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Nearly Half of Family Caregivers Spend Over $5,000 Per Year on Caregiving Costs

September 17, 2014 Comments off

Nearly Half of Family Caregivers Spend Over $5,000 Per Year on Caregiving Costs
Source: Caring.com

Almost half (46%) of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 per year on caregiving expenses, according to a new Caring.com report. A family caregiver is defined as someone who takes care of a family member or friend, but is unpaid for their services. Their caregiving expenses include out-of-pocket costs for medications, medical bills, in-home care, nursing homes and more.

Of the 46% of family caregivers that spend more than $5,000 annually: * 16% spend from $5,000 to $9,999 * 11% spend from $10,000 to $19,999 * 7% spend $20,000 to $29,999 * 5% spend $30,000 to $49,999 * 7% spend $50,000 or more each year.

Thirty-two percent of family caregivers spend less than $5,000 per year, and 21% do not know how much they spend on caregiving each year.

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Princeton, Williams Take Top Spots in U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings

September 9, 2014 Comments off

Princeton, Williams Take Top Spots in U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings
Source: U.S. News & World Report

The benefits of graduating from college are huge: better job prospects, higher wages and lower unemployment. The drawbacks to dropping out are just as massive: time spent outside the labor market and accrued student debt without better job opportunities to help with repayment.

Over the past 20 years, more than 31 million students have dropped out of colleges, according to a recent report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. That’s why choosing a college that fits academically and financially is so important.

Enter the 2015 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, released today.

This year’s 30th edition of Best Colleges includes data on nearly 1,800 colleges and universities. Eligible schools are ranked on up to 16 measures of academic excellence, including graduation rates, selectivity and freshmen retention, to help families compare schools, narrow their searches and make informed decisions. The 2015 rankings methodology remains the same as the 2014 edition’s.

The top three schools among National Universities, schools that emphasize research and offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs, reprised their performances from last year. Princeton University remained at No. 1, with Harvard University in second and Yale University at No. 3. While a few universities shifted places, the schools ranked in the top 10 all remained the same, except that Dartmouth College, which tied for the 10th spot last year, dropped to No. 11.

There was more movement further down the list. For example, Pennsylvania State University—University Park fell 11 places, moving from a tie at No. 37 to No. 48, where it tied with four other schools. Northeastern University in Boston and the University of California—Irvine both rose seven spots, from a three-way tie at No. 49 last year to a five-way tie at No. 42 this year.

Where More Americans Die at the Hands of Police

August 29, 2014 Comments off

Where More Americans Die at the Hands of Police
Source: The Atlantic (Richard Florida)

The death of 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer has reintroduced police-related killings as a topic of major national debate. Brown is just the latest in a long line of young, unarmed black men killed by law enforcement agents.

It’s been widely reported that roughly 400 Americans die at the hands of police per year. And yet, that figure is likely a significant underestimate, as Reuben Fischer-Baum details at FiveThirtyEight.

We ask a slightly different question: Where are Americans more likely to die at the hands of police or while under arrest?

With the help of my colleagues Charlotta Mellander and Nick Lombardo of the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI), we mapped data from two sources: “arrest related deaths” from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, and from the FBI’s annual Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) on “felons killed by police.” We also got input from three leading American criminologists: Alfred Blumstein and Daniel Nagin, my former colleagues at Carnegie Mellon, and John Roman of the Urban Institute.

It’s important to reiterate that both data sources suffer from serious deficiencies, not the least of which is under-reporting. Roman worries about “reporting bias,” particularly the possibility that “more responsible agencies”—those least likely to use force in the first place—”are more likely to report, and less responsible agencies are less likely to report.” But he also adds that what looks like missing data may not be. “It might be that few policing agencies have an officer-involved shooting and the agencies that don’t simply don’t report any data,” he writes in an email.

But, taken together and in light of their limits, the maps are broadly suggestive of the geography of U.S. police killings as well as the states where arrests are likely to result in more deaths. As Roman puts it: “It is important to shine a light on the subject. Because there is such limited data, our ability to define the scope of the problem greatly limits our ability to form an appropriate response.”

A Public Official’s Guide to Financial Literacy

August 25, 2014 Comments off

A Public Official’s Guide to Financial Literacy
Source: Governing.com

Many individuals enter government service to effect change, but you can’t accomplish much if you don’t speak the language of public finance. The goal of this guide is to help state and local leaders become financially literate and answer questions like: “How does my jurisdiction get and spend its money?” and “Are we in sound financial shape?” The guide provides technical knowledge, essential questions and examples of what not to do to give leaders a core understanding of key public finance concepts.

Free registration required.

2014 Retail Credit Card Survey data

August 19, 2014 Comments off

2014 Retail Credit Card Survey data
Source: CreditCards.com

Higher APRs, more use-anywhere cards and fancier, tiered rewards are now prominent features of retail store credit card programs, according to the 2014 CreditCards.com Retail Credit Card Survey.

The chart below provides details of the 61 retail credit cards issued by the 36 largest retailers in the U.S. that offer cards. Both the retailers’ store-only cards and their general use (co-branded) cards are included.

Nielsen Study: Significant Overlap Between People Tweeting About TV and Brands

August 10, 2014 Comments off

Nielsen Study: Significant Overlap Between People Tweeting About TV and Brands
Source: Lost Remote/Nielsen

A recently Nielsen study measures the overlap between people who tweet about TV and people who tweet about brands that advertise on TV.

According to the report, 17 million people sent 361 million tweets about TV through April. In the same time period, “17 million people sent 215 million tweets about the approximately 700 brands that Nielsen Social captures.” The purpose of measuring the overlap was to better understand the value of social TV audiences to brands.

Free registration required to access report.

Princeton Review — The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition

August 8, 2014 Comments off

The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition
Source: Princeton Review
From press release:

According to a Princeton Review survey that asked 130,000 students at 379 top colleges to rate their schools on dozens of topics and report on their campus experiences, the college at which students reported the highest satisfaction with their financial aid awards was Pomona College (CA).

Northeastern University (MA) earned the #1 spot on the list, “Best Career Services” (a ranking category the Princeton Review created at the urging of a college parent in 2007). The college ranked tops for “Best Science Facilities” – and for the 2nd consecutive year – was California Institute of Technology: its students gave their lab facilities the strongest ratings in the survey. The school at which students gave their professors the highest marks as teachers was Reed College (OR).

Lists of the top 20 colleges in these and 58 other categories will post today at http://www.princetonreview.com. The lists are also published in the new edition of Princeton Review’s annual college guide, “The Best 379 Colleges” (Random House / Princeton Review Books, 2015 Edition, $23.99) on sale tomorrow, August 5.

Free registration required.

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