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By The Numbers

Free tuition, free trade and Chipotle’s free-fall decline

Janet Nguyen Mar 16, 2016

We’re already halfway done! Here are some need-to-know numbers for the middle of your week. 


Because of how pricy MBAs are (one from an elite school can cost up to $120,000 over two years), one institution is trying to equalize the playing field. The University of the People wants to help by providing these degrees for the very, very low cost of zero dollars (at least, in terms of tuition). Despite the financial advantage students will initially gain, prospective employers may be unsure of how to look at the degree since the program is still in its beginning stages. But even then, that hasn’t hampered its appeal: thousands around the world want to take the course.   

Other free-related things in the world of economics: free-trade agreements, specifically the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will cover about a third of global trade. Only one remaining presidential candidate has vouched for the deal: Republican John Kasich. On the other hand, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have been especially vocal against the TPP.  The rest of us, though, just don’t really have very strong opinions on the whole thing. According to data from our latest Marketplace poll on economic anxiety, 49 percent of people said that they’re not knowledgeable enough about free-trade agreements to determine whether they’re “good or bad for the economy.”   

Uncertainty is also plaguing Chipotle. The chain’s chief financial officer, Jack Hartung, acknowledged back in January the issues Chipotle faced amid various disease outbreaks, according to Quartz. Now he’s saying, “It’s worse than I thought.”  Chipotle revealed Tuesday “that sales at restaurants open at least 13 months” dropped by about 26 percent in February.




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