Friday Facts 8-22-2014 Edition

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State House to host Magna Carta exhibit

State House

The Indiana State House will feature the Law Library of Congress traveling Magna Carta exhibit Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 – Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014, hosted by the American Bar Association. The exhibit will tell the story of Magna Carta and its catalyst role in promoting the rule of law. The actual charter will not be displayed in the exhibit, but one of the four original 1215 exemplifications will be displayed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. as part of the 800th anniversary of the document’s sealing. The promotional banner for the traveling exhibit can be viewed here at Due Process of Law. For more information about the significance of the Magna Carta to British and U.S. Law, see Magna Carta and Its American Legacy from the National Archives and Records Administration.

Back to Campus

Many Indiana college students are returning to campus as the fall semester begins. Just recently, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education unveiled a statewide “15 to Finish” campaign that aims to boost college graduation rates by encouraging Hoosier students to take at least 15 credit hours each semester. According to the press release, data shows that college students who complete 15 or more credits per semester are more likely to graduate on time, earn better grades and save money on their degrees. The Commission launched the website, 15 to Finish, to raise awareness through a combination of direct outreach and social media efforts.  The hope is that prospective college students, local high schools counselors, current college students, and the general public will benefit from the information.

In related news, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education announced a new state initiative, “College Success Coaching” which is designed to increase graduation rates by up to 15 percent for students enrolled in the state’s 21st Century Scholars program.

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Kim Brown-Harden
Federal Documents Coordinator

Andrea Glenn
State Documents  Coordinator


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My Social Security Week

Social Security

In honor of the 79th Anniversary of the Social Security Act, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Carolyn W. Colvin invites everyone to celebrate the first annual my Social Security Week, August 17-23. This can be a valuable tool whether retirement is just around the corner or years away! It’s good to see how Social Security is working for you. This site can provide information you need to plan ahead for the retirement you want. Social Security will host events to highlight the benefits of a my Social Security account. This is a personalized online account nearly everyone can establish at starting with the beginning work years up to the time you receive Social Security Benefits. By establishing this account, people can take control of their future by accessing their online Social Security Statement, which can be used as an effective tool for financial planning for workers 18 and over.

The statement allows workers to verify the accuracy of their earnings each year. This is important because earnings are the basis for determining future retirement benefits. Individuals currently receiving benefits can sign up for a my Social Security account to get an instant benefit verification letter, change their address and phone number, and start or change direct deposit of their benefit payment. To date there are over 13 million people with an account. To celebrate this week, there are many events including a Twitter chat on “my Social Security and Planning for your Financial Future;” my Social Security sign-up events nationwide at local churches, libraries, federal government agencies, employers, youth centers/organizations, senior centers, and many others. Join the millions of others and discover your benefits!   

Protecting yourself and your kids online

We all want to think we are safe online, that there are extra precautions in place to protect the public and especially young people, and that the web is thoroughly policed. However, the internet is still very new terrain – conceptually, socially, and legally. This can make us vulnerable to predatory activities online. Check out tips for protecting children and handling cyber-bullying here. The Federal Bureau of Investigation produces A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety. The WSJ published an essay in February called, How to Protect Your Kids' Privacy Online, which discusses ways to encourage children to erase their digital footprints.

Back to School Facts

School Lunch

Let’s head back to school with some facts about students in the United States.

78 million children and adults were enrolled in school throughout the country in October 2012 (Nursery School to College). This comprised 26.4 percent of the entire population age 3 and older.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students

$8.6 billion is the estimated amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August 2013
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services

$82,720 is the average earnings of full-time, year-round workers 18 and older with an advanced degree (bachelor's degree or higher) in 2012. Workers whose highest degree was a bachelor's had mean earnings of $70,432. Mean earnings for full-time, year-round workers with a high school diploma (includes GED certificate) was $41,248, while workers with less than a ninth grade education had $26,679 average earnings.

Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012