I took serious offense to Ben Levine’s recent editorial concerning federal student aid.
While I do not disagree that prices of tuition have risen, the answer is not to cut funding. Levine’s assertion that “anybody and everybody goes to college” is flat-out wrong. About half of my graduating class of 300 did not have the opportunity to attend post-high school education. Considering that it is nearly impossible to find a supporting job without a college degree, cutting federal aid is not the answer at this time. This will simply push more young people into minimum wage jobs at fast food restaurants and retail stores.
The underlying reason behind many of our nation’s problems lies with lack of education. More education equals a more engaged population that can afford to care about issues other than week-to-week survival. There is no guarantee that cutting federal funding would result in lower tuition. And, even if it did, without aid, many students would either be unable to attend or be in even higher debt.
I would encourage Levine to provide an alternative way for students to attend college before encouraging us to condemn federal funding of post-secondary education. Furthermore, condemning certain majors as “un-fundable” because of a perceived lack of return is very short sighted and, quite frankly, appalling. What majors would Levine suggest we fund? Getting rid of funding for certain majors just because they don’t produce millions of dollars seems like a dangerous road to go down.
Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org