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Education is crucial despite cost

Posted Feb. 22, 2007

Jennifer Kitzmann
Life Editor

I was listening to “Marketplace” on KCRW and was informed that colleges across the nation are raising their tuition.

The real question is why are tuition costs so high and why are they soaring?

For most students, it's a lot cheaper to go to a four-year public University today than it was six years ago. But the cost of attending a private University is more.

For example, the University of La Verne is almost $26,000 a year compared to Pepperdine University at $32,000 a year. Harvard University is up to $45,000 a year, which has increased five percent from last year.

A lot of schools set tuition prices to maximize grant money and then use institutional (financial) aid, which isn't real money to set the real tuition.

The sticker price for a college education has soared in recent years, causing an outcry from students and families. Nearly every school has raised tuition to some degree.

My nephew told me the other day that he was just going to be a cable guy because there was not enough money for him to go to college.

Young students and teenagers are already questioning whether or not education will be available to them in the future.

It breaks my heart that the stress is already upon them on whether or not they will be able to afford it.

I told him that there were many ways and opportunities in fulfilling his educational goals.

He also told me that his grades were so bad no matter how hard he tried he would not be accepted into a college.

Of course, I told him this was not true. I never got the best grades and have known successful writers and businessmen and women who were never straight A students.

Regardless, of what University you apply to or grades you get, education is important and it should be available to everyone.

I have asked many people what colleges they have gone to and I was not surprised that many people said they never went to college because they could not afford it.

Another question presidential candidate Barack Obama said was that one major change he we would make if elected would be to lower tuition for colleges across the country if students volunteered to do community service.

His heart seems to be in the right place, but if students can’t afford education than how can they afford to work for free? Where would the money for gas and food come from? How would they support themselves?

It seems as if everyone is searching for a better way to lift the costs of tuition in finding other ways to help provide education for everyone and hopefully prepare for the next generation to come.

Many admit that it was too expensive or just too hard to work full time and go to school at the same time. Between night classes, newspaper, studying and homework, who has time to work?

Life experience is good and I am sure many of us can share some good stories about what we have done in life and where we have been.

I do know the job market is not getting easier and believe that having an education definitely gives you an upper hand in life.

So if even a community college fits the bill, take some classes. You never know what may happen. It might be a life changing experience. I admit that the educational process has been much longer than I could ever imagine but I have met a lot of great people along the way.

I have also learned a lot of things that I would have never learned if I didn’t take that extra step.

It is not important what University you go to, it is what you do with the education you get and how you apply it.

Going to an Ivy League college looks great on your resume but I know people who are working retail with a Harvard degree and people who just went to a community college are directing movies and working for Steven Spielberg.

I now look forward in pushing my nephew toward a college education and hope I may inspire him in my perseverance to finish college no matter how much more the tuition keeps increasing. I agree the dent in my credit card is not getting better but I do know that money is replaceable but knowledge and experience is not.

Jennifer Kitzmann, a senior journalism major, is LV Life editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at jkitzmann@ulv.edu.