list.

Narrow your list down to seven to eight colleges: two safety schools, two reach schools, and three or four schools whose scores match your own. In order to whittle your list to the perfect set of colleges, there a couple of things you should do. First, research, research, research. A college can tell when you’ve crammed as many applications as you could into the time frame to apply, but you need to know what you’re applying for and why going there would be mutually beneficial for both you and the school. Second, talk to a professional. If you have college guidance counselors, talk to them about what they know of each school and if they think those schools would be a good fit. If you don’t have a counselor, send emails to alums and current students, search for representatives of the colleges on your list on social media websites, and read or message them about their experiences. Some colleges have blogs written by current students that you can read. Lastly, if you can visit any of the schools on your list, do it! Some colleges and programs will pay for fly-ins if you qualify. While you’re there, try to talk to as many students as you can. Eat at their dining hall(s), attend a class or two, chat with a couple of professors or students in your prospective major, sit in busy areas, and see if you can imagine yourself as a happy and comfortable student in the coming years.

Ultimately, deciding where you want to go to college can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. Go with your gut, stick to your guns, and don’t make the price tag an issue if it doesn’t have to be. Talk to as many people as possible about their experience and listen to their advice. Choose and apply wisely instead of over applying to save yourself time and stress, and chances are you will nestle yourself a home at whichever school you decide to attend.

Photo Credit: Nazareth College

Woman in pink shirt teaching a Public Speaking class
Speech for a Retiring Teacher
We’ve all had that one influential teacher that strives to, with the use of knowledge, shape us into better human beings. That passionate, hard-headed, yet loving individual whom, through years of very little appreciation, still managed to stick by the strong morals of true education. If you’ve experienced a bond with the person that I’m attempting to describe, as many of us have, writing a speech in his/her honor becomes a real struggle. I say struggle, because no matter what words you use or how you use them, in your eyes they will never truly live up to the greatness of the person they’re mentioning. So, what to do? Well, having been in your shoes, let me see if I can help. Writing a speech for a retiring teacher may not have to be as daunting as we first make it out to be in our heads. With the right guidelines and a clear direction as to where the speech will take its audience, whether it be giggles or tears or both, composing an ode for your personal Odysseus doesn’t have to be too difficult.

As with all writing projects, step one is to brainstorm and release all thoughts, no matter how silly they may be, into paper. By creating different groups or topics (I call them “buckets”) in which these thoughts are fitted, the brainstorming process becomes smoother. For example:

Anecdotes: that time when Mr. Williams released us early for lunch and the principal found out, that day when we had to dissect frogs in Mr. Williams’s class and a girl fainted, etc.

These may sound completely hilarious and unsuitable for a retirement speech, BUT they might be useful later on in the writing process when adding humor into the end product. (You want people to laugh a little, trust me on that.) As opposed to just scribbling down all sorts of thoughts into one giant mess, organizing them into different sections makes it easier to track certain ideas down that you may want to use.

Once all reflections, memories, and feelings are out there in the open and ready to be weaved into an eloquent retirement speech, there are certain considerations that must be examined before actually scripting all the material together. First is the audience; like all drama connoisseurs preach: you perform for your audience. What this means when writing a speech is that in order for the product to be successful and liked, the people to whom you’re speaking need to be considered.

For example, in this specific scenario the public would be mostly composed of fellow teachers, the retiring teacher’s family, and some students. This means that the speech should be respectful, filled with admiration, and somewhat humorous. (Solemn speeches are reserved for politicians.) Personal details would obviously have to be avoided, and in turn replaced by heartwarming memories with the celebrated one that can be shared by fellow peers and teachers alike. The aim in this instance should be to highlight the rewarding nature of this person’s duty, and how it changed the life of those around him/her, while still keeping a light atmosphere.

Another thing to consider before writing is the length of the speech. Most speeches vary between a 3 to 5 minute duration, but some can go longer and making sure exactly how long is expected is important. The perfect speech should feel complete in that a well-formed conversation with the audience was made and thoughts were finished, but should not feel like a never-ending run-on sentence in which irrelevant information is abundant.

The last thing to determine before getting on to the action of things is: overall what are you trying to say? What theme should be the one to tie everything together? Think specifics. Maybe the entire point of the speech is to compare the teacher to a renowned philosopher or hero, and explore his/her resilience. Maybe the point of the speech is just to stress and point out the love that this person felt for his/her career in education. Maybe the point is simply to celebrate a life’s worth of accomplishments. Either way, establishing the purpose of the speech is extremely important, and it guarantees cohesion. No one wants to hear something that’s all over the place and reaches no conclusion.

Photo Credit: BlueOlive

Hands on a computer keyboard online
Live Online Tutoring Jobs for College Students
Getting a higher education in the United States today is very expensive. Many students are forced to take out huge loans to pay for college, and end up paying them back for a very long time. Getting a job while you are in college can be a great way to compensate for this, but many students are unable to do so due to their academic obligations. That is why live online tutoring jobs for college students are becoming more and more popular – you can do them from the comfort of your dorm room, and all you need is a computer with an internet connection.

Live online tutoring jobs for college students can be found in many places on the internet – working for yourself on is one of many great options for college students. Another great one is This site offers tutoring services twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. You can look at the live online tutoring jobs for college students available by concept before you apply, and choose the areas you are strongest in. offers services in practically every subject offered from kindergarten to 12th grade, so you will be sure to find some topics you are good at. There are the most concepts in the Math category, such as elementary math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. There are science topics such as chemistry, earth science, and physics. There are also categories for help in reading and writing, as well as career help.

Another good site to check for live online tutoring jobs for college students is You can make your own hours here, and will be able to negotiate your prices. There are also plenty of resources for tutors on this site. Some are for teaching purposes, such as help in understanding science concepts and preparing for tests. There are also articles about encouraging creativity, parenting techniques, and discipline tactics for parents.

Particularly interesting here are their resources for tutors themselves. You can find help articles about live online tutoring jobs for college students such as advice about working online and staying motivated. There is also information about starting your own online tutoring business, and e-books about success in the tutoring business.

If you still haven't found any live online tutoring jobs for college students that you are able to do, you can check for open positions. This site lets you search a wide variety of sites at once, so you can find open positions across the internet. There are dozens of great links on this site to help you find tons of work as an online tutor.

Live online tutoring jobs for college students are great because they can be done at home or in the dorm room, in your spare time. There is usually no need to study extensively for your tutoring, as long as you choose subjects you are already somewhat skilled in. Working online, for yourself, can be very empowering as well as a great way to make money. However, there are many things to learn before you can begin making a profit, so start soon.

Photo Credit: Carissa Rogers

College Admissions Calculator Keys and Coins
Do College Admissions Calculators Really Work?
I tried one of these college admissions calculators myself. You’d think that as a college sophomore I am well equipped with the ways of the application process, but because I was fortunate enough to scholarship my way through the early decision, I am still a novice in the field. So, to do what all semi-professionals do when they secretly have no clue, I googled college admissions calculators and clicked on the first link listed.

This website has you create an account and tell all about your personal information—where you’re from, all your test scores, GPA, rank, course rigor, etc. Then you list all of your prospective schools, and it spits out either (a) a scattergram of all the people who’ve self-reported their scores and grades and labeled them on this chart as waitlisted, accepted, or denied, and also adds a star where you belong on the chart. Then you can see whether Star You is close to the Green Accepted dots or the Red Denied ones, or somewhere in the Gray Waitlisted cloud—or (b) the website gives you a tiny bar with a blue indication of your acceptance chances from zero to a hundred percent.

So, I went ahead and tested my chances to get into the school I currently attend, Bryn Mawr College. I told the machine that I am from Texas, I got a 2120 on my SAT, had a 3.8 unweighted GPA in high school, took 12 AP tests and did reasonably well classifying me with “high rigor,” and was on the executive board for over seven organizations which classified me as highly involved. I didn’t play a sport, nor was I going to be a first generation college student. I also didn’t have any people from my family who had gone to Bryn Mawr College before me. Ten seconds later, I fell into a sorta green-ish spot on the scattergram and my bar was wider than I expected, giving me a range of a 70% to a 95% chance of getting accepted.

I messed around with a few other sites, one of which told me that I had exactly a 28% chance of getting into Harvard University (I doubt the site would ever tell you that your chances were very high for Harvard), but the site didn’t list Bryn Mawr College as a school. Maybe that’s because it isn’t big enough or isn’t classified by them as a university. Regardless, I had some fun playing around on these calculators to see where I stand among applicants, but I can’t imagine using them to pick a school. Do I think these things work well with statistics? Yes, I mean, it gave me pretty good odds that I would get into the school I attend, and pretty bad odds to get into Harvard University, which seems likely to be the case—but I don’t know that these calculators gave me any more information than I could have gathered by looking at test scores and GPA averages or acceptance rates: aka - common sense and a bit of luck.

I probably couldn’t derive a fancy percent like 28 to describe my chances, but I could tell you it was low—and I think that way of calculating instead of describing obliterates the human element. Don’t get me wrong, I went to an urban public school with one college counselor for my class of nearly 650 graduates, and I think having known about calculators like these might have given me a ball park of practical schools. In the beginning of the process it might have helped, but it never would have been able to serve as a substitute my guidance counselor. I don’t think a calculator could have estimated how comfortable I would feel at a school, or if I’d enjoy a women’s college (something I’d never considered before discussions with her), or told me that just because I got in doesn’t mean I’d like it and that I should think about all of my options. I don’t think a calculator could tell me where I’d be happy. So do I think the College Admissions Calculators are successful at creating an admissions rate based on past applications? Yes. Do I think they account for the human elements that are so important from the perspective of a guidance counselor or from those on the selection committee? No, no I do not, although with the way the system seems to have laid still for over a decade, it might have to suffice.

Photo Credit: Images Money

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