Being actively involved in a club is a great resume booster and provides an opportunity to connect with others who share the same interests. The key is finding a club that will keep you (and its members) actively engaged.
A large university will usually have hundreds of clubs to choose from. Maybe you have a great idea for a club or organization, or maybe there is one already established that you never knew existed.
First, find the page on your university’s website that lists all active clubs and organizations on campus.
If this page isn’t easily found from the college’s homepage, a quick Google search will usually get you to the page you need.
This page will typically list all clubs available at the University.
Didn’t find the club you were looking for?
Start your own Club
In order to be an official club, you will need to register with the university.
On the webpage listing clubs on campus, there should be contact info of the appropriate office you need to contact in order to get established as an officially recognized club. This process is typically handled by the office of Student Life, Campus Life, Student Activities Office, or whatever relevant name the office is given at your school.
Once you find the appropriate office on your campus, stop in to see what paperwork needs to be filled out. At this time you can also go over any questions you may have in regards to setting up your club.
Some schools will provide an online registration process, but typically physical presence in the office will be required of the ‘Primary Officer’ of the club, whether it be in a one-on-one meeting or a registration session that requires the attendance of at least one member of your club. This meeting with a Student Life Coordinator (or similar) is required to verify in fact you are a currently enrolled student at the university (you will be asked to show student ID) and to help draw out the details and process of establishing the club.
You will have to provide the name and purpose of your new club. There may also be a minimum membership requirement to create the club; many schools require the membership of at least four students to get started. The club will need to be created and operated by students enrolled in the university, so you’ll need to establish who will be the directors of the organization and draw up a constitution. There will be other specific rules required to create the organization, depending on the requirements of your college.
Steps to Establishing a Club
The exact steps a student must take to start a club can vary by school, but it typically follows this process:
Gather names and emails of 4-5 interested members for your prospective club (currently enrolled students).
Assign titles: President, Secretary, etc.
Register and submit organization form with proposed name and purpose.
Meet with Student Life Coordinator or Activities Board (or appropriate office at your school).
Draft a constitution (bylaws).
Advertise your club’s first meeting.
Being an officially recognized club at your college can get you access to university resources. This can include funding, a campus mailbox (both physical and email), a university-hosted website, access to facilities for meetings, and on-campus discounts such as advertising in campus media and bookstore discounts.
By starting a club, you can immediately place yourself into a leadership position. You can establish yourself as the President of the club or society you decide to create. Holding a leadership position in a single club holds more value than being just a member of many. Not only is the leadership position respected, but the fact that you took the initiative and created the club on your own shows you’re a self-starter; something that will stand out on any application or resume.
If you’re unfamiliar with how to run a club, consider reading up on it or discussing further with the Student Life Coordinator. You are the organizer of the club, so feel free to lead it in any way you want by coming up with your own game plan. Perhaps sit in or join another club on campus to see how they operate. Becoming a member of a well-established, smoothly running club can give you an inside look at how a successful club operates.
There are many new trends taking shape that can be formed into clubs at your school:
Green or Environmental Club
Computer Programming Club
Fantasy Baseball Club
An Investing or Investors Club
A Secret Society…
What are your hobbies?
Odds are there are other students on campus that share the same interests… Start a club!
Sorry to bring up a sore subject, but this is the reality we face in dealing with what is one of the biggest complaints about going to college. Between high prices, new editions with little variation from the previous edition, and horrible buyback offers, the whole system sort of leaves you sick to your stomach.
Over the past few decades, the textbook industry has been consolidated into five major textbook publishing firms. Known as the “Big Five”, these are corporations that have one thing in mind: profit. The industry is controlled by this handful of companies who employ many dirty tricks to protect their bottom line, some of which you will learn below.
Here you will read confessions from the industry, ploys used to maximize profits, and other things you may not know about the textbook business.
Confessions of the Textbook Publishing Industry
The textbook industry hopes to go purely digital by 2020.
Textbook publishers have a significant anti-piracy team that watches the major file sharing networks for copies of their textbooks.
The cheapest "legitimate" way to get your textbooks is usually through Amazon. They also have free Amazon Prime memberships for college students, giving you free two-day shipping.
Publishers make most of their money during the first semester or two a new textbook is on the market. After the first couple semesters, there are a good amount of used books on the market. This is why publishers release new editions every two to three years as used books only make the bookstores money.
Since publishers get nothing from the sale of used books, it’s in their best interest to eliminate the used textbook market. Stores that specialize in used textbooks (Barnes & Noble, etc.) make a killing without the expense of producing the text. When digital textbooks take over the market, publishers will have effectively destroyed the used textbook market.
Textbook prices are high because there's a lot that goes into the production of textbooks. There's the process of writing the book, the research behind it (admittedly, much of which happens in early editions), quality control and editing, printing, shipping (books are heavy), supplements, sales personnel, etc. That also doesn't take into account the bookstore's cut, which is around 25%.
The wholesale cost of a textbook goes to cover (in descending order) author royalties, paper, printing and binding, investments in editorial development and digital product development, marketing, instructor resources and support materials, general and administrative costs, and shipping costs.
Confessions from the College Bookstore
How buyback pricing works at the college bookstore:
By the end of the semester, college bookstores know what textbooks will be used for the upcoming semester. Based on previous sales and enrollment, they establish how many used books they want to have in stock for the next semester. If that quota hasn't been filled, they give students 50% of what they paid back. If the quota is filled, or the book isn't needed, that's when you start seeing the ridiculously low buyback prices being offered. These wholesale prices can be pretty low because of the shipping and labor costs of sending these extra books to the warehouse, which then get shipped off to another bookstore.
If you are being offered wholesale prices, don't sell your books to the bookstore. Instead, wait until the next semester the book is being used. If you used the book for a fall semester class, wait until next fall to sell it. If there's a request by the professor to carry the book, you will typically get more money for your book. Do some research to see how long your edition of the textbook has been in print. If it's been three or more years or shows a new edition is in the works, sell the book online, as you'll usually get more money for it that way.
Keep your book in the best shape possible. This really matters for getting the best price during buyback.
Bookstores tend to make more money on used copies. Used textbooks are sold for about 75% of the new book price, after paying 50% for it during buyback.
For new textbooks, college bookstores typically get their books directly from the publisher. Publishers establish the amount they charge the bookstores for each title. College stores then establish a retail price (the amount a student pays for the textbook). The difference between what the college store pays for the textbook and the amount they charge the student is called the gross margin. This gross margin is used to cover the personnel costs, freight costs, and other expenses related to operating the store (utilities, rent, etc.) The average gross margin on new textbooks is 22.3% , according to NACS’ 2010 College Store Industry Financial Report.
Tricks of the Textbook Publishing Industry
Creating a Revised Edition
Let’s say a book is in its 5th edition and it's a commonly used textbook. Due to its popularity, the market is flooded with used copies. Instead of creating a new 6th edition, the publisher will create a "revised edition". Sometimes it is the same book packaged with some unnecessary supplemental material and they will force this revised edition out only a year or so after the previous edition to counter the sales of used textbooks.
Woo the Instructors
As a sales rep approaching a professor, there are two ways to sell a textbook: have the best one or become friends with the professor. Once a book is published, sales reps can’t control if it’s the best or not, so they try to make friends with the professor. They flatter the professor by sending them free books, treating them to dinner and drinks, and calling them just to chat. Once a sales rep establishes a relationship with a professor, it becomes easier to influence their decision when choosing a textbook. This influence allows reps to steer professors toward the more expensive books, maximizing company profits and their own commission.
After an education convention we’d rent out part of a bar and pay the tab for several hours for professors. I once heard a marketing manager for McGraw-Hill bragging about a $14,000 bar tab he paid while entertaining professors.
Getting professors involved with the creation of the book
Publishers offer professors easy résumé boosters, often by getting as many professors involved in the creation of the textbook as possible. They pay professors to review their new textbooks. In exchange for reading a draft of a chapter, they get their name listed in the front of the textbook. It’s something they can put on their résumé and a book they are more than likely to use because of their involvement.
Creating custom editions
Publishers are trying to make it more difficult for students to sell their books by creating custom editions. These are textbooks created specifically for the school with chapters pieced together from the original text(s). The customization makes the book unique, therefore giving it no value outside of the school it was designed for. Because of the custom labeling, the book becomes difficult to sell. Customization also guarantees sales for the college bookstore, the only source for the custom editions.
Custom edition example:
Here is the textbook Technology In Action, a Third Custom Edition for Riverside Community College (ISBN: 0558748139).
It contains Chapters 1 through 9, plus Chapter 11 (Chapter 10 is intentionally omitted)
of the original textbook it was derived from: Technology In Action, 7th edition (ISBN: 0135096693).
The content is exactly the same.
Providing free goodies to instructors
Publisher reps will set up meetings with the course committee involved with selecting the textbook. At these meetings, sales reps cater instructors with lots of tasty sandwiches, salads, sodas, and desserts while they present the benefits and features of their textbook. The publisher will also offer free course and lecture material to entice the professor to adopt the textbook for their class. Providing these free Power Point presentations and lecture slides they can use in class means less work for the lazy busy professor.
Bundle textbooks with supplemental material
Publishers are cutting deals with bookstores by providing discounts and other perks if they only stock new editions. To combat the used book market, they'll use tactics like shrink-wrapping a textbook with a study guide, CD-ROM, etc., so the bookstore has an excuse not to buy it back at the end of the semester.
Requiring an access code for a homework website
To further counter used textbook sales, textbook companies encourage professors to assign homework that must be done on the publisher's website, or a website created specifically for the course. A student with a new textbook can use the pass code provided in the textbook to register on the homework site. Since these are one-time use codes, students with used textbooks are forced to pay for an access code in order to do their homework. These access codes are also sometimes sold by college bookstores, where students who have already purchased a used textbook pay upwards of $50+ for what ends up being a piece of cardboard with an access code printed on it. This helps the publisher recover some of the lost revenue from used textbook sales.
Things you may not know
Many university bookstores are actually operated by Barnes & Noble, Follett, etc. The advantage of outsourcing is the companies guarantee a certain amount of profits to the university per year.
Science textbooks are among the most expensive because publishers have to stay on top of all the new findings in their respective fields and a lot of work go into that.
Pro Tip: If your bookstore pre-bundles your books, by all means do it. At some bookstores, students can pre-order their books as soon as they have their class schedule. The bookstore will pull the books off the shelf and set them aside for you. When you show up to the bookstore during the first week of the semester, you just walk up to the desk and grab your books, while everyone else is dealing with the crowds.
Textbook authors will typically receive a small monetary advance on royalties, and then receive 15% of all sales.
It doesn't matter where you bought your books, the university bookstore will buy them from you during buyback if they can.
A study by CALPIRG found that the average time between textbook editions is 2.8 years, regardless of whether the information had changed since the previous edition. They also found that new editions are priced 12% higher than the previous edition.
An eTextbook isn't just an eBook version of a textbook; it's an interactive educational tool. That’s what Apple is trying to achieve in their push for iPad textbooks, something they hope will disrupt the $8 billion textbook market.
Built-in video, interactive 3D objects, and the ability to highlight content (that can be automatically turned into flash cards when preparing for exams) are just a few of the features of textbooks on the iPad.
Using iPads in the classroom has brought new excitement to course material. An instructor from Notre Dame, who had his business class take part in a pilot program, noted how the ability to easily share and collaborate with the device made the class “more interesting and dynamic”.
IPads have become so useful in certain academic settings that some colleges are making them a required item. This is the case at Brown University's medical school, where incoming students were required to purchase iPads last fall.
Students as part of a eTextbook pilot program at Cal State enjoyed the cost savings, the ability to search by keyword, and the lightweight option that digital textbooks provided, however, eTextbooks did not provide the greatest user experience for many of the students. Their biggest complaint: they felt as if they were reading a textbook on the Internet.
It is apparent iPad textbooks aren’t for everyone. Three out of 4 students still prefer a print textbook over the digital version, according to a March 2011 survey of 655 college students. Current sales of eTextbooks only account for a small percentage of the $8 billion textbook industry.
Is it worth buying an iPad just for textbooks?
Based on current “savings” eTextbooks give over print textbooks, it would take about two semesters worth of textbooks to break even, after spending $500 for the iPad. Of course, buying the eTextbook version means the book can’t be resold and certain publishers even limit the time you have access to the book.
With Apple’s recent announcement of iPad textbooks available in the latest update of the iBooks app, they are taking steps toward building a catalog of textbooks available for purchase within the app. The current selection of textbooks is limited, with most of the titles being high school textbooks.
Where to get iPad Textbooks
The nice thing about textbooks on the iPad is they can be accessed immediately after purchase (no standing in lines at the bookstore or waiting for your books to ship). Here’s where you can get college textbooks for your iPad.
Kno has a huge selection of textbooks for the iPad. The Kno Course Manager application lets students organize their textbooks and other course material in a central location. With Kno textbooks you can search, zoom in on pictures, add sticky notes, highlight text, and easily share course material with fellow students via social networks. A recent edition of their app added video integration and support for interactive 3D objects to further enhance learning on the iPad.
Kno, a startup created by the founders of Chegg.com, originally developed their own oversized tablet specifically designed for digital textbooks. As soon as the iPad started taking off, the company realized the device was the backbone for the future of the industry and bailed on its own hardware efforts last April.
About eTextbooks from Kno
Available on: Ipad, Web
Purchase options: Buy or Rent (6 months).
Length of access: Lifetime access as long as you have a Kno account.
Printing limitations: No printing allowed.
Available offline: Yes, the textbook is permanently stored on your iPad.
Deals: They offer a 15-day free trial (no credit card required).
Inkling was started in 2009 when Matt MacInnis, a former Apple employee (who worked in Apple's education division for eight years), noticed that technology and textbooks weren’t reaching their full potential.
Their goal is to make learning interactive and engaging by taking advantage of new media devices, like the iPad. They want to reinvent the textbook by looking at a digital textbook not as a book, but as software. This new technology enables learning assessment tools to be built into the textbook, like having interactive quizzes at the end of every chapter. Inkling also brings a social aspect to learning by enabling students to follow each other’s note streams, all within the application.
Inkling textbooks are generally 30%-40% cheaper than the list price of print books. Students also have the option of purchasing individual chapters for a few dollars each (which comes in handy for those classes that only cover a few chapters of the book). Their catalog has over 100 fully-enhanced, interactive titles available, including some of the most popular titles for undergrad, MBA and medical students. They have a limited number of books available because they customize every textbook specifically for the iPad to make it interactive and engaging.
About eTextbooks from Inkling
Available on: iPad only
Purchase options: Buy the full textbook or by the chapter.
Length of Access: Lifetime use.
Printing limitations: No printing allowed.
Available offline: Yes, although some multimedia content (streaming video and music) in the textbook does require an Internet connection.
Deals: Free chapter by downloading their iPad app.
CourseSmart is currently the largest seller of eTextbooks. They claim to save students 60% when purchasing over printed textbooks. The textbooks at CourseSmart are sold as digital rentals that give users digital access rights to the textbook for 360 days. CourseSmart textbooks can be used on the iPad by downloading their free app.
About eTextbooks at CourseSmart
Available on: Most digital devices: iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Laptop computers and Android devices both online and off.
Purchase options: Free trial before buying. After purchase, access to the eTextbook is given for the “digital rental” period, which is 360 days.
Length of access: 360 days
Printing limitations: Up to 10 pages at a time. Total limit is 1.5 times the number of pages in the book.
Available offline: Yes, but content must be checked out via their online app.
For eTextbooks at Amazon, students can either buy the digital textbook outright (lifetime access) or rent it (cheaper option), better known as Kindle Textbook Rentals. Renters can choose their rental period (any length between 30 and 360 days), so you only need to pay for the time you actually need access to the book. After the rental period ends, students still get access to all of their notes and highlighted content in the Amazon Cloud.
Even though Amazon has eTextbooks labeled as Kindle edition books, they can still be used on the iPad. To access Kindle Textbook Rentals on your iPad you will need to download the Kindle app from the App Store (therefore, no Kindle device is required). Additionally, you always have the option of accessing the textbook from other devices (PC, Mac, Android, Blackberry, and iPhone) at any time with Amazon’s Whispersync technology.
About eTextbooks at Amazon
Available on: Even though Kindle textbooks were designed with the Kindle in mind, they are accessible on iPad, PC, Mac, Android, Blackberry, and iPhone.
Purchase options: At Amazon you can buy or rent in both print and digital form. As far as eTextbook rentals: choose any rental length between 30 and 360 days. You can extend the rental period for as little as one day or convert the order to a full purchase and keep the book permanently.
Length of access: Depends on the purchase. The textbook can be rented from 30 to 360 days.
Textbook renter Chegg.com just recently started offering eTextbooks that are available on the iPad. The eTextbook is web-based, therefore viewable on any device connected to the Internet. Not having the textbook available offline is a downfall, but being online lets you connect to Chegg’s 24/7 Homework Q&A service through the eReader. Ordering a print textbook from Chegg? Customers can get a 7-day access pass to the eTextbook version while they wait for their physical textbook to ship.
About eTextbooks at Chegg
Available on: Any device with an Internet connection.
Purchase options: At Chegg you can rent textbooks, buy new and used, or get eTextbooks.
Length of access: The eTextbooks have a digital rental period of 180 days.
Printing limitations: According to Chegg, copy and print limits will vary per eTextbook. Clicking on the ‘View Details’ next to the eTextbook will show the limitations of the book you are ordering. Most of the eTextbooks seem to allow up to 50% of the book to be printed. Printing over 10% of the book will void any returns of the book for a full refund.
Cengage offers textbooks in multiple formats: print, rentals, eTextbooks, and by the chapter (eChapters). The eTextbooks and eChapters are available on the iPad for both online and offline use. Being able to buy textbooks down to the individual chapter and getting free access to the eTextbook version while your print textbook ships are two big advantages of getting textbooks at CengageBrain.
About eTextbooks from CengageBrain
Available on: You can view eTextbooks and eChapters on a desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone or Android device.
Purchase options: Buy eTextbooks by the book or by the chapter (eChapters). Also offer print textbooks for sale or rent.
Length of access: Standard length of access to digital content is one semester. Some titles that are published for courses that last multiple semesters have a longer access period. Individual chapters are only available for an access period of 6 months.
Printing limitations: Up to 10 pages at a time. Total limit is 1.5 times the number of pages in the book.
Available offline: Available both online and offline with the free eReader app for your iPad. Currently, offline access is only supported when using a desktop, laptop or iPad.
There are many freely available open textbooks that can be used on the iPad. While you likely won’t find the textbook your professor assigns here, convince your instructors to start using open textbooks and the $8 billion textbook market can really be disrupted.
Office hours are arguably the most underused resource available to students.
With that said, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be using what is perhaps one of the biggest tools at your disposal to understanding the material and getting a better grade. Basically, if you’re not using it, you better be getting an A on the next exam.
Office hours are your opportunity to get one-on-one instruction on course material. These are specific times that instructors (professors, TAs, etc.) set aside to make themselves available to students.
A professor will typically announce his/her office hours and location on the first day of class and in the syllabus. This information should also be available on the professor’s website.
A Valuable, Yet Often Underused Resource
Throughout the term you may find your professor complaining to the class about being lonely during their office hours. This is your sign that they want visitors. Here they are reaching out to offer a valuable service (that you are technically paying for) only to have it be neglected by the class.
Your Professor During Office Hours.
Simply put, not enough students take advantage of office hours. Either students are too busy, too lazy, or too embarrassed and afraid they will ask a stupid question or be called out about missing the class when the information was covered.
Utilizing Office Hours
With set office hours, it’s comforting to know there is a time and place you will always have access to your professor.
To make the most of an office hours visit, you’ll need to do a little preparing beforehand. This includes coming in with specific questions and other items you would like to go over with the instructor. Keep a list of questions and concerns to discuss during your visit. This ensures your meeting will run as smoothly and quickly as possible.
The best way to prepare for this meeting is to review your class notes and attempt to do some of the homework before your visit, so you can identify exactly what it is you are having trouble with. Sometimes students are so lost they don’t know where to start. This is fine and something where a few visits to office hours can get the student back on track.
Even if you don't have any questions about course material, stop by your professor’s office to say hi and introduce yourself. This way you’ll know where the office is located should you ever need to visit throughout the term and the introduction will help your professor get to know you by name. This is especially important in larger classes (but equally as important in smaller classroom settings as well). This initial introduction helps establish a connection, which could be beneficial later on. Professors are generally pretty welcoming and accommodating to students who come in for office hours.
While attending office hours is not required, if the effort isn’t made to show up, you leave yourself no excuse at the end of the term when grades are dispersed and you are left with a grade you are not satisfied with.
Benefits of Using Office Hours
Straight Up: Attending office hours puts you at an advantage over other students.
Students who utilize office hours often do better on exams and papers, are more satisfied with their classes, and feel more connected to their college, classroom and professor. It is an opportunity to show instructors your enthusiasm for the material. A place you can follow up on aspects of the class you find compelling by asking questions that go beyond what the lecture and textbook cover.
Help Preparing for Exams
Take advantage of office hours and discussion sections, especially before big tests. The week before exams and finals are times in which your professor will be in high demand. This is why sometimes a professor will schedule additional office hours the week before a test.
It is essential to visit during these times because professors are typically in the process of determining what will be on the exam and can give away clues about what it will cover. If you can cut out material you don't need to focus on for the upcoming exam, you'll save yourself hours of study time in exchange for the short 30min investment of time for an office hours visit. Knowing what to study (and what not to) before a test can be very beneficial when it comes time to cram for the exam.
Build a Connection
In the digital world, people are losing touch with interpersonal communication. By taking the time to go into office hours you get a face-to-face connection with your professor. Going in and personally introducing yourself helps your instructor put a name to a face, which can only be beneficial unless you plan on pulling the "Do you even know my name?" at the end of the term.
One-on-one instruction creates the prime environment to build on the student-teacher relationship. If a positive connection is established in your meetings, the professor can help with letters of recommendation, job offers/leads, and having them as an advisor for independent study.
Common Questions about Office Hours
Should I email professors ahead of time to let them know I am stopping by?
While it is a good gesture, office hours are open for you to stop by. You can call/email to make sure they are available and not already with another student, but for the most part they sit there and expect students to show up, therefore no appointment is needed. A heads up email is nice, but not necessary.
How should I approach a professor during office hours?
When dropping in unannounced, your best bet is to show up at the beginning of office hours. If you show up and your professor is already assisting another student, knock or otherwise politely announce your presence upon arrival. Don't feel like you're being a nuisance, these are hours specifically set aside for you and your classmates. If you find the office too busy, politely ask to make an appointment.
Things to Remember
Be courteous and respectful.
If you make an appointment, arrive on time.
Address the professor by his or her last name with the appropriate title unless asked otherwise.
Value their time by being prepared and staying on task.
Avoid waiting until the day before the test or the day before an assignment is due to seek assistance.
Show up early to office hours and bring your work with you. This way you can get the help you need and continue working right there in the office while the new understanding of the material is fresh on your mind. This also allows you to ask and get immediate help with any other questions that come about while advancing through your studies.
Students should go to office hours because…
…we're a friendly bunch; but really, some people learn best by discussing the topic and getting one-on-one attention, and with large courses, office hours are really the only way to do this.
…your professor will get to know who you are and you might be more comfortable asking them to write you a letter of recommendation later.
- Brenda Gunderson, Statistics Department at University of Michigan
The most productive office hour interactions seem to begin with a student pulling out a short, focused list of specific questions. It is helpful if they are able to reference a particular lecture or reading. This makes it possible to put the answer into a relevant context. Written questions are great strategy for focusing the meeting and it gives shy students a sort of script. Often the initial discussion will generate other questions and, ideally, the student walks away with a broader understanding of the topic.
- Denise Guillot, Anthropology Department at University of Michigan
As an instructor of a large lecture course, I value office hours because it gives me an opportunity to speak directly with students from the class. In particular, it gives me the opportunity to better gauge how well students are understanding the material from lectures. If I find that students are not understanding the material, then I can respond to that in subsequent lectures.
- David Smith, History Department at University of Michigan
Why should students go to office hours? I wouldn't just say "go", I'd say "go early". I get popular just before exams, but at other times am sometimes sitting in my office waiting for students to stop by. It's an opportunity to be engaged --- to review class material, expand on what you learned in class, or just talk about the discipline more generally.
- Jan Gerson, Economics Department at University of Michigan
Things can get pretty boring during the winter months. The restlessness, boredom, and additional time spent indoors create a prime environment for mischievous acts. Students in the dorms with too much free time on their hands can only lead to one thing: Dorm Room Pranks.
Here's a look at some of the most popular dorm room pranks pulled on fellow dorm mates.
While the ranking methodology is quite trivial, the Princeton Review likes to do an annual ranking of the Best College Newspapers. The "best" in this case meaning the most popular, as the methodology for the ranking is based on how popular the newspaper is among the 122,000 students surveyed at 376 colleges.
Here's a roundup of the top 20 college newspapers for 2011.
America is fascinated with college startups. So much so that the college startup has almost become the new American dream. After hearing captivating stories of how websites like facebook and Google were started, it raises the entrepreneurial spirit inside of all of us.
Here is a young group of websites, nearly all founded by college students, who see a problem or a niche in the world of higher education and are dedicating countless hours to their project. Some of the founders have even decided to forgo college all together to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
While not all of these websites may be well known yet, many of them offer useful tools and applications that make college life easier and more productive.
Here's a look at some up and coming college websites to watch in 2012:
Three students at the University of Pennsylvania dropped out of school to start CourseKit, a course management system with emphasis on social networking. The team raised $1 million in funding for the project, which launched in August 2011. The founders want to make course management better than the standard Blackboard, a system they say is always crashing, terribly laid out, and not very user friendly. Their main objective solves a problem that troubles large universities nationwide: They want a 300 person lecture to feel like a 20 person seminar. Getting students to communicate with each other in the classroom is the key to better learning and CourseKit makes this happen.
InClass is a free mobile app designed to be a student organizer. Students can download the application at iTunes and use it to manage schedules, notes, and assignments. Notes can be taken within the app by text, audio or video and can also be used to record class lectures. InClass is perfect for students focused on productivity and GTD. The app is used worldwide and is available in multiple languages.
Kno has been around for a few years so it's hard to call them up and coming. However, they recently launched a new business plan, ditching their dual-screen textbook reader aimed at the college crowd. They have since turned their focus to software, designing applications for viewing/managing eTextbooks on devices like the iPad, picking up an additional $30 million in funding in the process. In addition to viewing textbooks, students are able to take notes, create and take quizzes, and share materials using the Kno application.
Acceptly is a free college prep and application manager geared toward high school students (and their parents). Acceptly breaks down the college application process into manageable steps, using gaming and social features to keep students engaged, while offering suggestions on how to improve chances of acceptance. Acceptly is a fun, yet serious tool that guides students through one of the biggest decisions they will make in their lifetime.
OneSchool is a mobile application for iPhones, Androids, and Windows Mobile Phones that helps students connect to people, places and things around their campus. Founded in February 2011 at Penn State, the application is currently available at 50 colleges. Some of the features in the app include real-time bus tracking, an interactive map of classroom locations and local eateries, a student and staff directory, and campus news. OneSchool is the one app that every first-year college student should have for getting around and staying informed.
Citelighter is your tool for writing papers more efficiently and keeping research thoroughly organized. Citelighter is a downloaded as a toolbar for your web browser to assist with gathering research and citing sources. You can highlight any text on a webpage relevant to your research and “capture” it. The application will automatically grab the necessary bibliographic info from the source. Capture, organize, and create is the simple three step process to gathering sources and outputting them in multiple bibliographic formats (APA, MLA, Chicago) with Citelighter doing most of the work for you.
Three UCSB students created Swaapr in an effort to help college students get the textbook they need without having to pay for it by swapping with other students on campus. The campus-based marketplace is organized onto a map so you are able to see where the person you want to swap with is located. Students can post the books they have and the books they want and connect through Swaapr. Last spring their business idea took first place at Bay Area Startup Weekend, a competition for tech startups. The startup is yet another example of college kids taking time off of college to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams (like CourseKit above).
Equipped with a beautifully designed website and an additional half million in funding, Internmatch allows both internship seekers and employers to search for a perfect match. The website offers searchable internship listings with tools and guides to help with the internship process. On the employer side, the service focuses on helping startups, small businesses, and non-profits find and connect with highly skilled interns and guarantees to match companies with interns in 60 days or their money back.
Piazza is an online Q&A platform designed to connect students, TAs, and professors so students in the class can get questions answered quickly anytime and anywhere. The recent release of their mobile app helps keep classrooms even more connected and engaged. Both students and professors can set up Piazza hubs for their classes. Financing from prominent investors and word of mouth have helped the service quickly expand to many colleges across the nation, with a large user base at Stanford and MIT.
Binksty is your one-stop shop for managing student loans. Users can access all of their federal and private loans in one spot making the process and organization of paying back loans simpler. With student debt spiraling out of control, Binksty arrives at a much needed time where (sadly) a tool is needed to manage a burdensome debt that needs to be taken seriously.