Finances, Housing Advice, JumpOffCampus, Renting, Student Life

Get interest (AKA beer money) back on your security deposit!

Quick description: As a tenant, you’re entitled to interest paid on your deposits to your landlord. 

Why should I care?

As a renter, you probably had to put down a security deposit, right? And maybe last month’s rent, too. So that sucks. But you know what doesn’t suck? Beer. Burritos. And, uhm, books.

So good news: In Massachusetts, you’re entitled to get up to 5% interest on your deposits to your landlord. It’s all thanks to good old Chapter 186, Section 15B of Massachusetts general law.

In plain English

Here’s how it works, without the legal mumbo jumbo (sorry, pre-law geeks):

  • You give your landlord a deposit for last month’s rent and/or security deposit
  • At the end of the rental year, you get back the interest earned (because it’s like the deposit is still your money)
  • Interest can equal up to 5% of the total, or whatever the interest rate is at the bank where your landlord  deposited the money

For instance, if you ponied up $800 in last month’s rent, at the end of the year your slumlord is supposed to cut you a check. Assuming your landlord’s bank pays out 1% interest, that’s $8 you get back. AKA a free lunch. Or 20 lunches, if you count ramen.

Courses of action

What if your landlord doesn’t pay up within 30 days at the end of the year? You have a few options:

  • If you’re staying on as a tenant, you can deduct the amount from your next month’s rent.
  • If you’re done as a tenant, you get 3x the interest earned, plus court costs and attorney fees.

What to keep in mind

At the end of each rental year, keep a lookout for an interest check from your landlord. Or you could be missing out on a little extra cash that’s rightfully yours.


New Year's Eve
JumpOffCampus, Student Life

Where to Party New Year’s Eve 2012

Party your way into 2013.
All it takes to have a great New Year’s Eve is close friends, the right attitude and of course, a place to party.  So, JumpOffCampus has got you covered with some party spot ideas in New York City and Boston.

Places to Party in Boston:

  • Hampton Beach: New Hampshire. Fill a car with BFFs, head just a couple of hours of north from the Colleges of the Fenway and checkout a killer fireworks display
  • First Night:  About 1 million partiers hit up this gig. 1,000 artists in 200 performances and exhibits fill 35 indoor and outdoor venues all over Beantown. #legit @FirstNight
  • Foxwood’s Casino: An epic dance party that meets all needs, with one of the clubs inside doing a retro Studio 54 theme for the night, and Shrine, also held within Foxwoods. Touted as “The sexiest dance party in New England”
  • Bright Night in Providence, RI.  Known for being the loudest, encouraging partygoers to make as much noise as possible to bid the year farewell.  Just a stone’s throw from @salveregina and @URINews
  • The Gatsby Mansion: Decedent as it sounds, this party, which harkens back to the themes of the classic book, is all about class and sass. Though expensive to attend, it is said to be wholly unforgettable.  Follow @TheGreatestBar in Boston

Place to Party in New York City:

  • New Year’s Eve party at Webster Hall:  A dance party to end all dance parties, with multiple floors and rooms, undulating with beats and bodies
  • Ball drop in Times Square: Totally the most famous of all the New Year’s Eve parties. The place you have to tell your kids that once went. Heck, maybe your ‘rent will catch you on the tube
  • Lair Lounge: While this scene is more Soho than city, just the fact that you get to party in a lounge that looks like an old, French train, all while hearing the best live sets from local DJ’s, is a one of a kind experience that shouldn’t be missed
  • See Jay Z and Coldplay perform together at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. These two did a mash up of the Coldplay song Lost, with Jay spitting verses on the song. Expect that and more at the must-attend show
  • The Black and White Masquerade Ball at Soho Grand. About as far on the other spectrum as Times Square, this “masks are mandatory” ball has tons of social media hype

Party hard dudes and dudettes.  Be sure to pre-game.  Then get weird and wild.
New Year’s Day is meant for sleeping off damage.


JumpOffCampus Caffeine Challenge Schedule

Our Caffeine Challenge begins on Monday and below is the schedule and the links to each of the different surveys that correspond to the day. Feel free to track your progress using these surveys, and be sure to see how you measure up to our other competitors by following and posting to the hashtag #CaffeineChallenge.

Monday: Coffee

Tuesday: Red Bull

Wednesday: 5 Hour Energy

Thursday: Sheets Energy

Friday: Control Day – No Caffeine

Participation in the Caffeine Challenge is strictly voluntary. It is not recommended for those who are sensitive to caffeine or who have health conditions that prevent caffeine intake. We also recommend that you follow warnings and instructions related to each of these products when consuming.


The JumpOffCampus Caffeine Challenge

This week we’re moving into a new office with many of the other Betaspring alums and we’re super excited!  Despite our excitement, however, we are running into a dilemma:  What on earth are we going to stock the new fridge with?  As startups, we’ve got to make sure that we stay alert and productive for over 8 hours a day and we admittedly need a little help.

Therefore, to really test what will be our caffeine of choice, we’ve decided to make this a challenge; a battle of the caffeine, if you will.  To get everyone’s opinion, we’ll be recruiting the other companies we’ll be sharing office space with to see what will be the best choice.

Every beverage (or caffeine product) we test will be designated to one day, so our competitors can’t have any other caffeine product that day.  They will also be given a specific amount they can drink, and will not be able to drink any more than that.  Then, throughout the day, competitors will be surveyed to see how tired they feel, how alert they feel, how productive they feel, and how well they feel they’ve been able to concentrate.  These surveys will happen 4 times throughout the day; once when they arrive at work, once at 11 am, again at 2 pm, and then again at 5 pm.  We’ll be sure to track everyone’s progress as they go throughout the day and see which caffeine beverage seems to be working the best.  We’ll also be asking our competitors to track their progress throughout the day on Twitter.  Each competitor will be tweeting to the hashtag #CaffeineChallenge to update us on the latest.

While we’ll be spending most of the week pretty caffeinated (hopefully), next Friday will be our control day, meaning that we won’t be drinking any caffeine.  This means that we will have been caffeinating all week, and will cut ourselves off on Friday . . . the day of the week it could be the toughest to get through.  It’s on this day we’ll be holding a competition to see which competitor will crack first; either a) cave in and drink some caffeine, or b) fall asleep.

So be sure to follow our progress on our Twitter, and feel free to take the challenge with us!  Just be sure to track your status along with us at #CaffeineChallenge!  We’ll be announcing the competitors tomorrow and the schedule this Friday, so stay tuned!

Your participation in this Caffeine Challenge is strictly voluntary and is not recommended for those who may experience complications due to high caffeine intake. Please see FDA and brand warnings related to consumption of these types of products.

We need your help!

We’re currently working on some research in relation to student perceptions of on- vs. off-campus housing and we need your help!  If you are a current student, or even if you have graduated within the last two years, you can help us out by taking our survey!  It only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete, so if you have some extra time, we’d really appreciate you taking our survey.  Just click HERE to take the survey and feel free to pass this along to your friends!  This survey is completely anonymous, so that means we can’t trace back answers to you, nor will we publish or share who you are.

If you want a direct link to our survey to post on your Facebook or Twitter, just copy and paste this link onto your profile and this will take anyone who clicks it directly to the survey page:


Our Roommate Horror Story Contest Winner!

Our roommate horror story contest winner is Rachel from Tufts University.  Here is her story:

The story of my freshman roommate starts with the room rules she sent me in July before we moved in. Just one week after we found out that we were going to be roommates–after a few awkward e-mail exchanges–my future roommate, Meghan (names have been changed), sent me an e-mail with our “agreed upon room rules.” The list was 10 rules long, none of which we agreed upon. To give you a sense of our “agreed room rules” my favorites include: 1. Quiet hours are from 11pm-7am, no phone calls after 10:30pm. 2. Our room shall be a sanctuary from temptations and pleasures. 3. There shall be no sexual activity or suggestive images in the room. 4. If you’re going to be out late, let the other person know, so know one worries 😛 5. There shall be no breaking of the law at the university, local, state and federal levels. Just so we are clear, I am not a criminal, I was the top of my class in high school and we were about to start our freshman year at a prestigious university. But I didn’t want to get things off on a bad foot before freshman year even started, so I didn’t complain about the rules. Instead, I moved into my dorm, offered to loft my roommate’s bed for her so she didn’t have to do it when she got to campus and I was fully prepared to follow “our” rules. I moved into my dorm a week earlier than Meghan for cross country pre-season training. Once she moved in, I quickly realized that she had no intention of following “our” room rules. I would tip-toe around the room quietly (with the lights off), getting ready for my 7am cross country practices, determined not to break our “quiet hours” rule, while Meghan would get home around 3 or 4am every morning, turn all the lights on and make a lot of noise. Once she realized I was asleep, as people normally are at 3 or 4am, she would apologize, but continue to make noise. This did not just last for Freshman Orientation. She continued to come home late throughout our entire first semester. I should also mention that Meghan did not believe in showering, except for Sundays before church. When she realized that she smelled, she would occasionally sponge bathe in the bathroom sink—a shared bathroom used by the other 12 girls on our hall. Meghan also had very long hair that would fall all over my carpet, which I would then have to vacuum every other day. On top of not showering and leaving her hair everywhere, Meghan also did not do her laundry. Once she started dating another freshman boy, she eventually did her laundry once a month. Actually, HE did her laundry. You see, she had a sore back and had to save her energy for playing her trumpet, so he carried her backpack for her, did her laundry once a month and spent as much time in our room as she did. Occasionally, Meghan, even though she knew I was Jewish, would leave me pictures of Jesus and Mother Theresa on my desk, in case I decided to see the light and convert. For the sake of space, I will end my story of Meghan, with one final remark. I did not stay in touch with Meghan after freshman year, but I did read an article in our campus newspaper about how she sued the university so she could have a dog on campus because it would make her happy. At first, I did not realize that the article was about my roommate, Meghan, because she changed her name. It turns out, her birth name also made her depressed, so she wanted to start over with a new name. Well that’s the highlights for my freshman year roommate.

We had to give an honorable mention to our runner up, Allison from Tufts (although we had to edit it a little):

I should have known I was going to have problems with Debbie when, on move-in day, she already had upwards of 80 Disney figurines, pictures and posters up. She had a hard time adjusting to college life and would routinely kick me out of the room to cry into her bible. Her mother would drive up to school with homeschool books to help Debbie study. One night I decided to sleep over at a friend’s room and give myself a break from Debbie. She did not take well to this. Apparently she had developed a dependency issue and could not fall asleep until I was back in the room so she stayed up all night and met me at the door with a prepared speech (written on notecards) when I came home. She went on for almost an hour about how cruel I was for doing that to her. This was also the night before my first big Chem midterms. I moved out on her after a month of this and never heard from her again.


More resources!

At JumpOffCampus, we work to be a student’s one-stop-shop for off-campus housing.  We first gave you our apartment finder; then we gave you the roommate finder.  Now we’re adding . . . a way to get furniture?!

Yes, that’s right.  We’ve partnered with Cort® Furniture to give an exclusive deal to our New York metro users a 10% deal on furniture rentals.  While you may think that renting furniture isn’t for you, think again.  First of all, they deliver it for you; that means no moving trucks, and no more lugging heavy furniture everywhere.  Second of all, they set it up for you . . . in 48 hours.  That means you no longer have to lug your furniture up to your apartment.  And the best thing is, you don’t have to move it when you move out!  That sounds good to us!

Check out this deal and others by visiting our resources page on our website beginning August 1 at!  If you’d like to request this deal in your area, just send us an email at!



Title:  Intern
College and major:  I’m still enrolled at the University of Rhode Island.  I got my Bachelors in 2011 in Communications and Art with a minor in Business, and now I’m working on my Master’s in Communications.
Job responsibilities:  I deal with mainly our social media outputs, so that includes the blog, Facebook, and Twitter.  I also research and compose the research reports we put out.
Favorite part of the job:  There really aren’t resources out there for students that help them find an off-campus apartment, find roommates, or that help them make more informed decisions about off-campus living.  I feel like JumpOffCampus fills that need, and it’s cool to be a part of that.
Favorite type of music:  I’m really into RI local bands.  I also listen to a lot of indie rock/pop stuff like Miike Snow and Does It Offend You, Yeah?  Overall, I think my favorite, though, is Jimi Hendrix.
Favorite TV shows:  I just finished catching up on Modern Family.  I really like NBC shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Community.
Favorite movies:  My favorite movie of all time is Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.  I generally tend to like anything with those two in it. I also really enjoy the new Batman movies.
Hobbies:  I like painting, drawing, and photography.  I also really enjoy listening to music, finding new bands/artists, and going to see shows.
Favorite saying:  I totally ripped Nike off, but I live by the saying, “Just Do It.”  It really applies to everything.


MEET A MEMBER OF OUR TEAM: Vincenzo “Cenzo” Vitiello

Title: Intern

Job responsibilities: As the second technical guy, my job consists of doing all sorts of backend and frontend programming in conjunction with whatever project Kyle is currently working on.

Favorite part of the job:  My favorite part of the job is definitely the environment. It is a blast to hang out and work with the small JoC team.

College and major:  I currently attend Tufts University; I will be a senior in the fall. I am on track to graduate with a degree in Computer Science through the school of engineering.

Favorite type of music:  I don’t know if I necessarily have a favorite genre of music, but I do make killer alternative playlists and according to friends I “have a mainstream taste in alternative music”. Still not sure if that’s a compliment or not…

Favorite TV shows: Currently I have been watching a lot of the USA network show Suits. Other shows that I enjoy watching repeatedly are Psych, Scrubs, and Archer.

Favorite movies: Thanks to my dad I love comedy movies from the 80’s such as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Midnight Run, and Dazed and Confused. I also enjoy all of Hayao Miyazaki animated works such as Castle in the Sky, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Porco Rosso.

Hobbies: When I got to college I picked up Ultimate Frisbee through which I have competed at college nationals twice with the Tufts team. Before college, I played ice hockey for fourteen years and I still enjoy skating whenever I can.

Favorite saying:  “Laughter is the closest distance between two people” -Victor Borge



Title: Marketing Intern

Job responsibilities:  Marketing research, promotion, sales

Favorite part of the job:  It’s interesting, I get to work on a bunch of different projects, and it’s fun to see the site grow!

College and major:  Bryant University- Marketing and management

Favorite type of music:  Anything but country

Favorite TV shows: Mad Men, Friends, The Office

Favorite movies: Pride and Prejudice

Hobbies: Traveling, Photography, Music

Favorite saying: Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine. – Ralph Waldo Emerson