To The Herald-Whig:
I was concerned by the recent announcement from the White House that an order may be given to cancel student loan debt. This is an affront to those of us who have sacrificed and lived modestly (my wife says frugally) to provide for our family’s educational needs.
My wife, three children and I have earned a total of 10 college degrees, including law, engineering, accounting, marketing, music, liberal arts and education from a total of eight colleges and universities throughout the United States. These degrees were all financed by family, work, scholarships and, in my case, the Korean War Veterans GI Bill. Our parents attended one-room rural schools in depressed areas where boys went to learn reading, writing and arithmetic before dropping out by fourth grade to help with farm work while the girls usually continued through eighth grade. Thus, (early on in our lives) we recognized the value of education and the need to pursue it aggressively.
I am retired after 40 years of college employment, including graduate and undergraduate teaching and administration. I also worked part-time as a lecturer for an educational organization providing continuing education to individuals primarily at major East Coast and Southeastern cities.
As more “free” money became available to students, more uninterested and unqualified individuals arrived on college campuses. In a short while, however, these students often developed an interest in nonacademic activities such as “Thirsty Thursdays” and “Free Fridays.”
Economic price theory recognizes that AS A GOOD BECOMES FREE IT LOSES ITS VALUE, QUALITY AND DESIRABILITY. Will this also happen to college education if it is free and available to all?
Bruce T. Kruse, retired