Category Archives: Education

Attracting New Members to Your Campus Club or Organization

Post-secondary school is a time for learning and growth. Whether you are attending school for a single term or multiple years, it is extremely beneficial to join a club or organization. Joining a club gives you the opportunity to meet people with similar interests and learn new things Additionally, joining a club can teach you important life skills, like how to be productive with your time.

Even if the club already has over 100 members, you most likely want to see it continue to grow. If you want the club or organization to grow, you need to entice prospective members. However, when there is a long list of clubs and organizations on campus, it can be difficult to make yours stand out.

If you want to recruit new club members but don’t know where to start, don’t be afraid to try these helpful tips.

1 – Design Eye-Catching T-Shirts for Club Members

Every good club needs to have customized t-shirts and garments. Having eye-catching clothing makes it easier for students to learn about the club. As an example, if you wear a shirt with “Chess Club” printed on it in a large, clear font, it creates an opportunity for potential members to learn about the group. 

When designing custom clothing for your club, you always work with screen printing experts – this will ensure that the quality of the garments meets (or exceeds) your standards.

Similarly, it is extremely beneficial if the printer has in-house designers. By having professional designers at your disposal, you’ll be able to design garments that can be noticed from across campus.

If you want to save some money on your garments, you should order them in bulk. If you order over 100 garments, you generally receive a generous bulk-discount. You can save even more money by ordering from a print shop that offers free deliveries and setups. 

2 – Host a Fundraiser

If you want to spread the word around campus about your club or organization, you should consider hosting a fundraiser. By throwing a fundraiser, you can teach people about your club while supporting a good cause.

You can post flyers, posters and pamphlets around campus to let people know about the fundraising event. You can also hand out some of your custom tees, sweaters and garments to help spread the word even more.

If you need ideas for your event, you can give these a try:

  • Carwash
  • Bottle Drive
  • BBQ
  • Movie Night

3 – Create a Fun Culture

It can be difficult to attract students to a club or organization if they don’t think that they will have a good time. Students are extremely busy with classes and assignments, so if they are going to give up their spare time, you need to make the club fun and exciting for everyone.

Although this is easier said than done, there are a handful of simple things that you can do. For starters, members shouldn’t take themselves too seriously; this will have a negative impact on the club’s reputation. Additionally, you can do things like play music during meetings and host fun team-building events for club members.

Protecting And Preserving Strong Family Law Is So Important

It is no secret that law is one of the most controversial yet respectable industries in the world. In different parts of the world different areas of law inevitably have different rulings. What is most interesting, however, is that certain branches of law are often held in both high and low regard at the same exact time. Why? Because while it is undeniable that the law industry gets a lot of things wrong, it also gets a lot of things absolutely right.

Think of family law, for instance. Family law is one of the most important facets of the law industry because it deals with families who are experiencing their own hardships. There is something undeniably heartbreaking about the reality that sometimes, no matter if you do everything right, it can all be taken away from you at any moment because of some law that is not necessarily held in place for the right (or reasonable) reasons. 

The sensitive nature of family law

Look, at the end of the day, family law is one of the more sensitive areas of law to deal with in any regard and from any perspective. The law systems in different parts of the world handle any branch of law in their own way. In the case of family law, there are real people who are being torn apart in the eyes and hands of a legal system that does not necessarily equate to justice being brought to the table each and every time. It is a sad truth, but it is a truth nonetheless.

Protecting and preserving strong family law

When family law does get it right, it is of the utmost importance, and is in the best interest of everyone, to protect and preserve that strong example of family law. Whether it is helping to find family lawyers to assist in fighting a legal battle in the court room, or heading a campaign to keep laws surrounding child abuse in effect (to name a few of the many examples out there), protecting and preserving the strong family laws is so important always. These are genuinely real families and real lives that can be greatly impacted, so it is more important than ever to make the right choices for the right parties. 

The tides continue to push and pull

What is truer than true, now more than ever, is that while there are more and more positive examples of strong family law out there, it is a shifting tide. Some days, it all goes right, and others it all goes wrong. The tides continue to push and pull, but ultimately what makes the most difference in all the world is the legal systems that are currently in place surrounding family law. There is something delicate about handling matters involving family law, and so it takes more of an ongoing effort to try to ensure that the efforts are going in the right direction and that the desired outcome are being met. If they are not, then changes are to be made in effect and on an ongoing basis, until said desired outcome is met.

A Knowledge First Financial Guide on How to Use RESP Money

At the start of a new academic year, students may feel financial prepared for the year ahead. Your bank account is still looking good, even after paying for the basics like tuition and books, but in the coming months, as your savings start to dip, you may start to worry if you have enough to cover day-to-day or any unexpected expenses that come with university life.

The good news?

If someone put aside money in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for you, funds can be withdrawn to cover expenses while you are in school. All you need to do is get a proof of enrolment and contact your RESP company for more information on how to withdraw money.

The bad news?

A little knowledge about how RESPs work can help you make efficient use of the money. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the right way to withdraw RESP money so you minimize the tax you pay as a student. We’ll also talk about how to withdraw money if you are NOT in school. As always, it’s always best to talk to an RESP expert for the best advice so you can go about withdrawing your funds in a way that works best for your situation.

Withdrawing Money from an RESP: Rules for Different Categories of Funds

RESP money falls into one of three categories: contributions (money your parents saved); government education grants which are added to RESP savings through programs like the Canada Education Savings Program; and interest earned on the money while it stays in the plan. The last two categories are the most important for students to know about. You’ll see why as you read on.

Withdrawing RESP Contribution Amounts

Contributions are funds that are put into an RESP and can be withdrawn tax-free at any time tax-free, as long as you (as a beneficiary of an RESP) are in a post-secondary program. In Canada, this means:

A program that is at least 3 consecutive weeks’ duration

10 hours of instruction per week

– Full- or part-time

Post-secondary studies includes very broad range of educational options after high school – college, university, trade schools, apprenticeships – the list is very extensive. You can also use RESP money to fund international full- or part-time post-secondary programs, although there may be slightly different criteria.

Contribution money withdrawn from an RESP while you are in school are called ‘Post-Secondary Withdrawals’ and most RESPs allow you to choose how much and how often to take funds out. PSE Withdrawals can be made to the person who opened the plan, or to the student, but in either case, no tax is paid. This is good for students to keep in mind who want to minimize their tax payments or unexpectedly need extra funds while in school.

Why RESPs Are Unique

To encourage education savings, the government of Canada offers incentives that can only be accessed through an RESP. These incentives come in the form of government grants and tax-deferred growth on all the money in the RESP.

Grants and income are withdrawn as Educational Assistance Payments (EAPs). EAPs are taxable to the student, which usually means there is minimal tax to pay. We will explain the best way to withdraw EAPs but first, let’s cover the grants.

Government Grants

First, here are the grants:

The Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

– The Canada Learning Bond (CLB)

– Provincial government grants, which exist in British Columbia and Quebec

Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG): The CESG pays 20% on the first $2,500 deposited into an RESP up to a maximum of $500 per year and $7,200 lifetime per child. Depending on net family income with Additional CESG a child may receive the $7,200 sooner.

Canada Learning Bond (CLB): The CLB makes it easier for lower income families to save by depositing an initial contribution of $500 in a child’s RESP and $100 per hear from age 1 to 15, to a maximum of $2,000. No RESP contributions are required to receive the CLB. Eligibility is based in part on family income and number of children.

Provincial Grants (British Columbia and Quebec)

Currently the only two provinces that offer education savings grants are British Columbia and Quebec. Saskatchewan had one (SAGES) but it’s been suspended; Alberta also had the Alberta Centennial Education Savings plan, which was closed in 2015.

In the case of Quebec’s RESP grant (QESI), the amount of money you receive depends on your contributions.

In BC, on the other hand, the British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG) is a one-time grant worth $1,200. No contributions are required but BCTESG is only paid into an RESP when a child is between 6 and 9 years of age.

Investment Gains (Interest)

While money is in the RESP, they will earn interest or returns. The amount will depend on the type of RESP investment vehicle chosen and there is a wide range of choice available to meet different investment styles.

Educational Assistance Payments (EAP) – Withdrawing Grants & Interest While in School

You can only receive an EAP if you are enrolled in a post-secondary program. This money includes the grants received and all interest earned within an RESP. A flexible RESP gives you the most choice in the amount and timing of withdrawing EAPs – RESP companies may have slightly different rules or forms – but the most important tip on withdrawing grants and income is this:

EAPs amounts are added to a student’s taxable income the year they are paid. If you aren’t working during school, you’ll likely have little or no tax to pay.

Not in School But Want to Withdraw RESP Money?

Life happens. Whether things may not go according to plan or you feel your path may lead you in a completely different direction. Before a decision is made to close an RESP – you can keep it open for up to 35 years from the start date, so if might be some form of schooling in the future – you can leave the money there to help you take that step when you’re ready.

But what happens if you want to use your RESP money today?

Contributions can be withdrawn tax-free from an RESP as a non-PSE withdrawal but let’s take a look at what happens to each government grant when it comes to contribution withdrawals for non-post-secondary use.

The Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

Because CESG amounts are based on how much you put into an RESP, you have to return this money proportional to how much of your contributions you withdraw.

It goes like this.

The government will give you 20% in CESG for the first $2,500 in RESP contributions, every year, per beneficiary, and up to a lifetime total of $7,200 per beneficiary.

So if you withdraw $2,500 in contributions that you received the 20% CESG grant for, you will need to return $500 to the government.

For example: If $5,000 in contributions are withdrawn as a Non-Post-secondary Withdrawal, the RESP provider must return the CESG amount received (20% or $1,000) to the government.

If all contributions are withdrawn and the RESP is closed, all CESG money remaining in the RESP must be returned to the government.

Keep in mind that you won’t have received these CESG amounts if you didn’t apply for them. Obviously, if you didn’t receive the grant, you won’t have to return it.

CLB and Provincial Grants

Like the CESG, the Canada Learning Bond and provincial education savings grants may be returned to the government when RESP money is withdrawn for non-educational purposes. It’s always best to talk with an RESP expert to discuss your specific situation.

Withdrawing Investment Gains (Interest)

Say $5,000 was contributed to an RESP and the provider invested the money wisely, netting a $200 gain.

In this case, the $200 interest can be withdrawn for non-educational purposes once:

– The RESP has been open for at least 10 years and all beneficiaries are 21 years of age or above and are not currently pursuing education after high school; or

– All previous and current beneficiaries on the account have unfortunately passed away; or

The plan has been open for 35 years (RESPs can only stay open for 36 years, per the government)

If the above criteria are met and interest in an RESP withdrawn for non-educational purposes, you will be taxed on them at whatever your tax rate for the year is — plus an additional 20% penalty. Interest can also be rolled into an RESP, if there is room.

In other words, the government really doesn’t want you cashing out these profits for non-educational purposes. Understandably, however, life circumstances may leave you with no choice — and thankfully, the option does exist.

How to Request an RESP Withdrawal

Ok, so now you know the rules regarding withdrawing different types of money from an RESP.

How do you, practically speaking, go about requesting a withdrawal of contributions for emergency, non-educational purposes.

The process is actually quite straightforward.

In the case of Knowledge First Financial’s Flex First and Family Single Student plans, simply fill out their RESP withdrawal form and select Option 2, which allows the withdraw contributions for emergency, non-educational purposes.

Other RESP providers will have similar forms to trigger a withdrawal.

Keep in mind that only the RESP’s “subscriber” (typically a parent) can do this. The student (or the “beneficiary” of the RESP) cannot trigger a withdrawal; unlike conventional, penalty-free withdrawals for educational purposes, what you do with your contributions in an emergency withdrawal situation is up to you.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are rules surrounding how you withdraw money from an RESP for non-educational, emergency purposes.

Thankfully, these rules do allow tax-free withdrawals of contributions to an RESP. Things get stricter and taxes are applied when interest earned is withdrawn.

Further, government grant amounts cannot be withdrawn for non-educational purposes — and contribution withdrawals for non-educational purposes may trigger a grant repayment, depending on how much is withdraws in contributions.

In many cases, requesting a withdrawal is as simple as filling out a form with your RESP provider. Be sure to discuss your financial situation with them for personalized advice.

The Five Best Part-Time Jobs for College Students

College is demanding. If you’re doing it right, it should feel like a full-time job. But business and academia are worlds apart, and more and more employers are saying that they’re not very confident in the abilities of newly minted college graduates to transition smoothly into a professional life. As college prices continue to rise, it becomes increasingly more difficult (even impossible) for students to pay their way through college with a side job, but regular paychecks, even small ones, can help pay for room and board, textbooks, and other course fees. Even if those are all covered, the extra money can help students unwind at a cafe (or a bar, if they’re old enough) and is a nice added benefit to having useful work experience and something that looks nice on a resume. But what are the best kinds of jobs to take?

  • Internships

The single most important factor in choosing a job is how much it will interfere with your daily class schedule and much-needed study time. What’s great about internships is that not only are they usually networked through the university, but employers enter the relationship understanding that school takes priority. The downside is that many internships are unpaid, but they more than make up for lack of cash with unparalleled networking opportunities and professional experience. 

  • Campus jobs

Campus jobs share similar benefits to internships. Because the university is the employer, they’re usually strictly prohibited from enforcing too rigorous a work schedule on the students. If the idea of working for the people who get your tuition money irks you, you can always take your culinary talents – or develop some – and set up a small food stand or food truck to serve students on their way to and from class. There are plenty of options for coffee shop point of sale that can make running your tiny business a breeze. 

  • Retail

Retail is not high on the list of people’s favorite jobs, but it’s an honest salary and so many employees come from high school or college backgrounds that employers are generally understanding when it comes to scheduling, and if you get to know your co-workers they can help you cover your shifts if you need emergency study time. If you do good work, it can also segue into being a real post-college career if you decide you want to move into management.

  • Freelancing

Freelancing allows you to work directly in your chosen career path and build a portfolio of respectable work while earning money at your own pace. It’s ideal for forward-thinking students, especially those in the creative arts, with entrepreneurial spirit and good time management skills. 

  • Seasonal Work

Seasonal work can be in a variety of fields and disciplines, but the main perk is that it can help you fill that downtime between semesters that many traditional employers would rather avoid hiring you for if they know you’ll be gone again before the end of the year. Seasonal work also tends to be high-volume in a short period of time, so as soon as it’s over the next semester will be coming around the corner and you’ll have sufficiently deep pockets to pay for your textbooks and course fees, and maybe even a little recreation on the side. 

How Education Benefits from Technology

Technology is the driving force behind every aspect of human life and education too falls within its sphere of influence. Education has always been a pillar of development and any advances made in this arena will impact the whole world for the better. And ever since it has embraced technology, it has witnessed a dramatic forward leap. With globalisation giving technology a world-wide reach, more and more people are reaping in the benefits of education that is spurred on by technology.

  • Interactive Education

Learning from textbooks can be tedious and many students find it hard to retain facts and figures simply from reading a book. But interactive classroom technology can be utilized by teachers to craft instructional materials that can bring even the most boring subject matter alive, engage more learners through feedback and keep tabs on their progress. Interactive technology is beneficial in research as well, for example, most students simply refer to Google Maps or Google Earth to help with their geography projects instead of learning about the earth through 2D maps or globes.

  1. Simulation And 3D Models

Through educational simulation, learners get to experience or witness a scenario that without technology would have been impossible to recreate. A virtual reality through computer simulation is constructed to help students grasp a concept. For example, simulations or 3D representation of how a hurricane develops, the evolution of mankind or how dinosaurs walked can captivate young minds and inculcate in them a passion for learning more.

  1. Availability of Information

Gone are the days, when books alone used to be the only source of information. Libraries contain a finite number of books, and many schools and institutes have an insufficient repository of books. But this shortfall has been met by the internet. With the rise of the ‘flipped classrooms’, both teachers and learners can tap into open educational Resources and digital libraries where documents are available either free or at nominal costs. There is a plethora of online educational websites and forums such as Khan Academy, Coursera, TED.com, JSTOR and innumerable podcasts, and essay online. Moreover, there are cyber learning technologies that are redefining education and helping students and scholars.

  1. Increased Collaboration 

With the advent of technology in education, classrooms are no longer isolated units and the scope of education has been expanded. Classrooms across the country and the world are connected where students can collaborate on different projects through video conferences, Skype, Google Docs, web seminars and interactive software. This brings uniformity to education across the spectrum fosters interaction and understanding among students from all over the world.

  1. Online Education

Online courses are the most rewarding outcome of technology’s foray into education. It has made education and skill training reachable to more people than ever before. All that is needed is a smart device/laptop and an internet connection and anyone can acquire a degree of their choice with the added benefits of online courses such as lower costs, flexible timing and the opportunity of furthering their career.

Technology has brought education, a basic human right, to the fingertips of the masses. Digital tools and platforms are modernizing education by making it more relevant, impactful and in tune with the spirit of the time.

 

The exciting benefits of online learning on a global scale

Education is something that those of us who are lucky enough to have access to, often (unfortunately) take for granted. It is a given that education is a privilege, but more than that it is also something that has historically been somewhat exclusive – up until now. Of course, this exclusive nature has not been intentional, but nonetheless it is the reality. Not anymore, though. Thanks to technological disruption, the likes of which the academic industry has never seen before, there is change always happening, and more on the horizon. This is an industry that has historically been traditionally-run, and now it is modernising to realign itself with the rest of the world. It is a wonder to behold, and it is an enormous benefit to all students who want the opportunity to study, but have perhaps not had the geographical proximity or the financial means to make it possible for themselves – now, at long last, they can, and they do.

Traditional education requires proximity

The nature of traditional education demands that students live, or have the finances and the means to travel to, their chosen school. Geographical limitation is something that education has always endured, and it has been a constant thorn in its side since the dawn of its inception. And while it has been an ongoing issue, it has also been an issue that students have had no choice, no option to resolve. Until now. The rise of technology in education is changing everything, and this is a very exciting time to be a student, an educator, or anyone who pays attention to the seemingly-constant ebbs and flows of the worldwide education industry. Times are changing, and will continue to do so.

Online learning allows for unparalleled inclusivity

The introduction and further advancement of online learning has enabled for geographical freedom to be the new norm in education, all around the world. Up until this point, students have had to content with the limitations imposed in the wake of traditional education, but no more. These days, students can study wherever, whenever, and however they choose to – all they need is a reliable laptop or tablet to complete their work on, and a stable – and preferably speedy – internet connection to stay in the know at all corners and edges of their academic experience.

Why online learning is such an incredible benefit

Not only does online learning allow students to learn outside of geographical proximity to their chosen campus and school, but they can learn on their own terms. Whether students are studying Python interview questions and answers in preparation for internship applications, or cramming for their art history finals (or any other manner of studious activities or exercises, for that matter), they can now do so freely, with nothing but their own mindset blocking them from achieving good grades and a strong sense of work/life balance. The world is changing, and digital transformation is heading that change. In education, online learning is the bread and butter of modern (and future) education. And it is here to stay.

Evolving society pioneers growth in education

In the ever-shifting realm of education, the only constant is change. The world has gone through many an evolution since the dawn of academics, with generation after generation of students finding themselves navigating different terrain to the generations that came before them. Of course, evolution of our species’ reach is not unique to education; it is a reality everywhere. Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that the change is most prominent in traditionally-inclined industries like education. It does make sense. After all, all industries are essentially globally-scaled businesses, and society are the consumers. If society’s expectations change, then surely the education system must also change.

Education is often the predecessor for an individual’s introduction into the workforce. As such, even the workforce has changed dramatically – especially in recent years. Everything from the professional corporate training components in businesses, to the way that brands market themselves to consumers, has been fundamentally changed. And all thanks to society pivoting and changing their sense of comfort. Society’s expectations today are that the education industry is going to be able to keep up with their shifting alliances with technological progression and widespread digital adaptation. Society today has changed dramatically in the face of digitalisation and technological progression, and education has been forced into an evolution because of this.

The reasoning is simple. The exceedingly potent waves of digitalisation the world over have in turn created a sense of philosophical reasoning that society has become more comfortable with these turns of digitalisation, than without them. So much so in fact, that to conceive of a world without digitalisation and technological advancement seems crazy, even seemingly impossible. Society is ripe with individuals who value digital progression, and so their attitudes towards industries like education is that digital devices and technological solutions should be a central key focus in education going forward. This makes sense. It feels like the logical next step. And students today, and in the future, would certainly agree.

The growth upwards in global education is centred around the realisation that traditional methods of learning and teaching are not quite cutting it on their own anymore. Students today are expectant that tech will be included in their academic experience. Because they have grown up in a world that is ripe with tech-savvy solutions and digital progression, they know it well – you could even say that they are fluent in it. And so, the education industry has had little choice but to embrace digitalisation and tech in the sector. The refusal to do so would almost certainly mark the beginning of the decline of one of history’s most concrete industries. Adaptation is necessary, and education is not immune to this necessity.

The evolution of present-day society has kick-started the growth of a historically traditional industry. We have never before seen such a sturdy inclusion of technologies and digital devices in the academic industry, and this is only the beginning. The rise of this new age in education is thanks largely to the pivoting nature of modern society. This is where it begins, and there is no telling as yet where it ends.

 

The importance of GMAT for business students

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) examination is one of the most competitive exams in the world. It is mandatory for gaining an entry into most business schools the world-over. Business schools insist on GMAT scores for a variety of reasons. The GMAT exam provides standardized criteria to assess candidates drawn from diverse academic, cultural, career and work spectrum. It gauges an applicant’s commitment, aptitude for business studies, and ability to excel in the grueling MBA courses and the challenging work environment of the future. The GMAT scores also serve as a yardstick for awarding scholarships to the candidates. Moreover, the business schools are selective about admitting students as the value of a school’s MBA degree hinges considerably on the quality of incoming students, with faculty reputation and educational facilities being a given.

GMAT is a 3½-hour standardized computer–adaptive test (CAT) test administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a global association of 223 leading graduate business schools. GMAT measures analytical, quantitative and verbal skills of a business school aspirant for a wide range of courses such as Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Finance and Master of Accountancy. GMAT consists of four sections, viz. Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning. The 75-minute Quantitative section consists of problem-solving and data questions. The 75-minute Verbal Reasoning area contains questions pertaining to sentence correction, reading comprehension, and critical reasoning. The 30-minute Analytical Writing Assessment tests the flow and internal coherence of arguments in an essay. The 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section covers table analysis, graph interpretation and multi-source reasoning.

GMAT is a challenging exam, with estimates suggesting that only 25% of GMAT takers score more than 650 and a mere 12% cross that magical 700 figure, which is universally considered as a good GMAT score. Given the computer-adaptive format of the test, the candidates do not enjoy the leeway of skipping a difficult question and coming back to it later. The test is designed in such that high level / harder questions are thrown up depending on the most recent answers and these, in turn, yield a higher score. The examinees need to answer difficult questions in quick time in order to get a good score. A GMAT course would be handy in preparing the candidates for such an arduous test.

The GMAT is not a pass/fail test. Business schools evaluate candidates on the basis of a final score out of 800, which is the consolidated score for the Quantitative and Verbal sections. The remaining 2 sections have their independent percentile scores. The score is valid for 5 years. The GMAT exams are conducted in around 100 countries throughout the year and the exam fees are $250 US dollars. Stanford Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, Wharton, Kellogg School of Management and Columbia Business School are some leading B-schools that accept GMAT scores.

To conclude, business school admissions officials consider a candidate’s past academic records, work experience and recommendation letters. Nevertheless, the GMAT score is a crucial matrix in the admission decision.