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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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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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The Dollars and Sense of Library Science Degrees

The Dollars and Sense of Library Science Degrees

collegedegree1If you are like most college students, you spend every waking moment at the library when you are not in class (just kidding… but I imagine your professors are hopeful that you see the inside of a library at least once during your educational career!). A library doesn’t run itself and it is amazing how technology has been woven into the framework of our more contemporary libraries. Next time you are passing through a library (or just accessing their online electronic databases from the comfort of your dorm room), give some thought to whether you would like to be part of that information delivery highway. If you think it is for you, check out the following infographic to give you some insight on how to maximize your earning potential in that field of work!


Infographic Source: USC Library Science

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4 Winter Wardrobe Essentials For College Students

4 Winter Wardrobe Essentials For College Students

collegeclothesThe weather is getting colder and those shorts and T-shirts are not keeping you warm anymore. That means it’s time to start thinking about a winter wardrobe that will look great and go easy on the budget. Fortunately, many winter clothes can play double or even triple duty. Or, in other words, they can be worn casually for class or be dressed up a bit for job interviews and holiday dinners. Consider the following four cold weather necessities and accessories:

A Carpet Skirt

A carpet skirt is a great addition to any college winter wardrobe, claims The Refinery. Unlike more formal and often itchy wool skirts, the carpet skirt features bold prints and is usually made with a more comfortable blend of cotton and polyester. They aren’t terribly expensive either; Topshop sells a Kirada Jacquard Midi Carpet Skirt for just under $100. This skirt can be worn for many occasions from class to an intern interview, making it well worth the money.

Dark Rinse Skinny Jeans

One of the great things about skinny jeans is that they look great on all body types and sizes. They also work well with a variety of tops, allowing you to keep your own personal style with the staple piece. Furthermore, skinny jeans can be dressed up with a nice shirt and some accessories for holiday meals with grandma, or they can be paired with a long sleeved T-shirt for grabbing pizza with friends. Skinny jeans also are easy on the budget -  American Eagle Outfitters sells a variety of dark rinse skinny jeans for men and women for less than $40.

Colored Contacts

For college students who wear contact lenses, it can be fun to mix it up a bit during the winter months with color contact lenses. This can easily add some oomph to your winter fashion choices and give you the change you’re looking for. This change also can bring more attention to your eyes and face, so try changing up your makeup routine to match the new color. Vision Direct stocks colored contact lenses in hues like Brilliant Blue or Gemstone Green – the blue contacts can complement the icy winter and the green can match your holiday decorations.

Dressy Sweatshirts

Sweatshirts are not just for the gym or lounging at home. In fact, many retailers sell sweatshirts that are nice enough to layer with casual and dressy outfits. LL Bean sells attractive and budget-friendly sweatshirts for both men and women. And the best part is how comfortable you will be these crewneck ultrasoft sweats for women are made of French terry that is super smooth on the outside and soft on the inside. The sweatshirt also features a more feminine cut, which means it can easily be paired with skinny jeans and a nice scarf or necklace to complete a cute, comfortable look.

No matter what winter staples you purchase this winter, be sure they can be worn multiple ways in multiple settings. This will help you save money and vary your look with minimal effort. Happy shopping!

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Classroom Tech Integration – Improve Learning Outcomes and Save Students Money

Classroom Tech Integration – Improve Learning Outcomes and Save Students Money

ClassroomTech

A majority of teachers don’t use social media in the classroom, despite most of them using it in their daily lives. The reasons for this are fairly self-explanatory; teachers either don’t see how social media and technology can be adopted for the purpose of education, or they do see the benefits but are scared off by the potential risks. Though there may be some validity to both of these trains of thought, ultimately, the benefits of adopting social media and technology in the classroom far outweigh the negatives.

If you haven’t yet adopted social media in your classroom, now is the right time to reevaluate your position – it could (read: will) benefit you and your students.

Why Social Media is the Future of Student Outreach

Social media is no longer a simple distraction. Individuals, particularly young men and women and teens, are increasingly turning to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to communicate with friends, stay abreast of family members’ whereabouts, digest up-to-date news on local and international events, and go about their day-to-day. What this means for educators is simple: there now exists another medium through w

hich you can communicate and interact with your students. Teacher-student communication no longer has to end when the bell rings at the end of the day.

If you don’t yet appreciate the difference such a connection can make, consider this example. If a student misses class due to an illness, there aren’t very many avenues available to you, the educator, to inform this student of the day’s studies and homework assignments. True, you can try to contact the phone number you have on record, but how often does that work? With social media, you can place your entire syllabus online, for all to see, at all times. And you can be confident that the missing student will see this information. Social media allows you to leverage a platform that puts you in touch with your students more often, in more places.

How to Use Social Media and Technology to Your Advantage

Ultimately, social media is a communication platform. Whether you’re using Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or some other website, you are using a tool that allows you to share information with a large group of people, in real time – and in turn, those individuals can respond and engage. Social media platforms enable conversations to take place. Think about how you can leverage that ability. You can host a post-class debate on a topic that has recently been covered in the coursework. You can conduct a Q&A. You can counsel a student online, in private. Or you can host a Live Tweet event for a significant occurrence – say, the President’s State of the Union Address.

Your tools shouldn’t be limited to the Internet, though. Consider bringing hardware into the classroom to facilitate a more engaging learning environment. Tablet uses are many, and this truth seems to have caught on in the educational realm. The tablet has slowly started to infiltrate its way into classrooms across the country, and for good reason: they can be tremendous learning tools. If social platforms enable conversation anywhere, at any time, tablets enable the traditional blackboard (nay, whiteboard) to be re-imagined, shrunken down, and placed into a book bag. With tablet uses as varied as they are, how you use the device in your classroom is really up to you. As the cliché goes, “the sky’s the limit.”

Social Media and Tech Integration Improve Learning Outcomes and Save Students Money

Yes, that’s correct, technology gives students a huge advantage because of all the educational apps and programs that are available. For instance, if a student needs tutoring in a subject, instead of hiring a person at a steep hourly rate, he or she can select form a myriad of apps and programs that can help in all the same ways a real person can. The student is also able to do it on his or her own time. Students can also access a ton of different social media platforms and conversations to get help with subjects, studying, projects, etc. Learning becomes all-encompassing and tailored to each student, which is helping raise learning outcomes. This means less flunking and less repeating of course, which saves money as well!

Special Considerations: Remember Internet Etiquette

It’s important that you take certain precautions when branching out into the social realm. You cannot engage with students in the same manner, or on the same level, as you do your peers, friends and family. You must maintain a professional and authoritative discourse at all times. To ensure you don’t accidentally overstep your bounds or find yourself in trouble, follow these simple steps:

  • Don’t use your personal account to engage with students
  • Don’t peruse, interact with, or “like” your students’ pages
  • Exercise prudence when posting photos onto your professional accounts
  • Avoid potentially controversial topics, such as politics and religion

In plain terms, stick to the basics, such as that day’s homework assignment or the next day’s coursework. Being mindful of these considerations will allow you to effectively – and safely – teach from home. That is the power of social media. So what are you waiting for?

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Tech Tools: What You Need to Succeed in College

Tech Tools: What You Need to Succeed in College

Male University Student Using Digital Tablet In LectureCollege is expensive. The tuition is bad enough—you haven’t even considered all of your tech related expenses. You go to class, and everybody there has an iPad, tablet or laptop and you have seventeen boxes of number two pencils because that’s all you can afford. While that last part might not be true, tech-outfitted classrooms aren’t rare. Here are three gadgets that will help you keep up.

Virtual & Portable Keyboard

You can’t get a laptop, tablet or iPad because they’re too expensive, and you don’t want to take on a third job. So who needs one? Just use your phone. With the Celluon Epic* you can turn your favorite device into a laptop. Just flip the switch, pair it with your phone (or any of your devices) via Bluetooth, and you’re good to go.

The Epic* is a small device (seven ounces, two inches tall) that you can sit on any flat surface, and it will laser-project a virtual full-sized keyboard onto that surface. It has a mouse feature that tracks your finger’s movements; with certain gestures you can right-click, zoom in and out, and go forward or backward.

Take Notes

Toss your notebooks and binders, and simplify your note taking with some help from your smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (equipped with a 5.7-inch HD screen) is perfect for students because it features an innovative note taking platform. Use a stylus or S Pen to take notes, during lecture or use Action Memo to write down your to-do list. This tool can even convert what you write into an email or text with the “link to action” feature.

This tool will be crucial during your first few weeks at college. Between meeting new people, learning about clubs and organizations, or rushing a fraternity or sorority, this tool can help you keep connected and take notes on the fly.

Charge up with Solar

College students don’t just go to class and back to their dorm room—they go everywhere. The library for study sessions, the student union to grab a bite to eat and then it’s off to that job. And you can’t bet on the assumption that these places are going to have charging stations or power supply available. In today’s technology driven world, where lectures are hosted online, e-books are read, and course communication is accessed on the Web—when you go to campus you have lug around all of your tech stuff and that backpack can get heavy, fast. Ditch your chargers and cut some of the weight of your backpack by investing in a wearable portable solar charger, like a backpack.

The SolarGoPack is not just a backpack, it’s also a charger for all your devices. It has a detachable solar panel on the outside surface so that you can charge your devices using the sun as your power source. In direct sunlight it takes three hours to charge the lithium ion battery. When it’s fully charged, it can charge your phone in less than a half an hour. It comes with an eight piece charging kit so that you can charge multiple devices too.

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Creative Dorm Room Decorating Ideas For College

Creative Dorm Room Decorating Ideas For College

dormdecoratingLet’s face it, dorm rooms can be a very dull place. Cinder block walls, a plastic twin mattress and florescent light bulbs don’t scream cool or hip or have any of your creative flair. Consider the ideas and tips below to spruce-up this no-frills space into the room of your college dreams.

Hide the Floors

Add your personality from the floor up using decorative rugs, carpet squares or floor cushions. They can be eye-catching and bring texture and warmth to a white-washed bedroom. Just be sure to leave enough clearance for door swings and make sure you can navigate around the room safely. You’ll also need to purchase a small hand-held vacuum, especially for allergy victims. The last thing you want are allergens and dust mites building up!

Add Spice to Your Mattress

Make your standard dorm bed more luxurious with a headboard crafted from an old sheet or fabric and a sturdy piece of cardboard. It will add some punch to your all-white abode and can travel easily if you need to move rooms. When it comes to sheets, first check to confirm if your bed is standard or extra-long. Once you’ve determined the appropriate size, look for textured fabrics, which not only disguises any dirt or stains but also add interest to the room.

Be BFFs With Washi Tape

Washi tape, a colored paper tape, is an absolute essential when it comes to dorm room decor. Like painters tape, it can be removed without residue, meaning its a great temporary fix. Use it to line your shelves, to create make-shift frames for your poster collection, to add a geometric pattern to the back of your door or to customize storage boxes. If you really want to go washi crazy, A Night Owl has 100 ways to use washi.

Decorate Your Walls

You have nearly endless options when it comes to giving your dorm room walls a makeover. Accessories are typically reserved as gorgeous accents for your wardrobe, but consider displaying them in your room. Buy a few sticky hooks or a cheap bamboo ladder to add scarves, jewelry and head pieces. If you prefer to dress up your windows, add drapes or shades to bring pattern and color into your new space. Just use curtain rings and a decorative tension rod to stay within dorm room rules. Lastly, try removable peel-and-stick wallpaper in a bright, geometric pattern behind your bed or to line the sides of your standard-issue furniture.

Add Your Own Lighting

There’s nothing worse than those florescent fixtures. Eliminate the need for such harsh, overhead lighting with desk lamps or other task lighting. They will lend a softer glow to the room and reduce eyestrain, glare and mental fatigue, none of which are good for those late night study sessions. If you attend school in a city with a long, cold winter, consider adding a mood elevator light, which mimics natural sunshine. Lastly, for those night owls, respect your roomie and snag a compact LED lamp or focused reading light.

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