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Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern students to provide free income tax preparation for community

Samantha Markley, an accounting student, helps a local tax payer with his taxes at the VITA Site in downtown Statesboro.

Georgia Southern senior Alyssa Morgan is looking forward to tax season this year. 

As a student in the School of Accountancy in the Parker College of Business, Morgan will gain hands-on experience with tax preparation as she and her peers offer free tax prep and e-file services to residents in Statesboro and surrounding communities through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

“Being a part of the VITA Program will give me an opportunity to receive real-world, hands-on experience preparing income tax returns,” Morgan said. “It will also help me further develop my soft skills and add more certifications to my résumé. I look forward to working with clients and other volunteers this tax season and learning more about tax law.”

Free tax preparation and e-file services are offered to taxpayers with a household income of $60,000 or less. The VITA site at Georgia Southern can prepare tax year 2019 federal and Georgia (full-year resident) individual income tax returns. 

“This is a win-win situation for the community and accounting students,” said Gloria Stuart, CPA, lecturer in the School of Accountancy. “Community members will receive free tax preparation services provided by IRS-certified volunteers, and all tax returns will be reviewed for accuracy before they’re e-filed. Accounting students will gain real-world tax preparation experience. The students will be able to apply the concepts learned in the classroom to real tax situations, improve their communication skills, and use professional tax preparation software.”

All accounting students and faculty volunteering in the VITA program have completed training and passed the IRS VITA certification exams with a score of 80% or higher. Tax returns will be prepared using professional tax software provided by the IRS. All prepared tax returns will be reviewed for accuracy before they’re e-filed and will go through a quality review process as required by the IRS VITA program standards.

The Georgia Southern VITA site is located in downtown Statesboro at the Parker College of Business City Center location on 58 East Main Street. Tax preparation is available from 1 to 4 p.m. on Mondays and from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays through April 6.

Five Saturday sessions will be available on Feb. 8, Feb. 22, March 7, March 28 and April 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. No sessions will be held the week of the University’s spring break which is March 16 through 20. 

Tax preparation services are offered on a walk-in basis, first come, first served. It is recommended to arrive as early as possible due to the limited number of taxpayers that can be served during each session. 

Certain tax situations are out of scope with the VITA program. At this time, the VITA site at Georgia Southern is unable to prepare returns for military or international students due to the additional certifications required to service these taxpayers under the VITA program. These services may be added in the future. For more information about the VITA program and a list of items to bring, please visit

Parker College of Business recognized for top degree programs in the U.S.

Georgia Southern University has been awarded top-ranking status for multiple degree programs by, while the Parker College of Business has been recognized for four of its programs. Georgia Southern was listed among hundreds of other competing institutions across the nation. The student-focused comprehensive research guide is based on an assessment of 1,604 accredited colleges and universities. Each program is evaluated based on curriculum quality, graduation rate, reputation and post-graduate employment. 

The 2020 rankings are calculated through a unique scoring system which includes student engagement, potential return on investment and leading third-party evaluations. analyzed hundreds of schools with comparable programs on a scale of 0 to 100, with Georgia Southern making it to the final list for 15 degree programs. The methodology uses an algorithm that collects and analyzes multiple rankings into one score to easily compare each university’s degree program. Please visit the listed sources below to access each program’s complete ranking.

The Parker College of Business at Georgia Southern University has been recognized for the following degree programs:

MBA Degree Programs | Ranked No. 1

Master’s in Economics Degree Programs | Ranked No. 1

Master’s in Accounting Degree Programs | Ranked No. 9

Accounting Degree Programs | Ranked No. 10

The Parker College of Business is AACSB accredited, offering graduate and undergraduate degree programs in various business disciplines to include accounting, economics, enterprise systems and analytics, finance, logistics and supply chain management, management and marketing. The School of Accountancy is separately accredited by AACSB. To learn more about the Parker College of Business and its program offerings, visit

Georgia Southern’s Online Master’s in Economics receives top rankings

Georgia Southern University Parker College of Business offers a fully online master's degree in applied economics that's interactive.

Georgia Southern University’s Online Master of Science in Applied Economics (MSAE) in the Parker College of Business has been named among the top 10 best online master’s programs by The Best Schools and College Values Online

The Best Schools ranked the MSAE program No. 6 in its top 10 list of the best online Master’s in Economics Degree programs, while College Values Online ranked the program No. 4 in its list of the top eight programs for value.

Georgia Southern’s fully online MSAE is designed for the working professional to advance their career. Students are able to work full time while interacting with their professors and peers through engaging in discussions, presentations and simulations. 

“It is an honor to have our program recognized as one of the best online master’s degrees in economics,” stated Amanda King, Ph.D., professor of economics and MSAE coordinator. “Our flexible program allows students to continue working while earning degrees that give them a marketable analytical skill set.”

The curriculum covers key topics in economics, including economic theories and their development, economic concerns in the global marketplace and the application of econometrics. The program prepares students for careers with financial institutions, industry organizations and government agencies. In addition to the MSAE degree program, Georgia Southern also offers a graduate certificate in applied economics which meets regional accreditation for teaching.

The Parker College of Business is AACSB accredited. To learn more about the MSAE program, visit

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving more than 26,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit

Infographic: Graduation Tips for Parker Business Students

Blog: 5 Final Exam Study Tips to Help You Through that Dreaded Week

by Victoria L., MAcc student

Final Exams. It’s either a final hurrah or a make or break moment. Regardless of how the actual exam goes, it’s the week leading up to it that really defines how you feel going into that classroom. We’ve all heard those “standard” tips: Manage your time, get enough sleep, eat a hearty breakfast, etc. But I would like to share some specific things that I do to help me get through finals week; and after nearly five years of college, I’ve learned a thing or two. Whether you’re a veteran finals taker or a freshmen new to the college schedule, here are my top five tips to help get you through the week.

5. If you are having trouble understanding an important concept, take the time to find someone who can help. Your professor would be the obvious first choice, and they are more than willing to help you out, just don’t wait until the last minute. If scheduling is a problem, then the next best place is tutoring. Georgia Southern has campus-wide tutoring in most of the core subjects but if you are looking for help for your business classes, the Parker College of Business has tutors located in the lab on the third floor (room 3337). Schedules are posted outside the door and most of the tutors are there at least 2-3 times a week. 

4. Know your study time requirements. This is one of the most important things to keep in mind. How long is it going to take you to review and understand the concepts on the final exam? A day, a whole week? You need to know your limits. Some people just need to review their notes, others need to work through every problem completed in class or on homework. Once you know your limits, you know how much time you need to devote to studying. That is much more efficient than going in with the mindset of, “Oh I’ll just study until I feel good about it.” Without at least some sort of goal in mind, you’re either going to overwork and stress yourself out, or you’re not going to get enough studying in. This is also helpful because you won’t feel guilty about taking breaks, going out with friends, going to bed early, etc., when you know that you have time for it.

3. Get that sleep. Seriously. All nighters might help you work through that last problem, but is that really helpful? Only if you waited until literally the day before your exam. Some people are blessed with a photographic memory, or just do really well under a huge amount of pressure (which in this case they put on themselves). But, if you don’t fall into one of those two categories, then I have found it far better to get sleep and wake up early rather than staying up late at night. And I’m not a morning person. Review your notes before bed, go to sleep, then wake up with a fresh mind and review again if you must.

2. Do not be frantically reviewing notes before class. At that point you need to face the truth. You either know it or you don’t. Reviewing notes before class will only make you nervous and stressed. You might find something you forgot to review or a problem that all of a sudden doesn’t make sense, and then you freak out. Don’t do that to yourself. Get to the classroom early and settle down by doing something “fun.” Chat with the people around you, read the news, heck, play on your phone. But don’t sit there and start worrying because that’s when your mind will play tricks on you, which brings me to my last and most important tip.

1. Positive mental/self talk. Your mind’s focus going into an exam, as well as during the exam, is extremely important. One of the hardest things I had to learn was how to keep my mind focused on the right things before and during an exam. Before the exam, I would be worried about finishing in time, worried I missed an important concept, worried I’d forget a formula, wishing I wasn’t there, the list goes on. What did I do to myself? I mentally slaughtered any confidence and focus I might have had and replaced it with stress. I go in feeling defeated, and just like in sports, that affected my performance. During the exam, I’d come upon a problem and realize that I didn’t have a clue how to solve it. At that point, my mind completely shut down and gave in to panic as I frantically scribbled something down, anything, to get at least some sort of credit because it might be kind-of right…right? If you find yourself thinking along those lines, then here is what you should do. First, stop yourself right then and there. This takes a bit of self-regulation and determination. If you try to stop yourself timidly or half-heartedly, it’s probably not going to work. Once you recognize that you’re thinking negatively, replace it with something positive. One effective technique is to think of three things that you are grateful for right at that moment. It could be that it’s your last exam, what you’re doing for the holidays, your pets, the food you’re going to treat yourself to afterwards, anything. Think of three things, smile, then move on. You may think you’re wasting precious time, but trust me, it will take less than a minute and your mind will be out of the hole it was digging itself into.