Mary Jo Huls, Sartell
In commenting on the article “Student debt has become a crisis” on the Opinion page in the Sartell Newsleader’s Friday, June 8 edition, I firmly believe our college education guidelines are due for an overhaul. The college programs, (which require some 70 credits in general classes before the student can enter into the program of his choice) are out of date in a society of children who have grown up with computers that have opened the doors of education and knowledge gleaned during the years of education leading up to a college experience. According to www.brightbulb.com the average cost is $253.50 per credit hour for the in-state student, $653.16 as an out-of-state student; and $909.76 for the private colleges. The college tuitions are augmenting the already outlandish cost of obtaining a degree by their practice of mandating general classes which have no bearing on the students choice for a career. I believe the introduction of generals had its place in a time when most college students were coming off the farm or from a small-town upbringing with little exposure to the outside world. In short, the student of “days gone by” needed a more “rounded exposure” to what the educators deemed important for the student to know before they launched their careers. If we want to help the college student, who is leaving college with a huge loan debt as well as credit card debt, let’s narrow down the amount of credits mandated before a student can enter his/her career choices or at least allow students the opportunity to “test out” their knowledge and experience at the time they enter college. When listening to a program aired on TV regarding the issue of student debt, a college graduate stated she has a loan debt of $105,000, which includes interest on her loans. She sounded overwhelmed as she cannot foresee the furture she had in mind when entering college, that of higher wages in a field of her choice. She remarked she could not even begin to derive pleasure in obtaining her degree, as she cannot afford her own vehicle, a house, or think of having and raising children with her indebtedness.