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student protection plan

Other Transition

The Top College Towns of 2020

April 22, 2020

Choosing a college is no small feat. There are a ton of factors that come into play, from academic programs to athletics. One factor that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked is location. The town or city a school is located in can play a big part in both your college experience not to mention your life and work after graduation.

When making our choices, we considered several factors, including student life and culture, available recreational activities, nearby attractions, and availability of high-speed internet and other college necessities. Here are our picks:

1. Gainesville, FL

Gainesville houses the University of Florida, known for its research programs, athletics, and parties. Gainesville was, at one time, one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, thanks in part to its excellent climate, beautiful landscape, and large number of entertainment options. 

When it comes to living in Gainesville, there’s plenty to do, including several state parks and museums to check out, and the Gainesville Raceway is a popular spot. The town also has a growing startup culture, so if building businesses is your thing, you’ll be in good company once you graduate.

2. Berkeley, CA

Located across the Bay from San Francisco, Berkeley has a long reputation as a great place to live. The weather is beautiful, the atmosphere is electric, and creativity and activism are everywhere. The University of California is regularly ranked as one of the best in the country, and the area has a rich history dating back to the late ‘60s and the hippy movement. What more could you want in a college town?

Berkeley also has another major advantage: it’s situated only an hour or so away from Silicon Valley. This makes it an ideal candidate for folks in the tech space, as well as potential founders looking to fund startups.

3. Boulder, CO

Boulder has a reputation as one of the best places to live in the US, with gorgeous surroundings, excellent art and food cultures, and the popular University of Colorado providing a backdrop. Like Berkeley, Boulder has a bit of a hippy past, and between that and the beautiful natural landscape make it an ideal spot for adventurous students and adults alike.

There’s a ton to do in Boulder, especially if you like outdoor activities. The entire area is surrounded by nature preserves, recreational land, and climbable mountains. The city also regularly makes lists of the best places to live in the US, including “Happiest City,” “Brainiest City,” and “Best City to Raise an Outdoor Kid.”

4. Athens, GA

Home of the University of Georgia, Athens rounds out the list of best college towns. Unlike some of the other towns on the list, rent in Athens actually falls below the national average, making it an affordable town both during school and after graduation. Music is a big part of the culture, with several national acts, including R.E.M. and Widespread Panic, coming out of Athens. The University of Georgia is home to the Georgia Bulldogs, and their games are a big part of life in Athens.

One downside to living in Athens is that you may have a harder time finding reliably fast internet here, especially if you’re living in the more outlying areas. If that’s the case for you, there are rural internet options available that might help.

These four college towns have something for almost everyone, whether you’re a football fan itching to get on down to Georgia or a budding software engineer looking to make it big in Silicon Valley. Just don’t forget to squeeze in some studying and secure your college renters insurance upon move in!

Other Transition

Home Away From Home: Completing a Long Distance Campus Move

April 22, 2020

Long-distance moves are already stressful and exhausting, but when your destination is a college campus with a new dorm, a full class load, and an entirely new social circle, it can feel downright overwhelming. Here are a few tips and suggestions to keep in mind as you prepare to leave the familiar comforts of the well-known behind and launch into the geographically distant academic adventures that lie ahead.

Go Into Things Healthy

It’s a good idea to take some time before your big move to ensure that you’re in tip-top physical, mental, and emotional shape as you go through the rigors of a larger move. A few suggestions for ways to do this include:

  • Getting a checkup.
  • Sleeping well in the days and weeks leading up to the move.
  • Eating healthy food.
  • Exercising.
  • Meditating and/or praying on a daily basis.

If you can pursue health and wellness in the lead up to your move, you’ll be able to weather the drama and chaos much easier.

Pack Smart

When it comes to your move you may think you’re on your own. After all, none of your friends or family are likely coming with you to live on campus. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask friends and family for help

Pull the classic “if you come and help me pack I’ll get everyone pizza at the end of the day” pitch. This turns the event into less work for yourself as well as a fun opportunity for everyone to hang out one last time before you leave.

Plan Your Trip

Before you ever hop in the car or turn the key, make sure to carefully plan out your trip. What route will you take? Do you need to stop along the way to rest? Are you giving yourself plenty of time to get there even if you’re held up by a minor issue like traffic or an extra rest stop visit? Taking the time to plan things out can make everything more peaceful as you go.

Set Your Expectations

When you arrive on campus you’ll likely be exhausted and overwhelmed. That’s why it’s important to set your expectations ahead of time. Try to time your arrival so that you have enough time to unpack and then crash and get some rest. In addition, take time before you arrive on campus to associate yourself with several of the classic college concerns of any student, such as choosing classes, looking for extracurricular activities, nailing down financial aid, and understanding where all of the on-campus sports and exercise equipment is.

In addition, if you’re living in a dorm, associate yourself with some of the wiser considerations when it comes to moving in with a roommate. For instance, make sure to create a roommate agreement, discuss appropriate decor, and define boundaries. Before you do any of that, though, remember to be patient and strive to create a good relationship at your initial meeting.

Making It a Smooth Move

If you take the time to foster your health, inform yourself, recruit help, and plan ahead you’ll be able to make a cross-country college move much easier on your mind, body, and soul. When the big day comes, instead of feeling overwhelmed and scrambling, you’ll feel empowered and ready to embrace the adventure that lies ahead.

Remember that renters insurance and tuition insurance are musts when going away to college! GradGuard offers both so you can have even more peace of mind when going through this transitional time.

BIO: Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture.

Health Other

The Doctor is Out: Non-Medical Career Paths in Healthcare

March 9, 2020

Maybe you’ve always thought about a career in medicine, but blood isn’t really your thing. Or maybe you’ve actually embarked on a career as a healthcare provider, but the road is long, and you’ve got to make ends meet while you chase your dreams. The good news is you have a lot of options for pursuing a career in the healthcare industry outside of the practice of medicine itself.

Think About What You Want

As you explore your options in the healthcare industry, you’ll want to consider not only what kind of work you want to do, but also what you need from your job. Before you accept a job, you need to ensure they offer a benefits package that serves you today as well as tomorrow, especially if you’re considering staying for the long haul. Ensuring that your prospective employers offer benefits, such as retirement and medical, dental, and vision insurance, can help protect you now and well into the future.

The Good Enough Job

If you’re not yet ready to settle into your forever job, you can still find great ways to make a solid living while you work toward your ultimate career goals. For example, if you’re a medical student looking to earn some income and garner some experience in the healthcare industry, there are a lot of great sites you can turn to. Major job boards like Indeed and Monster can help you tailor your job search to your particular requirements, while other sites like College Recruiter are dedicated specifically to helping undergraduate and graduate students connect with prospective employers.

Turning a Job into a Career

If you’re ready to start your career now instead of waiting on that advanced degree or those years of clinical training, you don’t have to abandon the healthcare industry to do it. There are endless options for stable, well-paying, and richly rewarding jobs in the healthcare industry. For instance, if computers, as well as healthcare, are at the top of your interests, then why not combine them by pursuing a career in Big Data and healthcare AI?

Or you may want to be a bit more hands-on while sparing yourself the rigors of med school. Studies show that careers in home health are among the most in-demand and fastest-growing in the US. Or, if you’re ready to commit yourself to a bit more time in school, you can build an exciting and very lucrative career with a Masters’s degree in health law and policy!

The Takeaway

Even if you feel a career in medicine isn’t for you, that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your interest in the healthcare field. Whether you’re looking for a temporary job in the industry to make ends meet while you cultivate vital professional experience, or you’re hoping to launch your professional career, your options are virtually endless. The healthcare industry has something in it for just about everyone, from health AI and Big Data to home healthcare to health law. So do a little exploring to find the career path that’s tailor-made for you!

Other Student Life

Keep Your New Year’s Resolution! How Insurance Can Help

January 8, 2014
Keep Your New Year's Resolution! How Insurance Can Help

Ah, 2014. A new year is upon us! Have you resolved to make any changes in the new year? If your resolution has to do with saving more money, sticking to a budget, making wiser financial decisions or the like – don’t forget to consider insurance! Insurance is an important piece of building a solid financial foundation because it helps to minimize your financial risks.

Don’t know much about insurance? This new year is a good time to learn a little more about it. Insurance can help provide you with valuable protection from potential risks, like if you need to replace your laptop if it’s stolen or visit the doctor because you’ve caught the bug that’s been going around the dorms. Both scenarios can be quite expensive, but with the right insurance, you won’t have to dig up the cash.

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Career Other

ID Theft and Social Media: Why using social media can make you vulnerable to ID theft…and what you can do about it.

November 25, 2013
ID Theft and Social Media

What is Identity Theft?

Back in the day, ID theft usually involved stealing someone’s wallet. From there, a thief could pretend to be you, racking up your credit cards, forging checks or committing other scams using your good name. Think of Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can.

While that can and does still happen these days, all of that is so 1990s compared to the high tech means identity thieves now use.

Enter the Internet and social media. With social media, today’s ID thieves are like hipsters in a thrift shop. Their excitement is palpable. The choices are endless. So much cool stuff all under one roof. Where does a thief begin? Perhaps on a social media behemoth such as Facebook. Why pick pockets on the street when you have a billion Facebook users to hack with just a few insidious clicks? It’s basic economies of scale.

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Other Student Life

Pros and Cons to Having a Car on Campus

September 17, 2013

 

Now that the new school year is here, you may still be deciding if having your car on campus is worth it or not. On the one hand, it’s nice to be able to go wherever you want, but on the other hand, do you really want to be the one carting your friends around everywhere? To help you make the important decision, look to the list of pros and cons below.

Pros

1. Grocery shopping: It’s a hassle to walk back from the grocery store with all of your bags, and sometimes the store isn’t even in walking distance, If you want to be able to buy and make your own food, a car may be needed for grocery shopping.

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Other

Announcing the New Student Protection Plan!

July 11, 2013

At GradGuard, we strive to offer college students, young adults and their families greater peace of mind through our product offering. College is an exciting time, but it presents risks unique to that life stage, risks of which many families are not aware. With this in mind, we are thrilled to announce the launch of our new Student Protection Plan, a comprehensive suite of benefits to enhance the personal security of students studying away at college.

The Student Protection Plan has many features suited to helping students and their families prepare for the unexpected while at school. There are many details of college life families may not consider – what if the student’s debit card is comprised and their identity is stolen? Or if a student is traveling in their roommate’s car, and it breaks down? What if there is a family emergency and the student is across the country at school? The Student Protection Plan is designed with these events in mind and features:

  • Family Emergency Travel
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation
  • ID Theft Protection and Resolution
  • Reputation.com Services
  • Roadside Assistance

To learn more about the plan and to see a complete list of features, please check out the Student Protection Plan on GradGuard!

 

Other

Summer Travel Insurance Tips

June 25, 2013

Summer break fortunately often comes with vacations. Whether you’re road tripping to the west coast, studying abroad in Spain, or enjoying the beaches of Southeast Asia, travel insurance can help make your trip a safe one.

Why should you consider purchasing travel insurance for your summer trip? Here are a few tips on what travel insurance can help you protect:

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Other

The NEW GradGuard.com!

February 5, 2013
The NEW GradGuard.com

Today is a big day for all of us here at GradGuard – we have launched our new website!

The team has been working hard to create a site that serves our customers and their families even better, striving to make insurance and benefits easier to navigate, purchase and understand. We’ve created a navigation system that allows parents, students and grads to find the right types of plans for them. Our front-end and back-end engineers have been working hard to create a site that moves swiftly, from product pages through to the enrollment funnel. And finally, we’ve added a whole new section of the site, the Resource Center, to help young adults and their families better understand insurance, our products and the risks they may face through FAQs, videos, a glossary and more.

All the above, and a beautiful new look to boot. We know you lead a busy lifestyle, so we’ve made the site easy to navigate even when you’re on the go. Whether you’re browsing from your laptop in the library, your iPad while traveling or on your phone while running about campus or killing time on your lunch break, the new GradGuard.com is easy to browse on the fly.

Stay tuned – this website re-launch is only just the beginning! In the coming weeks we’ll be adding even more products suited to students, young adults and their families, and our resource center is ever-growing. A huge thank you goes out to everyone on our team for making this possible, especially Mike Brennan, Paul Pennelli, Brian Kelley, Charlie Russ, Ivan Lenkov and Elizabeth Montgomery. You guys rock!

We would love to hear your feedback on the new design. Leave a comment below, send a Tweet to @GradGuard, or Like us on Facebook to leave a message on our wall to let us know what YOU think!

Other

5 Things You Should Have In Your Car at School

September 14, 2012
Car at College

Goodwin Hall Tiltshift

Having your car at school can be a great thing – for one thing, it means extra storage for you! But there are a few things you should make sure to have in your vehicle, should you ever need to use them.

1. A spare tire – I feel like this goes without saying, but you really ought to have an extra tire in your car. Many people are far from home when they’re at school, and going to a auto shop near your university can be expensive. It’s better to have your own spare, and at least have a general idea on how to replace it. If you get stuck, there’s always Google, or you probably have a good chance of finding someone who can help you on your campus.

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