Tuition’s cost I always enjoy reading Corky Simpson’s column and had to respond to his Sept. 7 article (“Those school loans then & now,” Page B3). The student loan forgiveness program would not have applied to his situation since the loans being forgiven are for students who received federal Pell loans. Not every student can quality for a Pell loan and not every graduate with a Pell loan will qualify for loan forgiveness. Since Corky got his loan from Elmer at the local bank, he would not qualify. Also, things have changed a lot since we were in university. I chose to go to a private university, having watched others spend more than the four years in public universities. My university promised that if I did my part, I would graduate in four years (which I did). In 1968, tuition was $1,100 per year. Working summers at a retail store, I earned about $500, or about half a year of tuition. After graduation, my first job paid about $1,000 a month; so in less than five weeks, I earned the equivalent of a year’s tuition. That same university last year charged $48,000 for a year’s tuition. Someone working at $15/hour in the summer (before taxes) might earn $7,200, only about one-sixth of a year’s tuition. When they graduate in engineering like I did, they might earn $7,000 per month, so it would take almost seven months to pay one year of tuition. A student who takes out a loan for four years’ tuition plus room and board might owe over $200,000 at graduation. The burden on them to pay that loan would be crushing.

-Lawrence Bennett

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