Make “Back to School” Fun With These Tips and Accessories

It’s that time again for students to get back to the grind. But who says it has to be all work and no fun? Make this semester a little more interesting with some accessories that can add a little pick-me-up to each day.

Let’s start with your laptop. If you’re like me, you probably just throw your laptop in your backpack and go. Pick up a laptop carrier that suits your own lifestyle. Not only are these interesting little conversation starters, but you can also protect your laptop from damage better than in a backpack. What about protecting it from theft you ask? Check out these tips on what to do if yours gets lost or stolen. Most of them, after reading them, seem like they would be common sense. But when upset, our minds tend not to think as clearly as possible, so keep these tips handy, just in case. See how this guy got caught using a laptop he had stolen.

These are without a doubt, some of the coolest little laptop accessories I have seen. It would have been nice to stumble upon these little gems when I had a laptop that had only one USB port. Seriously, one?!  Keep these in mind when you’re looking for a USB hub. I think my favorite is the dog, but check out all ten of them.

Last but not least, here are some of the coolest little things to carry around in your bag with you. Take notes, “delete” notes, and most importantly, keep yourself entertained (between classes, not during)!

I hope everyone has a great semester!

Save up to 80% by Renting Your Textbooks on Kindle

As it is getting closer to the beginning of the semester, many students are beginning to think about purchasing their textbooks for their classes. Every student dreads this time of year because, honestly, who wants to pay $500 for books?! If you have a Kindle, you’re in luck.

Kindle allows you to rent textbooks for up to 80% off the list price of printed textbooks. Sure, the list price is for the new, unused textbook, but if you’re a procrastinator when it comes to buying books (like myself), then you’ve probably gotten stuck buying a new book once or twice because you missed out on all of the used ones.

With Kindle’s textbook rentals, you can choose how long you would like to rent the book for from 30 to 360 days so you only pay for the time you need the book. You can also extend the rental from as little as one day, as many times as you want, or even convert your rental into a purchase.

One of the best things about this is that once you rent the book, you can access it from not only your Kindle, but your PC, Mac or mobile device.

After your rental is up, you can access your notes and highlights any time you want at kindle.amazon.com.

Facebook Launches App that Tells Prospective College Students Their Chances

As of today, Facebook has launched a new app called AdmissionSplash, helping high school students determine what their chances are of getting into different colleges in the United States. As most of us know, college application fees can get expensive – quickly, and it’s helpful that students now have this tool to aide in the application process.

The AdmissionSplash application requires users to enter important information similar to what would be asked on actual college applications. Test scores, volunteer activities, extracurricular activities and the students address are the key factors when determining the probability of acceptance into most colleges. The app tells the user the likelihood of admission, ranging from “very poor” to “very good.” As of right now, AdmissionSplash runs customized equations for about 1,500 of the  2,400 four-year universities in the U.S..

Although the AdmissionSplash application doesn’t take the essay portion of test scores into account, it is said to be pretty accurate. UCLA used data from their students to test the application and determined that 85% of the students who used the app and received a rating that gave them high probability of getting in, actually did get into UCLA. The sample size for UCLA was small (only 73 students), so it is not advised to put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak, for a certain college if AdmissionSplash says the chances are high.

I think this application seems like a great idea. It gives prospective college students the chance to examine different schools without spending the money for application fees. Although the app admits that it is not dead on, if one receives a probability of “very poor,” I think it is safe to say that they will not be admitted into the college if they apply. In the future, the app could be modified and help undergraduate students with their chances of getting into different graduate schools. With the economy in its current state, any way to save money is helpful, especially right before attending college.