If you study to music, then you’re already “in tune” with the amazing effects it may have for helping put your brain in optimum study mode. But did you know that certain genres of music could set the tone for even greater concentration, focus and well-being?

As we kick off a new semester, we’d like to introduce the latest music craze to add to your study playlist. It’s called “lo-fi,” and it’s getting high marks from students across the globe for its positive effects on helping them bring their A-game when it comes to reducing stress, increasing focus and keeping them relaxed while studying. Haven’t heard of lo-fi music? Grab your earbuds as we tell you all about it.

What is lo-fi music?

Low-fidelity music, or lo-fi, is music that is recorded with intentional imperfections, such as misplayed notes, environmental noise, low hum, or phonographic audio imperfections. Unlike hi-fidelity, or hi-fi, which is the high-quality reproduction of sound, the imperfect elements of lo-fi music are a popular choice when it comes to the positive results when studying is concerned. So, why would imperfect sound be one of the perfect genres to study to? Sit back and take a listen as you hear why. Lo-fi music helps the front lobe in our brain to focus – those flaws or low hums can also put the brain in the mindset to focus.

Why lo-fi is a popular playlist choice

Music speaks a universal language, so it comes as no surprise that students from all walks of life enjoy the wonder of music while studying. Some of the reasons as to why lo-fi is so popular are:

  • Relaxing effect and perfect tempo to keep listeners engaged without making them sleepy
  • As there are no lyrics, there are no distractions, which leads to better reading comprehension and writing
  • Listeners keep lo-fi on an endless loop, keeping music predictable and not a distraction while studying

And, if those aren’t good enough reasons to give lo-fi a try, here are some other reasons on how music can help you focus when you need it most:

  • Mood booster—Music can lift your spirits, even after a long, hard day. Playing your favorite tunes can be all you need to turn your frown upside down.
  • Positive attitude—The right kind of music can make you happy and help kick-start a study session. It’s been said that happy people tend to be more productive. In fact, people who listen to music may be happier than those who don’t.
  • Drowns out distracting noises—Does the sound of background noise make you irritable? Listening to music is a great way to drown out annoying background noises and help you focus on the task at hand. If possible, consider in investing in a quality set of headphones or earbuds for optimum sound quality and noise cancellation.

An “alternative” decision

Lo-fi music is considered an “alternative” genre of music—and for good reason. It’s not only easy to listen to, but it’s also easy to produce since there are no lyrics. Ever thought of becoming a songwriter? Try producing some music on your phone or laptop.

One of the most popular app services is FL Studio. Or, Apple and Android users can try those respective sites to create their own lo-fi playlists.

Creating a playlist

It may sound obvious, but research revealed that brain function decreases when you listen to music and sounds you don’t enjoy, making it difficult to focus and concentrate. So, be sure to choose music and sounds that make you happy. Here are some tips for creating your playlist:

  • Create your playlist in advance, so you won’t be fumbling to find a new song every few minutes.
  • Keep your playlist to around 40-50 minutes. This is a great reminder to take a study break when it’s over. Plus, it helps you plan your study sessions to meet your concentration level.
  • Avoid listening to the radio. Dialogue between radio personalities and commercials can be distracting.
  • Turn it down. Listening to music at a moderate level is best.

Don’t forget the classics—Mozart, anyone?

If you haven’t already done so, check out our popular 2018 blog, “Studying to Music Can Put Your Brain in the Right Frame of Mind,” where Vaughn College explores the mind-boosting effects of studying to classic music. (Have you heard of the Mozart Effect?) Additionally, this blog explains how the calming sounds of nature can help to increase concentration.

With the new semester kicking off, this is the best time to add lo-fi music to your playlist so it’s ready to go when you need it. Happy listening!

Are you thinking about attending college but not sure how to find the right one for you? Attending an open house is a great place to start.

Attending an open house is so much more than mixing and mingling. It’s the perfect opportunity where you can walk through doors to your future with everything you need to know—and everyone you want to meet—all under one roof. (Think of it as a warm welcome through the front door of your potential new home.) So, what is the key to getting the most out of a college visit or open house? The answer is simple: Asking the right questions.

We’ve done the homework for you and put together an easy guide of the top questions to ask at your next college visit or open house. We even left space for your notes so you can compare when it’s decision time!

Download Open House Questions

Leveling the playing field

We understand you might be feeling a bit nervous. The good news is you’re not alone. One of the greatest benefits to attending an open house is so you can get a feel for the campus, faculty, community and get all your questions answered in an unbiased, nonjudgmental environment.

Vaughn Open House

A degree from Vaughn College is not just a degree. Think of it as a passport to your future. Attending our open house is your first step toward landing a futureproof career. This year, we’re hosting two events – an on-campus event on Saturday, November 13 and virtual event on Tuesday, November 30. This way, you have the option to attend virtually if you can’t make it to campus. As space is limited, you must register now for the in-person event.

In-person Open House:
Saturday, November 13 at 10 a.m.

Virtual Open House:
Tuesday, November 30 at 6 p.m.

At our Open House, you will learn about: 

  • Our exciting futureproof programs in engineering and technology, management and aviation, where all presentations are delivered by Vaughn’s professors
  • Our financial aid options, admissions process, student life, clubs, career support and more
  • How you can apply for FREE and receive a chance to win a $500 scholarship
  • Important application deadlines

NOTE: Vaughn College requires proof of vaccination to be permitted in any campus facility, and masks must be worn indoors.


Why a degree from Vaughn is your ticket to the future

Who is “the future you” going to be? At Vaughn, we’ll help you find out. Our graduates leave with more than just degrees. They leave with exciting, in-demand careers. We call it being futureproof. And we guarantee it. Learn about the details of our guarantee and eligibility.

Looking for a little more inspiration? Check out our blog, “Choosing the Right College for You.

And for some great tips about what to know when planning a college tour, read our blog, “Making Your Next College Visit Count.”

Don’t take our word for it! Read the success stories of so many students who graduated from Vaughn and have landed their dream career.

We hope to see you at our open house!

The future of underserved, low-income and first-generation college students is hopeful, thanks to college mentoring programs like College Possible’s Catalyze, which helps augment existing on-campus college success programming. For the past two years, Catalyze coaches have been instrumental in guiding eligible Vaughn College students to graduation day by empowering them to achieve their goals.

We spoke with Lauren Cajade, assistant director, Higher Education Opportunity Program, at Vaughn for her insights on the success of the College’s partnership with Catalyze, and the excitement surrounding the hiring of three new near-peer coaches—one of whom is a recent Vaughn graduate—to kick off the 2021-2022 school year.

Vaughn’s Catalyze partnership

Entering its third year, Vaughn’s partnership with the Catalyze program has continued to offer eligible first year students the opportunity to work with near-peer coaches. Coaches receive comprehensive training and curriculum support from Catalyze to guide them in providing pro-active, high-touch student interventions that help students overcome some of the most common barriers to persistence and graduation. “Working with our coaches gives our students an extra set of hands to get through college,” said Cajade. She explained how students receive support from both academic and student affairs, which provides a well-rounded experience to give students a sense of community on campus. “From getting help with registration and scheduling, to learning about financial aid and filling out the FAFSA, our coaches guide students every step of the way—right up until graduation day.”

Who is eligible? 

Vaughn will reach out to eligible students who qualify for the program. Eligible students are not required to participate; however, those who do will be assigned to a near-peer coach. Students must meet the following specific criteria to qualify for the Catalyze program:

  • Low-income
  • Pell Grant-eligible
  • First-generation college student

How Catalyze coaches support eligible Vaughn students

Near-peer coaches are often recent graduates who may have similar backgrounds as the ones they support. Each coach has committed to a year of service as an AmeriCorps member and receives a living stipend as well as a modest education award for their service. A key factor in becoming a coach is they must demonstrate a passion for helping the next generation of graduates. Cajade explained how they undergo in-depth training, learning about the rules and regulations of College Possible, and Title IX training for Vaughn. “In addition to their regular training, we believe it’s important for our coaches to become familiar with the names of our department heads and the roles they serve,” said Cajade. “This is an important part of how the mentors can effectively direct our students to the proper person when they need help.”

Here are some ways near-peer coaches support their students:

  • Connecting to existing campus and community resources
  • Social-emotional skill development
  • Course registration
  • Finding scholarships and completing financial aid applications

Coaches use the program’s proven, evidence-based model and proprietary curriculum to guide students through their college experience. Here are the core areas they focus on:

  • Academic success
  • Personal development
  • Financial management

How College Possible makes it possible for students to succeed

College Possible is a national leader in college access and success programming that is dedicated to coaching students from low-income backgrounds to-and-through college. For more than 20 years, the nonprofit organization has refined their near-peer coaching model to achieve the best outcome for its students. Beginning junior year of high school and continuing right up until college graduation, near-peer coaches advise and mentor eligible students with the goal of helping them reach their fullest potential. This rigorously tested model has helped make College Possible students three times more likely to complete a four-year college degree and 98 percent of students in the program are admitted to college.

With the new semester approaching, Cajade expressed her excitement over the hiring of the three newest coaches: Jared Martino, Jessica Levine and recent Vaughn graduate, Jenelle Samuel ’21. Each coach will support approximately 140 students within their service year. “The past year has been difficult for everyone, but especially our students,” Cajade said. “We are excited to welcome our new near-peer coaches to the Vaughn family. Catalyze is a wonderful program, and College Possible a great partner. I’m proud to be a part of an institution that pulls out all the stops to give students all the tools they need to succeed.”

Want to learn more? Check out our blog article which explains how opportunity programs, like HEOP, can help you achieve success in college and graduate with a futureproof career.

Discover the possibilities that an engineering and technology, management or aviation degree from Vaughn College can bring.