25 colleges that are worth the money

Students react as they prepare to receive their diplomas at commencement at Harvard University.

Students react as they prepare to receive their diplomas at commencement at Harvard University.

Where you go to college isn’t just an investment in the next four years, it’s an investment in the rest of your life.

And although price certainly isn’t the only factor to consider when deciding where to attend, it doesn’t hurt to go to a school that’s a good value.

Payscale’s annual College ROI Report determines the return on investment for schools across the U.S. by subtracting the cost of attendance from graduates’ 20-year pay.

For the report, Payscale draws its data from the approximately 1.3 million college-educated workers who successfully completed PayScale’s Employee Survey over the last 10 years. Read a complete breakdown of the methodology here.

For this list, CNBC included schools based on the cost of out-of-state tuition, where applicable.

Though we can’t guarantee that attending any particular school will result in the same ROI, here are 25 schools that give you a good shot.

Baker Hall stands on the campus of Dartmouth College, the smallest school in the Ivy League, in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Cheryl Senter/Bloomberg | Getty Images
Baker Hall stands on the campus of Dartmouth College, the smallest school in the Ivy League, in Hanover, New Hampshire.

25. Dartmouth College

20 year net ROI: $650,000
Total cost for four years: $257,000
Average loan amount: $23,200

24. Capitol College

20 year net ROI: $653,000
Total cost for four years: $135,000
Average loan amount: $37,000

23. Missouri University of Science and Technology

20 year net ROI: $654,000
Total cost for four years: $147,000
Average loan amount: $27,500

22. University of Pennsylvania

20 year net ROI: $673,000
Total cost for four years: $252,000
Average loan amount: $25,400

21. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

20 year net ROI: $676,000
Total cost for four years: $252,000
Average loan amount: $42,800

Carnegie Mellon University

Zolashine | Getty Images
Carnegie Mellon University

20. Carnegie Mellon University

20 year net ROI: $678,000
Total cost for four years: $251,000
Average loan amount: $31,500

19. Maine Maritime Academy

20 year net ROI: $680,000
Total cost for four years: $145,000
Average loan amount: $43,200

18. Harvard University

20 year net ROI: $700,000
Total cost for four years: $244,000
Average loan amount: $20,300

17. Massachusetts Maritime Academy

20 year net ROI: $712,000
Total cost for four years :$244,00
Average loan amount: $32,000

16. Babson College

20 year net ROI: $726,000
Total cost for four years: $246,000
Average loan amount: $30,000

Hatfield Hall and the Flame of the Millennium statue are shown at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.

Yipdw | Wikimedia Commons
Hatfield Hall and the Flame of the Millennium statue are shown at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.

15. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

20 year net ROI: $738,000
Total cost for four years: $232,000
Average loan amount: $45,500

14. Kettering University

20 year net ROI: $743,000
Total cost for four years: $208,000
Average loan amount: $41,700

13. Georgia Institute of Technology

20 year net ROI: $746,000
Total cost for four years: $174,000
Average loan amount: $31,700

12. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

20 year net ROI: $752,000
Total cost for four years: $235,000
Average loan amount: $43,000

11. Stanford University

20 year net ROI: $761,000
Total cost for four years: $247,000
Average loan amount: $29,100

Students walking to classes at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Barry Winiker | Getty Images
Students walking to classes at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

10. Princeton University

20 year net ROI: $764,000
Total cost for four years: $231,000
Average loan amount: $14,100

9. California State University, Maritime

20 year net ROI: $781,000
Total cost for four years: $133,000
Average loan amount: $30,600

8. Stevens Institute of Technology

20 year net ROI: $800,000
Total cost for four years: $244,000
Average loan amount: $45,800

7. Colorado School of Mines

20 year net ROI: $818,000
Total cost for four years: $188,000
Average loan amount: $33,400

6. Webb Institute

20 year net ROI: $854,000
Total cost for four years: $209,000
Average loan amount: $25,200

The SUNY system administration building

demerzel21 | Getty Images
The SUNY system administration building

5. SUNY, Maritime College

20 year net ROI: $857,000
Total cost for four years: $130,000
Average loan amount: $32,000

4. California Institute of Technology

20 year net ROI: $864,000
Total cost for four years: $240,000
Average loan amount: $19,000

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

20 year net ROI: $959,000
Total cost for four years: $240,000
Average loan amount: $32,200

2. Harvey Mudd College

20 year net ROI: $962,000
Total cost for four years: $260,000
Average loan amount: $24,400

1. United States Merchant Marine Academy

20 year net ROI: $1,056,000
Total cost for four years: $33,100
Average loan amount: $12,300

Don’t miss: 28 in-demand jobs that pay over $90,000

[“Source-cnbc”]

25 Phone Sales Tips for Successful Cold Calling

Phone Sales Tips for Successful Cold Calling

Making cold calls might not be the most fun part of the sales process. But in many industries and businesses, it is necessary. To perfect the art of cold calling, take a look at some of the tips and tricks in the list below.

25 Phone Sales Tips

Prepare Yourself Mentally

Cold calls can be intimidating, especially if you’re unprepared. So before you get started, you need to get yourself in the right state of mind. This means coming up with a general script or talking points. But it also means coming up with a routine so that you’re comfortable and relaxed on each call.

Have One Goal in Mind

You should also have a specific goal in mind for each call so that you’re more likely to stay on task. Usually, your goal is to make a sale. But in some instances, your goal could be to sell a specific item, to upsell a new version of your product or even to just gather information from new prospects.

Practice Your Tone

In general, you want to sound relaxed but professional on each cold call. But you can’t hope to achieve that blend without some practice. So before and during each call, pay special attention to your tone and make note of any areas you might notice that need improvement.

Record Yourself

In addition, you might consider setting up an audio recorder on calls or practice calls so that you can hear yourself and make notes of areas that need improvement later on.

Build Up Your Confidence

Confidence is an absolutely essential part of creating a relaxed tone for cold calls. So that means you need to work on improving but also think about some of the things you do really well. And simply practicing and making a lot of calls can make you feel more confident over time.

Don’t Dwell on Small Talk

Small talk at the beginning of each call might seem friendly and natural. But too much of it can be distracting and time wasting. So say a quick hello and then try to get to the point of your call quickly.

Anticipate Obstacles

Not every cold call is going to go smoothly. In fact, there are some obstacles that might come up fairly regularly. If you notice some of those common issues, you should be able to anticipate them and come up with good responses to use on your cold calls going forward.

Keep Talking Points Handy

While you don’t necessarily need to stick to an exact script on every cold call, it can be a good idea to have a general outline. If you keep a few talking points nearby, it can help you stay on track in case you get distracted or thrown off.

Be Conversational

However, it’s important to not get too attached to those talking points. If you sound like you’re reading from a script, customers are less likely to buy. Instead, respond to each customer inquiry or response in a natural way that allows you to then lead back to your talking points.

Find a Way to Connect

If possible, it can be beneficial to find some kind of connection with your prospect early on in the call. If you’re from the same city or have a colleague in common, for instance, that can be a good way to build a rapport with them early on.

Create a Comfortable Space

When you’re making cold calls, you need to be both mentally and physically comfortable. So that means you need to set up your workspace in a way that will support you. Get a comfortable chair, put up some family photos and otherwise personalize your space.

Don’t Multitask

If you want to get a lot done, you might think that you should make cold calls while also completing other tasks. But your prospects deserve your full attention. And you don’t want to sound distracted on calls either.

Build Up Your Energy

You also don’t want to sound tired or disinterested on calls. So build up your energy with some healthy snacks or light exercise beforehand.

Put Yourself in the Customer’s Shoes

When talking to potential customers, it’s important to word things in a way that they’re likely to relate to. So think about what types of problems or needs they might have in order to better sell to them.

Keep the Focus on Their Benefit

In addition, it’s important that you always keep the focus on how your product or services can benefit them. So instead of just talking about the features you offer, focus on what your product or service can actually accomplish for your customers. For example, if you’re offering a software program, you can talk about the time saving benefits rather than outlining all the different capabilities it offers.

Highlight Your Track Record

You can also talk a bit about what your company has accomplished in order to offer some proof that it would be beneficial for customers to buy from you. For example, you can call attention to high ratings or reviews, or talk about how many years you’ve been successfully in business.

Ask Questions

You also need to fully understand your customers in order to effectively sell to them. That means that it can be a good idea to ask a fair amount of questions to gain a better understanding and keep the conversation going.

Don’t Be Pushy

However, you don’t want to be too pushy throughout your conversation. Doing so can turn customers off and ruin any future chance you might have of doing business with them.

Keep It Quick

You also don’t want your calls to run too long. If you go on and on forever, your prospects might get bored or disinterested. Or they might just not have the time to sit on the phone with you for that long, even if they are interested in purchasing. So get to your point fairly quickly and if it doesn’t work out, move on.

Make as Many Calls as Possible

Along those same lines, you also need to keep calls quick so that you can make as many of them as possible. You’re likely to get a lot of rejections, so the more calls you make, the bigger your chances are of making some sales.

Try Batch Calling

But don’t make just one or two calls at a time. Once you’re in the groove of making calls, make a lot of them. You’re likely to have all the information fresh in your mind. And you might even get more comfortable making those calls as you go.

Don’t Get Discouraged

It’s also important that you don’t get discouraged by rejection. When you’re calling people out of nowhere, you can’t expect them all to be ready to buy right away. So when you get rejections, just let it go and move onto the next call.

Take Breaks

Once you’ve made a fair amount of calls, you can take breaks to refresh and build your energy and confidence back up, especially if you need a break after some particularly harsh rejections.

Keep Records

As you make calls, you can take notes or keep records of each call in case those notes might help you make that sale or others in the future.

Follow Up If Necessary

And sometimes, making the sale might require that you make more than one call. So after your cold call, make any necessary notes and then follow up with them again later.

Phone Call Photo via Shutterstock

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Black Friday Deal Offers Dropbox Pro Subscription at 40 Percent Off, Free $25 Dell Gift Card

Black Friday Deal Offers Dropbox Pro Subscription at 40 Percent Off, Free $25 Dell Gift Card
HIGHLIGHTS
Dropbox Pro 1TB annual subscription costs $99
Under this deal, you can get it for just $59.99 for a year
Dell will also give you a $25 eGift card for online purchases
Following the Thanksgiving Day in the US, comes Black Friday, bearing plethora of offers and discounted deals for the buyers. While Black Friday is over in the US, a lot of companies are still offering various discounts and freebies. Amid many Black Friday deals, Dropbox is also offering a good discount on its Pro plan, which comes with 1TB of storage. Additionally, you can also get a free Dell gift card to further sweeten the deal.

Dropbox is one of the highly utilised cloud storage services worldwide. The Dropbox Pro subscription generally costs $99 (roughly Rs. 6,800) annually for 1TB of cloud storage, whereas the monthly bill cycle incurs $9.99 per month. This Black Friday, Dropbox is giving 1TB of backup cloud space at just $59.99 for 1 year. It is worth mentioning that the Dropbox Pro subscriptions are only for a single user, but you can use its sharing tools for file-sharing to give read-only access to others. Pro accounts also come with unlimited file recovery and version history, which means you can go back to any version of the file in the past. Free users can only go back 30 days.

The Dropbox deal is available via Dell, which is also offering a $25 (roughly Rs. 1,700) Dell Promo eGift card along with the Dropbox deal. This eGift coupon will be automatically added to your cart when you’re about to check out to purchase Dropbox Pro 1TB storage. This eGift card can be used to Dell accessories like keyboards, mice, gaming consoles etc. or can be used to make partial payment towards a bigger purchase.

If you’re looking for a good cloud storage solution, then this deal is too good to be missed. For all other deals and offers, you can check our compilation of Black Friday deals. If you are based in India and want to grab Black Friday deals, fret not as we have got you covered in our simple guide on how you can purchase and import your items straight from the US.

Tags: Black Friday, Black Friday Deals, Dropbox Pro, Dropbox, Dell, Internet

[“Source-Gadgets”]

25 Ways to Save Money on Business Travel

TravelEDIT

You probably don’t fly first class if you want to save money on business travel. And if you’re checking several websites before booking flights and hotel rooms, you’re already doing better than many travelers. But are you doing flexible-date airfare searches before scheduling business trips? That strategy, explained below, can save you hundreds of dollars.

What else can you do to save money on business travel? Use a few of the tricks in each of our five categories of travel savings.

Editor’s note: watch a video featuring 10 Ways to Cut Business Travel Costs.

Ways to Save Money on Air Travel

Find Your Flight First

If you can choose when to travel for business, you can save hundreds of dollars on airfare. Start by doing a flexible date airfare search on several travel websites before you schedule the trip. After you find some inexpensive flights, see if the dates and hours work for your purposes and buy the tickets.

For example, find several inexpensive flights and then call the person you’re meeting to suggest a time that fits your cheapest flight dates. If that doesn’t work, try the second best.

Travel With Carry-On Only

Skip the checked baggage to avoid charges. Smart packing makes it possible to go with just a carry-on bag for most short trips, and you’re allowed other items as well. For example, Delta Air Lines allows a carry-on bag of up to 22 by 14 by 9 inches, and a “personal item” (briefcase, large purse, laptop). You can even take an “additional approved item” (jacket, umbrella).

Check Airline Websites

The travel sites are a great place to start your search, but you may not see all the available tickets. For example, none of Southwest Airline’s flights show up on Expedia and similar sites. Other airlines may not have all of their flights listed in these outside booking systems.

Also, the flights are sometimes cheaper on the airline websites. So start with the big travel sites, and then check a few airline sites as well to see if there are other fights or if you can book the ones you found for less.

Try the Hated Airlines

Spirit Airlines is the most hated airline in the U.S., and yet they thrive because they’re cheap. Spirit, Frontier, and other budget airlines have low base prices and then charge for almost everything else — often surprising travelers. But if you’re flexible enough, you can save a lot. Don’t choose your seats, print your boarding passes at home, pay for luggage online, and read the fine print.

If you’re really intent on saving and it’s just an overnight business trip, go with less than carry-on. These airlines typically charge for carry-on baggage. For example, Frontier says your free “personal item” can be a backpack, purse, or briefcase of up to 18 by 14 by 8 inches. A briefcase or backpack of that size might be sufficient for a short trip.

Use Off-Site Parking

Are you driving your own car to the airport? Check one of the discount airport parking sites like Premier Parking. You will have to spend a few minutes more riding shuttles, but you can save up to 70 percent versus parking in the lots operated by the airport.

Rent Out Your Parked Car

If you want free parking when flying, use a service like FlightCar. They charge nothing and rent out your car. They say, “On the average 5-day trip, members save $100 in parking fees and make $30 in rental earnings.”

Use Airfare Email Alerts

Set up Airfare Alerts on Airfare Watchdog for all routes leaving your home location or for specific city-to-city routes. When airfares are offered at prices “much lower than the norm,” you’ll get an email. This setup works well if a business trip to a specific destination would be useful but is optional. Just go when and if you get a cheap fare.

Ways to Save Money on Ground Transportation

Try Airfare or Car Rental Packages

Expedia and other travel sites give you the option of packaging your car rental with your airfare. See what they have to offer. Then check for car rentals separately to see if you can save by bundling or if you’ll be better off paying for your plane tickets and car rental separately.

Use the Right Credit Card to Rent a Car

If you have a credit card that provides rental car insurance, use it to pay for your rental. Then decline the collision damage waiver coverage offered by the rental car company. This can save you an average of $20 per day.

Don’t Prepay for Rental Car Gas

Car rental companies typically offer three choices when returning their car. Return it with the gas tank full, pay an outrageous price-per-gallon to fill it when you return, or prepay for a full tank and don’t worry about it. But as a previous rental car agent admits, “Unless you push the car back onto the lot with an empty tank, you lose money prepaying for gas.” Just fill the tank shortly before you return the car.

Learn How to Use Uber

Many users have found that Uber is often cheaper than regular taxis, and the company website makes it clear that there’s no need to tip. Learn how to use the tools on the Uber app so you can check rates and confirm your fare quote.

Book a Hotel That Provides an Airport Shuttle

You can easily spend $35 or more on a taxi ride from some airports to a city-center hotel. Use TaxiFareFinder.com to check rates for your destination. Then check your hotel options and see which ones offer a free shuttle to and from the airport. It’s worth paying $25 more for a room if you save two $35 taxi fares.

Ways to Save Money on Hotels

Start Online

Do a search for “hotel” plus the name of your destination. The cheapest may be below the standards you want, so check the reviews and work your way up in price until you find a place you can be happy with.

Try Coupon Websites

HotelCoupons.com offers printable coupons for many different hotels. Just enter a ZIP code for your destination and see what they have. Then, search for the hotel by name online and check rates to be sure you’re getting a deal. The coupon deals are typically better.

Use Highway Coupons

Many hotels still publish coupons in traveler discount books found at gas stations along major highways. Look for them during any stops prior to arrival, and then check reviews online with your smartphone to see if the place is acceptable.

Start a Bidding War

Hotel reservations can usually be cancelled without charge up to 24 or 48 hours before arrival. Prior to the deadline call other hotels and say, “I have a reservation at (name of hotel), and I was wondering if you can beat their price.” If they offer a better price, book it, and then go back to the first to see if they’ll drop the price even further.

Sign Up With AAA

The cost of a AAA membership varies around the country, but is typically under $80 for a basic plan. In addition to roadside assistance for car troubles, the AAA card gets you other travel-related discounts, including 10 percent off at many hotels.

Ways to Save Money on Meals

Take Advantage of the Hotel Breakfast

If your hotel offers a full breakfast or even just bagels, coffee, and orange juice as part of your room charge, eat enough so you can have a lighter or later lunch. In fact, take this benefit into account when choosing a hotel. If the prices are about the same, the one with breakfast can easily save you $10 to $20.

Make Lunch Your Main Meal

Most restaurants charge less for lunch than dinner, even when the meal is identical. So, when traveling on business, make lunch your main meal of the day. Eat late, and eat enough. You might get by with a snack for dinner.

Use Online Coupons

RetailMeNot.com makes it easy to search for restaurant coupons. Just enter a name and see what they have. For example, a search just now yielded a free appetizer at Chili’s and 15 percent off the bill at Outback Steakhouse.

To keep it cheap and simple, look out your hotel window for a restaurant within walking distance and Google the name plus “coupon.” You might save on the meal and on gas. Print coupons using the guest computer in the hotel lobby or bring your smartphone for the cashier to scan if that option is offered.

Investigate Menus Online First

If you are going to be paying for a business meal with others, check out menus online before choosing a restaurant. That way, you can find the most affordable place that meets your requirements. Most restaurants now have full menus posted online with prices.

Get Grocery Store Meals

To keep that meal budget really low, find a grocery store near your hotel. Buy prepared salads and the makings for sandwiches. For a hot meal, head to the deli section and see what you can take back to your hotel room. You might spend as little as $15 per day for meals on business trips if you dine from grocery stores.

Ways to Save Money on Taxes

Take the M&IE Per Diem Allowance

For meals eaten during business-related travel, the IRS says you can report the expense using actual cost or a “standard meal allowance.” That is determined using the per diem rates published on the website of the General Services Administration (GSA). Enter your destination to find the “meals and incidental expenses” (M&IE) allowance. If you think you’ll spend less than that, use the allowance as your deduction.

For example, suppose you’re in Denver for five days on business. Your hotel room includes a large breakfast and you otherwise eat at sandwich shops. As a result, you spend about $20 per day for meals, for a total tax deduction of $50 during your trip (half of your $100 expenditure). But the per diem M&IE rate for Denver is $66, so you can use that for a $165 deduction (half of $330). If your combined federal and state tax rate is 35 percent, you would save about $40 on your taxes using the second method versus the first.

Use the Standard Mileage Rate for Economical Cars

If you use a car for business purposes and meet IRS criteria for using the standard mileage rate, it may save you a substantial amount on your taxes, versus reporting actual expenses. This is often true when you drive an economical vehicle and you haven’t borrowed to buy the car, in which case interest would be deductible. The standard rate for 2015 is 57.5 cents per mile.

If you’re not sure which method is better, track actual expenses and the miles used for business purposes. See which method will give you the biggest deduction. If your deduction for the year is $1,500 higher using the standard mileage rate and your combined federal and state tax rate is 35 percent, you would save $525 at tax time.

Make it About Business

The IRS makes it clear your trip must be primarily about business to deduct the costs of getting to your destination. You can have a personal side trip (with no deduction for those expenses). However, if the trip is primarily personal, getting to your destination is not a deductible expense, even if you conduct some business while there. So, feel free to mix business and pleasure, but to save money on taxes, be sure you document that the business part was the primary purpose.

What are your favorite ways to save money on business travel?

Travel Photo via Shutterstock

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