$36 per unit still a bargain

Jonathan Anson / guest contributor

With the rising cost of tuition, it’s a scary time for college students. It will become even more worrisome should Gov. Jerry Brown make good on his promise to cut more funding to higher education should his tax increase proposal fail to gain the approval of voters this November.

For students, depression and fear have impeded, or even halted, their aspirations to get a college degree. Many students have chosen to drop out because of the increasing price of tuition, or because they simply no longer feel compelled to continue any education they feel is irrelevant.

Others remain undeterred, but are frightened by the debt they continue, or will have to take up, in order to keep paying for a degree which no longer guarantees work.

Some advice is necessary in order to maintain hope among the student body. So to do that, here are some suggestions and advice to students worried not just about their wallets, but their futures as well. All it takes to make them work is perseverance, willingness, and a desire to succeed.

First, if you’re enrolled as a student here at Saddleback College or Irvine Valley College, you’re at an advantage compared to students who are attending a four-year university. For them, the price of tuition is insanely high and growing.

But the tuition at community college, as I’m sure many well tell you, is very affordable. At just $36 per unit, we are being given a bargain. We can cheaply complete required general education class and have some money left over to purchase textbooks, supplies, and necessities to buy when off campus.

If there are any students planning to transfer to a university, then the low tuition will play into your favor. You can leave with a small amount of debt, or even none at all provided you can spend your money responsibly, save it up, and not rely on student loans.

To better accomplish this task, get a paying job. The prospect of working while balancing your school assignments may seem daunting, but earning work experience while receiving a steady financial income will pay off in the long run.

If students are not convinced of how important working is, then you will if you graduate without having done any significant amount of work then you’ll discover that your opportunities in the workplace will be low and you may be forced to take on work not related to your degree.

If you’re finding it difficult to get paid work, become a volunteer instead. You won’t get paid for your time, but you still will earn valuable experience for your resume and can establish references that will prove invaluable in when you do apply for a job.

Now, to any students who wish to drop out, I have three words for you: don’t do it. Tuition may be growing, but employers still require a degree or certification from a college institute to consider you a suitable candidate for employment. A high school diploma may get you work, but a college degree is still a very important key to unlocking doors to more profitable careers.

Finally, never give up hope. College may be a challenge, but it still remains an important experience. It is not a place you go to get a job, it is where you go to get an education and that is worth far more than a paycheck will ever give you. 

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