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Letters: Nov. 17



(In response to Julianna Robert’s November 16 column, “U.S. Education: room for improvement.”)


I agree with Ms. Roberts that student debt has gotten out of control — it is now being recognized as a national issue. An article in the Nov. 4, 2011 edition of Time profiled several students who have graduated and are working to pay off school debt. Many of them are working in entry-level jobs that have nothing to do with their degree.

Ms. Robert’s solution is entry-level tests that will make it harder for students to apply for college. While I agree that our current system leaves a lot to be desired, college is not as easy to get into, as she wants us to believe.

Secondary education is still an option that is primarily determined by wealth. Even though the government provides grants and loans that almost anyone qualifies for, students who grow up in near poverty are less likely to have the background education or confidence to apply for college.

If an entrance exam became a requirement to take classes, it would become another obstacle for many students who have struggled in school through no fault of their own.

I agree with Ms. Roberts that tests may be an answer, but they should only be used to measure a student’s current abilities in an effort to skip them past basic required classes. This would lessen the amount owed after graduation. Tests like this do exist currently, but we need more of them.

While Roberts may have been slightly off base with her assessment of how tests should be used, she brings up a good point about student debt and the university’s role. Universities should do more to help their graduates start a career without needless debt.

Talia Grenier


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