Sunday, October 19, 2008

Paying for College - An Anecdote

Dr. Crazy wrote a fantastic article Friday on Paying for College. Her comments on a NYTimes article about some poor family struggling to put two kids through private schools after losing a big part of their 100 k$ income. [At least that is what the article implied; it could be that was their post-layoff income.] I'm sure it is a strain on them, but if their two kids actually got a quarter million dollar's worth of education, I'm sure they will pay those extra loans off in no time. Maybe.

But I don't think any of my students would be particularly sympathetic to someone who chooses to pay $32,000 and $29,500, respectively, for each year of college. One, in particular, probably finds these folks to be whiny elitists. Compare the following:

One child is attending a college with only 1000 students, total. Fewer than lived in one dorm where I went to college and got a degree of outstanding qualtiy. Fewer than we admit each year as FTIC freshman college students at Ishkabibble CC. Yet, despite the serious financial load, the article made no mention at all of the kids helping out by working.

Another child is attending my CC. He has a problem, too. He is assigned to me for advising for next semester (his second in college, a critical point in his education) and contacted me about an appointment. I proposed one convenient slot, in the hour before one of his classes meets, but he can't make that one because he works from 6 AM to 2 PM every day, getting off work just before heading to his afternoon class. Yeah, that makes it pretty tight. Fortunately, there is one day when we can get together between his afternoon classes and his evening classes.

I hope the first kid appreciates what he is getting. The second one can only take 9 hours of a classes because of his work schedule, so he doesn't even qualify as a full-time student for financial aid (or as one of our FTIC statistics.)

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