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Is This iDuo Necessary for College?

I have two kids starting college this year and we are trying to sort out which electronic devices are necessary for their schooling and which are luxuries.  I want them to have what they need to be successful, but I’d also like to be smart with my money. Plus, I don’t want to load them up with gadgets that they will not likely use and will take up their precious little dorm space.

The folks at offer a Back-to-School Tech Guide that I am finding mighty helpful. Below are some highlights from the Guide ( I have heeded more than one of these suggestions already  and saved some money). But if you need a full pro-and -con discussion about what electronics your student needs, check out the entire guide!

See the entire guide here:

Highlights from Retrevo’s 2011 Back To School Guide:

– Most Students Don’t Need a Smartphone! – While smartphones are nice to have, budget-savvy students can get by just fine with a good laptop and a regular feature phone. If you really need apps, try an 8GB iPod Touch for just $299 and no monthly fees. We’re not saying that students will love this option, but you can save a lot of money if you’re not paying for a monthly data plan.

– Don’t Get a TV! – Today’s college students don’t need a dedicated TV, they need a multi-tasker. Get a large computer monitor with either DVI or S-Video and HDMI ports that can give them more workspace on their laptop and plug-into their Blu-ray player, gaming console, or other media device.

– Save Money With an E-Reader –  Once you get past the initial expense of an e-reader, your student will be able to buy books at a cheaper price than they’ll find on the shelves. Amazon recently announced they’ll be renting textbooks as well; another money-saving reason to get an e-reader.

– You Don’t Need a MacBook Air! – Retrevo’s compiled a list below, of laptops that are more budget-friendly.

– Minimum Laptop Requirements – Retrevo recommends something with a webcam, 6hrs+ battery life, 250GB minimum of storage, a weight of less than 5lbs and a Dual Core i3 or i5.

Click Pic for Video

Get your tech groove on and win $10,000 by making the financial aid process easier for everyone! MTV, the College Board and are collaborating on the College Affordability Challenge. If you have a digital method for helping kids get college money easier, you can get some money yourself! Check out contest details HERE!

Finding money for college turns out to be one of the biggest hurdles for many prospective and currents students– more now than ever. The financial aid process is intimidating and the scholarship search can be arduous!  This contest challenges the digital natives among us, those young folks who are technologically savvy and arguably the most qualified, certainly the most motivated, to come up with viable solutions.

According to American Council on Education and College Board Advocacy and Policy Center studies, difficulty paying for school is one of the top deterrents to enrolling and graduating from college. Nearly 2 million college students forego applying for financial aid that is available to them each year, and a vast majority of kids surveyed  (two-thirds) found the financial aid process to be difficult and time-consuming.

The College Affordability Challenge is looking for real solutions by promising young people to the problem of connecting students with the funds they need.

This is a great opportunity for you techy creatives! …And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention that being chosen a the winner or even a finalist would be a down right awesome addition to on your college applicationsJust sayin’!


Who:  Individuals and teams of aspiring and current college students

Where: Click HERE.

What: You’ve got a handy and convenient digital tool that helps students apply for and get financial aid, MTV and the College Board want to know about it!

Three finalists will be unveiled in 2011. The finalists will work with the design team, Frog Design, to refine their proposals. then they will be featured on and online voting will determine the Grand prize winner. the winning team will win $10,000 and the chance to work with MTV to develop the idea with a $100,000 budget.

Go for it, Smart People!

Photo Credit: christopherharte

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