The Independent

Man vs. Technology

Eric Bryant

January 24, 2012

Remember the good old days when people used to communicate with actual people? Well those days are gone! We now live in the age of information, technological advancements are being made at the speed of light, and the more we advance in technology, the more ignorant we become and the more separated we...

Practical Financial Ideas for the College Student

January 23, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 22:01 It's obvious that as students, you should avoid getting into debt. Look around and read some business publications such as Wall Street Journal, The Economist and others and you will see all kinds of headlines about European countries in debt and how much trouble they're in. Just like some countries – people in general, and students in particular get into the trap of overspending, which leads to debt. Student loans are great, but only to a degree. Your college education should not be financed solely by student loans. Remember, student loans aren't a debt you can get from under. It's the type of debt that cannot be wiped off even in the case of a bankruptcy. So think twice about how much you want to borrow. Do not borrow more than you can realistically afford. This level will be different for each student. As far as interest goes, the student loan interest – once in repayment status – is tax deductible, which essentially makes the interest rate lower for the student. Now if you ask how to finance your education, here are some suggestions: 1.Tuition Reimbursement – This is a great way to finance your education. Some employers offer this because they receive tax breaks, and it's good fore personnel as they become more valuable to the company. Therefore, it's a win-win situation. The problem – you have to be working for such employers and there may be some rules such as the need to maintain a certain G.P.A., etc. 2.Family Members – This is another great way to finance your future. Usually, there are some kinds of tax benefits for the philanthropic family member, plus there's the added bonus of their happiness for helping you achieve your dreams. Even if you cannot get them to pay 100% tuition, every little bit helps – you can even try to convince them to at least pay for some of your books! 3.Financial Aid – This is federal financial help for the students that are enrolled and do not have to be repaid. You will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. There are limitations as to what it will pay for, but in general, your tuition and fees are included. You even get a stipend for books, supplies, and transportation on the CTA. The FAFSA is based on students demonstrated financial needs, rather than grades. You can read more about the benefit of taking advantage of this program at www.fafsa.ed.gov 4.Grants and Scholarships – This is also a fantastic way of paying for your education. Now the problem is that there are limited amounts of funding and you must be awarded the available funds. As around, especially at the in the Scholarships Office located on the 2nd floor of Enrollment Services office – house in the same location as Financial Aid. You can also search for scholarships that aren't through the university on the web. Ask your advisers what – if any – grants are available also. The beauty of the grants/scholarships is that you don't have to repay those. However, you have to do your homework to get them! 5.Loans – This should be your absolute last resort for funding your education. There are private and federal loans. Parents can also borrow on behalf of their dependent undergraduate students. I do not recommend loans, but if the question comes down to whether or not you can continue your education – I would say to go for the loan. Speak to a Financial Aid advisor for more information about your options. Now there are lots of resources on the web that you can explore, but you have to start somewhere, right? The first place you should start is at: http://www.neiu.edu/NEIU%20Departments/Administrative%20Departments/ Financial%20Aid/Financial_Aid.html   Victor Peters, Assistant Director, Office of University Budgets - Contributor...

“Too Cool for School?”

Ashley Hovde, Staff Writer

February 7, 2011

    There exists a very thick line between an insulated snowsuit and the kind of outfit one might wear to go clubbing in Miami, does there not? Off the top of my head I can come up with a few exemplary items: a knit beret, jeans, a v-neck sweater, a wool scarf, suede boots, etc. As far as I'm concerned, winter in Chicago is a great time and place for fashion, and it is entirely possible to simultaneous look good and stay warm during the annual pseudo-Arctic months. Don't get me wrong, I love my heels, peep toes, flowing scarves, adorable fall/spring jackets, and putting them away each year always seems to catalyze my winter funk. However, I also really love having intact bones and no frostbitten skin, so the aforementioned items hibernate in my closet, snuggled up next to my skirts, sun dresses, and sandals, awaiting their spring revival. If you too have seen women in stiletto heels wipe out on the ice this semester, or you've scratched your hat-covered head while looking at a coed wearing a jacket in lieu of a coat, you probably see where this piece is headed. So please enlighten us, urban ice skaters and polar bears, what gives? Beyond having been introduced by mutual friends, through internet dating services, and at religious gathering places, most people meet the person they end up forming a lasting romantic partnership with at school, so I can understand wanting to look good for Mr or Mrs Right. That said, doesn't looking sane figure in to looking good? I've never heard anyone say "I'm really looking for a man with so little sense that he doesn't wear a coat and gloves during a blizzard!" So why, gentlemen, do you forgo wearing hats and gloves in sub-freezing weather? You're not fooling anyone by saying that you're warm. The icicles in your mustaches and the chattering of your teeth give you away. Ladies, it seems unlikely that the phrase "I'm really looking for a girl who doesn't let the possibility of a compound fracture stop her from strutting her way around this learning establishment in spike heels" has ever been uttered. On the contrary, I have seen few fashion statements exude a less "come hither" vibe than that of a young woman rocking a leg brace with a mini-skirt last winter. As unlikely as it is that all offenders are on the prowl, this phenomena seems even more mind-boggling. My take away message is this; its freezing, you're cold, don't deny it. Your grades don't go up in tandem with your hemline and unless you're taking a class in wilderness survival, not protecting yourself from the cold won't lower your GPA. So bundle up, already!    ...

Masters of Disaster Are Back! Why?

Jeff Dutton, Staff Writer

February 7, 2011

After holding the presidency for eight years and controlling both houses of Congress for four of those eight years, the Republican Party by 2008 had effectively lead this nation into the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, and started one absolutely needless war while mismanaging another...

Are Guns Safe in the Hands of all Citizens?

Ashley Hovde, Contributor

January 25, 2011

    A year ago I discovered that I'm a great shot a natural with a 9mm. I emptied a clip into my first target – never missing the orange "person" and achieving five "kills." Although I was proud of my unexpected talent and my ability to conquer my fear of guns, a nagging sense o...

Graduate School: To Enroll or Not to Enroll Commentary

Agustin Flores

January 25, 2011

As undergraduates entering our last semesters we may already feel the frigid and austere wind of the real world sneaking through the sheltered halls of academia here at NEIU. Short of an existential crisis, most of us are wondering if there will be a good job or even a decent livelihood waiting, and...

First things first…

Patrick O'Brien, Writer

September 28, 2006

There were several NEIU presidential candidates on campus this past week to meet with students and staff, to press the flesh, so to speak, and answer questions about what they would do in the top job at this university. I missed those sessions, but I had few questions of my own for whoever is the next...

All-time low attendance

Felicia Maxa, Staff writer

September 26, 2006

During student activity hour on Sept. 19, the Free Speech Taskforce held an open forum. Only three students attended. It is this number, the number three, that brings to mind the searing question: do the students of such great ethnic, racial and cultural diversity seriously care about their rights...

The obesity culprit: fast food

Jennifer Maciuba, Staff writer

September 26, 2006

The perception of the number calories in fast food is skewed in the American mind, as found by a study recently published by the Annals of Internal Medicine and reported by msnbc.com. People, in general, seem to have an easier time guessing the number of calories in a portion when it is smaller. The...

Sizing up: vanity sizes

Martii Kuznicki, Staff writer

September 26, 2006

Ladies, take a look in your closet. Okay, maybe you're reading this before class or in your office, but think about your closet. Think about the sizes of clothes in your closet. Chances are those sizes will vary a lot in some cases. Welcome to the world of vanity sizing. It's a marketing tool...

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