Combating the cost of college education in US

Combating the cost of college education in US

Defining the word education is not an easy task to perform. The word education carries much more depth than many an ordinary person presumes to know. This is because many people confuse this word with just schooling or college education. Though the word education does certainly include that, it entails social cultural mental and physical development through a cultivation of learning that is done with respect. So it is not just a preparation towards future living, but is very much living itself and transforms life as such.

The desire to find a niche in life is there in everyone's mind. Can a person fulfil such a desire? For most this means aspirations towards higher studies. But such aspirations are not always feasible for everyone unfortunately. The most common stumbling block in the path of quality higher education is the cost it incurs. Many eager learners abandon their aspirations under the pressure of the undue burden of the expenses involved. As per the statistics, the US stands out to be most expensive country for higher education in the whole world! College tuition in the US is defined as the cost of higher education collected as cash by the educational institutions within the US. The average public college fee ranges from $3000 for a 2 year course to $29000 for a 4-year course. The private colleges also hiked their already high fee by 3.9% in 2012-2013. Let's explore the causes for such a predicament.

The boom in the percentage of students for higher learning was noted in the US following WW II. Then many families even went into debt in the process of providing their offspring's with higher education hoping to give them a better secure future. Other than offering loans and grants, the US federal government does not assist higher studies with the exception of military academies.

Experts opine that one of the most important reasons causing the alarming hike in the cost is the marked reduction in the state as well as federal funding support to the state colleges. This fall is as high as 26% since 1990. The lack of funding supporting turn forced the colleges to shift the burden onto the students especially for higher education. One would be more or less correct in the presumption that higher education in the US is privatised in effect in this scenario. Another cause cited for the high cost is the heavy tax levied on the investments on higher education combined with insufficient subsidies.

Despite all these, a definite increase in the value of higher education is noted in the recent times, so much so that there is marked difference in the earnings of a college graduate and a high school diploma holder. Even life expectancy and the period of life spent working remain high in the educated in comparison with the uneducated. This probably motivates students to make avail of the numerous student loans advertised in the market. Therefore, the investment on higher education remains on the high. At the same time, the number of students incurring huge debts and suffering by the burden is also on the rise. In fact, the credit card debt is much lower than the student loan debt in totality, in the US.

So what are the means to tackle this sad state of affairs?

Several resources have flooded the loan market for a student who is in search for a loan. But it certainly pays if the borrower exercises his/ her wisdom and discretion in choosing the product and understanding the terms of repayment properly and precisely before taking in the plunge.

The student's loans generally could be;

1. Subsidised loans where the federal government pays the interest when the student is still in college and so this helps the student save a lot of money on interest. Basically such loans are dispersed to students depending on their financial requirements and therefore the amount could be limited.

2. Unsubsidised loans where the interest starts accruing with the dispersal of the loan money. Any unpaid interest gets accrued to the principal amount and therefore the burden on the student is huge.

3. Credit cards are there for the taking by anyone needy. But they are also the most dangerous in that they can easily push the poor student into high debts incurred in lieu of higher interest rates, compared to the other two loans. Also inability to repay can jeopardise not only the credit history and thereby future borrowing capacity of the poor student but also his/her future job prospects.

The options that need to be clearly and essentially understood by the borrower in order to avoid such mishaps that play havoc with future are:

Grace period duration for the loan

Discounts that are available on setting up direct debit from the account

Consolidating several loans so as to make a single monthly repayment with a probable low interest rate

In the event of inability to repay the loan the student would be well advised to get in touch with the lender with this information in order to arrive at a mutually agreeable payment arrangement plan better suited to his/ her budget. Finally, in case of extreme financial hardship the student is eligible for deferment or forbearance which gives him/her the right to postpone/ decrease the federal loan repayment albeit temporarily. It is crucial for the borrower to consider these carefully and plan out at the time of taking the loan itself and prevent future disasters to life in general.

Experts and student right activists have come forward with the following recommendations:

1. Increase the state funding support for higher education to combat the higher tax levied on such investment

2. Increasing the state/federal grants to universities/colleges

3. Introduction of insurance schemes to decrease the investment risk on higher education

4. Slapping down endowment tax on universities based on their tuition fee

5. Encouraging the colleges to search for ways to cut down on the cost of education without compromising on the quality.

The fact is all these are easier said than done. So till at least some of them are implemented, these recommendations remain as wishful thinking leaving the major issue of cost reduction more or less unresolved.

Smart Tax Moves You Should Apply

Smart Tax Moves You Should Apply

According to the US Small Business Administration's

Office of Advocacy, most little businesses face a tax rate of 19.8 percent on an average. That can sum to thousands of dollars in taxes annually— a major ordeal for your average family business.

The uplifting news is, you can implement some little improvements that can have a major effect in your tax bill one year from now. Here are a few tips from the specialists:

1. Keep your business and individual accounts separate

In case your company is not incorporated, you're not required to keep a different bank account for your business, yet specialists advice, it's still a smart thought. Taking care of business and personal costs in various accounts make it less demanding to keep precise records and get ready to document taxes one year from now. Also, in case you're sufficiently unfortunate to be examined, you won't need to deal with your personal transactions. Opening up a different financial account for your business is simple. You can build up a charge card represent your business also, and that will take care of most problems.

2. Use the home office deduction to your advantage

It's no news that taxpayers can get a home office tax deduction by utilizing a part of their home only for business.

There are two approaches to compute the deduction and there is a very simple method. All you have to do is multiply your home office's square footage by $5. On the other hand you can utilize the regular technique, which considers square footage, as well as property taxes, home loan interest or rent, and utilities. Smart business proprietors and entrepreneurs who use a home office take an ideal opportunity to do both estimations, then pick the greatest deduction. This is because the improved technique is capped at a most extreme of 300 square feet — meaning the greatest deduction you could get is $1,500.

Keep in mind that the home office space must be solely for business. You can't consider your lounge or bedroom as a home office.

3. Keep records of the miles driven in business car

Much the same as the home office deduction, there are two approaches to figure the findings for utilization of business cars. The first depends on miles driven, at 54 cents for each mile. The second depends on real costs — including maintenance, repairs, gas, tires, deterioration, insurance and other expenses.

Business proprietors, self employed entities and salesmen ought to keep watchful records of all annual car costs so they can experiment with both counts, and at the end of the day, take the greater deduction.

A simple approach to track travel is by utilizing your smartphone. Most travel applications for iPhone and Android, utilizes GPS to record what number of miles you drove and where you headed to. This makes it simple to make sense of your business car deductions by the end of the year.

4. If you have an open position, consider enlisting a relative

In the event that you employ your own relatives, you might be qualified to deduct their wages as a business cost, which will lessen the measure of taxable salary you're due for.

In the event that you are employing a kid under 21, for example, you can abstain from paying Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) taxes based on those wages. Contracting a spouse as an employee — yet not as a partner— could likewise exclude you from paying FUTA taxes based on those wages.

Best Industries in the United States

Best Industries in the United States

In the US, it's no news that there are many individuals avidly looking to venture into the business enterprise pool. According to the survey carried out by Global Enterprise Monitor, 25 million individuals set out to begin another business in 2013. In case you're contemplating plunging into enterprise, you might want to ask yourself the question; where to start from.

Beginning a business includes various risks, the most evident being disappointment. While there's no surefire approach to ensure achievement, you can support your chances by picking the right industry in which to dispatch your business.

Outlined below are the major thriving business sectors in the United States currently:

Power or Energy Sector Oil and gas well drilling and administration, wind and solar power, and bio-fuels are the current leaders of the energy sectors. In accordance to the survey carried out by First Research, the energy sector had the best number of industries with an 8-11% development range, with the solar industry on top of them all. According to a survey carried out by the Solar Foundation the developing US solar industry included more than 23,000 workers in 2013, thereby resulting to a 20% expansion in employment from the previous year. Now, the industry employs over 142,000 working people, a large number of whom maintain and develop electrical frameworks.

Home Construction and Residential Development In the event that you are particularly, all things considered, you're in fortunes because of the fact that the development and development related industries are most likely to encounter the greatest improvement in the coming years. For instance, building material merchants, hardware stores and home centers, also private real estate developers are expected to see twofold digit CAGR development rates through 2018. Business visionaries would be smart to think about beginning a business that involves the sorts of services that new and old mortgage holders need, for example, roofing, electrical, and plumbing. Besides, as existing homes grow old, demand for renovations and repairs will rise.

Food/Conveyance Services Baby boomers are increasing food and other conveyance services' demand. Since most baby boomers don't have prompt access to public transportations, businesses that give conveyance services and items like, basic supplies, meals and medicines or, are most likely to grow. Furthermore, organizations having some expertise in home healthcare services could witness greater development because of the increasing populace and extended insurance scope by the federal government.

Environmental Sector Environmentally agreeable supplies and building practices are turning into a characteristic part of the American development industry. The U.S. Green Building Council gauges around 1 in 4 new homes is being worked with at any rate some green building customs. The numbers are comparative in the lodging space. The association with mission to advance environmentally stable building says, Green development is outpacing that of customary development and is ready to make more than 3.3 million US employments and $190.3 billion in labor profit by 2018.

Financial Services In case you're financially strong and will like to help other people build a retirement plan, then now is the ideal time to start up your business. Not only are baby boomers filling the food/conveyance industry, but on the other hand they're developing the money manager/financial planner sector. As a greater amount of the maturing populace retires, the demand for pension and retirements, hedge fund, asset specialists, and mutual fund will develop.

Other high-development industries are; The Web search and publishing, mobile homes, and bike producing, all of which are anticipated to encounter a 10% yearly exacerbated rate of development in the coming years.

GEM is a trusted resource on entrepreneurship for key international organisations like the United Nations, World Economic Forum, World Bank, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), providing custom datasets, special reports and expert opinion.

Startup Struggles Debunked

Startup Struggles Debunked

Who's better than US based, born and bred entrepreneurs, to tell us what the struggles are and how to solve them, in growing a startup company?

Many will tell you it takes balls of steel and nerves of iron. Many are not wrong. But there are a few salient characteristics of a successful startup entrepreneur such as:

1. They don't complain 2. They are resourceful 3. They start off small in order to grow bigger

Take Evona Niewiadomska, founder and head of Undiscovered Kitchen. When she first started out, she launched Summalist as a premium paying service. As time went by, she realized that it wasn't getting the traction she wanted and reverted it to a free service with a hopeful view that most of the subscribers would upgrade to a premium paying account. It paid off and her business is souring to new heights.

Wordpress has become one of the most popular and leaders in easy-to-use platforms to run your website from. Phil Derksen, founder and developer, based in Fresno, California in the US, is all about offering tips, shortcuts and tricks that create a further hunger for more. He believes in giving free advise in the form of blogs and short videos which then prompt customers to sign up for web based seminars and live Webinar's. The clinics he hosts give customers the chance to bring their pains so that he can assist with providing a solution.

And that is what most of the startup entrepreneurs are saying. Find a solution, a solution for your business issues and/or a solution for your customers. If you can solve a problem for a potential client then you are one step closer to bringing that client under your wing, one step closer to securing a new sale and an increase in revenue.

Keep it simple. Start out small and you will go far. All solid advise from already established and successful leaders in the entrepreneur world.

Brian Kurth, the founder of PivotPlanet and Revere, of Austin, Texas, US, has some nuggets of value to share with us too. Oddly, his advice is based around relaxing, getting enough sleep and re-energizing yourself. Balance is something that most of us struggle with and he wasn't immune to this, but over time realized that he couldn't function without a good solid sleep and finding ways to wind down.

Most of the problem, he claims, is in not taking regular breaks, even if this just means standing up from your desk or taking a brief walk to make a cup of Java. The eyes get a breather as well as our bodies. Sitting can be hellish on the muscles and bones.

At night, he is a firm believer in switching off all media devices, from Smart Phones to televisions. He does this 2 hours before he is going to go to sleep. Brian doesn't even set an alarm nowadays to wake up. His body knows, that if it gets the required amount of sleep and proper switch-off time, it will wake up when he needs it to. Waking up refreshed and ready to rock the world is just a given in his life.

Another powerful tip to distressing is that he lengthens the deadline date on projects. While he may know a certain project will take approximately 3 days to complete, he doubles it up to 6 days, which he feels gives him plenty leeway should there be issues. He tells his clients that the project will take 6 days and when he delivers early, they are properly stoked.

This all sounds wonderful and it would be nice to be able to tick off even one of his de-stress methods, but we all know it takes time to change a bad habit. Brian is in full agreement and confirms that this didn't all magically happen overnight. Be patient with yourself and give it time.

Sometimes, it is simply money or the lack thereof that hinders our progress to grow our startup business, but sometimes all we need is a little innovation. A good idea and a polite smile may be all one needs to get a project off the ground.

Know what's not working in your business and know what is working.

Many novice entrepreneurs have begged, borrowed and no, not stolen, from those around them, to produce the most innovative ventures. From hiring a train at no charge to publicize a brand new endeavor, to calling on other successful startups for their hunks of knowledge and expertise, for a new, seemingly silly exploit to get off the ground.

Use your resources. And by resources, this can be who you know but also what you know. Your brain is filled with tons of ideas. Mad ideas! Crazy-ass ideas! Ideas that make you lay awake at night. Ideas that form like little buds but which can blossom into full on rose bushes.

But if you don't try them out then how will you know if they will work or not?