6 Motivation Tricks for Midterm Season

It’s that time of year again! You’re mentally drained, your motivation has completely disappeared and you likely believe midterm season will finish you before you finish it. You’re struggling with the idea of staying driven to the very end of exams. It’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel  but with these 6 tricks, your motivation will be back and here to stay until the end of the semester.

1) Give yourself a break.

If you’re completely burnt out, it will show in your work. You want to give the best you can possibly give and to do so, you need to be at 100%. Give yourself a break! Take a nap, watch an episode of a television show you enjoy. Remember that it is just a break, so don’t spend the entire day taking a break.

 

2) Airplane Mode Is Your Best Friend

It is easy to get carried away with social media apps that are available right on your phone. As exciting as it is to view photos of golden retrievers on Instagram, your schoolwork will not get done with your phone sitting on your desk. Put your phone on airplane mode and putit in a drawer. As a way to encourage yourself to get work done, place an hourly timer to use your phone for 15 minutes after every hour as a motivation mechanism!

 

3) Set All The Goals!

As humans, we love the feeling of accomplishment and encouragement. Think about that feeling of closing all those tabs on your laptop after finishing an assignment. Now, think about the feeling of crossing that assignment off your to-do list. There are very few things that feel as good as this! Set goals, big or small, for yourself to keep yourself motivated and encouraged to keep working.

 

4) Treat Your Body Like A Temple

As students, we sometimes forget that broccoli is important. Some might have not seen a piece of broccoli since they’ve started university. It is difficult to meal prep and make meals that are healthy, however, it is not hard to at least try and eat a little better. Cut back on the endless instant noodles and feed yourself some brain food so that you’re awake while you’re studying. The more energy you have, the more you will get done and feel accomplished!

 

5) Change Up Your Study Style

Studying can be quite boring especially if you have been studying the exact same way for as long as you can remember. Get out of your comfort zone and try group studying. It will encourage you to meet some of your classmates and will potentially benefit you as it will be numerous brains studying together as opposed to just one.

 

6) Don’t Over Do It

The brain can stay focused for about five to six hours. The minute you stop retaining information is the minute you should take a break. You will be wasting your own time trying to stay focused and will only result in frustration from the lack of retaining. Keep your motivation and encouragement by not over doing it!

 

Student Success: 9 Foods to Boost Your Brain While Studying

Student Success: 9 Foods to Boost Your Brain While Studying

Eat well, achieve well.

While studying, most students reach for junk food and coffee to destress, however, these foods can lead to decreased levels of focus. Choosing healthy and brain powering foods can help you eat your way to success.

1. Avocados

These green powerhouses contain vitamin K and folate, which help improve cognitive function, especially memory and focus. Avocado toast will boost your Instagram and studying game.

Avocado gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/2gEnmrQ

2. Blueberries

Often referred to as the “brain berry,” this fruit is full of antioxidants. Antioxidants improve brain health, leading to improved memory and cognition. If you find yourself craving some sugar choose a natural sugar source instead.

Blueberries gif. Retrieved from http://gph.is/1aeHJan

3. Blackberries

Similarly, these berries improve memory during long hours of studying. Blackberries contain polyphenols that encourage communication between neurons and allow the brain to be open to new things. In other words, these berries will help you remember the most boring readings while you cram.

Bowl of Blackberries by Stephen Rees on Flickr.

 

4. Oily Fish

Salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring contain high levels of omega-3 fats, which help decrease stress and improve serotonin. Plant alternatives include soya beans, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. If you cry during stressful studying periods (I’ve been there) then increasing your omega 3s can help boost your mood.

Wolf of Wall Street gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/19KtpVt

5. Dark Chocolate

Need an excuse to eat chocolate all the time? Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that help regulate blood flow to the brain and heart. Increased blood flow improves memory and focus. If you want an added bonus, try chocolate covered coffee beans to boost brain activity and improve focus.

SpongeBob chocolate gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/XIz2hf
SpongeBob chocolate gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/XIz2hf

6. Broccoli

Your parents told you to eat your vegetables, and they were right. Broccoli is a nutritious source of vitamin K, iron, and chlorine. These nutrients help keep your memory sharp. Eat your greens to fuel your brain for missed readings and cramming.

The Office broccoli gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/1UTJBGf
The Office broccoli gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/1UTJBGf

7. Green Tea

Green tea is a smart alternative to high-caffeinated products. Energy drinks and too much coffee can overwhelm your body and cause caffeine crashes. Green tea provides antioxidants and releases caffeine slowly in the body to avoid crashing and promote concentration over longer periods of time. Green tea also reduces stress, allowing student’s to improve their sleep and rest their brain before tests. David’s Tea also has wellness teas to increase certain moods like energy and focus.

Kermit gif. Retrieved from http://gph.is/1IFn5eh

8. Dark Leafy Greens

When reaching for salads, spinach, kale, and romaine are dark greens that are filled with nutrients like vitamin A, B6, and B12. Eating a salad a day can make your brain 11 years younger and sharpen your memory. While eating salad is a good diet for weight loss it can also be a good diet for your brain.

Kourtney Kardashian salad gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/2nL0qwg

9. Eggs

Last but not least, eggs are packed with vitamins B6, B12, and chlorine. Higher intakes of chlorine increase memory and mood. If you find yourself skipping breakfast and rushing to campus look for breakfast sandwiches with eggs to prepare for your day.

Eggs gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/1UnVsSo

Switching out junk for healthy habits will improve your focus, memory, and retention. Take your study game to the next level and choose healthy over junk. Happy eating and studying, good luck!

Bruce Almighty gif. Retrieved from https://gph.is/1AwfvEM

 

 

5 Productivity Tools Every Student Needs!

5 Productivity Tools Every Student Needs!

Get on track!

Naturally, during the busy school year, it’s easy to push things off until a calmer time rolls around. While the semester hasn’t quite started yet, take this opportunity to organize important parts of your life that may get neglected as your time becomes increasingly occupied. From your health to financial management, check out these 5 great tools that will help you be your best self! Achieving your goals has never been easier.

 

FitnessPal

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Track your steps, exercise and eating habits with this goal-centric fitness mobile application. With a simplified experience that involves searching or scanning your food items and exercise, Fitnesspal is easily the best app to stay on top of your health!

 

Mint: Money Manager

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Save for your future house, retirement, or even just that clothing item you’ve been dying for with Mint Money Manager. There’s no better way to achieve your financial goals than beginning to track your finances and spending.

 

Trello

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Track your to-do’s, commitments, and goals, by using the new application Trello. This app is perfect to map out your schedule or track your workflow, no matter where you are in life; school, work, or aspiring to/running your own venture, among others. Best of all with mobile, tablet, desktop and Mac applications, this platform is always accessible.

 

Last Pass

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Okay, this one isn’t exactly free – but is sure to free up space in your mind! Last Pass is a mobile and desktop application that controls all of your passwords, automatically inputting them for each platform you choose to use. This way, logging in is as simple as the click of a button, while simultaneously only requiring you to remember one password.

 

Cram

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Cram is hands down the best study tool available today! This web/mobile application allows you to create countless flashcards for different subjects, that are shared between your web account and mobile application. This way, you can study on-the-go, while enjoying easy creation through their web-based platform.

 

Did we miss your favorite productivity app? If you have any awesome life hacks or tools to help with productivity, that we’ve failed to mention, educate us in the comment section below!

10 Tricks for Efficient Studying

10 Tricks for Efficient Studying

D’s get degrees, but A’s are much better.

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Not caring about your GPA is all fun and games until we realize it actually determines a lot. With a low GPA sports teams, activities, societies, case competitions, associations, exchange programs, and even some jobs may deem you as ineligible. To help ensure your GPA stays sky-high and that you can enjoy your post-secondary experience to the fullest, we have created a list of 10 easy habits to becoming an effective student:

 

Don’t cram 

…because forcing your eyelids open isn’t exactly considered studying.

 

Plan out your study time

Like budgeting, planning out your study time tends to lead to higher performance among students, this is because designating specific time for each course will not only allow you to build a routine but also allow for excess course-review time when you’re actually caught up with your studies.

 

Set Goals

If you set goals in each course or during each study session,  you are sure to pinpoint the important areas of focus and study effectively by setting clear direction instead of spending time on a topic that may or may not be of serious relevance to your course.

 

Start with the Most Difficult Subject

Since motivation is at it’s all-time highest when you actually begin a task, start with your hardest subject first, that way it only gets easier as the session progresses.

 

Initiate Group Work

Group work forms a highly effective study session for a few reasons; first off it’s nice to have someone else there in case you don’t understand a concept, you complete assignments more quickly, and as you reiterate or teach lessons to one another, you’re also internalizing the subject matter which ultimately makes for a better understanding and an easier time remembering certain concepts and information.

 

Organize Yourself

The key to efficiency is organization, and although this may seem like an initially time-consuming, tedious job, after the initial organization having your notes, computer files, assignments, and books organized will aid in maximizing efficiency, having ready access to information, and handing in assignments promptly.

 

Take Great Notes

Instead of shuffling for course notes right before an exam, take great notes in the first place! This will surely make studying and organization easier due to the accessibility of your course notes, but will also aid in accumulating actual course knowledge as you’ll be rewriting concepts now and at the time of studying.

 

Don’t Procrastinate

It’s insanely easy to ignore that above-mentioned study schedule, but if you do a little bit of studying daily, you’re sure to remember the course better, have an easier time building and connecting subject matters.

 

Live Healthily

Ok, not to go all elementary school on you, but getting approximately 8 hours of sleep, maintaining a generally healthy diet, and getting some regular exercise, are all immediate factors of  how much brain power, motivation, and stress- relief your body is ready to output, all seriously important components to maximizing efficiency as a student.

 

Read your Course Outline

I can’t stress this enough!! Not reading your course outline can be detrimental to your grade. Not only are all your important due dates and corresponding grade percentages included, but profs tend to include very important information on these sheets that they may not bother telling you in class, even if you make it to the intro lecture. An example of this may be the number of classes you can miss without failing or whether or not neglecting to hand just 1 assignment can lead to automatic fail (this is actually a thing!).

 

What are your favorite tricks for studying more efficiently? Share them with us in the comment section below – just in time for the beginning of a new semester!

It’s Official, These are Coolest University Courses in the World

It’s Official, These are Coolest University Courses in the World

Making school fun again?!

Do you remember when going to school was actually fun? It seems like forever since the joy of learning wasn’t weighed down by loads of coursework, the stress of exams, and 20-page papers. In fact, some universities have actually noticed this trend, and decided to do something about it. These schools came out with specific courses that have students begging for more. Seriously, we’re talking about the types of courses that genuinely make you excited to go school (yes they do exist!).

 

Rap Linguistics

joey-badass-best-rappers-20s

Ready to spend three hours a week dissecting exactly what the A$AP crew are trying to portray in their songs? We sure are! The University of Calgary’s department of linguistics offers a class entitled Rap Linguistics which teaches students a linguist’s approach to analyzing the language used by rappers, while simultaneously looking at the evolution of hip and hop and its impact on the western world. Pretty cool if you ask us…

 

Religion & Disney

636059436963870462-700445933_disney characters

Just by the title, we know this would be the most interesting religious studies class out there. The Memorial University of Newfoundland offers a class that aims to examine the religious themes and issues arising from within the world of Disney, including animated feature films and cartoons. Aside from getting to watch a ton of classic movies, the course actually goes further and examines the religious convictions of Walt Disney himself, and how his paradigm impacted the philosophies of the Disney Franchise as a whole (but let’s stick to watching movies all day..). Either way, this is a class we would surely love to take.

 

Poker 101

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Get your poker face ready for the University of Ottawa students taking Poker 101. This course examines the math that is disguised in poker, specifically probability, game theory, and the mathematic underpinning of games of chance. From Texas Hold’em to Black Jack, what better way to spend your lengthy mass classes than by playing poker? This definitely made our list of the coolest ways to get a math credit ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Many Faces Of Harry Potter

Harry-Potter-Wizarding-World-Weekly

I don’t know about you, but we would love to spend a semester studying Harry Potter! The University of Western Ontario gets that, and their English department has created a course that all HP fanatics are dying to take – The Many Faces of Harry Potter. This course examines the Harry Potter series under various types of literary lenses, including gothic, detective fiction, fantasy, adventure, and even the dystopian literature. No wonder they call it the Many Faces of Harry Potter!

 

Apocalyptic Science Fiction

the-best-science-fiction-as-picked-by-20-ai-experts

Any true sci-fi lover would jump at the chance to take this course! From a true artificial intelligence take over to ominous genetic engineering, this English department course aims to understand the fascination with the potential misuse of science and technology in popular culture. Using apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic stories, the course looks examines various speculative scenarios in literature, radio, film, gaming, graphic novels, and more. Whether a science or literature fan, this York University course is one we would love to take.

 

Which of these courses are you dying to take? Share your thoughts with us know in the comment section below. If you’re interested in reading more about some of the coolest classes available to university students today, click here.

 

Study Abroad for Free!

Study Abroad for Free!

Pack your suitcases, ladies and gentlemen. 

Every student dreams of spending a year abroad; studying in another country, learning a new languaging, experiencing a new culture, what’s not to love! So much so, that earlier this year we did a piece on the top 7 places for students to study abroad in 2017. That being said, a big roadblock for most students dreaming of a embarking on a year abroad is the financial burden. Not only are plane tickets and accommodations costly requirements, but many universities hike up their tuition prices for international students. Unfortunately, this stops many students from living the unique and amazing experience of studying in another country. However, being in 2017, progressive governments around the world have begun to recognize how important education is not only for a country’s economy but for global progression in general. Keeping that in mind, many governments have mandated cheaper education

However, being in 2017, progressive governments around the world have begun to recognize the importance of education for a country’s economy and global progression alike. Keeping that in mind, many governments have mandated cheaper tertiary education for everyone. Today, there are places you can study abroad for free or very cheap. We have curated a list of the top 5 locations to spend a year abroad with cheap tuition, guaranteeing you an amazing experience without breaking the bank!

 

Iceland & Norway

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These countries are famous for more than just their amazing spas! The Scandinavian economic model has a strong focus and heavy expenditure on social programs, including public education. They do so with the hopes of achieving an educated workforce, greater economic development, and thus economic prosperity. With such policies, it’s no surprise that these countries offer free tuition for EU nationals. However, unlike their Nordic counterparts such as Sweden and Denmark, Iceland and Norway extend their waived tuition fees to any foreign-born student that would like to study in their country.

 

Germany

Summer-Study-Abroad-Germany-Programs

 

Most famously, Germany recently rolled out a program calling for free tuition within their education system. This policy has waived tuition fees for all interested national and international students alike. With a world-class education system, strong yet inviting culture, gorgeous and timeless architecture, and free tuition, we’re already packing our bags!

 

Austria

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Austria is yet another European country that houses extremely cheap tuition for tertiary education. The country offers the same educational rights to national and international individuals alike, consisting of two free semesters for all students. After that, students pay approximately $385 USD per semester to study in Austria. I know what you’re thinking… that barely covers textbooks in North America! Needless to say,  you AND your wallet can benefit from the enriching experience of studying abroad.  

 

France

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Although this European destination is not globally seen as a leader in free education, France’s tuition rates are extremely affordable. Their programs consist of countless free courses, with others coming in at a very low cost. In fact, French, EU, and international students can all equally enjoy receiving their degrees for anywhere from $195 to $1000 USD per year. Compared to the $10,000-$60,000 per year range often found in Canada and the U.S., France is definitely housing an economically reasonable educational system.

 

Brazil

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Brazil is yet another country that realizes the value in offering students free education, with many of the country’s universities choosing not to charge tuition fees. However, English students are required to pay a small registration fee for taking courses in English rather than Portuguese.

 

With so many great options, we’ve definitely been bitten by the travel bug. Will you look into studies in one of these 5 countries? Share your experience with us in the comment section below.

Delicious (and Healthy) Study Snacks

Delicious (and Healthy) Study Snacks

Healthy food=better grades.

Achieving high passing grades tends to be the main focus throughout tertiary education for most students. However, between countless sleepless nights and an abundance of exams/assignments, students’ bodies are constantly exposed to high levels of stress, typically resulting in lower levels of productivity. Luckily, there are a few small lifestyle tweaks students can make to offset the negative effects of stress and increase productivity. In fact, an article published by Livestrong outlines the direct correlation between maintaining a healthy diet and achieving higher grades. From increasing a student’s focus to a generally healthier diet resulting in better energy/attendance, there are countless reasons consider a healthy diet as a student. For those long sleepless nights (and serious finals cravings) we have created a list of both healthy and delicious snacks, perfect for your next study sesh.

 

Coconut Oil Popcorn

popcorn

With only two ingredients – kernels and coconut oil, this simple snack is perfect for when you’re craving something crunchy mid studies. Best of all, you can easily customize it to your taste buds with various spicing options (my recommendation is chilli powder, lime powder & salt).

Get the recipe here. 

 

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

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Do you crave chocolate when you’re studying? If so, try this delicious recipe for home made peanut butter cups. By using milk chocolate and natural peanut butter, you will fill the sugar craving AND avoid the notorious post-junk food crash.

Get the recipe here.

 

Cauliflower Pizza

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More into cheesy snacks? Don’t worry – we’ve got the perfect healthy supplement for that too. Instead of ordering pizza, try making your own cauliflower pizza crust. This recipe, although slightly more labour-intensive, is incredibly delicious and healthy.

Get the recipe here.

 

Rice Cakes and Avocado

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Avocado is everyone’s favourite superfood. Next time you’re studying and lacking energy, try cutting up avocado and eating it on a rice cake (or pumpernickel bread). Not only is this snack lighter than eating an entire sandwich, but it will also keep you full while simultaneously supplying your body with tons of healthy fats.

Get this (and many more) recipes here.

 

Mini Salad

mini salad

Feeling like a quick fix? Try cutting up some strawberries, spinach, & cheese, and make your very own mini salad! This snack can be dressed up/down as you like, and will fill your body with tons of healthy nutrients to keep you awake and focused.

Get tons of mini salad recipes here. 

 

Which recipes will you try out? Did we miss any of your favourite healthy study snacks? Let us know your thoughts and preferences in the comment section below.

5 Life Hacks Every Student Should Know

 

Internships are not as useless as you might think. Plan on getting an internship if you don’t have one already. Practical experience
Got-Internship-signalways looks good on a resume. You will be one step ahead of your peers when you start job hunting after you graduate. Sometimes it might seem like a waste of time, but there’s nothing like a experience to back up what you know. Just make sure the internship is going to be beneficial for you. Internships are meant to be a learning experience and if all you do is making coffee and classifying files, perhaps you should reconsider.

BUDGET. There is a subtle difference between needing and wanting, and it’s time for you to start making that distinction. Sure, sometimes you want to splurge on a Starbucks coffee or eat at that new place everyone’s been talking about on a random Wednesday evening- but pick your battles! There are plenty of apps out there to help you with your finances and help keep track of where your money goes. Try checking out Mint, Acorn or Level Money and start keeping track.

 

Keep your health in check. Sometimes it seems like exercise is exhausting, which it is as you’re doing it, but after you’re done you actually feel more energized for the rest of the day. That’s one of the reasons experts emphasize the importance of exercising in the morninstop-working-out-leadg, because you feel you’ve accomplished so much already and can only do more with your day. Research also says that physical exercises result in increased blood flow to the brain which indirectly improves mood and sleep; reduces stress and anxiety. In the end, you look better, you feel better and you DO better.

 

Become an ‘expert’ in one area. There isn’t a student who absolutely loves all subjects. All you need to do is focus a bit more on the area you love and get some serious attitude about it. Maybe you can start a blog associated to the area you love and become a self-appointed expert in it or start an Instagram page featuring pictures and subjects you like or simply try to read up on subjects you always wanted to know more about like web site building or coding. Research deeper, become more involved and enjoy your devotion to the things that interest you. The tools are there to help you start, especially in this day and age, but it’s up to you to use them.

 

The system is NOT your enemy. Remember this always. And this goes for any institutional environment you find yourself in, whether it be work or school. Don’t try to work against your college authorities and professors however much you are tempted. Talk to them in case there is any problem or misunderstanding. Be cordial even if in reality, the rebel in you wants to paint the city red. This will pay off in the long run. Negativity only attracts negativity and it turns into a vicious circle, so make a conscious effort of being kind and eventually it will become a habit.

Students Explain Their Thesis in One Sentence

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1. Does music express emotions or just elicit them? Read the next 200 pages to not find out.
– Welldogmycats

2. Girls take birth control. Girls then pee out unmetabolized estrogens from birth control. Pee goes to water treatment plant, estrogens not treated, male fish become female fish.
– Altzul

3. Nanoparticles are weird and I accidentally made a bomb and electrocuted myself.
-M33

4. People trying meditation for the first time get aroused.
– PainMatrix

5. When I get rid of this gene, it messes the brain up. A lot.
– NeuroscienceNerd

6. Computer AI systems can learn to operate a warp drive and automatically build an instructional system to train people how to do it. My dissertation is probably the only one in existence to reference the Star Trek technical manual.
– DrBiometrics

7. My experimental drug does NOT cure addiction.
– NotSoCleverPork

8. Making new magnets from old magnets because we’re running out of magnets.
– IAmAHiggsBoson

9. Inpatients with schizophrenia are happier and socialize more in the context of a music listening group. It was obvious before we began the project and we learned nothing.
– Wouldyestap

10. Little things stick together. Here’s a slightly easier way to calculate their stickiness.
– Born2bwire

11. There are amoebas living in volcanos, but I never captured Bigfoot on film (I tried).
– RNAPII

12. We can take random pieces of bacterial DNA from beaver poop and put them into other bacteria to discover new things, like how to break wood down into biofuels. Yes, I had to dissect dead beavers and handle their poop.
– Geneius

13. This protein looks like it might contribute to asthma. Oh, turns out it probably doesn’t.
– Bear_Ear_Fritters

14. I crunch numbers using a supercomputer in the hopes of ensuring a fusion reactor in France doesn’t get fried on the inside.
– PhysicsFornicator

15. Two proteins touch each other in a specific place in the developing heart. No idea if it’s important for anything.
– Penguinpaige

16. I can make models of galaxies in a computer, but I can’t explain why they don’t act like real ones. Even if I bash them together or stir them around.
– McMillan_Astro

17. People sometimes think about animals as if they’re people. People like those animals a little more than regular animals. Except when they don’t. I can’t believe they gave me a PhD.
– too_many_mangos

18. Sand washes away, don’t build important stuff on it
– Zoidy

19. Why does a coffee stain looks the way it is, and how you can use it to make anti-laser glasses.
– Stockholm-Syndrom

20. You can make antimatter move in strange ways if you set your equipment up wrong.
– DrTBag

Top 30 Best College Dorms in the USA

Best-College-Dorms

Dorm life is a huge factor when deciding which school to go to.  After all, you only get to experience university life once so might as well make the most out of it.  Here is a list of the best dorms around the USA, in order to help you decide where to apply:

Midwest:  Indiana Wesleyan University
Midwest: Wheaton College
Midwest: Washington University in St. Louis
Northeast: Bryn Mawr College
Northeast: University of Scranton
Northeast: Harvard University
Northeast: Yale University
Northeast: Loyola University Maryland
Northeast: Bowdoin College
South: Eastern Mennonite University
South: Liberty University
South: Christopher Newport University
South: Regent University
South: High Point University
South: University of Mobile
South: Southwestern Assemblies of God University
South: Asbury University
South: Johnson University
South: Florida Gulf Coast University
South: Union University
South: Rice University
West: Colorado Christian University
West: Pacific Union College
West: Santa Clara University
West: Stanford University
West: Corban University
West: Whitworth University
West: Soka University of America
West: Pomona College
West: California Baptist University