Monthly Archives: January 2020

Turn Social Security into a personal investment fund YOU own

The AMERICAN INDEPENDENT WEALTH ACCOUNT (the AIWA) system. The AIWA system will unify with Social Security “retirement” to create, for all employed/self-employed/home managing Americans, personally owned mutual fund investment holdings. What were payroll taxes you would have been paying in the future to Uncle Sam will become investment dollars that are yours to build a retirement “nest egg.” Anytime, day or night, your smartphone will tell you what you’re worth.

Dear College-age Americans -

It will be 40+ years until you will be enjoying your retirement parties.  However, planning, saving and investing for your old-and-gray years should start NOW!

The AMERICAN INDEPENDENT WEALTH ACCOUNT (AIWA) system is designed to integrate and unify with the Social Security “retirement” (SSR) system established in 1935.  Once any American is employed, self-employed, or managing a home, the AIWA system will start building personal wealth for him/her in a national “mutual fund.”  How will this work?

As of late 2019, there are approximately 163 million employed/self-employed/home-managing Americans.  The AIWA system will create a gigantic pool of investment money. This money will mainly come from, what, since 1935, has been the Social Security “retirement” tax dollars taken from Americans salaries, wages and/or self-employment income.

This pool of investment money will be used to make a wide range of safe, secure investments across the U S and world economies.  As stated above, all 163 million working Americans will own shares of stock in this national mutual fund investment pool.

The term “entitlement” is often applied to SSR money paid to today’s retirees.  This is a totally incorrect term.  Two U S Supreme Court decisions, Helvering vs. Davis (1937) and Fleming vs. Nestor (1960) confirm that money withheld for SSR from paychecks is a TAX.  No one, whether young and paying in, or old and collecting, is entitled to a dime of the money.  (Credit to the CATO Institute for the Supreme Court references).

Young, working America, the AIWA system will change this totally.  Under the AIWA, the mutual fund shares that are purchased with what had previously been SSR taxes you paid Uncle Sam, will be your personal property.  And, more importantly, these mutual fund shares YOU own will be in addition to any other 401K, 403B, or any other type of employer-provided retirement plans you might enjoy over the next 40+ years, or investments you make on your own.

On your smartphone you will be able to look up a full record of all the money that has gone into your AIWA, and the market value of your stock portfolio, any day, any time.

There are more details about the operation and unification of the AIWA system with SSR on the website, the CST Site, in sections four and five of the CST Site.

((When you study the details, it will quickly become clear that to “save” the 1935 SSR for current retirees and future retirees (i.e., YOU), implementing the AIWA system now, 2020, is MANDATORY)).

In addition, there are two other proposals explained on the CST Site that will enhance the value of the AIWA when the three are implemented as a package.

When will the AIWA and its two companion proposals go into effect?  Frankly, young Americans, this is up to you.  Start contacting your friends, family, and, most important, your U.S. Senators and members of the House of Representatives.  Please direct your Senators and Congressmen/women to the CST Site,, sections four and five.  Remember, they want reelection more than life itself.  Your polite, numerous and frequent contacts will enhance their understanding of the AIWA system.

This press release is intended for all Americans, especially those 18 to 22 years old, AND their parents, aunts and uncles and more, many of whom are likely under age 50.  They will benefit substantially as well.

Educate yourselves and Congress.  Doing so will put the AIWA in place in short order. The AIWA will be immeasurably beneficial to your financial futures.  Research the CST Site (website).  Think about what you read.  Direct your friends to it.  Get their thoughts.  You’ll likely be quick to inform Congress.

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Cengage Announces Plan to Offer eTextbook Option within Cengage Unlimited

New eTextbook Option Builds on Success of the Cengage Unlimited Subscription Service

Students to Have Unlimited Access to More Than 14,000 eTextbooks, Tutoring, Test Prep and College Success/Career Support for $69.99 a Semester

BOSTON—January 14, 2020 –Cengage today announced that it will offer an eTextbook option within Cengage Unlimited, giving students access to more than 14,000 ebooks, study tools and more for $69.99 a semester. Available in August 2020, Cengage Unlimited eTextbooks will also include free access to college success and career support, including activities in resume-building, financial literacy and time management.

“While I’m encouraged that college affordability remains an important part of the national economic debate, the reality is that paying for college is about more than tuition,” said Michael E. Hansen, CEO, Cengage.  “New models like Cengage Unlimited, the industry’s first all-access subscription for textbooks and course materials, are making an impact, yet too many students still face obstacles when trying to access and pay for college.

“That’s why we will be offering students an eTextbook option within Cengage Unlimited.  It is designed to support students who need additional options that fit their learning needs and budgets, yet don’t need a full Cengage Unlimited subscription that includes online homework access codes.  And it’s accessed via the subscription model that students have overwhelmingly embraced in other areas of their lives,” Hansen continued.

In addition to the ebooks and other tools, those who prefer print can order up to four print textbook rentals for $7.99 each with free shipping. Students may upgrade to a full Cengage Unlimited subscription that includes online homework access codes/courseware.

Since commercial availability in August 2018, Cengage Unlimited has seen rapid adoption by students and colleges, with more than two million subscriptions sold.  Students have saved $125 million using the subscription to date.  These savings are expected to grow to $160 million by the end of the current school year.

A survey conducted by Morning Consult found that after tuition, paying for textbooks and course materials is the biggest source of financial stress for students.  In addition, almost three-quarters of students prefer access to ownership when it comes to their learning materials.

“We work very closely with faculty to understand what they and their students need.  And overwhelmingly what we’ve heard is that they want a variety of options for their students,” said Fernando Bleichmar, EVP and General Manager of Higher Education and Skills, Cengage. “While some companies are limiting format and access options, Cengage is expanding them.  We will continue to be the partner that delivers what our customers want.”

Starting this month, students can also access all of their Cengage etextbooks offline via the free Cengage Mobile App. Available on iOS and Android devices, the app provides offline e-reader capabilities, allowing students to download entire eTextbooks to their smartphone.  Once downloaded, students can highlight, make notes, search and bookmark the reading material, regardless of whether they are connected to the internet or working offline.  In addition to e-reader capabilities, the Cengage Mobile app provides organizational tools, study materials and push notifications to help students stay on track.

Students can see which courses use Cengage at their institution via an interactive Savings Map.

For more information about Cengage Unlimited eTextbooks, visit:

About Cengage
Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. As the largest US-based provider of teaching and learning materials for higher education, we offer valuable options at affordable price points. Our industry-leading initiatives include Cengage Unlimited, the first-of-its-kind all-access digital subscription service.  We embrace innovation to create learning experiences that build confidence and momentum toward the future students want. Headquartered in Boston, Cengage also serves K-12, library and workforce training markets around the world. Visit us at or find us on Facebook or Twitter.


Media Contact
Kristina Massari


Backroads Travel is Hiring Trip Leaders for the 2020 Season

Apply Now for One of the Adventure Travel Industry’s Best Jobs

Backroads, the leader in active travel, today announced open positions for Trip Leader and other field based roles for the 2020 season. For more than 40 years, Backroads has been running biking, hiking, multi-adventure, family, private and active ocean and river cruise trips worldwide, in more than 60 countries. Every year Backroads hires seasonal employees for the job of a lifetime. The company is particularly seeking bilingual candidates who have a true interest in connecting with and serving others.

Backroads Trip Leaders are recognized as the best in the travel industry, consistently earning a 98% approval rating from guests for their outstanding performance as interpreters, facilitators, ambassadors and all-around sources of inspiration and goodwill. Often referred to as a ‘lifestyle’ – Backroads Trip Leaders work hard intense events that include high physical and social activity. It’s a rewarding job for those who are flexible, adaptable, resourceful and adventurous, and want the opportunity to live and work in some of the most desired travel destinations in the world. From America’s national parks, to Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, and beyond, Backroads Trip Leaders provide exceptional customer service and on-trip support, enabling guests to enjoy their Backroads adventure stress free.

“Backroads Trip Leaders and Field Staff are the best in the business,” said Tom Hale, Founder and President of Backroads. “We’re looking for a wide variety of people, interests and skillsets for the 2020 travel season. If you think you’ve got what it takes to work for Backroads, we’d love to hear from you.”

A pioneer in active and adventure travel, Backroads was founded on the principles of creating extraordinary experiences for its guests, being the most guest-focused travel company on the planet and incorporating the highest quality possible into the philosophy and fabric of the company. Backroads is an equal opportunity employer that celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

To qualify, applicants must be 21 years of age or older, hold a valid driver’s license and clean driving record, and have English fluency. As an active professional, all applicants must be able to lift 50 pounds of weight.

For more information and to apply, go to:

About Backroads
Backroads was founded in 1979 by Tom Hale and has been a leading innovator in active and adventure travel for over 40 years. The company hosts thousands of guests each year, 75% of whom are repeat guests or referrals from past guests, in hundreds of locations across the globe. Backroads is a founding member of the Adventure Collection. For more information, please visit Or call 800-462-2848 daily, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pacific time.

Media Contact
Liz Einbinder

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi Accepting Applications for 2020 Awards Program

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society—is currently accepting applications for its 2020 awards program including Fellowships, Study Abroad Grants, Literacy Grants, Love of Learning Awards, Scholar/Artist and Distinguished Service Awards. These awards provide funding for graduate study, continuing education, professional development, studies abroad and local, national and international literacy initiatives.

Since 1932, Phi Kappa Phi’s awards program has recognized members and students on its chapter campuses for outstanding academic achievement. Nearly $1 million is awarded each year through programs that last year recognized more than 350 individuals.

Programs currently accepting applications include:

• Fellowships: The Society recently announced an expansion of its Fellowship Program from a total distribution of $345,000 each year to $615,000. Beginning in 2019, 50 Fellowships of $8,500 each, six at $20,000 each, and two at $35,000 will be available to members entering their first year of graduate or professional study. The deadline to apply varies by each Phi Kappa Phi chapter. Contact your local chapter for deadline information.

• Study Abroad Grants: 75 grants of $1,000 each will be awarded to both members and non-members studying abroad. The deadline to apply is March 15.

• Literacy Grants: Grants of up to $2,500 are available to Phi Kappa Phi chapters and individual members seeking funding for literacy initiatives. The deadline to apply is April 1.

• Love of Learning Awards: 200 awards, at $500 each, are available to help fund post-baccalaureate studies and professional development for active members. The deadline to apply is June 30.

• Scholar and Artist: A life membership and a $1,000 donation to a nonprofit cause will be awarded to individuals who demonstrate the ideals of the Society through their lifelong activities, achievements and scholarship. The deadline to apply is February 1.

• Distinguished Service: A life membership and a $1,000 donation to a nonprofit cause will be awarded to an individual who has provided sustained, non-compensated volunteer service to others beyond the realm of academia. The deadline to apply is February 1.

“I’m so grateful to Phi Kappa Phi, not only for giving me the opportunity to start graduate school undistracted by finances, but also giving me the encouragement to pursue my studies knowing that my dream career is in reach and that opportunities are out there,” said Chisom Ogoke, a Phi Kappa Phi award recipient.

For more information including eligibility requirements and application instructions for each program, please visit

About Phi Kappa Phi
Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Phi Kappa Phi inducts approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni annually. The Society has chapters on more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. The Society’s mission is “To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.” For more information, visit


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Alyssa Perez
Communications Director
(225) 923-7777

What’s Ahead for Education in 2020? Cengage Leaders, Students and Faculty Offer Predictions for the Year Ahead

Predictions highlight expected trends, challenges and opportunities for higher education

BOSTON— January 8, 2020 — As a new year – and a new decade – begin, college students, faculty and Cengage leaders are sharing their predictions on what challenges and opportunities will take center stage for higher education in 2020 and beyond.

“My hope for 2020 is that the industry will make a concerted effort to really listen to students and focus on their needs so that education is more impactful,” said Michael E. Hansen, CEO at Cengage.  “All of us in education need to show we have the courage, willingness and financial ability to break the mold and innovate to improve the overall system for students.”

Broadly, the predictions focus on the need to address affordability to make learning more accessible for all:

1. Addressing the affordability crisis will be paramount to the future of education.

“Navigating the future of higher education has become a complex puzzle. In 2020, I expect (and hope) we will see growing awareness of the college affordability crisis in the United States drive action – both in lowering the barriers to entry for students, but also supporting the whole student throughout their educational journey. This includes focusing on adequate funding to attract and retain qualified faculty, providing resources for students that help them thrive inside and outside the classroom, and ultimately looking for new and innovative ways to rethink the traditional – and in many cases antiquated – approach to education.” – Donna Sue M. Shellman, Program Coordinator and an Instructor in Medical Office Administration at Gaston College (NC)

“College affordability and the student debt crisis will continue to fuel debate in the 2020 presidential campaign. What I expect will shift is that finer points of each candidates’ approach will be put under a harsh spotlight as they defend their plans for “free college” (or their alternative) as the best approach to the American people. With that, if free college is the answer, who benefits? Will it just be for community colleges? What about continuing education and certification programs? What is the right balance to ensure those who need aid most, get it? These are some of the questions I expect will fuel the conversation, and ultimately shape the narrative as the Democrats narrow down the field to face off against President Trump later this year.” – George Miller, Senior Education Advisor at Cengage, Former Chairman, U.S. House Education and Labor Committee

“I think affordability will be a topic of focus in higher education in 2020. The price of higher education keeps increasing while the minimum wage hasn’t increased. Any way to reduce the cost of higher education should be considered. I also think the idea of having campuses becoming more diverse and inclusive. I think that’s important to provide a learning environment for everyone while also making it affordable.”- Victoria A. Doll, student at University of Louisville

2. Accessibility will no longer be viewed as a nice-to-have, it’s a must have. All students need access to quality learning.

“I hope that in the future, college becomes more accessible for everyone. I also hope that high schools place more emphasis on alternative paths besides attending a traditional 4-year university. My high school had little to no information on trade schools, community college, or other options. I think that university has been made to be the ‘normal’, but it’s important for students to know all their options before graduating and moving on to the next chapter of their lives.”— Jennifer Ye, student at University of Maryland-College Park

“I predict 2020 will bring renewed emphasis on ensuring accessibility for all as part of educational content and platforms. Accessibility will become second-nature as more and more companies build guidelines and criteria to ensure products are born with a set standard of accessibility.”  – George Moore, Chief Technology Officer at Cengage. 

 “As we look ahead to 2020 and beyond, colleges and universities will be pushed to evolve and innovate in order to accommodate all types of learners. As the value of a college degree continues to be questioned, institutions will explore new opportunities to help students embark or advance in their careers, such as certification training and micro credentialing. This will be especially important as institutions look for ways to create efficiencies and increase revenue, and as students look for more affordable and valuable education options.” – Sandy Keeter, Program Manager/Professor, Computer Concepts & Applications, Seminole State College (FL)

3. The promise of digital learning will continue to evolve to support workforce development around the world, appealing to the individual way in which each student learns best.

“With a tightening job market and continued pressure on degree costs in 2020, more students will seek out online courses that provide the quality, flexibility, and affordability to get a degree while working. Institutions already embracing online courses and digital learning tools will have a competitive advantage to capture the growth in online enrollments.” – Fernando Bleichmar, General Manager, Higher Ed & Skills at Cengage

“I think higher education will change to tailor to the student. Students now have options when getting their education and their method of learning, and learning materials need to adjust.” – Rebecca Caro, student at Florida State University

“When we look at the evolving role of technology in educating the next billion, we must be more focused in ensuring the right use of technology in emerging markets, rather than just technology for technology’s sake. I expect we will see an evolution to concentrate on technology applications that help these emerging markets grow and foster better quality learning; such as tools to aid in teacher training and digital resource adoption to help emerging markets scale quickly.” – Alexander Broich, President of Global Businesses at Cengage

What do you think is ahead for education in 2020? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter at @CengageLearning using the hashtag #EdTech2020

About Cengage

Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. As the largest US-based provider of teaching and learning materials for higher education, we offer valuable options at affordable price points. Our industry-leading initiatives include Cengage Unlimited, the first-of-its-kind all-access digital subscription service.  We embrace innovation to create learning experiences that build confidence and momentum toward the future students want. Headquartered in Boston, Cengage also serves K-12, library and workforce training markets around the world. Visit us at or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Media Contact
Emily Featherston

Cengage Announces Top Colleges for Cengage Unlimited Savings

Unlimited Access Subscription for Textbooks and Course Materials Saves Students More than $125 Million Since August 2018

BOSTON—January 6, 2020 — With more than two million subscriptions sold since commercial availability began in August 2018, the Cengage Unlimited subscription service is rapidly changing how students access and use textbooks and course materials. To date, students have saved more than $125 million using the industry’s first unlimited-use subscription for ebooks, online homework access codes and study guides.  These savings are expected to grow to an estimated $160 million by the end of the current academic year.

Today, Cengage announced the top colleges where students have saved the most with Cengage Unlimited.  The list features schools that have achieved the highest overall savings and those that have the highest savings per student.

“The college affordability crisis is impacting students and colleges across the country.  It’s clear the entire ecosystem must pursue innovation to deliver students more value for their money,” said Michael E. Hansen, CEO, Cengage.

“That’s why we created Cengage Unlimited: to offer students affordable access to quality learning materials and other resources needed to excel in their studies, graduate and find a job.  The number of subscribers and savings to date shows that Cengage Unlimited is making a real difference for them,” continued Hansen.

After tuition, the cost of textbooks and course materials is the leading financial stressor according to a recent survey.  A Cengage Unlimited subscription gives students access to more than 22,000 products for one price — $119.99 a semester ($179.99 a year), no matter how many materials they use.  A subscription also includes free services for tutoring, test prep, college success and career support, such as resume-building, financial literacy, time management and more.

Top Five Schools for Total Cengage Unlimited Savings:

(Parenthesis denotes the estimated overall student savings at the named institution in using Cengage Unlimited)

1. University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa ($1.8M)
2. Texas A&M University ($1.7M)
3. North Carolina State University ($1.1M)
4. Arizona State University ($853K)
5. University of Houston ($836K)

Top Five Schools for Average Student Savings with Cengage Unlimited:

(Parenthesis denotes the estimated average savings per student at the named institution for those students using Cengage Unlimited)

1. University of Illinois ($256/student)
2. University of Findlay, OH ($182/student)
3. University of Connecticut ($179/student) and Gaston College (NC) ($179/student)
4. Saddleback College, CA ($175/student)
5. Spokane Community College ($172/student)

“It’s essential to save every dime you can, and by using Cengage Unlimited, I saved nearly $120 last semester. That’s close to the same amount I’ve paid for a single access code before. I think Cengage Unlimited’s impact on the University of Houston has been incredible, and I’m glad people are saving money,” said Jacob Huling, Cengage Ambassador and student at the University of Houston.”

“I couldn’t believe that a publisher had come up with a subscription model that makes an even playing field for students of all backgrounds,” said Kelly Hinson, Instructor, Gaston College. “It’s not just saving money on books, because those savings spill into the lives of our students. Now they have more money for living expenses.”

To learn more about the savings potential with Cengage Unlimited, students, faculty and administrators can visit the interactive Savings Map to see which courses use Cengage at their institution, as well as how much students at their institution have already saved.

For more information about Cengage Unlimited, or to purchase a subscription, visit:

About Cengage
Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. As the largest US-based provider of teaching and learning materials for higher education, we offer valuable options at affordable price points. Our industry-leading initiatives include Cengage Unlimited, the first-of-its-kind all-access digital subscription service.  We embrace innovation to create learning experiences that build confidence and momentum toward the future students want. Headquartered in Boston, Cengage also serves K-12, library and workforce training markets around the world. Visit us at or find us on Facebook or Twitter.


Media Contacts
Kristina Massari

Emily Featherston