Colleges that offer the best return on your investment

Art majors can get the most bang for their buck at Columbia University.

At a time of rising tuition and soaring college debt, the school students choose can make a big difference to their long-term financial health, according to a report on which colleges offer the Discount return on investment.

Harvey Mudd College, a private college in Claremont, Calif., offers students the biggest bang for their higher-education buck, according to the report from PayScale, a website that tracks pay data. During the first 20 years after getting a degree, graduates can expect to come out $1.1 million ahead of peers who skipped college and went straight to work after high school.

But return on investment depends a lot on a student's major.

For computer science majors, Stanford University offers the best deal, with a return of $1.7 million over the first 20 years of their career.

Related: Graduate student loans are ballooning

Education majors, on the other hand, may not make as much as computer scientists after graduation, but they can get the most for their money at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Education alums can expect a $189,000 return on their investment during the first 20 years after earning a degree.

"We need people to be teachers and social workers," said Katie Bardaro, an economist at PayScale. "But if you want to go into those fields, you need to understand the income potential so you can make the right choice about taking out loans and where you go to school."

Related: 529 college savings hits record high

Majors in liberal arts programs also can enjoy much better income potential if they pick the right school. Political science majors at Texas A&M University, for example, earn a 20-year return of almost $600,000 on average. At Columbia University, art graduates can expect to earn a return of about $478,000 on their investment.

In general, students who get the best bang for their buck major in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) -- and attend schools with well-known programs that help with job placement.

"When it comes to earnings, yes, it's all about STEM," said Bardaro.

PayScale's study looked at how much a college grad earned over the first 20 years of their career, minus the cost of tuition, room, board and books, taking financial aid into account. PayScale then compared that number to the pay of a high school grad who worked for 24 to 26 years.

First Published: March 26, 2014: 9:52 AM ET

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Posted by Elizabeth Nguyen

Pat Sajak's Great American Deals, a New Hyper-Local Online Daily Deal Platform, Officially

Company Announces Nationwide Sale of Franchise Opportunities

March 21, 2014 // // Los Angeles, CA - March 21st, America's Favorite Television Host Invites Investor-Entrepreneurs with Strong Community Ties to Help Drive Success of New Neighborhood-based Printable Coupons Retail Offering that "Pays It Forward" with a Charity Twist Television personality and savvy businessman Pat Sajak is looking for energetic, self-starting entrepreneurs to join him in taking a new daily deal website concept to communities across America. It's called Great American Deals - a hyper-local online shopping website that focuses on individual neighborhoods versus larger metropolitan territories and offers daily discounted deals designed to keep consumer spending within the immediate community, and in the pockets of nearby retailers.

Not only does this model stimulate repeat business, but, as a bonus, a portion of every online sale generated through Great American Deals is donated to local schools and charities as part of the brand's "Give Back" campaign. Having experienced phenomenal success with its pilot franchisees in the bedroom communities of Southern California, the company announced today that it will begin selling additional franchise territories nationwide.

Take the irresistible appeal of discounts delivered by online daily deal sites, eliminate the annoyance of spam-like offers that are too far away to bother with, and add in a fundraising feature that delivers money to consumers' favorite neighborhood charities every time a deal is purchased. That's the winning premise and the Great American Deals difference. The brainstorm of Sajak and seasoned marketers Michael Silber and Mark Vannuki, Great American Deals boasts an A-list leadership team that recognized early on, at the time of the brand's inception, that the power of buying local was a category game-changer for the daily deal industry. Along with Sajak, the team has tapped into the appeal of serving up neighborhood deals with laser precision to hometown residents, who prefer to keep their spending dollars within the immediate community, instead of driving across town, as a way to reinvigorate the entire the category. "I've never endorsed a product before, but there are so many aspects of the Great American Deals concept that have proven to be powerfully successful in our established test model, so I am a big believer," said Pat Sajak, Partner and Brand Ambassador for Great American Deals. "Our franchisees are deeply embedded with their 'feet on the ground' in the towns where they are operating - and each has invaluable localized community ties and expertise, which is something the big players just can't replicate. With Great American Deals, we're going to uncover hidden retail gems in every neighborhood in America - and help local residents discover them online. This platform is an absolute win for businesses and consumers alike, and the charitable aspect of our sales model means a lot to me, especially in these continued tough economic times."

With estimated revenue of $3.3 billion in 2013 according to IBISWorld, the online daily deal industry is projected to continue growing. Building on this existing market opportunity, Great American Deals brings new solutions and "fixes" to the previous pitfalls of the early daily deal pioneers. The format eliminates consumers' "deal fatigue" of being bombarded with unrealistic "across town" offers that aren't feasible or convenient to redeem - and replaces them with hyper-local offers from merchants right around the corner. The franchise model of Great American Deals also provides a fertile environment for local business leadership - at the individual franchisee level - to grow. Each franchisee overseeing their neighborhood- based locale has a vested interest in their own business, which helps to incent the success of the operation within their territory. Conversely, the management and sales structure of the current national deal sites does not transcend easily or effective ly to a hyper-local approach. The Great American Deals model is different from other competitive offerings because it is designed to benefit both local customers and merchants so efficiently.

Interested franchisees can hit the ground running with very little upfront investment. With no storefront, no inventory and no receivables, Great American Deals provides potential franchisees with a pathway toward a desirable professional lifestyle and a flexible workweek. Franchisees are able to work from their own office, or even from home if desired. Ideally suited for a two-person team, Great American Deals' franchisees are indoctrinated to the brand via an intensive four-day training at the brand's corporate headquarters in Beverly Hills, CA - and then receive the option of participating in a co-op program that offers individualized marketing and operational support on an ongoing basis, post-launch. "This is a tremendous opportunity for many established executives, especially those with sales and marketing backgrounds who were caught in the massive corporate layoffs of recent years, to secure their financial and career security with their own business," said Michael Silber, CEO and Founding Partner, Great American Deals. "Imagine being the engine behind a business that brings together members of your own neighborhood looking to discover both valuable discounts and find new quality local businesses to patronize, with merchants and service providers who are eager to welcome the new customers in their own locale. Whether someone is choosing to work for themselves for the first time or returning to the professional world after raising a family, the opportunity to become a Great American Deals franchisee is an exciting proposition for motivated, community-minded entrepreneurs." Added Sajak: "For sales professionals with strong ties to their local communities, our Great American Deals franchise offers an unparalleled opportunity to make a difference for the merchants, consumers and cha rities in their own neighborhoods. With daily deal delivery defined by specific geographical borders and our 'giving back' component that incentivizes purchases to support their hometown schools and charities of choice, Great American Deals offers a distinctively different model for online shopping and selling." For more information, please visit Great American Deals at [].

About Great American Deals

Great American Deals is a pioneering franchise model in the burgeoning online "daily deal" industry. Cited by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the Hottest New Franchises in 2013, Great American Deals is the new daily deal site with a difference - a hyper-local difference that delivers highly targeted offers to tap better savings from neighbor retailers and service providers, and for the best savings on admission to local events. Backed by the star power of television personality Pat Sajak, a company Partner and Brand Ambassador, Great American Deals not only puts the power of the daily deal industry into the hands of highly driven franchisees looking to generate localized prosperity for merchants and consumers alike, but $1 from every sales goes to support neighborhood schools and non-profits. Founded in 2013 and based in Beverly Hills, CA, the company is currently selling franchise locations to entrepreneurially minded individuals with strong ties to their local communitie s seeking a desirable, independent professional lifestyle.

SOURCE Great American Deals

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Sunday, March 23, 2014
Posted by Elizabeth Nguyen

Top 10 Best Online Deals On Apple iPhone 5C Available in India

<Discountp>Apple launched its so called cheaper iPhone 5C for Asian markets last year, which was not as cheap as one actually imagined. Thus the device failed in India while the premium variant with the better processor did really good in the market comparatively. In fact, iPhone 5S was better option to go with.

However, slowly the glossy-finished iPhone 5C has also received price cuts in the past because of the fact that it didn't do well in the market. Thus the gradual rise in the sales paradigm of the device has now made us bring best deals pertaining to the device in India to your notice.

But before going ahead with the deal, you might want to check out the specs of the device.

Recommended: Top 10 Newest Smartphones Under Rs 25,000 To Add To Your Wishlist

The Apple's iPhone 5C comes with a polycarbonate plastic body and features 4-inch Retina Display. The iPhone 5C is powered by a 1.3GHz Apple A6 dual-core processor with triple-core PowerVR SGX 543MP3 graphics. It runs on iOS 7 os which is upgradable to iOS 7.0.3. it is also supported by 1GB RAM.

The iPhone 5C comes with an 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, LED flash and 1080p video capture with video stabilization and 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera. And in terms of connectivity it features 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and USB support. One of the major drawback of Apple iPhone 5C is that it lacks microSD card slot. However, it comes in 16GB and 32GB storage variant.

You can now take a look at the deals on the device in the sliders below:

Click Here For The New Apple iPhones 5C Smartphone Photos Gallery Recommended: Top 10 Karbonn-Made Dual-Core Budget Smartphones To Buy In India
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Posted by Elizabeth Nguyen

Attention, Online Shoppers: PoachIt App Notifies You When Your Favorite Items Go On Sale

When shopping online, it can be tough to pull the trigger on the purchase. Why buy a pair of booties for $150 when their price could be slashed to $110 tomorrow - or the company could release a Best Deals overnight?

The ecommerce startup PoachIt seeks to solve this dilemma. With PoachIt, shoppers can track all of their favorite items and receive a notification when the bag of their dreams goes on sale. The startup also hunts down and verifies coupon codes to save its customers tons of cash.

How much money, exactly? More than $8 million, founder Gidi Fisher told Betabeat in an email. He was inspired to start PoachIt thanks to his wife's expensive handbag obsession.

"I was looking for a birthday gift for her when I discovered something crazy: prices were changing constantly, just like airfares," he said. "Some days I tried coupons that didn't work, other days the price was different - the whole process was beyond frustrating."

We've all been there. He decided to "create a simple way to get price drop alerts and working coupon codes, all with a click of a button."

Now, PoachIt has 120,000 users after less than a year in business, Mr. Fisher said. The community consists of "extremely savvy online shoppers hungry to snap up great deals," he said. Because PoachIt can be used along with pretty much any online retailer, there's no single prevailing demographic.

"Our shoppers range from young professionals eager to invest in staple items as they ease into the working world, to moms planning their family budgets, to retirees who are looking to splurge on coveted items," he said.

Mr. Fisher, an Israeli entrepreneur who was also an early employee of BuzzMetrics, tapped Tufts University classmate Ben Yee, formerly of Gilt Groupe, as chief experience officer. Rounding out the PoachIt team is CTO Sebastian Lemery, an award-winning engineer who previously developed large-scale apps for Vogue, Nike and HBO.

PoachIt has been in the works since more than two years ago, and their site launched on May 2013. Their first iPhone app came out just before the holiday season.

Users can create PoachIt accounts by logging in through Facebook, then drag the POACH icon to their browser's toolbar. When they see an item they like while shopping online, they can click the icon. The item will be saved, and the user will be notified via email when it goes on sale. The average savings is $47 per item.

For revenue, PoachIt receives a small commission directly from the merchant whenever a shopper makes a purchase using their service, Mr. Fisher said. The service is free for consumers and there's no limit on usage.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Posted by Elizabeth Nguyen

GTA 5 Beta For PC Invitation Email Rolls Out With Promo Codes For Early Grab From RockstarGames, Quickly Dismissed

<Promotional Codesp>Cyber criminals are a serious threat to everyone in this digital world. This is why it is important to never publicly express your hopes and desires for something you really want.

The latest cybercrimes came in the form of an email which invites GTA 5 fans to test out the PC version of the game. GTA 5 has yet to be announced by Rockstar and the email is definitely a threat to the GTA community.

The link in the email will lead fans to a phishing site. The email is nothing more than a scam looking to prey on the fans. Of course, some fans escaped the fate after seeing the email having poor grammar written all over it. The email looks unprofessional but it still managed to tempt many fans into finding out on where the link leads to.

At the moment, TrendMicro has been rather active in creating awareness on this scam. It is important for the fans to be notified of this in order to control the damage that has already been done.

Posted by Elizabeth Nguyen

European Car Sales Jump 7.6% as Price Cuts Help Renault

European car sales rose 7.6 percent in February, the sixth consecutive monthly gain, as an economic revival and price cuts helped boost demand for new models from Renault SA (RNO) and Volkswagen AG (VOW) 's Audi luxury brand.

Registrations increased to 894,730 vehicles from 831,371 a year earlier, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturer's Association, or ACEA, said today in a statement. Two-month sales jumped 6.3 percent to 1.86 million cars.

Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, sold 7.2 percent more cars in the region as buyers sought new versions of Audi's A3 compact and top-of-the-line Q7 sport-utility vehicle. Renault, which raised February deliveries 12 percent, is adding production of the Captur compact crossover to meet demand. The European Commission is forecasting that the economy of the euro area will expand 1.2 percent in 2014, marking a revival from a recession that ended in the first quarter of last year.

"Demand has been depressed for so long that it can only go up," Erich Hauser, a London-based automotive analyst at International Strategy & Investment Group, said by phone. Sales will be pushed by replacements, with "loads of cars that are coming off lease, the highest-ever number of vehicles that are between three and five years old."

Outpacing BMW

European sales growth of 12 percent at Audi and 22 percent at the Skoda mass-market brand more than made up for a 0.8 percent decline at the namesake marque of Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen. The gains by Audi, the world's second-biggest maker of premium vehicles, outpaced a 6.8 percent jump at Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)'s namesake brand, the biggest luxury-car producer worldwide, and a 5.1 percent increase at Daimler AG (DAI) 's third-ranked Mercedes-Benz.

Renault, based in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, benefited from a 34 percent surge at the low-cost Dacia division, which is offering a revamped Duster SUV and Logan sedan. The Captur helped Renault-brand sales rise 3.8 percent.

Dealer discounts in Germany widened to an average 11.7 percent of the list price last month from 11 percent in January, according to trade publication Autohaus PulsSchlag. Manufacturers offering the steepest price cuts included Renault and Paris-based competitor PSA Peugeot Citroen, followed by Fiat SpA (F), Ford (F) Motor Co. and General Motor Co.'s Opel nameplate, the magazine's figures show. VW and Audi placed sixth and eighth in discounting.

308's Award

Group sales at Peugeot (UG), Europe's second-biggest carmaker, rose 3.5 percent last month, with demand jumping 6.6 percent at the namesake brand. Maxime Picat, head of the Peugeot marque, said earlier this month that new models, such as the 308 hatchback that won the 2014 European Car of the Year award, are helping the unit win buyers amid a shift to more upmarket cars.

European sales by Detroit-based GM (GM) rose 12 percent, with Opel and sister marque Vauxhall boosting deliveries 16 percent. Opel is likely to expand 2014 deliveries in the region faster than the forecast 2 percent industrywide growth, as models such as the Adam city car attract buyers new to the nameplate, Karl-Thomas Neumann, head of the Ruesselsheim, Germany-based division, said in early March.

Demand increased in four of Europe 's top five markets, with only second-ranked France posting a decline. Deliveries in fifth-place Spain jumped 18 percent because of a government program designed to bolster sales by encouraging trade-ins of older vehicles for cars with lower emissions. The ACEA compiles figures from the European Union, including new member Croatia as of this year, as well as Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.

Fiat's Jeep

Fiat's group sales in Europe rose 5.8 percent, helped by a wagon version of the main brand's 500 subcompact and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV. Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford boosted deliveries in the region 11 percent as the Fiesta small car and Kuga compact SUV attracted customers. The company said in January that it's increasing Fiesta production at its plant in Cologne, Germany.

Better financing conditions may also help drive new car sales up. The European Central Bank expects its key interest rates "to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time" President Mario Draghi said Promo Code March 6 after the Governing Council left the main refinancing rate at a record low of 0.25 percent.

Hybrids Demand

Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), the world's biggest carmaker, posted a 14 percent jump in demand in Europe, where it's the largest Asian auto seller. Didier Leroy, head of the company's European division, said in December that hybrid models will propel Toyota's sales in the region. He forecast on March 3 that the carmaker's European deliveries, including Russia, will rise about 2.1 percent this year.

Hyundai Motor Co. (005380) was the only automaking group among the top 10 in Europe to report a sales drop last month, with a 3 percent decline.

"The industry is still faced with record-high incentive levels and artificially inflated sales," so "it's too early to be celebrating a recovery in the European car market," Allan Rushforth, head of the Seoul-based manufacturer's operations in the region, said in an e-mail.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mathieu Rosemain in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at Tom Lavell, David Risser

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Posted by Elizabeth Nguyen

Biz Break: New partnerships for SolarCity and Best Buy, Yahoo and Yelp

Posted: 03/12/2014 03:53:08 PM PDT

Updated: 03/12/2014 04:29:41 PM PDT

Today: SolarCity rockets higher on Wall Street after landing a deal to sell its residential solar systems at Online Deals, while Tesla gains after New Jersey ordered the carmaker to shut its stores. Also: Yahoo and Yelp team up to challenge Google.

The Lead: SolarCity links up with Best Buy a day after Tesla's N.J. blockade

Elon Musk seems to enjoy challenging traditional approaches to sales, a mindset that led to a losing battle with New Jersey lawmakers on Tuesday. The Tesla Motors CEO and founder's other Silicon Valley company, SolarCity, found success on Wall Street after announcing its own new approach to retail sales Wednesday, though.

SolarCity announced Wednesday that it would begin selling its residential solar-power systems in select Best Buy stores, a retail location better known for electronics and related wares, adding to its presence in a more traditional store for such a pitch, Home Depot. The move, which will put SolarCity in 60 Best Buy stores in California and four other states, continues an innovative approach to sales that led the company to offer its core solar systems for little to no money down, instead leasing the systems to homeowners after installation.

Representatives at Best Buy stores will use satellites to assess potential customers' homes and share the information within minutes, the company said, giving them a chance to increase sales with little outlay beyond paying the representative.

"The services we offer, it tends to be a conversational sale," CEO Lyndon Rive told the Los Angeles Times. "Meaning most people don't understand the value proposition until they spend two or three minutes listening to it, and the value proposition is cheaper, cleaner energy."

The companies did not say if money was exchanged in the partnership, though SolarCity announced any customer that signed up for solar service at a Best Buy before Earth Day -- April 22 -- would receive a $100 Best Buy gift card. Best Buy locations in Santa Rosa, San Rafael, Colma, Gilroy, Dublin, Brentwood, Vacaville, Milpitas and Pleasant Hill will host Bay Area locations for SolarCity.

SolarCity bounced back from recent weakness, jumping 7 percent to $78.50 and closing at its highest price of the day. The San Mateo company went public for $8 a share at the end of 2012 and his gained as much as 1,000 percent since, hitting an all-time high of $88.35 last month.

Musk serves as chairman and a principal investor of SolarCity, but spends most of his time focusing on Tesla, which bounced back from a slight dip in the wake of Tuesday's decision by New Jersey officials that will result in a ban on Tesla's direct-sale model in that state. Shares gained as much as 6 percent before closing with a 3 percent gain at $241.49 as the Palo Alto company finally brought in a new spokesman to run its communications department.

New Jersey is the third state to ban Tesla's sales model, which runs counter to the standard automotive practice of selling cars through franchised dealers, and another could soon join the Garden State, Texas and Arizona: Tesla is negotiating in an effort to stop a bill in Ohio that would effectively keep it from operating there, where it plans to open a third store.

SV150 market report: Yahoo strikes deal to add Yelp to its search results

A mixed trading day on Wall Street ended up good for Silicon Valley technology stocks, which gained 0.4 percent despite struggles for other indexes.

Yahoo and Yelp joined SolarCity and Best Buy in announcing a partnership Wednesday, a tie-up that had been reported earlier this year but was made official Wednesday. The move is an attempt by CEO Marissa Mayer to make Yahoo's search engine more relevant in a battle against two tech giants, Google and Microsoft. Searches for local businesses will return Yelp reviews, ratings and information, giving Yahoo a search feature it doesn't share with its partner, Microsoft, which operates its own Bing search engine. Google prompted an antitrust complaint from Yelp after scraping its information and placing it in search results, which led to the Mountai n View company's purchase of Zagat and production of its own local information, which it uses in search and Maps. Yahoo dropped 0.2 percent to $37.50 while Yelp gained 3.1 percent to $92.79.

Google's search engine faces an unexpected side effect from the global encryption campaign prompted by NSA surveillance, with the Washington Post reporting that Google's encryption will block Chinese censorship, which could lead to the search engine being blocked from mainland China altogether. Google stock gained 0.6 percent to $1,207.30 as the company's venture capital arm announced an $85 million investment in San Francisco startup Credit Karma. After success on Tuesday amid a bevy of reports, Apple gained another 0.1 percent to $536.61 Wednesday while facing accusations of using caustic chemicals in producing the iPhone and reducing the amount of time a buyer has to return the Cupertino company's ubiquitous smartphone. Facebook gained 1.1 percent to $70.88 a day after its Menlo Park headquarters was evacuated due to a threat, with reports suggesting that the NSA mimicked the company's servers to siphon information. Silicon Valley had another market debut Wednesday, when South San Francisco's Achaogen gained 19.2 percent after selling 6 million initial shares at $12 apiece , continuing a strong run for biotechs.

Up: SolarCity, Pandora, Yelp, Tesla, VMware, Zynga, Applied Materials, Workday, AMD, Facebook, NetApp, Cisco, Twitter, Adobe, Salesforce, SunPower, LinkedIn, eBay, Google, Electronic Arts

Down: Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Intuit, Netflix, Yahoo, Gilead

The SV150 index of Silicon Valley's largest tech companies: Up 5.78, or 0.37 percent, to 1,567.86

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index: Up 16.15, or 0.37 percent, to 4,323.33

The blue chip Dow Jones industrial average: Down 11.17, or 0.07 percent, to 16,340.08

And the widely watched Standard & Poor's 500 index: Up 0.57, or 0.03 percent, to 1,868.2

Check in weekday afternoons for the 60-Second Business Break, a summary of news from Mercury News staff writers, The Associated Press, Bloomberg News and other wire services. Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at

Thursday, March 13, 2014
Posted by Elizabeth Nguyen

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