Thursday, December 21, 2006

Post-Bulletin Reader Comment

Well it appears that our friends in the great city of Rochester have a thing or two to say about Monday's front page article featuring the rising cost of attending college and my future/current debt. Since you need a subscription ($99 per year) in order to comment on an online story at the Post-Bulletin website, its best to respond to these via Blogger because it's free which means you don't have to pay anything to attack people.

[User]195801 - 12/19/2006
"I worked 70+ hours a week during the summers and made enough to cover tuition. Pretty much a zombie for 3 months. Between that and working maybe 20 hours a week while going to school I ended up with zero debt. That was paying U of M tuition. Not to judge a book by it's cover, but that kid doesn't look like the 70+ hour a week type of guy. Quit your whining and get a job. Kids today want everything handed to them. Why not buy them cars and houses too?"
Well it looks like this person (who has graced us with their anonymity) is still stuck in their "zombie" state because if they pay any attention to today's tuition costs for a public institution in the state of Minnesota they will know that it has increased well over 50% over the past five years. Why is this though?! Could it be that the state is cutting the budgets for MnSCU and the University of Minnesota?? Naw, couldn't be...

Sorry that we're trying to get the legislature to hold to its obligation to fund state higher ed institutions with providing for 67% of the cost of instruction (MN Statute 135A.01). Right now anyone attending a MnSCU institution will know that this isn't happening, just check out your fee statement. Things are different now than when you attend the U of M back in the late 1970s.

No, I don't want everything handed to me nor do I expect everything handed to me. I want to attend a public institution and apply what I learned while obtaining my degree to improving our state and country, is that too much to ask?

Oh, sorry I didn't wear my Carhartt and Dickies for the picture because we all know that we need to dress in work clothes in order to look like we've put in a hard days work. I'll remember that blue track jackets are not proper"working clothes."

Want to read more on what others have to say on what's wrong with making college education accessible and affordable? Visit the article by click here. But remember, you need money in order to bitch properly.

Also, be sure to check out the You Bet We're in Debt website set up by the WSU Student Senate. Look for yourself and see the impact of rising tuition on Winona State students.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Someone's in debt...

This article appear on the front page lead story in the December 18, 2006 edition of the Rochester Post-Bulletin:

Debt load burdens students

By Matthew Stolle

The Post-Bulletin

When Jared Stene graduates from Winona State University, looming over his future will be something of a black cloud: a staggering student debt of $48,000.

Although the Woodbury native is considering graduate or law school, he said the pressure to begin paying down that debt might short-circuit those plans and force him to find a job immediately.

Students across the state have begun to groan under the weight of their debt load, if a Web page set up by the WSU student leaders is any indication. The page allows students to log the amount of debt they expect to incur by the time they graduate. Numbers range from $4,000 to $120,000. The total amount of accumulated debt so far at WSU: $7.7 million.

"It's really simple: This state has reneged on its commitment" to affordable higher education, said DFL Sen.-elect Ann Lynch, a Rochester legislator who will serve on the Senate Higher Education Policy and Finance division.

The growing debt load of students will be a high-profile issue during the 2007 session, which begins Jan. 3. DFLers blame Gov. Tim Pawlenty for the 50 percent hike in student tuition over the last four years, arguing that his fixation on no-new-taxes came at the expense of students' financial hides.

Pawlenty also threw himself into the debate during the election campaign, proposing free tuition for students in their first two years for students who graduate in the top 25 percent of their high school graduating classes.

Students with the Minnesota State University Student Association are asking legislators for a tuition freeze in the next biennium. But the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is shooting for something a little less ambitious: Its budget request is seeking a system-wide 4 percent tuition cap.

"It would ultimately be less (of an increase) than what we've been going through," Stene said. "It (will) keep it lower, but ultimately, we would like a freeze."

So I made the front page in Rochester, also that "lovely" picture was with the article. That's my blue steel look...