Regarding Robin Mamlet and Christine Vandevelde’s “Should Colleges Be Factories for the 1%?” (op-ed, Feb. 21): When I went to college (for an engineering degree quite some time ago), the costs were so affordable that I paid all of them from summer earnings, a little savings and an occasional part-time job while in school. I lived at home and commuted, but my parents never had to pay a tuition bill. By the time my children went to college, earning enough to pay just the tuition for a state school was impossible. Now, it’s totally out of the question; students regularly graduate with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. In some cases, repayment is impossible from earnings based on their major.
It is a shame for parents to go into debt, give up vacations and other niceties, take on additional part-time work and endanger their retirement so that their children can go to college, but who then must move back in with their parents because they cannot find a job. Having a good idea of the likelihood of gainful employment should be part of the decision-making process, especially for those parents not in the “1%.”