Days as an undergraduate are some of the most memorable times of our lives. These are days of free-thinking inquiry, carefree weekends, and camaraderie that will last a lifetime. But university classes are no joke, and every semester there comes an inevitable wave of undergraduate students that flock to the library come exam time. Seeking out databases of knowledge or scholarship information is always on students’ minds, yet these resources can often be difficult to track down. Spending some time to gather your thoughts and bookmark a few helpful IP addresses for future reference — both study aids and long-term planning sites — can save you lots of time and effort down the road when it comes time to look for jobs, graduate degree programs, or just a few helpful sources to round out your understanding before the final.

Financial Aid

All college students know about the importance of scholarships, grants, and low-interest student loans provided by the government and all manner of private entities. US citizens are entitled to access to these avenues of educational credit, and, based on financial need, many recipients are able to claim grants and needs-based scholarship awards. Utilizing a Student Scholarship is a great way to make the most of your time as either an undergrad or graduate student, and exploring the vast network of scholarship granting organizations is a time consuming but necessary part of every college student’s life.

Finding sites that collate all this information is crucial to keeping yourself sane when searching for money to pay for college. While there are many sites out there that can help find and keep track of upcoming application deadlines, it is important to remember that individualized searches based on your experience, interests, or financial and demographic circumstances can net more inclusive results. Likewise, be wary of any sites that require you to pay fees to sign up for scholarship search access.

Study Effectively

Perfecting efficient study habits is a key lesson that all undergraduate students must learn. Not only is efficiency needed for academic success, but it’s a skill that will follow you throughout your career and lifetime. That said, learning to conduct encompassing and fast-paced research is one area that will set you ahead of your peers. Understanding how to manipulate the search box to yield timely and relevant results is the first step; once you have mastered simple Google searches you can then move on to accurately scouring scholarly sources like Google Scholar or JSTOR for critical insights that will make your papers stand out and give you a focused range of references that cuts through the monolithic trove of academic papers out there.

Many of these academic repositories, including JSTOR, allow for advanced search capabilities that can seek out select years, publication type, and phrases or keywords within titles or article content. They can select authors by last or first name, and some are even able to locate misspellings or alternative listings for a particular author.

Reaching Out to Lecturers

Whether you are seeking advice on current coursework or looking to apply for graduate study, finding the best means of communication with your lecturers is extremely important. Most professors list a current or preferred means of contact on their university page, but some links are old, broken, or simply aren’t included. Utilizing an email lookup service for those that seem unreachable is a great way to solve this problem. As well, when applying for postgraduate funding or research positions, using a database like this may yield insights about the selection committee that will give you an edge over your competition. Searching public records can provide details about past residences and help point you to social media profiles that act as a treasure chest of personal data about individual and organizational mantras. With this, you can tailor cover letters or personal statements to hint at commonalities that are sure to make you subtly stand out.

Taking time to develop great efficiency is a skill that will follow you for life. Learn to leverage the power of a variety of online databases early in your college career and you will reap the rewards long into the future.

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