15 unusual college application essay questions

Posted on Nov. 8th 2010 by Alexis

When it comes to college application essays, institutions tend to ask applicants generic questions like “why are you interested in our school?” or “who is your hero?”

But in recent years more and more colleges and universities have been looking for new ways to judge the creativity of an applicant by asking obscure, hilarious, or just plain odd questions.

Here are some of the most unusual questions students are being asked to write about for their college application essay:

1. “Share your favorite joke.” (University of Dallas)

2. “Salt, governments, beliefs, and celebrity couples are a few examples of things that can be dissolved. You’ve just been granted the power to dissolve anything: physical, metaphorical, abstract, concrete… you name it. What do you dissolve, and what solvent do you use?” (University of Chicago)

15 unusual college essay application questions 3. “You have just completed your 300-page autobiography. Please submit page 217.” (University of Pennsylvania)

4. “Are we alone?” (Tufts University)

5. “Analyze Seneca.” (Bard College)

6. “Dog and Cat. Coffee and Tea. Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye. Everyone knows there are two types of people in the world. What are they?” (University of Chicago)

7. “What would you do with a free afternoon tomorrow?” (Yale University)

8. “In the year 2050, a movie is being made of your life. Please tell us the name of your movie and briefly summarize the story line.” (New York University)

9. “Caltech students have long been known for their quirky sense of humor and creative pranks and for finding unusual ways to have fun. What is something that you find fun or humorous?” (Caltech)

10. “Does society require constant honesty?” (University of Chicago)

11. “Can a toad hear? Prove it.” (Bennington College)

12. “If you were reduced to living on a flat plane, what would be your greatest problems? Opportunities?” (Hamilton College)

13. “Imagine looking through a window at any environment that is particularly significant to you. Reflect on the scene, paying close attention to the relation between what you are seeing and why it is meaningful to you.” (Williams College)

14. “Sartre said, ‘Hell is other people;’ but Streisand sang, ‘People who need people / Are the luckiest people in the world.’ With whom do you agree and why? Don’t be icky.” (Amherst College)

15. “Find x.” (University of Chicago)

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Grockit: “Get addicted to studying”

Posted on Nov. 7th 2010 by Alexis

Grockit.com, a test-prep website otherwise known as “the new social networking site for learning,” has become an overnight sensation for students as they prepare for their SAT exams.

The goal of the site is to make studying for the SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE, or LSAT “less expensive and more enjoyable” for students by offering three different modes of study: Individual practice, peer group sessions (or a virtual study group), and instructor-led sessions.

After creating an account on the site, users can upload a profile picture, complete lesson plans, chat with other users, and compete in educational challenges. Users can also award each other with Grockit Points if they provide tips to other users, and these results are displayed beside their name and photo. (Users can choose to keep their points hidden).

For the Grockit Speed Challenge Game, users can invite their friends to the competition to see who answers the most questions correctly in the fastest amount of time. The winner of the competition will receive Grockit points for the challenge, and users can also post their results on Facebook or Twitter.

Grockit also offers free live courses which are taught by qualified tutors, and any user can view a tutor’s test scores and ratings on the site. For a fee of $50 an hour, users can hire a tutor who will then audio chat with the student via Skype, and even draw diagrams on a whiteboard to explain certain problems.

There is a free section of the site where users can participate in group studies and solo test questions, each of which are customized to the student’s academic level and study needs. There is also a $100 Premium subscription which allows users to gain access to an unlimited number of solo practice questions as well as personalized performance analytics which tracks each user’s progress. The free version of Grockit.com offers SAT writing diagnostic tests, while the Premium account offers diagnostic tests for writing as well as reading and math.

Grockit TV

Grockit also recently launched Grockit TV, an “online educational TV network” which produces live and interactive events to be streamed online in HD.

Students can enroll in a live Grockit TV course free of charge, and will receive e-mail reminders as well as a link to the upcoming live sessions. Each course takes approximately 20 hours to complete, (16 hours of test prep and four hours of college admissions guidance), and will take place twice a week for a one hour session. Each session will focus on a specific topic, such as admissions, financial aid, athletic recruiting, and of course test prep, and the entire course can be downloaded for $99.99 after it is recorded and archived.

“Until now, comprehensive college test prep and college admission counseling – both online and in the classroom – have only been available to a select group of students because of the cost and sometimes the geographic barrier,” said Farb Niv, Grockit’s founder. “With Grockit TV, we are leveling the playing field by providing students everywhere with easy and free access to world class instructors. We’ve gone to great lengths to find experts like Stacy and David who are the foremost experts in their respective fields to make Grockit TV the most comprehensive library of online educational content currently available.”

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Vote for the Winner of the 2010 Blogging Scholarship

Posted on Oct. 27th 2010 by Amelia

Screenshot of the official results.

And the official results are in…

  • Winner: Christie Wilcox
  • First Runner Up: Christine Mielke
  • Second Runner Up: Mark Lamprecht

Voting closes closed at noon pacific on November 5th. Please see this post for more background information about each blog & blogger.

Congrats again to all the finalists.

And thanks for being good sports about it in spite of all the nasty comments by people who trolled in the comments here & people who trolled other contestants. If only the people making such comments were half as classy as the finalists are, then the world would be a much better place. 😉

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Finalists for the 2010 Blogging Scholarship

Posted on Oct. 27th 2010 by Amelia

We had so many entries this year that it took us a couple extra days to sort through all of them & pick finalists from all the great blogs. Here are the 10 finalists. Voting will be open from today, October 27th to closing at noon pacific on November 5th. You can vote for your favorite blog here.

Observations of a Nerd: Christie Wilcox attends the University of Hawaii at Manoa; Cell & Molecular Biology PhD Program. She blogs to help make science more accessible. In her own words:

While I appreciate biology from a purely scientific standpoint, I strongly believe research is useless if you can’t communicate it. There’s a great quote by Jules Poincaré that says: “Science is facts; just as houses are made of stone, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house, and a collection of facts is not necessarily science.” In my mind, what turns facts into science is the integration of research into society, whether for purely educational purposes or society’s benefit, and that the key to that is communication. That’s why I decided to start a science blog in 2008. As a scientist, I really believe that it is my responsibility to engage non-scientists and the public in general in my endeavors to give my work meaning.

Scientists already share what we do with each other. That’s what journals are for. I wanted to share what I loved with everyone, not just my like-minded peers. I feel it is important to take jargon-filled scientific publications and break them down in such a way that everyone can understand what is being studied and why it is important. In modern media, science is only talked about if it can be sensationalized. So-called “real” journalists seem to think experiments are only worth mentioning if they can be summed up in a catchy but untrue headline or are controversial. But every day I read papers no one hears about that are just so…. *cool*. Science is unbelievably cool, and I blog because I think that maybe if the rest of the world saw science how I do, they would think it was pretty cool, too. And maybe if they did, there would be more scientists doing unbelievably cool stuff for me to blog about!

I C You Pee: Josh Eklow attends the University of Iowa. This is Josh’s fringe artistic blog about local bathrooms. In his own words:

I have been blogging ever since I’ve had the tools required to blog. Most of my art projects either start out as blogs or become blogs. The blog I work on the most right now is my bathroom blog, IC You Pee. I have been reviewing and writing about every bathroom I have used in Iowa City. I do so in the hopes that people will talk to me, and each other, about bathrooms! Bathrooms are something that everyone uses, and that everyone has opinions on, but people do not talk about them. I feel that many problems in our country, and the world perhaps, come from people not talking about things they should talk about, such as religious, sexual, and political experiences, views, and opinions. The bathroom is a non-threatening place to start.

Temptalia: Christine Mielke attends Santa Clara University. Her blog is about beauty. In her own words:

Blogging is vital to me, because it has given tangible meaning to my heart and soul. Through blogging, I have learned my passion lies in beauty by providing firsthand experiences to help others. Blogging is my method of self-expression, but it has brought me together with like-minded individuals and allowed us to build a community based on that passion. I have been given opportunities to interact with my readers, both on and offline, and there is nothing more rewarding than being able to help someone—even if it is recommending a lipstick. That lipstick recommendation just might inspire confidence in a self-conscious teenager!

Everything is a conversation, and the conversation is open to everyone. The power of blogging comes from the ability to leverage a community of passionate experts, and one of the most inspiring moments in my journey has been seeing the entire beauty community come together to create a spreadsheet to help people find the best foundation shade. Each individual added their matching shades to the database so others could find their match and see comparable matches by other brands. It has become an invaluable resource, but it was only made possible by the contributions of the community. This is the meaning of blogging to me: the power of one person to ignite others into action.

Inspiring action is important, and blogs can provide the platform for it. A brand planned to launch a collection inspired by Juarez, but the product names were offensive to the community at large; 2,000 blog comments and a week later, that brand canceled the entire launch and pledged all projected profits to the women of Juarez. Every individual has a voice, and I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to share mine every day.

The Oakbrook: John Grennan attends UC Berkeley. He helps write on a locally focused Oakland blog. In his own words:

Oakland, California has lost police officers and school teachers during the recession. It’s also lost newspaper reporters, as the town’s main newspaper (The Tribune) has shed staff and the area’s main newspaper (The San Francisco Chronicle) has stopped paying attention to Oakland.

As a journalism student at UC Berkeley, I’ve had the opportunity to help fill the void over at The Oak Book, a blog I run with a friend. The site covers politics and culture in a city of remarkable diversity, much of which goes uncovered outside of blogs like ours. In the past month, I’ve written 10 articles based from my original and in-depth reporting on City Hall and the mayoral campaign.

I’ve decided to devote more attention to this blog than other journalistic work because I see the election as the fulcrum for the next four to eight years in a city that can have a better future. It’s also a potential model for other journalistic sites, where students can bring more attention to city politics at a time when newspaper staffs often can’t.

Innovative Interactivity: Tracy Boyer attends The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her bilingual blog is dedicated to multimedia storytelling. In her own words:

I’m pretty sure I laughed out loud when I first learned about blogs at The Poynter Institute in 2007. “Why would anyone ever want to read what I had to say?” I pondered.

Six months later I was working at The Roanoke Times and found myself frequently frustrated by the lack of passion and motivation in the newspaper industry. For many nights I scoured the Web looking for free resources where I could learn more about the industry and interact with others who were also passionate about interactive multimedia.

Unfortunately, my RSS reader remained sparse. At the time there were only a few blogs dedicated to multimedia storytelling. Out of sheer frustration, I signed up with Blogger to archive sites I came across and ideas I had during the day. Never would I have realized that three years later I would still be blogging as a full-time dual master’s candidate.

My blog “Innovative Interactivity” has evolved from a random collection of poorly written posts to a bilingual website with a rich archive of more than 500 posts. I will never be able to quantify how my blog has enhanced my life professionally, but then again I would have stopped years ago had I been trying to make a quick dollar. Rather, my role as a blogger is invaluable due to the hundreds of connections I have established with my readers, other bloggers and people I have interviewed over the years. The ability to inspire, educate and connect like-minded individuals is priceless.

As long as I believe I am providing my community with valuable content I will continue to blog, which brings me much happiness.

Thank you for your consideration!

Here I Blog: Mark Lamprecht attends New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He was nominated by 3 others & when he applied he highlighted why he started blogging and what it means to him. In his own words:

I started blogging out of frustration. I was frustrated about various theological issues in evangelicalism at large. I would write mostly vent at first. As time went on, I grew. I grew in grace, wisdom and understanding. I also found out later while looking back just how poor my writing skills were. Eventually, those grew too. Blogging, then, has been a blessing.

The real blessing, however, comes from the private encouragement I receive. People have written to ask if they could quote a line or prayer I had written. How very humbling. Mostly, they write to thank me for what I have written. They express how my blog has blessed them in one way or another. Surprisingly, they encourage me to keep it up.

Somehow God has used my blog to benefit others which is ultimately why I blog. Not that this is always accomplish after clicking publish. Yet I desire to edify others. At the same time, when I fail in this area it is an opportunity for more growth. Blogging is truly a journey through which I pray for continued growth for the sake of the regular readers; and for the seeking soul who stumbles upon my site while looking for an answer.

Whether or not I win The Blogging Scholarship is not up to me. Either way, blogging will still be important and I will press on. It is merely another opportunity that blogging has brought my way. And I’m thankful for it.

The Sam Jackson College Experience: Samuel Jackson attends Yale. His blog is about higher education planning. In his own words

I started blogging for two reasons: I wanted to express myself, and I wanted to make an impact. This used to mean writing about higher education marketing, or college admissions trends; I was proud of my blog and glad that it had connected with senior leadership at many different schools. More recently, I thought this meant helping high school students stress less and better prepare for the college admissions process.

Eventually I discovered the real value of my blog. This is measured not in monetary terms, but in less tangible ways. My blog and accompanying website has had a huge impact for my online identity and reputation. Searching ‘sam jackson’ on Google delivers my blog as a top result, and this fact has been responsible for my professional successes more than any other.

Digital identity management is not, at first glance, a sexy topic, but it’s incredibly important, and sorely misunderstood. Managing your identity online means more than just keeping photos off Facebook of that last party; it means putting your best face forward and controlling the message. For me, this directly led to one job, which led to another, and another… Even before it brought me internships, my blog brought me connections and benefits in the college search. Blogging and connecting with admissions counselors online meant that they knew me, and I got to know them!

When people ask me about my blog, they expect something trite about my imagined audience in the digital ether. Instead, I point them to thousand word treatises on the importance of personal branding. My blog has helped me get into college, it’s landed me jobs, and I hope now it can help me get this scholarship – the better to help me in my mission to make the world a better place.

Libertarian Christians: Norman Horn attends the University of Texas at Austin. His blog combines Christian theology with libertarian philosophy. In his own words:

I started blogging because I believe in the power of ideas. Good ideas fuel the engine of human progress. LibertarianChristians.com was established because I saw a lack of well-reasoned, just, and equitable political theory in the modern church, both Protestant and Catholic. American Christians in particular seem to be fixated on the two-party system, and they frequently possess no consistent philosophy for dealing with complicated yet critical subjects such as war, natural law, social ethics, and political economy.

Libertarianism provides a framework of ideas that explains how the world works and what the bounds of government truly should be. Moreover, libertarian philosophy is quite consistent with Christian theology. For example, libertarianism states that peaceful coexistence and freedom from aggression are the essence of civilization. Jesus’ injunction to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” proclaims a similar message, one that Christians could and should remember in the political realm. Both groups believe morality does not change once someone takes a public office or puts on a uniform. We are all accountable to the same standard.

Blogging allows one to enter the virtual world dialogue of ideas and make one’s voice heard. By speaking up just a little, I have put forward a clear message, engaged the world, and encouraged others to join the conversation. It is time for Christians outside the left-right paradigm to tell fellow believers that there is another way to look at politics. “Conservatives” cheapen the lives of innocents in war while supposedly valuing the life of the unborn. “Liberals” believe that more control over individuals’ lives will solve the problems we face. Libertarians say otherwise. Liberty has been and always will be the prime organizational principle of society, and Christians should be the first to understand its benefits and herald its triumphs.

Off the Mark: Andrew Bryz-Gornia attends Gustavus Adolphus College. Thi is Andrew’s blog about the Twins. In his own words:

I have been a huge baseball fan for nearly my whole life. However, it was tough finding someone that enjoyed it as much as myself. There was one guy that enjoyed collecting baseball cards, and another that would catch just about every baseball game on ESPN, but no one knew as many baseball players as myself.

Once I hit college, I discovered blogging. I had wanted to be a sportswriter when I was younger, but instead I decided to pursue a degree in mathematics and education. After reading the blogs of Star Tribune writer La Velle E. Neal III and various Minnesota Twins bloggers, I realized that I could still pursue my love of writing about sports.

I’m now approaching the first full year of my blog’s existence. It has allowed me to connect with other baseball fans around the country, filling the void that I had when I was younger. Now, I can discuss just about anything I want, and I don’t have to worry about “dumbing down” the content. I’ve also been invited on several podcasts to discuss Twins baseball with other bloggers, and have submitted an article to the Community Blog on the website FanGraphs.

Since starting my blog about a year ago, I have made many new friends and have strengthened my passion of baseball. I foresee myself writing this blog for many years to come.

The Reform Shuckle: David Wilensky’s blog covers Jewish liturgy and ritual. David attends Drew University. In his own words:

I am David A.M. Wilensky and I have a bizarrely specific passion. I am obsessed with Jewish liturgy. For reasons still not entirely clear to me, on September 20 of this year, I had 507 page views. That’s a new record for me.

My blog is called The Reform Shuckle. To Jews, the name is an incongruous blend of the liberal (Reform Judaism) and the traditional (shuckling is the rhythmic rocking back and forth that some more conservatively observant Jews do while they pray). This combination is exactly what I wanted to evoke. I blog almost entirely about Jewish liturgy and ritual from a Reform/liberal/progressive perspective, but I often arrive at what many would call “Orthodox” conclusions.

I’d be hard-pressed to pin down the most inspiring blog post I’ve ever read, but a series of posts by Ben Dreyfus of MahRabu.blogspot.com springs to mind. The series, Hilchot Pluralism is a description of guidelines developed for use in pluralistic Jewish settings where many styles of observance need to be recognized and accomodated. The content is amazing on its own, but what’s more compelling is that his guidelines have been adopted or referenced for years now by upstart pluralist Jewish organizations.

With Dreyfus’ as the perfect example, Jewish blogging has led to a diversity and a creativity of opinion that’s wholly new to the Jewish community. 50 years ago, his guidelines would never have been as widely read unless they had been written by a rabbi. But Ben is just a lone blogger.

My blogging has brought me enough attention that I’m now a contributor to Jewschool.com, one of the oldest and most well read Jewish blogs. I’m now being paid to write a book by a publisher I met through blogging. I’m also a paid editor/writer/blogger at New Voices Magazine.

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50 Halloween costume ideas for a broke student

Posted on Oct. 24th 2010 by Alexis

Halloween costume ideas for a broke student

Looking at your bank account balance after Halloween doesn’t have to be frightening, so don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re too broke to dress up for Halloween this year.

If you’re struggling to think of a cheap and easy Halloween costume, here is a list of 50 costume ideas for students who are on a strict budget:

Typical costumes

1. Mime – Wear black clothing and cover your face with white face paint. Bonus points if you perform a mime routine throughout the night.

2. Pregnant woman – Get some string and tie a pillow around your stomach. Carry around some junk food for extra effect.

3. Nerd – Wear clothes that are WAY too small, put on some glasses, and slick your hair to the side with hair gel. (And make sure your paints are pulled up really, really high).

4. Cowboy – All you need is a Cowboy hat, cowboy boots, and jeans. If you haven’t made fun of a friend who already dresses like this, then ask him or her if you can borrow their clothes for the night.

5. Tourist – Buy a Hawaiian shirt (if you don’t own one already), and put on a pair of shorts and some sandals. If you can, try and find a visor to wear and tie a camera around your neck.

6. Spirit of Halloween – Dress up in black and orange clothing. Try attaching some Halloween decorations to your clothing using tape or string.

7. Monster – Wear a monster mask. (or a Nixon mask, if you can find one).

Costumes for the creative

8. Sugar-Daddy/Sugar-momma – Buy some cheap clothes at a thrift store, and then attach some sugar cubes and/or candy to your pants and shirt using super glue.

9. Baked potato – Wrap aluminum foil around your legs, arms, and stomach. If you can, try gluing some bacon bits to the aluminum foil.

10. Highway – Wear all black clothing and then tape yellow/white stripes down your arms and legs.

11. “Done” – Put a piece of Styrofoam under your shirt, (try using tape or string to make sure it’s secured), and then *carefully* stab a fork through it over your shirt.

12. Refrigerator magnet – Attach a black shoe box to the back of your shirt using tape or string.

13. Self-absorbed – Buy some super glue and attach sponges to your clothes. Whenever someone tries to start a conversation with you, just talk about how awesome you are.

14. Static cling – Pin some socks, dryer sheets, or towels to your clothes.

15. White trash – Wear white clothing and then tape some candy wrappers to your arms and legs.

16. Law suit – Dress up in a nice suit, and then attach pieces of paper to your clothing that say “LEGAL DOCUMENTS” on the top. (You may need to print a couple off from your computer).

17. Muffin Man – Attach a muffin onto your head or hat with glue or string.

Celebrity costumes

18. Black-Eyed Peas – Draw the letter P around your eyes with black eyeliner. Try to sing a little “Boom Boom Pow” while you’re at it too.

19. John Travolta as Danny Zuko –  All you need is black pants or jeans, an old black leather jacket, and some hair gel.

20. Men in Black – Dress up in a fancy suit, or wear some dark sunglasses and all-black clothing.

21. Peter Pan – Dress up in green clothing, (green leotards preferably), and try to find a green hat as well. If you’re feeling cheap and lazy, then just tie a pan to your belt.

22. Pam Anderson – Put two basketballs or pillows under your shirt. If you’re a guy, put on some make-up and try to buy a fake blonde wig.

23. Johnny Cash – Get a name tag that says “Johnny” and tape/glue Monopoly money to your clothes. Carry around an acoustic guitar if you own one.

24. Blues Brothers – Wear a fancy suit and put on a black hat and sunglasses.

25. Grim Reaper on Vacation – Buy a flowered necklace and put it around your neck, and carry around a camera and some postcards or maps.

26. Harry Potter – Put on some thick-rimmed glasses and carry around a broom. (And don’t forget to draw a lightning bolt on your face).

27. Justin Bieber – All you need is a purple hoodie.If you can, slick your hair over the side of your face, Bieber style. Extra points if you put some blush on your cheeks so you can tell people that you have “Bieber fever.”

28. Michael Jackson – Cover your face with white face paint, dress up in black clothing, and wear one white glove.

29. Balloon Boy – Wear silver/green clothing, and carry around a big, silver balloon.

30. Britney Spears – Put on a tank top, shorts, and cowboy boots, (and make sure your hair look as messy and greasy as possible).

31. Dr. Drew – Buy some silver hairspray and put on some glasses and a nice suit.

32. Lady Gaga – Cut out pictures of meat from grocery store flyers and/or magazines, and then tape/staple them over your clothing, (preferably a skirt or a dress).

33. Kim Kardashian – Get a pair of larger sized pants and then stuff the “buttocks” area with pillows.

Eye-rolling costumes

34. Black Mail – Wear black clothing and put a postage stamp on your shirt.

35. “God’s gift to women” – Wrap your entire body up in wrapping paper and wear a sign that says “From: God, To: Women.”

36. Pot head – Get a pot from your kitchen cupboard and put it on top of your head.

37. Quarter pounder – Carry around a quarter in one hand, and a hammer in another.

38. Deviled egg – If you have enough money, then buy some devil horns and a pitchfork. Then dress up in white clothing and paint a yellow circle on your stomach.

39. Zebra – Wear a bar over your shirt and write a letter “Z” on one of the cups. (Males may have to purchase a bra or borrow one from a friend).

40. Pumpkin pie – Buy a pumpkin or get a piece of paper and cut it into a pumpkin shape. Then, write the number “3.1415926” on it.

41. Gold finger – Paint one of your fingers with yellow, orange, or gold paint.

42. Cross-dresser – Draw crosses on all of your clothes with eyeliner.

43. Paper shredder – Carry around some paper. If someone asks you what you are, tear one up.

44. Catcher in the rye – Wear a catcher’s glove and then carry around a loaf of rye bread.

45. Pop quiz – Draw a large question mark on your t-shirt and carry around some popcorn.

46. Nudist on Strike – Dress up in your everyday clothes and carry around a sign that says “On Strike.”

47. Undecided – Draw a question mark on your shirt with black eyeliner or pen.

48. In the Shower – Wrap a towel around your body (be sure to wear some clothes underneath, just in case) and put on a shower cap. If you have some extra money, buy a rubber duck and/or a back scrubber to carry around.

49. Fried Egg – Dress up in white clothing and color a yellow circle on your stomach.

50. Ceiling Fan – (This one is my personal favorite…) Write “Go Ceilings!!!” on your shirt, and then cheer if anyone asks you what you are. Try to get some pom poms to help with the enthusiasm.

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25 weird scholarships

Posted on Oct. 14th 2010 by Alexis

Special interest scholarships

1. If you design your prom outfit with duct tape, you could be eligible to win $3,000 for the Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck on Prom Contest. Applicants must send in one color photograph of their prom attire, and their prom outfits will be judged according to workmanship, originality, use of color, accessories, and quantity of duct tape used. The second-place couple will win $2,000 each, third-place will receive $1,000, and the other seven “runner up couples” will win $500. Deadline: June 2011.

2. The National Cartoonists Society Foundation is giving away $4000 for their Jay Kennedy Scholarship for Cartoonists contest.  A major in art is not required, but the applicant must be a junior or senior college student in the US, Canada, or Mexico. In order to qualify applicants have to send eight samples of their cartoon artwork. Deadline: December 15th, 2010.

3. The Colorado State University Rodeo Team is offering two annual scholarships:

Through the Mike Cervi Memorial Scholarship Fund, four or five applications could win scholarships worth between $3,000 to $4,000, however the amount varies each year. Deadline: March 1st, 2011.

Eight to ten team members from the CSU Rodeo Club could be eligible to win money from the General Rodeo Scholarship Fund. In order to qualify students must be enrolled or accepted to Colorado State University, and must also have at least 12 credit hours with a “C” or above. Deadline: May 1st, 2011.

4. Do you have an obsession with vacuum coating? Well if you do, you could win between $2,500 to $5,000 from the Society of Vacuum Coaters Foundation Scholarship fund. Each applicant must be studying and/or working in vacuum coating technology or any other related field. Deadline: January 31st, 2011.

Physical trait scholarships

5. Males who are 6’ 2” or taller, and females who are 5’ 10” or taller could be eligible to win $1,000 through the Tall Clubs International Scholarship. Applicants must be under the age of 21 and be attending their first year of college in the following Fall. The application deadline varies each year.

6. Only students who are shorter than 4’ 10” could be eligible to win a $1,000 scholarship from the Billy Barty Foundation. Two scholarships are handed out each year, and some may be renewable depending on the number of “qualified” applicants.

7. Calling all left-handers in Pennsylvania! You could win between $1,000 and $5,000 in scholarships from the Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship fund. In order to qualify you must be left-handed, be a junior or senior student at Juniata College with good grades, and prove that you are in need of financial aid. Deadline: April 1st, 2011.

Last name or family scholarships

8. If you are a descendant of Lambert and Annetje Van Valkenburg through birth of legal adoption, you could win up to $1,000 from the Van Valkenburg Memorial Scholarship. Applicants must submit a 500-word essay which “contributes to the heritage of the Van Valkenburg Family in America.” The application deadline varies each year.

9. If your last name is Gatling or Gatlin and you plan on attending North Carolina State University, you could be eligible to win a John Gatling Scholarship. Winners who are North Carolina residents could win up to $9,000, while out-of-state residents could win up to $18,000. Deadline: February 1st, 2011.

10. If you are a Catholic and your last name is Zolp, you could win a Loyola University Zolp Scholarship. In order to qualify you must provide a copy of your birth certificate as well as baptismal confirmation to Loyola University’s Office of Student Financial Assistance.  The amount of the scholarship will be determined according to your financial need as well as the number of students who apply. Deadline: February 1st, 2011.

For food nerds

11. If you are pursuing a degree in enology, viticulture, or any wine or grape-related science program, you could be eligible to win a scholarship from the American Society for Enology and Viticulture Scholarship Program.  Applicants must be an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled into a full-time four-year college or university program. Undergraduate students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and the scholarship amount varies each year. Deadline: March 1st, 2011.

12. In order to win a $1,000 scholarship from The National Beef Ambassador Program, the applicant must give a presentation on beef nutrition and/or production and conduct an interview with a panel of judges. The winner will also be required to speak at different engagements and conferences.

13. The National Potato Council is giving away $5,000 for their Potato Industry Scholarship. In order to qualify you must be a graduate student who is studying Agribusiness, and each applicant will be judged according to academic achievement and leadership skills.

For science geeks

14. Are you interested in pursuing a career as an author or illustrate in the Science Fiction genre? You could win a scholarship for the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest, “presented” by L. Ron Hubbard. For the Writers of the Future Contest, applicants must submit a science fiction/fantasy short story or novelette that is up to 17,000 in length. The prizes are handed out every three months and can range from $500 to $1,000, while the annual grand prize is $5,000. For the Illustrators of the Future Contest, $1,500 in funds are awarded four times a year, and then the quarterly winners will complete for the $5,000 annual prize.

15. The STARFLEET Academy is offering ten $500 scholarships through their Starfleet Scholarship Program, each of which are each designed for a specific area of study, such as Physical Therapy, Engineering, Performing Arts, Science, Education, Law Enforcement, etc. All applications must submit a two-page personal essay which answers one of the following three questions: “Why are you applying for this scholarship?” “What STARFLEET activities are you involved in?” or “In what other extracurricular activities to you participate?” Deadline: June 30th, 2011.

For animal lovers

16. If you are a vegetarian high school student then put down that veggie burger and pay attention, because you could win one of two $5,000 scholarships from The Vegetarian Resource Group. In order to qualify to win money from the Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship Fund you must submit an essay which discusses how you have been promoting vegetarianism in your school and/or community. Deadline: February 20th, 2011.

17. The Elks National Foundation’s Most Valuable Student Award offers 500 four-year scholarships to the “highest-rated” high school students/ENF members who will be judged according to their leadership skills and financial need. The scholarship amounts range between $1,000 and $15,000 each year. Deadline: December 1st, 2010.

18. You could win a $500 scholarship if you have a parent who is a member of the Michigan Llama Association thanks to the Kathy Larson Memorial Scholarship. All you have to do is write an essay about why and how your family is involved with llamas, and once you are awarded the scholarship you can renew it up to three times.

19. If you have a special talent in duck calling you could win up to $2,000 in scholarships by competing in the Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest. Only applicants who are high school seniors are eligible to compete, and the event is held in Stuttgart, Arkansas. The second-place winner will receive $1,000, third-place will win $750, and fourth-place will be awarded with $500.

20. In the hopes of promoting more conversations about mule and black-tailed deer, (in their own words), the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) has started a scholarship program, titled the Dannie Jasmine Scholarship. In order to apply you must be a future University of Nevada student applying for the Department of Environmental and Resource Sciences (ERS) program, and the recipient will win a $500 scholarship along with a one-year MDF membership. Deadline: June 15th, 2011.

The weirdest of the weird scholarships

21. In order to win a $500 OP Loftbed Scholarship, all college students have to do is answer a few questions like “What will you type in your next TEST, Tweet, or Instant Message.” Now THAT’S something to Tweet about.

22. If you end up procreating with someone you met on the Groupon dating site, your future child could win up to $60,000 a year once they reach the age of 25.  In order to win the Grouspawn scholarship, the couple must apply with photographic evidence (such as a newspaper article with a date on it, credit card statements, etc.) proving that they used a “Groupon” on their first date. There is no application deadline.

23. If you are a high school senior athlete with a 3.20 GPA or higher you could compete for the annual Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY) Award. Over 25 students could receive the award of $7,500, win a free trip to Disney Word, and be featured in a Milk Mustache ad which will be published in USA Today.

24. Are you pursuing a career in economics and have a knack for predicting the financial market? You can win the Excellence in Predicting the Future Award (worth $400). Deadline: December 10th, February 10th, April 10th, June 10th, August 10th.

25.  You could be eligible to win an American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship, and all you have to do is write an essay about fire sprinklers and score high on a 10-question fire sprinkler test. The Association is currently offering two scholarships: For the High School Senior Scholarship Contest, high school seniors could win one of ten $2,000 scholarships (Deadline: April 5th, 2011), and any high school graduate could win one of five $1,000 scholarships for the Second Chance Scholarship Contest. (The deadline will be announced in March, 2011).

Click here to read up on other wacky and unusual scholarships.

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An interview with our #1 educational blogger

Posted on Oct. 11th 2010 by Alexis

myUsearchlogo - interview with #1 educational blogger

Last month myUsearch.com was listed as #1 on our Top 100 Education Advice Blogs list. We decided to interview the site’s co-founder, Elizabeth Kraus, to find out more information about myUsearch’s scholarship program as well as her thoughts on higher education in America:

What is the biggest no-no students make when applying for college/university?

A: The biggest mistake students make when applying for college, is failing to understand the true cost of their degree. There are over 6000 colleges in this country and each college offers different tuition levels and financial aid packages. It’s important not to rule out a college because of the tuition sticker price, but it’s also important not to take on more student loans than you can handle.

In your opinion, how has the economic crash impacted higher education? Have you noticed any big changes since 2008?

A: I think the economy has made a big impact on higher education. The downturn has caused students to re-evaluate the return on their college investment and consider more affordable college options. Now more than ever, it is extremely important  for students to understand the true cost of their college choice and consider all financial aid and scholarship options.

Why do you think only 37.9 percent of Americans have a college degree?

A: Well there are a lot of reasons, but I think the biggest reason is because people are misinformed about the cost barriers to achieving a degree. College can be extremely expensive, I am not denying that, but I think many people are not aware of the fact that several colleges offer more affordable tuition and financial aid packages to help any type of student to earn a degree. 

Tell us about your “Mommy Goes to College” scholarship

A: We chose to offer this scholarship because, not only is the average salary of a college graduate overwhelmingly higher than the salary of a high school graduate, but earning a college degree is a way for mothers to expand their horizons, improve their self esteem and offer hope to their children that they too can earn a college degree. Over a lifetime, college graduates earn on average nearly double the salary of high school graduates and children of parents who went to college are much more likely to attend college themselves. Encouraging mothers to further their own education can have a huge trickle effect on our society.
Our current scholarship for women who are mothers is our second “Mommy Goes to College” scholarship and we hope to be able to offer another one for the following year as well.

What was your motive behind donating 10 percent of your company profits to your scholarship program?

A: We have two main motives for our scholarship program: 1) We deeply value education and believe increasing access to education is the single most important factor in improving our society and 2) our scholarship program offers a great incentive for students, parents and high school counselors to visit our site. By offering scholarships, we can simultaneously increase access to education and grow our company.

What is the biggest mistake your users make when they submit their online application/essay?

A: TYPOS!!!!! I cannot tell you how many students submit applications with simple spelling and grammar mistakes. Make sure to spell and grammar check your applications, and ask someone else to read your application before you submit it.

Do you get a lot of submissions from undocumented students?

A: We do. Unfortunately, most scholarships are not open to non-US citizens, so we get a lot of submissions from undocumented students. 

Any advice for the working mother who is interested in enrolling at a college or university?

A: Don’t give up! I know that sounds cliché, but finishing a college degree will have a huge impact on your future. Whenever the challenge of juggling children, work, school and everyday life gets to be too much, just remember how much better your life will be after you finish.

Elizabeth Kraus is the co-founder of myUsearch.com, the Honest College Matchmaker, a site that helps students make the right college choice.

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Top 150 travel blogs for students

Posted on Oct. 6th 2010 by Alexis

1. Lonely Planet – This site is a given for travel geeks, but it should be a must for students who are interesting in traveling. Recommended posts: “Lonely Planet’s top 10 USA fall trips” and “Where to go in November.”

2. Matador Network – “In addition to saving money (which is a good habit), look for opportunities to travel on someone else’s dime,” writes New Yorker Julie Schwietert. “There are many grant and scholarship programs, fellowships, and other opportunities that will pay you to travel.” Recommended posts: “Professional Internship Opportunities in Peru” and “31 Travel Scholarships, Fellowships, and Grants to Fund Your Next Trip Abroad.”

3. Gadling – Besides travel tips, the majority of the posts on this site discuss the latest in travel news. Recommended posts: “Five Tips for Students Booking Trips Abroad” and “Hotel booking tips: 5 things you need to know before reserving group rates.”

4. Nomadic Matt – This site was recommended by numerous travel bloggers, and is one of the most popular travel blogs on the web. Recommended posts: “Choosing the Right Backpack” and “How to Pick a Good Hostel.”

5. Twenty-Something Travel – “Pick your location wisely,” advises Stephanie Yoder, a 25-year-old college graduate from Washington DC who has been traveling since graduation. “Your dollar can stretch a lot further in parts of Asia, Latin American and Eastern Europe than it will in Australia or Western Europe.” Recommended posts: “How the Internet Can Save You Money” and “9 Things to Know Before You Visit Buenos Aires.”

6. foXnoMad – “Use multi-city flights and consider going to places with favorable exchange rates,” explains Anil Polat, a “full-time” traveler who grew up between Turkey and the US. “Learn the art of budgeting, at least the basics, so you can do more with a limited funds. Also, use hostels and brush up on any local scams at your destination so you don’t pay for them.” Recommended posts: “Unconventinal Ways to Raise Funds For Your Travels” and “How To Avoid Luggage Fees And Work Your Way Around The Airlines For Free.”

7. Wandering Earl – Travel blogger Derek Earl Baron, (who is simply known as “Earl” on the web), has been traveling for over 10 years and has visited 67 countries on 6 different continents. Recommended posts: “Living Abroad For Less Than $1000 Per Month” and “Do You Book Accommodation In Advance?

8. Brendan’s Adventures – “One great tip for saving money while traveling is to get a part time job working at the University bar,” writes Brendan van Son, a University of Calgary graduate from Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. “If you work at the bar you’ll be earning money instead of dropping it on the beers you’d be drinking that night.” Recommended posts: “The Last Time I ever got Robbed” and “The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu: A photo essay.”

9. Uncornered Market – “Watch what you spend when you go out – a drink here and a snack there adds up to a lot of money over time,” write the authors, who are originally from Pennsylvania and Virginia. “See if you can go without a car – even if you already own it, this will save you lots of money on insurance, taxes and gas money. Take a look at your monthly expenses and see where you can cut back – e.g., less expensive cell phone or cable TV plan.” Recommended posts: “From Ecuador to Turkmenistan: 10 Border Crossings We Have Known” and “How to Travel Without Hugging the Bowl: 10 Tips for Staying Healthy on the Road.”

10. Traveling Savage – “Track your expenses – it’s the first step toward cutting extraneous expenditures,” writes Keith Savage, a Wisconsin native who currently lives outside of Madison. “Remember that every night on the town is potentially days exploring new places abroad.” Recommended posts: “A Thirsting Wild: The Traditional Travel Up North” and “Weapon of Choice: Choosing a Phone for World Travel.”

11. Globe Trooper – “We built Globetrooper to help travelers find travel partners. We have thousands of travelers, many who are students, creating trips and looking for other people to join them,” explain Globetrooper’s co-founders (Lauren and Todd) who are originally from Australia. “Firstly, travel with other people who are equally inspired by the places you want to go…Secondly, try to stay longer in each location. A hostel dorm may only cost $20 per night, but renting a 2 bedroom apartment could be $800 per month, which between 4 people is less than $7 per night. That could drop to $3 per night in South East Asia and other cheaper destinations…Lastly, consider using free accommodation options. Everyone talks about couch-surfing, but there’s also Wwoofing, house swaps and other options.” Recommended posts: “Time Travel Through Spain” and “Which Route to Take Up Mt Kilimanjaro?

12. The Planet D – The categories on this “adventure travel blog for couples” include articles on Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and even blogging tips for travel writers. Recommended post: “5 Techniques for the Travel Photographer” and “Plain Sailing – The Best Bits of Being on a Boat.”

13. Two Backpackers – These two backpackers are both from New Jersey, although one of the authors (Aracely), was born in Ecuador and moved to the US when she was 7. “Debt can cripple your dreams and take over your life,” they write. “Don’t carry credit card debt, buy cheap used cars and decide what is most important in life.  Remind yourself this everyday, so you can make intelligent decisions when spending your money.” Recommended posts: “How We Paid For A Year Of Travel” and “Land Border Crossing Checklist.”

14. Y Travel Blog – “My best advice is to consider working in another country as part of your travel plan,” write the authors, who are both from a small coastal town an hour north of Sydney, Australia. “You’ll arrive in a new country, have the travel experience you are craving, as well as earning the local currency to save and travel with.You may even get lucky and find a job beforehand that comes with a free flight included!” They also advise students to plan their trip around tax time, and prioritize their spending.” Recommended posts: “Caribbean Island Destinations Alternatives Three Little Islands in the Little Latitudes” and “What I Love about Australia and Aussie Culture.”

15. Ottsworld – This blog has numerous articles which cover travel tips, experiences, and reviews, as well as a “Photo (Postcard) of the Week” series featuring scenic photography from all over the world. Recommended posts: “Beer Heaven – Belgium” and “Q&A – Travel with a Laptop

16. Everything-Everywhere – Blogger Gary Arndt entertains readers with daily travel photos or budgeting tips, and most recently, articles about his trip to South Africa. Recommended posts: “8 Things You Might Not Have Known About South Africa” and “Anatomy Of A Road Trip….or, Living Out Of A Car.”

17. Traveling Greener – Learn how to travel green and save green at the same time by reading this travel blog. Recommended posts: “Top Ski Holiday Tips” and “Top 3 Green Hostels.”

18. Travel With a Mate – This site is a “community for travel bloggers and writers to promote their skills and websites,” and their posts cover traveling tips and interviews with other travel bloggers. Recommended posts: “Interview: Landscapes and Cultures of Pakistan” OR ” ” and “Working Holiday Visas: What You Should Know.”

19. Johnny Vagabond – The categories on this travel blog include traveling tips, “crazy stories,” photography, as well as budgeting tips and travel gear recommendations. Recommended posts: “How To Save Hundreds of Dollars on Travel Shots” and “7 Things I’ve Learned About Cambodia.”

20. Brooklyn Nomad – Travel blogger Andrew Hickey is “obsessed with travel” and his work has been featured in numerous media outlets such as USA Today, MSNBC, AOL Travel, Yahoo! Travel, and many more. Recommended posts: “How to Avoid Jet Lag” and “10 Tips for Purchasing Travel Insurance.”

21. Wild Junket – The articles on this award-winning site cover everything from how to work or move abroad, or where to find the best cruising destinations and holistic retreats. Recommended posts: “7 Free Things to do in London” and “City Break: World’s Greatest Cities.”

22. The Travel Dudes – “Use Skype to stay in contact with your friends & family,” writes travel blogger Melvin Boecher, who is from Cologne, Germany. “Travel together with other travelers…share rides (rental car), stay in hostels when traveling alone, otherwise b&b and apartments might be a better choice.” Recommended posts: “Top 5 Places for Beer in San Francisco” and “How to spend a weekend in Whangarei.”

23. Do It While You’re Young – “Use the 50/50 savings rule when you get extra money,” writes Kristina Wegscheider, who is from San Jose, although the site is based in Houston, Texas.  “Leverage your family: have a relative who flies frequently for work? Chances are they have a ton of frequent flier miles. See if they’d be willing to pass some your way. Instead of normal birthday and holiday gifts, set-up a travel registry or have a specific trip in mind and ask friends and family to chip in. Bonus points if you set-up a website for your efforts to show everyone exactly where you want to go!” Recommended posts: “Mastering the Cairo Metro” and “A Day in the Life: Studying Abroad in Paris.”

24. Wanderlust and Lipstick – Every traveling female should check out the articles on this site, some of which touch on travel fashion gear recommendations, packing tips, global volunteering, and much more. Recommended posts: “Carry-On Packing Tips” and “6 Tips for Practical Packing.”

25. In the Know Traveler – “To save money, I recommend staying healthy and doing the homework to be prepared for possible illness,” explains Devin Galaudet who is based in Los Angeles. “I would also recommend having plenty of good water near by. Nothing can ruin a trip quicker than having to rush out in the  night trying to find a medicine, doctor, or hospital and having to pay through the nose to get help.” Recommended posts: “Myanmar: Unlike Any Land You Know” and “Doha – The Old and the Already Built.”

26. Velvet Escape – This blog is an “independent source of travel ideas and tips,” and includes numerous travel tips and recommendations, as well as scenic photography and popular tourist destinations. Recommended posts: “Ten city peaks for the most breathtaking views” and “Bayan Indah – a Malaysian culinary retreat.”

27. Go Backpacking – On this site, readers can learn about how to plan a trip on a budget, and can read numerous interviews with fellow travelers, book reviews, “how-to instructional articles” as well as the latest in international travel news. Recommended posts: “Cost Of A Trip Around The World” and “Top 10 Travel Movies To Get You Going in 2010.”

28. As We Travel – The target audience for this site is specifically geared towards young travelers, and the articles are full of advice, tips, and recommendations for anyone planning their first round the world (RTW) trip. Recommended posts: “How To Travel The World With No Check-In Luggage” and “How To Learn a Foreign Language.”

29. Adventurous Kate – Kate McCulley quit her job to become a full-time travel writer, and since then she has written for AOL’s City Best, Tripvine, Cheapflights.com and Goby, and was also featured in the Boston Sunday Globe Magazine and MSNBC.com, Recommended posts: “Travel Advice: Italy Travel Itinerary” and “Great Trips for First-Time Solo Female Travelers.”

30. Never Ending Voyage – “Write down everything you spend & then cut out any unnecessary spending,” writes Erin McNeaney, who is from Manchester, England. “It’s difficult to give up buying things & drinking, but it’s worth it when you are able to travel with your savings.” Recommended posts: “7 Unique and Cheap Places to Stay in India” and “7 Benefits of Travelling With a Laptop.”

31. Landlopers – “I am a typical Gen-X professional who has a passion for all things travel,” writes travel blogger Matt Long. “My site brings a unique perspective that is hard to find online.” Recommended posts: “Travel and Politics – Why it Matters” and “Five Travel Tips No One Ever Told You.”

32. Todd’s Wanderings – The author of this blog is a conflict resolution and human rights expert and is currently working on his first travel book. He has lived in Japan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka, and even Kosovo. Recommended posts: “Kosovar and Serbian Border Crossing: what you need to know” and “Experiencing Sri Lanka’s Providence- Part 2: The Ancient Buddha Rock Statues of Polonnaruwa.”

33. Runaway Juno – “Realize what’s more important to you. See what you can live without,” writes Juno, who was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. “Make a list of [priorities]; if the priority is travel and you can’t live without traveling, then there’s your answer.” Recommended posts: “Hiking to the highest mountain in South Korea” and “Romantic 5 spots around Seoul.”

34. Solo Friendly – “Take advantage of study abroad opportunities,” writes Vermont-native Gray Cargill. “It’s your best chance to really immerse yourself in another culture. I’m not saying it’s cheap, but you’re killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. You were going to have to pay for that semester of school anyway, why not do it in another country and take advantage of travel opportunities on weekends and holidays using your host country as a jumping-off point? This way you don’t have to rush around at a breakneck pace trying to see 15 countries in 4 weeks of backpacking during your summer vacation.” Recommended posts: “Tips for Self Portraits and Video While Traveling Solo” and “Ten Things To Do In Montreal.”

35. Almost Fearless – “I suggest saving about $1000 for a month abroad and to look into traveling cheaply by using hostels (like hostelworld.com or hostelbookers.com) and connecting with locals/expats via couchsurfing.com,” writes Christine Gilbert, a blogger from Boston. “Saving money itself isn’t hard, it just means making a commitment. Live somewhere much cheaper than you can afford (free is always good). Cut out everything that you can. Drop the cable, the coffee, the car…As someone without a mortgage, kids, two dogs and a lifetime of credit card debt, it will never be easier than it is right now to save money for travel.” Recommended posts: “8 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 22” and “Review of the iPad for Traveling.”

36. 501 Places – The owner of this blog (Andy Jarosz) is a featured blogger on Lonely Planet, and also writes/maintains blogs and Twitter accounts for Discount London and OrgSurv. Recommended posts: “Sarajevo: so much more than bombs and bullets” and “Why a Top 10 Friendliest Countries list is nonsense.”

37. Vagabondish – This “travelzine for today’s vagabond” covers numerous traveling topics such as offbeat backpacking, the latest in travel news, and tips and recommendations for the most popular RTW travel destinations. Recommended posts: “No Sex in the City: What It’s Like to Be Female and Foreign in Japan” and “4 Reasons Why Travelers Make Great English Teachers (and Vice Versa).”

38. Travels of Adam –  “First of all, study abroad! While you’re still on your parent’s dime, hopefully,” writes Adam Groffman, who grew up in Texas but went to college in Boston. “The two semesters I did abroad, tuition was actually cheaper abroad than at my University, so it was quite affordable. I also worked a lot during college and got a full-time, professional job before I had even completed my degree. I worked hard for three years and didn’t take many trips. Cheap rent, living with roommates, and staying in on the occasional Friday night were the biggest money savers, though.” Recommended posts: “The Stinky Side of Travel: How to Beat Dirty Feet and Other Travel Hygiene Tips,” and “Using Wikipedia as a Travel Guide.”

39. The Longest Way Home – “Make use of student and work visas,” advises travel blogger Dave, who is from “a little but of everywhere” these days. “Book flights well in advance. Don’t book tours online, do it in person as it’s a lot cheaper.” Recommended posts: “Philippines vs East Asia, where did it all go wrong?” and “How to spot fake stuff in Asia & Africa when you travel.”

40. Art of Backpacking – “The goal of Art of Backpacking is to show you through words and media of the wonders around us,” write the authors. “Backpacking is about simplicity. It’s cutting the unnecessary and going for what really counts; experiences. It’s not only a way of travel, it’s also a lifestyle.” Recommended posts: “20 things the Dutch are known for besides legal marijuana, clogs and cheese” and “When Travel Days Go Wrong: How to Sleep Safely and Comfortably in Public.”

41. Wild About Travel – All of the posts on this blog are packed full of historical and cultural information about numerous towns cities all over the world, such as La Habana, Prague, Cadaquès, or Barcelona. Recommended posts: “A journey on a Sailboat | Heaven or Hell?” and “5 reasons to spend winter in the Dolomites.”

42. Trail of Ants – “I’d recommend to students who are hoping to travel to set some firm goals, and make a budget plan from that,” explains Ant Stone, who is from Cambridgeshire, England. “If you’re hoping to travel after three or more years at university, there’s a clear timeline on which you can plan your budget. I continue to do this, and it works really well for me. A couple of beers on a Wednesday night with your friends might be tempting, but when you compare it to your goal to travel; the cost could equate to a day or two traveling.” Recommended posts: “Tips for Travelling with Parents” and “Don’t be a Fatpacker.”

43. Backpacking Matt – “Save money when you’re on the road by cooking your own meals,” advises Matthew Kyhnn, a travel blogger from Iowa. “Eating out adds up quickly!” Recommended posts: “New Zealand’s Top 5 Backpacking Destinations” and “7 Challenges of Being a Backpacker.”

44. My Beautiful Adventures – “Couchsurfing.com is not only a great way to save money (it offers free accommodation), but it will change your travels in an extraordinary way,” writes Andi Perullo, who grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina yet calls New York City home, (where she lived during her four years of Graduate School). “You will meet some of the most wonderful people this world has to offer and they will introduce you to their city in a way you would never have been able to discover on your own.” Recommended posts: “Brasil: Day 1 (Part 1)” and “India: Day 9 (Part 1)

45. Travelogged – “From glaciers of Alaska to the volcanoes of Santorini, this travel blog covers all of the coolest and hottest destinations around the world.” Recommended posts: “Visiting Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s Chinese Garden in Vancouver’s Chinatown” and “Going Beyond Harry Potter: Inside the Still-Inhabited Alnwick Castle.”

46. Solo Female Traveler – This site is an excellent resource for any female traveler who is unsure about traveling to another country on their own. Recommended posts: “How to Sleep on a Plane and Like it” and “Top Ten Foreign Travel Films.”

47. Bacon is Magic – “From Toronto Canada, Ayngelina left her career, apartment, boyfriend and friends to travel solo. You can read about her adventures as she eats her way through Central America, South America and beyond.” Recommended posts: “Saving for Long Term Travel” and “Bacon is Delicious: How to plan an RTW without guidebooks.”

48. Rocky Travel – This blog is specifically designed for those interested in traveling to Australia. Recommended posts: “Tips on exchanging money in Australia” and “From Melbourne to Sydney along the South East Coast.”

49. Student Travel Cuts – “Decide where you want to go and add up all your travel expenses,” writes Lisa Turner, who is from San Francisco and Boston. “Then figure out how to get to that number. Do you need that daily coffee? Or the new iPod? Sacrificing the small material things to be able to take a great adventure is really no sacrifice at all.” Recommended posts: “Study on the High Seas: Semester at Sea 2011” and “Find ISIC Discounts Across Canada and the U.S.

50. The Professional Hobo – “Try volunteering in trade for your accommodation,” advises travel blogger Nora Dunn, from Toronto, Canada. “It keeps costs low and allows you to have a deeper experience of the culture and place you are visiting!” Recommended posts: “Scotland: The Festivals, The Highlands, The Food, The Weather” and “Carcassonne: More Than Just a Game.”

51. A Pair of Panties & Boxers – Blogger Monica Wong is from Brooklyn, and advises students to “take advantage of your school’s study abroad programs & apply for scholarships/grants that will help pay for it.” Recommended posts: “Do Good Thursday: Four Free Volunteer Programs In Peru” and “15 Ways To Volunteer In Africa.”

52. Travel Wonders of the World – “Don’t try to visit to many places in a short period of time, but rather take your time and really appreciate the places that you are visiting,” writes Mark H., who currently lives in Sydney, Australia but grew up in Brisbane. “Many of travels best experiences are inexpensive – walking through a town’s park, talking with people, participating in a local festival. Have some plans but be flexible to take advantage of unexpected opportunities that arise when travelling.” Recommended posts:  “On Top of the World (Mt Everest, Nepal)” and “Step Pyramid: Egypt’s First Pyramid (Saqqara).”

53. A Little Adrift – “The site chronicles my personal journey and experiences over the past few years,” writes Shannon O’Donnell. “…there’s a bit for the armchair travelers, practical tips for others in similar shoes and planning round the world trips, as well as slices of thoughts on what I find important in the world.” Recommended posts: “A Little Advice…5 Tips to Plan a UK Backpacking Trip” and “A Little Oops…My Top Six “Oh, Crap” Travel Moments.”

54. Traveling Canucks – Nicole and Cameron Wears are a newlywed couple from Vancouver, Canada. In 2009 they decided to quit their jobs and travel around the world, and ended up visited 38 countries in 12 months. Recommended posts: “Polynesian Tribal Dance, Easter Island” and “Planning a Round-the-World Trip: 15 Things NOT to Forget.”

55. Candice Does the World – “If you’re taking out a line of credit or a loan to pull off a semester abroad, don’t take out an extra large sum simply because you’re able to do so,” explains Candice Walsh, from Newfoundland, Canada. “When I studied for six weeks in England, I took a line of credit nearly DOUBLE the amount I truly needed, and ended up wasting a whole lot of cash on souvenirs and other splurges. It’s nice to have some extra cash in case of emergency, but it’s hard to restrict spending when you know you might never have that experience again.” Recommended posts: “A Newfoundland Language Lesson Part 3: Improperly Pluralise Everything” and “Everything is Ridiculous in New York City: Travel Impressions.”

56. Thom and Sean -“Sit down and review your spending and from that work out what matters more,” write travel bloggers Thom and Sean, (Thom is from Shrewsbury – of Charles Darwin fame – and Sean is from Wales). “The activity that you can do at home for $50 or the many activities you could do on your trip for the same money.  It sounds very grown up and scary but you have to prioritize. Do you *need* a Netflix subscription? Can you cook at home instead of eating out? Those kinds of things will not only help you save more and faster but will also help you get into the right frame of mind when you are traveling and money gets tight.” Recommended posts: “Is TripAdvisor dead?” and “A British guide to driving in America.”

57. Hipster Travel Guide – This blog is based in Detroit but their writers are from South Carolina, Los Angeles, Beijing, and Prague. “Always ask for student discounts when visiting a popular location,” writes Scott Burgess. “1 sandwich = 2 beers in most places: So, if you stay at a hotel with a free breakfast, make a couple of sandwiches and sneak them into your backpack, use them for lunch. The money you save should then be used for beer that night. If anyone asks you where you’re from, say Iceland and no one will bother you. You might even get a free drink.” Recommended posts: “Weather or not to travel” and “Amsterdam: Red lights, Mary Jane and killer bicycles.”

58. Around the World “L”! – The author of this blog is a former high school English teacher and recently traveled to Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Spain, Portugal and Italy, and also spent three months volunteer teaching in Ghana. Recommended posts: “How to Not Dumbly Waste Money in RTW Travel” and “Yes, it IS Worth it to Pack These!

59. Budget Traveler’s Sandbox – Originally from Canada, this traveling freelance writer has co-authored several TOEFL testing textbooks, and recently completed a freelance “ghost writing” project with PGC Edutainment in Seoul, Korea. Recommended posts: “Ten Tips for Keeping the Expat Furkids Safe and Happy When You’re on the Road” and “Through the Sandbox Lens #14 –Masked Dancer, Andong Mask Festival.”

60. Wandering Trader’s Travels – “Couchsurfing.org, [and renting apartments] is sometimes cheaper than hostels,” writes Marcello Arrambide, who is half-Italian and half-Spanish but was born in Venezuela. “Airfare – Look for other options like bus travel and train travel, also look for cities nearby (example look for Fort Lauderdale instead of Miami). Food – eating in small cafes instead of restaurants, cook at home if renting an [apartment].” Recommended posts: “Buenos Aires is Changing Visit Before Its Too Late” and “Niagara Falls VS Iguazu Falls: Two of the Best Water Falls in the World.”

61. Two Go RTW – “Two Go Round-The-World preserves the observations of Kathryn and Daniel as they plan, prepare and pack for a year-long RTW trip,” write the authors. “Join them as they uncover and record hidden gems to smooth the process of planning the ultimate journey.” Recommended posts: “Hackpacking: Vodka’s many uses” and “A Checklist for Planning and Preparing for Your RTW Trip.”

62. Maiden Voyage – “Go during off-peak times,” writes the Texas-native Emily Gerson. “During peak season (the dead of summer for most places, or spring break or winter break) prices are at their highest. If you go during off-peak times, accommodation prices will be a lot more affordable and lines will be a lot shorter.” She also recommends staying a hostel or hotel with free Wifi, using Skype to stay in touch with friends and family, and consider getting a Capital One credit card. “It’s the only credit card that doesn’t have foreign transaction fees, so you won’t pay a fee every time you use the card abroad.” Recommended posts: “Experts Speak: How to Prevent and Treat Travelers’ Diarrhea” and “5 Ways to Travel For Free: Apply for Grants.”

63. Kaleidoscopic Wandering – “Staying in hostels is a great way to save money and meet other travelers on the road,” explains JoAnna Haugen,who is based out of Las Vegas but frequently travels and works from the road. “Traveling in the off-season is also a good way to save money.” Recommended posts: “Walls of Rose Hall | Montego Bay, Jamaica” and “Swahili Phrases That Will Help Keep You Safe.”

64. Trans-America Journey – “The best ways to save up money to fund your trip are the same ways you save money for anything else: prioritize and be passionate,” write Karen and Eric. (The two married in New York City, where Eric is from, but Karen grew up in Northern California). “You can absolutely bank enough for the trip you want as long as you want it MORE than you want a new pair of shoes, or a latte or concert tickets or whatever else is tugging at your wallet. Just say no unless it’s an expenditure that moves you closer to your travel goal, and even then it should be on sale!” Recommended posts: “Big Bicentennial Bash (Best-Of) – Mexico City, Mexico” and “What’s in Your (Travel) Wallet?

65. The Aussie Nomad – This travel blogger recently quit his 9-5 job, and educates readers on everything from UK Youth Mobility Visas to popular tourist destinations and attractions. Recommended posts: “Day One Helsinki” and “Touring Tallinn on Foot.”

66. LL World Tour – “Get an international student ID card – get discounts for airfare, hostels, museums, etc.” writes Lisa Lubin, an emmy-award winning TV producer who is originally from New Jersey but is now living in Chicago. “Travel as long as you can – the longer you are ‘out’ there, the cheaper it is, especially because you will be flying around less. Use Couchsurfing!” Recommended posts: “Travel Tip Tuesday: ATM Cards” and “Snapshot: Istanbul.”

67. Travelocafe – “Never travel alone so you can split the accommodation costs and stay safer,” advises travel blogger Laura, who is from Spain. “Look for discounts and choose your destination accordingly, find the supermarkets and the markets for cheaper local food and buy an Eurail pass if you travel through Europe.” Recommended posts: “Iconic Guides. Audio Guides With A Difference” and “Best Scuba Diving Destinations.”

68. Kathleen’s Student Travel Blog – From About.com, author Kathleen Crislip provides informative and realistic advice for students interested in traveling. Recommended posts: “How do days on a Eurail pass work?” and “What’s Up With Travel Vaccinations?

69. Beers and Beans – “Don’t get any new debt or any new credit cards,” write the authors, who are currently living in San Diego. “Sell the things you don’t need on Craigslist…Scale WAY back on drinking out at bars and eating out. If you are going out with your friends, offer to be the Designated Driver to save $$. Booze & food will suck the money right out of your bank account…And most importantly: Whatever you want to buy…look at the price tag and imagine what it will buy you in a less developed country. For example 1 video game could be 2 whole days in Cambodia. A new shirt could be 2 days in Thailand or Peru.”  Recommended posts: “Blood, Drugs & Sangria – How To Vacation In A War Zone. Part one of a five part series” and “90% of the Population Believes in Elves – Reykjavik, Iceland.”

70. Adventure Girl – Author Stefanie Michaels has been dubbed as “America’s Tweetheart” by Vanity Fair Magazine, and was listed as #1 on Forbes.com’s “20-Best Branded Women on Online” list. She has been featured in numerous publications and broadcasts, and has a cult-like following on Twitter (@Adventuregirl). Recommended posts: “LONDON: Abbey Road Rock & Roll Camp” and “Especially for Women- Travel Safety Tips.”

71. Globotreks -“Transfer to your savings account a smaller amount on a weekly basis (say $10 – $20),” advises Norbert Figueroa, who is from from Puerto Rico, but currently an “expat” in New York. “Although I know it’s hard to avoid going out while in college, try to reduce the amount of money spent each time you go out by starting the ‘night out’ at your own place with your friends. You’ll see how much money is saved by not buying as many drinks, covers, and other extras on the road…And last but not least, stick to your savings target and establish a deadline and a purpose (ex. I want to save $3000 by March 2011 to go to Cambodia).” Recommended posts: “Is an Eurail Pass worth it, or should you go point to point?” and “How to find cheap airfare.”

72. No Place to Be – “The one best tip I have for people looking to save money for travel is to simply evaluate everything you spend, write it all down and think before you buy,” writes Poi, who is from Lincoln, England. Recommended posts: “To take or not to take? That is the Question!” and “The Forbidden City.”

73. Spunkygirl Monologues – This blogger is currently in Sukhothai, Thailand, and uses her site to document her personal travel experiences and reflections. Recommended posts: “Top 5 Things To Do Before Your RTW Trip” and “Which Traveler Are YOU?

74. Monkey Brewster – “Create a budget and cut out the ‘fat’, I give a free spreadsheet on my site,” explains Cornelius Aesop, who is from Lorain, Ohio. “Coupon clip the modern way, use technology to find a coupon for anything you want to buy, from a website domain to discount shipping on your latest amazon purchase…[and] use free or low cost services such as Hulu.com, Netflix, iTunes, your Public Library to cut out the cost of movies, music, books and TV. We all need entertainment but we don’t have to pay for it.” Recommended posts: “How To Pack: Roll vs Fold” and “The Travel Channel: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of TV Travel.”

75. A Travel Around the World – Some of the categories on this blog discuss travel insurance, packing tips and gear recommendations, as well as information on popular tourist destinations. Recommended posts: “Top Attractions of Wellington” and “Tips to use the frequent flyer miles.”

76. GranTourismo! – These two travel bloggers (Lara Dunston and Terence Carter) have authored nearly 50 travel guidebooks, and their work has been featured in numerous publications such as Lonely Planet, National Geographic Traveler, USA Today, and many more. Recommended posts: “Tips To Getting The Most Out Of San Miguel de Allende” and “What We Love Most About Local Travel: Meeting Locals.”

77. Migrationology – “Avoid unnecessary expenses by modifying you habits,” writes Mark Wiens, who is originally from the United States but grew up in Central and East Africa. “If you need to save money, ask yourself if you really need something before you buy it.” Recommended posts: “100 Foods To Eat Like a King in Bangkok: The Ultimate Thai Eating Guide” and “17 Reasons You Know You Love Southeast Asia.”

78. Pause the Moment – “Cut your habits by 50%,” writes travel blogger Ryan, who is from Bridgewater, Massachusetts. “If you smoke two packs of cigarettes per day, try smoking just one pack today. If you dine out 4 times per week, try dining out twice this week.” He also recommends unplugging all the appliances in your house to save on your electricity bills, or purchase a few power strips instead: “Although the power strips are connected directly to your wall outlets, they cut off ALL power to your appliances so you no longer have to worry about unplugging each and every thing in your house after you’re done using them.” Recommended posts: “Top 10 Photos from Auschwitz-Birkenau” and “How to visit the Greek Islands on the Cheap.”

79. Living the Dream – “If traveling is a large priority, students might have to make a lot of sacrifices in order to save money to go,” advises Jeremy Jones, who is from Dayton, Ohio and recently graduated with a Masters Degree. “Without financial backing of a parent, long work hours and refraining from going out a lot will help save a lot of money more than ever thought possible. The biggest killer of budget is living scenario, and those with the opportunity to live at home, even if its just for a year, will benefit significantly.” Recommended posts: “Destination Planning: Vietnam – Where the War Was” and “Destination Planning: Singapore and Indonesia – Waving Goodbye to South East Asia.”

80. Correr Es Mi Destino – “Correr Es Mi Destino focuses on life in Canada and traveling on a budget,” writes Juliette Giannesini, who is from France but now lives in Canada. “It gives immigrations tips on How To Immigrate to Canada, work tips on How To Find a Job in Canada ), [and even] Money tips for Canadian travel.” Recommended posts: “Free Stuff in Canada” and “Aboriginal Perspectives (9/10).”

81. Air Treks – “[Our] main goal is to help people in the planning of around the world and multi-stop international trips, giving them information so they can make great choices about where to go and how to get there,” explains Nico Crisafulli. “Our main site has our Trip Planner application that allows for people to enter in their complete trip on a map and get instant pricing for that complex trip…Watch out for wasting money on things like expensive accommodations and prebooked tours. Study up on known travel scams and stay in hostels.” Recommended posts: “10 Common Stops on an RTW Itinerary (and where you should go instead)” and “Where Your Dollar Will Go Farthest – 10 Great Destinations.”

82. The Expeditioner – This site is based in Brooklyn, NY, and Matthew Stabile’s advice for traveling students is to “stay in hostels, eat street food and cook yourself, and travel to inexpensive countries.” Recommended posts: “How Many Days Can I Travel In [Insert Country Here] With $1,000?” and “What You Need To Know About Couchsurfing.”

83. No Onions Extra Pickles – This artsy travel blog has numerous articles on contemporary art and history from all over the world. Recommended posts: “Travel Memories Monday – Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina” and “Travel Memories Monday – Versailles, France.”

84. Inside the Travel Lab – “Make the most of your student discounts!” advises Abigail King, who is from the UK. “Apply in advance to companies like STA, search out the best deals for travel insurance and accommodation using advice from the (UK based but still useful) moneysavingexpert.com…and work out which luxuries you can do without.” Recommended posts: “Life in the World’s Oldest Desert, Namibia” and “Alaska Without the Clouds – A “Flightseeing” Photostory.”

85. AdventureRob’s Blog – “Keep a spreadsheet of your outgoings and income – so you can see where it all really is going,” explains Robert Fitzsimmons, from Portsmouth, England. “Keep an eye out for promotions, if there are none, make your own by asking small companies for free tours in return for mentioning them on your own blog. Don’t worry too much about it, you can always make more.” Recommended posts: “How Not to Travel Across the Outback” and “The Scams of the Thailand-Cambodia Border Crossing.”

86. OneTravel – “Always call the CheapOair website when looking for a deal,” writes travel blogger and New Yorker George Christodoulou. “The travel agents are very helpful, knowledgeable, and will work hard to get you a good deal.” Recommended posts: “Top 5 Reasons to Visit Ukraine” and “The Most Extraordinary Hotels and Boutique Hostels for Budget-Minded Travelers.”

87. Vagabond Quest – Dina and Ryan have traveled to over 20 countries since April of 2009, and are currently in Sydney, Australia. Recommended posts: “Top 3 Temples by Travelers Around the World” and “Itchy and Scratchy: Bed Bugs, Sand Flies, and Other Travel Hazards.”

88. Over Yonderlust – “The first thing you need to do is be honest about what level of comfort you need when traveling,” writes Erica, who is from Austin, Texas. “Depending on what type of housing you need, it can go from a hostel to a five star hotel. I usually research quite a bit online to not only find a good deal (hostelbookers.com), but also, ‘Does this place have a good review?’ The cheaper you can get your lodgings (community hostel rooms), the longer you can travel.” Recommended posts: “Top 4 Meals Abroad” and “Road Trip to Burning Man: Las Vegas, Nevada.”

89. TravelholicA – The topics on this blog cover everything from tips for female travelers, airline and restaurant reviews, as well as popular hiking, ice fishing, sightseeing, and surfing destinations. Recommended posts: “25 Essential Travel Tips for Women Travellers” and “10 Must See Places in Morocco.”

90. Adventure Worthy – “If you travel with one friend you’re likely to find discounts on train tickets and cheaper deals on private rooms, but don’t be afraid to travel alone,” recommends Aysha Manori, Senior Content Manager for Ovast Media, which is based in Southern California. “Couchsurfing.com is a cool way to travel for free, but use caution in choosing your host – make sure they have references and have been approved by the site.” She also recommends Meetup.com and STA Travel, (” an awesome resource for students or those under 26 years old”). Recommended posts: “5 Things you can’t miss in Munich during Oktoberfest” and “World’s Most Dangerous Hikes.”

91. Tango Diva – This site has over 500 travel stories, and some of the article categories include topics on “Wellness,” “Style,” “Culture,” and “Inspiration.” Recommended posts: “Aruba: The Island with Two Faces” and “The Big Island’s Secret Beaches.”

92. GoNOMAD – GoNOMAD’s editor Max Hartshorne was born in New York but currently lives in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. “Stay in youth hostels, make connections through Air bnb and other low cost schemes like couchsurfing.com,” he advises. Recommended posts: “A Visit to Bodrum, Turkey: Barracudas and Belly Dancers” and “The Flying Fish Eco-Village: An Unknown Paradise in Western Fiji.”

93. Europe Up Close – This “Europe travel guide” is full of tips and recommendations for travelers looking for the best flights, hostels, hotels, restaurants, and popular tourist destinations in Europe. Recommended posts: “Taking the Overnight Train in Europe” and “An Insider’s Guide to Basel, Switzerland.”

94. Suzy Guese – “For students that want to travel, I recommend cutting back on going out or shopping,” writes Suzy, from Denver, Colorado. “If you think of that drink out every Friday or that new shirt as a day trip somewhere in Europe, suddenly you will lose interest in these things you don’t need and save extra cash to travel. If you are considering studying abroad, another great way to save is to live with a host family. Not only will the cultural lessons be of value, but most host family situations include meals, making it much more affordable to live in Italy for example.” Recommended posts:  “Combating Travel Crankiness” and “Taking The Road Toward Emotional Travel Preparation.”

95. Chris Around the World – This travel journalist’s blog is for “sophisticated travelers looking for ‘value luxury’ experiences.” Recommended posts: “5 Reasons to visit New Orleans right now” and “Exploring Israel: Should you get an Israeli passport stamp?

96. OffTrackPlanet – “A great way for students to get the most out of their travel (budget-wise and experience-wise) is to volunteer abroad,” writes Anna Starostinetskaya, Editor-in-Chief/Head Writer of Off Track Planet who is originally from Kiev, Ukraine. The cheapest way to go about doing that would be Wooofing. In combination with Couchsurfing and Checking Out Budget Airlines, along with traditional study abroad programs, students can travel cheaply worldwide.” Recommended posts: “What the F*ck is Wwoofing?” and “Backpackers Guide 101: Budgeting + Money.”

97. Travel Blissful – Freelance writer Erica Johansson is from Halmstad on the Swedish west coast, and advises students to “make a daily or weekly budget and stick to it!” Recommended posts: “50 Places to Visit Before You Die” and “5 Scary Halloween Destinations.”

98. Fevered Mutterings – Mike Sowden started blogging back in 2004 when he wrote for the UK blogging network 20six, and for the past 18 months he has also been blogging for Ecosalon and WebUrbanist. Recommended posts: “Are You The Perfect Airport Sleeper?” and “Tourism Unbound: 5 Amazing New Types Of Travel.”

99. Nomadic Chick – “Start a high interest rate savings account and use that as your travel fund, start depositing money into it from work earnings,” recommends Jeannie Mark, who is from Vancouver, Canada. She also recommends for students to start a travel budget, bunk up with roommates instead of living alone, try Couchsurfing, housesitting, or volunteering overseas, and also work at a hostel to save money on food and accommodation. Recommended posts: “Couchsurfing for Solo Women Travelers, Good or Bad?” and “How to Live Like a Nomad in Your Own Country.”

100. Art of Non-Conformity – Chris Guillebeau’s posts cover a variety of  topics besides international travel, such as personal development, life planning, entrepreneurship, and unconventional work. Recommended posts: “9 Overrated Tourist Destinations (and 9 Great Alternatives)” and “Your One Place.”

101. Solo Traveler – “Carry a silk sleeping bag liner so that you know you’re sleeping on clean sheets even in cheap places,” recommends Janice Waugh, from Toronto, Canada. “If you want to splurge on a nice restaurant, go at lunch. You’ll get the same great quality but at a significantly lower price…[and] check out the visitor bureau in places when you arrive to find out when the museums are free.” Besides hostels and university dorms, Janice also recommends couchsurfing but suggests to “read the references on anyone you’re thinking of staying with, [and] have a backup plan such as a hostel and meet them for coffee first so that you can get a feel for them.” Recommended posts: “Solo Travel Safety: tips for respecting local cultures” and “Language is Your Lifeline: 10 Tips for travel in a foreign language.”

102. My Several Worlds – Carrie Marshall is originally from Ontario, Canada but moved to Asia in 2003. She advises students to travel during off-season and to get an international student card so they can get discounts while traveling. “Convenience stores in many Asian locations like Taiwan and Japan sell healthy and inexpensive meal choices. Street food is generally a lot cheaper, but you’ll want to do your research before you delve in. In places like Thailand and Taiwan, street food is excellent. In countries like China and India, the quality is nowhere near as good.” Recommended posts: “5 Taiwan Tourist Attractions You Won’t Want To Miss” and “Budget Travel in Japan: Ten Money-Saving Techniques.”

103. Indie Travel Podcast – “If there was one thing I’d recommend right now, it’s Couchsurfing.org,” writes Craig Martin, who is from Auckland, New Zealand. “This social network allows you to stay for free with a host in almost every town and city in the world. It’s not for cheapskates, but for those interested in hanging out with locals … and having a free place to crash.” Recommended posts: “072 – Finding short-term work overseas” and “Money-saving tips for Europe’s top cities.”

104. Spot Cool Travel – “Every trip fits into two categories: those with more time than money and those with more money than time,” writes Wil Klass, who was born in Colorado, raised in Germany and DC, and is currently living in Western Massachusetts. “It may sound counter-intuitive, but travel that’s longer because one is moving more slowly, visiting fewer places and allowing for flexibility is less expensive than quick pre-planned rush-around-and-see-as-much-as-possible sorts of trips.” Recommended posts: “One Fish, Two Fish, Places That Look Dr. Seuss-ish” and “Cool Outdoor Gear You’ll See In Stores Soon.”

105. Travel Squire – “Travel Squire is the first website to combine a custom travel planning service and a sophisticated travel magazine filled with exclusive online content,” write the authors. “Our Travel Itinerary Planning Service (TIPS), for members only, is the perfect solution for busy travelers who want to experience the best a destination has to offer but don’t have the time to research it.” Recommended posts: “Venice, Italy” and “St. Kitts and Nevis, Leeward Islands.”

106. The Travelers Zone – Some of the various article topics covered on this blog include travel etiquette tips, technology and gadgets, as well as reviews and recommendations for cruise travel, resorts, and hotels. Recommended posts: “Different Traveling Options In Low Budget!” and “The Perfect Spots To Spend Your 2010 Winter Holydays.”

107. Tripwolf – Hungry like a wolf for travel? This site acts as a social travel guide as well as a trip planner, which could be extremely beneficial for first-time travelers or even the most experienced backpackers. Recommended posts: “Volunteer and Teach While Traveling” and “Zoombu – one simple search, one perfect journey.”

108. Malaysia Asia – “Malaysia Asia is a travel information site on Malaysia and Southeast Asia focusing on Eco-Tourism, Nature, UNESCO Sites, and much more from around the region.” Recommended posts: “Sundanese and Paskal Food Market in Bandung” and “Thien Cung Cave at Halong Bay.”

109. Cumi & Ciki – The authors of this blog have designed their site so visitors can read the articles in several different world languages. The articles cover popular restaurants as well as culinary tips and advice for Malaysia travelers. Recommended posts: “Top 5 cheap eats in Lower Manhattan – how to dine like a real New Yorker!” and “My, oh My.. Mai Ramen!

110. My Melange – Travel blogger Robin Locker entertains her readers with photographs and historical information on Italian/French food and culture. Recommended posts: “Travel Tip Tuesday – Free and Different in Rome” and “Travel Tip Tuesday : Saving on Airfare.”

111. Notes from Spain – “Use the buses!” writes Ben Curtis, who is originally from Oxford, UK but has been in Spain for the past 12 years. “But try booking the train online as far in advance as you can, sometimes you get great web-fares.” Recommended posts: “What Frank and I have in common – Barcelona do’s and dont’s” and “Avoiding Pickpocketing / Mugging in Madrid – Link.”

112. Global Grasshopper – This site is based in the UK, but some of the writers on the site are from Australia and the Republic of Ireland. “My biggest money saving tip for students is to travel anywhere outside the expensive Euro zone!” writes Becky, owner of Global Grasshopper. “Asia is traditionally a very cheap travel destination and I found my money lasted a lot longer here. Australia and New Zealand are also reasonably priced places to travel. If you really want to travel in Europe spend some time researching budget accommodation before you go and if you want to go out at night, stay away from the main tourist areas where prices can be up to three times as much.” Recommended posts: “Barcelona: The Mediterranean capital of cool” and “Top 5 craziest alternative hotels in the World.”

113. Heather on Her Travels – “After transport and accommodation, the biggest cost of travel must be food, particularly in Europe where eating out is very expensive compared to other destinations such as Asia and South America,” writes Heather Cowper, from Bristol, England. “To save money, always be sure to choose accommodation where you can self cater, such as a hostel or an apartment if you are traveling in a group, and ideally where a good breakfast is included in the room price. If you want to splurge then it’s normally better value to eat out at lunchtime than in the evening.” Recommended posts: “Three hiking and kayaking adventures to try on Kauai, Hawaii” and “Memento park – Icons of Budapest’s communist past.”

114. Brilliant Tips – “With the currency markets in flux, at least for the moment, the dollar is strong again,” advises world-traveler Rich Whitaker, who lives and works in Marblehead, Massachusetts. “Travelers looking to make the most of their money should keep an eye on global exchange rates and visit places where their dollar will go the furthest. You can live like a king or queen in many parts of Asia and Latin America on just a few dollars a day, but you’ll need quite a bit more when you head to Europe or Australia.” Recommended posts: “iPhone Tips for International Travel” and “Tips for Getting Around Prague.”

115. Gap Year Escape – “One of the biggest money saving tips I can give to students, both pre-travel and while they are away, is to shop around,” writes Amar Hussain, who is from Warwick, England. “Just because something comes your way first and it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s the cheapest for you. Shop around for everything and be prepared to barter or ask for discounts.” Recommended posts: “3 Ways to Travel to Your Dream Destination” and “30 Photos To Inspire Travel In Australia.”

116. Hole in the Donut Cultural Travels – “Stay off of planes whenever possible and take buses and trains instead,” writes Barbara Weibel, who is from Chicago but claims to be a “citizen of the world” more than anything else. “In some parts of the world the trains are extremely inexpensive, and in Latin America, the bus system is awesome. In most places in the world, I don’t hesitate to eat the street food. I look for places where a lot of locals are being served. In many countries, I can eat for less than $10 per day – sometimes less – in Malaysia (where I am at the moment) I could literally eat for less than $5 per day, since my homestay provides a good breakfast.” Recommended posts: “There’s Still a Bit of Old China Left in Glitzy New Shanghai” and “Great Wall of China – an Incomprehensible Feat of Engineering.”

117. To China…And Beyond! – “My top money-saving tip is to eat street food wherever you are — it’s not only yummy, but you can also get a meal for a dollar, or even less,” advises Jessica Marsden, who is from California but is now studying at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “Second, if you’re not traveling alone, why not try out CouchSurfing. You can save money AND get closer to the local culture by meeting up with a local.” Recommended posts: “The “Greatest” Chinese Cities” and “Day 19: Russian Odds and Ends.”

118. A Tramp Abroad – “Find out where the local library is. Chances are they have free wireless internet and many also offer limited temporary library cards for visitors which only require that you show a piece of identification like a passport.” advises Amy Thibodeau, who spent most of her life in Regina, Saskatchewan, but considers London her home base. “Apart from lodging, eating out can be the most expensive part of traveling, [so] when possible, book accommodations with kitchens…[and] look into the best rates for public transportation before arriving and walk as much as possible.” Recommended posts: “Going to Haiti,” and “Top Five Tips: Tokyo for First Time Visitors.”

119. Hike Bike Travel – “Try and get a house sitting gig through housecarers.com,” writes Leigh McAdam, who grew up in Ottawa, Canada but is currently living in Vancouver. “Take 10% off everything you make before it gets frittered away and put it in a specially designated travel account…Babysit even if you think you’ve outgrown it. Some people make $15 per hour – almost all of it which is likely to go unreported on your tax return.” She also recommends collecting beer and pop bottles, couchsurfing, an traveling to less expensive countries like Asia and South America. Recommended posts: “17 Websites for Travelers” and “My All Time Favourite Accommodations List.”

120. Traveling Fashionista – “I suggest taking full advantage of last-minute deals for flights and hotels,” advises Kirsten Owens, who calls herself a ‘true California girl.’ “The rates are drastically reduced and if you have an adventurous spirit, you can be on a vacation in just a few days! If you can determine the type of vacation you are looking for, but not be specific on the exact location, you will save a ton of money. Find which cities fit your ideal location, and price check all of them. I can guarantee you will notice a big difference in price between each city!” Recommended posts: “How to Pack Beauty Products for Travel – Travel Sized Liquids” and “Travel Fashion – How to Avoid a Fashion Disaster While Traveling.”

121. Go Girl Magazine – “If you’re in Europe, use RyanAir to travel,” writes Editor Beth Santos, who is from Durham, New Hampshire. “Wherever you go, watch what the locals are eating, and try cooking that for dinner. As an American, I’m used to thinking that a PB&J sandwich is a cheap meal. But in some places, that’s one of the most expensive things you could make! Remember that local culinary traditions are going to run cheaper 100% of the time. If you’re hosteling, free breakfast goes a long way. International student ID cards are not expensive and can get you fantastic discounts everywhere- from museums to trains.” Recommended posts: “Pack Rat, Will Travel” and “A Sunrise Tour Around the World.”

122. Vagabond Roots – “Compare what each purchase could buy somewhere you’d like to travel,” advises Catia, who was born in Canada but is now a ‘permanent world nomad.’ “Realizing that for the cost of beer in some places, that same money could be a night’s stay on a beach in another… it definitely helps with the incentive!” Recommended posts: “Bran Castle in Romania – Vlad ?epe? Castle” and “iPhone Travel Apps.”

123. Before You Backpack – The site’s editor (Aaron Bradford) is from a small town called Thetford in Norfolk, UK. He recommends that any student interesting in traveling should read his article “How to save money for a backpacking trip.” Other recommended posts: “How to keep your backpack safe” and “Backup your important travel documents easily.”

124. Practical Travel Gear – Travel blogger Tim Leffel is from America but currently lives in Mexico. His best money-saving tip for students is to purchase The World’s Cheapest Destinations, (now in its third edition). Recommended posts: “The Pros and Cons of Packing Cubes” and “Practical Travel Gear Rewind (September 2010).”

125. Mai Travel Site – “Cut unnecessary spending. If you REALLY want to travel this has to be a priority, and every penny you save can be spent on the trip,” advises Federico, who was born in Evanston, Chicago, but moved to Spain when he was 4 years old. “…Don’t pay with a credit card- pay in cash. If you see the money that is actually going away you’ll cut back your expenses. Swiping a CC is not visual and means nothing to your pocket. Cell phones are money guzzling machines. Get rid of it, or text message if you really need to say something.” Recommended posts: “An Encounter with the Venezuelan Army and Why I Don’t Look Forward to Another One” and “How to find a Cheap Flight-Step 2: Low Cost Airlines.”

126. What A Trip – Nancy D. Brown is “a lover of all things related to travel,” and educates her readers on popular tourist destinations and attractions, specifically in Northern Europe. Recommended posts: “Best Things to See and Do in Bergen, Norway” and “Best Things to See and Do in Napa, California.”

127. Irish Fireside – Learn everything about Irish culture, travel, and heritage by reading this site, and check out their numerous audio and video podcasts. Recommended posts: “Safer Travel in Ireland” and “10 Tips for Getting Through Irish Immigration.”

128. Europe A La Carte – This site was listed as #6 on Cision Media Intelligence’s “Top Ten UK Travel Blogs,” and was also listed as #30 on Invesp E-Commerce Consultancy’s “Top 150 Travel Blogs” list. Recommended posts: “European destination tips for 2010” and “The best of Lisbon travel tips.”

129.  A Wandering Sole – Travel blogger Laura Walker is a “professional nomad and amateur runner,” and entertains her readers with stories about travel, culture, and design. Recommended posts: “Sole Purpose: Questscope (Jordan)” and “Sole Purpose: Back to School Foundation (Malawi).”

130. iBackpack Canada – “Keep some form of student ID on you at all times, even if it’s expired,” advises Corbin Fraser, who is from Alberta, Canada. “Many tours, tickets, and restaurants will help you save anywhere from 10% to 15% off the original price. Also, do some research into Student Discount Cards, some are only good for shopping, some are only good for tickets…Do yourself a favour, and play ‘pirate’. Hide your money from yourself, stick it somewhere you won’t think to look for a while [and] keep a coin jar! When you’re budgeting your next trip, crack that jar open and start counting. You might be surprised how much you managed to save from hiding that change from your coffee addiction.” Recommended posts: “10 ways to Die in Canada” and “6 reasons why Saskatchewan Doesn’t Suck.”

131. Globetrotter Girls – “We are a German-American travel writer and aspiring photographer who lived together in London for 3 years before setting off to explore the world in April 2010,” write the authors. As for money-saving tips, they recommend that students “embrace coupons,” pre-drink at home before going out, and avoid using a car. “Don’t buy too many things for your travels beforehand,” they write, “many things might be cheaper in the country you’re visiting…Sell all the stuff you don’t need anymore on eBay (uni books, clothes, etc) – you’ll be surprised how much money you can make with ‘old’ stuff.” Recommended posts: “Zipolite: Backpackers, hippies and major waves” and “Mexico City on a shoestring.”

132. Tech Guide for Travel – Stay up to date on the latest tools and gadgets that could come in handy for your next vacation or trip around the world. Recommended posts: “4 Ways To Save Your Digital Photos From Crooks And Corruption” and “Your Guide To Creating Itineraries (And Hopefully Making Money) With UnAnchor.”

133. Backpacking Worldwide – Blogger Matt Hope is originally from Ocala, Florida but currently lives in Orlando. Before traveling he earned a degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida. Recommended posts: “Things I Bought for Less Than $3” and “The Art of Bargaining While Backpacking in Central America.”

134. Vagabonding – This site was voted as the “Best Travel Blog” by Forbes, and is full of videos, travelogues, and photographs for travel geeks. Recommended posts: “Erotic Temples of Khajuraho, India” and “Chief Crowning Ceremony in Swaziland.”

135. Brooke vs. the World – “Because of my travel flexibility and ability to stay put from time to time, my world travel stories are a bit different from those found on other RTW travel blogs,” writes Brooke, who is originally from central Illinois. “My world travel stories tell about a girl living abroad in various parts of the world and all the successes and failures brought about in the process.” Recommended posts: “My 3 Best Kept Travel Secrets” and “When an Itinerary is Necessary.”

136. Amateur Traveler – From San Jose, California, Chris Christensen created the Amateur Traveler podcast back in 2005, and also has a free ebook, titled “How to Save Money Booking Your Travel Online.” Recommended posts: “Bike Travel in Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan) – Episode 172” and “Travel to Madagascar – Episode 141.”

137. Best Places In… – Travel  blogger Pedro currently lives in Madrid but spends one-third of the year traveling around the world. “Travel with few possessions,” he writes; “…trust people, be nice and respectful, try to work or volunteer in a community; [and] wherever you go do what you see, don’t prejudge people.” Recommended posts:  “Best way to travel from Moscow to St.Petersburg” and “Burning Man: extravaganza in the desert.”

138. C’est Christine – “Stay in a hostel (or better yet, rent an apartment) with a kitchen to save money on eating out,” writes Christine Amorose, who is originally from Sacramento, California. “Realize that drinking and partying costs a lot of money–and you can do it anywhere!” Recommended posts: “The words of the wise and Niçoise” and “Logistics: a place to stay in Paris.”

139. The Vacation Gals – Even though this site is directed more towards traveling families, this blog has won numerous awards and is full of excellent tips and recommendations for travelers. Recommended posts: “Halloween Attractions at Orlando Theme Parks and Other Local Events” and “Halloween in New York City – Annual Activities.”

140. Geotraveler’s Niche – “Splurge on a single large meal a day,” advises Lola Akinmade, who was born in Nigeria. “Strive to have a simple breakfast and cheap lunch…Trade skills with locals, You can teach a local how to play guitar while they teach you their local language, thus saving on language lessons.” Recommended posts: “Travel Secrets in 3..2..1” and “Irish Photo Files II: A Detour In Dublin.”

141. Jasmine Wanders – “As far as money-saving tips, I would suggest students stop buying stuff!” writes Jasmine Stephenson, from Tampa, Florida. “The lighter your pack, the freer you’ll feel and happier you’ll be.” Recommended posts: “Dodging Pervs in Tegucigalpa & Comayagua” and “My First Quasi Hitchhiking Experience.”

142. Stretchd – “My advice to students is to not be too quick to start the ‘American Dream,'” advises Nick Laborde, who is originally from Michigan but has also lived in Tennessee and Los Angeles, and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. “Take advantage of your limited responsibilities. I didn’t do that and now I’m paying the price but am changing that.” Recommended posts: “Planning vs. Not Planning for World Travel” and “The Introvert Challenge.”

143. Live Vicuriously – “My favorite money saving tips for students who want to travel are to control the amount of times you go out to eat and party!” writes Brandy Bell, who is from the central coast of California, and previously worked in the wine industry before she started traveling. “Alcohol bills really add up as well as eating out, so its best to cook for yourself and have the friends BYOB!” Recommended posts: “World Travel As An American*” and “9 things I Love about Portugal.”

144. Jet Set Citizen – “There is huge peer pressure to consume,” writes John Bardos, who is technically Canadian but has lived in Japan for 13 years. “The best way to get out of that consumption cycle is to focus on your goal to the exclusion of everything else. You can live on about $30 per day in Thailand so that $300 iPod is 10 days of travel. Your $60 bar night is two full days. Move back home, get rid of your car and work part-time. You are a student, there will be time for accumulating things later in your life.” Recommended posts: “What is the Best Way to Fund a Travel Lifestyle?” and “Frequent Flyer Miles Hacking: Tips and Tricks to Fly for Free.”

145. Transient Travels – “Be flexible about ‘where’ you travel,” advises Susan Forshner, who grew up in Natick but currently lives in Boston. “Don’t feel like you have to plan your Spring break months in advance. You know you have the time time off, spend the months/weeks ahead searching for deals and base your destination on what fits your budget. It makes travel more spontaneous and affordable…Don’t write off taking a bus between destinations. It tends to be cheaper and while it takes longer too, in many cases it’s a great way to see the landscape of the place you are visiting.” Recommended posts: “Chichen Itza” and “The Eastern Market in Washington D.C.

146. On Our Own Path – “The best way to save money to travel is to stay on a budget and have your savings go automatically to a separate account,” write Bessie and Kyle, who have been traveling for 2.5 years and are currently in Thailand. “When you can watch your money slowly growing, it’s a big motivation not to spend it!!” Recommended posts: “What not to miss on Malapascua Island, Philippines” and “Photo Journal: Creepy, Crawly, Critters in Costa Rica.”

147. The Caffeinated Traveler – “One of the best ways I found to save money for travel is to limit your entertainment budget,” writes Cate Dowman, who is from New Zealand. “Cutting back on late nights out can save dollars. When traveling take the bus over a plane or taxi, you get to spend time actually being a part of the local culture and you learn a lot about how yourself as well.” Recommended posts: “Rumbling of the gods: Taiko” and “The Australian New Zealanders love to hate.”

148. Travel Yourself – “You can often score last minute deals for single supplements or get on tours that are full and they ‘only have room for one more,’ or see a Broadway show when there are only single seats left for really cheap, etc.” writes Cailin O’Neil, who is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. “Research if the city you are visiting has free walking tours as many do and often they are the best tour you can get! [And] pack your own food, for day trips and even trips in general.” Recommended posts: “Cailin’s Copenhagen on ‘Do It While You’re Young‘” and “Sheep Yelling Like A Man – Travel Yourself Nova Scotia.”

149. Eurotrip Tips – “Do some research beforehand,” writes travel blogger Marie, who was born and raised in Montreal. “Nowadays the whole concept of spontaneity is a bit overrated because it often costs an arm and a leg. Looking for rates and deals before you actually travel to a new place can save you a lot of money (and definitely adds to the excitement!)” Her money-saving tips for students interested in traveling? “My very dear two cents: walk around. It’s the cheapest thing you can do and yet, it’s how you’ll discover just how beautiful a city can be. Take the time to stare at the beautiful architecture, enjoy your surroundings, the vibe of the place you’re at.” Recommended posts: “Where are the best cabs in the world?” and “Sunday’s I Want To Go To There: Ljubljana, Slovenia.”

150. Roads Less Traveled – Tracy L. Barnett is a former environmental/newspaper/magazine writer, and her articles reflect her passion for Latin American culture. Recommended posts: “A piece of Paraguayan paradise: San Rafael preserve” and “Huaca Pucllana: The ancient pyramids of Lima.

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15 LinkedIn groups for students and graduates

Posted on Oct. 3rd 2010 by Alexis

1. Linked:HR (322,762 members) – This “#1 Human Resources Group” is known for its active group discussions on  recruiting strategies, hiring trends, employment laws, and various other HR-related topics.

2. Job Openings, Job Leads and Job Connections! (264,947 members) – This group calls itself “the #1 LinkedIn Jobs Group” where members can search for jobs and post their resumes, or even receive resume and career advice from professional experts.

3. Job & Career Network (174,382 members ) – This group has countless other Job & Career Network subgroups organized by location, profession, and industry, (such as “Arts and Entertainment,” “Hospitality, Travel and Tourism,” “Law and Legal,” “Education and Research,” “Energy and Natural Resources,” “Healthcare, Medical, Biotech, Pharma” and many more.

4. JOBS 2.0 Search (74,514 members) – This group is a great resource for students and graduates who are interested in networking with recruiters and fellow job seekers. Members discuss the latest online trends in job searching, as well as online recruiting techniques and social networking.

5. Global Jobs Network (64,780 members) – In this group, members can post their resumes and/or scroll through international job posts, and connect to numerous recruiters and “head hunters” from all over the world.

6. Star:Jobs Professional Career Center (35,256 members ) – This group is known for helping members find employment quickly and efficiently, and popular discussions include “Best Part Time Jobs for College Students” and “Attention Job-seekers: Get More Interviews from LinkedIn.”

7. The Job Hunter Group (21,407 members) – Members of this group can search through hundreds of job postings in numerous fields such as food, health care, engineering, HR, sales, marketing, accounting, and much more.

8. MBA Highway | MBA & Recruiter Network (20,361 members) – This group is the “ultimate MBA job and internship search network,” where MBA students can connect with employers who are looking for “MBA-level job candidates.”

9. JobAngels (17,622 members) – This group is a great resource for students or graduates who are in need of emotional support and advice as they begin their job search. The creators call this group a “grass-roots movement,” and it is run by “Job Angels” who are dedicated to helping the unemployed find work.

10. The Talent Buzz (17,159 members) – Company recruiters, HR and marketing professionals, as well as job-seekers join this group to discuss the latest trends in social media and recruitment. This is a great group for LinkedIn “newbies” who want to stay up to date on the latest online recruiting trends.

11. A Job Needed – A Job Posted (15,046 members) – Popular amongst company recruiters, this LinkedIn group serves as a perfect resource for students and recent graduates who are struggling to find full- or part-time employment.

12. JobsDirectUSA (14,302 members) – Members of this group can post their resumes and search through over 1 million U.S. job openings via  a local job listings section, (updated daily).

13. Independent Recruiters (10,716 members) – Students or graduates who are pursuing a career in sales should check out this popular LinkedIn group. Some discussion topics include how to spruce up your resume or cover letter, or how to ace your first job interview.

14. Students and Recent Grads (10,040 members) – The discussions in this group are led by LinkedIn employees, graduate students and educators who provide expert advice  on how to excel in a job search after graduation.

15. New Grad Life (3,052 members) – Members of this group provide excellent tips and advice on how to create an “attention-grabbing” LinkedIn profile, how to search for jobs related to your degree, or even financial management tips for recent graduates.

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Private loans and student death: The Christopher Bryski Student Loan Protection Act

Posted on Sep. 30th 2010 by Alexis

Private loans and student deathDue to the fact that 84 percent of private student loans require a co-signer, most students are left with no other choice than to ask their parents to co-sign their student loans. Unlike federal loans, if a borrower becomes disabled or passes away, private lenders demand that co-signers pay off the student loans in full.

But the House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 5458, also known as The Christopher Bryski Student Loan Protect Act or Christopher’s Law, which will apparently “change the way private student loans are handled.”

The bill was passed by the House on September 29th, 2010, and will soon be voted on in the Senate for action.

The authors of the bill recommend the following amendments to the Truth and Lending Act and Higher Education Opportunity Act:

  • Private education lenders as well as institutions will be required to provide student loan counseling services to students, and discuss the options and benefits of purchasing credit insurance.
  • Private lenders must “clearly and concisely” define the financial responsibilities of the co-signer, specifically what will happen if the student passes away or becomes disabled.
  • Students and co-signers must also be advised about the benefits of creating a Power of Attorney.

Christopher Bryski’s story

In 2001, 23-year-old Christopher Bryski was accepted into Rutgers University, and he asked his father to co-sign his student loans so he could pay for tuition. Christopher borrowed approximately $44,500 in private student loans, and $5,000 in federal loans.

When Christopher was climbing a tree in June, 2004, he lost his footing and fell forty five feet to the ground. He sustained a traumatic brain injury which left him in a vegetative state for over two years, and tragically passed away in July, 2006.

Despite living through a parent’s worst nightmare, there was more heartbreak around the corner for Christopher’s family: The bank informed his father that he was responsible for paying back his son’s loans. He was left with no other option than to come out of retirement just to pay off the debt, and by the time the repayment plan ends, he will have paid up to $85,000 due to interest. 

Although the information regarding repayment responsibility was “buried deep in the fine print of the contract,” Christopher’s father was under the assumption that he would be financially responsible only if Christopher defaulted on his loans.

The Bryski’s story inspired U.S. Representative John Adler to introduce H.R. 5458 to the U.S. House of Representatives on May 28, 2010. The bill was then endorsed by The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), Brian Injury Association of NJ (BIANJ), Rutgers University and the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA).

“The bill is not going to help. It’s too late for us,” says Ryan, Christopher’s brother. “Once Christopher’s Law is passed, if and when it’s passed, it will help families in the future [so] they do not end up in this situation.”

However, it is important to point out that there are some existing private loans which have forgiveness policies in the event of a disablement or death.

Until this bill is passed into a law, experts are advising all students interested in taking out a private student loan to look into grants or “expanded federal options,” and research credit insurance before asking someone to co-sign your loan.

Experts also advise that if you are co-signing your child’s private student loan, it may be a good idea to have a Power of Attorney over your child’s finances. Otherwise you will be unable to access your child’s bank accounts or re-negotiate their loan repayments in the event of death.

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