All Articles Tagged "tuition"
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“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela
We’ve all heard soaring quotes about the value of an education. The poetry of these words has never been more practical. Today’s business world requires entrepreneurs to make education a priority.
More than keeping you on the top of your game, learning improves your bottom line. Whether you take a class in calligraphy or small business principles, growing your expertise will save you from spending money on consultants and cleaning up after your own mistakes.
With the ramifications of the student loan crisis looming, students and institutions alike are looking for better ways to signal knowledge and skills to employers. Educational institutions are rethinking the way they teach and experimenting with technology to democratize education. In the future, a resume may display a digital badge, showing the completion of an online course rather than a degree.
The debate on the future of education is nowhere near settled. In the meantime, entrepreneurs and life long learners can take advantage of the benefits coming out of the discussion. Class is in session with the best minds in the world, and tuition is free.
Online courses lack the intimacy of the classroom. Some websites offer assignments and quizzes to track your learning. But, don’t expect the same experience as an in-classroom course.
Online resources, like those listed below, will you give enough direction to refresh your skills or feed your interest in a new subject. Unlike traditional programs, online study can be easily tailored to your schedule and areas of interest. If you’re really feeling fierce, start a study group within your network to encourage one another and capture that classroom feel.
Coursera is a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world including Stanford, Princeton, and Emory.
Topics: A wide range spanning the humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, and many others.
- Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses, Part II (Edward D. Hess, University of Virginia)
- Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies (Dr. James V. Green, University of Maryland, College Park)
30 Second MBA is an ongoing video curriculum, presented by Fast Company, of good advice from successful people in business today.
Style: Short, unfiltered videos
Topics: Business questions ranging from the practical to the philosophical.
The Pew Research Center has got this headline blaring out at us today, sending shivers through our wallets and bank accounts: “A Record One-in-Five Households Now Owe Student Loan Debt.” The figures are from 2010, in which 19 percent (22.4 million) of homes had student loans that are being repaid or are in deferment. This is an increase from 15 percent in 2007, just before the economic collapse.
A whopping 40 percent of households led by someone 35 or younger have student debt.
And this is crazy: The research finds that “whether computed as a share of household income or assets, the relative burden of student loan debt is greatest for households in the bottom fifth of the income spectrum, even though members of such households are less likely than those in other groups to attend college in the first place.” The poor can’t win. But even among the rich, the amount of debt has risen.
The AP points out (h/t to our writer Ann Brown) that part of the trouble is the job market. With many college students struggling to find jobs after graduation, debt lingers. Another part is the continued increase in the number of people choosing to attend college.
The average student loan balance is $26,682 with 10 percent owing more than $61,894. Interestingly, Pew notes, “Average household indebtedness fell from $105,297 in 2007 to $100,720 in 2010.” So other debt has fallen even as college debt grows.
This reiterates the importance of living within one’s means and saving for college. ICYMI, here’s our story from a few weeks ago about applying for government help to pay for college. These resources are crucial now.
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When most Americans leave college, they not only leave with a degree but debt. And, according to a new analysis by US News & World Report, if you are a student at HBCU Clark Atlanta University, you will leave with more debt than the average American college student.
The study found that the average debt of a 2011 Clark Atlanta graduate is $47,066, and 94 percent of students borrow money to attend the school. The magazine ranked a total of 270 colleges. On the flip side, another HBCU, Howard University, came in sixth on the list of colleges where students had the least debt. Howard students graduate with an average debt of $15,080.
There are ways to avoid debt while in college. As we reported before, Pell grants offer up to $5,550 to the neediest students. There are also work-study programs, which are need-based.
Income-based repayment, a program started under Obama in 2009, allows borrowers to adjust monthly payments to 15 percent of their income, which will erase the debt in 15 years. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, however, the program hasn’t worked as well as hoped — at least not yet. One reason is many students don’t know about the program or if they qualify. “To get into the program, you have to apply through the bank that services your loan, but many banks don’t tell borrowers about the program. They aren’t required to do so, and… they make more money if monthly payments are higher,” the magazine says. To encourage more participation, the Obama administration will drop the threshold from 15 percent to 10 percent for some borrowers.
Michael Szarek, the founder and president of College Counseling for the Rest of Us, emailed us nine suggestions for reducing your college debt.
1) Actually, don’t stay out of debt completely. In other words, DO borrow. Some. But only borrow from the Federal Direct Loan Program. (This will cap your lending at $31,000 for your undergraduate career).
2) If possible, only borrow a portion of your loan eligibility. You are under no obligation to borrow all of it, and too many families look at the decision to borrow as “all or nothing.”
3) Determine what you can pay out of pocket via a monthly payment plan. Every dollar paid directly is money not borrowed.
4) Know your college’s costs before enrolling. Many students start a college program without knowing or understanding the actual cost. Like all major purchases, know the actual price before buying.
5) If you can’t afford that particular school, don’t go. That can be a hard decision to make, but you can use community college credits to save money, work to earn money, or both.
6) Finish in four years. If you thought college was expensive, try adding an extra year or two.
7) Earn community college credit in the summer and winter. But make sure – beforehand – that the credits will transfer back to your baccalaureate institution.
8) Avoid credit cards. There is a reason why so many campuses ban credit card sales representatives.
9) If you have to borrow, do borrow for an education, not for a iPod or gaming device.
Jobs are scarce and student loan debt is putting many college grads in a financial bind. As a result, many people are questioning whether a college education is worth the time and expense that so many people are investing in it.
Earlier this week, we offered some basic advice for how to get the most out of the financial aid offered by the federal government. In that story, we included this important comment from BusinessWeek: “Many students are incurring heavy debts for an education (ethnomusicology, theater arts) that just isn’t worth it from a strictly financial viewpoint.”
This topic is tackled further in this week’s issue of Newsweek. To be clear, the article says that a college education is very much a valuable investment.
“College graduates now make 80 percent more than people who have only a high-school diploma, and though there are no precise estimates, the wage premium for an elite school seems to be even higher,” the article reads. Like the BusinessWeek story, the Newsweek article makes distinctions between majors and how exactly students spend their four years in school. (The article frowns upon beer pong.)
But more than that, the article takes a look at the rising cost of school and how that is impacting the ability to pay back those student loans. Schools are now investing in nicer dorms, more faculty and administrators, and other perks and features that are meant to attract students. But those bells and whistles drive up the cost of operating a school. That cost is passed down, of course, to the student. If the price of school goes up, the amount one has to borrow goes up, which means you’re on the hook for more after graduation.
“Just as homeowners took out equity loans to buy themselves spa bathrooms and chef’s kitchens and told themselves that they were really building value with every borrowed dollar, today’s college students can buy themselves a four-year vacation in an increasingly well-upholstered resort, and everyone congratulates them for investing in themselves,” the article says.
More than that, many students are going to a particular school because of how it looks on their resume.
“That debate matters a lot, because while the value of an education can be very high, the value of a credential is strictly limited,” the story continues.
In other words, give some deep thought to what you’re going to school for. Ultimately, it should be for the education you’re going to get. And that education comes not just from the institution, but from the effort that the student puts into the work.
Start saving your money early, and take steps to keep college costs at a manageable level. That could mean going to a two-year college then transferring to a four-year institution. Or going to a state school instead of a private one. Or one closer to home to save on housing expenses.
The point is, know what you want to get from your education and take steps toward that goal. You’ll be rewarded with a salary that will allow you to pay any debts you might have incurred.
Colleges are getting very tight with their financial aid rewards. So, The Wall Street Journal warns, students and their families should be careful to press the right buttons to get all the financial aid they’re entitled to. The Journal has got plenty of advice about how much to keep in a student’s 529 account (not too much) and how to adjust your income to maximize your reward. And one of the basics is to fill out the FAFSA, something that everyone at all income levels should do. Megan McClean, the director of policy and federal relations at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, echoes that suggestion.
“This is the first step and has to occur if a student wants any aid from the government,” she told us in a phone interview.
College has become a very pricey but necessary expense, and it’s only getting more costly as the economic recession grinds on. With that in mind, we wanted to get down to the financial aid basics, which means taking advantage of what the government can offer. Certainly, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore all of the options — what your school can give, what sorts of scholarships and grants you qualify for through third-party organizations and other options. But the government’s tuition assistance programs are a fundamental benefit that can continue to reap rewards even after you’ve completed your studies.
Everything starts with the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Note the word “free.”
“If you come across something that’s charging, that’s not it,” warns McClean. The form is tweaked and re-released every year on January 1 and can be filled out online.
For the neediest, there are Pell grants, which offer up to $5,550 worth of aid that doesn’t have to be paid back. Work-study programs, also need-based, dole out their benefits via paycheck, and there are student loans.
As we’ve mentioned (and, surely, as you’ve noticed) the cost for a college education has increased over the years, making something like $5,000 seem like small potatoes.
“Pell grants used to cover a larger percentage of tuition and fees,” says McClean. “Now things are more expensive. Also, this goes to very low-income students. So there’s increased reliance on student loans, which we don’t necessarily think is a bad thing because there are protections.”
There has been a lot of talk about student loans lately and much of it has been bad. From horror stories of people saddled with so much student loan debt they work simply to pay it down, to threats of government legislation lapses that could drive interest rates up, it seems like student loans are a financial booby trap rather than a genuine resource to those in need. BusinessWeek recently called it “Debt for Life,” noting that U.S. student loan obligations had surpassed $1 trillion in March.
Hoping to alleviate some of the confusion that comes with financial aid letters, the Obama Administration has introduced the “Shopping Sheet.”
“The Shopping Sheet will standardize award letters, making it easier to comparison shop and provide students with key information…,” reads the U.S. Department of Education blog. The info on the Sheet will include the cost of one year of school and the financial aid options available. We’ve got a sample section of the Shopping Sheet above.
Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education, announced the Shopping Sheet today on Twitter, saying that it “helps unravel the mystery of college costs so students can make informed decisions.” He’s also published an open letter to college and university presidents asking them to use the Shopping Sheet, starting with the 2013 school year. Use of the sheet is voluntary.
The introduction comes amid increases in college tuition (“…the average cost of public education rose 15 percent between 2008 and 2010, with two thirds of students owing more than $26,000 in loans upon graduation,” reports ABC News). And Americans are saving less and less for education because of the recession. USA Today says, “48 percent of families with college-bound children are saving for their education, down from 56 percent in 1997.”
A college budget breakdown is a must-have for most everyone enrolling these days, so it will be interesting to see how many schools adopt the Sheet. For tips on how to pay for college, check this out.
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When I first read about Mike Epps and his daughter Bria’s squabble over tuition funds I immediately rolled my eyes and thought if this little girl doesn’t want her father to pay her school directly, let’s see if she likes the way Sallie Mae effs her up with that loan repayment after graduation. The fact that Mike had threatened to f*** his daughter up paled in comparison to the sense of entitlement she was displaying, and I dismissed his words for his 18-year-old child as an isolated incident and a slip of the tongue—until I actually heard them.
See Mike didn’t just threaten to eff his daughter up, he called her out of her name several times and made repeated threats, which Bria caught on tape and that have made their way to YouTube. In the recording Mike tells her, “I’ll whoop yo a**,” and calls her a “disrespectful little b****, “the f***ing devil, and several others b****es before telling her if she disrespects him again she’s going to have a problem.
For most of the conversation Bria is silent except for her daring her father by repeatedly asking him, “What are you gonna do?” and then telling him “You’re not going to do anything but run your mouth,” before adding: “Don’t call my phone being disrespectful no more. If you have a problem you know my grandmother’s address. Period.” Is that the equivalent of you know where to find me?
To be honest, this conversation sounded more like drama between a young couple in the projects rather than a father and his daughter—possibly even two dudes who were about to square up—and that’s what made me concerned. There were so many things racing through my mind when I first heard the sound bite: what made Bria decide to tape this conversation? Did she expect her father to react this way because he had done so in the past? Why didn’t she take his threats seriously? What kind of men is she dealing with romantically and what kind of relationships will she have in the future?
The very first thought I had after hearing the recording was Bria was the type of girl who would hit herself upside the head with a frying pan and then call the cops and cry domestic abuse to have her boyfriend locked up because he made her mad that day. Her calmness on the phone with her father was striking and you could almost sense the undertone of, “yeah I got you right where I want you.” Her questioning Mike’s ability to make good on his threats by asking him, “what are you gonna do” was so reminiscent of the countless World Star Hip Hop videos of women who verbally disrespect a man, possibly even put their hands on him, and then dare him to do something about it, only to literally be knocked out in the end. Bria stepped to her father like a grown man in that conversation and he did the same in return, except she had the tool that cripples many black men in our society on her side—the police—and at 18 she already knew exactly how to capitalize on that power. I have no doubt in my mind that Bria knew exactly what she was doing when she called her father, threatened to sabotage his career, and recorded the conversation, and he played right into her manipulative hands, seemingly because this type of interaction wasn’t unique for them.
Something tells me this isn’t the first time Mike lost his cool and called his daughter everything but a child of God but no matter how mad that disrespectful brat made him, she’s still his daughter, and calling her a b**** and the devil crosses the line. Listening to the audio immediately brought to mind the Alec Baldwin situation a few years back when he called his daughter in and angry rant and told her she was a thoughtless pig. Alec was crucified in the media for his comments, and said he even felt suicidal over his behavior. Mike is on camera telling TMZ it’s hard being a father of a teenager before shouting out Bria and saying he loves her.
So where do we go from here? Bria gets her tuition paid directly and the father-daughter duo make up? No. The disrespect Bria showed for her father will no doubt show up in her relationships with other men, except unlike her father who we hope will not “make problems” for his child and her family, and who hasn’t so far, these men may. I know a little something about not having respect for your father, but I also know that not having respect for someone doesn’t mean you get to disrespect them. There’s a certain level of honor that goes along with someone being your parent, or at least being an elder, that won’t cause you to speak to them a certain way. Bria doesn’t seem to know that, and it’s not surprising from the way her father carried on in their conversation. It’s clear this girl has never been shown a model of a man to respect and at 18 it’s a little late to try to start teaching that lesson. But what would be even more unfortunate is for a man more bold than her father to teach her the hard way, or for a young man to fall victim to her manipulative ways and find himself caught up in the judicial system by a young girl who knows the law is on her side. This situation with her father makes both of those possibilities highly plausible and the saying there’s no time like the present is highly applicable in this teachable moment.
The disrespect Mike and his daughter showed one another is beyond anything I’ve witnessed personally, but that dynamic shows up in the way men and women treat one another on a daily basis. Regardless of how out of line Bria was by filing a police report against her father, she deserves to be addressed as more than a b**** before she comes to internalize that and expect that behavior in her relationships with other men. She may be a grown woman legally but these negative childhood experiences will play out destructively if they’re not corrected now and she isn’t taught to not only respect other men but also herself.
Do you feel differently about this situation after hearing the audio tape? Do you think this is an isolated incident? Could Bria Epps be headed down a dangerous path with men in general?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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(New York Times) — Money is talking a bit louder in college admissions these days, according to a survey to be released Wednesday by Inside Higher Ed, an online publication for higher education professionals. More than half of the admissions officers at public research universities, and more than a third at four-year colleges said that they had been working harder in the past year to recruit students who need no financial aid and can pay full price, according to the survey of 462 admissions directors and enrollment managers conducted in August and early September. Similarly, 22 percent of the admissions officials at four-year institutions said the financial downturn had led them to pay more attention in their decision to applicants’ ability to pay.
by R. Asmerom
Everyone knows that California has been experiencing a colossal financial crisis but are things so bad that the public university system needs to go hierarchal?
Amid budget cuts and staff layoffs, some are advocating that each of the 10 University of California schools determine its tuition rate. This would most certainly result in schools like UC Berkeley and UCLA charging more tuition than less competitive counterparts like Santa Cruz. This plan would align with the supply and demand principles, advocates say, but how does supply and demand enter the equation when it comes to public education?
Critics of the proposal worry that it could create disunity within the UC system and create an elitist environment, as obviously the more pricey, and more competitive, schools would become less accessible to students needing financial aid.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the idea of price differentials in public universities is nothing new. University of Texas at Austin and University of Wisconsin at Madison are allowed to charge higher tuition than the other state schools in their respective networks.
At a recent Regents meeting, UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George R. Blumenthal expressed grave concern over the idea.
If different rates were allowed, he predicted that UC Berkeley would raise tuition the full 25% in “a micro second” and others would quickly follow, not wanting to be left behind in money or reputation. “I think once we go down that road, it could mean that some campuses may not be accessible to large segments of California students,” he said. (Source: LA Times)
(New York Times) — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday that he would support allowing the flagship campuses of the State University of New York to charge higher tuition than the rest of the system, a stance that could pit him against fellow Democrats who worry that lower-income students could be priced out of the top schools. The governor said he would support a State University proposal to set a five-year schedule of tuition increases at all SUNY undergraduate campuses, and would allow the four research campuses — at Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo and Stony Brook — to propose their own, higher undergraduate tuition increases, subject to legislative approval. “There is no cookie cutter,” Mr. Cuomo said at a news conference. “Some may decide that they need to increase tuition; some may decide they don’t. We’re trying to flip the model.” Under the new model, he said, “we’re not going to tell you what to do.”