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Nathan H.
Tutor and B.A. Candidate for Philosophy and Computer Science
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Basic Math
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Question:

How do I find a percent? What is 5% of 30?

Nathan H.
Answer:

"Percent" really just means "per 100," so whenever you have a percent, like 5%, 20%, or 86%, it only means you divide that number by 100. So 5% is 5/100, 20% is 20/100, and 86% is 86/100. "Of" is just another word for multiply. So all we have to do is divide and multiply. 5% means 5/100, and "of 30" means multiply. This translates to (5/100)*30. If you are allowed to use a calculator, we can just plug it in. We find that the answer is 1.5. If you cannot use a calculator, then we can work through the division and multiplication together.

Philosophy
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Question:

In Plato's "Apology," Socrates says that he is wise because he admits that he knows nothing. How can you be wise and still know nothing?

Nathan H.
Answer:

Socrates talks about two different types of wisdom in "Apology." He talks about wisdom of gods and wisdom of humans. One main point in this dialogue is that this human wisdom, compared to that of the gods, is worth little to nothing. Wisdom of the gods is real and genuine wisdom. When the Oracle of Delphi says that no one is wiser than Socrates, he is very confused. To find out why, Socrates confronts many people in Athens who claim to be wise, and he finds out that they are not wise at all: politicians know nothing even though they have a reputation for wisdom, the poets cannot say anything significant about their own poetry, and craftsmen know nothing outside of their craft, even though they claim to know. At this point, Socrates claims that he is the wisest because he does not even pretend to know anything that he does not know. This is a good stopping point, but "Apology" is a very intricate dialogue. I would be happy to spend more time delving into Socrates' great defense!

College Admissions
TutorMe
Question:

I would like to apply to more competitive colleges, but I fear that they are prohibitively expensive. I cannot pay $40,000/year to attend college. I can't even afford the cost of application fees. At this point, attending my state school seems like the best option. What is your advice?

Nathan H.
Answer:

First, I'll say that many colleges will waive application fees for students who demonstrate financial need, such as Dartmouth and UC Boulder. Other colleges don't even have an application fee if you apply online, like Smith College (if you are female). Next, regarding the much bigger question of how to pay for college, I have a few pieces of advice. There are a handful of really awesome schools out there that have fantastic financial aid. Many students who attend these schools pay little to nothing. Boston College, Duke, and Oberlin are a few great examples. The CUNY schools also have great financial aid packages. My next piece of advice is to research whether a school has a "no loan" or a "loan free" policy. Sometimes people will try to use these terms interchangeably, which is very misguided. "Loan free" is what you should look for, and it means that you will not be taking out loans when you attend that school. "No loan" just means that the school will not force you to take out a loan in the financial aid package. However, if you wish to take out a loan, the college will help you take one out. College admissions has so many subtle details like this; it's really important to be well informed! Feel free to ask me any more questions!

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