Scholarships For More Free College Courses Now Available

As the economy works it way to a fragile recovery, more people are realizing that job security can be found through education. People who hold college degrees tend to hold higher paying jobs, and have better benefits and more of an ability to transition to other jobs if necessary. Getting into college may be the first step to economic stability for individuals and their families.

Many people who want to begin college also work full time. They want to keep their jobs because they have bills to pay, and go to school in their off hours. For how it will fit into their busy lives, a great number of these prospective students are thinking about enrolling in an online college environment.

Students who have never been to school in an online learning situation may be a little hesitant to dedicating a large sum of money on tuition for a type of learning for which they might not be suited. While most students can succeed in an online learning setting, it’s not right for every single student. Being able to try out distance learning before paying tuition money out of your own pocket would be an ideal solution, wouldn’t it?

Students now have the option to try online education. They can apply for a scholarship to try out a free accredited online college class that will count toward their required hours at participating online universities and colleges. The scholarship will pay for one entire class, including online learning materials, leaving no cost to the student except a nominal transcript fee to transfer the credit to the online college or university of their choice.

Students who want to apply for the scholarship must be over age 18, a U.S. citizen, and hold a high school diploma or a GED. They can’t already hold a bachelors degree, or be currently enrolled in college. They must fill out an application and pass a shortened entrance exam. Finally, they are not allowed to have any defaulted student loans.

Students who are awarded the scholarship will have the opportunity to choose from several different classes. In the past, students could choose from only one or two general education requirement classes, but now they can choose from classes that will apply to several specific career fields. The choices have never been broader or more exciting.

The core requirement classes may be good choices for students who have not yet chosen their major. These classes will apply to most major fields as general education requirements for most majors. However, students who have interest in criminal justice can take an intro to criminal justice class. Students who want to work in the medical field can enroll in a free medical terminology class, and students who are interested in business can take an intro to business course.

New Policy On Distance Learning In Higher Education Sector

In pursuance to the announcement of 100 days agenda of HRD of ministry by Hon’ble Human Resources development Minister, a New Policy on Distance Learning In Higher Education Sector was drafted.


1. In terms of Entry 66 of List 1 of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India, Parliament is competent to make laws for the coordination and determination of standards in institutions for higher education for research, and scientific and technical institutions. Parliament has enacted laws for discharging this responsibility through: the University Grants Commission (UGC) for general Higher Education, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for Technical Education; and other Statutory bodies for other disciplines. As regards higher education, through the distance mode, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Act, 1985 was enacted with the following two prime objectives, among others: (a) To provide opportunities for higher education to a large segment of population, especially disadvantaged groups living in remote and rural areas, adults, housewives and working people; and (b) to encourage Open University and Distance Education Systems in the educational pattern of the country and to coordinate and determine the standards in such systems.

2. The history of distance learning or education through distance mode in India, goes way back when the universities started offering education through distance mode in the name of Correspondence Courses through their Directorate/School of Correspondence Education. In those days, the courses in humanities and/or in commerce were offered through correspondence and taken by those, who, owing to various reasons, including limited number of seats in regular courses, employability, problems of access to the institutions of higher learning etc., could not get themselves enrolled in the conventional `face-to-face’ mode `in-class’ programmes.

3. In the recent past, the demand for higher education has increased enormously throughout the country because of awareness about the significance of higher education, whereas the system of higher education could not accommodate this ever increasing demand.

4. Under the circumstances, a number of institutions including deemed universities, private universities, public (Government) universities and even other institutions, which are not empowered to award degrees, have started cashing on the situation by offering distance education programmes in a large number of disciplines, ranging from humanities to engineering and management etc., and at different levels (certificate to under-graduate and post-graduate degrees). There is always a danger that some of these institutions may become `degree mills’ offering sub- standard/poor quality education, consequently eroding the credibility of degrees and other qualifications awarded through the distance mode. This calls for a far higher degree of coordination among the concerned statutory authorities, primarily, UGC, AICTE and IGNOU and its authority – the Distance Education Council (DEC).

5. Government of India had clarified its position in respect of recognition of degrees, earned through the distance mode, for employment under it vide Gazette Notification No. 44 dated 1.3.1995.

6. Despite the risks referred to in para 4 above, the significance of distance education in providing quality education and training cannot be ignored. Distance Mode of education has an important role for:

(i)providing opportunity of learning to those, who do not have direct access to face to face teaching, working persons, house-wives etc.
(ii)providing opportunity to working professionals to update their knowledge, enabling them to switchover to new disciplines and professions and enhancing their qualifications for career advancement.
(iii)exploiting the potential of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the teaching and learning process; and
(iv)achieving the target of 15% of GER by the end of 11th Plan and 20% by the end of 12th five year Plan.

7. In order to discharge the Constitutional responsibility of determination and maintenance of the standards in Higher Education, by ensuring coordination among various statutory regulatory authorities as also to ensure the promotion of open and distance education system in the country to meet the aspirations of all cross-sections of people for higher education, the following policy in respect of distance learning is laid down:

(a) In order to ensure proper coordination in regulation of standards of higher education in different disciplines through various modes [i.e. face to face and distance] as also to ensure credibility of degrees/diploma and certificates awarded by Indian Universities and other Education Institutes, an apex body, namely, National Commission for Higher Education and Research shall be established in line with the recommendations of Prof. Yash Pal Committee/National Knowledge Commission. A Standing Committee on Open and Distance

Education of the said Commission, shall undertake the job of coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of education through the distance mode. Pending establishment of this body:

(i) Only those programmes, which do not involve extensive practical course work, shall be permissible through the distance mode.

(ii) Universities / institutions shall frame ordinances / regulations / rules, as the case may be, spelling out the outline of the programmes to be offered through the distance mode indicating the number of required credits, list of courses with assigned credits, reading references in addition to self learning material, hours of study, contact classes at study centres, assignments, examination and evaluation process, grading etc.

(iii) DEC of IGNOU shall only assess the competence of university/institute in respect of conducting distance education programmes by a team of experts, whose report shall be placed before the Council of DEC for consideration.

(iv) The approval shall be given only after consideration by Council of DEC and not by Chairperson, DEC. For the purpose, minimum number of mandatory meetings of DEC may be prescribed.

(v) AICTE would be directed under section 20 (1) of AICTE Act 1987 to ensure accreditation of the programmes in Computer Sciences, Information Technology and Management purposed to be offered by an institute/university through the distance mode, by National Board of Accreditation (NBA).

(vi) UGC and AICTE would be directed under section 20 (1) of their respective Acts to frame detailed regulations prescribing standards for various programmes/courses, offered through the distance mode under their mandate,

(vii) No university/institute, except the universities established by or under an Act of Parliament/State Legislature before 1985, shall offer any programme through the distance mode, henceforth, without approval from DEC and accreditation by NBA. However, the universities/institutions already offering programmes in Humanities, Commerce/Business/Social Sciences/Computer Sciences and Information Technology and Management, may be allowed to continue, subject to the condition to obtain fresh approval from DEC and accreditation from NBA within one year, failing which they shall have to discontinue the programme and the entire onus with respect to the academic career and financial losses of the students enrolled with them, shall be on such institutions/universities.

(viii) In light of observation of Apex Court, ex-post-facto approval granted by any authority for distance education shall not be honoured and granted henceforth. However, the universities established by or under an Act of education programmes in the streams of Humanities/Commerce/Social Sciences before the year 1991 shall be excluded from this policy.

(ix) The students who have been awarded degrees through distance mode by the universities without taking prior approval of DEC and other statutory bodies, shall be given one chance, provided they fulfil the requirement of minimum standards as prescribed by the UGC, AICTE or any other relevant Statutory Authority through Regulation, to appear in examinations in such papers as decided by the university designated to conduct the examination. If these students qualify in this examination, the university concerned shall issue a certificate. The degree along with the said qualifying certificate may be recognised for the purpose of employment/promotion under Central Government.

(x) A clarification shall be issued with reference to Gazette Notification No. 44 dated 1.3.1995 that it shall not be applicable on to the degrees/diplomas awarded by the universities established by or under an Act of Parliament or State Legislature before 1985, in the streams of Humanities/Commerce and Social Sciences.

(xi) The policy initiatives spelt out in succeeding paragraphs shall be equally applicable to institutions offering distance education/intending to offer distance education.

(b) All universities and institutions offering programmes through the distance mode shall need to have prior recognition/approval for offering such programmes and accreditation from designated competent authority, mandatorily in respect of the programmes offered by them. The violators of this shall be liable for appropriate penalty as prescribed by law. The universities/institutions offering education through distance mode and found involved in cheating of students/people by giving wrong/false information or wilfully suppressing the information shall also be dealt with strictly under the penal provisions of law.

(c) The universities / institutes shall have their own study centres for face to face counselling and removal of difficulties as also to seek other academic and administrative assistance. Franchising of distance education by any university, institutions whether public or private shall not be allowed.

(d ) The universities /institutions shall only offer such programmes through distance mode which are on offer on their campuses through conventional mode. In case of open universities, they shall necessarily have the required departments and faculties prior to offering relevant programmes through distance mode.

(e) It would be mandatory for all universities and education institutions offering distance education to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in delivery of their programmes, management of the student and university affairs through a web portal or any other such platform. The said platform shall invariably, display in public domain, the information about the statutory and other approvals along with other necessary information about the programmes on offer through distance mode, their accreditation and students enrolled, year- wise, etc. This may be linked to a national database, as and when created, to facilitate the stakeholders to take a view on the recognition of the degrees for the purpose of academic pursuit or employment with/under them.

(f) All universities/education institutions shall make optimal use of e-learning contents for delivery/offering their programmes through distance mode. They shall also be encouraged/required to adopt e-surveillance technology for conduct of clean, fair and transparent examinations.

(g) The focus of distance education shall be to provide opportunity of education to people at educationally disadvantaged situations such as living in remote and rural areas, adults with no or limited access to education of their choice etc.

(h) In order to promote flexible and need based learning, choice-based credit system shall be promoted and all ODE institutions shall be encouraged to adopt this system and evolve a mechanism for acceptance and transfer of credits of the courses successfully completed by students in face-to-face or distance mode. For the purpose, establishment of a credit bank may be considered. Similarly, conventional universities, offering face to face mode programmes shall be encouraged to accept the credits earned by the students through distance mode. A switch over from annual to semester system shall be essential.

(i) Convergence of the face-to-face mode teaching departments of conventional universities with their distance education directorates/correspondence course wings as also with open universities/institutions offering distance education, shall be impressed upon to bridge the gap in distance and conventional face-to-face mode of education.

(j) Reputed Foreign education providers well established, recognized and accredited by competent authority in their country and willing to offer their education programmes in India shall be allowed, subject to the fulfillment of the legal requirement of the country.

(k) A National Information and Communication Technology infrastructure for networking of ODE institutions shall be created under National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology.

(l) Efforts would be made to create favourable environment for research in Open and Distance Education (ODE) system by setting up infrastructure like e- libraries, digital data-base, online journals, holding regular workshops, seminars etc.

(m) Training and orientation programmes for educators and administrators in ODE system with focus on use of ICT and self-learning practice, shall be encouraged.

(n) ODE institutions shall be encouraged to take care the educational needs of learners with disabilities and senior citizens.

(o) An official notification clarifying the issue of recognition of academic qualification, earned through distance mode, for the purpose of employment, shall be issued.

(p) A mechanism shall be set up for evaluation of degrees of foreign universities for the purpose of academic pursuit as well as for employment under the Central Government. This may include the assessment of the credentials of the university concerned as also to test the competence of the degree holder, if needed.

Distance Education to Earn Your High School Diploma

If you are unable to complete high school for some reason but still wish to obtain a high school diploma, there are options available to you. One such option, of course, is a GED or general education diploma; however, this is not a suitable option for many people. This is because some people perceive that a GED is not as good as a high school diploma or is a second best choice.

Another option is to obtain a high school diploma through a distance education course. This option is typically available to individuals who are at least sixteen years of age and who were not able to or could not complete their high school education.

One of the best benefits of earning your high school diploma through a distance education course is that you can do it from the convenience of your own home, on your own terms. In addition, no one needs to know that you are completing your diploma through a distance education course unless you so choose.

This can be particularly important if you are a busy, working adult. In this situation, it can be difficult to take time away from your regular daily activities and attend classes every night. When you enroll in an distance high school diploma course, however, you can take advantage of the convenience of completing your course from home.

If you have always dreamed of completing your high school diploma but thought you would never be able to achieve that dream, you now have the opportunity to earn a coveted high school diploma.

General Ed Shortcut – CLEP

Get through your college general education faster – CLEP test your way through classes you are stronger and more interested in. CLEP tests have been around for decades. They aren’t publicized by colleges; in some cases the school needs/wants enrollment instead. In some cases, the school doesn’t accept CLEP units. In many cases (more than 2,900 accredited colleges and universities) they do.

Here’s the great news:

  1. The tests are multiple-choice (except English composition) and to pass you need to score over 51% (sometimes higher, depending on your school, but never in the 80%+ range).
  2. If you fail a test, you can repeat it in six months
  3. If you pass the test, you get the three units
  4. The tests are affordable ($70 + approx $15 college admin fee)

Here’s what this means for you:

  1. If you’re okay with tests, well enough that you typically score 70%, CLEP tests are much easier than tests such as the SAT
  2. If you speak a foreign language, for example, you can take a couple of practice tests, do no reading, and pass
  3. Worst case scenario – if you don’t pass, nothing shows on your transcript. No attempt, no failure. Worst case is you take a few, pass a couple, and won’t need to enroll in courses where you simply score around 70%

Here’s something to think about:
Schools vary, however, to create a test that “covers” a topic nationwide; it has to be pretty generic. If you have a subject you did well in, in high school, or if you have a subject you like, you can purchase either a CLEP book for that topic or you can pick up a book that covers the first semester of a typical course on that subject. For example, Introduction to Psychology, it’s the same nationwide and a good book on the topic will guide you to an acceptable score.I wanted to get through my Bachelor’s Degree quickly. I tested, with CLEP, for 18 semester units. I read the list of available tests, decided which I knew enough about that I would study the details for one month by reading one book. Some of the tests I took I scored quite high, some I scored around 60%. There are no grades, you either get the units or you don’t. Each test took 90 minutes. And I then did not have to sit in, pay for textbooks, and schedule six semester general education courses.

Important things to note:

  1. All students enrolled in any U.S. college or university are required to complete general education units. Once the requirements are met, you have completed your general education sequence. If you transfer, after your general education sequence is complete, to another university, you will not take general education courses again, ever. Once completed, always complete. You don’t have to worry about graduating from one school, with CLEP, to find out another doesn’t accept it, unless you transfer without completing your general education sequence. This means either you complete at one school and then transfer, or you start at one school and transfer to another that also accepts CLEP units. This information is easily determined; see the links at the bottom of this article.
  2. You’ll want to check your school’s CLEP policy, including needed scores. One area of note is government/political science. Some states require a component covering their particular state; that test may not satisfy your college’s requirements, but the others will. Make sure you meet with a counselor, and get an email confirmation.

CLEP saves a lot of time and money. Don’t be shy about requesting the CLEP policy from a school. There’s no sense in sitting through beginning courses if you have the knowledge or can test out.

CLEP is different from “challenging” courses. When you challenge you receive permission to take the next level course, however, you don’t get the units for your challenge. Challenging test you to the next level course, CLEP gives you units for the test and qualifies you for the next level course.

CLEP is a great, efficient way to speed up your quest to graduate from college!

Information on the 34 CLEP exams []. Information on the 2,900 accredited colleges and universities that accept CLEP credit [].

Hi, I’m Kelly. I’m a mom and I teach in the community college system. I meet a lot of optimistic young men and women full of dreams and yet who struggle with the details of life. I write for families and individuals who need a little mentoring to navigate their way through educational and work/career goals. If you or your son/daughter doesn’t seem to fit into the system, 2ude offers alternative paths toward accomplishment. Let’s celebrate uniqueness and create new opportunities.

A few notes about my credentials. I’m a mutt. Some parts show a glimpse of pedigree, other parts crawled out of the woodwork. I have a Doctorate in Education. Before grad school and teaching I worked in the construction business for years and liked it, but always felt the pull of learning more. I have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two young women somewhat considered to be step-daughters. It’s a little complicated. I teach, as I mentioned earlier, and wrote/managed many grants, created curriculum for several degrees and over 60 courses, and worked a Dean for a spell until I decided attending back-to-back-to back meetings was not for me. I’ve written a couple of modest books, published several articles, and know a lot about learning, education, and the internet.

I started 2ude after years of meeting with parents and young people who knew they could succeed on a different path, if they only knew what was available.

Making the Most of Your General Education Classes

Many college students wince when they think of their general education classes. Once you get beyond the basics of the required math, English, speech, and critical thinking offerings, then you have to plow through a bunch of boring stuff that has no applicability to real life until you can dig into the classes in your major. Right?

No. The idea that general education (GE) classes have to be dry and pointless is a mistaken one. In fact, at many colleges and universities, there is a quite of variety of subjects to fulfill each section of the general education requirements. Of course, the more courses your institution offers overall, the more likely you are to find a course that it is a good fit for you. There will be times where your choices are several classes that don’t thrill you, but at least then you can do some informed research into which one is most likely to work best for you.

Let’s look at the general education pattern for California State University, San Bernardino, a university of roughly 18,000 students in southern California. The broad GE categories are basic skills, natural science, humanities, social and behavioral science, and lifelong understanding. The titles will be different but the concepts are similar among most colleges and universities.

Basic skills are just that – math, English, speech, and critical thinking. There is not a large choice of classes for this category. These are meant to be the baseline skills that every college student must possess in order to proceed successfully with the rest of his or her education. It is a wise plan to take care of basic skills classes first.

Natural science contains areas like biology, astronomy, chemistry, geography, geology, physics, and higher math. At CSUSB [out], there are even specialized classes in genetics, sexually transmitted diseases, and earthquakes.

The area of humanities covers art, music, theatre, literature, and foreign languages. It also delves into the relationship of art, music, theatre, and literature with specific cultures.

Social and behavioral science spans fields such as history, world cultures, anthropology, human evolution, race and ethnicity, psychology, and sociology. There is a rich array of classes about what makes people tick in this section.

Lifelong understanding has to do with physical, psychological, and social wellness and encompasses classes about making positive life choices as well as a variety of physical education classes.

Colleges and universities provide a comprehensive list of GE classes in their paper catalogs or or online. It is also common for references to the GE pattern to appear in class schedules so you can see which requirement you will be fulfilling if you take a particular class.

Too often students will just pick a GE course simply based on whether it fits the rest of their schedule. It is also common for students to choose a GE course based on the name of the class in the schedule without reading the description of what the class is about in the catalog or bulletin. This can be a recipe for disaster. However, if you put some thought into it and plan ahead, you can find choices to satisfy your general education requirements that will satisfy you, too. Checking in with your academic advisor can be especially helpful, as he/she may have information on which classes will be offered in future semesters.

Taking GE classes that interest you or at least don’t have you stupefied with boredom increases the likelihood of getting good grades as well as learning about subjects that make you a more fully educated person.

Grant Programs for You – Take Advantage of Obama’s Free Money!

Do you know that the Federal Government has TONS of Education Grant Money available? They have so much money allocated that they can’t get rid of all of it. Get Some…. These grants will allow you to study online or at the college of your choice.

The Federal Government has Grant Programs to assist working and single mothers. These grants can allow the working mother a general school grant to go back to school and continue or complete their education. The Federal Government, under the Obama Administration, has created many new programs that will easily allow WAHM’s (Work at Home Moms) to return to school on either a part time or full time basis. These tuition grants offer school funding that will allow flexibility to their busy schedule.

During these difficult economic times, it has never been as important to get more education. These grant funding opportunities now make that possible. Once we get out of the Economic Doldrums, companies will be hiring in all segments and you need to be ready. What could be better than the Federal Government paying for your college education.

Some of the various Grants that are available are Pell Grants, Continuing Education Grants, Advanced Education Grants. All these grants are available to you if you find the correct source. The Grants are even better when you consider that your need will qualify you for the top grant funding categories. There are sources that give you sample grant proposals which will serve as a template to make your application. As with anything that seems “too good to be true”, it is that way with companies that offer grant assistance to you. It is imperative that you find the best companies to assist you in paying for college.

Grants that pay you nearly a total tuition are the best. How do you find these? Later in this article, we will show you the very best and reliable sources that are available to you.

The steps necessary to find your grant funding are not difficult, if you have a template to follow and a company that will provide a step by step process. Using this step by step process your chance of great success will be excellent.

There are grants that will even allow home study. For many people it is mandatory that they keep working at their job while continuing their education. Of all the available grant programs, the Internet Home Study Programs are the most popular. It is important to most mothers that they be able to raise their children while continuing their education. These online education grants will allow this.

If you are “Stuck” in your current job, or are interested in advancing your level of education, a federal education grant may be the ticket.

If you would like more information about Federal Continuing Education Grants, you can easily do an online search and a myriad of possibilities will appear. Be careful about what you see, as there are many companies that are not reputable.

General Info About Federal Education Grants

Types of Awards

Federal education grants are usually awarded in grants or loans. The grant is typically known as the Pell Grant and students does not need to pay it back. The only exception would be early semester withdrawal.

The Pell grant is not the only money given to students that does not have to be paid back. Another award that is often presented to people who need money to pay for school is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. The TEACH grant is yet another.

Besides federal education grants there also are private grants awarded. They are provided by a variety of foundations and organizations.

One of the most popular ones is the National SMART grant. There are many other institutional grants that are awarded by private and public schools. Communities may also award money to students.

A loan on the other hand would be paid back in time. Usually there is a grace period for both subsidized and unsubsidized student loans that are offered by the government.

If you are awarded a subsidized loan the interest is paid by the federal government when payments are deferred. The unsubsidized loan is one of which the student is required to pay back interest.

Today there is a lot of changes being made today in the types of loans that are offered as well as in the way they are dispersed. In any case, there is a huge emphasis today being placed on making sure the money is used for school purposes only.

Amounts Received

The amount of money received by students who receive federal education grants and loans varies. For instance, a person who receives a National SMART Grant usually is awarded up to $4,000 during the third and fourth year of undergraduate study.

A person who receives Pell Grant aid as of this year (2010 to 2011) is awarded $5,550. The exact amount you receive depends upon a variety of factors such as costs to attend school and the amount of time you spend in school.

Other dollar amounts for subsidized and unsubsidized federal education grants as well as loans are presented at the FAFSA website. You may be able to find this information at local university and college websites, or local school financial aid offices.

General Education

What is general education? Usually it’s composed of different subjects like English, History, Social Sciences or other subjects required in your chosen program. If you don’t want to come up with a major yet, general education gets you into the picture. You are saved of making the mistake of choosing the wrong major. And you can still explore your strengths and the areas you want to get your expertise. You are given the chance to learn more about your interests and maybe acquire new interests as you go along with your studies. General education allows students to take different subjects such as English, Humanities, Theatre or Film, Computers, Psychology, History, Social Science and others, until they find what the best match for them is. You’re saved wasting time and efforts with courses you’re not sure of.

A degree in general education can be a 2 year program but can cover necessary credentials for you to take it to the bachelor or master degree level. It can also be a 4 year program, enough for you to get an average paying job in different sectors. A university’s take on general education may vary. Their curriculum and elective subjects can be different as it can be tailored per profession like educators or sales people. This degree is perfect for those aspiring to become teachers, counsellors, principals, administrative assistants or sales representative.

You can get a job even if you don’t possess a specialization in a certain field. After you graduate, there’s an assurance that you will secure a job. A graduate of general education can get a job as a counsellor and earn $60,000 or higher per annum. His job is to keep an eye on troubled students, perform one on one talks and assist students with their personal issues. He works closely with students and must keep their best interests at heart. You could also land a job as a secondary school teacher. Your job is to teach, guide, and evaluate students. High school teachers are required to have one or more specialization. How you implement discipline and cultivate their skills or talents will become their foundation as a better individual. Educators earn $50,000 or more per year. You can also work as a high school principal. You’ll be the top executive inside the school. A master’s or higher educational attainment under your belt is required. You’ll get the toughest job to manage your educators, how they implement your scribed values or policies. You must assure that they are all working as one unit to adhere to your said standard. You’ll receive $80,000 or higher per annum, still exclusive of allowances. You can still work outside the education industry; others work in sales.

General Education boasts of a well-balanced program that will aid you to become a well-rounded professional. Covering subjects you can implement on a daily basis which can serve as the foundation for major subjects you may want to cover later on. General education is an alternative way for you to earn your degree and flexibility to work in a variety of industries.