MPI Blog

The Medical Professional Institute Blog Page features actual MPI employees providing tips, tricks, and advice for being successful before, during, and after you begin school. Read through all of the blog posts; they may help you out!

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Student Services

Balancing Out Work and Life

By: Kelly Crawford, Student Services Coordinator


Furthering your education is one of the most important things you can do to better your life, but many people feel they are not able to fit school into their busy schedules. If you are going to take the time and money to start school, you want to be able to do well. No one wants to start something just to find out they do not have the time and energy it takes to complete their program. Follow these tips on finding a balance between school and everyday life.

1. Be prepared:
Preparation is key. The more things you set up and get into place ahead of time, the easier your semester will be. Make sure you have a plan in place for your transportation, childcare, financial responsibilities and a back up plan for each. If a problem does arise, you want to be able to fix it fast so it does interfere with your education.

2. Time Management:
Make a list of everything you have to do in your day and how much time it each task will take. This list should include everything from school, work, and family obligations to eating, showering and commuting. Add up the time and see if it is actually do-able. If you find yourself running out of time, take a good look and see if there is anything you can eliminate. It is a good idea to keep a daily schedule updated with your tasks. Hold yourself to your schedule but be flexible if you need to add in more study time.

3. No man is an island and neither are you:
You are going to need help from your friends, family members, neighbors and anyone else you can think of. Let them all know you are going to be starting school. Tell them how much time and energy this is going to take. Even if you don’t already have something specific you need right away, let them know there may come the time you need to call on them and ask if that is okay. For example: Ask your brother if you can call him for a ride if your car breaks down; Ask your mother if she can watch the kids in case the usual baby sitter is sick or you need extra time to study for the midterm. Giving them the heads up will make it easier when it does actually happen.

4. Learn to say no:
This is hard because we are people pleasers by nature. We want to be helpful and make everyone happy. While you are in school you have to get good at determining when an extra activity is worth your time or not. You may have to tell your sister that you are going to miss the BBQ this week to study for a very important quiz you have. Remember, this is temporary. You will graduate and then you will have more free time than you know what to do with.

If you are having trouble finding your balance, please come meet with me, Kelly Crawford. You can schedule an appointment by phone at 781-397-6822 or email me at

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How To Take Notes While Reading

By: Kelly Crawford, Student Services Coordinator

Survey the chapter-

Before you start reading the chapter, read over the headlines and titles of the different sections. If the book gives end of chapter questions, write them down and try to answer them as you read the chapter.

Make your notes your notes-

Develop your own color system to identify different topics. Use symbols to point out important topics. Draw pictures or charts if it helps.

Leave space-

Give yourself plenty of extra writing room in case you come across information that relates to something previous.

Read and reflect-

Read a section without taking notes. Then, stop reading and think about what you read. You can then write down your notes on important material you found. Go back and re-read to help you with your notes.


You may not understand everything or you may want more details. Make a question page to write down anything you need more clarification on. Put the text book’s page numbers in your notes. This will help you later on if you want more clarification on that topic.

In class notes-

It can be very helpful to read the material before you go to the class that will be covering it. This is something I highly recommend. Your instructor may cover the same material in class. Have your reading notes out during the lecture and add in anything your instructor lectures about or start a new page and combine them after class.

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How To Be Prepared to Start School

By: Kelly Crawford, Student Services Coordinator

Starting school is an exciting time for anyone. However, it can be very hectic trying to prepare yourself and get everything ready for the first day of class. Follow these tips and checklist to ensure you have a smooth transition.

Follow your deadlines:

Your admission representative and financial aid representative will give you deadlines to turn in certain documents. These deadlines are extremely important. Not turning something in on time may interfere with you starting school. Keep a detailed list of everything that is due. If you are not sure about something make sure you ask. It is much better to get clarification on something than to turn it in late or incorrect.


Preparation checklist:

  • Complete admission requirements
  • Complete financial aid requirements
  • Attend orientation and take notes. You will receive a lot of information and it will be impossible to remember it all.
  • Get to know your schedule and the school. Find out where to park and locate your first class so you know where you are going. You do not want to be late to your first day.
  • Purchase your materials
    • Text books
    • Backpack
    • Notebooks
    • Folders
    • Pens
    • Pencils
    • Highlighters
    • Flashcards
    • Calculator
    • Lunch bag
    • Uniforms
  • Confirm your plan for:
    • Transportation (and an alternative in case your first one fails)
    • Childcare (and an alternative in case of an emergency)
  • Locate a quiet place you can study
  • On the first day of class, give yourself extra driving time. Again, you do not want to be late.
  • Review the first few chapters of each text book. This will make you aware of what may be covered the first day of each course. It will make you feel more prepared and you will be able to participate in class.
  • The night before your first day, pack up everything you will need the next day. Pack your backpack with your textbook and supplies. Lay your uniform and sneakers out and pack a lunch.

If you have any questions about making your transition to school, please come see me, Kelly Crawford. You can reach me by email at

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How To Utilize Your Study Group

By: Kelly Crawford, Student Services Coordinator

Study groups can offer tremendous benefits. By joining a study group you will be able to work through information you are unclear about, get the information from another point of view and get the support and encouragement from you fellow study buddies. Discussing the information will also help you remember it longer. However, study groups can go downhill if they are not properly managed. Follow these tips to ensure your group stays on track and does not turn into a social group.

Set an agenda ahead of time
Everyone should have a say about what will be discussed during the meeting. The agenda should be set ahead of time so everyone has time to review the topics. Bring a copy of the agenda to the meeting. If the group starts to go off topic, you can tap the agenda and remind everyone of the topic you should be on.

Give everyone a topic to master
Ahead of time, have everyone agree on one topic they will prepare to come “teach” to the group. This will have many benefits: 1) the person that is the topic master will have a full understanding of it. Teaching a topic to others is one of the best ways to get the information into your long term memory. 2) The other members of the group will benefit because they will see this information in a different point of view.

Everyone should talk about each topic
Discussion is key to remembering and understanding information. After the topic master gives their presentation, everyone should start to discuss the topic. You can take this as an opportunity to ask any questions you may have to make sure you have a full understanding. If the group is not sure of the answer, you can all take the time to look it up and figure it out together.

Quizzing each other
This is a great technique to discover where your weaknesses lie. It can also be a fun way to study during a car pool. Once you can identify a topic you are unclear about, spend extra time on that topic and re-test yourself.

How to fix problems
You may encounter problems such as members showing up late, not at all, or being unfocused. If a fellow group member is displaying habits that are hurting the productivity of the group, take that person aside and nicely, but directly inform them of your concern.

If you need any help setting up a study group or help with your current one, please get in contact with Kelly Crawford at

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Preparing for School: Child Care

By: Kelly Crawford, Student Services Coordinator

Family should always come first, but your education is the key to your personal success as well as the happiness and health of your loved ones. Having the right kind of childcare set up before you start school is one of the most important things you can do. Many applicants walk through the door unaware and unprepared for the task that is ahead of them. It is unfair to expect yourself to do it all. Planning is key; reliable childcare is a must if you intend on pursuing a new education and even a new career. Many students have had their childcare situation change or come to school without considering all the factors. Help is needed to get everything in place before you start; it will make things much easier.

Students will often have childcare set up with friends and/or family who later back out in the middle of a semester. Get as many people as you can to agree to be a backup babysitter. This will help you make sure you always have childcare covered.

Go through this checklist and make sure you can answer each of the questions.

1. For each day you have class, who will watch your child(ren)? Make sure you have coverage for every day and night that you will be at school.

2. Name three people you could call to watch your child(ren) if your primary childcare is not available unexpectedly. You will want to do this even if you send your child(ren) to a daycare. If your child is sick, the daycare will usually not take them that day or the following day.

3. Who will watch your child(ren) when you need to study? People often think that they can study with the kids, but depending on their age and independence, that may not be realistic. Just studying while your child(ren) are asleep may not be enough.

4. Who will watch your child(ren) while you prepare for midterms and finals? Midterms and finals can be some of the most stressful and busy times for a student. You will need to dedicate much more time and concentration to your school work. Extra uninterrupted time where you only need to focus on your studies is a must.

Keeping several backup plans in place is essential. Knowing your own boundaries and limitations is essential. Do not try to overexert yourself into school, work, and raising a family; you will get burnt out and it will become a much more strenuous process.

If you are feeling yourself getting stressed out take one of the free stress management workshops offered at MPI, e-mail, or come visit me in the Student Services office in Suite 21!

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Career Services

Staying Positive on Your Job Search

By: Deborah Berkovitz, Career Services Coordinator

Whether you are a new grad looking for your first Medical Assistant job or a Licensed Practical

Nurse who has worked for the past few months, job searching can be a challenging experience.

Staying positive and having an optimistic outlook will make you a successful job searcher.

Positive thinking is something that you need to work on every day, that means eliminate all the

negative thoughts on how the job search could go wrong, i.e… “They will never call me”, “I’m a

new grad, and no one hires new grads”. Instead replace those negative thoughts with positive

ones like: “I will get that call from the company”, “I have a great resume with great experience”.

Get excited about a new career and the possibilities and how they can become a reality. You

worked very hard to get to this point, allow your skills, confidence and personality to shine.


Treating School Like a Job

By: Deborah Berkovitz, Career Services Coordinator

Typically, people go back to school to expand their career opportunities whether they are looking to further themselves in their current field or start a new field. While in school, it is very important to start developing the good skills and habits that will not only help you land that job, but help you keep that job and get promoted. Yes, that includes the technical skills and theories you will learn, but a huge part of it is also your professionalism, attitude and attendance.

Arrive early

When you have a job you have to start working at a certain time. If your shift starts at 8am, you have to be ready to work at 8am. It does not mean get to work at 8am, put your coat away, put your lunch in the refrigerator and take your time to settle in. You must do all that before your shift starts and be ready to work at your assigned time. This is extremely important in the healthcare field when you have patients relying on you.

Practice getting to work early while you are in school. If the class starts at 9am, then get there early to take your books and supplies out and review your information. Planning to arrive early can also save you in case there is unexpected traffic that would have otherwise made you late for work. I have heard many people say that they do not need to practice now and they will do it when they get the job. When that happens, those people find it harder to get into that routine when they start the job.

Perfect Attendance

Working towards perfect attendance is the most important thing you can do to reach your education and career goals. Even the employees with the best skills are no good to a company if they cannot be counted on. If you are consistently not available to work, they will find someone who is. If you have to take a day off, plan it in advance with your boss. Do the same thing with your instructor. Let them know that you have to be absent and get all the work and information you will miss. If you miss class time, it is up to you to find out what the work is and make it up. If you are not in class you miss so much information. Sometimes teachers give hand outs and lectures that expand on the information in your book. Missing those sessions would mean that you missed a vital piece of information. You are not able to ask your questions and you may even miss a quiz or assignment. This can put you behind the rest of the class and you run the risk of lowering your grade average.


As small as it seems, good manners goes a long way. Use your ‘please’ and ‘thank yous,’ hold the door for others, and never ever talk poorly about anyone. Using good behaviors can make your patients feel more comfortable and show your boss and co-workers that you have excellent customer service skills.

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Dress for Success

By: Deborah Berkovitz, Career Services Coordinator

You better believe the way you look for a job interview can make or break your chances. The clothing you wear to the interview can have a big impact on getting a job. Your resume and qualifications have got you the interview now it’s time for the hiring managers to see if you are a good fit for their organization.

The clothing you wear will give the hiring managers a better idea on how you will fit in with their corporate culture. This doesn’t mean you have to spend lots of money on expensive interview clothes, it just means that you fully understand what business dress means. Do your homework, research the organization; check out their website for photos and clues on what their dress code may be. Hiring managers will give you more credit for being overdressed for an interview than being underdressed.

When in doubt, dress more conservatively. Remember; you are not dressing for a night out at a club or going to a party. You are dressing for an interview. Your goal is to portray an image that shows professionalism and credibility. If you want the job, it it’s important that you do everything you can with your image so that it promotes a positive impression of you and it lets the hiring manager know that you have a full understanding for the position that you are applying for.

For more information or any questions on how to dress for success for your next interview, please contact me.

Deb Berkovitz
Career Placement Coordinator
(781) 397-6822

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Job Facts

By: Deborah Berkovitz, Career Services Coordinator

Ø Follow up is key! This can set you apart from the crowd.

You have submitted a job application or sent a resume to a company you’d like to interview with and you haven’t heard back right away. What do you do next? You can either wait patiently, assuming the employer will contact you if they are interested or you can opt to follow-up with the employer. After an interview though, you should always follow up with a thank you letter or thank you note reminding the interviewer about your key qualifications for the job and reiterating your interest in the position. It is usually best to wait a week or two before making an inquiry. If you have an email address for a contact, then you might send a email follow up message reaffirming your strong interest in a job and mentioning that you would welcome the opportunity to meet for an interview. In general, don’t contact an employer more than three times and leave a couple weeks in between overtures unless the employer has suggested otherwise.

Ø Network, Network, Network.!!

The vast majority of job openings are never advertised; they’re filled by word of mouth. That’s why networking is the best way to find a job. Unfortunately, many job seekers are hesitant to take advantage of networking because they’re afraid of being seen as pushy, annoying, or self-serving. But networking isn’t about using other people or aggressively promoting yourself—it’s about building relationships

Ø It will take an employer 3-5 seconds to look at a resume…. Make sure there are no mistakes!

The employer will look at the following: your name, the current company you work for, your previous employment, the start and end dates of your previous position, the start and end dates of your current position and your educational background. Please use proper grammar, spell check and have a second set of eyes look at your resume before sending it out to an employer. Once a mistake is found, they will discard it and move on to the next one.

Ø Interview Questions Positive vs. Negative

During a job interview, be sure to listen carefully to whether a question will prompt an automatic positive or negative response. Turn the negative questions into positive examples. For example, “Tell me some of your Weaknesses” Give specific, positive examples describing your experiences and attributes.

Ø Make too sure and ask questions at the end of your interview!!

It’s your turn! As the interview comes to a close, one of the final questions you may be asked is “What questions do you have for me”? Have interview questions of your own ready to ask. You aren’t simply trying to get this job – you are also interviewing the employer to assess whether this company and the position are a good fit for you.

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Do’s and Do Not’s of Cover Letters


By: Deborah Berkovitz, Career Service Coordinator

An impressive cover letter will help you in landing a great job, but a generic or rushed one will almost always send your resume to the “no” pile.

Most companies will ask for a cover letter. They believe that the cover letter is still an essential part of the job application process. If they ask for one you need to send one. Some companies will not even take a look if the cover letter is not attached.

• Sending a generic cover letter to each job you apply for is just as bad as not sending one at all. What you do want to do is make sure you customize each cover letter you write. Use this opportunity to detail why you would be a great fit for the company. Make is personable and make it stand out.
• Make sure you figure out exactly who you are sending it to. You want to make sure that you address that person by name, not to “To Whom It May Concern”, Dear Sir, or Dear Madam. Do the research to determine the name of the hiring manager or recruiter in charge of the job opening.
• Recruiters, Human Resources Managers and Hiring Managers spend an average of 6 seconds scanning your resume. A good cover letter should be no longer than 1 page long. The hiring manager already has your resume, there is no need to rehash your entire work history. What you do want to do is highlight your qualifications that pertain to the specific role you are applying for.
• You want to end the cover letter with enthusiasm. Rather than just thanking the employer for their time and consideration. Take the initiative, let them know you will follow up with them within a week. Don’t let them decide on the follow-up.
• Finally, always remember to Proofread. You should have multiple sets of eyes making edits. Spelling mistakes on Cover Letters and Resumes are almost always unacceptable.

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A Word on Medical Assisting at MPI

By: Angela Young, Director of Admissions

The Medical Assisting program at MPI offers students tools they need to be successful both in the classroom and on the job.

Our approach starts at orientation where students are introduced to each other and the different staff they will work with as they move through the program. Everything is explained up front so there are no surprises later on and the student can move through the program with ease. Orientation also covers study techniques, time management and tips on how to begin your transition to school. The staff at MPI are here to help students and they see this from day one.

Once students start their classes they will be on their way to fulfilling their goal! They will meet their instructors and start learning exciting, new topics. If at any time a student starts to feel overwhelmed or if there is something they need help with, our instructors and student services coordinator will be there to help them get through it. We don’t want to see one little roadblock stop anyone from reaching their goals.

All students are encouraged to be part of the MPI community by joining us for workshops such as goal setting and study skills. We love to see students at our activities and events. It is a great way for them to meet new people, network with others and have fun!

Medical Assisting students also have the privilege of having a Career Success class built right into their schedule. They learn how to effectively job search, write resumes and cover letters. The best part is that they can practice their interview skills with our Career Coordinator. This helps them feel more comfortable on a real interview and gives them a better chance at landing that job!

When students reach their goal and graduate they feel confident and comfortable out there in the workforce. They know MPI prepared them with everything they need to know while they were in class and on their hands on externship.

Steps to Success

By: Ashley Tortora, Administrative Assistant

Massachusetts is, by far, one of the most advanced medical state in the country if not the world. It is home to some of the largest hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Tufts Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, and many others. Some of the most beneficial, long-lasting, and lucrative careers in New England are in the healthcare industry. A plethora of fields are available, but maybe you already have a job and a family to support. Maybe you think you do not have the time available to work, support a family, and be educated in a new field or maybe you are even a little pessimistic that you have been out of school too long and cannot handle tests and homework. All it takes is one step; one step to start the process and see that in just a brief period of time you will be able to not only successfully change careers, but have a new found confidence in your own abilities to learn and grow.

At Medical Professional Institute short-term, full-time programs are offered to get you in, get you fully trained, comfortable, get you working hands-on in the field, and then assisting you in finding a dream career. It is a daunting task to switch careers and start fresh in an entirely new field, but the first step is setting goals in your life and overcoming any challenge and obstacle in the way of achieving those goals. You do not have to do that alone. Take advantage of whatever opportunities are afforded to you; whether it be the help of family and friends either financially or just by offering support, rides, daycare, or anything else to make your transition just a little easier.

  • Pick the program that fits your life
    At MPI there are several program options available. Educate yourself as to which program will fit your life best. There are day and evening programs offered for the Allied Health Medical Assistant and Phlebotomy/Electrocardiography programs as well as a full time Practical Nursing program. Length and times of the programs vary so know what you are getting into.
  • Prepare yourself for starting school
    Most people think preparation for starting school is to make sure you have your books, your uniform, and the pens and pencils to take notes. It is far beyond that. Before even stepping into a classroom it is your responsibility to make sure all your paperwork is filled in, all your fees are paid, and you have made proper preparation for outside-of-school needs including child care and work scheduling. Preparing yourself and your life ahead of the first day is essential to getting off on the right foot.
  • Classroom Focus and Preparedness
    Your classes are going to consist of testing, homework, and practicing your new craft. Make sure you come to class every day prepared to start – pen and notebook ready to take notes, homework assignments completed, and plenty of rest to be refreshed for the day. Whether it be in the classroom or in the job itself focus and preparation are paramount to success.
    You are going to be with your classmates for an extended period of time and will become friends with most if not all of them. Utilize them. If you have a question first ask your teacher then ask your classmates for help. They are your best resource because they are learning the same subject as you daily. Work together and do not be afraid to ask questions.
  • School Assistance
    MPI does not want you to do this journey alone. Take advantage of our Student Services, tutoring options, and assets that the school has available at its disposal. We are not here to leave you clueless walking out into the world. We are here to make you comfortable in honing your new expertise. Ask for help. Go to free workshops. Talk to the staff to see what happens to be your best path to success. Not all people are the same and not all people learn the same way. Do what is best for you.
  • Career Services
    Okay, so now you’ve prepared yourself, gotten the education, and done your hands-on work in externship and clinicals. Where do you go now? Unless you are planning on pursuing further education now it is time to get into the job market. MPI’s Career Services Coordinator will help you to revise your resume, look for interviews, practice interview skills, and assist you in finding your new career. Career Services are available whenever an alumni wishes to utilize them.
  • The steps are here. You know what you have to do to be successful and you know it all starts with a phone call. Call our school today to set up an appointment to come in and see how we can help shape your future.

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    By: Providencia Colon, Externship Coordinator

    An externship will provide you with the opportunity to gain experience in the day to day life of your chosen career path. It’s an exciting time for you to be able to apply all of the skills that you acquired from the classroom in a real world setting. It will provide you the opportunity to ask questions from experts and receive answers while working a long side them.

    I recently had the pleasure of meeting with a Lab Supervisor from Quest Diagnostics and she shared with me what a student can expect while on their externship. Students will be shadowing a lead phlebotomist for the first few days and then the lead phlebotomist will shadow the student. This will provide the student the opportunity to learn at his or her own pace and gradually adjust to the patient flow of the laboratory with support from the staff.

    Students can expect to learn all aspects of the laboratory such as, intake of patients, administrative tasks, stocking, and for those “stellar students” it may even include specimen processing.

    The Lab Supervisor spoke at great length that professionalism is of the utmost importance and that it is expected. It’s important to project a positive attitude and in turn this will have a more profound effect with the patients and allow them to feel more at ease and comfortable during their visit. Smiling is probably the best way to make a patient feel comfortable with you while they are in your care. Another way is to take your time with every patient and try your best not to hurry or rush a patient. As I always used to say to my students, “Be patient with your patients”. It can make a routine visit become a wonderful experience.

    An externship will serve as a student’s first experience in their chosen career field. It is crucial for students to perform at their very best and take their externship seriously. Be motivated, eager, focused, positive, and learn as much as possible so that you can land the job of your dreams.

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    By: Providencia Colon, Externship Coordinator

    Our bodies are susceptible to the world around us. Sure enough at some time we all need medical care. Competence and reliability is the cornerstone of the medical industry. Medical establishments are looking for someone reliable, responsible, and someone who is patient oriented. Each year, millions of Americans receive health services in doctor offices, hospitals, dental practices, outpatient clinics, mental health facilities, and even their own homes. Patients rely on healthcare professional to provide affordable and state of the art diagnostic and therapeutic care to help overcome illness and injury. For yourself, your friend, or your family member that is in the hospital or receiving care you would want the best available to them. You would want them to receive special treatment and made to feel as if they mattered more than anyone else. This is what your patients will want from you if you choose to work in the medical field.

    At Medical Professional Institute we instill in our students reliability, accountability, punctuality, attendance, enthusiasm, a quality attitude, positive work ethic, respect, honesty, ethics, good moral character, care for appearance and hygiene, group work skills, communication skills, and manners. All of these skills are paramount to becoming a successful medical professional. Yes, I know you will need to know about medicine and how an ace bandage is wrapped and how to take a temperature or blood pressure, but those are all technical aspects to the field. What makes a quality medical professional is how a person is perceived, their attitude, and their aptitude in the field.

    People who fail to take a professional approach are often absent, late, unreliable, and even sloppy. Their actions may endanger the quality of care and customer service you want to provide for your patients and their families.

    Every health care employee has the opportunity and obligation to strive for professionalism when working with patients.

    Always remember- it’s not the job you do that makes you a professional, it’s how you do it that counts!

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    Saving Money While in School

    By: Nicholas Sloane, Internet Technologies & Marketing Coordinator

    Discounted New & Used Books:
    Note: Medical Professional Institute does not endorse any of these methods or websites. Any student ordering from these sites is doing so at their own risk. Be sure to check with your school first to make sure that you have the correct ISBN number, edition, and that there are no additional online access codes or workbooks needed for class. The best method is to check the school’s book store or business office to see exactly what materials you will need. The earlier you order your books the more variety you will have for a used book selection.

    •, which is affiliated with, allow individual sellers to sell their used books at set costs. Users of can search books by title, edition, and/or ISBN number. From there you are taken to the book listing page where you can see the various prices for your specified book. Prices vary based on the aesthetic qualities of the book whether it be Brand New, Like New, Used, Fair, or Poor quality. Buyer beware that a poor quality book may have been ripped at the seam and is falling apart, may be riddled with notes and highlighting, and even writings from the prior owner. Be sure to read the description very carefully. With that noted, however, you can still have the opportunity to get your books at much lower prices!
    • is another site useful for purchasing used books at a cheaper rate. Many people know Amazon as an online juggernaut useful for purchasing everything from diapers to televisions, but did you know Amazon is also a useful seller community? Sellers put their new and/or used goods at cheaper rates than the regular Amazon prices. Search for your books by title or ISBN number. Once you have located your book on Amazon look to the right hand side of the screen and, for most items, you will see a section that says you can get this item new or used for a lower price (ex. “You can get this item used for $3.48”). Click on the link to see what options you would have available for you.
    • has the same features as Amazon and It gives you a clear way to search by title, author, or ISBN number to find your book. It offers new and used versions of most college textbooks. The difference of is it usually offers the lowest rate on new textbooks as well.

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    Selling Your Books:

    Once you have finished with a semester or with school entirely you have the option of selling your used textbooks. You will almost never get full value back for a used book, but what money you do get can be used toward your books for the next semester. Take into account which books you will not need in the future and which ones to hold on to for reference during your career. For the books you no longer need, much like purchasing used books, you can sell books on,, and All you have to do is create an account, type in the ISBN numbers, and then write a brief description of the book’s condition. Once a book has sold you can print a shipping label directly from your computer, place it on the package, and schedule the United States Post Office pick it up right from your doorstep.

    Don’t want to deal with the hassle of online selling? Peer-to-peer is another method for selling books. You just finished a semester and the class behind you is about to start. Post on the MyMPI page in the “Sell Your Books” section to list what books you have available and what prices you are charging. Don’t forget to leave a method for the person to contact you, whether it be a phone number, e-mail address, or direct messaging through the MyMPI site.

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    Shopping Discounts & Money Earning Opportunities:

    • Coupons
      Many online shopping sites offer spaces for coupon or promotional codes. These codes are generally given for a short period of time and have terms and conditions that need to be met.
      The best site to discover coupon codes is On RetailMeNot a consumer types in the website on which they desire to shop and RetailMeNot lists all the promotional codes and discounts available for that site.
      Another good source for codes is the Honey app available for Google Chrome. Honey recognizes when you are shopping online and automatically finds coupon codes for you. As you arrive at the checkout page for your order Honey will notify you that there are coupon codes available and asks if you would like the codes to be entered for maximum savings. It is an easy and free way to save money and time searching for codes.
      Want to shop outside of the internet? Several websites have downloadable coupons available that can be sent straight to the printer. The top site for this is is a database of manufacturer and store coupons that can be selected and printed to bring directly to the checkout counter. This site allows for you to “Clip” as many coupons as you want and places them on one sheet so that they can be cut once printed.
    • Money Earning Opportunities
      Online shopping is quickly replacing shopping in stores. Websites, such as Google Express, can have everything from groceries to televisions at your door in a matter of hours. Though shopping online can be easy, did you know you can actually earn money back while shopping? Sites such as and have cash back opportunities just for linking through their site. is a community site in which people post hot deals and money saving opportunities, but the real draw of it is the cash back savings on some of the most popular websites. Go to FatWallet and type the store you are looking for in the search bar. Click the store name and a sign-in screen will pop up asking you to sign up for FatWallet. Once you have created an account and link to the site you were looking for you are automatically going to earn a percentage back on your purchases.

    • Example: I am looking to book a trip. I go to FatWallet and search for I see that if I link through the FatWallet website I am going to earn 6.7% cash back. I click the link and make my purchase for $400. FatWallet will send me an e-mail saying that my cash back in the amount of $26.80 is pending in my account.

      The money does not come immediately. It does take several months for the cash back to process, but once it has gone all the way through you are allowed to request a check delivered directly to your house. FatWallet has also now developed an app for Google Chrome that tells when cash back is available on any given site. A little pop-up windows says “You’re missing out on 6.7% cash back on this site” if you are not signed in and you are taken to the sign in page. This is a good method for never missing an opportunity for cash back!

      The other site that was mentioned,, is the same as FatWallet. You click links through their site to get certain percentages of cash back. However, eBates generally tends to offer a higher cash back rate. Want a bonus from eBates? Make a $25 purchase through their website after signing up and get a bonus $10 cash back or a $10 Walmart gift card!
    • Earning Money While Recycling

      Have a printer at home? Did you know that you can recycle the ink cartridges from your printer and get money back from Staples? For every ink cartridge you bring back to Staples you will get $2 in Staples credit to use for whatever you want! Ask friends, family, or anyone else if they have ink cartridges available to return. Staples has a variety of items: it could cover your school supplies, some home supplies, or you could even turn it into a gift card to use elsewhere. Think $2 is not a lot of money? It adds up quickly once you get enough cartridges together.

    • Saving Money on Activities
      During your time in school it can sometimes be difficult to have family time or time with your significant other. Some may be fine with watching a movie at home and cooking dinner, but for those looking to get out of the house there are several ways to do activities and still not spend a lot of money.

      Companies such as Groupon, LivingSocial, TravelZoo, and Amazon Local offer discounted shopping, activities, and trips. Whether you are looking for a weekend away or just an planning a day these websites can be useful to both find activities and receive great discounts. Try something new. Create a memory. These sites are very helpful for finding new activities: want to learn to blow glass? Want to go on a chocolate tasting tour? Want to learn to cook a meal in an Italian restaurant? All of these things and more can be found by visiting any of these sites. Sometimes a mental break from school and trying something new can be just the trick to come back to class refreshed and ready to learn.

    • Don’t forget to check! All of these websites frequently offer even greater discounts on their already great deals. Just visit RetailMeNot and type in the website to see if any coupon codes are available.

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    Saving Money with a .edu E-mail Address and Student ID
    Many companies offer discounts and free services to students with either a valid student ID or a .edu e-mail address.

    • Cell Phone Companies:
      Some cell phone providers offer discounts on service with a student ID. There are differing percentages, rules, and regulations for what students can receive so check with each carrier to see what is available for student discounts. Some companies, such as AT&T and T-Mobile have offered savings as much as 23% off per bill for current students.
    • Free and Discounted Software

      Been looking to boost your computer software and add new features? Students with a valid .edu e-mail address can receive discounts on software from various companies such as Microsoft. Students can get the latest Microsoft Office software for a highly discounted price. Search the web and see what other software you can get for free with a .edu e-mail address! There are many options available.

    • Amazon Prime

      Amazon Prime is the best thing that you can get with your .edu e-mail address. As a student, Amazon provides Amazon Prime services free for the first 6 months of signing up with a .edu e-mail address. The biggest benefit to Prime is free 2-day shipping on most Amazon products. In addition, Prime members get access to thousands of free songs, books, and movies to stream at any time to any digital device. After the 6 month trial period has ended, users will have the option to continue using Prime for half the cost of a regular subscription!

    • Online Shopping Discounts

      UniDays is a website dedicated specifically to student savings. The website,, is a consistently updated listing of stores offering specified discounts to students. The website is free to register with if you have a student e-mail address and the savings will begin after verification! Some of the top stores offer discounts and students do not even realize it. Apple offers $200 off with Apple Education Pricing for Students, Levi’s offers 15% off purchases, Perry Ellis offers 10% off purchases, Reebok offers 20% off, Ann Taylor offers 15% off, Microsoft offers 10% off, and so many other stores are participating! Check out the website and register!

    • Museums and Activities

      Did you know that a student ID can get you discounted or free admission to many museums, galleries, landmarks, and even zoos? Often these locations will offer free or discounted admission to students with a valid student identification card. If you are planning an outing, call ahead to see if the location offers a student discount!

    You can still live your lives and attend school! Savings on activities and goods are available for those attending school full time! Use the information in this blog and find your own savings as well! Let us know what you’ve found.

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