Posts by Mandi Woodruff

  • Talks sour between Corinthian student debt protestors, government

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 59 mins ago

    Are you a former professor/instructor who worked at a Corinthian school? I'd love to hear from you: mandiw@yahoo-inc.com

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    Talks between the federal government and former college students who are fighting to have their student debt forgiven have hit a snag that could undo a month’s worth of negotiating. Meanwhile, Corinthian Colleges made it official and filed for bankruptcy in Delaware on Monday.

    Representatives of the “ Corinthian 100 ,” a movement made up of former and current students of the financially troubled for-profit Corinthian Colleges, Inc., canceled a scheduled May 4 meeting with the Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a protest spokesperson said.

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    An Education spokesperson said they hope the meeting can be rescheduled and that students are their main priority. 

    Tips for students impacted by Corinthian campus closings

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  • How Hillary Clinton might solve the student debt crisis

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 4 days ago

    Hillary Clinton has only been on the (official) campaign trail for a few weeks, but she is in the midst of putting together a plan to tackle the nation’s student debt crisis.

    It will likely be months before that plan is ready for the public eye and her camp did not respond to a request for comment, but judging on her track record, we have a pretty solid idea of what Clinton might have in store.

    In the battle between lenders and borrowers, Clinton has historically been on team borrower.

    On her first official campaign stop last month, Clinton dropped by a community college in Iowa, telling representatives and students she fully supported President Obama’s plan to make community college free. But she said more work is needed.

    “Even if we were successful in making the costs directly associated with going to college free, there are all these other costs people have to figure out how to pay,” she said. “There are all these other costs, whether it’s books or online materials.”

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  • Money Minute: Should I pay my student loans off early?

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 5 days ago

    We all want to get rid of our student debt as soon as possible, but is it always a good idea? I’ll tell you in this week’s Money Minute.

    If you’ve got close to $30,000 worth of student loan debt — like the average college graduate these days — who could blame you for wanting to get rid of it as soon as possible?

    But before you start stocking up on ramen and skipping doctors appointments to whittle down your student debt, take a step back and do a quick reality check.

    Do you have at least three to six months worth of savings for emergencies?

    How’s your retirement account looking?

    Do you have health insurance?

    As far as priorities go, these should come before student loans.

    Why? In the grand scheme of things, student loans are a lot more flexible than other types of debt, especially if you have federal loans. Not only are interest rates usually much lower on federal student loans than other types of debt, there are many more options for borrowers who are in danger of missing payments, like income-based repayment, loan forgiveness, deferment, or forbearance.

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  • One in five millennial parents is impoverished, study finds

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 5 days ago

    One in five millennial parents today is impoverished, a new study by the Young Invincibles , a youth advocacy group, found. Since 2000, the poverty rate for this demographic has increased by 40%.

    “They’re being expected to do more with a lot less,” says Konrad Mugglestone, author of the report, Finding Time: Millennial Parents, Poverty, and Rising Costs . Millennial incomes have decreased about 10% in the past 10 years, while w orkers over 35 saw a 4% drop in wages. At the same time, experts predict nearly two-thirds of jobs will require some form of (increasingly expensive) secondary education by the year 2020. At the same time, the cost of raising a child has skyrocketed over the last several decades. In 1960, childcare consumed just 2% of a young parent’s budget, compared to 18% today, Young Invincibles found.

    “It will probably take us decades to recover financially from the last years.”

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  • Study: Poor children have smaller brains than wealthy peers

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 8 days ago

    New research shows that low-income kids may be lagging behind their peers because a crucial part of their brains is underdeveloped.

    Researchers from MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research compared the brains of affluent 12- and 13-year-olds to the brains of less affluent peers. They found that one particular area of the brain — the neocortex, which plays a key role in memory and learning ability — is thinner in children from lower-income households.

    This is an important part of the brain for young students, who are often tested based on their ability to recall large chunks of information. Children who had a thinner neocortex performed poorly on standardized tests, researchers found.  

    More than 90% of high-income students scored above average on a statewide math and English/Language Arts standardized test, compared to less than 60% of low-income students. Differences in cortical thickness could account for almost half of the income-achievement gap in this sample, researchers wrote, mostly because the neocortex plays such a crucial role in performance on math and language arts exams.

  • Money Minute: 5 ways wedding guests can save money and stay sane

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 12 days ago

    Forget the bride and groom -- weddings can be expensive for guests, too! The average wedding guest will shell out nearly $700 to see their loved ones walk down the aisle, according to the latest data from American Express.

    Finding the right gift is only half the budget battle. Here are a few tips to help you save as a wedding guest.

    1. If you were too late to lock in the group hotel rate, you might still have options. Get at least 10 people together and you can try reserving your own block at a discount. Or try booking a group through sites like Priceline or Hotelplanner.com . Or, skip the hotel and get a rental from Airbnb or HomeAway.com. The average hotel rate for wedding guests is about $170 a night, so use that as a good baseline when hunting down deals.

    2. All those pre-wedding festivities can really add up. You’ve got engagement parties... bridal showers...bachelor parties in Vegas...ugh! Listen -- If you aren’t super close to the bride and groom, skip one (or all) of these events and save your money. No one will hold it against you.

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  • Arianna Huffington: 'We need a third women's revolution'

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 14 days ago

    Arianna Huffington is as much a media mogul as she is a feminist icon. Two weeks away from celebrating the 10-year anniversary of The Huffington Post, its Editor in Chief is not shy about looking back on both her successes and shortcomings as a woman balancing family, career and her personal well being.

    “Things have improved [for women in the workforce] but not sufficiently,” Huffington said in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance. “We need a third women's revolution. The first one was the right to vote. The second was giving us access to every job and the top of every profession… The third is women saying we don’t just want to be at the top of the world, we want to change the world.”

    In the opening scene in her bestselling book, "Thrive," Huffington describes the moment when, in 2007, she collapsed in her office from exhaustion, breaking her cheekbone on her desk as she went down.

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  • Americans are deluded about when they will retire

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 14 days ago

    Americans may be feeling more confident than ever about their chances of securing a comfortable retirement, but there’s one thing we are seriously delusional about: when we will finally call it quits.

    There’s a big gap between when workers expect they will retire and when people who’ve actually retired say they left the workforce, according to the latest retirement confidence survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Half of retirees say they retire earlier than they planned.

    Fewer than one in 10 workers say they expect to retire before age 60, when in fact 36% of retirees say they stopped working before 60. Comparatively, only 29% of workers retired between the ages of 60 and 64 and only 9% retired at the traditional age of 65. The odds of making it until age 70 and still working — which more than one-quarter of workers say they want to do — are even slimmer. A mere 6% manage to last that long.

    When people THINK they will retire...

    When retirees say they ACTUALLY retired: 

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  • Walmart denies claims it targeted wage protestors with store closings

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 15 days ago

    Less than a week after Walmart (WMT) said it would close a handful of locations and lay off more than 2,000 employees, the retailer is now fending off accusations from disgruntled workers who say they were being unfairly punished for protesting the company’s employee practices.

    Citing prolonged plumbing issues at five stores in California, Texas, Oklahoma and Florida, Walmart told employees it had no choice but to close. Repairs could take up to six months or longer, according to Walmart .

    “We understand this decision has been difficult on our associates and our customers and we aim to reopen these stores as soon as these issues are resolved and improvements are made,” Walmart said in a statement provided to Yahoo Finance.

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    With the Pico Rivera store’s closing, more than 500 employees were laid off, including Venanzia Luna, a 36-year-old deli manager who has worked at the location for eight years.

     “This has nothing to do with plumbing,” Luna told Yahoo Finance. “They wanted to get rid of us one way or the other.”

  • Mika Brzezinski and celebrity pals teach women how to negotiate

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 15 days ago

    Hoda Kotb, Brooke Shields and Andre Leon Talley may seem like unlikely career advisers — they do have day jobs, after all — but they had plenty to give to more than 600 women who attended the launch of Mika Brzezinski's "Know Your Value" tour in Philadelphia earlier this month.

    The five-city conference tour was the brainchild of Brzezinski , who co-hosts MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and wrote the New York Times bestselling book, “Knowing Your Value.”  Attendees shelled out $225 a pop to see Brzezinski, her famous pals and a roster of career experts offer strategies on how to overcome common workplace roadblocks.

    Brzezinski is not the first celebrity author to take her message on the road — Winfrey, Arianna Huffington and Sheryl Sandberg have all launched lucrative conference tours aimed at helping women manage their careers, personal life and health. Brzezinski’s tour is more narrow in its focus: h elping women learn how to ask for more pay and better benefits at work.

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