At Some Colleges, An “A” Is Truly Earned – Cappex’s Latest List Shows You Where They Are and How to Navigate Them

hardestCappiesLogoMany students thrive in academic settings where the classwork is challenging and demanding.  They have a true love of learning for knowledge’s sake, and are intellectually curious. When it comes time to pick a college for the next four years, they know the traditional names associated with “higher learning.”  But what is being taught at these schools? How is educational success defined? What are students saying about their academics (and the homework)?

While such environments can often put incredible amounts of stress on students, they also inspire them to think in ways they never have before. The chances of meeting a professor or teaching assistant who may serve as an intellectual mentor are higher. Future career paths and a true purpose for learning can be found at every turn.

Just being accepted for enrollment at these schools is a tremendous achievement. The list of applicants to the schools on our new list grows every year, and each prospective student brings an impressive list of accomplishments and talents to the table. An extremely small percentage is accepted to these schools – sometimes as low as seven percent.

Cappex knows that one student’s definition of “hard classes” differs from another. But when a large group of student reviews says pretty much the same thing, then a real picture of an academically challenging institution comes into much clearer focus.

Our newest 2014 Cappies list is called “Hardest Colleges.” These are the 25 schools that challenge students in a variety of ways and bring out their best. A majority of graduates from these schools do not stop after four years. They go on to obtain more advanced degrees, and the percentage of those who go on to earn Ph.Ds is also very high. Graduates from these universities may often enter academia as a profession. The top schools as determined by our reviewers are highlighted here.

In this new list, you will find familiar, traditional names of colleges that have long been associated with advanced scholarly research programs, one-of-a-kind undergraduate study curriculum, and requirements above and beyond those found at other institutions. However, some of the names on this list may not be so recognizable to first-time college applicants, and deserve serious consideration.

This marks the fourth category covered by The Cappies, with two more (Clubs and Activities, Dorm Life) left. Stay tuned for announcements on that front. Please pass this blog post to anyone looking for a strenuous college environment that both challenges and rewards the inquiring, restless mind.

Original Post Date: November 14th, 2014

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How to Save Money in College: 13 Quick Tips

Categories: College Life


College is a time of fun, learning, and exploring who you are and who you want to be. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when money is usually quite tight. Most students leave college with $33,000 of student loan debt, so it’s important to enter your college career with a mind for frugality.

There are lots of creative ways to save money. Some are easy, some require a bit of discipline. Here are some quick tips for how to save money in college:


1. Avoid the bookstore. Rent or purchase used books online rather than using the expensive campus bookstore.
2. Share books. If you have a friend in the same class, offer to share textbooks, splitting the cost down the middle.

Food and Drink

3. Forego your latte for a regular coffee. If you frequent coffee shops, a latte or other specialty beverage can set you back upwards of $5. Regular coffee and tea are always a few bucks cheaper, which adds up in the long run. If you’re able to, save even more money by making coffee at home before you go out. (We love this compact, single-serve coffee maker that brews directly into a travel mug!)
4. Drink water, not soda. Instead of spending a couple bucks for a soda each day, purchase a reusable water bottle. Water can help keep your body working efficiently, reducing the need for a caffeinated pick-me-up.
5. Grocery shop for the week. If you live off campus, don’t shop for meals as you need them. This often leads to impulse buying and breaks your budget. Instead, plan your meals with your roommates and be sure to divide the bill evenly between everyone.
6. Clip coupons. Scan the local paper for coupons each Sunday and scope out free coupon websites before each trip to the store. Be careful, though: don’t let a good deal entice you into buying something you don’t really need.


7. Kick cable to the curb. Cable television is extremely expensive. Choose a free or low-cost streaming option instead.
8. Find free fun. When you want to do something fun with your friends, scope out free or low-cost options available in your area. Look for a local park, zoo, or museum that is free to the public. Instead of eating at a restaurant, have a picnic or invite your friends over for a potluck meal. Rather than going to a theater, host a movie night or TV show marathon.
9. Use your student ID. If you do end up going out somewhere, ask if the establishment offers a student discount. Movie theaters, restaurants, museums, and other businesses, especially those in college towns, sometimes offer discounts for students if they show their ID.


10. Take the bus. Many local communities offer free or reduced bus fare for college students. Instead of wasting money on gassing up your car, take advantage of this perk to get from point A to point B. If you must drive, carpool, and alternate who drives to keep things fair.
11. Bike it. If you have a bike, use it. Not only will this save you gas and parking expenses, it will help keep you fit. Plus, it’s usually much easier to find a place to park your bike than your car.


12. Shop in thrift stores. Before hitting the mall, check out local thrift stores to see what fashion-forward bargains you can find. If you’re crafty, you can always turn something old into something new! Try selling your old clothes on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook community groups. To avoid using extra money, use only the profits from those sales to purchase new clothes.
13. Don’t use your credit card. If you have a credit card, don’t carry it with you at all times. Instead, take a modest amount of cash with you when you go out and save your credit card for real financial emergencies.

Saving money is never easy, which is why most Americans carry such high amounts of debt. Developing thrifty and frugal habits in college can not only help you ease some of the stress that comes with being a broke college student, but it can also give you a solid foundation for good spending habits once you graduate.

Russel Cooke is a business consultant and writer from Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from the University of Louisville, and worked in the Louisville area for over ten years before become an independent consultant and business writer. He recently relocated to Los Angeles, California. You can follow Russel on Twitter @RusselCooke2.

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Original Post Date: November 13th, 2014

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Scholarships for Veterans

pThank-you-veterans-dayIt’s Veteran’s Day, and we here at Cappex are celebrating those who worked so hard and sacrificed for our country. We’ve put together a list of scholarships for veterans in hopes of helping those who have already helped us so much.

1. AMVETS Scholarships

AMVETS (American Veterans)
Award: $1,000
For veterans, active duty military members, their children/grandchildren, and children/grandchildren of deceased veterans

2. “Launch Your Dreams” Scholarship Competition

GO*VETS Foundation
Award: $2,500
For veterans and their spouses and children

3. Tillman Military Scholars

Pat Tillman Foundation
Award: varies
For veteran and active duty members of the US military and their spouses

4. Lance Corporal Phillip E. Frank – Fifth Third Bank Memorial Scholarship

Heart of a Marine Foundation
Award: $2,000
For discharged military personnel who are returning to civilian life and continuing their education; veterans also encouraged to apply

5. FRA Education Foundation Scholarship Program

Fleet Reserve Association (FRA)
Award: $1,000 – $5,000
For Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel and their families

6. JWV National Achievement Program

Jewish War Veterans of the USA
Award: $1,000 – $2,500
For current service members and veterans

7. Veterans United Foundation Scholarship

Veterans United Foundation
Award: $2,000
For current active duty military service members, honorably discharged veterans, and their children and spouses

8. Military Award Program

Imagine American Foundation
Award: $1,000
For active duty, reservist, honorably discharged, and retired veterans of the US military; must enroll in a participating college for career training purposes

9. Military College Scholarship
Award: $2,500
For military students and for children with parents serving in the US Armed Forces

10. Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship

Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation
Award: varies
For military members who sustained serious injuries in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001

11. Google SVA Scholarship

Student Veterans of America (SVA)
Award: $10,000
For student veterans or students on Active Duty who received an honorable discharge or are currently in good standing with their branch of service; must be pursuing a degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a closely related field

12. Raytheon Patriot Scholarship

Student Veterans of America (SVA)
Award: $10,000
For student veterans or students on Active Duty who received an honorable discharge or are currently in good standing with their branch of service; must be pursuing a degree in engineering or a closely related field

13. Hardy Wolf & Downing Scholarship Award

Hardy Wolf & Downing Injury Lawyers
Award: $100 – $2,500
For active and retired military members and their immediate family members who are pursuing an education in the field of law

To find more scholarships for veterans, make sure you’ve indicated your military affiliation in your Cappex scholarship search criteria! Here’s how: log in to your Cappex account, click on Scholarships, and click the orange “Get More Matches Now” button. Check your military affiliation under “Employment” and/or check the “Veteran” option under “Qualifications.” 

Don’t have a Cappex account? Create one today — it’s free!

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Original Post Date: November 11th, 2014

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