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Making Thanksgiving Dinner in Your Dorm


Nov 23, 2011

Not all college students are able to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. If this sounds like you, don’t worry: You can still get into the holiday spirit in your dorm. Many of you are probably wondering how to pull off a Thanksgiving feast when you don’t have a kitchen and/or cooking skills but here’s a little guide to help you: You can find ready-made mashed potatoes in the refrigerated section of your grocery store or buy raw potatoes and cook them in the microwave (some even have a button for this). For gravy, buy a powdered packet and add the requirement of heated water. Voilà! If you don’t want canned cranberry sauce, heat fresh cranberries in the microwave until the juices are released. Add sugar to taste and mix while slightly mashing them with a spoon. Candied yams would be difficult to make from scratch in a dorm so buy canned pre-cut and peeled ones. Heat the yams in the microwave with butter then add some cinnamon and sugar (granulated white and brown). When the sugar melts, you’re done! Boxed stuffing can taste just as good as the homemade kind. Get the Stove Top brand – all you need to do is mix it with hot water. For the bird, most grocery stores have cooked rotisserie turkey and chicken. You can add your own seasoning or eat it as is. Get a bottle of sparkling apple cider or grape juice for delicious mocktails. Pick up a ready-made pecan or pumpkin pie from your grocery store for a treat...or maybe even some seasonal cupcakes.

Bon appétit, everyone! [...]

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner and many college students are planning to head home to celebrate. It’s no easy feat, either: With the cost of travel and the chaos attached to traveling during one of the busiest weeks of the year, it’s not always possible for students to get home for the break. That doesn’t mean that Thanksgiving has to go out the window; in fact, there are tons of alternatives to traditional Thanksgiving for college students staying on campus. [...]

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The National Association for College Admission Counseling recently released a list of the top 10 things college admissions officers consider to be most important in an applicant. When I read it, I was surprised to find that extracurricular activities didn't make the cut! There have been many times when I have said or heard someone else say, “That will look good on a college application.” After all, there is something impressive about being SGA president or being actively involved in a service organization like Key Club. Unfortunately, the data say otherwise. [...]

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Whether you’re a prospective college student or already a few years in, there’s no doubt that tuition is a major concern. It’s not cheap to be a college student and while student loans can greatly assist you in this struggle, sometimes they’re not enough. That’s where scholarships can help. [...]

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There’s a lot of preparation that goes into making the transition from high school to college. While some students figure this out after they set foot on campus and are overwhelmed by a litany of new responsibilities, others begin laying the groundwork even before they apply. In Chicago, public school students will have more opportunities to pursue the latter route thanks to a change in the dual enrollment plan. [...]

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Whether the rent is too high, the landlord is negligent or there is an army of flying squirrels gnawing away at your apartment, your housing situation may need to change. This usually happens at a most inopportune time, like in the middle of the semester; it’s is a stressful, horrible and distracting experience but if your current place is bad enough (remember my last post?), the move will benefit you in the end. [...]

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What does the average college student’s wardrobe consist of? Most people probably think of hoodies, sweatpants and tennis shoes, or guys on game day wearing white dress shirts with striped ties featuring their school colors. That’s true to some extent but fashions differ from campus to campus and many people use their college years as a time for self-expression. [...]

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Between announcements of Cooper Union possibly charging tuition and the average student debt topping $25,000, news about the cost of college haven’t been too positive as of late. But lo, the University of Charleston has broken the bad news cycle: The West Virginia school has announced it will reduce tuition by 22 percent for all new students and provide additional aid for continuing students. [...]

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It’s coming up on that time of year where high school seniors and college students are filling out college applications or beginning the transfer process, respectively. It’s a challenging time without a doubt and it doesn’t help that students are bombarded with college advice, statistics and rankings information from countless sources. How do you know what’s legitimate information and what’s not? Here are three factors you should definitely consider before submitting those applications. Reputation: Of course you’re going to consider a school’s history when deciding whether to go...but the best school with the best reputation might not necessarily be the best fit for you. This goes for all aspects of reputation as well: Recognize that anything in excess is never good and just as you don’t want to get overwhelmed academically, you don’t want to get too caught up in the social stuff, either. Price: The fact that college is expensive is old news but you can’t let cost limit your options! Many schools are well aware of the economic hardship that many families are dealing with and their financial aid packages reflect this: Colleges contributed an average of $11,500 per full-time students as of the 2009-2010 school year. Every little bit helps! Recommendations: While choosing the right school is your own decision, it doesn’t hurt to get feedback from some direct sources. Talk to students who attend the schools you're interested in and find out about their experiences. Check out a school’s Facebook and Twitter pages and find out different resources you can contact to get a better idea of what the student experience is like.

Applying to college is a big step, as any of these institutions could be where you spend all or part of your college career. In the end, the most important factor is to pick the schools that you can picture yourself being happy. The decision is ultimately yours – it’s truly the first step in taking your future into your own hands. [...]

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If you’re a prospective college student considering a career in engineering, architecture or art, Cooper Union is probably on your radar. Not only is the school among the most selective in the nation but the tuition – zero – has been the best deal in higher ed for more than a century...or it was. [...]

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I have tons of horror stories about roommates and housing but the one connective thread is an unprofessional landlord. While I can’t tell you why this problem is so prominent in many college towns, I can guide you on how to deal with it. [...]

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Did you know today is Halloween? Of course you did...but did you also know it’s deadline day for multiple scholarships? No?! Well there’s still time to potentially earn thousands toward your college education through these Scholarships of the Moment! Short & Tweet Scholarship: Applying to and attending college can be the best time of your life but it can also be the scariest! Tell us your scariest college-related experience in 140 characters on Twitter for a chance to win $1,000 or a Kindle for college! Awkward Back-to-School Photo Contest: Have a not-so-flattering school-related photo? It may be tempting to dispose of the evidence but don’t burn those negatives or delete those jpegs just yet: Submitting those images on Facebook could earn you $1,000 or a Kindle for college! College Prowler $2,000 No Essay Scholarship: This scholarship is open to all students and those planning on enrolling within 12 months. The monthly winner will be determined by random drawing and then contacted directly and announced on College Prowler’s Facebook page. Zinch Weekly Three Sentence Essay Scholarship: That’s right – writing just three sentences (280 characters max) could earn you $1,000 for college. The topic changes each week so check out Zinch’s site for this week’s prompt. Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation Four Year Award for Seniors: This award is an achievement-based scholarship awarded to 250 high school seniors each year. Fifty of these are four-year $20,000 scholarships ($5,000 per year for four years), while 200 are designated as four-year $10,000 scholarships ($2,500 per year for four years).

Time is ticking so to learn more about these and other scholarship opportunities, conduct a free scholarship search today! [...]

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Did you ever wish you had more freedom to choose what classes you could take in high school? Students in Georgia share your pain and the Board of Education is considering implementing a plan which will allow students to take only the classes which are relevant to their future careers. Students will be required to take general courses before choosing their “career cluster” at the end of their sophomore year but depending on the “career cluster” they choose, some students may be able to get their dream jobs right out of high school! [...]

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When I got to college, I assumed that class trips were a thing of the past. And for two years, I was right. So when I found out there was an opportunity to travel to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming with my travel writing class, I was pretty blown away.

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College athletes enjoy certain perks – the strong possibility of a free education (we’re talking full-ride scholarships!), on-the-house room and board, complimentary textbooks and top-notch tutors – but with that territory comes a serious commitment to grueling practices and high expectations to excel on the field, all the while juggling a full course load. Sure, college athletes are considered amateurs in their sports but the fact remains that these students participate in a multi-million dollar industry. Should they be compensated? More than 300 football and men’s basketball players seem to think so. [...]

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Spending $500-plus on books every semester is enough to make any college student dread a new class schedule. After two semesters of spending that much on my books, I became determined to find a way to keep as much money in my bank account as possible. Of course, I made the decision to start buying my books from discount places online such as Amazon and eBay but I also wanted to see if there were other ways to keep from paying anything at all without having to rent books. I started reading blogs started by people who were once in my same position and found a bunch of helpful tips for earning extra money online. [...]

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Firefighters. Police. Ghostbusters. Your mom. There are certain people you instinctively contact when you need assistance and the same holds true for the federal government. When the Department of Education noticed there was something strange in the neighborhood regarding federal student aid, they knew just who to call. [...]

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Accepted, rejected, deferred and waitlisted are all responses students can receive when tearing open a decision envelope or clicking on an admissions-related email. Some are obviously more favorable than others but are the practices that lead to these decisions as fair as they can be? [...]

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Wherever you are in the financial aid process, you’ve probably heard the term merit aid – financial aid based on students' academic and other merit rather than financial need – and its increasing popularity over the last decade or so. What you may not know, however, is the impact this trend has had on students seeking need-based aid. [...]

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On October 5th, the world lost Steve Jobs – a visionary and technology pioneer – to pancreatic cancer at just 56 years of age. The former Apple CEO is without question one of the most inspirational figures of our generation. He created a line of products that many a college student claims they can’t live without but the products are just the beginning. Here are a few ways Jobs changed the lives of college students everywhere. iEverything. While the products he created aren’t the only way our lives have been touched by Jobs, they are definitely one of the major ones. From the Macintosh (which changed the way college students of ‘80s and ‘90s worked) to the MacBook Pro (a staple on college campuses throughout the world today) to the iPod, iPad and iPhone (which have impacted how students communicate and share media), Jobs created products that made students’ lives much easier and more enjoyable. Pixar. In 1986, Jobs bought the company that would become Pixar and collaborated with Disney to create animated films. These films – Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and Monsters, Inc., to name a few – enriched our childhoods in so many ways; I dare you to find a college student who didn’t love Toy Story, which Jobs executive produced. In Life. As I mentioned earlier, Jobs was a true inspiration. He showed an entire generation the impact thinking differently could have...and he also showed us that this process is far from easy and not everyone will love you along the way. [...]

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You’re working on a paper in your dorm room one evening (not the night before it’s due, of course!) and are searching for sources to strengthen your argument. As you near the required page limit, you remember your brother mentioning a series of articles published in his school's newspaper a few months back that would help bolster your point. So you log on to the paper’s website and find the articles you are looking for...only to be met with a paywall. [...]

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We are not happy with the way things are at our schools on occasion. Something feels off, something does not seem fair, processes get complicated and emotions get stirred. Sometimes a school can benefit from a little cultural change and you can help get it started! [...]

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