Many adults return to college only to drop out three weeks into their studies. Why? One of the most common reasons is that online learning is hard work. It takes time. It takes discipline. It takes quiet. How can you guard against prematurely dropping out? The first step is to look around your house and find a place to claim as your own. Some students have found a quiet space in the garage, basement, attic or laundry room. After you’ve claimed your study space, make sure everyone in the family understands it is your sacred spot. Put up a DO NOT DISTURB sign and enforce it! Even if you can’t follow all the tips for success in online courses, your odds of staying in school will increase if you find a study spot.
At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.
If you have more than five years of work experience, don’t lead with the education section of your resume. Hiring managers will be more interested in your work history and your accomplishments in your career than in your degree. Also, if you’ve attended multiple institutions to earn your degree, only list the institution that conferred the degree upon you. It doesn’t matter that you started at a community college and then transferred to a four-year university. All that’s important is that you have the degree.
Since a large part of online coursework will be in written form, there is an opportunity to submit well-written, polished work that will positively impact your grades. Good grammar and correct punctuation will help convey your message accurately, and it’s always a good idea to be clear and concise in your writing. I suggest reading Write to the Point by Bill Stott for direction in good writing.

People do not handle going back to school in the same way. Some are very excited about being a college kid, so they tell the world about their new online courses. Others are embarrassed that they do not have a formal education. The latter tend to keep quiet that they are going to college online because they do not want to draw attention to the fact that they have not yet earned a college degree. (You would be surprised to learn how many highly successful people nearing retirement age go through their entire careers without the aid of a college degree!) Keeping quiet about college will make it difficult for you to garner support at work. For example, you may need to leave work 15 minutes early on Wednesdays to attend your required online class chat session. Many employers will subsidize at least a part of employee’s tuition and training bills. Don’t forget to ask about tuition assistance plans at your place of employment. If you work for a small company, try asking for tuition assistance to cover the expense of specific online courses that may directly correlate to your work.


A big problem for a lot of new students is a combination of homesickness and a feeling of not quite belonging. A solution? Consider joining a select group (and be careful not to go overboard) -- student organizations, clubs, sororities or fraternities, or sports teams. You'll make new friends, learn new skills, and feel more connected to your school.
TurboTax Help and Support: Access to a TurboTax specialist is included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed and TurboTax Live; not included with Free Edition (but is available as an upgrade). TurboTax specialists are available to provide general customer help and support using the TurboTax product. SmartLook on-screen help is available on a PC, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.
At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He's often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
Only include your GPA on your resume if you are a recent graduate, and only if it is above a 3.5. In most industries, a GPA is not a deciding factor in entry-level hiring. A few  still want it (investment banking comes to mind), but most do not. If you’re a recent graduate, you should also include any academic honors, such as scholarships, dean’s list, and cum laude status. Again, this is only for recent graduates. Everyone else should leave their GPA off the resume!
Form a Parent Pool with Fellow Online Students Many online students attend local colleges. If that’s you, this means your fellow online students likely live close to you—and they may be parents, too. Tap those connections. Ask people in your class if they want to start a parent pool. You could watch your classmate’s kids on Wednesday nights when she has calculus in exchange for her watching your kids during your Monday night computer programming course.

Only include your GPA on your resume if you are a recent graduate, and only if it is above a 3.5. In most industries, a GPA is not a deciding factor in entry-level hiring. A few  still want it (investment banking comes to mind), but most do not. If you’re a recent graduate, you should also include any academic honors, such as scholarships, dean’s list, and cum laude status. Again, this is only for recent graduates. Everyone else should leave their GPA off the resume!
For us onlooking or partaking upperclassmen, that feeling isn’t too distant. As a freshman, the sense of being lost in a big new world was exciting, but at the same time I treasured every bit of advice I could get. And there are still many things I wish I would have known then. Now that I’m a few years older, I thought I’d share some thoughts. More importantly, I went around and asked some of the most accomplished Penn students for what recommendations they’d give to freshmen.
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