Haines, My Way: Smarts for the rich?

Rebecca Haines

Don’t give up, students.

Like everything else, the price of education is going up. But the beauty of America is that hard work will pay off in the end. Unfortunately, going to college might take some more effort than it has in the past decade. For those who haven’t felt the impact of paying tuition in a while, Missouri Southern’s charging $143 per credit hour. You have to be taking, I think, 12 hours to be considered a full-time student. So, do the math on that one. That’s not as bad as Southwest Missouri State, though. Up there they have to pay $186 per credit hour. Keep in mind that doesn’t include books, room and board plus those little extras instructors like to tag on that first day.

I think that future students are going to be competing hardcore for those scholarships, on-campus jobs and better part-time jobs when not in class. It might be sad that it’s going to be tough to have higher education, but honestly, I want our future leaders to be tough. I want them to have had to make sacrifices to get where they will be. I want them to be better than the other guy. I want them to be the best they can be.

Athletes on scholarships push themselves to the limit not only physically, but mentally in college. Any parent, roommate, friend or mentor of a college athlete can attest to that. Students who have on-campus jobs work hard as well. What I did in college (at first) was I worked part-time when I wasn’t in class. Then, I worked all summer to pay for the following semester. But at the end, I became involved with the university newspaper (best thing I ever did). Earning a scholarship for those last two semesters was very rewarding.

One of the many benefits of being on the campus newspaper was meeting and visiting with countless students. Very seldom did I meet a student who didn’t work besides going to class. There were so many student athletes who held a 4.0 GPA; plus, there were high scoring students who worked and took care of families at home. Those hard workers are far and few between in this world.

I’ve met some students who have fought tooth and nail to earn that degree. Then, there’s amazing graduates who push themselves after that. These types of students should be inspiration for the future generations who come with big dreams.

There were only a few students that I met who were in college to “get mommy and daddy off their back.” Thank goodness I only met a few. Their reality was that their parents would pay for their education, along with a cozy dorm room, their car, insurance, food, extra spending cash … They had it made. But of course, they took it for granted because they never had to work for anything. They didn’t know responsibility or the satisfaction of earning something. Those are not the kind of leaders I want.

My point is, it’s horrible news that the institutions can’t keep tuition at lower rates - it really is heartbreaking. But it should be no excuse. If you want it bad enough, you’ll do it.

So don’t give up, work hard and don’t under any circumstances settle when you can have it better.

Carthage Press