Potential Community College

I came across a past post on the Global Erie blog, “Outside Erie,” by Peter Panepento in which there is an extensive amount of discussion on the possibility of a Community College in the Erie area. After reading the post and comments, i had some comments of my own that I would like to share with you here.

Wow, I’m so glad there are so many responses to this post and so much dialog about this topic. I didn’t know much about the current community college endeavor until I read this post and these comments, but based on that, here are my thoughts: College is expensive. I just graduated. Luckily, I had a parent that worked as a professor at my college, so I got a substantial discount.

However, I still needed my parents’ help to pay for what that discount and the little loans that I received did not pay for. Like food. If I didn’t have any money. I didn’t eat. Seriously. I got by on cereal and oatmeal i found in my apartment until I finally asked my parents for more money. Loans don’t pay for food. Unless you get enough, loans don’t pay for housing.

With my parents’ financial help and my discount, I ended up with about seven grand in debt. I’m lucky. What about the not so lucky ones? My very good friend couldn’t get money to go to college. His parents were not as financially well off as mine, and he didn’t get enough money in loans to cover his tuition. He went into the military, as Danny Lucas suggested that some individuals do.

Here are the options, as I see it, for a post high school education in the Erie Area

Technical Schools
Jamestown Community College, as mentioned above.

Behrend is now one of Penn State’s best campuses. Enrollment is rising, and competition to get into the school is now much more difficult. It’s also relatively expensive…about $12,000 a year for tuition alone. I don’t know much about Gannon or Edinboro‘s costs, but I do believe they are similar to Behrend’s.

Mercyhurst is definetely expensive. I looked at attending the school, but with a tuition nearly twice as much as Behrend’s, I couldn’t justify it.

And that leaves us with Jamestown Community College. Which seems like the most reasonable priced option. Approximately $10,000 for a two year degree. BUT. It’s not in Erie, and as was already discussed, it is not ideal for those that wish to commute from Erie. And this would result in relocation. Isn’t this just the opposite of what we want to do??

I personally think a Community College in Erie is a good idea. We have several options for post-high school education. But none of which are affordable for those that are less fortunate.

Do any of you have any thoughts? Agree or disagree with me?


One thought on “Potential Community College

  1. Dear Erica,
    You are letter writer number 10, while the reference to my views (noted by you) are apparently in letter 8 and 9.

    Letter 8 is a cut and paste from Anya Kamenetz, author of Generation Debt, writer for the Village Voicem and likely to be heard as the voice of YOUR generation for decades to come.

    Letter 9 clearly attributes the military suggestion to Anya Kamenetz….her words, my passing them along.

    In reference to her blog, any reader can see she is being facetious with regard to a military career. Regrettably, it is a necessary option for some in our society, to risk life and limb, to have a ticket to advance to “GO” on the playing field of life. Some actually come back alive to play the game.

    At any rate, Google Anya Kamenetz and get a full perspective from a peer speaker for your generation.

    I know too many dead-in-Iraq teens to advocate that route to college. Indeed, their parents have sent me pics of 18 year olds who never made it to 19—some, an only child. I keep it in my Inbox continually to ponder often, at what is going on by very few… for very many.

    For many in our country, we are at war.
    For many in our country, the war is over.
    For the balance, they are eeking out an existence and do not have insight or wisdom to stand one way or the other on the issue.

    With respect to Community College, we are decades behind the country on the issue. Elsewhere, youth attend. Here, we ponder whether to ponder making one for our youth….you know, the ones who eventually up and leave because they Have to.

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