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
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?