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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:58 pm 
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How is it in America now, folks?

Despite all political and economical crisis's, can almost all of you still have (or least have the ability) to buy yourself a house, car, and whatever you need?

Are salaries still big enough to pay for inhabitation, car, food and household?

How is medicine?

For example, in my country, prices for the housing are that big, and bank credits are so expensive, (and salaries are so low), that it almost impossible for a young working man to buy yourself his own lodging.

I once calculated, that to buy myself a 20 cubic meters of living space in the condo, I need to work 20 years without disbursing the money for such a basic needs as food, clothes, and other primary human needs.

I'm sorry if I'm question is too general, but I hope you'll share some info, as most of you here living in the US.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:15 pm 
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Well I think the middle class needs a lot of work.

If you don't have an Undergraduate degree you will probably never reach double digits.
I have come across a lot of hard workers who still make less than 10$.

Also it is unfortunately important to stay with the same job. I worked my way up to 9$ an hour at 7-Eleven.
When I switched to Macy's even though it is suppose to be better and I have experience as an Assistant Manager I restarted as a Sales Associate, I joined in the season so I screwed myself a little and now 6 months later I am making 8.40$.

Had I joined right now I could have started at 9$.

During training I was paid 7.25 (2 days)
Since I was seasonal they refused to pay more than 8$; my interviewer told me we can renegotiate after the season if they decide to keep me. They loved my work and I kicked ass however Macy's policy dictates that we only get 5% raise every 6 months if our Manager is pleased with our performance.

My manager loves me and she did try hard to get me 10%, but it was policy.
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Hopefully I can start practicing psychology because I can't live under these conditions.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:38 pm 
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Huh, pretty bad... It's about 1200$ per month, right?
Are you rent a housing or living with the relatives?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:55 pm 
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Yeah, it would be that much if I worked 40 hours a week.
I used to work full time, when I lived in Dallas.
I would make about a thousand dollars a month.
I used to live with 4 room mates in a 3 bed room townhouse.
I paid about 400$ in rent (total was 1400 Rent + Utilities).
Since I worked at 7-Eleven, the fringe benefits of the job really helped cut down my food expenses.
I effectively lived on expired food. So I would only spend like 200$ on food, it was only this expensive because I would fine dine, and being Pakistani it is a culture thing to reach for the cheque when out with friends. We avoid the whole everybody pays separate, even if I go out with American or people from other countries I reach for the cheque.

So basically out of a 1000$ a month I would be able to save 400$. Offcourse as I get raises it went to 1200$.

Now in San Antonio I live with my mom and 2 brothers who are both still in school.
I am not working full time anymore, I can't do the whole entry level job bull shit 40 hours a week standing on your feet.
So in a good month I can expect to make 800$.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:34 am 
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You said that you want to study for a psychologist.
How much does it cost to be educated in America?
Does education paid at all or it's free or at least state will cover some expenses?
Is there some government programs that give material\money support to students?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:09 am 
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RyoDC wrote:
You said that you want to study for a psychologist.
How much does it cost to be educated in America?
Does education paid at all or it's free or at least state will cover some expenses?
Is there some government programs that give material\money support to students?


Tuition can vary widely depending on the university. My first year in school was at a private university in 2006 and tuition costs were around $32,000/year, not including a dorm or meals. Due to my high ACT scores (including a perfect score on the English test), the university offered me a scholarship of something like $16,000/year for 4 years as long as my grades were kept up.

On the federal level, there are loans and grants available from the US federal government. These are generally based on need, so your parents have to be below a certain income level to be eligible. Unfortunately, even if you are independent of your parents completely, your eligibility still depends on their income levels.

On the state level, here in Louisiana there is a scholarship assistance program called TOPS that high school students can be eligible for if they meet certain criteria (if they took certain courses in high school and maintained a decent GPA and ACT/SAT score). If you qualify for this, they will pay your tuition if you attend a public university within the state (this program was passed to keep our brightest students within the state). This doesn't include fees (which can easily be hundreds of dollars), book/material costs, or dorm costs, although if you maintain a really excellent GPA you can be eligible for an additional stipend of a few hundred dollars. If you choose to attend a private university within the state instead, you can be eligible for the average public university cost towards your private tuition. This was about $7,500/year. I was eligible for this on top of the school's scholarship.

And on top of that, in my local town there was a man who years ago owned almost all the land in the area. Obviously, he was filthy rich, and when he died he created a charitable foundation that offers $1,000/year in scholarships to local students of the town who have high GPAs and ACT/SAT scores. I was also eligible for this scholarship.

So after all those scholarships, only about $24,000 of the $32,000/year was covered. My parents agreed to pick up the rest of it as long as my grades were in order. We weren't eligible for any grants, but we were eligible for loans, which I didn't do. Since I lived with my parents at the time, that meant I had no costs at all.

After a year there, the school decided to downsize and eliminate Computer Science, the more important of my two majors (the other being Classical Studies). I transferred to a public university (Louisiana State), where the tuition was much less (around $7,500 a year--before fees). The state tuition covered all of my expenses and I actually got to pocket the rest of the money from the local foundation, but since I had to move away for this, I had to get an apartment. My parents agreed to pick up this cost as long as my grades were good. My grades were decent but nothing to brag about, but I dragged school out past 4 years and my scholarships ran out, I had to take out a loan for the next year, and when I still didn't finish in the fifth year, my parents wanted me to start paying my own rent and I decided to just stop school there. I hated university and despised the idea of working at a shitty job while taking out loans for an education that I didn't think was actually teaching me anything.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:07 am 
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American higher education confuses the absolute shit out of me.

Here in the UK university tuition fees are capped at a maximum of £9,000 - whether you're going to some shithole or Cambridge. That's the most they can charge a year. It used to be a lot less, and in Scotland university is still completely free if you're domiciled there.

Everyone can take out loans from the government that cover 100% of the fees (if necessary), and loans for living expenses. These are only paid back when you're earning over a certain salary and will simply expire if you can't pay them off in time.

Means-tested grants are available for everyone below a certain household income threshold.

When you go to university, you pick one major, study it for three years, then graduate. That's it.

All these different types of universities, scholarships, schemes, additional classes, credits...all seems like bollocks to me.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:01 pm 
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Let's not start attacking America's education system in this thread.

But it is nice to read that England has a cap on Educational expenses because tuition fees can vary greatly depending on the school.

An MBA at University of Texas Dallas cost 40,000$ excluding books and other miscellaneous fees.
An MBA at University of Texas San Antonio cost 25,000$ excluding books and other miscellaneous fees.
An MBA at University of Phoenix cost 24,000$ with books, ground campus classes and all other expenses.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:48 pm 
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cube_b3 wrote:
Let's not start attacking America's education system in this thread.


It's a corrupt system set up to place students into servitude through student loan debts. I'd say it deserves to be attacked.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:12 pm 
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For the record, I wasn't attacking it. I just genuinely know so little about it. I've worked with, and hire Americans quite regularly and sometimes I find it quite challenging trying to nail down their exact education history because the system seems needlessly complex.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:24 pm 
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So I attended Antioch College, our tuition was about 24k a semester and 8k a co-op. We were basically in school year round with the co-op system. So about total 56k a year. Our buildings had mold. About 75% of our course catalog wasn't actually available as the professors had been fired or quit. I had a few classes where my professor didn't show up at all. I just received a package in the mail with a end term paper requirement and some reading. Our IT services were a joke. I received a letter in my 4th year that the school was 12 million in debt and was going to close. I wasn't given a chance to complete my degree.

All of that said, I wouldn't have traded the experience for anything. My classes that did function were awesome. With 2-3 students in a room with a professor, it's amazing how much more material you can cover and work you can get accomplished. With the co-ops, I got to try a lot of different careers from being a Fire Fighter to teaching German or working with the homeless in San Francisco. The student government actually had several seats at the board. I felt as if we were there to learn and better our selves.

I did leave the school after my first year. I attended a Oglethorpe University and immediately realized just how terrible a regular college set up was. My peers worried more about how to setup the latest kegger in the quad than well just about anything. It was apparent pretty quickly that it was just a daycare for 18+. I stayed for a month or two of this and re-enrolled at Antioch.

It's a shame that so many students come out like they do. Many people just see college as an investment, not the experience that it should be.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:04 am 
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So I wikied Antioch and it is a private college.

I was thinking of enrolling into University of Phoenix for MBA; my friends and family talked me out of it. I also YouTubed some stuff and people had horrible things to say for Phoenix or private institutes altogether.

P.S. What is Co-op?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:52 pm 
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cube_b3 wrote:
So I wikied Antioch and it is a private college.

I was thinking of enrolling into University of Phoenix for MBA; my friends and family talked me out of it. I also YouTubed some stuff and people had horrible things to say for Phoenix or private institutes altogether.

P.S. What is Co-op?

You're comparing two very different private colleges. At their basic levels, Antioch is a liberal arts college and University of Phoenix is a general education university. A big difference is ownership: Antioch is wholly owned by the institution itself while UF is owned by a parent company, Apollo Group. While Antioch is control of its own destiny, UF answers to its owners on business-related matters. It could be said this makes UF less focused on the quality of its degrees, but rather the quantity. Antioch is a very small school inherently because of its focus on co-op learning and its class structure dictates a small student body. But Antioch is not a typical school and caters for those wanting an alternative type of education. UF is an ever-growing venture because of online students that allows for a very large student body.

P.S. Cooperative Learning.

P.S.S. I don't think I'd ever enroll at University of Phoenix. While I do all my classes via Internet teleconference, the teacher is in an actual room with other students. UF's nebulous student body creeps me out. Hell, their current enrollment is 33% larger than my entire hometown. Now, if I was in an established career looking for classes on the side, UF would be a good option.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:25 pm 
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Phoenix has many ground campuses and the MBA program was suppose to be running entirely off a ground campus in an office building.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:26 am 
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What about medicine?
Does it still stay sold to insurance companies?
How difficult it is to receive a medical help?
I heard about some dude that was charged a 65,000$ check just for appendicitis removal.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:02 pm 
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RyoDC wrote:
What about medicine?
Does it still stay sold to insurance companies?
How difficult it is to receive a medical help?
I heard about some dude that was charged a 65,000$ check just for appendicitis removal.

First thing, individuals can buy non-prescription medicine whenever they want. Prescription medicine needs to be prescribed by a doctor. The insurance companies are only involved in the payment process. If the medicine falls within the patient's coverage, the cost of the medication is either reduced or completely covered. It sounds simple in practice, but it can be complicated.

To get medical attention, all you need to do is enter a hospital. Unless its Detroit or the deep South, there's a local hospital close to any citizen. But, again, it all boils down to payments. Either you pay out-of-pocket when the bill is due or you pay more insurance premiums (think of as monthly dues). If you have good (with high premiums), your out-of-pocket will be less. If you pay less per month for insurance, you will have to pay more out-of-pocket when the bill is due.

Insurance companies also negotiate for medical pricing. For example, insurance reps will negotiate with hospital employees on the price of an MRI scan. These prices, even with the lowliest health plan, will be much lower compared to rates charged to the uninsured. And if you want to get complicated, individual states will have their own health industry-related laws. For example, South Dakota offers little to no assistance to uninsured with medical bills. Minnesota has its own program to help the uninsured with unforeseeable medical expenditures.

It's tricky in America. Since freedom is so cherished, our infrastructure can suffer from inefficiency and bad practices. Whereas other countries developed universal healthcare, people in America fought such changes. In a simplistic sense, many people feel the free, capitalist market is the best way to determine proper care. Many of my friends and family have developed a egocentric, "fuck 'em all" mentality when it comes to welfare/universal healthcare/basic income. It's an "us vs. them" type of thought where us = "hard-working, productive members of society" and them = "impoverished, Ebonics-speaking degenerates."

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:14 pm 
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cube_b3 wrote:
Phoenix has many ground campuses and the MBA program was suppose to be running entirely off a ground campus in an office building.

But that's only part of my hesitations with University of Phoenix. In the short term, for-profit institutions solve many problems. But what happens in the future? What happens in ten years when Apollo Group is much more powerful and can make sweeping decisions about education?

For an analogy, check out the Discovery Channel and the Learning Channel. Look at each channel's programming today. Compare the choices to PBS, a channel founded ten years before Discovery and TLC. All three were founded for educational purposes, but Discovery and TLC were run by corporations.

Sometimes, you cannot make decisions solely based on liquefiable assets. And when you're making decisions about something so fundamental as education, why just give the reins to a privately owned business?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:23 pm 
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I have rarely or never watched those channels.

I did spend some time watching NatGeo but that was a long time ago, your analogy is lost on me.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:00 pm 
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cube_b3 wrote:
I have rarely or never watched those channels.

I did spend some time watching NatGeo but that was a long time ago, your analogy is lost on me.

TLC and Discovery turned to shit, playing reality shows all day. PBS still offers educational programming for free for most, if not all, U.S. citizens.

The differences between large-scale private and public education are subtle in the short term. But ten or twenty years down the road, the fundamental differences could have compounding effects.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:48 pm 
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Oh that sucks, I don't watch those channels but I liked that they were doing what they were.

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