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Could This Amazon App Change the College Textbook Game?

A new Amazon app makes comparison shopping for college textbooks as easy as scanning a barcode.


Now that it's time to head back to campus, cash-strapped college students will be trekking to bookstores to buy all the pricey textbooks they need for class. Historically, students have been at the mercy of campus bookstores' set prices, but thanks to Amazon Student, a new app for iPads and iPhones, that could all change.

To compare Amazon's price on that biology textbook listed for $100, a student can use the app to scan the barcode. If Amazon's price is better, she can simply click the "order" button and the book will be on its way. The company is even offering free two-day shipping for six months to students that decide to use the app.

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Fifth-Year Senior: Why Making High School Longer Is a Brilliant Idea

Maine wants to accelerate the traditional secondary curriculum and bring introductory college courses down to high school.


After four years of high school, you were probably pretty ready to graduate. But what if you could have earned college credit if you stayed for a fifth year? Students in Maine might soon get the option to do just that. In order to ensure that the state is truly preparing the workforce of the future, governor Paul LePage followed up on a campaign promise this week and issued an executive order that creates a task force to study whether a five-year high school option can be implemented state-wide.

The five-year initiative would accelerate the traditional high school curriculum so that credits are finished more quickly, and bring introductory college courses—college English 101, for example—down to the high school level. Students who opt in to the five-year program would graduate with both a high school diploma and either an associate's degree or two years of credits that they can then transfer to the college of their choice.

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Lumni: Investing in College Students as If They Were Companies

Social enterprise Lumni makes paying for college a collective investment instead of an individual one.

With the cost of higher education spiraling ever upwards, creative ideas for footing tuition bills are more important than ever. But what if paying for college became a collective investment instead of an individual one? That's the thinking behind Lumni, a 9-year-old social enterprise that helps finance the cost of college for students in exchange for a fixed percentage of their future earnings over a set period of time.

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