Wednesday, February 02, 2005

College degree becomes more elusive

I have a son in college. He attends a private, liberal arts college. It's become increasingly difficult for my wife and I to meet the rising costs of his education. Fortunately, the combination of his being an outstanding athlete, combined with a strong academic performance in high school, allowed him to receive an adequate financial aid package. Yet, despite the help, my wife have had to take on a significant load of debt. Believe me, I'm not complaining. Hopefully, this opportunity won't require him to scratch and claw his way through life like his self-educated, public university father had to. I'm not sure however, if there will be better opportunities, despite a good school and above average abilities. Despite the indoctrination that we are given about achieving success, most people don't rise above the class of their fathers--sorry about that, son!

I have been following the various articles regarding the cost of education, the reductions in Pell Grants, as well as other forms of financial aid. Now comes this article.

One of the great equalizers within the last half century was the post-WWII access to higher education for not only the sons and daughters of the ruling class, but young men and women whose dad was a plumber, or a bricklayer. Alas, those days seem to have passed us by, as we are descending back into a meritocracy, where only the privileged can access the American Dream.

I was planning to write about the state of the union, but I just can't make myself write about the loathesome 30 minutes I watched (I bailed at 9:45 and have flicked on AirAmerica).

I'm listening to Malloy--I'm feeling better, because he at least is giving voice to the rage and disgust I'm feeling right now. I'm a bit rung out; it's been a long day from spending several hours trying to let as many people know about the Ward Churchill situation, as well as making some really good progress on the book. I think I'll go and grab that last Bud Light, because I may not be able to fall asleep otherwise.


Anonymous said...

What are you whining about! Your kids at a private college and your pleading poverty? Give me a break!!

Jim said...

I wasn't whining. I was making a point about diminishing opportunities for families like mine--the working class. Why shouldn't my son, who got A's and B's through high school, played two sports and worked a part-time job have the same opportunities as some member of the ruling class's child, who Daddy can buy a place at Harvard or Yale (like C- student, George Bush)?

Why shouldn't anyone's child have that opportunity? He's at a private college because with the financial aid (that's decreased each of the past three years, btw) he received, it didn't cost as much as the public university nearby.

If you took it as whining, that wasn't my intention. I think education should be accessible to every 18 year old who wants to avail themself of it. I certainly don't want a young person's options limited to being cannon fodder, sitting in an un-armored SUV in Iraq!

ChefDunn said...

Yet another gutless anonymous human being that has no idea what the hell he/she is talking about.

It takes a real genius to pass judgement on someone who has no idea who you are or what sacrifices you have made so your son has more opportunity than you had been given.

Jim said...

Anonymity is the great dispenser of courage in cyberspace. Anyone can sit behind a keyboard and dump trollbait where they may. I rarely leave any comment that takes issue with anyone, unless I leave a legitimate email address.

I'm getting hit with a bunch of stuff on the basis of my op ed, defending Churchill's right to free speech.

I don't know, Chef. This lack of civility and inability for discourse doesn't bode well for the future, my friend!