Monthly Archives: April 2014


Despite Anxiety About Debt and Employment, Survey Shows Teenagers Look to Wisdom of Parents and the Promise of College

Kansas City, Mo., — (April 8, 2014) — As America’s next generation looks ahead to adulthood, it is doing so with conflicted optimism, according to a recent national survey1 conducted by H&R Block Dollars & Sense, a program designed to increase the financial fitness of American teens. The survey looked at the mind-set and behavior of young adults, ages 13-17, and found that eight of every 10 teenagers are worried about finding a good job and more than half are concerned about being worse off financially than their parents, who 75 percent say are their most important source of financial information. A whopping 78 percent are anxious about potential student loan debt, yet 97 percent still plan on attending college.

“Today’s economic realities are bringing about real financial pressure and stress at a younger age,” said H&R Block Chief Marketing Officer Kathy Collins. “Our survey shows 57 percent of teens use their own money on purchases, yet they often lack fundamental money management skills. The good news is, the research clearly illustrates a desire to learn, to grow and to become financially savvy – and parents play a huge part in that.”

Mom and Dad Know Best
In an era of being constantly “plugged in” and with advice coming from all directions and channels, 75 percent of teens still say their parents are their most important source of financial information. In fact, 62 percent of teens view their parents as good money management role models; only 4 percent say that they are bad examples. Additionally, almost half (47 percent) turn to their teachers for money knowledge.

“From navigating potential college scholarships to balancing a budget, finances can be complex and challenging at any age,” said Collins. “We created Dollars & Sense in part as a guide and a resource, not just for teens, but for parents and educators charged with having these often difficult conversations and imparting lessons. Together, we can help give young people the understanding needed to manage their personal finances.”

College: The High-Priced Ticket to a Well-Paying Job?
Despite the rising cost of college tuition and lack of jobs available within the marketplace, nearly all (97 percent) of survey respondents still plan on attending college, viewing it as a necessary step for future employment. In fact, 86 percent of teens believe it is more important than ever to choose a major that leads to a well-paying job. But, a vast majority of teens – 78 percent – worry about borrowing too much in student loans, fearing crippling debt after leaving college. Indeed, debt at graduation increased an average of 6 percent each year between 2008-2012, rising to an average of $27,000 per borrower.2

Accordingly, tuition and other expenses – now averaging $22,866 for an in-state four-year public institution3 – have become paramount in the college selection process, especially among older teens: 42 percent of 17-year-olds say cost is the primary determining factor. Former benchmarks such as an institution’s ranking and prestige (21 percent), its geography (16 percent), or status as family alma mater (1 percent) have become increasingly marginalized.

The Promise of a Better Tomorrow?
Median household income, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, fell for the fifth straight year in 2012. The current level of $51,017 is far below the $55,500 when the recession began and is the lowest mark, adjusted for inflation, since 1995 – before all but today’s oldest teenagers were even born4. Perhaps not surprisingly, 58 percent of teens now believe they will be less financially sound than their parents.

Taxes: The Great Unknown
Taxes remain a duty for adulthood, as teens are either disengaged or uninformed – only three of every 100 have filled out an income tax form, while 26 percent feel the forms are too complex. Survey results also revealed teens’ skeptical side, as 58 percent believe that most members of Congress do not pay income tax. Additionally, half feel that wealthy people cheat on their taxes, while 38 percent believe taxes are too high.

H&R Block Dollars & Sense
Funded by H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB), the world’s largest consumer tax services provider, H&R Block Dollars & Sense provides educators and students with personal finance curriculum and resources to increase financial literacy among teens. Since 2009, H&R Block Dollars & Sense has donated more than $4 million in grants and scholarships. For more information, visit

H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world’s largest consumer tax services provider. More than 625 million tax returns have been prepared worldwide by and through H&R Block since 1955. In fiscal 2013, H&R Block had annual revenues of $2.9 billion with 25.4 million tax returns prepared worldwide. Tax return preparation services are provided in company-owned and franchise retail tax offices by over 80,000 professional tax preparers and associates worldwide, and through H&R Block digital products. H&R Block Bank provides affordable banking products and services. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom.

1Survey results were obtained through online interviews among a representative sample of 1,003 teens ages 13-17. Interviews took place February 19-25, 2014. The survey was conducted by The Futures Company on behalf of H&R Block Dollars & Sense.

2“Student Debt and the Class of 2012,” a report issued by The Project on Student Debt (an initiative of the Institute for College Access & Success)

3COLLEGEdata, a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling

4U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 1968 to 2013 Annual Social and Economic Supplements


Media Contact
Matt Hodson
Carmichael Lynch Spong
(612) 375-8534

Minakov vs. Kongo Clash In Heavyweight World Title Fight Live On Spike Friday, April 4th From Reno Events Center

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Minakov vs. Kongo Clash In Heavyweight World Title Fight Live On Spike Friday, April 4th From Reno Events Center

Newport Beach, Cailf. (January 17, 2014) – At 13-0 and the undefeated Bellator Heavyweight World Champion, Russian knockout connoisseur Vitaly Minakov is ready to extend his reign as “The New Emperor” and defend his world title against Cheick Kongo live on Spike TV Friday, April 4th from Nevada’s Reno Events Center. The fight will headline Bellator 115.

The event will broadcast live starting at 9 p.m. EST/ 8 p.m. CT on Spike TV.  The preliminary card will be streamed live and free exclusively on starting at 6 p.m. CT. Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting, and the Reno Events Center Box Office.

Only 28, Minakov took the MMA world by storm in 2013, winning the Bellator Heavyweight Tournament, then capturing gold with a devastating finish over former Bellator Champion Alexander Volkov. The four-time Sambo World Champion is currently riding a seven fight knockout streak, and will look to continue that trend on April 4th when he meets Cheick Kongo inside the Bellator cage.

“I am now the Bellator Heavyweight World Champion, and that isn’t going to change,” Minakov said. “It doesn’t matter who is in my way, they are getting finished. Kongo has been around for a long time and is a great challenger, but the belt is staying with me. I’m not giving my belt to anybody. This is my belt.”

For Kongo, hype has never been something to faze the French born heavyweight. Over his impressive 13 year career, Kongo has fought, and defeated some of the biggest names in MMA and won’t get caught up in records or pedigree. But as Kongo prepares for a battle tested Minakov, the thought of having a belt wrapped around his waist has certainly entered his mind.

“Being a Champion is something I’ve wanted for a while,” Kongo said. “It’s not about having it now, or fighting for right now. It’s about when I’m old and retired from the sport, I can always look at that belt on my wall, and know that is why I put in all the hours and made the sacrifices I did. It means a lot to me, and it’s something I want to collect on April 4th.”

“For as long as this lasts, it will be awesome,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney “I’ve been a huge Minakov fan since the day we signed him and a huge Kongo fan for almost ten years.  This is a title fight I’ve had circled on my calendar since Minakov won the belt in November. This will be an electrifying night on Spike and an explosive way for us to kick off our first event ever in Reno.”

For more information, visit, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at    

About Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA is the world’s largest tournament based Mixed Martial Arts organization. Televised to nearly 500 Million homes worldwide in over 140 countries, Bellator’s majority owner is entertainment giant Viacom.  In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike TV, the MMA television leader. With over 175 world-class athletes under contract, Bellator is home to many of the sport’s top mixed martial artists. Bellator’s founder & CEO, Bjorn Rebney, is an experienced fighting sports and entertainment executive with a deep commitment to the purity and integrity of the sport of MMA and its athletes.  Bellator’s core philosophy is that title shots should be earned, not given. This belief gave rise to Bellator’s real sport, tournament-based format, which gives Bellator’s tournaments a true playoff feel that keeps the sport true and distances itself from the subjective side of fighting sports found in organizations that utilize a matchmaking/casting formula.  Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations.  Bellator is based in Newport Beach, California.

About Spike TV:

Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  Spike TV’s Internet address is and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at  Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

About mun2

mun2 is the leading Hispanic cable network for young millennial adults 18-34.  From reality to music, on-air to digital, mun2 creates original content that resonates across a multi-screen platform.  Young, vibrant and unabashedly Latino, mun2 has a distribution to over 38 million households. The network is part of Telemundo Media, a division of NBCUniversal.

Anthony Mazzuca 
(949) 222-3400
David Schwarz
(212)767-8639 Introduces Extensive List of Free Online Courses for Spring 2014

Evanston, Ill., April 1, 2014 – Along with their university partners, online course platforms Coursera and edX are offering 100+ great courses this spring., which provides easy access to thousands of the best online higher-education resources for students, counselors, teachers, parents and lifetime learners, is pleased to present a refreshingly simple list of the most current course offerings for the spring. Quickly scan through course titles from top U.S. and global universities to find the ones best suited to your interests.

Some of the most popular offerings that have recently started and those starting soon include:

• An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python (Rice University) – Starting March 24
• Justice (Harvard) – Starting April 8
• The Chemistry of Life (Kyoto University) – Starting April 10
• Competitive Strategy (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) – Starting April 11
• Introduction to Bioethics (Georgetown University) – Starting April 15
• Better Leader, Richer Life (University of Pennsylvania) – Starting April 20
• Maps and the Geospatial Revolution (Penn State University ) – Starting April 30
• Sabermetrics 101: Introduction to Baseball Analytics (Boston University) – Starting May 8
• History of Rock, Part One (University of Rochester) – Starting May 9
• Software Defined Networking (Georgia Institute of Technology) – Starting May 26

Check out the full list of courses as well as enrollment dates at

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Jennifer Borders, Managing Editor
(847) 868-2175