USA Today College

Does school size affect a student’s ability to graduate in four years?

Sheri Alzeerah and Cynthia Martinez faced a similar dilemma four years ago: Should they attend a small university or a large university?

Alzeerah went big, opting to study journalism at the University of Texas at Austin where the undergraduate student population is 52,213. Martinez chose a smaller university, studying public relations at St. Edward’s University (with a total population of nearly 15,000 students).

Now, four years later, both students are walking away with different college experiences with degrees from prestigious, nationally ranked universities. READ MORE

Texas educators oppose bill that could limit ethnic history classes

Sen. Dan Patrick filed Texas Senate Bill 1128 in an attempt to broaden the comprehensive history requirements taught in public colleges and universities throughout Texas last month. The bill would only permit history courses with the focus on politics, war and other significant American history events, but prohibit ethnic studies history courses counting toward the six U.S. history credits required to attain a baccalaureate degree, a requirement established in Texas in 1955.

The bill has drawn a negative response from educators. READ MORE

Campus DJ tours the nation to find top DJ

After 11 years of showcasing collegiate artists and bands on major stages across the USA College Battle of the Bands has outgrown its initial vision to give birth to a new one: Campus DJ.

Similar to the Battle of the Bands platform, Campus DJ tours the country to find top DJs in each region who ultimately battle to spin at the finale in June. READ MORE

CollegeFashionista searches for the newest trends on campus

Ever sat in the courtyard, enjoying a mid-day snack and instantly become smitten by a stylish student passing you by?

Amy Levin sat in the courtyard of Indiana University inspired by the different styles represented on her campus as college fashionista’s and fashionisto’s passed her by everyday. They were students, just like Levin, using the cobblestone pavement of IU as their runway. READ MORE

Persevering post-break in final push of semester

The first year for many college students serves as a series of lessons, transitioning from the stellar high school scholar to (possibly) the mediocre, bottom-of-the-class college student.

James Mancall views spring break as a “blessing and a curse” — especially for first-year students.

“We focus on just getting to spring break so much, we get back and it’s easy to forget that we have eight to 10 weeks to go,” said Mancall, associate dean for academic advising at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass. “So we need to hit the reset button and transition out of spring break.” READ MORE.

5 factors to consider before accepting a job

Most college seniors inevitably face a harsh reality: entering the competitive job market. With the national unemployment rate sitting at 7.9% as of Feb. 1, finding — and landing — the right job is more than a little challenging.

These are five factors to consider when you are ready to head into the real world. READ MORE.

Combat gas-spike with alternate transportation

Accelerating gas prices are forcing some students to consider alternate forms of transportation.

Prices have swelled at alarming rate, with USA TODAY reporting that costs have escalated nearly 47 cents a gallon since mid-January.

The current national average is $3.77 for regular unleaded gas, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. In 2012, prices consistently increased from February to April and declined throughout the summer until August. READ MORE.

Opinion: Embrace a single Valentine’s Day

It’s the season of love painted in bouquets of red roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and gifts that place monetary value on how much you really love a person.

Feb. 14 either consists of a romantic dinner date with a token valentine or spearing darts into the eyes of an unfortunate ex that has emotionally scarred you. And maybe empty cartons of chocolate-chip cookie-dough ice cream.

I remember a time when Valentine’s Day was a sweet occasion for everyone. In elementary school, it was a holiday party with heart-shaped sugar cookies and everyone getting a valentine. READ MORE.

5 reasons to check out your local thrift shop

Want to get a head start on next season’s biggest fads without breaking the bank? It’s time to find the vintage scene in your neighborhood.

“You never know what you’re going to run into at thrift stores, unlike department stores,” said Jonathan Ochart, a senior at the University of Texas – Austin majoring in magazine journalism.

Thrift stores have a sliver of nearly every fashion trend, often color-coded and organized to make the thrifting nearly as simple as shopping in department stores. And with thrift shopping, you can uniquely craft your wardrobe with hand-me-down treasures. READ MORE.

Overqualified grads transition into job market

Almost half of American college graduates are working in occupations that require less than a four-year degree, according to a new study.

The Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) released a study Monday dissecting the increase in overqualified college graduates in today’s tough and competitive job market.

A qualified candidate isn’t just an individual with a degree, but someone with work experience in his or her field of study, said Debbie Kubena, University of Texas at Austin College of Communications career services manager. READ MORE.

Changing your lifestyle to change your waistline

Arlena Cordero wakes up at 4:45 a.m., eats breakfast and is in the gym by 6 a.m. for her daily workout.

“A lot of people say they don’t have time [to work out], but no one has time,” said Cordero, a senior at the University of Texas – Austin. “I have two jobs, an internship and classes. I make time to work out — that’s why I wake up so early.”

Instead of holding herself to a strict diet regimen, she eats six to eight times a day, works out every day and “cheats” once a week to reward herself. READ MORE.

Online impersonation would be illegal under proposed Ariz. bill

It’s easy to be whomever you want in a Facebook profile. Answer a few questions, upload a photo, and a profile is created before your eyes. The girl next door can be an exotic model with the right profile picture. But a proposed bill in Arizona threatens to throw those behind certain fake profiles in the slammer.

House Bill 2004 would outlaw online impersonation without permission and with malicious intent, and any person who creates a profile in another person’s name to “harm, defraud, intimidate or threaten” could face jail time. But the definition of “malicious intent” can be difficult to pin down without violating First Amendment rights, said Qingwen Dong, a professor at the University of the Pacific – Stockton. What’s threatening to one individual may be harmless to another, he said.

“It’s easy to incorporate censorship as a quick fix,” Dong said. “It may change things, but it’s hard to use a prescription to change this.” READ MORE.

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