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Want to make a million from your ISA? I’d avoid this soaring FTSE 100 stock if I were you!

first_img Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended British Land Co. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Enter Your Email Address Image source: Getty Images. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Want to make a million from your ISA? I’d avoid this soaring FTSE 100 stock if I were you! I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Royston Wild | Saturday, 6th June, 2020 | More on: BLND center_img Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Has the stock market crash increased your chances of making a million? There have certainly been plenty of great shares that have plummeted along with the duds during this Covid-19 crisis. It provides an opportunity for eagle-eyed investors to maximise the eventual returns on their invested cash.More and more people are making millions of pounds from their Stocks and Shares ISAs. It’s partly because rock-bottom interest rates are forcing individuals to seek decent returns on their money through equity markets. It’s also thanks to the acres of information that investors can draw upon to make the best stock investment decisions.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Still, these newly minted millionaires remain in the significant minority. And judging from the quality of some of the dip buying that’s been going on of late, a lot of people aren’t giving themselves the best opportunity to make a million from their own share portfolios.A millionaire maker?I recently explained why De La Rue – a share which has soared 200% this week on fevered investor interest – could leave many nursing a great hole in their pocket. British Land Company (LSE: BLND) is in my opinion another rocketing stock that could turn out to be a mistake for wannabe millionaires.This particular FTSE 100 share has soared more than 25% in value during the past fortnight as government restrictions on the retail sector have been unwound. As a consequence British Land now trades on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio just shy of 17 times.But is the office and retail property owner worthy of such a multiple? It’s a reading that sits above the broader Footsie historical average of below 15 times. And it’s one I don’t think factors in the colossal layers of risk that it currently carries.Red alertNews that shoppers are being let off the leash again is of course good news. Retailers need to make money in order to pay their rents to British Land. But it doesn’t mean that British Land’s troubles are over, not by a long chalk.Shops might be reopening, sure. But they still need to adhere to strict social distancing rules that limit the number of customers that’ll pass through their doors each day. This is likely to be no short-term phenomenon, either, as authorities try to curb the chances of a second wave of coronavirus infections.The Covid-19 pandemic of course also has far-reaching economic consequences that will damage retailers’ revenues. Three former British Chancellors this week tipped UK unemployment to hit levels not seen since the 1980s during a potentially catastrophic downturn. It explains why fellow retail property operator Intu Properties predicted earlier this week that the amount of rents it will likely collect in 2020 will plummet by a shocking £180m year on year.British Land itself recently announced the collection of just 43% of rents from its retail tenants in the March quarter. It said too that the value of its retail assets had tumbled by more than 26% in the period. This is clearly a company with significant short-to-medium term issues, and a serious long-term problem too as growing e-commerce thins footfall at its malls. I reckon this FTSE 100 share should be avoided at all costs. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. See all posts by Royston Wildlast_img read more

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GSEs Approaching Foreclosure Prevention Milestone

first_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Related Articles GSEs Approaching Foreclosure Prevention Milestone Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago About Author: Brian Honea Previous: Counsel’s Corner: Ruling Puts Lenders on the Hook for Unpaid Assessments Next: Comptroller Issues Warning to Banks on Credit Risk Fannie Mae FHFA Foreclosure Prevention Actions Foreclosure Starts Freddie Mac Mortgage Delinquencies 2015-12-16 Brian Honea Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Share Save The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland.  Print This Post in Daily Dose, Featured, Loss Mitigation, News Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Tagged with: Fannie Mae FHFA Foreclosure Prevention Actions Foreclosure Starts Freddie Mac Mortgage Delinquencies The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago December 16, 2015 1,567 Views Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / GSEs Approaching Foreclosure Prevention Milestone Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reported that the GSEs have completed almost three million home retention actions since the beginning of the conservatorships in September 2008.The FHFA’s Foreclosure Prevention Report for the Third Quarter of 2015 released Wednesday, the Agency found that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have completed a total of nearly 3.6 million foreclosure prevention actions in the history of the conservatorships as of the end of Q3 2015—and more than 2.9 million of those actions have helped struggling borrowers stay in their homes.Q3’s total of 54,744 foreclosure prevention actions during Q3 was a dropoff of approximately 9,000 from Q2, but it was still more than the 26,989 third-party sales and foreclosure sales the Enterprises completed during Q3, according to FHFA. As property dispositions continued to outpace property acquisitions, the number of REO properties owned by the GSEs took another substantial downward turn in Q3, from 86,515 in the previous quarter down to 77,204 (11 percent).Curiously, the number of foreclosure starts increased from Q2 to Q3, from 62,364 up to 66,192, while the number of loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that were 30 to 59 days delinquent also rose in Q3 from 385,982 (1.39 percent of GSE-backed mortgage loans) up to 405,412 (1.46 percent of GSE-backed loans). The FHFA would not comment on any aspect of the report.Even with the uptick in the number of 30 to 59 day delinquencies, the Enterprises’ share of seriously delinquent mortgages—that is, 90 days or more overdue or in foreclosure—declined quarter-over-quarter in Q3 from 1.61 percent down to 1.52 percent and compared favorably with seriously delinquent mortgage loans owned or guaranteed by other government agencies such as the Federal Housing Administration (5.4 percent) and Veterans Affairs (2.9 percent). The industry-wide average for all mortgage loans was 3.6 percent, according to FHFA.Click here to view the FHFA’s complete Foreclosure Prevention Report for Q3 2015. Subscribelast_img read more

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VEC offers Tourism and Culture modules in special basic education course

first_img Facebook Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this week VEC offers Tourism and Culture modules in special basic education course Previous articleLetterkenny laneway sealed off in garda assault investigationNext articleJohn Mc Areavey’s lawyer in Mauritius to complain over photos News Highland Donegal VEC is seeking students for a course in Tourism and Culture which is aimed at people with an interest in thopse areas, but have difficulties with some basic skills.The course is being offered in VEC centres across the county under the Learning for Living programme.Coordinator Delores Mc Geady says there are many prople in the county who have abilities and interests which they cannot fully tap into because of difficulties in other areas. She says this course is at FETAC Level 3, which can be a springboard to either employment or further education………….[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/dolers10.mp3[/podcast] Facebook Twitter WhatsApp Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH Business Matters Ep 45 – Boyd Robinson, Annette Houston & Michael Margey Twitter Google+center_img By News Highland – July 16, 2012 LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton WhatsApp Pinterest Pinterest Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published Google+ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News Need for issues with Mica redress scheme to be addressed raised in Seanad alsolast_img read more

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Neither For Petitioner Nor Court To Suggest On Whom Clinical Trials Should Be Conducted; Bombay HC Dismisses PIL Suggesting Trials On Correctional Home Inmates [Read Order]

first_imgNews UpdatesNeither For Petitioner Nor Court To Suggest On Whom Clinical Trials Should Be Conducted; Bombay HC Dismisses PIL Suggesting Trials On Correctional Home Inmates [Read Order] Nitish Kashyap13 Jun 2020 11:28 PMShare This – xThe Bombay High Court on Friday held that it was neither for the petitioner nor the Court to suggest on whom clinical trials of probable antidote to the Coronavirus or Sars-Cov-2 Virus should be conducted and dismissed a writ petition suggesting such trials on inmates of correctional homes. Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice SS Shinde were hearing a writ…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Bombay High Court on Friday held that it was neither for the petitioner nor the Court to suggest on whom clinical trials of probable antidote to the Coronavirus or Sars-Cov-2 Virus should be conducted and dismissed a writ petition suggesting such trials on inmates of correctional homes. Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice SS Shinde were hearing a writ petition filed by Kamaljeet Singh Sandhu who sought directions to respondent authorities to constitute a Committee of Experts comprising doctors from all the three fields of medicine; Allopathy, Ayurveda and Homeopathy, and on the basis of the recommendations to be made by such committee, to conduct trials on Covid-19 patients. Not only would precious human lives be saved but also the spread of the pandemic could be prevented by trying the combination of medicine or drug that may be suggested by the committee, petitioner contended. However, Advocate General AA Kumbhalkoni appeared on behalf of the State and submitted orders dated May 13 and May 14 this year to contend that a Committee was indeed formed by the State comprising of specialist doctors from the field of Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Unani and such committee having submitted its recommendations, the same were accepted and a further Government Order dated June 8, 2020 has been issued detailing the guidelines to be adopted for treatment as well as preventing the spread of the pandemic. As for the clinical trials, Kumbhakoni submitted that whether to conduct a trial or not must be left to the decision of the experts and no mandamus is required to be issued in this regard. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh appearing for the Union of India referred to a notification dated April 2, 2020 issued by the Ministry of Ayush, Government of India constituting an “Interdisciplinary Ayush Research and Development Task Force” for initiating, coordinating and monitoring research development activities in the AYUSH Sector related to SARS-Cov-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease. According to ASG Singh, the Task Force is working on the terms of reference and would be coming up with a report shortly. At this juncture, the petitioner submitted that the inmates of Correctional Homes, if tested positive, may be administered the medicine or drug suggested by the Committee formed by the State. Court refused to accept the said suggestion and noted that it was for the State to decide on whom clinical trials can be conducted- “We are afraid, the aforesaid suggestion of the Petitioner does not commend to us to be acceptable. It is neither for the Petitioner nor for the Court to suggest on whom trials should be conducted. If at all, any trial is to be conducted, the same is in the realm of a policy decision and must be left to the appropriate authority in the Government to decide on its next course of action. In regard to policy matters, unless violation of a Fundamental Right is demonstrated or an abrogation of a statutory provision is established, the Constitutional courts ought to stay at a distance is the settled law. For the foregoing reasons, we are of the considered opinion that this PIL Petition does not warrant to be entertained; accordingly, the same stands dismissed.”Click Here To Download Order[Read Order] Next Storylast_img read more

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A cottage in two halves

first_imgHome » News » Auctions news » A cottage in two halves previous nextAuctions newsA cottage in two halvesThe Negotiator17th December 20190117 Views Owning one property in the sought after coastal area of Bridport is a dream for many, but with this auction lot going under the hammer at the beginning of December, plucky bidders will get a chance to own two distinct halves of a cottage!Network Auctions is listing Sea Breeze, a three-bedroom property guided at £175,000- £200,000 comprises the original stone period cottage along with a two storey extension forming an ‘L’ shape. Old and new combined mean the property offers a decent 1,151 of internal space. Outside the cottage has gardens to three sides with views gently tiered to the valley. There is off street parking and a large outbuilding.The cottage has a large outbuilding and gardens to three sides with views gently tiered to the valley.In need of modernisation and repair, the property is situated in an area where properties change hands for in excess of £400,000. Sea Breeze is located in the popular village of Morcambelake, a quintessential English village with streets called ‘Love’s Lane’, tea rooms, farm shops and a village hall. Sea Breeze will go under the hammer with Network Auctions on 5th December at The Westbury Mayfair Hotel, London.www.networkauctions.co.uk Sea Breeze cottage Network Auctions auction lot Bridport December 17, 2019Jenny van BredaWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

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Exercise Shark Hunt Begins in the Norwegian Sea

first_img May 20, 2015 Exercise Shark Hunt Begins in the Norwegian Sea Share this article View post tag: Exercise View post tag: Naval View post tag: Shark Hunt Back to overview,Home naval-today Exercise Shark Hunt Begins in the Norwegian Sea Authorities View post tag: Navy View post tag: Norwegian Sea View post tag: News by topic View post tag: europe Ships, submarines, and maritime patrol aircraft from seven nations commenced the anti-submarine warfare Exercise Shark Hunt in the Norwegian Sea, May 18, 2015.Shark Hunt is a U.S.-led multinational anti-submarine exercise that seeks to enhance interoperability and tactical proficiencies of participating units.During the exercise, participating units will practice detecting and tracking submarines and then share information across a number of maritime operations centers.Maritime patrol aircraft will conduct maritime domain awareness flights from: Andoya, Norway; Lossiemouth, United Kingdom; and Keflavik, Iceland.U.S. units participating in the exercise include USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), a P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 8, two P-3C Orion aircraft from VP-47, and two submarines.Nations sending forces to participate include Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Italy, the United Kingdom and the U.S.U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.Image: US Navylast_img read more

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60-second sales pitch

first_imgSo what’s the product?Electrolysed or ’E’ water. It’s basically what is produced by softened (salted) tap water going through an electrolysis process where it is split into both alkaline and acidic water. Alkaline water cleans and acidic water sanitises.How can it help bakers?Bakeries have warm environments where spores of yeasts and moulds are abundant. Other foods that are often present include custards and creams in which bacteria can thrive. By washing hands with E Water, most bacteria and spores are eradicated, drastically reducing the chances of cross-contamination. E water can also be used throughout a bakery for everything from basic sanitising, line cleaning and floor washing.Is it as good as chemical cleaning and sanitising?Yes. The cleaning power of the alkaline water is equal to a mild detergent while acidic water is more potent than traditional bleach-based sanitisers and works faster, so pathogens do not build a resistance to it.Presumably, as no chemicals are involved, it must be very ’green’ and safe?Theoretically, you could drink it but we would never recommend this because of the salt content. Also, it can be safely poured down the sink without any damage to the environment.Is it expensive?No. It works out at approximately 2p per litre, including equipment, installation, salt and electricity. A further bonus is that you only draw off what you need so there’s no wastage.last_img read more

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Five trends from the Cake & Bake Show 2017

first_imgFrom illusion cakes to boozy bakes, there was a host of trends on display at the Cake & Bake Show held at London’s ExCeL last weekend (6-8 October).Some were displayed as part of the impressive cakes entered into the best of British competition – here’s a gallery featuring the standout pieces – while others were visible in the demonstrations and the products available to buy at the show.  Here’s our pick of the trends:Illusion cakesFrom sandwiches to suitcases, corgis and even a bust of Queen Victoria, illusion cakes were a big part of the Cake Competition. It even extended to the cupcakes, with many featuring components of a full English breakfast, such as a fried egg complete with crispy edges and baked beans.Need further proof of their trend status? Contestants on the first episode of this year’s Great British Bake Off were tasked with creating an illusion cake in the showstopper.Blood and goreThis is Halloween, this is Halloween! Conveniently, the Cake & Bake Show took place in October meaning spooktacular cakes, such as the above bleeding heart or zombie cake, were not out of place. Gory cakes are gaining popularity, though, as bakers find ways of creating more realistic blood and gore for truly scary, but impressive, centrepieces.Boozy bakesBrits love a boozy bake, from G&T cupcakes to chocolate porter cakes. This is evident from the sheer volume of alcohol brands at the show, such as Aluna Coconut rum, Darnley’s Dry Gin and Mozart Chocolate Liqueurs – great for sipping, but also for baking. The latter even recommends recipes on its website from a chocolate liqueur cupcake to a boozy chocolate cream gugelhupf (a yeasted marble cake made in a Bundt mould).Edible bouquetsWhy send flowers when you can send doughnuts? Or cakes? Say sorry, say I love you, or treat that special someone with an edible bouquet. They’re growing in popularity, with many seen during National Cupcake Week, and are likely to grow further as Valentine’s Day draws near.Cake stencilsThe devil is in the detail, as the old adage goes. Bakers can add detail to their cakes and bakes with stencils, such as the ones pictured above found at the Sugar Vanilla Stencils stand. From spooky spiders to cheerful Christmas designs, beautiful flowers and more, they’re great for adding patterns to cakes with the use of lustre or royal icing.last_img read more

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Designer vaccines may tailor immune response

first_imgIn Margaret Atwood’s futuristic The Year of theFlood, sex workers wear “Biofilm Bodygloves” toprotect themselves from infection. It turns out,though, that a prototype bodyglove may havealready been invented. We call it the skin. Livinginside the dermis, alongside connective tissue,blood vessels and collagen, are immune system Tcells, armed with the ability to fight off infection.HMS researchers found that the old-fashionedskin-scratching smallpox vaccine generates theseskin-resident T cells, creating an internal bodygloveof smallpox immunity inside the skin—aneffect not seen with injected vaccines. This discoveryruns counter to the longstanding assumption that vaccines trigger thesame immune responseno matter how they are delivered. The findings,led by Thomas Kupper, suggest that it may bepossible to design vaccines that place the strongestimmune defenses at the borders of the body,giving it the power to beat infections before theysneak in.T cells provide immunity by memorizing aviral antigen during vaccination or infection, recognizingit during a later infection and killing theinfected cell. This kind of immunity is differentfrom humoral immunity, in which antibodies recognizeantigens and recruit other immune cells tofight the infection. One additional key differenceis location: antibodies circulate in the blood whileT cells embed themselves in peripheral tissues.More than Scratching the SurfaceKupper, the Thomas B. Fitzpatrick professor ofdermatology at HMS and Brigham and Women’sHospital, first learned in 2006 that skin-scratchingvaccines activate T cells in the skin. T cells triggeredby a skin-scratching vaccine begin theirtravels in skin-draining lymph nodes. Theselymph nodes generate three populations of armedT cells: the front lines that home back to skin,called effector memory T cells; the backup troopsthat flow through the circulatory system, calledcentral memory T cells; and a small cadre of effectormemory T cells that home to other peripheraltissues such as the lungs or the gut.Kupper’s latest work compared different modesof vaccination, including skin scratching, intramuscularinjection, and injection into the gut, tofind out if different vaccination modes stimulatedistinctive types of immunity.He and first authors Luzheng Liu, HMS assistantprofessor of dermatology, and Qiong Zhong,a former HMS research fellow, found that skinscratching provided the most effective protection.Mice vaccinated with this method eliminated thevirus from infected skin within six days while miceimmunized via injection destroyed some but notall viral copies.Cellular ImmunityTo tease out which types of immunity providedthis protection, Kupper systematically eliminatedportions of the immune response. He eliminatedthe antibody response by running the same test inmice incapable of forming antibodies. The skinscratchedmice cleared the virus in six days whileothers did not, showing that antibodies play a keyrole in injected, but not skin-scratching, vaccinations.He then eliminated central memory T cellsby blocking the exits of lymph nodes. Again, theskin-scratched mice cleared the virus completelywhile the viral load for all other immunizationtypes remained high. The work appeared in theFebruary Nature Medicine.“This elegant experimental work shows thatskin scarification is a potent way of activating cellularimmunity,” said Wayne Marasco, HMS associateprofessor of medicine at Dana-Farber CancerInstitute, who is investigating novel approaches tothe influenza vaccine.“This is an important biological observation thatno one recognized before.”It isn’t clear yet how these armed T cells learnto home to the skin, but in 2006 Kupper foundthat different lymph nodes tag T cells with differenthoming molecules. The skin-draining nodecreates T cells with skin-homing molecules afterskin-scratching vaccination. Mesenteric lymphnodes, which drain the gut, create T cells with guthomingmolecules after vaccine injection intothe gut.Taken as a whole, the research suggests that itmight be possible to design vaccines with “anatomicallyflexible protection,” said Kupper. “If wecould come up with the right cocktail of modifiersfor getting T cells to the right peripheral tissue, wecould vaccinate in a sort of physiologically andbiologically relevant way.”For instance, imagine a malaria vaccine thatcould stimulate skin-resident memory T cells thatquash infection from a mosquito bite. Imagine anHIV vaccine that builds a protective barrier of Tcells in genital mucosa. “The idea,” said Kupper,“is to pair the biology of how you get infectedwith the right immune response. It’s a new way ofthinking about vaccination.”“This work shows that the way we are vaccinatingnow is probably completely wrong,” saidRachael Clark, HMS assistant professor of dermatologyat BWH, who, along with Kupper, first discoveredprotective, long-lived, skin-resident T cellsin 2006. “By injecting antigens into muscle, we areignoring millions of years of evolution that havedesigned organisms to produce complex and multifacetedimmunity to agents that come throughepithelial surfaces such as the skin.”Kupper and colleagues are continuing researchto validate their hypothesis that tissue-residentcells provide important protection against infectiousdiseases. “It’s fun to hypothesize about thisidea,” said Kupper, “but we have to demonstrate itfurther in the laboratory.”last_img read more

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A Harvard education, without worry

first_imgIn the fall of 2003, William R. Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s dean of admissions and financial aid, visited Austin, Texas, on a recruiting trip. After Fitzsimmons spoke, the parent of a prospective student stood up. “Harvard sounds wonderful,” the man said. “But I can send my daughter to the University of Texas for a third of the cost or less.”Fitzsimmons and other Harvard officials already were steeped in the latest research, which said that college was getting too pricey for average Americans. But the question still shook Fitzsimmons, who knew that Harvard, despite providing rising financial aid, was still depriving itself of talented students whose families were strapped for cash — and whose economic diversity could provide a social benefit.“We were concerned about the whole idea of upstairs and downstairs,” he said in an interview. Admissions officials were worried that colleges once again would come to mirror the nation’s economic disparities, and that Harvard in particular “would go back to the old days, when we were mostly a bastion for the affluent.”There was also concern that students saddled by debt and constant worry had to work long hours during the school year, and so “were not getting the full Harvard experience,” said Fitzsimmons.The sting was personal. As a Harvard freshman in 1963, Fitzsimmons had come from a working-class family in Weymouth, Mass., and earned pocket money by pumping gas. Travel was a marker of his socio-economic class back then. The young Fitzsimmons had only gone as far south as New York City and as far west as Niagara Falls. He had gotten the idea of attending Harvard by reading an encyclopedia entry.In 2003, Fitzsimmons knew that the man from Austin, who was of modest means, was right. Although Harvard awarded its first scholarship in 1643, it was still, centuries later, a place that often only the well off could afford. Without “revolutionary changes in our financial aid program,” he remembers thinking, “we certainly would be less and less relevant.”Returning to Cambridge, Fitzsimmons and two other officials spent the following weekend sketching out solutions. One was Sally Donahue, director of financial aid and senior admissions officer. The other was Clayton Spencer, policy adviser to then-Harvard President Lawrence Summers and now president of Bates College. By Monday, all three returned with drafts of financial aid plans that were strikingly similar.“Larry, as an economist, understood instinctively the issue of waste — wasting human talent and human capital,” said Fitzsimmons of Summers, an early backer of broadening financial aid.Good timingThe time was right. In the previous six years, Harvard had boosted its student aid by 49 percent. And in December 2003, Harvard had announced the formation of the Crimson Summer Academy, a program for low-income high school students eager for Harvard summer study and for college advisement.Not long after the Texas visit, the outline took shape of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative (HFAI), a plan to make the College more accessible to low- and moderate-income students. Harvard would step up recruitment; it would make college free for students from families earning less than $40,000; and it would trim parental contributions from households earning less than $60,000. (Income cutoffs today are higher, for which Fitzsimmons praised President Drew Faust.)Harvard announced HFAI on Feb. 27, 2004, 10 years ago this month. It went into effect that September. The changes in 2004 added about $2 million in costs to the College’s $80 million annual scholarship budget, and quickly benefited about 1,000 students.Patricia “Patty” Rincon ’08, the daughter of Mexican immigrants in California, was a freshman that fall, and one of the first beneficiaries of the expanded aid plan that insiders now call “H-Fi.” She had been accepted at Stanford and into the University of California system, “but I would still have to take out a lot of loans, substantial loans I would still be paying back,” said Rincon, now a second-year law student at the University of Oregon. So the financial aid letter from Harvard came as a shock. Her family’s tab for four years of college would be zero.Back then, said Fitzsimmons, financial aid that generous “was revolutionary for places like Harvard.”In 2003, the last year before HFAI, Harvard parents earning less than $40,000 a year paid an average of $2,300 a year towards tuition, a lot more than zero.Enhanced financial aid eventually had meaning “not just for Harvard,” said Fitzsimmons, since Yale University followed suit the next year with a similar program, as did other schools. “It made a lot of colleges reassess where they were going,” he said. “This was not a competitive move against our peer private institutions. It was a public-policy initiative.”HFAI “is a program that’s been instructive to other schools,” Donahue agreed.The lesson goes bigger too, said Fitzsimmons. Democratizing access offers advantages for elite universities, he said, as well as for “higher education, for America, and for the world.”Paris Woods ’06 performed with the Kuumba Singers during her time at Harvard. Without HFAI-level financial aid, she said, “it would have not been possible for me to go to college.” Woods graduated debt-free, which allowed her to take a first job that paid only $15,000 a year. File photo Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerSocial advantagesHaving students of modest means is a social advantage, said Donahue. “They improve the classroom experience” for those Harvard students who may not have seen economic diversity. They embody the pluck and talent that can arise from families lacking financial resources. Such students, Fitzsimmons said, better represent what America looks like demographically. It’s an education in reality for future leaders.Outside the classroom, Donahue added, economic diversity improves the “life discussions” that thread informally through all of College life.“All of these rich experiences,” she said, often reflect upbringings that were solidly modest. In the last decade, parents of Harvard students have been farmers and factory workers from the Midwest, fishermen in Alaska, secretaries, cafeteria workers, and laundromat managers.When she applied to Harvard, Paris Woods ’06, Ed.M. ’08, was living in St. Louis, the daughter of a single mother who worked as a secretary. Without HFAI-level financial aid, she said, “it would have not been possible for me to go to college.” Woods graduated debt-free, which allowed her to take a first job that paid only $15,000 a year. “All of my jobs after Harvard had to do with educational opportunity,” she said. “All are focused on college access. It’s worked its way into my values.” Woods is now an admissions counselor at Cohen College Prep High, a New Orleans charter school.Precious Eboigbe ’07, now a second-year law student at Boston College, left Harvard with the same focus: that higher education should be available to all.“It’s something that’s always been really important to me — access,” she said, and that same drive applies to her future career in the law. “That’s a thing I have carried with me,” she said. In college, she was a four-year fencer, spent three years as an HFAI student coordinator, and three years after Harvard co-directing HFAI itself.Eboigbe entered Harvard knowing the sharp end of the stick, financially. She was born in Nigeria and moved to New Jersey with her mother at age 2. Her stepfather died when she was still in high school. With HFAI, she said, “I was definitely less concerned about money.”“Harvard as possible”Muriel Payan ’08 was the daughter of a single mother who worked at a Costco in Southern California when she entered Harvard in the first year of HFAI. She graduated nearly debt-free, with $2,000 in loans. Payan now has a Wharton School M.B.A. and works in marketing at Ford Motor Co.Harvard admissions is not only need blind, it is passport blind. Part of the economic and ethnic diversity at the College comes from international students, who make up about 12 percent of the undergraduate population. Some of them are from countries where poverty is endemic, like Kenya or India, said Donahue. “It’s very difficult for high-achieving applicants from those countries to even think of Harvard as possible.”Today, because of HFAI, 20 percent of student families pay nothing, a “zero parental contribution,” in the language of admissions. (In 2006, the payment cutoff went up to $60,000; in 2012, it was raised to $65,000.) About 70 percent of Harvard undergraduates receive some kind of need-based aid. Families earning between $60,000 and $80,000 qualify under HFAI for reduced parental contributions.Harvard’s financial aid program asks families earning up to $150,000 a year to pay from zero to 10 percent of their income for college expenses. (Families with incomes above that pay proportionately more.) “These are not rich people,” said Fitzsimmons of families even at the $150,000 mark. They may have more than one child in college at a time, or care for elderly grandparents, or face other financial pressures — “the struggles of real people.”To help ease concerns for middle-class families, home equity and retirement assets are left out of financial aid assessments at the College. No one is required to take out a loan.In the end, the average Harvard family receiving financial aid pays $12,000 a year for tuition, room, and board. Admissions officials calculate that 90 percent of American families would pay the same or less for a Harvard education as for a state school.“Now we can go to Texas,” said Fitzsimmons, and show how things are different. “It puts Harvard on a level playing field with our great public universities.”One line on the Harvard admissions website sums up today’s financial aid. It’s a sentence as vivid as a poem. “This is simple: Anyone can afford Harvard.”Harvard’s broadened financial aid programs were not slowed down by the last recession. In 2007, the year before the global financial crisis, Faust and Dean Michael D. Smith of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) launched an initiative to support students from middle-income backgrounds. Since then, funding at the College for financial aid has increased by 88 percent, to a budgeted $182 million.“I’ve never been prouder of Harvard and its leaders than when they maintained the financial aid program in the face of the economic meltdown,” Fitzsimmons said.Last fall, FAS announced a $2.5 billion capital-campaign drive. Of its six goals, the largest, at $600 million, is for financial aid.This broad focus on financial aid means that every Harvard student has the opportunity to graduate debt-free, just as Rincon did. “HFAI gave me the freedom to do what I wanted to do,” she said.“My family would never be able to afford college without it,” Jasmine Burnett ’16 said of HFAI. “It’s a weight off my shoulders.” Burnett is a government concentrator who attended Atlanta public schools.As a freshman in 2012, Burnett was one of 275 in her class from families with incomes below $65,000; 122 more families that year qualified for HFAI reductions in parental contributions. For freshmen entering in 2013, those numbers went up: 287 families paid zero, and 144 paid reduced contributions. The Class of 2017 has 431 HFAI recipients, more than any other entering freshman class in the last decade.“It’s freeing,” said Burnett, adding, “but I still have financial needs.” So she works up to 10 hours a week as one of six student coordinators doing outreach for HFAI.“When you’re in college, every small expenditure can feel overwhelming,” said Rachel Culley ’07, who qualified for HFAI reduction and who grew up on a back-to-the-land homestead in central Maine. “I wouldn’t have been able to go to Harvard if my parents had to take on massive debt.” Culley, now a law clerk in Brooklyn, wrote her senior thesis on “the money taboo,” the social limits of saying how much you have.Peter Conti-Brown ’05 grew up in a cash-strapped, seven-child household in Oklahoma. He felt the weight of arriving with little money in a place where so many had so much. In freshman year, he agreed to share the purchase of a couch with his four roommates — and was shocked to find that his share came to $120, which was all he had saved. That he had come to College with so little money “didn’t compute” to his roommates, recalled Conti-Brown, who eventually graduated from Stanford Law School, co-edited a book, authored another, and is a Ph.D. candidate in history at Princeton University.“When you’re in college, every small expenditure can feel overwhelming,” said Rachel Culley ’07 (right), who qualified for HFAI reduction. “I wouldn’t have been able to go to Harvard if my parents had to take on massive debt.” File photo Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerFrom generous to amazingConti-Brown provided a sort of corrective to the HFAI success story. Even before 2004, “Harvard financial aid was already extremely generous,” he said of the $2,500 a year he and his schoolteacher mother were asked to pay. “I felt nothing but gratitude at the time. I felt nothing but love for Harvard financial aid.”Eboigbe, the Boston College law student, said the same of her financial aid before and after HFAI: “It was so generous.”Conti-Brown had a job in Widener Library, got money for books from a special fund, and qualified for free cultural tickets through the Student Events Fund. Harvard even “bought me a winter coat,” he said. (The Coat Fund, an artifact of Civil War-era Harvard, still exists for students in need.) He also worked odd jobs. One elderly woman paid him $50 for moving plants around her house once a month.But Conti-Brown said the real story is that Harvard financial aid got even better. He even had a role in making it so. In the fall of 2003, when Fitzsimmons and others were devising the future HFAI, Conti-Brown was invited to a focus group on features of the proposed plan. He was a junior then, having taken two years off after his freshman year to be a Mormon missionary. In February 2004, just before the HFAI launch, he became Harvard’s representative voice and face for students of modest means.He was quoted in The New York Times and other newspapers, and made a speech to donors. By the fall of 2004, said Conti-Brown, “I remember thinking: I can’t believe I’m going to Harvard for free.”He became the first student director of HFAI, and traveled all over the country to speak to low- and middle-income high school students, “explaining that Harvard was within financial reach. We were telling them: It’s cheaper for you to go to Harvard than it is to go to your local junior college.”That year, his last at Harvard, he telephoned about 3,000 prospective students, getting their names by processing a combination of financially pressed ZIP codes, census data on income, and S.A.T. scores.Still, Harvard’s financial aid gave him more than money, said Conti-Brown, repeating a sentiment heard from many HFAI graduates. “It gave me complete confidence, with the realization: I can play on this stage.”To this day, he added, “HFAI stands out as a great shining light.”last_img read more