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Danielle Bacher On What It Takes To Succeed At Your Dream Job

“For a month, I slept in my car, on couches and wherever I could find a place.”

(Danielle Bacher)

Just about everyone has a dream job at some point. When I was a kid, I was sure I wanted to be an actress. Before I even got to college, that idea was already a distant memory. Very few people pursue their dream careers all the way to fruition. And for those who do, it’s a lot of work, and no shortage of luck, getting there.

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Money

Why Your Boycott Hashtag Doesn’t Actually Work

Hint: Your brain has something to do with it

We live in an age of boycotts. It seems as if every week a new company or product is the subject of a trending boycott hashtag: #DeleteUber, #BoycottNordstrom, #BoycottPepsi, #NoNetflix. And we don’t just speak out against a company’s actions—we vow to use our power as consumers to hit brands where it hurts the most, their bank account. I know someone who won’t buy Barilla pasta because the company is anti-gay. A friend refuses to buy Apple products because of their proprietary obsession. “If enough people do it,” he says, “they’ll have to change their practices.” This is the same mindset millions of people are taking in the #GrabYourWallet movement, which organizes boycotts of major retailers selling Trump family products. Many folks think the power they have as consumers is greater than their political voice, so they see these boycotts as the only way to enact change.

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Money

Why Your College Professor Has At Least One Other Side Job

“It’s especially hard if you have students who say they want to be a professor. It makes you wince.”

Think about how much you paid in college tuition: probably somewhere between $24,610 (if you’re at an in-state university) and $49,320 a year (for private colleges). You might assume a significant chunk of that tuition was making its way to your professors—the ones actually giving you an education—but in reality, most of it was dedicated to amenities, dorms or classroom buildings, and sports program. Only one-third of academic institution’s budgets, or $139 billion nationwide, goes to instruction.

To cut costs, colleges and universities are contracting two-thirds of all professors on a contingent basis, paying them meager wages that don’t even add up to the cost of living in the United States—$28,000. Which means that some of your professors were probably working multiple side jobs on top of teaching three classes. Contingent professors, also known as adjuncts or lecturers, are those in nontenure track position. The college or university has no formal commitment to these instructors, so their positions can be cut at any time, without any warning.

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Money

Welcome To Your New Bank: Wal-Mart

The superstore's new debit card taps into the same mental process that gets you to buy a lottery ticket

Last summer, Dawn Paquin, a working mother of two sons, wrote a $4 check for coffee for herself and a friend. That check turned out be a big mistake, tipping her account below the required minimum, resulting in a $100 overdraft fee. As a part-time worker and mother, she couldn’t spare the $100. Dawn’s “resentment about banks” built up after that, and she refused to keep a traditional checking account. Instead, she started putting all of her money onto Wal-Mart’s reloadable prepaid debit card: a MoneyCard.

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Money

Kids With No Lunch Money Are Being Made To Mop School Floors (Seriously)

A senator who grew up poor challenges the harsh punishments schools dole out at mealtime

When you’re a fourth-grader, you are completely reliant on your parents for money—which makes it difficult when they don’t give you enough to cover the $2.68 hot lunch at school. What happens next varies by state, but outstanding balances on cafeteria accounts frequently result in some kind of public callout. In some cases, kids are forced to clean cafeteria tables to work off their lunch debt. One school in Alabama makes a habit of branding students with an “I need lunch money” stamp on their arms. And other times, children are denied lunch altogether.

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Education

Why You May Never See This Many Young Doctors In A Room Ever Again

How student debt could drastically affect the future of healthcare

Just 50 years ago, medical school tuition was a couple thousand dollars per year. Today, the price tag on a medical degree is astronomical. The most expensive medical school in the country, Tufts University, charges $61,436 per year in tuition and fees. The bargain option, Texas A&M, clocks in at $16,432 (and that’s only for in-staters). Across the country, the average medical school tuition is $34,592 for in-state students and $58,668 for out-of-state students—which, over the course of four years, translates to $166,750 in debt for the average aspiring doctor. Of course, that doesn’t take into account living expenses, which average $28,458 per year for single adults in the United States. The commitment is enormous: four years of school, four years of residency, and hundreds of thousands in debt hinging on getting through successfully. It bears the question: Is a medical degree worth going into six-figure debt?

It would be easy to dismiss med school tuition as affecting only the 38,000 wannabe doctors, but the rise in costs could affect the millions of potential patients in need of care. If medical school tuition continues to rise, the United States could potentially face a doctor shortage—a loss of anywhere between 12,500 to 31,000 in the next decade. With an aging population and a demand for better health care, this problem goes beyond school loans and into the future of our public health.

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Money