Online Only - Letter: the payoff of education

Publication YearIssue Date 

Editor, the Gauntlet,

The cover story of the Gauntlet caught my attention on a recent brief stop at the University of Calgary. It was 20 years ago that I attended and it doesn't look like much has changed-- students then complained about the rising cost of tuition.

I realize that you need to try to keep the powers that be in check and that any tuition increases are valid.

I also realize there are many students who struggle financially and every tuition hike pinches a little harder. Trust me, I was one of them. When I went to school, I was in my mid-20s, married, with two young children. I lived in Calgary Housing, took student loans, worked part-time (sometimes almost full-time), my wife worked part-time. When I graduated I had a student loan of almost $20,000, my credit cards were maxed and I owed my dad some money too. It took a few years to feel like we were finally above water, but it eventually happened and it has made all the difference in the world.

Unfortunately, it seems though that so many young people have no problem signing up for a car loan for $25,000 (or more) for an asset whose value will depreciate to effectively zero in 10 year's time or spending a thousand bucks on a trip to Mexico or Cuba and let's not even begin to talk about beer or weed habits or other vices. Yet paying tuition for an education that is an asset that only increases in value as you get experience and go through life seems like a tremendous hardship for so many. Why is that?

You're getting a great education. Think of it as an investment. It'll pay off. It's money well spent.