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  • The Student Loan Debt Crisis is a Women's Issue: Here's Why

    By Meghan Casserly

    Women in the U.S. earn $10,784 less than their male counterparts each year, according to The National Partnership for Women and Families.22-year-old twins Mike and Caitlin are one year out of college. Both studied at a four-year University, received bachelor's degrees in engineering and are 12 months into entry-level jobs. Both siblings carry $20,000 in student loan debt, just about the national average.

    All things being equal, Caitlin and Mike are on even (if unfortunate) footing for recent grads-making those first arduous steps up the career ladder, living on entry-level salaries and chipping away at hefty student loans. All things being equal.

    Except that, at least according to new research from the American Association of University Women, all things are not equal. In fact, in comparing the salaries of men and women with comparable education in comparable fields just one year out of college, it's plain to see that when it comes to paying off student loan debt and getting ahead financially, Caitlin-and all women-are much worse off. Men and women pay the same amount for college, but

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  • The Best Cities for Working Mothers

  • Good News for Women's Second Best Earning Profession

    Female lawyers earn a median yearly income of $85,000.By Victoria Pynchon

    It's been such a bad recession for the legal profession that some students have sued their law schools for painting an unreasonably rosy picture of their prospects for employment.

    The first of those lawsuits was recently thrown out of Court by a sympathetic but dismissive New York Judge but others remain pending.

    The American Lawyer brings us good news for the legal sector which is good news for women's second best paying employment alternative - the law.

    The legal sector's employment roller coaster ride continued last month as the industry added 1,000 jobs, according to preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    The September data shows that 5,900 more people are employed in the legal sector now than were at the same point last year, and that the industry has seen a net gain of 2,900 jobs since the start of 2012.

    Whether the law remains a good career choice for women (lawyers, secretaries, paralegals and

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  • Outrageous or Smart? Spirit Airlines Raises Its Carry on Fee to $100

    Travelers wait in a crowded airport.By Micheline Maynard
    Spirit Airlines is known as the Ryanair of American carriers. It charges low fares, but has come up with fees that catch many travelers off guard. And here's one that will make disorganized travelers gasp.

    Spirit will now charge $100 at the gate - more than double what fliers had to pay before - if you did not pay a carry on fee before you got to the airport. The last-minute carry on fee had been $45. The new fee takes effect Nov. 6. You can read more about this at the Detroit Free Press.

    Now, that's not the final word in carry on fees, because Spirit is raising other charges, too. You'll now pay $35 to book your carry on fee on the Web, up from $30. If you pay for a carry on at the airport counter, it will cost you $50, up from $40. You can still carry on a personal item that fits under a seat, like a briefcase or purse, for free. (Thank goodness. We'd hate to pay to bring our wallet on board.)

    More On Forbes: For Spirit Airlines, Low Fares, but Plenty

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  • Is a "War on Women" the Best that President Obama Can Do?

    President Barack Obama speaks at the White House Forum on Women and the Economy, Friday, April 6, 2012, in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

    By Carrie Lukas

    Democrats taking the stage this week in North Carolina will make their case for why Americans should hire them to go to Washington. Democrats plainly see women as their most promising pool of potential supporters, and their most effective sales pitch as portraying Republicans as an unacceptable alternative engaged in a "War on Women."

    Women should consider what it says about the administration's record that such scare tactics are the best Democrats have to offer. Four years ago, women overwhelmingly supported candidate Obama based on his promise of a robust economic recovery and a new tone in Washington. Today, Democrats can't brag about greater civility or prosperity, only of an expanded safety net that helps Americans weather the never-ending economic storm.

    Indeed, the Obama Administration has succeeded in expanding government so today more Americans depend on Washington for basic sustenance. One in seven Americans now receives food stamps. One

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  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel tops Forbes' list of the most-powerful women of 2012.By Caroline Howard

    For nine years, Forbes has ranked the 100 most powerful women in the world. These are the women who adhere to the traditional classifications of power (political and economic might) and those who have risen to the top of the social and cultural landscape. It is our annual snapshot of women who impact the world.

    This year the list features eight heads of state -- including our No. 1 on the list, German Chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured here), 25 CEOs who control $984 billion in revenues and 11 billionaires -- including the richest woman in Silicon Valley, Laurene Powell Jobs. We feature some dozen entrepreneurs and 10 celebrities who do more than look good: they're philanthropic do-gooders and entrepreneurial go-getters. Here, a guide to Forbes Power Women 2012.

    The new class of CEOs: Seven new CEOs seized the corner office this year, and many of them are familiar faces. Marissa Mayer traded her VP post at Google for Yahoo! Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO

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  • When Should You Take a Buyout Offer from Your Employer?

    When should you take a buyout from your employer?By Susan Adams

    On Monday, package shipping giant FedEx announced it would offer buyouts to an unspecified number of staffers as it looks to reorganize its U.S. operations. How should those FedEx workers decide whether to take buyouts? If you're offered a buyout to give up your job, what should you do?

    Career professionals say there are several good reasons to take a buyout. It can be a boon if you're at a point in your career where you are thinking seriously about retirement. Also, if you feel like you've been passed over for a promotion or you've lost clout within your organization, it can make sense to consider a buyout offer. Another reason: If you are unhappy in your current post and you know that you are a marketable commodity should you start job-hunting. A buyout can also provide a bridge to starting your own consulting venture or serve as a financial cushion if you're thinking of making a career switch that requires going back to school.

    But Robin Pinkley, a professor

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  • How to Turn Down a Job Offer

    How To Turn Down A Job OfferBy Jacquelyn Smith

    Here's something most people didn't have to worry about for the last half-decade: turning down a job offer.

    But now, after years of layoffs and hiring freezes, plenty of corporations are starting to increase staffing levels again. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there were 163,000 jobs added on public and private payrolls last month, which was the biggest gain in five months. Chances are at least some of those newly employed people were offered more than one position and had to decline an offer.

    I think most would agree that this isn't necessarily a bad problem to have-but it can be a difficult and uncomfortable thing to deal with, nonetheless.

    "There are many reasons why a job candidate might have to turn down a job offer-but it can usually be boiled down to three key areas: the money, the work itself, or the people at the company," says Andy Teach, a corporate veteran and author of From Graduation to Corporation: The Practical Guide to Climbing

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  • When Should You Redo Your Will?

    When Should You Redo Your Will?By Deborah Jacobs

    Nearly 2.5 million Americans die each year, and many haven't signed the basic documents needed to protect loved ones. But let's say you took this important step. How often do you need to revisit your estate plan?

    That's the question Laura Scharr-Bykowsky, a financial advisor with Ascend Financial Planning in Columbia, SC asked when I spoke at a recent online conference cosponsored by FORBES and The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. My topic was "Ten Estate Planning Mistakes I Hear About Most Often," based on 15 years of covering the subject and writing a book about it. Many advisors, like Scharr-Bykowsky say they have a hard time convincing clients they need to update a will or living trust. (I've covered other questions asked at the conference here.)

    Both a will and a living trust can be used to transfer assets, and each has unique uses and features. For example, only a will can name guardians for children who are minors. And unlike a

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  • America's Top Colleges

    Princeton UniversityBy Michael Noer,

    College is outrageously expensive. Four years at an elite, private school like the University of Chicago (#4) or Stanford (#3) costs more than a quarter of a million dollars. A degree from a more affordable state school, like the College of William & Mary (#40) or the University of California, Berkeley (#50), still costs around $100,000, even for "in-state" students, who pay less in tuition.

    Is it worth it? For many students, the answer is probably not -unless they are accomplished enough to be accepted by one of the schools ranked near the top of our annual list of America's 650 Top Colleges.

    The rankings, which are compiled exclusively for Forbes by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity, focus on the things that matter the most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, high graduation rates and low-levels of debt. They do not attempt to assess a school's reputation, nor are they a measure

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