Student Debt (2)

I wouldn’t have been able to afford college at all if I were I graduating from high school today. The tuition at Cal (University of California, Berkeley) these days is $14,254 per year of study. Some 38 percent of students get grants and scholarships, but my high school grades were poor enough that I would never have qualified.

The same is true at the George Washington University (GW) where I did my graduate work. The tuition there per credit hour is now is now $1,995.

Thanks in part to my education, I went on to multiple successes. By the time I retired from the National Security Agency (NSA), I had reached the upper levels of the Senior Executive Service (SES), the highest paid ranks in government. I wrote and published six books and seventeen short stories. And I have become a successful book reviewer with well over a hundred reviews in print. Perhaps most important, I was able to retire from the government with a handsome annuity that allows me to write full time.

Were I starting out today as an impoverished youth with high school grades not good enough to warrant a scholarship, I would be unable to continue my education because tuition costs would be unaffordable. I would be stuck with nothing better than a high school degree. I think I’m a good example of why governments should offer higher education at affordable prices with financial help for those too poor to pay the tuition. Other nations do that. Why not the U.S.?

Government payment of student debt is the first step. Then let’s find a way to make it possible for ordinary people to go to college. Otherwise, we make college available only to the rich and super bright. Ordinary people are excluded and thereby prevented from finding lucrative jobs.

This is one more way that we can make the U.S. a country blessed with freedom and justice for all.

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