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Enterprising Teacher Is Crowdsourcing the Cost of Harvard Grad School

Donors who chip in to send Philadelphia English teacher Zac Chase to Harvard will get access to his educational experience.


After the thrill of college acceptance letters comes the reality of figuring out how to pay the cost to actually attend the school of your choice. One Philadelphia English teacher, 30-year-old Zac Chase, has a creative solution to funding his master's in education policy and management program at Harvard: He's crowdsourcing the cost.

Chase told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the idea came to him because the school he's taught at for the past four years, Science Leadership Academy, has such a strong entrepreneurship and social media focus. He estimates the cost of tuition, room and board at $60,000, so when a merit scholarship fell through and he found that he could only afford to borrow $20,000, the lessons he'd been teaching students inspired his plan to come up with the other $40,000. Chase doesn't want a handout. Instead, he wants funders to consider their donation an investment that they'll get something out of—access to his educational experience. On his "Chasing Harvard" project site, he writes


Funders will receive access to the project blog as well as be guaranteed one public thank you throughout the course of the program. Starting at $40, backers for this project will receive live access to all course notes as they are drafted when available, a weekly multimedia email blast documenting the social highlights of the course of study including music, films, books and television shows. From $80 and up, backers will also be invited to monthly online chats to discuss the program status, content and any issues of relevance. Should the archive be published in book form, all backers will be thanked within the text.

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Even though he'll lose an "amazing teacher," SLA principal Chris Lehmann has donated to the teacher's fundraising effort, saying that if it works and Chase gets to go to Harvard, "we'll gain a powerful voice for students in educational policy." According to the stats on the site, 46 contributors have donated $2,780 of the $40,000. With only 6 percent of the money needed raised, Chase does have a plan B if the Harvard effort doesn't pan out by his April 14 fundraising deadline—he'll donate all collected funds to his school.

photo (cc) via Flickr user Grad Student 2007

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The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

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The healthcare systems in the United States and the United Kingdom couldn't be more different.

The UK's National Health Service is the largest government-run healthcare system in the world and the US's is largest private sector system.

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A medical bill in the US

One of the largest differences is cost. The average person in the UK spends £2,989 ($3915) per year on healthcare (most of which is collected through taxes), whereas the average American spends around $10,739 a year.

So Americans should obviously be getting better care, right? Well, the average life expectancy in the UK is higher and infant mortality rate is lower than that in the US.

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Plus, in the U.S., only 84% of people are covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Sixteen percent of the population are forced to pay out of pocket.

In the UK, everyone is covered unless they are visiting the country or an undocumented resident.

Prescription drugs can cost Americans an arm and a leg, but in the UK, prescriptions or either free or capped at £8.60 ($11.27).

via Wikimedia Commons

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The New York Times printed a fair evaluation of the UK's system:

The service is known for its simplicity: It is free at the point of use to anyone who needs it. Paperwork is minimal, and most patients never see a bill. … No one needs to delay medical treatment until he or she can afford it, and virtually everyone is covered. …

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Citizens in each country have an interesting perspective on each other's healthcare systems. UK citizens think it's inhumane for Americans have to pay through the nose when they're sick or injured. While Americans are skeptical of socialist medicine.

A reporter from Politics Joe hit the streets of London and asked everyday people what they think Americans pay for healthcare and they were completely shocked.

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