Opinion: You get what you pay for

Staff Editorial

Illustration by Stephanie Perez

What a relief it would be to walk the stage with diploma in hand four years after starting college, knowing you were only $10,000 in the hole. Texas Gov. Rick Perry not only thinks it possible, but he is talking about making it a reality.

It sounds like a pretty sweet deal, doesn’t it? For many students, the ability to obtain a four-year degree at such a low cost could completely change their attitudes about school.

Under Perry’s proposal, a student would be able to attend a university for four years and graduate with a degree with a price tag of only $10,000. The only problem is where the money is going to come from and how realistic and feasible is this plan?

As tuition prices seem to rise almost weekly, the plan seems to come at the right time. But what about degree plans that require more than four years of learning or the quality of such a bargain?

Thomas Lindsay, director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Higher Education, suggested some things that could make the plan possible.

First, he said living at home could dramatically cut the traditional costs of room and board at a learning institution. He also suggested that many of the classes offered would be online classes.

Another suggestion that should ring loud at Amarillo College is the importance of community colleges in the degree plan. Lindsay suggested that community colleges are low-cost institutions that still provide a quality education, a path to a university and a college degree.

When all is said and done, the degree plan sounds really good on paper but obviously could require much sacrifice in the process.

In order to obtain such a degree, the individual student might have to change his or her college plans completely.

The idea of attending one of the state’s best learning institutions is a dream for many students. Doing it at an affordable price is almost impossible.

So for all of you aspiring Aggies, Red Raiders, Longhorns or whatever else there may be, while it is a good idea to remain optimistic about Perry’s proposal, this probably isn’t something about which you will want to get your hopes up.

All good things come at a price, and unfortunately, education probably isn’t coming off that list.

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