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The Web Sites College Students Need To Get Better Grades And Manage Their Money

Oct 22, 2007
It's that time of year again. Students have returned to college with a mountain of worldly possessions in tow, among them, computers.

They'll use those computers constantly, to watch funny YouTube videos, to listen to music and to check their MySpace profiles.

With a little help, students also can employ that expensive technology to improve their grades and enhance their money management skills.

Here's a guide for the student in your life.

Note-taking, organization and even choosing the right professor just got a lot easier. With a few clicks, you can find exactly the tools you need to be a successful, and very savvy, student.

HipCal.com can help you stay organized and will even send messages to your cell phone when important deadlines are coming up. You can use this free online calendar to track your own schedule, or use it in collaboration with others for group projects.

MynoteIT.com lets you take, track and organize your notes or research. Upload notes from your computer, or sign on and save them directly to the site. Also, MynoteIT.com will track when your assignments are due.

I-lighter.com takes traditional highlighting to the Web. Highlight, make notes, save, and share Web pages for research or for fun.

EasyBib.com lets you create bibliographies without consulting your MLA or APA handbook. The site prompts you to fill in your sources and then formats a bibliography for printing.

Looking for a little extra homework help? Use TutorLinker.com to find a tutor in your area. Or, make money by registering as a tutor.

Find out how other students have rated the faculty members at your school by checking on RateMyProfessors.com, and schedule your classes with the best.

To navigate the perils of book buying, start with the Web site of your school bookstore. Often you can preorder books online and beat the rush. Many bookstores also have buyback programs at the end of the term.

Bookfinder.com lets you search by ISBN, author or title to find the textbooks you need. Your results will show new, used and even international editions of your book from sellers around the Web.

Tip: If you buy books online, check to make sure that you're getting the correct edition (some professors are particular). Leave time for shipping so you don't end up bookless the first weeks of class.

But remember that just because those book purchases will make a dent in your student budget doesn't mean you have to eat ramen noodles every meal. A little planning, and maybe a bit of income from a part-time job, can help you enjoy the finer (or at least the mediocre) things in college life.

Wesabe.com lets you securely track all your bank accounts from one site. In this online community you'll benefit from any money-saving tips other Wesabe users have provided.

Zoho Sheet (Zoho.com) is a free online spreadsheet that can help you track expenses (tuition, books, travel, etc.) and avoid missing important due dates. Zoho is a lot like Google Docs and Spreadsheets, but has applications such as an online presentation tool (Zoho Show) and online note taking (Zoho Notebook).

Tip: You can access your bank account info and even pay your student loans on the Web.

CollegeHelpers.com lists part-time jobs, summer jobs, and internships specifically for college students. And, FreelanceSwitch.com is a great resource for those not looking to commit to an internship or regular job. Freelance work can be a great way to get a foot in the door of your profession.

Wherever you work, make tax time as painless as possible by checking out what student tax breaks you might be eligible for on the IRS Web site's student section (http://www.irs.gov/individuals/students/index.html), which has specific resources for those in school.

Tip: Your career center's Web site will probably have a job board or database. This can be a great way to find a student-friendly job.

These online resources can help you manage your student budget like a skilled financial planner (who happens to eat ramen noodles once in a while). So this semester, study online for offline success.

[This content was originally published in The Oregonian on September 20, 2007.]
About the Author
Haley Lovett writes for http://www.findingDulcinea.com . E-mail her at haley.lovett@dulcineamedia.com. findingDulcinea's mission is to untangle the Web, freeing it of clutter and spotlighting only the sites that matter. findingDulcinea aims to provide a richer experience for every Internet user.
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