Archive for the “Campus Life” Category


One of the latest websites to join the ranks of online college guides is InsideCollege, which helps students research campuses by publishing a wide range of “college lists.” From more serious topics like looking for an honors program at a public university or knowing which schools offer a loan-free education to low-income students to finding colleges known for their school spirit or discovering obscure programs of study like glass blowing, Inside College is a great jumping off point for creating your own college list. The site is also currently promoting a monthly $2,000 scholarship contest, so you just might score some extra cash for school while perusing Colleges Where Geek is Chic.

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Stingy gets a bad rap, unless, of course, you are referring to the new campus resource website StingyCampus.

On the site students can buy and sell textbooks, find housing near campus, browse for class notes, search for jobs and internships, and connect with other students at your school. Seems kinda like Craigslist - university style.

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And you thought video games were just extra-curricular activities.  Well, next time your parents guilt you for spending too much time gaming, just tell them you’re preparing for college.

This fall New York University debuts a new course “Guitar Heroes (and Heroines): Music, Video Games and the Nature of Human Cognition” which aims to tackle the topic of why human beings invest so much time into playing video games, according to the New York Post.
The class, which according to its instructor will focus primarily on the effect of video games and human cognition, proved to be so popular it reportedly already has a waiting list for upcoming semesters.

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The cost of textbooks can add up quickly, so if you’re looking to save a little cash on your books then check out Chegg.com.  With over a million titles for rent, Chegg helps students save $$ on pricey Biology or Literature Anthologies and delivers those books right to your front door.  Once you’re finished with textbooks, you package them up and send them back with Chegg’s preprinted and paid postage. And if at the end of your semester or quarter, you really can’t bear to part with Calculus 101, Chegg will sell you the textbook at a reduced price. And if that wasn’t enough incentive to rent vs. buy, Chegg plants a tree for every textbook rented which has resulted in over a 100 acres a new trees!  So save some time, some money, and even a little earth just by renting your textbooks.  For more info visit Chegg.com

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With college just around the corner and an impending economic depression, what’s one of the most stressful thing to think about right now? Stock market crash? No. No college loans? No. The ever growing sales being cancelled?  No… (although this ran a close second).

LEARNING HOW TO MANAGE MONEY! Whether that be your own money, money given as gifts or money from your parents in the form of cash or credit cards. The United States is in the face of a near crisis and I can speak from experience, one of the most difficult things has been having a credit card for gas and school expenses.  Being a teenagers we are somewhat blind to the all the actual intricacies of balancing a budget, solving credit card debt, paying off mortgages… the list goes on.

Leaving for college in about seven months is starting to turn every little thing into a near tailspin for me.  All the pressure and stress has been making me focus in on things that I never really noticed before. College is one of the most expensive things that you/your parents/both of you will pay for throughout a lifetime. There are so many things that seem to “come up” while you’re away that credit cards or your parents’ money makes convenient. But since you are away and learning to be on your own- this most likely isn’t the most reliable option. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gone are the days of simply relying on glossy college marketing materials to research a school.  Now it’s easier than ever to get the real scoop that can help you decide where to attend thanks to some awesome college sites that let users weigh in with their opinions and shout-outs for their schools.  They answer questions like…How happy are students on a college campus? Are professors really teaching classes and are they good teachers? What are the local campus hotspots? What are the dorms really like?

If you’re looking for some honest feedback on your favorite schools, then check out some of my favorite college review sites:

Yollege–This college review site launched earlier this year and was named one of the Best of the Web 2008 newcomers by BusinessWeek.  From the website, “Yollege is an exciting new student driven college review site that empowers college students across the nation to finally have a voice. Share your passionate thoughts and opinions on every aspect of your campus. From nightlife to dorm life, campus hotspots to local flavor, college life will never be the same.”

UnigoI blogged about this site in September after I read an article about Unigo in The New York Times Magazine-College Issue, and I’m still a huge fan.  Not only can you read reviews, see photos, and watch videos from current college students representing hundreds of schools across the country, but there is tons of information about applying to college written by Unigo’s editorial staff.  Overall, it’s a great starting point to launch your college search.

Seventeen’s College & Career–Of course, I have to give a shout-out to Seventeen’s College & Career hub which features Q&A from yours truly, but there are a lot of other awesome features like an internship finder, volunteer opportunity finder, and the Freshman 15 which features videos and blogs from current college students, as well as information about researching and applying to college (including tips from my book Seventeen’s Guide to Getting Into College!).

College Help From College ConfidentialCollege Confidential has been around for awhile, and it features hundreds of free articles on college admissions, college search, financial aid, and college book reviews, plus a leading college discussion forum (my favorite!). They also specialize in Ivy League college counseling.

Do you have a favorite college review site?  As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

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StartupNation has announced the winners of the 2008 Dorm-Based 20, America’s top 20 college-based businesses and the young entrepreneurs behind them.  Some of the highlights include Affordabook, a place to find college textbooks on the cheap; Note2Home which helps parents, coaches, and teachers keep in touch with students and their crazy schedules; and my favorite is CaptainU, a site designed to connect high school athletes with college coaches to facilitate the whole recruiting process–it’s a pretty genius idea from University of Chicago’s Michael Farb.

Cooking up an idea to change the world in your dorm room?  Throw your name in the hat for the Dorm-Based 20 2009 Competition.  What’s the upside of being a winner besides joining the ranks of other college entrepreneurs like Michael Dell, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame?  The Dorm-Based 20 winners will get extensive national promotion on leading national TV, radio, online and print media outlets, and publicity for a start-up is pretty priceless.

So what’s your great idea?  Wait…don’t tell me.

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One of the most frustrating things about researching colleges is that with all those slick marketing materials, every school starts to sound the same: a totally awesome, super diverse place where all your dreams can come true.  If you’re tired of wading through all the college spin, now you can hear opinions and read reviews from current students at Unigo.

According to their website, “Unigo is the world’s largest platform for college students to share reviews, photos, videos, documents, and more with students on their campus and across the country. It’s also the best place for high school students to find out what life is really like at America’s colleges, and to make friends to help them find the school that’s right for them.”

So if you’re looking for the inside scoop on colleges, register here to check out the social network on Unigo, and let me know what you think and if you find the student perspectives helpful.

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Even if you aren’t old enough to vote, you can make it your  mission to encourage your friends who are old enough to register! And Rock the Vote is making it easy to register, stay informed, and even get some awesome perks just for getting your friends to participate in the political process. Here’s what you need to know:

Register to Vote!–It’s easy to register online at Rock the Vote, and if you register three friends you’ll get a free copy of Sheryl Crow’s new album, Detours. www.rockthevote.com/music/featured-artist/sheryl-crow.html

Rock the Trail!–Stay up to speed on youth issues and perspectives with Rock the Trail’s reporters delivering insightful and compelling blogs, articles and videos from the communities they live in, reporting on young people’s top issues such as jobs, the economy and college affordability. www.rockthevote.com/rockthetrail/

Get Your School to Rock!–Sign your school up to compete for the most voter registrations and a chance to bring Death Cab for Cutie to your school. For more information, check out www.myspace.com/ultimatecollegebowl

Have you registered to vote yet?  What issues matter to you most?

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Shopping for school supplies has pretty much been a back-to-school ritual for the last decade of your life. But before you head off to college, you better be sure you’ve got more than a hefty stash of pens and notebooks. Here’s a list of some not-so-obvious things you might want to add to your usual school shopping spree.

1. bathrobe
Most dorm rooms don’t afford you the luxury of a private bathroom, so you might want to invest in a stylish, comfy bathrobe for those hallway treks to the shower.

2. shower caddy
How’s a girl going to transport her toiletries from dorm room to bathroom? Invest in a handy shower caddy big enough to hold everything you need to maintain that squeaky-clean image.

3. spill-proof travel mug
There’s nothing like a hot drink during an early morning class or a mid-afternoon caffeine pick-me-up, and a spill-proof travel mug is the best way to transport your favorite drink. Not only are these beverage containers usually permissible in libraries, but coffee shops often will give you a discount for using your own mug (not to mention the kudos you get for doing your part to help the environment).

4. flip-flops
Whether you’re going to school on the beach or in the Alaskan tundra, flip-flops for the great indoors are a must-have for any dorm dweller. Chances are you’re going to be running down the hallways for late night chat sessions, and flip-flops are a great alternative to going barefoot. They also come in handy if you’re skeeved out by the communal shower.

5. mini reading light
A lot of college homework will entail reading, so you may want to invest in a mini reading light that can attach to your book or bed. This gives you the option to stay up late without flooding the room with the overhead light. Plus, your roommate will love you for it.

To see the 12 other items on the list read my full article “College Packing List” on Seventeen!  And I’d love to hear what stuff you wouldn’t want to live without in college…

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