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Today's word on journalism

Friday, April 11,
2008

More from the Do-Gooder File:

"For much of his career, he could outthink, out-hustle, out-report, outeat, outdrink and outwork any other journalist in the country. But if his excesses were occasionally unbridled, they were driven by his passion to get a good story and root out the bad guys. ... He could get excited about an investigation of public corruption or a bizarre animal story. We once spent weeks following a story about a dog on 'death row' that Bob believed was 'innocent.'"

--Howard Schneider, former Newsday editor, on the death yesterday of Bob Greene, larger-than-life investigative reporter, editor and Pulitzer winner, April 10, 2008

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You can get through college without debt if you plan it right

By Bronden Jessup

March 26, 2008 | Attending college is not cheap, but taking out loans and getting into debt is like paying twice for your education. Lenders are everywhere willing to lend you money because they plan on you repaying the money you borrowed plus interest.

This May I will graduate from Utah State University with a degree, a wife, and a debt-free budget -- three things I didn't have before attending school.

According to an article in MSN Money by Liz Pulliam Weston, the average debt of a graduating college senior is $20,000. Many students believe once they begin their career and make "the big bucks" they will easily be able to repay their loans. The problem with this mindset is the average beginning salary for a graduated college student is only $30,000.

A few simple suggestions to be debt free at graduation:

Work

Unless you have someone else paying for college, you will have to work to pay for school eventually. Work full or at least part time while attending school. I work full time and attend school. I feel I am a better student then I would be if I didn't work. When I have homework to do I know I must concentrate and get it done before I go to work. If I didn't work I would be going to sporting events or watching television, not doing homework.

Apply

Apply for scholarships, grants, or subsidized loans to help pay for school. Scholarships and grants are "free" money and do not have to be repaid. If you are married, especially if you have kids, and work, most will qualify for some financial assistance.

If you take out a loan to pay for college, make sure it is a subsidized loan. The interest on subsidized loans begins to accrue six to nine month after you graduate or stop attending school. Avoid unsubsidized loans because they accrue interest from the time of disbursement. To apply for financial aid visit www.FASFA.com.

Housing

Find affordable housing, make sure it is somewhere you can afford to live and that the location is somewhere you will enjoy. My wife and I found affordable rent with all utilities included off campus. This requires us to spend a little more money on gas, but we enjoy not having as many close neighbors.

Transportation

Buy an affordable and efficient car. With gas price nearing $4 a gallon, a car that gets 30 mpg saves you money. If you can't pay off the car, make as big as down payment as you can and pay any extra money you can towards your car loan, the quicker you pay it off the less you will pay in interest.

Ride the bus. If you live near a bus stop riding the bus will save you money. Riding the Aggie Shuttle, which all students are required to pay student fees for, will save you money on a parking pass. You can also ride free on the Cache Valley Transit District buses.

I am excited to graduate this May, and even more excited to know when I begin my career I won't be making monthly payment on my past, but can spend my money for things of the future like our own house or a new car.

MS
MS

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