Bearing the burden of high tuition
Editor-I have a 21-year-old daughter, Casey, who is attending Manatee Community College, Bradenton, Florida. She hopes to enroll at the University of Florida as an occupational therapist. She is just completing her second year at MCC and will continue to take required courses at the community college level because it is affordable. The program at the University of Florida will take another three years, to complete a master's degree.
Casey was not eligible for a Florida "Bright Futures" scholarship because her SATs were too low, even though she had a B average and was active in many service organizations. We do not qualify for a Pell Grant, because our $60,000 annual income is too high.
So what do we do? My husband and I both work. Casey works. She also receives a scholarship from our church. It is not easy! Casey will work the entire summer to help pay off some of her debts and save for the years of higher tuition costs at UF.
Every year tuition costs are being raised. We barely scratch by. I also attend MCC part time, and in two years our son will be attending college. I envision my entire salary going to pay for their education, with little extra money for anything else. The future years will be difficult but we are determined that our children will have an education that will guarantee a better life and a more financially stable one.
As a middle class family, we are bearing the full burden of our children's education, with little help from our government. It would be a relief to have help in producing individuals who will one day be a benefit to this country.
Diane E. Thompson
Clarification on Clemson
Editor-My name is Jay Ragley and I am a graduating senior from Clemson University, in Clemson, South Carolina. I recently read your report, "Losing Ground," about rising higher education costs in the U.S. Your comment about Clemson University was not very clear. Tuition was raised by 42 percent, but the one-time $600 rebate only applied to in-state students for the fall semester, while out-of-state students paid the full increase.
Please do not give the Board of Trustees any credit for this generous reduction more than they already have been given. Other than this oversight, I think your report was well written and important to parents, students, faculty, administrators and legislators across the country. Great job!
Clemson, South Carolina