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Free-tuition program deserves a chance to adapt and succeed.
Getting these kids into school and keeping even half of them merits this investment, especially when the cost per student is so slight. College education for $1850 per year. Where can you find a deal like this? What's the cost of welfare? What's the cost of incarceration? This is a ticket to responsible citizenship that means societal contributions like paying taxes. We'll get the investment back in 5 years.
First and foremost, I think it's wonderful we are finally getting some long-needed attention on our higher education system. Education is the backbone of our country and continues to be a foundational point in leadership in the world. However, Power of YOU's strategies need to be adjusted. Students in Minnesota already face double-digit increases in tuition, soaring textbook prices, and still have families to feed and bills to pay. If Power of YOU continues to only allow a small percentage of underrepresented and low-income students into its program, pretty soon it won't matter...The 600 or so Power of YOU students that attend college will be the only few left as many of the rest of us will not be able to afford to foot our college bills. This program needs moderate adjustments and this in my mind can not be supported until we give an opportunity, not outright pay for everyone, but an opportunity to access a program such as this. If the United States Student Association based in Washington D.C. seeks to make community college free nationwide, why is it so much to ask that Power of YOU expand its access to non-traditional students as well as those who don't live in specific areas of the state?
Unfortunantly, the public education system and the political leaders in this country continue to deny educational opportunities like this to anyone, if they cannot be extended to everyone. To your point, free college for all, sure, who could be against that? Of course, as you say, how to pay for it? Vouchers are a good example of something that works for those who have them. D.C. is the best example. But let's deny them, because we can't have just a few thousand success stories, we have to have all or none. This is the pervasive union-like mentality today in public education, but that's another story. Meanwhile, why should we lose another generation to poor primary and secondary schools, and no access to college? We CAN make a difference to the 600 or so who participate in the Power of You, or we can take the stance that until college is affordable for eveyone, no one gets this deal. This program will hold accountable those who fund education in the public sector, as a shining example of doing something this significant with very little money.
The most expensive person in Minnesota is one without hope and looking toward crime. The cost of prison for a year buys many years of this program.
Without hope, who of us would strive?
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