SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
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9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Applying to Grad School

Deciding you’d like to pursue a graduate degree is a monumental decision, and not one to be taken lightly. If you’re determined to advance your current skills or learn something completely new, it can be a great option.

But, there are a few key questions you should ask yourself and an academic advisor before applying to graduate school. Here are a few things to ponder before obtaining an advanced degree.

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Investing in Companies You Actually Like

For a novice investor, it can be difficult to decide where to put your money. There are so many options, it can be hard to answer the question, “what company should I invest in?”

If you’re a fan of a specific company—whether that’s Apple, Amazon, or Coca Cola, you may be wondering if you should invest in those. After all, putting your money behind a company you actually believe in seems intuitive.

Choosing companies you actually like to invest in is certainly a different approach than giving your money to a financial advisor who makes your investment decisions for you. But that doesn’t mean it’s not the right call. Let’s look at the pros and cons of investing in a company you really like.

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How to Turn a Side Hustle into a Full Time Business

Whether it’s residual fallout from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, or just a sense of inherent scrappiness, side businesses seem to be everywhere these days. From selling collectibles from your couch to launching a boutique, home-repair business, there are countless side hustle ideas to pursue.

Thanks to free marketing tools through platforms like Instagram or Facebook, all you need is an idea, talent, and some chutzpah to launch your next gig. Starting a side hustle can be difficult enough, but have you ever thought about how to turn your side hustle into your business? Whether your side job ideas are crafty or cognitive, here are some tips on turning a side hustle into a full-time business.

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Considering a Gap Year? These Experiences Could Really Pay Off

When Malia Obama took a gap year before starting at Harvard in 2017, her plan created a lot of controversy on the internet, especially here in the U.S. But students taking a gap year—before, during, or after college—isn’t new, and the trend is widespread in other countries.

The oldest gap year organization in the U.S., the Center for Interim Programs , has been around for nearly 40 years. While there are limited stats on how many students take gap years here, almost 25% of students in Australia take a gap year and American numbers, which used to be estimated at closer to 1% or 2%, appear to be rising.

Also known as a bridge year, a gap year or gap semester can come between high school and college, after college before starting grad school or a career, or even in between semesters while at college. The idea is to refresh yourself after all those years of head-to-the-books learning, explore potential career interests, and get some new experiences while the risks are low—and when you have no kids and no mortgage.

The idea is you then return to school—or start your job search—with newfound focus and intention. What you do while taking off a gap year depends on you. You can volunteer, travel, work, or some combination. Malia Obama almost 25% of students joined a cross-cultural exchange program to Bolivia and Peru, did an internship with a film and TV production company in New York, and traveled with her parents to Indonesia.

Now, you may not be able to pull off the same itinerary as Malia, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great experience of your own. If you’re asking yourself, “Should I take a gap year?” then here are some of the options and logistics to consider.

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