Viewpoint - Probing the Cia - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Viewpoint - Probing the Cia

All around Mississippi, institutions of higher learning-from community colleges to universities-are reporting record enrollments.  We hear this from both public and private schools alike.  Certainly, that is a good thing.  There are several theories on why the sudden increase in people extending their education beyond high school...but regardless of why...the result will be a better trained and educated workforce in the state of Mississippi.  That will make our state more attractive for economic development and raise the standard of living for our people.  Hopefully, in a time when there is always talk of raising tuitions because of a shortfall in the tax base during economic hard times such as we are now experiencing, this increase in the number of students paying tuition may forestall such a necessity. 

Recently, those of us who no longer have children in college, have been made aware of the unbelievable increase in the cost of text books.  I, for one, was shocked to learn that many text books now cost as much as $100 to $150 in many cases.  Prices for text books have not crept up over the years...they have taken a fast moving escalator.  Many schools have quote-special editions-that students are required to have to take course at their school that prevent them from being able to go on-line or other places to get bargains on used books.  I don't know if this is a valid practice or not...but when you couple the outrageous price of books with ever increasing tuition rates...it becomes more and more difficult for people to work their way through school like I, and many others of our generation did whose parents couldn't afford to send them.

We have to make sure that an affordable quality education is within reach of everyone who wants one bad enough to work hard to get it.  That is part of the American Dream and promise to enable people to help better themselves through their own initiative.  We don't need to profiteer or balance the budget on the backs of our students...any more than we should provide handouts to those able to work and contribute to society.  Think about it.  I'm Jim Cameron.  Let us hear what's on your mind.

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