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UPDATE: What Is Electoral College and Why Are Americans Mad At It?

UPDATE: This story has been updated with current popular vote numbers, and the recount efforts.

What is the Electoral College? Why are some Americans so mad about it? Why didn’t Hillary Clinton win when she received a larger number of votes than Donald Trump?

Even President-elect Donald Trump's opinions on this American institution have changed over the years:

Calls for Recounts in Three Major States

As of Nov. 29, CNN's popular vote count stands at:

Clinton: 64,469,963

Trump: 62,379,366

Jill Stein, the Green Party Candidate, has successfully funded recounts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and plans on funding one in Michigan (which has just been declared for Trump). The Stein campaign is not doing this to help Clinton, and instead says it is an "Effort to ensure the integrity of our elections."

Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Erik Elias said in a Medium post that the campaign does plan on participating in the Wisconsin recount, "In order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides."

This is what Trump had to say on the matter:

Electoral College History

The Electoral College was established in 1787, "As a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens," according to the National Archives and Records Administration.

There are 538 total electors. A candidate must win at least 270 to become the next president. Electors are assigned to states according to the number of representatives the state has in Congress, plus two for the senators, says the National Archives and Records Administration.

For example, Ohio has 18 electoral votes. This means that the state of Ohio has 16 Representatives, plus two electors for the Senators.

The current 2016 electoral map looks like this.

Only four presidents before President-elect Trump have lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College. According to the Times-Picayune of New Orleans, the last time this happened was in 2000 in the race between Al Gore and George W. Bush. Gore won the popular vote; Bush became president.

Many Americans are not happy with the way the system works. In a petition, over 4 million Americans are calling for the Electoral College to make Hillary Clinton the president on December 19, when the electoral college cast their ballots.

This plan would rely heavily on "faithless electors," who FairVote said are, "members of the electoral college who, for whatever reason, do not vote for their party's designated candidate."

Trump mentioned the popular vote on Twitter.

Unless the Electoral College breaks precedent in a large way, it is unlikely that the election results will be changed December 19.

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Federal Student Aid Application in US is Changing

FILE- In this Nov. 9, 2017, photo, people walk by Old Main on the Penn State University main campus in State College, Pa.

Every year, most American college students fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It determines how much need-based assistance you can receive and is also important for many scholarships, grants and other opportunities.

Now, the format is being simplified, as Cheryl Winokur Munk of The Wall Street Journal explains. (August 2023)

ChatGPT Isn’t a Good Research Assistant, Yet

FILE - This illustration picture shows the AI (Artificial Intelligence) smartphone app ChatGPT surrounded by other AI Apps in Vaasa, on June 6, 2023.

In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Maggie Hicks writes that ChatGPT frequently invents sources, causing headaches for librarians asked to find them, and getting students in trouble when they don’t learn how to track down information themselves.

With scholars willing to cut corners to get papers published faster, academia could fall prey to a “complicated web of lies,” as one researcher put it. (August 2023)

Biden Administration Releases Official Guidelines on Affirmative Action

FILE - Demonstrators protest outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, June 29, 2023, after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down race-based affirmative action, but colleges have struggled to implement the ban. The new guidelines stress that affirmative action is now illegal but that there are other ways for schools to diversify their student bodies. Read the explainer from Liam Knox of Inside Higher Ed. (August 2023)

Check Out These Lesser-known Scholarships Available to International Students 

This undated photo provided by Full Sail University shows students working in one of the 110+ studios/labs on the Full Sail campus in Winter Park, Fla.

Most students looking to study in the United States are already familiar with prospects for financial aid, but there are some lesser-known scholarships available.

The Times of India has compiled a listing of scholarships — many offered by individual schools — that can benefit students from other countries. (August 2023).

Despite Challenges, Afghan Refugee Students in the US Are Thriving

FILE - Graduates celebrate during the University of Delaware Class of 2022 commencement ceremony in Newark, Del., May 28, 2022.

Two years after the Taliban took Kabul, Karin Fischer of the Chronicle of Higher Education profiles a group of Afghan women at the University of Delaware who fled Kabul.

After learning English, mastering U.S. cultural norms and surviving the trauma of separation from their families, these students are now mentoring other new arrivals. (August 2023)

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