Free college is now a reality in nearly 20 states

Students who graduate from this tiny tuition-free college make more than Harvard grads

Students who graduate from this tiny tuition-free college make more than Harvard grads   8:30 AM ET Sat, 14 July 2018 | 03:38

“There was no way I could have gone to a university after high school,” said Emily Buckner, 20.

“My parents were laid off during the recession and it set us back a lot,” she said. “When I finished high school, there was nothing.”

Instead, Buckner took advantage of the Tennessee Promise — an offer of two years tuition-free at a community or technical college in the state.

In May, she completed her associate degree and is now enrolled as a junior at Tennessee Technological University, or Tennessee Tech, studying human resources.

Emily Buckner at her Volunteer State Community College graduation

Source: Emily Buckner
Emily Buckner at her Volunteer State Community College graduation

In addition to the state funding, Buckner has relied solely on academic scholarships to pay for school as well as a job at Waffle House, which covers additional expenses such as books and food. She has no student loan debt.

“I know a lot of people go to college and a lot of people don’t,” she said, “I just felt like it was for me.”

She credits the Tennessee Promise for opening the door.

Of the students who started in the program’s first year in 2015, more than 50 percent have been successful, according to Mike Krause, the executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and founding director of Tennessee Promise.

More than 20 percent have graduated, another 20 percent are still enrolled and 10 percent successfully transferred to a four-year institution.

Now in its fourth year, the number of applicants is still rising, according to Krause.

“There are students that may have counted themselves out and when they hear that you can go for free that provides a sense of momentum,” Krause said. (Students can use the scholarship at any of the state’s 13 community colleges or other eligible associate degree programs or vocational schools.)

Other states, including Arkansas, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon and Rhode Island, have also rolled out statewide free community-college programs and more are expected to follow.

[“source=cnbc”]

NASA’s Kepler Discovers Nearly 100 New Exoplanets

NASA's Kepler Discovers Nearly 100 New Exoplanets

An international team of scientists have confirmed the discovery of nearly 100 new exoplanets — planets located outside our solar system.

The discovery was based on data from the second mission of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope or K2 released in 2014.

K2 searches for exoplanet transits by registering dips in light caused by the shadow of an exoplanet as it crosses in front of its host star.

The researchers found that some of the signals were caused by multiple star systems or noise from the spacecraft.

But they also detected planets that range from sub-Earth-sized to the size of Jupiter and larger.

One of the planets detected was orbiting a very bright star.

“We validated a planet on a 10 day orbit around a star called HD 212657, which is now the brightest star found by K2 missions to host a validated planet,” said lead author Andrew Mayo, doctoral student at the National Space Institute (DTU Space) at the Technical University of Denmark.

For the study, appearing in the Astronomical Journal, the team started out analysing 275 candidates of which 149 were validated as real exoplanets.

In turn 95 of these planets have proved to be new discoveries, Mayo said.

The Kepler spacecraft was first launched in 2009 to hunt for exoplanets in a single patch of sky, but in 2013 a mechanical failure crippled the telescope.

However, astronomers and engineers devised a way to repurpose and save the space telescope by changing its field of view periodically. This solution paved the way for the follow up K2 mission.

Adding the newly discovered exoplanets brings the total number of exoplanets by K2 mission to almost 300, the study said.

The first planet orbiting a star similar to our own Sun was detected only in 1995. Today some 3,600 exoplanets have been found, ranging from rocky Earth-sized planets to large gas giants like Jupiter.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Nearly Half of All Small Businesses Will Have A Mobile App by 2017

mobile app

It has taken a while, but small businesses are finally realizing the potential of mobile apps to gain more customers and increase sales.

According to a new survey by B2B research company Clutch, nearly 50 percent of small businesses will have mobile app by 2017. That’s impressive considering only 20 percent of small businesses have mobile apps today.

“Three years ago, a small business might see 10 percent of its total traffic coming from mobile, but right now it’s closer to 70 percent. Within the next couple of years, a shift to a mobile app or a mobile-friendly site will become obvious,” says Viktor Marohnic, CEO of the app builder Shoutem.

Small Businesses Will Have A Mobile App by 2017

mobile app adoption trends 2016

The survey has found that the majority of small businesses are building apps to increase sales (55 percent), improve customer experience (50 percent) and become competitive in a specific market (50 percent).

Marohnic explains, “A good mobile app can facilitate quick checkout for a purchase, leading to an increase in sales. Customer experience amounts to simply browsing through an inventory, seeing what’s available. An app can definitely improve that experience, compared to a mobile website, where the user has to login again every time they use it, provide payment details, and so on.”

Marhonic also adds that consumer-facing industries such as restaurants, churches, small event organizers, car dealers, and stores are the obvious adopters of mobile apps for small business. According to him, these businesses want to build loyalty programs and keep their customers informed.

The survey findings support Marhonic’s assertion as it has been revealed that small businesses consider customer loyalty features (21 percent) as the most valuable feature of their current mobile app.

Should You Opt for a Mobile App for Your Business?

The big question now is whether or not you should go for a mobile app for your small business?

Before you consider the option, you should know that apps are no longer a mere branding exercise for small businesses. From simplifying online purchases to providing easy-to-access information, apps provide several benefits for small business owners.

It’s worth noting that for the business owners, there are various sophisticated software tools and app builders that are making their lives easier. These easy-to-use and affordable tools can get businesses started and help leverage the potential of apps.

Founded in 2012, Clutch is a Washington DC based research firm. For the study, Clutch surveyed 352 owners or managers in the United States and asked if their small businesses will have a mobile app by 2017.

Market Image via Shutterstock, Chart Image via Clutch 2016 Survey Data

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

ISS Crew Members Set to Launch Next Week After Nearly a Month’s Delay

ISS Crew Members Set to Launch Next Week After Nearly a Month's DelayISS Crew Members Set to Launch Next Week After Nearly a Month’s Delay
Nearly a month after the scheduled original launch date, three crew members of Expedition 49/50 are set to launch to the International Space Station on October 19 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Nasa said.

The original launch date of September 23 was postponed due to a technical issue with the Soyuz spacecraft, which Roscosmos, the coordinating hub for space science programme in Russia, repaired.

Nasa astronaut Shane Kimbrough, along with Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, will travel for two days in the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft to test upgraded spacecraft systems before docking to the space station’s Poisk module on October 21.

The arriving crew will be welcomed on board by Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos and Flight Engineers Kate Rubins of Nasa and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, who have been aboard the complex since July.
Kimbrough, Ryzhikov and Borisenko will spend a little more than four months together aboard the orbital complex before returning to Earth in late February.

The crew will continue work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the International Space Station, Nasa said.

Tags: Nasa, ISS, Soyuz, International Space Station, Science

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