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I Got My Summer Refund Check!

  It’s my favorite time of the semester you know the one where free money is involved?! My semester started a week ago and my refund posted shortly after. If you’ve been reading my blog or watching my YouTube channel, then you know I am a champion for scholarships and free money. This past year my employer decided to pay for doctoral degrees in full which greatly assisted in my debt free journey. Figure 1: This is a thumbnail of my latest YouTube video “I Got My Summer Refund Check” where I am sitting in my office with my hand under my chin with a smile while looking at the camera. Although my schooling is paid for, I still have several scholarships that provide some overage. My goal is to not only obtain my doctorate degree for free but to make money while doing it! This summer I received two scholarships for $500 each for a total of $1000! One scholarship was given to me by the university without me having to apply while the other is for my work with a local community college.  With

Tips for First Year Doctoral Students

 Figure 1This is a picture of a black doctoral cap 

Well my first year as a doctoral student has come to an end. I turned in my last assignment of the semester earlier this week and man did it feel good! I still plan to take summer courses but I have about a month break until then. This first year has taught me so much about my major of higher education and myself. This past semester I took on History of Higher Education and Introduction to Quantitative Statistics. While the history course wasn’t so bad the stats course was a whole other ball game! Especially for someone who has always struggled with numbers. This course took a lot of getting used to and reminded me of somethings that all first year doctoral students should know.


Figure 2: This is a picture of pink balloon letters that spell the word "friends".

First things first make friends with the people in your program. This may be hard due to COVID and if you are in an online program like myself but don’t let this stop you. Use your discussion boards to introduce yourself to people or send an email to the entire class asking if anyone would be interested in a study group. If it would not have been for a friend in my program to help through my Intro to Stats course, I am not sure if I would have done so well.

 


Figure 3: This is a picture of a $100 dollar bill.

Next, apply for scholarships. I always hear that scholarships for doctoral students are basically nonexistent.  Don’t fall into this trap.  I recently received over $1300 just last week! Now I do agree that scholarships are harder to find for doctoral students but they are out there so don’t give up. I would recommend starting at your universities scholarship website or office for leads.


Figure 4: This is a photo of a planner.

Organize your time. I live by my planner it tells me what, when, and how. I also review my course schedule and course modules on a weekly basis so I don’t miss anything. For us online folks it is imperative that we check these things on a daily basis as things do change. My personal motto with assignments is to be early is to be on time. So, I typically turn in things at least one week early. While I recognize that life happens and we are all busy this may be hard to do, so whenever you can turn in something early DO IT!
Figure 5: This is a purple sign that says, “Keep calm and see your academic advisor"

Just because you’re in a doctoral program does not mean you shouldn’t meet with your advisor. I typically meet with my advisor at least twice a semester. My adviser was actually the person who told me about the scholarship that I recently received. So shouts out to him! Advisers have extremely helpful information that you could miss if you do not engage with them so don’t let that be you.


Lastly, ask questions. There is no question too big or too small. I asked LOT’S of questions this entire year and I did not feel bad for it. I actually got all of the information and more that I needed. So don’t feel like you have to know everything because you won’t and that is okay. Are you a doctoral student? Drop down in the comments and let me know your experience or any helpful advice that you may have. Be sure to check out my latest video on how I tackled this year below. Also, be sure to subscribe to my blog for weekly newsletters from me!

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Figure 6: This is a picture of a thumbnail for my YouTube video “Tips for First Year Doctoral Students"





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