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As the cost of college skyrockets, one school has a radical new plan: a free education.

It's about time we stop saddling students with massive debt, and instead focus on providing affordable education.

Over the past decade, the cost of college has boomed.

At private, four-year colleges, the cost of tuition and fees has risen by nearly 25%. And at public, four-year schools, tuition and fees have risen by more than 40%.

As a result, the amount of debt carried by the average student has risen. Total outstanding student loans now tops $1.2 trillion.

(Yes, trillion — with a "t.")



In a major contrast to how things are handled in the U.S., Germany announced all public universities will be tuition-free.

This is huge. And hey, it almost makes me want to pack up, start brushing up on German, and emigrate.


But did you know some schools offer a way to do this in the U.S.? And without a scholarship.

At Yale and Harvard, students who come from families making less than $65,000 per year can attend school tuition-free.

At Princeton, the school waives tuition for students coming from families with yearly incomes less than $120,000.

Stanford recently made news by expanding its program, waiving tuition fees for students from families making less than $125,000.

In addition, students from families making less than $65,000 per year will receive free room and board.

This comes as the cost of attending the highly touted California university creeps past $60,000 per year.

It's great news for students who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford Stanford. But the school's admissions criteria is extremely selective (accepting around just 5% of applicants).

The school is only able to offer such deep discounts because:

  1. The more financially well-off students' fees help offset the cost of those in need.
  2. And the school's $21 billion endowment fund (compared to the average private-college endowment of around just $26 million).

But what about the rest of us who can't (or don't want to) attend Stanford? What can we do?

Well, at the moment, there are a few ideas being tossed around.

In January, President Obama proposed that all Americans be allowed to attend two years of community college at no cost.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like this is likely to get the approval in Congress needed to become a reality.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposed a bill that would have allowed students to refinance their loans at then-current interest rates.

Again, unfortunately, the bill never came up for a vote in the Senate.

More than ever, programs like Stanford's are needed — but for all students.

No matter how financially well-off or challenged people might be, if they want to attend college, they should be able to without having to worry about carrying around a massive debt for the rest of their lives.

Learn more about Stanford's new tuition program in the video below:

A map of the United States post land-ice melt.


Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?

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Pop Culture

Jimmy Fallon asked his viewers if they've ever been caught red-handed. Here are 15 of the best responses.

You can’t lie about it, you can’t take it back, all you can do is pray for forgiveness.

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images


There is nothing worse than being caught in the act when you're up to no good. You can't lie about it, you can't take it back, all you can do is pray for forgiveness.

"Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon asked his viewers if they had ever been caught red-handed and their responses on Twitter were hilarious.

Here are 15 of the funniest and/or most embarrassing Tweets.

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It's rare enough to capture one antler being shed

For those not well versed in moose facts, the shedding of antlers is normally a fairly lengthy process. It happens only once a year after mating season and usually consists of a moose losing one antler at a time.

It’s incredibly rare for a bull moose to lose both at the same time—and even more rare that someone would actually catch it on film.

That’s why shed hunter (yes, that’s a real term) and woodsman Derek Burgoyne calls his footage of the phenomenon a “one-in-a-million” shot.

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Health

Her mother doesn't get why she's depressed. So she explains the best way she knows how.

Sabrina Benaim eloquently describes what it's like to be depressed.

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother."

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother" is pretty powerful on its own.

But, in it, her mother exhibits some of the most common misconceptions about depression, and I'd like to point out three of them here.
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Joy

Two awesome strangers brought gifts for a newborn baby after receiving a misdirected text

A text directed to the wrong person brought two families together in a very heartwarming way.

via Deorick Williams/Facebook

Mark and Lindsey Lashley welcome their child with new friends.


What happens when the proudest moment of a parent's life is also the strangest?

Just ask Mark and Lindsey Lashley from Georgia.

On March 19, they welcomed their first child Cason, a healthy baby boy, into the world. Nothing out of the ordinary there.

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Adrienne Osuna is a fitness blogger with a focus on weight training. After years of struggling with her weight, this mother of four finally got serious about her health, adopting a rigorous schedule of power lifting, cardio, and intermittent fasting to lose weight, gain muscle, and kick ass.

And while her personal regimen might be a little too ambitious for most of us, she's still inspiring—because she keeps it real.

An image she posted on her blog is going viral for pointing out that focusing on your weight is a misleading goal. The before-and-after pic shows her before she started lifting and after—a complete physical transformation which resulted in a staggering one pound of weight loss.

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