Cecil Winzer, Eben Miller, Rex Staples, and Frank Livaudais

The Austinites who founded the Collegestudent.Com Web site say the idea came to them as brilliant ones often do: over a beer. “We were griping about how hard it was to find housing, especially in the heat,” says Eben Miller, who at the time was a student at the University of Texas. “We wanted to put apartment listings online for students.” Two years later, business development coordinator Miller, 25, housing database manager Cecil Winzer, 26, and programmer Frank Livaudais and designer Rex Staples, both 23, oversee a staff of more than thirty who gather inside information on professors, housing, and organizations on more than fifty campuses nationwide, including Rice and the University of Colorado. (“We pick up where the brochures left off,” promises the site, which carries ads from companies like Barnes and Noble and the Princeton Review.) There’s also a roommate finder, a textbook exchange, job postings, and of course, great time killers like chat rooms and games, which offer an enticing alternative to studying. Kierkegaard or Frogger? Easy choice.

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