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Colleges for the Best Greek Life

September 3rd, 2015 by

Portrait of happy young students standing outside the university building - Outdoor

Best College Reviews, a ranking service for American colleges and universities, has released a list of the Top 50 Colleges with the Best Greek Life. 

Greek life plays an integral part of student life on many campuses. Fraternities and sororities are “value-based organizations dedicated to the development of character and lifelong friendships.” Greeks have a positive influence on campus, and are known for their philanthropic efforts, academic achievement, and community building. Becoming involved in fraternity or sorority can be one of the best choices an undergraduate makes, as the Greek community becomes a family away from home. 

The list of 50 schools includes (in alphabetical order):

• Albion University, Albion, MI
• Allegheny College, Meadville, PA
• Auburn University, Auburn, AL
• Baker University, Baldwin City, KS
• Birmingham – Southern College, Birmingham, AL
• Bradley University, Peoria, IL
• Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
• Centre College, Danville, KY
• Chapman University, Orange, CA
• Culver-Stockton College, Canton, MO
• Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
• DePauw University, Greencastle, IN
• Denison University, Granville, OH
• Drake University, Des Moines, IA
• Elon University, Elon, NC
• Florida Southern University, Lakeland, FL
• Furman University, Greenville, SC
• Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA
• Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, VA
• High Point University, High Point, NC
• Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, MI
• Huntingdon College, Montgomery, AL
• Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL
• Kettering University, Flint, MI
• Lafayette College, Easton, PA
• Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
• Lyon College, Batesville, AR
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
• Millsaps College, Jackson, MS
• Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
• Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC
• Rhodes College, Memphis, TN
• Ripon College, Ripon, WI
• Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN
• Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX
• Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX
• Transylvania University, Lexington, KY
• Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
• Union College, Schenectady, NY
• University of North Carolina – Wilmington, Wilmington, NC
• University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI
• Villanova University, Villanova, PA
• Wabash College, Crawfordsville, IN
• Washington & Jefferson College, Washington, PA
• Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA
• Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA
• Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA
• William Woods University, Fulton, MO
• Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC
• Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA

Data gathered from university websites regarding the percentage of undergraduates involved in Greek life, number of Greek chapters on campus, statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics on criminal incidents on campus, and an average of Greek Rank satisfaction percentages were used to create this ranking. The ranking can be viewed here: http://www.bestcollegereviews.org/greek-life/.

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How to find your niche in high school — Part 2

September 2nd, 2015 by

Catch up on the first five tips to finding your niche by reading the first part of this post!

Step Six: Make a list of what you want
What you decide will be helpful will all depend on the activity you’ve chosen to engage in, and they will be different for everyone. That’s okay! It could take days or months or years but the important part is that you have a plan — and a portfolio! — that you can share with others once it’s complete.

Step Seven: Take a break from planning and relax
You’ll be putting in a lot of time and effort into making sure you can enjoy your activity, but don’t forget it’s okay to take a day or two off from planning and enjoy what’s happening in the moment. It’s not always about the future!

Step Eight: Double check all the work you’ve done so far.
Making sure you’ve got your information all set up and in order. Have you signed up for that class yet? Made a resumé or portfolio? Had someone review your work? Before you jump all in, make sure you’re prepared to get started.

Step Nine: Get anything you’ll need ready to go, and get excited!
You’ve gone through eight full steps to get ready and learn as much as you can about the fun activity you’re close to starting, so get excited and get ready to start.

Step Ten: Get to it!
Document the first day you start your journey to make your goal achievable, then and document all the days in between if possible. Leave yourself little sticky notes saying something positive to keep you going, then keep at it until you get where you want to be!

I hope these ten easy steps help some of you the way they helped me. Having something fun and relaxing to fall back on after a busy week at school, or a hard day at work is always a good thing. Plus, you might just be perfecting a skill that will become your career later down the line! Whether you find your niche right away or it takes some trial and errors before you find “it,” keep attempting to find something that works for you, no matter how long or short of a time you have. Everyone deserves to have a little me time after all!.

jenna-bio

Written by Jenna F., a junior at Churchville-Chili Senior High School in Rochester, N.Y. She is 16 (going on 17), and is Vice President of the Robotics team at her high school. As soon as she graduates from school, she hope to go off to college and double major in Literature and Marketing.

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Trendy (Thrifty!) Tuesday — Saving Money on Textbooks

September 1st, 2015 by

booksstackTextbooks can be an unexpected cost of going to college. You’re already paying an arm and a leg for tuition — the cost of textbooks just add insult to injury! The good news is, that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are the top five places to buy or rent textbooks that won’t break the bank.

1. CampusBooks.com
This leading
textbook price comparison website is a one-stop shop for students and parents to find the best, most affordable textbooks each semester. The website offers a “Buy vs. Rent” price prediction tool to help users decide confidently whether buying or renting their textbooks is a better deal based on current and future estimated textbook prices. The tool includes a side-by-side analysis of the options available for each textbook, historic buyback prices and a purchasing questionnaire to help students make an informed decision and ultimately save them the most money.

 2. Amazon
To find your textbook on Amazon, a simple search will get top results. Amazon will show multiple sellers of the textbook and odds are there are sellers who have listed the textbook used at a good price. Students can buy, rent and sell textbooks and e-books through Amazon. Amazon also allows students to have their books shipped quickly to make sure to have the book on time.

3. Chegg
Chegg is an easy search engine where the user enters the ISBN, title or author’s name and it will list the price for the physical textbook as well as the electronic version. This site is a good resource for students who like to rent their books because it is often cheaper to rent using Chegg. Chegg provides an electronic version of textbooks to students who need to access their book while the physical copy is shipping.

4. Textbooks.com
For students looking for a straightforward textbook website, Textbooks.com offers students an easy search to find the book they need quickly. This website allows students to buy, rent and also sell textbooks. Textbooks.com offers a best price guarantee and free shipping over $25, so students know they are getting a great deal. 

5. Boundless
Boundless provides ready-to-use online content, study materials and assessment items to make learning more effective in addition to renting and selling textbooks. Boundless lets students search for specific textbooks by subject, author or ISBN or browse through subject categories. The website also offers a 30-day money back and free return shipping on rentals.

For more advice on planning for college, visit NextStepU.com.

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Major Monday — Computer Engineering

August 31st, 2015 by

Technology in the handsYou use computers in everyday life, but sometimes in more ways than you might expect. Computers are everywhere from in your phone to your car to practically everywhere in between. The people who make those computers tick are computer engineers — people who understand the ins and outs of how to make computer programs and software function. If you are passionate about how the way things work and proficient in math and science then you might want to consider a major in computer engineering!

Education
This major can be learned at the associate’s and bachelor’s degree levels. In high school, it’s helpful to take classes such as AP Calculus, AP Physics and AP Computer Science, as well as other advanced math and science courses. Expect to take classes such as calculus, computer architecture, programming languages, software systems design and systems programming when you are in college.

What to know before you apply
Computer engineering is not just about the coding and backend of software. You should also be prepared to understand circuitry, networks and electronic materials in order to be proficient in this field. Additionally, you should expect to partake in a lot of hands-on activities and training, including, but not limited to, and internship or research team.

Salary
According to BLS.gov, computer software engineers earned an average yearly salary of $100,920 as of 2012.

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Back to School Giveaway — iCoffee®

August 28th, 2015 by

icoffee-blog

It’s back to school time! Whether you are headed into your last year of high school or off to your college dorm, you are looking forward to some new gear.

Today we are sharing this amazing single serve coffee brewing system perfect for your college dorm. Whether you need it immediately, or save it for when you move in next fall, this brewer will make you the hero of your quad.

The iCoffee® Opus™ Single Serve Brewing System works with all of the K-style brew cups you already love. It also comes with the iCup reusable so you can use your favorite ground coffees, too. The SpinBrew™ Technology spins, steams and stirs the inside of your cup for the perfect brew every time. And no worries about filling your travel mug on the way to class — the removable drip tray allows for the larger mugs.

Find an iCoffee® single brew system in your area by checking their website using your zip code.

You also have a chance to win your own iCoffee® Opus™! Fill out the Rafflecopter app below to enter for your chance to win. Each action you take in the app is a chance at the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No purchase necessary. Enter the Back to School Giveaway: iCoffee before 11:59 p.m. (ET) on 9/3/15. One winner will be chosen shortly afterward and announced the week of 9/7/15. The winner must respond to the email he or she receives in order to claim his or her prize. Any prize winner not responding by 10/7/15 will forfeit his/her prize. Entries will only be accepted through the Rafflecopter application and before the deadline date. 

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Celebrate College Colors Day

August 27th, 2015 by

colorchallengeIt’s college football season! Millions of you are getting ready to support your favorite school — and that could win you a trip to the championship game! You have until Friday, September 4 to take part in the 11th annual College Colors Day.

College Colors Day is designed by the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) to celebrate and promote the traditions and experience that embody the college experience.

New for 2015 is the addition of the College Colors Challenge national social media contest. One grand prize winner will win an all-expenses paid trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship game.

You can participate in a series of photo and video challenges on social media by sharing your colors and school spirit. The challenges revolve around three categories represented by the hash-tags: #SQUADPIC (large group), #FAMPHOTO (family), and #SELFIE (individual).

Some of the challenges include fans posting an epic trick-shot video while wearing their colors, an awkward college colors family photo, and college colors displayed at the office. The Challenge already started and you have until Friday, September 4 to participate.

For more information visit: CollegeColorsChallenge.com.

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How to find your niche in high school — Part 1

August 26th, 2015 by

Finding out your happy place can be hard to do in high school. There are so many things going on around you that it is easy to get lost in it all, but being able to find “your thing” can be one of the most beneficial things you can do throughout your high school years and beyond.

One of the things I have had the biggest issue with is trying to find my place in high school while balancing the work load I have. I am the kind of student that realized a little too late that school was actually useful and it can get you far in life. In order to make the most of the time I had left, I came up with 10 steps to help me manage my workload and help me find where I fit in most.

Step One: Take a look at your schedule
See if you have any common classes or activities. What subject do those classes fall under and why are you taking them? For me, I have taken a lot of writing classes and extracurriculars, so I started to incorporate writing and reading a little bit more into my schedule to see if that was something I liked and wanted to continue to pursue.

Step Two: Use your downtime to pursue your interests
Most people have days where they have down time, or at least have a little less to do. Those are the days that can be the most useful when you’re trying to integrate your interests more into your day to day life. Since I wanted to do more reading and writing, I found that when my personal schedule allowed me free time, I would schedule time to read poems.

Step Three: Find a place to enjoy your interests
This can be almost anywhere, as long as you’re safe and someone else is aware of where you are. Whether it be your bedroom, a yard, a park, a recreation center, or any other place, make sure it’s somewhere you know you’ll be comfortable so you can pursue your passion comfortably. 

Step Four: Seek out clubs and organizations
Do research in your local community to see if there are any groups or clubs that offer the activity you’re interested in. This can help you stick to a structured schedule and prevent you from making excuses when you’re tired or want to give up. It also gives you something to look forward to!

Step Five: Don’t be afraid to bring it up to friends and family.
Whatever you’re interested in, you may also find that you have someone around you who already has a similar interest, allowing and you to can share and cultivate your experiences with them. Talk to the people around you and see how you can encourage each other to achieve your goals!

Check back next week to read the next five tips to finding your niche!

jenna-bio

Written by Jenna F., a junior at Churchville-Chili Senior High School in Rochester, N.Y. She is 16 (going on 17), and is Vice President of the Robotics team at her high school. As soon as she graduates from school, she hope to go off to college and double major in Literature and Marketing.

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Inspiration for Today

August 20th, 2015 by

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Whether you are finishing up your high school years or beginning your college adventure, one thing to reflect on today is whether you are making the most of each day.

Do something today that will impact your tomorrow. Here is a list of ideas for high school or college students:

1. Write a thank you note to someone important in your life.
2. Search for scholarships online and apply to at least one of them.
3. Follow someone inspirational on Twitter.
4. Spend time with a family member who will miss you when you leave for college.
5. Make a list of places you want to go before you’re 30th birthday.
6. Become a mentor.
7. Volunteer for a group in your community.
8. Read a book with an uplifting message and then give the book to a friend.
9. Call an area business and ask to shadow someone for the day.
10. Make a list of possible college essay topics.

We know some of these sparked some interest in most of you. Now…go make the most of your today!

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Scholarships — Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship

August 19th, 2015 by

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NextStepU is happy to help guide you toward scholarships and opportunities to earn money for college. Here is a new scholarship we found for you!

Scholarship: Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship

Amount: $1,000 – $10,000

Description: This scholarship provides funding to minority students enrolled in one of the technical sciences or engineering disciplines. 

Requirements: You must be a full-time student enrolling in a four-year institution. You must have a B average or better and pursuing a BS, MS, or PhD in a technical science or an engineering discipline. You must consider yourself Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Alaskan, or Hispanic and have tuition (or tuition-related) expenses not covered by scholarships/grants (excluding loans).

Deadline: September 30, 2015

For more information: Visit the Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship website.

Best of luck to those who apply!

> Want to continue your search? Take a look at NextStepU’s database of more than 2 million scholarships after you register at NextStepU.com

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Trendy Tuesday — Back To School Tech Accessories

August 18th, 2015 by

As we near the end of August, if you haven’t gone back to school already, you will be soon! While that can be a daunting task, sometimes a little retail therapy can be helpful — and necessary. Here are some tech accessories that can help organize all your back-to-school electronics.

Metallic Lightening Cable

Metallic Lightening Cable

1. MIXIT?™ Metallic Lightning to USB Cable — $29.99
This cable is MFI certified and made for the latest iPod®, iPad, and iPhone® models with lightning connectors. It’s an ideal accessory for syncing music and pictures to/from your laptop in seconds and is available in metallic black, gold, silver, and grey.

Chromebook Sleeve

Chromebook Sleeve

2. Air Protect™ Sleeve for Chromebooks — $29.99
Designed for HP 11, Dell 11, Samsung Series 3, Acer C7 Chromebooks and other compatible 11″ laptops. Features a bottom pocket separated from device compartment for accessories to protect against impact, as well as shock-absorbing materials to protect against drops, a durable exterior that protects from tears and constant usage, and an ID window with Velcro seal.

3. Clip-Fit Armband for iPhone 6  — $49.99

Armband for iPhone 6

Armband for iPhone 6

This 2-in-1 solution easily transforms the Air Protect from a case to an armband. Air Protect technology provides shock-absorption for full protection of your device and, since it’s made of flexible neoprene material, the Clip-Fit is lightweight and offers bulk-free protection.

Charging Dock Duo

Charging Dock Duo

4. PowerHouse Charging Dock Duo $99.99
Featuring two Lightning connectors, you can charge two Apple devices at once so your iPad and iPhone are never on an empty charge when going to class. Its compact size allows the dock to fit neatly onto a desk or nightstand and takes up only one outlet with an included power supply to charge from the wall.

5. QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 $129.99

Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2

Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2

Made with lightweight aluminum alloy for superior feel and screen protection, this keyboard’s laptop-style layout allows for an easier and faster typing experience. The case can be used for three different view angles or folded for handheld use and can turn your iPad into a laptop equivalent.

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