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Supplies for Success As a University Bound Student

So, you’ve been accepted into the college or university of your choice and it’s time to get ready. Perhaps you are moving out of your parent’s house. Perhaps you will be commuting. Or perhaps you will be attending an online school. Whatever the case may be, you should be ready to meet the new challenges of college with some needed supplies. A laptop, certain laptop accessories, transportation and something as small as a planner will make your life as a university bound student much easier.

Laptops are an essential item for any type of university bound student. Depending on which program you are in, laptops can be customized to fit that need.

  • Laptops should have word processing and internet connection capability. As a college student, you will be writing A LOT. Not only that, you will be expected to conduct at least some research online, read e-books, email and participate in class-related forums or discussions.
  • The minimum recommended amount of RAM for a student laptop is 2 GB, with a minimum hard disk capacity of 160 GB.
  • A laptop carrying case would be a good investment if you plan on using your laptop to take notes. For online students, this is handy so that you can take your laptop wherever you need to go and still attend your class.
  • A portable mouse – nothing is more annoying than a lot of clicking with the touchpad!
  • A flashdrive would be a great investment, especially one that can be clipped onto a bag. You will always have your assignments and notes handy if you carry this with you when you need to use computer labs or libraries.

Consider what kind of transportation will be needed for college.

  • Car – Not all college students need a car, but if you will be commuting and there is no public transportation, this is the necessary choice. If you get an internship or job that requires commuting far distances, then it is a worthwhile investment as well.
  • Bus – Public transportation is pretty accessible to students who live on suburban or city campuses. In fact, many colleges work in conjunction with a city to give students a discounted pass.
  • Bike – This is quickly becoming a popular mode of transportation, especially for students who live in a bike-friendly city. However, this is most convenient for people who live close by and do not have a long commute.
  • This might be self-explanatory, but you may be surprised at how many students do not use a planner or daily organizer. So stay ahead of the game and buy one.
  • Planners are exactly that: planners. When you first receive your syllabus for each class, spend 30 minutes that night and write down important test and assignment due dates for each one. Write reminders for due dates the week before as an additional reminder.
  • This is also a great place to write down each course name, the number, the location, professor name and their contact information. You never know when you will need it. Also, those slips of paper so candidly given out the first day in class might get lost in the confusion of the weeks to come. Possible situation you don’t want to be in: Class ends and you have five minutes to get to the next oneā€¦but you forgot the classroom number. Just take out your planner, and instead of fumbling through tons of papers, a quick glance will save you.
  • Invaluable school information is in the school planners as well. There is usually a map, a list of numbers for places like Student Services or Campus Police. In some cases, they have conversion charts and commonly misspelled words that you can apply to your homework.

What Factors Do the Best Online Universities Have?

The factors used to determine and rate the best online universities are all varied and important relative to the needs of the student. If you are in the market for an online university to get a degree, and you’d like to pick one that suits your career goals and lifestyle, then keeping tabs on these important factors as you search will help you to choose the right one for you. The best online college for you is just around the corner.


Of course, the most important determining factor in measuring up the best online college is the cost per credit and cost overall of attending. The average student is saddled with about $21,000 in student loan debt, according to The Project on Student Debt. With that in mind, someone who is looking to go back to school to advance their degree should look at an online university that has reasonably low prices that you know you can afford to pay back at a later date.

Course Flexibility

Before signing up for an online degree program, make sure that the courses that you will be required to take can fit into your work and family schedule.

Experienced Teachers or Professionals

The advantage of the best online universities is that the professors are usually very experienced in their field. In many cases, they are still actively involved in a business of career-sector while teaching an online class. Many other teachers teach at a respected ground school while teaching an online course.


The best online universities offer tutoring services that help the student achieve their best in the online classroom.

Career Services

Excellent career services are offered at the best online universities to provide guidance for students as they move into the job market, or as they try to attain the management positions that they went to school for. These services include helpful counselors that can give advice and tips on how best to interview, job search help and making you stand out amongst the other applicants. The best online college will have connections to local and national employers.

Partnerships with On-Site Facilities

For students that are in a program that requires a certain number of hands-on training hours and demonstrations, the best online universities will have academic partnerships with places in your area. For example, if you are going to school for a degree in nursing, then you can be sure that you must log hours at some sort of nursing home, hospital or similar facility.

Distance Learning Universities

For people living or working overseas, distance learning universities provide a challenging education through digital means.

If you live overseas as a volunteer, a missionary, are traveling for business frequently, or simply do not have access to a ground university for geographic or other reasons, distance learning universities offer distinct advantages. These universities offer a full range of courses in majors as varied as education to business leadership. Below is a list of important things to remember that will lead to your success if you choose to attend one of the many programs distance learning universities can offer.

  1. Be sure your internet accessibility is reliable. That includes having a laptop or computer station that you can work on remotely. Before enrolling in a class, make sure you have any additional downloads or software needed in order to be an active member of the class. Waiting until the last minute to do this can be costly to your education in the short and long-term. Internet speed is important if the class requires you to watch video or listen to a lecture.
  2. Carry a sturdy flashdrive. If you are constantly on the go, a flashdrive that has all of your written work and a backup of all the work you may have submitted via the internet is a good idea. Keep this in a safe, clean and dry place. Nowadays, you can purchase heavy-duty flashdrives if you work in harsh conditions. This might be great for journalists, volunteers or missionaries that need to protect their flashdrive from the harsher elements. A lot of email servers, such as Gmail, allow user to store documents virtually. This is another way you can backup your work in the event that your flashdrive is lost or stolen.
  3. Be aware of time differences between you and the virtual classroom. A lot of distance learning universities realize that not all of their students live in the same state, or region for that matter. They usually make deadlines that give all students a chance to submit work in a timely manner. However, it is the responsibility of the student to be aware of these time differences as they complete assignments. If live chat it not an option during traveling, teachers usually give credit to well-informed and relevant forum posts in response to classmates and the teachers.
  4. Have teacher contact information handy at all times just in case. Having your teacher’s contact information handy to call and let them know of the problem will notify them in advance if you cannot do something for the class on time. This would also be a good time to make a Skype account. When you set it up, go ahead and add funds right away so you are never caught without the ability to make a call.
  5. Different countries mean different ways of calculating measurements and spelling words. Tools such as a metric conversion table or a British to American conversion chart will help you to write or calculate formulas in the way that the university grades in. Once again, this is the responsibility of the student to know the protocols of the distance learning university that they attend.

Living or working overseas frequently doesn’t have to be a disadvantage when you want to go to school to earn a degree or advance one that you already have. With the rising popularity of distance learning universities, ever-evolving Internet and technology, and the many resources out there for student professionals, it can actually be a great advantage. We live in a global society today, with much of what we produce and purchase, read, or eat coming from or going to another country. A student that is fluent and experienced in another culture only makes them better prepared for a future in whatever field they choose.