Author Archive

It’s Back to School Week, and We’re Giving Away $100

Unload your boxes and get reading! Photo by Trinity University. It’s that time again! Amazon is raking in cash from textbook sales, sobbing parents are dragging boxes through dorm hallways, and the smell of hormones and keg beer fills the air. Yes, it’s time to go back to school, and HackCollege has you covered. Be on ...

Guest Post: Beef Up Your Security and Rip Hackers a New One

em>This post is by Thomas Frank, a junior at Iowa State University who runs a college blog of his own called College Info Geek. As long as you're not a vacuum salesman, you can connect with him at his website or on Twitter.

As a college student, you're getting to the point in your life when you have a lot to keep track of online. School email accounts, online banking, FAFSA information, social networks... the list goes on. As you get older, your online life just keeps expanding.

Now that you're in college and have this expanding online life to keep track of, your online security becomes ever more important. In high school, most of the people in your network were your age, and you probably didn't have a lot of resources. Therefore, you probably weren't much of a target for malicious attacks. However, now that you're in college and most likely over 18, a lot of sensitive data becomes yours instead of your parents'. You can get things like credit cards, and loans are now in your name. You're also probably a lot more visible on the internet.

I'm going to expose myself to a potential foot-in-mouth situation here and make what's called a "blanket statement": 

 Your online security sucks.

In fact, if we were to somehow personify your online security, it would probably look something like this... Steve RogersOn the other hand, I can tell you that, at the present moment, my online security looks a little more like this. Coincidentally, my dad looks kinda like this too...I say it looks like this at the present moment because, as recently as two weeks ago, I too had terrible online security. What I'm talking about specifically in this article are passwords. Most of us, including me, are or were at some point guilty of using the same password on every site we have an account with. Some of you might even use a really bad password like your name spelled backwards or something with nothing but lowercase letters. In the past, I used to think it was OK to use the same password everywhere as long as it was really secure. Using that line of thinking, I created one really long, complex password, set it on all my accounts, and settled into a false sense of security. It wasn't until I started learning about web security that I knew how stupid of an idea that was. Now that I know, I've fixed my security problems. In this post, I'll show you how to do the same thing easily and painlessly. However, before I do that, I want to give you a short primer on why using the same password is a bad idea, even if it's a really good one. Essentially, there are two potential pitfalls involved with non-diversification in the security world:

  • Screw-ups by you, yourself, and thou
  • Screw-ups by the owners of the websites you use

Read on to hear Thomas' advice for protecting yourself online.

Guest Post: Broke, But No Time For a Real Job? Create Your Own!

an class="full-image-block ssNonEditable">Zac made a business out of rooting Android Phones, and says you could do the same with almost any skill. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Pittaya and licensed under CC by 2.0

Today's guest post is from Zac Sweers, a rising junior at the University of Texas in Austin. Zac loves tech, especially Android, and even made a business out of his ability to root Android phones. You can check out his popular how-to videos at his YouTube channel.

So you're in college, and you need cash. Unfortunately, most of your fellow students are in the same boat as you. Enough to safely say your boat is more like an unpleasant cruise ship full of broke people. Jobs are the easy solution, but sometimes you don't have time for a real job with all of your partying and gaming "studying", right?

I was in a similar position coming into the fall of last year. I had the near-obligatory tanked GPA from freshman year, and subsequently no time to get a real part-time job. My parents send me a monthly check for rent and bills, with some extra for food and leisure, and I was essentially living from check to check.

I had an HTC Evo 4G, and around October I researched how to root it, and subsequently ROM's and all that jazz. Now, for those of you that have attempted this yourself, you know researching this is ridiculous kinda hard. After I got the hang of it though, it was easy. I was still an economics major at the time, and so my thought process was:

"Man, this was hard ----> I bet other people have trouble with this too ----> *with arrogance* I'm really tech-savvy, and if I had trouble with this, then most other people probably REALLY have trouble with this ----> I bet people would pay me to do this for them."

Read on to hear about Zac's experience in the rooting business.

Guest Post: Warning Signs of an Expensive Roommate

If your roommate pinches pennies at Costco, he may save you money on bills and expenses. Photo courtesy of Flickr user David McKelvey and licensed under CC by 2.0 Today’s guest post is from Kiley Theiring, a student at Chapman University majoring in Film Production and minoring in Japanese. She like to write and play ...

Guest Post: Top 5 Strategies to Land an Internship

an class="full-image-block ssNonEditable">How do you make yourself stand out among others? Photo courtesy of shahsjunkie. Licensed under CC BY-2.0.

Today's guest post was written by Luke Richter, a Senior at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo majoring in Business, minoring in Statistics and Economics.  He recently spent time interning as a campus ambassador for InternMatch connecting with students and improving localized brand outreach.

Internships in today's economy are becoming a necessity for any student looking to remain competitive in the job market. Most employers expect internship experience, while at the same time it has become harder for students to distinguish themselves when looking and applying for internships.

The big question remains, how can I stand out from other internship applicants? Here are a few tips to help you.

Personalize & Customize Your Resume

In today's environment most students consider internship applications a numbers game, but I would argue that it revolves around how you personalize and customize your resume. But exactly how can you be sure that your resume will stand out from the rest? One way of doing this would be to use your college’ s seal as a watermark on your resume. It adds another level of elegance and depth to your resume in the crucial seconds that your resume is evaluated. Another useful trick is to incorporate the company’ s logo into the objective section of your resume. I have personally gotten a lot of "brownie points" for this and feel that it is an easy way of differentiating yourself.

Click here to read more

Guest Post: How to Handle Collegiate Introversion

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Introversion can be tough to deal with, but certainly not impossible. Image courtesy of Flickr user Schleickmeister and licensed under CC by 2.0

Today's guest post is by Shahzad Saeed, an Indian Engineering student and founder of the blog Tech and Project. His site is geared toward students hoping to participate in international science fairs and student project programs, like the Google Summer of Code.

The best thing about college life is we get to meet all types of people on campus, both introverts and extroverts. Recently, I came  across an article explaining why introverts can make best leaders. The article says 40% of the executives and leaders are introverts like Bill Gates and Barack Obama, and it also describes the characteristics that help introverted leaders build on their quiet strength and succeed. Despite these success stories, many introverted college students worry about their ability to adapt and do well in college, and in life.

Am I introverted?

If you aren’t sure whether you’re introverted or not, try this this test to check. It also describes the top signs of introversion, and the results may surprise you. In this extroverted world there are a lot of myths about introverts. Many think that introverts hate people, they are shy and don’t talk too much. As an introvert I can say that these are completely false. Talk me about blogging or something I am really interested in, and I will keep talking for hours. That is why most of my friends never consider me as an introvert. For tips on dealing with your own introversion, or the introverts in your life, read on.

Guest Post: In Trouble with the Administration? Be Prepared.

class="Body">Found yourself afoul of campus police? Stay calm and be prepared for your appeal. Image courtesy of Flickr user Mskogley and licensed under CC by 2.0

Today's guest post comes from Stephanie Buscema, a recent graduate of Wagner College who will be attending NYU in the Fall to pursue a Master's in publishing. At Wagner, she was a part of the Community Standards Review Board, where she heard cases from fellow students who found themselves on the wrong side of school policy.

College is the environment where students are trying to find themselves, as well as trying to fit in with their new peers.  However, oftentimes students don’t know their limits and find themselves in trouble with administration.  While no longer living under their parents’ roofs, students have the freedom to explore all possibilities, even it means disregarding school policy. 

After attending college for four years, I have seen many of my peers fall in and out of trouble.  While serving on a disciplinary board, I have seen and heard many cases involving drug and alcohol abuse and violations of school conduct codes.  However, what I have noticed, is that without the guidance of a parent or mentor, some students fall through the cracks and find themselves not knowing what to do and how to prepare to deal with the consequences of their actions.

Students should have the opportunity to review helpful tips in preparation of an appeal.  The question that arises is, “How can I prepare?”  To be honest, it’s quite simple.  Here are some helpful tips to prepare for your appeal.

Guest Post: How Twitter Can Benefit You in College

em>College students can use Twitter as a resource. Photo courtesy of stevegarfield. Licensed under CC BY-2.0

Thomas Frank is a student at Iowa State University and the founder of College Info Geek. You can find out more about him at his website and follow him on Twitter.

Twitter, the microblogging website, has been around for almost five years now. While the site now has over 200 million users, many students still believe that it's a waste of time. Part of the reason for this belief is the misconception that Twitter is only used to broadcast inane messages like "I'm eating a taco" or "Snookie is my role model". The reality couldn't be further from the truth. Not only is Twitter a much more robust and useful service than it's perceived to be, but it can also be of great benefit to you as a college student. Here are my top four reasons that you should be on Twitter:

You can build a personal brand

Twitter gives you the ability to garner an audience, and you can broadcast whatever message you want to that audience. Why not leverage this great opportunity and start setting yourself up as an expert? You're in college to get a degree and become an expert in your field; Twitter can help you let other people know that. Set up and account and make your interests known. For example, I'm an Information Systems major, so I'm interested in technology. However, I'm also passionate about entrepreneurship and helping people succeed in college. Therefore, a good amount of what I tweet about has to do with those three things.

You can do this with whatever field you're in. Fashion major? In Style, Vogue, and tons of other magazines are all on Twitter. You can follow them, retweet articles - anything that makes it known that you're interested.

Click to read on!

Guest Post: 5 Social Sites that Students Need to Try

an class="full-image-block ssNonEditable">Grab your friends and check out these sites that can help you with homework, registration, or even finding a job. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Nic's Events and licensed under CC by SA 2.0

Today's guest post is fom Lior Levin, a student at Tel-Aviv University and marketing consultatnt at the MA in Israel Security Studies and Political Science programs. He has some great sites for students, many of which you may not have heard of yet.

Every student could use a little help to make it through college. In this connected world, there's no better place to look for that help an online. Luckily, there are dozens of social media sites geared specifically to students. Here are our picks for the five social media sites every student should join.

1. RateMyProfessors

Rate My Professors provides a great way to check out the classes you plan to take, the books you will use and, most importantly, the professors who will teach you. It is the internet's largest listing of college professors. There are more than 1 million professors in the database and they have received more than 11 million student ratings. Best of all, it's absolutely free. Students always checking professors with other students -- this site just make the process easier. It's a wonderful way to make sure that you have a smooth ride through college with only the best classes and professors.

2. CampusBug

CampusBug provides homework help for students. It calls itself a social learning network which combines educational and social networking tools. It's a huge information sharing community where you can meet students from all over the world, share photos, upload blog posts as well as get help with tests. While the site has its fair share of spam, there is also a lot of useful information in the wiki categorized by tags and labels.

Read on for the rest of the list!

Guest Post: Communicating Your Crisis

an class="full-image-float-right ssNonEditable">Not feeling up to class? Be sure you communicate well with your professors. Image courtesy of Flickr user Alicia Nijdam and licensed under CC by 2.0Erin Breedlove is back again with a follow-up to her last guest post about surviving college when you're sick, be it a cold or chronic illness.  Remember to check her out at her blog: Healthy, Unwealthy, and Becoming Wise.

Last week, we discussed surviving school in the face of sickness, but what happens if you are really just too sick to go to class? What do you do?

For me, and I’m sure many other college students, communication with professors has always been crucial when I’ve got what seems like a crisis situation. But how do I write that e-mail, make that phone call, or show up at that office door confident that the professor will understand the situation? Here are four simple steps that may help you to easily communicate with your professors to, in essence, avert your “crisis”.

Keep in mind whether or not the “crisis” is a recurring issue. If the situation you’re dealing with causes you, or will cause you, to miss class frequently or regularly, be prepared with background information for your professor. Expect to give some anecdotal information and recount experiences where the current issue has previously affected your academic performance. Ask about ways that you can compensate and make the “crisis” work for you, despite academic requirements set forth by the professor in the syllabus or otherwise? For example, if a class meets Monday and Wednesday, and you’ve got an assignment due Tuesday, it may be possible for you to turn in the assignment on Wednesday at the beginning of class if that works for you and for the professor.  The key here is to simply be as flexible as possible. Understand that any accommodation your professor allows is, in most cases, in concordance with the law, but often, it’s an act of generosity.

Read on for more tips!

Guest Post: Surviving School in the Face of Sickness

em>In college, no time is a good time to get sick. Photo courtesy of Flickr user effekt! and licensed under CC by SA 2.0Today's guest post is by Erin Breedlove, a sophomore at Georgia College and State University. We'll hear from Erin a few more times in the coming weeks, but in the meantime be sure you check out Healthy, Unwealthy, and Becoming Wise, where she blogs frequently about the unique challenges of surviving college with a disability or chronic illness. 

There are days where you wake up and you’ve got a scratchy throat and a stuffy nose. “I’m getting sick, and I want to just lie here and sleep” goes through your head. Truthfully, though, you’ve got four classes that you can’t miss because of strict attendance policies. You feel like death, but you understand that you need to be in class. The picture of the syllabus that says you have a test in two days haunts the back of your mind.

Students with disabilities and chronic health conditions go to class when they’re sick quite often. So, for those of you who aren’t (and who are!) affected in this way, read on for few tips to get you through the sickness during class feeling might do the trick.

Guest Post: Hack Your Knowledge with Free Digital Resources

an class="full-image-block ssNonEditable">Lectures and chalkboards are boring. Knowledge hacking is fun. Photo courtesy of edbrambley. Licensed under CC BY-2.0.

Today's guest post comes from Josh Olson, a student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is a would-be iPhone app developer and blogs about study tips at

Whether college is the best of times or the worst of times depends greatly on your professors' abilities to teach. Some can't. Fortunately, there are a number of swell digital resources that help you hack your knowledge. Here's how to learn cool stuff for free.

First, there's This website provides videos from the TED conference—a gathering of scientists, digital gurus, entertainment big-wigs, and Bono. These videos cover an array of subjects, all explained by some of the brightest minds of our time. For instance, in this talk Robert Wright talks about game theory, non-zero-sumness, and his "grimly optimistic" philosophy of history. If you're taking a music class, you might like Itay Talgam's talk explaining the art of conducting an orchestra. Or if you're in physics you have to check out Brian Greene's excellent explanation of string theory. Astronomy got you down? Listen to Stephen Hawking talk about space aliens. Or if life in general's got you down, listen to Bill Gates talk about what's wrong with the world and what we can do about it.

Speaking of Bill Gates...Read on to find out more