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If College were free, would textbooks cost more?

Free college. The idea is whispered like an incantation in student government meetings and dorm rooms across the country. An education without crippling debt. Surely a pipe dream, but a beautiful one none the less, right?

Several states in the US have begun to offer free or heavily discounted Community College, though 4 year universities still charge tens of thousands of dollars per semester. If, oh glorious thought, a 4 year degree were to be offered free of charge, what would it do to textbook costs?

Is Free College a Pipe Dream?

Continue reading “If College were free, would textbooks cost more?”

As you may have heard, the Oxford English Dictionary made this emoji the word of the year.

emoji of the year Continue reading “The Oxford English Dictionary’s “Word of the Year” isn’t going to replace language”

Bookbyte’s five favorite productivity focused sites.

Bookbyte’s five favorite productivity focused sites.

Life on the internet for a student who should be studying is hard. Staring at a blank word document trying to convince yourself you want to write a paper is even harder when online shopping and social media are simply an alt+tab away. Luckily, there are a whole slew of programs, apps and websites designed to make paper writing and studying bearable. Here are the Bookbyte team’s five favorite websites to make you more productive. Continue reading “Bookbyte’s five favorite productivity focused sites.”

College Dorm Packing List – The Basics

Moving away to college is a scary, yet exciting time! Starting a new chapter in new surroundings allows you to come into a space with a fresh perspective that can help you flourish. Saying goodbye to your family and friends is never easy, but experiencing college in a place that’s your very own truly is a treasure. Because we know this can be a stressful time in any student’s life, (and shopping for cute dresses for a new fall wardrobe is stressful enough!) we’ve composed a list of essentials for any student about to move into a dorm room. While you may not know your roommate, location of classes, or even your major, packing for dorm life doesn’t have to be complicated!

Continue reading “College Dorm Packing List – The Basics”

Study Smarter, Not Harder

Study Smarter, Not Harder

How long do you estimate the average college freshman can read their book/notes and be effectively learning? 4-5 hours? 1 hour? 25 minutes? 5 minutes?

That’s the question Marty Lobdell starts his Study Less Study Smart seminar with. According to Lobdell, the prime study time is 25 minutes. After that, you’re just wasting your time staring at random strings of words and not retaining any of it.

Continue reading “Study Smarter, Not Harder”

Is Free Community College a Pipe Dream?

The following was written by Joey Gomez, a contributing writer for The Collective Report,, and otherIs Free College a Pipe Dream? sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @homerjoey.

After getting backlash from both Democrats and Republicans to Obama’s 529 tax plan that would tax college savings — a luxury that’s attributed to the wealthier class — Obama has decided to scrap the plan that would help the lower and middle-income students pay for college.

It’s been recently reported that the 529 tax plan on college savings would have an impact not only on the wealthy, but also the middle and lower classes, seeing as there is a small percentage of people with middle-lower income that use the college savings. But to drop a policy altogether and abandon opportunities that could initially lessen the burden of paying for college is disappointing.

Continue reading “Is Free Community College a Pipe Dream?”

Why Textbooks are Actually Bargains

Why Textbooks Are Actually BargainsThe following was written by our own Ben Zoon, a talented Bookbyte employee and avid reader.

Ah, the start of the term, when countless shiny new textbooks are traded to college students in exchange for an arm and a leg. Meanwhile, last term’s books are being sold back for what seems like pennies on the dollar (unless you’re selling back to Bookbyte). It’s amazing how frequently textbooks get “updated” to new editions and seem to depreciate overnight. What then happens to all the old editions? They magically transform into some of the greatest bargains of our time!

Many modern college textbooks, especially the popular ones, are true works of art when you think about it. They’re overflowing with helpful pictures, diagrams, and charts. The text is written by some of the brightest educators in the country, whose passion truly shows through in their work. While I did my assigned reading in college, I would often find myself leafing forward a few chapters and marveling at the sheer quantity of blood, sweat, and tears that must have gone into producing it all.

Continue reading “Why Textbooks are Actually Bargains”

Is Google Search Making Us Dumber?

Is Google Search Making Us Dumber?

Google’s search engine algorithms are getting smarter. Great, right? What if the trade-off is that we’re getting dumber? Ian Leslie has an article up on that asks this question and whether or not Google search is harmless. Is it beneficial to find immediate answers by Google search on our smartphone/tablet/computer? Not if we’re getting too lazy to ask the right questions.

Continue reading “Is Google Search Making Us Dumber?”

Is Graduating in 4 Years a Fantasy?

Is a 4-Year Degree Impossible?
Numbers show on-time graduation is a pipe dream for most college students

They’re called “4-year universities” for a reason, right? Then why are more and more students finding it takes them five, six, sometimes seven years to earn their bachelor’s degree? Worse, many students aren’t even making it to graduation day.

From the start, students are set on a path to earn their degree in at least five years from the advice of their counselors. Since many financial aid and grant programs only cover the cost of 12 credit hours per semester, it seems like good advice – until you realize students need to be taking a minimum of 15 credits per semester in order to graduate inside of four years. Add in a change of major, a loss of credits from a community college transfer, a scarcity of available classes, a choice to gain a minor or double major, and a graduation date in less than six years becomes a pipe dream.

Continue reading “Is Graduating in 4 Years a Fantasy?”

Will Colleges One Day Be Massive, Online, and Free?

Black Mortarboard and computer keyboardWhoever you are, whatever your SAT score and high school report card looks like, you could take a course at Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, or Johns Hopkins right this minute. These elite schools, among many others, have begun to offer open, online, not-for-credit courses to anyone who wants to take them. These are casually referred to as MOOCs, massive open online courses.

You might assume that these classes consist only of video lectures, a collection of slides with a professor’s voiceover, the equivalent of watching some informative YouTube videos. In fact, the courses are as complete as any you’d take in college. There are assigned readings to accompany every class, a syllabus, homework, and essays. Many of them even have some form of grading.

Continue reading “Will Colleges One Day Be Massive, Online, and Free?”

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