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The 15 Most Underrated Colleges In America

The 15 Most Underrated Colleges In America

chWhen you think of colleges in America, a few heavy hitters probably come to mind. Something along the lines of Harvard, Yale and NYU. Sure, these are great schools, but there are so many awesome underrated colleges throughout the US. Here are just a few of the best of them:

1. San Diego State University: Graduation is here

San Diego State has a ton of benefits. For starters, you get to live in beautiful San Diego, California. This school is one of the few to actually have its graduation rate increased by ten percent over the last decade. Plus, the median income post-graduation is around $85,000, so your education investment is likely to pay off.

2. Rutgers University at Newark: Hands on Training from Day 1

This university knows the value of hands on education. This program is designed to get students learning by doing. Although this tactic is well known to help students absorb more information, few universities today provide as many opportunities as this one.

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3. University of Missouri at Kansas City: Bang for your Buck

This school has consistently ranked as Princeton Review’s Best Value College. Here you can get the education you need without breaking the bank.

4. University of Maryland, Baltimore County: Where Innovation Lives

The University of Maryland in Baltimore County is known for its innovative take on education. Its an honors university with high quality students learning exactly how to adapt to today’s workforce.

5. University of Colorado at Denver: Making Bank

The median mid-career salary for graduates from this fine institution is $116,000. That will do you just fine as you study in beautiful Colorado.

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6. University of San Francisco: Service Learning for all

USF specializes in bringing service learning to their student body. These specially designed learning experiences not only enrich the lives of the students, but also enrich the surrounding community.

7. University of Houston: Become an Entrepreneur

The University of Houston’s entrepreneur program is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country. Combined with their outstanding business school, you’ve got all the resources you need to make your dream come true.

8. Michigan Technological University: Start off Strong

This university features some of the highest starting salaries for its graduates. If you are considering the value of a public school, but would like to make bank starting immediately after graduation, Michigan Technological University has much to offer.

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9. Widener University: Civic Engagement for Everybody

Located in Chester, Pennsylvania this campus is perfect for those looking to get involved in their civic duties. Students here are encouraged and frequently take advantage of the numerous internship opportunities located a mere twenty minutes away from campus in Philadelphia.

10. Florida Institute of Technology: International Students Succeed

This university was originally founded as a place to further the learning of those working on the space program in Florida. Today, US News reports that it ranks number one in foster international student experiences.

11. University of Alabama at Huntsville: Landing those big name jobs

Since this university is conveniently placed near several big name federal institutions, including NASA, Redstone Arsenal, and Cummings Research Park students are well placed to land some of the best jobs at these institutions. By mid career, graduates from Huntsville make around $90,000.

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12. Pace University: Learn by doing

This university is located in the heart of New York City. It emphasizes the importance of hands on learning and offers a wide array of degree programs.

13. Missouri University of Science and Technology: Ladies in Tech

This school boasts one of the largest female populations for any technology school in the country. Additionally, students on average spend 16 hours in their labs and classrooms. This is a sure sign that they are dedicated and have been encouraged to excel by their professors.

14. New Jersey Institute of Technology: Get that Job!

Located in Newark, this university is ranked as one of the best schools for job placement. This means that students from this school are more likely to land the jobs they want as they graduate.

15. Clarkson University: An excellent value

With the cost of education on the rise, its important to find schools that offer the most bang for their buck. Clarkson University is consistently ranked as one of the best value schools in the country. Some of this school’s strongest programs include biotechnology, environment and energy, entrepreneurship, and global supply-chain management.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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