Monthly Archives: September 2016

3 Easy Ways to Help College Students Better Understand Credit


Riverwoods, IL, September 13, 2016 – You have probably heard the term “credit score” in conversations or advertisements, but what exactly is a credit score? And more importantly, as a college student, why is it important to know your credit score? A FICO® Credit Score is a three-digit number that is calculated based on data from your credit report, such as the amount of money you owe to creditors, your payment history and length of credit history, and types of credit (i.e. revolving loans like a credit card and/or installment loans like a student loan). The higher your credit score, the more “credit worthy” you are in the eyes of lenders, and the more likely you are to qualify for better rates and terms for future loans. Your credit score can be a big factor during some of life’s big moments like renting your first apartment or purchasing a car. Because of this, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your credit score and, if you don’t yet have a credit score, to work toward establishing one.

You can now check your FICO® Credit Score for free by using Discover’s new Credit Scorecard1, even if you are not a Discover customer. Along with providing your FICO® Score—the credit score that 90 percent of top lenders use—Credit Scorecard includes a summary of some of the data that determines your FICO® Score.

In addition to monitoring your score, there are several actions you can do now that will serve you throughout your financial life. Here are three ways for people with limited or no credit history to get off on the right foot:

1. Check Your Credit Health
Just like you stay on top of your grades so there are no big surprises at the end of the term or semester, you should stay on top of your financial health. Your credit score is like a “grade” that’s used by lenders. The higher your score, the better off you’ll be when it comes time to lease a car or buy a home.

In fact, consumers who regularly check their credit score say doing so improves their credit behavior. A recent survey2 from Discover found that 73 percent of those who checked their credit score seven or more times in a year said that checking their score had a positive impact on their credit behavior, such as paying bills on time, paying down loans and maintaining low balances on their credit cards. You can check your FICO® Score for free at to see if your credit score “grade” is up to par.

2. The Benefits of a Student Credit Card
As a student, you may not be ready for an auto loan or mortgage, but you may want to consider getting a credit card. By using a credit card responsibility, you can start to lay the groundwork for a healthy credit score.

Before applying for a credit card, make sure to do your research. Many credit card companies offer a student version of their popular cards. The Discover it® chrome for Students card offers the same great benefits as Discover’s non-student cards, such as flexible rewards and 100 percent U.S.-based customer service. Plus, you get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements and online3.

3. Pay Bills on Time
Your payment history typically makes up 35 percent of your FICO® Credit Score. In general, people who continually pay their bills on time and demonstrate a good payment history tend to appear less risky to lenders. To stay on top of your payments, you can look into automatic payment options or mark a time on your calendar each month to pay your bill. Make it part of your routine!

This is also where having a budget comes in. If you have a job, you can plan to put a certain amount of income aside to make sure that you are paying off your bills each month. The school year is filled with fun things like going out to dinner with friends and concerts; just make sure you set a budget and that you can cover all of the costs.


About Discover 
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover card, America’s cash rewards pioneer, and offers private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit through its direct banking business. It operates the Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit

Media Contact: 
Jeremy Borling

1 FICO® Credit Scores provided by Credit Scorecard are based on data from Experian and may be different from other credit scores. See to learn more. FICO® is a registered trademark of the Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.

The national survey of 2,000 consumers ages 18 and over was commissioned by Discover and conducted in March 2016 by Toluna, an independent survey research firm. The maximum margin of sampling error was ±5 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. The results were based on consumers’ self-reported estimated credit scores. The survey was not based on FICO® Scores.

3 FICO® Credit Scores are disclosed on monthly statements and online and are based on data from TransUnion and may be different from other credit scores. Limitations apply to the FICO® Credit Score benefit. See to learn more. FICO is a registered trademark of the Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Bored in class? Stop texting & hack your learning style to get ahead

Kaplan Logo

So you’re an English major who signed up for “Geology 101: The History of Rocks” to fulfill a requirement you wouldn’t wish on anyone. Or maybe you’re a Geology major forced to take “English 110: Shakespeare’s Sonnets in the Modern World.” Let’s face it: not every course you’re taking this semester may seem like a winner.

You’re not alone. A recent study from the University of Central Lancashire reports that almost 60% of students find at least half their lectures boring, with 75% resorting to daydreaming, 66% to doodling, and 45% to texting to pass the time.

So who’s to blame? Sometimes the material bores us, and sometimes our professors are as uninteresting as an over-filtered Kardashian selfie, but sometimes we’re just not paying attention. Placing blame is pretty subjective, but the data about how we learn and retain information is not. Learning science shows that obtuse subjects, poor teachers, and even your own boredom don’t have to be roadblocks to your learning experience.

Dr. Bror Saxberg, Chief Learning Officer at Kaplan, is an expert in learning science, a field that applies scientific principles to the design and improvement of instructional methods to promote better learning outcomes. If you’re finding some of your courses to be a slog this semester, Bror has some tips to help you take responsibility for your own learning and get the most out of your classes.

• If you aren’t interested in the subject, try connecting it to what you are interested in. This will improve both retention and understanding. For example, Dr. Saxberg once wrote an English paper that used statistics to analyze themes in Romeo and Juliet. Try talking to your professors about how you can use your talents to explore the subject in a new way — they might just be impressed with your initiative! After all, passivity is the enemy of learning.

• In class, take detailed notes by hand, not by computer. The goal is to force yourself to summarize on the fly, not get the words verbatim. You might find the subject more interesting than you initially thought — and you’ll be amazed how bits and pieces will keep coming to mind afterwards. (To quote Shakespeare: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks?”)

• Get the most out of reading assignments by voluntarily summarizing them with the book closed. While this isn’t easy, it really works to embed what you know — and reveal what’s important you might have missed.

• Space out your assignments rather than hustle to get them all done at the end of the semester. Students who do their work in spaced-out chunks as they approach the finish line are more likely to actually understand and retain information, so plan ahead! Best of all, you’ll be much less stressed when Spring Fling hits at the same time your friends’ essays are all due.

At the end of the day, we all have requirements and even electives that might not prove to be as interesting as we thought. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of our classroom and study time.

Using just a few proven learning science techniques, a forgettable class for everyone else can become a great — maybe even transformative — class for you.

Smokers Wage Gap Costs Young Smokers Up to $10,000 Per Year

Truth Logo

truth® Shows Why Tobacco Use Can Leave you #SQUADLESS

Research shows that smokers earn 20 percent2 less than non-smokers, and young adult smokers miss out on up to $10,000 each year1. Teens know smoking is bad for their own health and those around them, but most don’t know that it also hurts their wallet.  truth, the award winning youth tobacco prevention campaign, is using this surprising, yet important fact to empower smokers and nonsmokers alike to be the generation to end tobacco use for good.

According to a survey from Truth Initiative, 88 percent of young adults aged 15-25 years did not know smokers earn 20 percent less than non-smokers. In its latest campaign, truth shines a spotlight on the “smokers wage gap” with the debut of two new videos. The first, #SQUADLESS, shows how smoking = less financial stability = less cash to spend on fun times with your friends or “squad,” – leaving you #SQUADLESS. It features Vine star George Janko and YouTube star Macy Kate.

Watch the #SQUADLESS video.

According to The Futures Company’s 2016 TRU Youth MONITOR, the three biggest complaints about teens’ daily lives are school (35 percent), followed by not having enough money (31 percent), and not having enough time (27 percent). Additionally, teens are concerned about the financial stability of their future. In a survey conducted by Northeastern University, 67 percent of the respondents, who were between the ages of 16 and 19, said that they were concerned about “being able to afford college.”

The second video, #FinishIT – Smoking Gap, states “Don’t let Big Tobacco’s Products Control Your Paycheck.” By highlighting the disparity in earning potential between smokers and non-smokers, an inequity that teens can control, truth is giving this generation yet another reason to end smoking for good.

“Teens are deeply concerned with preparing for their futures and while they know tobacco is expensive, they often don’t realize just how much it’s costing them now and in the future,” said Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative, the national public health organization that directs and funds the truth campaign.

One in three youth smokers will eventually die from tobacco-related diseases. With almost 82 percent of adult smokers starting smoking by the age of 18, it’s important to find new ways to engage in conversations about this deadly topic. Smoking affects just about everything this generation cares about: relationshipsanimal welfare and even how much money they make.

#SQUADLESS and #FinishIT – Smoking Gap are the latest extension of the truth Finish It campaign and aims to empower smokers and nonsmokers alike to make this the generation that ends tobacco use for good. Teen cigarette smoking rates are down to a historic low of 7 percent, compared to 23 percent in 2000. truth remains committed to providing this generation with the facts and inspiration they need to #FinishIT once and for all.

To learn more, visit or follow @truthorange on Twitter.

Media Contact
Sarah Shank


1. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers Second Quarter 2016. 2016;
2. Hotchkiss JL, Pitts MM. Even one is too much: the economic consequences of being a smoker. 2013.

Atom Tickets Partners with Lionsgate to Bring “Nerve” Back to Theaters Nationwide

Every ticket is $5

atom tickets Lionsgate

LOS ANGELES, September 2, 2016 – Atom Tickets, the first-of-its-kind mobile movie ticketing platform, today announced that it is partnering with Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) to bring back the studio’s much buzzed about teen thriller “Nerve” to theaters nationwide. The convenient and socially driven movie ticketing platform is offering moviegoers an opportunity to check out one of the hottest releases of the summer for only $5 when they purchase through the app. “Nerve,” starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, centers around a high school senior who finds herself immersed in an online game of truth or dare, where her every move starts to become manipulated by an anonymous community of “watchers.”

“This innovative promotion is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the opportunities that Atom Tickets creates for our exhibition partners and our moviegoers,” said Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns. “Nerve is the ideal film on which to begin tapping the full potential of the Atom platform.”

Available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play, Atom Tickets makes going to the movies fun, social and hassle-free with the ability to discover new films, browse trailers, read reviews, invite friends, buy tickets and pre-order concessions. At the theatre, consumers go directly to the ushers and concession counters, where they simply scan a QR code at tablet kiosks. Paper tickets and IOUs have been replaced by Atom’s innovative platform, which keeps all plans, messaging, payment and tickets in one place.

How it Works:
Atom Tickets re-imagines the most convenient way for users to plan a night out at the movies. Available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play, the app provides relevant reviews, trailers and synopses to help customers make the best decision on what to see. Moviegoers may then invite friends (via Facebook or their contact lists) to purchase their own tickets to join them. Atom Tickets enables seamless ordering of tickets and concessions from any Android or iOS phone. At the theater, consumers go directly to the ushers and concession counters, where they simply scan a QR code at tablet kiosks. Paper tickets and IOUs have been replaced by Atom’s innovative platform, which keeps all plans, messaging, payment and tickets in one place.

Below is the list of cities that will be bringing “Nerve” back just in time for Labor Day Weekend.

Albuquerque-Santa Fe
Alexandria, LA
Baton Rouge
Bowling Green
Charleston, SC
Columbia, Sc
Columbia-Jefferson City
Columbus, Oh
Corpus Christi
Dallas-Ft. Worth
Ft. Myers-Naples
Ft. Smith-Fay-Sprngdl-Rgrs
Ft. Wayne
Grand Rapids-Kalmzoo-B.Crk
Hartford & New Haven
Jackson, MS
Kansas City
Las Vegas
Little Rock-Pine Bluff
Los Angeles
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale
Minneapolis-St. Paul
Myrtle Beach-Florence
New Orleans
New York
Norfolk-Portsmth-Newpt Nws
Oklahoma City
Orlando-Daytona Bch-Melbrn
Paducah-Cape Girard-Harsbg
Palm Springs
Phoenix (Prescott)
Portland, OR
Providence-New Bedford
Raleigh-Durham (Fayetvlle)
Rochester, Ny
Salt Lake City
San Antonio
San Diego
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
South Bend-Elkhart
Springfield, MO
St. Louis
Tampa-St. Pete
Terre Haute
Washington, DC
West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce
Wichita Falls & Lawton
Wilkes Barre-Scranton-Hztn


Press Kit: Atom’s Press Kit

Jackie Crystal
Rogers and Cowan

Shannah Miller
Atom Tickets

Peter Wilkes

What will happen if you have to withdraw from college?


Students’ tuition and fees are at risk.

Phoenix, Arizona,  August 30, 2016 – College can be costly and stressful. For as many perks and peaks as there are, it does have its fair share of stress.  With bulks of work and the frequent demands to prepare for the future, balancing your life in and out of school can be a tough task.

Sometimes students’ overdo it to the point where you get ill with the flu, mono, depression or any other school and stress related side effect that you can think of.  In fact, college students have many unique illnesses that may force a student to withdraw from school.

Data from the American College Health Association demonstrate that many student health issues are so serious that they can force a student to withdraw from classes.

If you get sick or injured and you’re forced to withdraw from school, what happens to your investment?

Most times, you will not be refunded the thousands of dollars you are paying for college.

Though universities often refund a portion of your tuition thru the first weeks of school you can safely assume that your tuition will note likely be refunded after the 5th week of classes and that your academic fees will also not be eligible for a refund. A 2015 survey of university bursars and health administrators confirmed that 84% of institutions do not provide a 100% refund.

Tuition insurance can help you minimize the risk of financial loss due to withdrawal. It’s not “drop-out” insurance, but should you need to withdraw from school for  a covered medical reason, tuition insurance can help protect that investment – your tuition and other fees.

GradGuard offers tuition insurance starting at $29.00 for $2,500 of coverage but typically is about $135 for every $10,000 of coverage you need.  GradGuard also offers special pricing and coverage options at more than 100 colleges and universities. Schools that integrate tuition insurance within the billing process can often save students money on the coverage.


It is important to consider:

a) what is your school refund policy?

b) can you afford the financial loss if you should become ill or injured?

c) get protection before classes start.  Just like you can’t buy insurance after a fire or theft, you must buy tuition insurance before classes start.


About GradGuard
GradGuardTM, a service of Next Generation Insurance Group, which is an authority in protecting college students and their families. GradGuard’s tuition and renters insurance programs are valuable student benefits available through nearly 200 colleges and universities.  Since 2008, GradGuard’s insurance programs have protected more than 600,000 students and families.

Media Contact
Mary King

Want a Paid Internship Next Summer? Start Now


Looksharp Report Shows Most Successful Repeat Interns Complete More Than 10 Applications

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Summer is over and it’s time for students to jump into a new semester. That also means it’s already time to start preparing to line up an internship for next summer.

That’s according to data from Looksharp in its latest survey about college students and internships — The 2016 State of Millennial Hiring Report — which highlights just how competitive the internship market is. Students have to maintain digital profiles and expand their skills to stay relevant to compete for internships at a time when the majority of students are willing to relocate for a job.

Download the full report.

In fact, the Looksharp student survey shows that the most successful interns — those who had participated in three or more internships — used an average of four different resources to locate one. Google or other online services were the most-used resource. Around 38 percent of students who have had internships used Looksharp or a similar internship site.

Students averaged nine applications for internships, but those who had successfully completed three or more internships reported that they actually submitted more than 10 or even 20 applications.

“Successful interns typically cast a wide net when looking for an internship, and they leverage everything they have at their disposal, whether that means maintaining multiple digital profiles, engaging friends and acquaintances to mine for connections, completing multiple applications or all of the above,” said Andrew Maguire, CEO of Looksharp. “Getting an internship is a job in and of itself.”

Here are five telling stats from the Looksharp report:

Cross-training helps. More than half of students have incorporated computer science into their classes — regardless of major. For business students, this figure is nearly 70 percent.
Start young. By senior year, nearly 75 percent of students already have internship experience. In fact, more than 20 percent of seniors report participating in three or more internships.
Internships matter. 24 percent of seniors who had participated in three or more internships had already secured job offers prior to graduation. Of these students, those with paid internships and higher-than-average GPAs were most likely to have full-time job offers.
Students are flexible. More than 73 percent of seniors said they would relocate for a job and 67.8 percent would do an internship post-graduation if it would mean they were more likely to get employment.
Location, location, location. Interns are more likely to earn paid internships in certain cities. More than 80 percent of internships in Omaha, Nebraska; Boise, Idaho; and Fresno, California, are paid.

About Looksharp
Looksharp helps launch the career of every student. Looksharp is the largest internship and entry-level job marketplace in the United States, with over 10 million students using the site annually. Customers include Facebook, Amazon, Charles Schwab, Disney, Boeing and thousands of startups, SMEs and nonprofits. Looksharp is free for students, allowing them to build rich professional profiles, apply for internships and jobs, and access leading career resources. Employers use Looksharp to improve their on-campus recruiting process, manage their candidate pipeline, showcase their employment brand and expand their hiring reach to more students and campuses.


Media Contact
Christina Stephens