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Archive | March, 2015

March (Hunger) Madness: GrubHub Ranks Hungriest Colleges in the U.S.

March (Hunger) Madness: GrubHub Ranks Hungriest Colleges in the U.S.

food, leisure and happiness concept - five smiling teenagers eatNo two things go together better than game day and takeout from your favorite spot. Whether it’s pizza and wings, burgers and fries or foot-long subs and chips, the official start of March Madness means an inevitable spike in restaurant business that only the NCAA Basketball Championships can generate.

In honor of March Madness, food takeout and delivery app GrubHub provided Huffington Post with a ranking of the hungriest colleges in the U.S., determined by comparing the average number of orders per day over the three weeks leading up to last year’s March Madness to the number of food orders on game days. It’s pretty clear that students need more sustenance for picking brackets than they do for studying.

So which colleges were the hungriest? Here’s a look at the top five.

5. American University, Washington, D.C.

GrubHub reported a 16 percent increase in AU orders during last year’s March Madness game days. Niche.com picked Wingo’s in Georgetown as a top 24-hour AU spot and also one of the best places to get wings.

Although the AU Eagles did not qualify for the tournament this year, the team did participate last year, earning a bid from their win at the 2014 Patriot League Tournament. Ultimately, the Eagles lost to Wisconsin in the second round of the championships, 75-35. But that loss didn’t stop the students from coming in fifth for hunger.

4. Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

March Madness game days in 2014 meant a 17 percent jump in food orders from OSU students. Unexpectedly, Niche.com’s pick for best wings in the area went to franchise Buffalo Wild Wings, which was also listed as a student favorite alongside fellow chains Chipotle and Raising Cane’s.

The OSU Buckeyes will fight for the title again during this year’s March Madness, which marks their seventh running season at the tournament. Last year, the Buckeyes barely lost their first game in the tournament to University of Dayton, 60-59. Perhaps the hungry students at OSU were stress eating.

3. George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

In third place is G-Dubya with a 20 percent game-day order increase. Although the Colonials have never made it to the NCAA Championship, last year the team got the closest they’d ever been (they lost their bid to Michigan State). So why so much food? Just because GW wasn’t playing, the students stayed true and supported their neighbors from American and Georgetown, two of the other universities in D.C.

2. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

A whopping 30 percent increase in game day orders? Hungry Howie’s and Buffalo Wild Wings are listed as the best pizza and best wings (respectively) in the area, but, true to the diverse midwest fare, there are also several Asian and sushi places on the Niche list for MSU best off-campus dining.

The students at MSU are no strangers to March Madness, as this year is the Spartans’ 29th trip to the NCAA Championship.

1. Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

The number one hungriest college in America boasts a 31 percent boost in game day food ordering. Antonio’s Pizza, Wings & Pasta is the area’s highest rated pizza place on GrubHub, but with 14 restaurants just within a quarter mile of campus, Syracuse students are eating more than pizza and wings during games.

Unfortunately, SU’s self-ban on participation in this year’s tournament will likely push their hungry ranking down, but that doesn’t mean students won’t still be setting up brackets and strategizing outside their home team. No matter if Orange is on the court, basketball fans in New York will be watching.

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How to Plan a Budget-Friendly Post-College Road Trip

How to Plan a Budget-Friendly Post-College Road Trip

RoadTripCollege may be coming to a close, but there’s still time to bond with your friends after you’ve all turned your tassels on graduation day. Many memories can be made on a cross-country road trip before you each set out on your individual journeys. So, pack your bags and your friends, and plan a road trip with the following tips:

Save Your Money

The first step in planning your road trip should be to save money. Think about saving well in advance to the date of your anticipated road trip, whether you’re using a bank account or a change jar. For multi-week or month-long trips, start saving six months before.

Set a savings goal by writing out all of the expenses you think you may encounter, including supplies, food, hotels or campsite fees, gas and any souvenirs you may buy along the trip. Be creative when thinking of ways to save money. For example, cutting coupons instead of paying full price, ending your cable subscription or giving up your gym membership are all viable opportunities.

If you have routine bills like your rent or phone bill, be sure that you have enough to pay them while you’re gone and consider setting up auto pay so you don’t miss any payments.

Plan Your Route

Drive on the most iconic American highway, the famous Route 66, to experience the culture of eight diverse states, including Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Learn about the history of each state and make lasting memories along the way.

Consider a road trip that takes you along the Pacific Coast Highway. Discover the sandy beaches off of California’s Highway 1, explore Oregon’s national forests and witness the scenic views along the Columbia River Highway. Let Washington’s wilderness wash over you as you head north, and be sure to visit Washington’s capital, Seattle, at the end of your trip.

If nature is calling, plan a trip that winds through Glacier National Park, Montana. Take a dip in St. Mary Lake, and make a stop at Virginia Falls. Or, head to the Southwest to explore Arizona’s red rock country by following State Route 179 from Phoenix to Sedona.

Use a tool like Discover America’s trip planner to outline your route. And, of course, pack maps and a GPS device just in case you take a wrong turn.

Drive a Road Trip-Worthy Car

If your current vehicle is a gas guzzler or you’re skeptical that your aging car can’t quite make it across the country, upgrade to a new set of wheels. Use an online resource like KBB to compare vehicles, and learn which cars get the best gas mileage. Popular Mechanics recommends the Jeep Grand Cherokee Eco-Diesel, Mazda 6, Chevy Impala and the Honda Crosstour.

Document Your Experience

Document your road trip by journaling in a notebook or online. And, of course, be sure to take plenty of photographs along the way. If you’re bringing a camera, make sure to pack all of your different lenses and plenty of battery packs. Mountable cameras, such as the GoPro Hero, can be attached to the outside of your car to capture all of the sights you see along your trip as well.

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5 Cheap Ways to Upgrade Your College Style

5 Cheap Ways to Upgrade Your College Style

collegestyleWhat do Ramen Noodles, care packages and free events have in common? They’re all very appealing to college students, particularly those who are financially strapped. And for those who are fashion savvy, affordable apparel is equally important. But after tuition, fees, books and living expenses are paid, there’s little left for shopping.

Fortunately, there are ways to upgrade your style on the cheap. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

Sunglasses

Protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays as you walk to class with a stylish pair of sunglasses like Oakley or Ray Ban. After you invest in a quality pair, you can maintain them by changing out scratched lenses from a reputable online retailer that offers replacement lenses, such as Revant Optics, instead of buying a new pair.

Versatile Apparel

Who said you had to have an abundant collection of tops and bottoms to be stylish? Money’s tight, and so is dorm closet space, so the idea here is to keep it simple with your selection so it’s much easier to mix-and-match garments. Instead of purchasing those colorful or funky patterned jeans, go for traditional blue denim. Sounds boring, but you’ll have many more outfits to choose from as they work well with either casual and fancy tops or sweaters.

Speaking of which, stay away from items that are poorly made, like thin tops, sweaters that can be picked apart easily or cheap jeans. Reasoning: after a few trips to the washer and dryer, you can kiss those pieces goodbye!

Formal Wear

Ladies, don’t forget to get your hands on a little black dress for formal events. Not only does it complement your figure, but it can be worn on several occasions. All you have to do is switch up the accessories.

Gentlemen, stick with dark-colored suits and solid shirts. You can always swap out jackets and ties to create a completely different look.

Dress the Part

It’s not necessary to dress like you’re heading to a job interview, but it helps to be presentable enough to be perceived in a positive light and respected y others, including your professor. The last thing you want to be known as is the sleep walker who proudly parades around campus in his or her pajamas. By doing the latter, you could miss out on a career opportunity (since you never know who’s watching) or even worse, meeting the man or woman of your dreams.

A few tips:

  • Cover it up. Extremely tight fitting or baggy clothing that expose your personal assets should be avoided.
  • Upgrade your shoe game. Flip-flops are cheap, but not very stylish.
  • Pop your collar, well not literally. Ditch the worn tee for a collared shirt.

Don’t Go Overboard

Unless you’re getting the deal of a lifetime, steer clear of designer labels. While the garments and handbags may catch your eye, there are several other cost-efficient alternatives that will get the job done.

Last but not least, don’t forget to stick to your guns while shopping. If you only have $30, make a list of what you’re looking for, check it twice and leave the bank and credit cards at home. And if the items you’re considering aren’t flexible or exceed your budget, kindly place them back on the rack and move on.

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New Laws Help To Protect Students From Identity Theft

identitytheftpreventionDid you know that college students are five times more likely to be a victim of identity theft than just about anyone else? In fact, an FTC study showed that people in their twenties log the most identity theft complaints. It’s not that thieves are targeting students; think of campus identity theft as a crime of circumstance. Close quarters plus lax security across student devices means virtual pickpockets have it easy. And where once a thief took a gamble when snagging a smartphone for this kind of info pilfering, innovations like the quad core processor and mobile network advances have made every student’s phone a hot repository for sensitive information.

Data that all too often exists unprotected on student smartphones. Not downloading any security software is one thing, not even using the built-in password protection is another – but many college students are guilty of both. That’s what makes California’s new smartphone kill switch law so important. Right now, most smartphones can’t be remotely locked or wiped if they’re stolen unless the owner has downloaded third party security software. There are plenty of apps on the market and yet up until just recently very few devices came with anti-theft features enabled or even standard.

But when the new law takes effect, all smartphones sold within California’s borders as of July 2015 will have to ship with the ability to render the device unusable in the event of theft – either with a hardware or software solution. More importantly, the built-in kill switch will be opt-out instead of opt-in and the lockout will be reversible. That’s especially good news for students using phones as auxiliary data storage and their apps as study tools.

If you’re thinking that the new law won’t impact your risk of identity theft, think again! The passage of the California law is making waves across the nation. Some manufacturers have already started adding software-based switches on devices, and officials in other states and even other countries have argued for new laws mandating kill switches. That’s not all that surprising when you consider that the original law received widespread support from law enforcement agencies and prosecutors who believed it would reduce smartphone thefts.

And they’re probably right. After Apple added a kill switch to its devices in 2013, iPhone theft dropped dramatically in New York, San Francisco and London. Samsung devices can also be remotely bricked. Now Qualcomm, maker of the Snapdragon processor, is releasing a hardware-based security solution called Safeswitch that allows remote locking with full reversal if the device is recovered.

This may all seem, well, academic to students who don’t have much in the way of credit or funds. But as today’s student is using their phone to pay bills, settle up at the checkout, access bank accounts and university information, and for nearly all communication, tomorrow’s identity thief is planning their next move. Giving thieves instant access to all your personal data is as easy as leaving your phone unlocked on a café table while you walk to the counter for a refresh. And the information they take from you can damage your credit and finances not only in the short term but for years after the theft takes place.

So don’t wait for the law to take effect if you’re in California or for a similar law to be passed in your state. A little googling is all it takes to find solid security software (which may even be free) that can give you essential protection for your phone or tablet, as well as more than a little peace of mind.

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Second U.S. School to Offer Athletic Scholarships to Gamers

Second U.S. School to Offer Athletic Scholarships to Gamers

leagueoflegendsscholarshipWhile purists are still trying to accept Robert Morris University’s decision to offer scholarships to video gamers, another school has decided to do exactly the same thing.

Expect another round of dismay and criticism from old-school sports fans as the University of Pikeville in Kentucky, a small liberal arts school in the eastern section of the state, begins to offer scholarships for talented gamers in the fall of 2015.

Like the scholarship at the Chicago-based Robert Morris, the University of Pikesville will offer athletic scholarships to those who excel at playing League of Legends, the most popular online video game in the world, with 27 million players worldwide every day.

A spokesman for the University of Pikeville told Forbes the game is “a worldwide trend…it takes skill, practice and a lot of teamwork.”

The school also expects to weather the sort of criticism that was leveled at Robert Morris. Kurt Melcher, associate athletic director at Robert Morris, said the people who get upset are like a “middle-aged dude sitting in his La-Z-Boy watching NFL on weekends, going, ‘What? That’s not a sport!’ while he has a six-pack of beer and Cheetos. It challenges him in some weird way. Because it’s new.”

The Details of the Scholarship

The University of Pikesville plans to offer 20 scholarships to gamers beginning in the fall of 2015. The scholarships will cover about half of the private school’s costs. To qualify, students will be judged on GPA, work ethic and gaming ability.

Those who get the scholarship – which is open to male and female students – will play for a University of Pikesville Bears team that will send a team to compete in the Collegiate Star League, a League of Legends division which is open to accredited North American colleges. About 230 universities participate, but none of them are offering scholarships to players other than Robert Morris and University of Pikesville.

For those unfamiliar with the game, League of Legends involves two teams of five players each who compete against each other in a virtual arena.

In a news release announcing the scholarship, University of Pikesville President Dr. James L. Hurley said, “In our research and interaction with gamers at this level, we learned that they are extremely competitive, but also hard workers, valuable team members and quite often have a high level of aptitude in using technology. In addition to being good gamers, they will be good students and will bring an exciting new dynamic to our campus.”

iFame Media provided this article on behalf of Fun Crew USA, the top source for water slide rentals and obstacle course rentals in Central Florida.

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