Free Speech on Campus: NC State Weighs In
So this one’s a bit complicated, but follow us: Until a few weeks ago, NC State had a rule that required campus groups to apply for a permit before passing out flyers or other literature. In a precedent-setting move, they’ve just tossed it out...which means we may be looking at a free-speech reform on campuses across the state.
Student Loans Struggles in North Carolina
North Carolina college graduates are crushed under student loan debt. There’s just no other way to put it. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, 61% of our college grads carry debt...an average of $25,218 of it in 2014. That’s a 50% increase in just ten years. The burden takes its toll. Young adults are putting their lives on hold in order to pay, delaying marriage, kids, home purchases, and — perhaps worst of all — retirement savings. This reality can negatively impact the broader economy. Even so, they’re still struggling; 60% of borrowers in a recent survey had trouble paying their loans. Trouble paying puts them further behind. Plus, most of the loan payment is only paying down the interest.
Owner of the Dallas Mavericks Takes Aim at Drug Companies
The healthcare debates have a surprising new participant: Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and wildly successful businessman. The blunt billionaire businessman had this to say about drug companies and price gouging: “It's time to bring drug pricing under control. Empathy arbitrage can not be a pricing strategy.”
The Insurance Plan That Makes You Healthier
So get this...there’s a type of insurance plan out there that may just make you a healthier person! It’s called a CDHP, and it’s an increasingly popular option. CDHPs are Consumer-Driven Health Plans. You might have heard them called high-deductible plans, because they usually offer lower monthly premiums in exchange for higher deductibles. These plan allow you to set aside pre-tax money just for your medical expenses in a special savings account called a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) or a Health Savings Accounts (HSA). People like these plans for a lot of reasons (like the aforementioned tax advantages). But there may be a surprising new reason to choose a CDHP: you’ll make healthier choices, both financially and medically.
Thanks, North Carolina! Love, Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity in Union and Anson counties is getting some awesome sauce from the state. A $100,000 grant from the North Carolina Housing Trust Fund (NCHTF) will let Habitat make urgent home repairs for more than 30 homes and build at least ten more. They’ll focus on citizens with disabilities and seniors whose homes desperately need work to keep them safe. Single-parent homes, families with more than five kids or with sick kids, and veterans will also be in the mix.
Where’s the Oasis? Financial Deserts in North Carolina
Quick: think desert. Hardpan clay or soft golden sands? Barren wasteland or camels cresting dunes? Think again. We’re not talking about Aladdin, here — we’re talking about you and me, or our friends and neighbors. We’re talking about financial deserts. Financial deserts, or bank deserts, are low-income city neighborhoods or poor rural areas where residents live far away from any mainstream financial institution at all. Places where people can’t get to banks...and so just don’t.