WHO SHOULD YOU VOTE FOR?

Overwhelmed with the 2016 election? A lot of people are. Here’s a handy, unbiased quiz to match you with a candidate that will best represent you.

https://www.isidewith.com/

Concerned about the validity of this quiz? Here are some advocates of it:

Forbes

New York Times

NPR

PBS

Obviously, a majority of this blog is heavy on the liberal side of the spectrum. But political views aside, JUST VOTE, DAMMIT.

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US FINANCIAL AID: A GLOSSARY

I realized that I’ve been using a lot of rhetoric in my articles so here’s a run-down of everything that might need to be explained. For those who come from countries with free tuition, or US students who are filing for the first time, this list is for you.

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For the squeamish, just imagine the dripping as your tears cascading down the FAFSA homepage.
  • FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – Ohhh, the FAFSA. This cumbersome application is what any American student will need to complete before being eligible for any aid. Step one, file your taxes. Step two, file your FAFSA.
  • Grants – Federal grants are need-based and do not need to be repaid unless you withdraw from school.
  • Scholarships – You’re not going to get scholarships through the FAFSA directly, you need to apply for the thousands that are available elsewhere. Generally, scholarships do not need to be repaid, but if the conditions of the award are broken (e.g. your GPA slips, you change majors, you quit the same sport your entire scholarship was based on, etc), you run the risk of losing your scholarship(s).
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I’m not saying that student loans are predatory, but I’m definitely implying it.
  • Subsidized federal loans -A loan where the government pays the interest while a student remains enrolled in a qualified college or university. I know what you’re thinking:  “Why would the government even charge interest on student loans?” To which I respond, “That’s a great question. A great question indeed.”
  • Unsubsidised federal loans – Interest on the unsubsidized student loans starts to add up as soon as the loan is disbursed to the school.
  • [WATCH] More on federal or “DIRECT” loans.

  • EFC or Estimated Family Contribution – is the grand indicator of just how much aid a student is eligible to receive after submitting the FAFSA. High EFC = less aid, low EFC = more aid.
    • Students under the age of 24 with high income parents will have a higher EFC and less aid; even if parents refuse to contribute to the students educational finances.
    • The blow of EFC can be diminished in households with only one parent (e.g. divorce, death, estranged, etc), preferably the parent with lower income.
  • COA (Cost of Attendance) – the total amount it will cost you to go to college each year. This includes: tuition and fees, on-campus room and board (or a housing and food allowance for off-campus students), and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, etc. It can also include other expenses like an allowance for the rental or purchase of a personal computer, costs related to a disability, or costs for eligible study-abroad programs.
  • Work-study – This is a part-time job that you’ll need to apply for while you are enrolled in school. The job typically only guarantees 10-15 hours per week and usually delivers paychecks monthly (instead of weekly or bi-weekly like “normal” jobs do). The upside of work study is that you get “on the job” training where you would not otherwise and the job is typically on-campus; the downside is that the hours are limited and the pay is typically minimum wage (plus or minus a few quarters per hour).
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Feel like begging for $1s on the stage? I don’t blame you.

COUNTRIES WITH THE MOST EXPENSIVE COLLEGES

So, who takes the cake in 2016? [Insert the proverbial, “the answer may surprise you!”]

BI writer, Lianna Brinded, reported on a study of top universities for the 2014-2015 academic year and the self-reported income data in 2013, “The list…shows that some parents are willing to spend over 90% of their income on a standard bachelor’s degree at public institutions for their kids.”

Essentially what this list comes down to is not necessarily “which country’s education costs more,” but rather, “which country’s education costs more in relation to income.”

Obviously, the US’s colleges cost more than the other countries’ listed, but because our EFC (estimated family contribution) is so high, our higher education does not, comparatively, burden us as much as it does for students living in Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Chile, and Malaysia.

HOW MUCH ARE YOU PAYING FOR COLLEGE (a survey)

This survey is much more detailed than the poll that was posted earlier. A majority of the respondents are between the ages of 19 and 25 yet they have already accumulated over 20 thousand dollars in student loans!

Please respond to this no-sign-up-required survey so that we might have more accurate results:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/S7VJMK9

 

TOP 100 MOST EXPENSIVE COLLEGES IN THE US

Where in the great nation of the United States are all these expensive colleges coming from? Hopefully this map will help shed some light on the situation.

In all it’s glory, this mashup details the top 100 most expensive colleges in the US based on in-state tuition. All information was graciously compiled and provided by CollegeBoard.com.

Did your school make the list? I’m sure glad mine didn’t.

What’s your state’s prostitution rate?

The data in this chart, accumulated by ProCon.Org, is a visual representation of US prostitution arrests from 2001 to 2010. How does your state stack up?

TOP 10 SEX WORKER FACTS AND FICTIONS

There’s a lot of misinformation about sex workers in the US. This “Top 10” will go over some of them and explain which ones are fact and which ones are fiction. Most of the information used in this list was gathered from a research report compiled by the Urban Institute titled, “Estimating the Size and Structure of the Underground Commercial Sex Economy in Eight Major US Cities.”

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  1. Sex workers are tortured souls.
  2. Most prostitutes can be found on Craigslist.
    • False. As Craigslist garners the reputation of being a hotbed of “creeps” and “weirdos,” workers are turning to more devoted sites like Backpage.com. The site itself has a rather blunt “adult” section where workers and clients can find the person (or persons) to fit their needs.
  3. The most lucrative sex worker is an escort.
    • This is mostly true. Erotic dancers only make around $150-$600 per night while escorts make around $200-$300 per hour. Street prostitutes are forced to hide in the shadows so finding customers–or, rather, customers finding them–is a lot harder. Escorts usually work through an agency; safe, secure, and customers know exactly where to find them.
  4. Nevada has the highest volume of prostitutes in the nation.
  5. Arrests are typically made on the prostitutes themselves.
  6. The stereotypical prostitute is white, female, and 18 years old.
    • True, true, and nearly true. The U.S. Department of Justice released a report of 2010 arrest statistics reporting that the average prostitute arrested is both white and female, but averages around 20 years of age.
  7. In order for sex work to be safe, it must be legalized.
  8. Prostitution is alive and well in this country.
    • Strangely enough, the number of sex workers has gone down, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s arrest report from 2010. The number of prostitutes spiked in 2004 and had a little bump during the recession of 2008, but overall prostitution (or at least arrest rates of it) has been going down.Figure 8
  9. Sex workers are uneducated and desperate for money.
    • On the contrary, a new study by an economics researcher at the University of Arkansas suggests that “affluent, educated women” may choose the profession for reasons other than desperation for cash.
  10. Pimps are high school “drop-outs”
    • Again, on the contrary, the Urban Institute reported that only 15 percent of pimps surveyed had left high school before graduation. The majority (about 43 percent) have either their high school diploma or GED and the runner-up majority is “some college” at 27 percent. original