Education letters 12/28

It shouldn’t be the responsibility of the state and its citizens to continue a students’ education beyond graduation requirements. Smart and applied students can continue their learning at graduate institutions, rather than continue to use up taxpayers’ dollars. Rather than worrying about “earning without fear of financial burdens,” why not invest in your own future? I would imagine if students paid their own college tuition bills, they would graduate in four years (or maybe even sooner).

Chris M. Lindsey, Denver (UGA ‘08 in four years)

Student made choices

With all due respect and congratulations to UGA senior Amanda Hammons, the objective of the HOPE scholarship is not to provide financing for college education for as long as Hammons wants to attend. Through the benevolence of the citizens of Georgia and their HOPE program, Hammons has enjoyed the opportunity to earn two undergraduate degrees in marketing and sport management, while enhancing her résumé with an internship and a leadership position in at least one campus organization. From an outside perspective, I can see no “injustice” (as she described it) to which the “public” should be attentive.

Ms. Hammons admits that she could have graduated last May with one of the degrees, but would have had to sacrifice résumé enhancements (like her internships) or the club leadership role. From a perspective outside of Athens, it sounds as if Ms. Hammons made a number of choices that now have consequences and, at least in her opinion, the obligation to cover the costs of those consequences should be relegated onto HOPE (and Georgia’s taxpayers).

She talks of her “dreams” and the sacrifices made by her family as the reasons for her very laudable achievement. She truly has earned the merit that she is soon to enjoy as a dual-degreed graduate, and the fact that she accomplished it in 4 1/2 years makes the feat that much more amazing.

However, HOPE is not about granting permanent student status, regardless of an individual’s personal achievement. It is not a perpetual subsidy.

A valuable lesson as we traverse the challenging path to adulthood is taking responsibility for the consequences of our decisions and recognizing that, unlike our time as children, we do not get what we want.

David Adams, Cumming

Doesn’t make sense

I would love to see Morris Brown College survive and prosper. It is a beautiful campus and has a wonderful history of service to education. But let’s be realistic. The AJC states that it takes $350,000 a month to run an unaccredited school offering a mere three “quality” degree programs for 120 students. I don’t see how you can provide a liberal arts degree without a wide range of departments and courses.

Based on a 10-month school year only, each of the 120 students at Morris Brown could have almost $30,000 a year to attend a fully functioning college with an assured “quality” education at an accredited university or college — of which there are plenty in Atlanta.

These administrators and faculty seem to be doing a grave disservice to those 120 students, and it makes you wonder who is benefiting the most from prolonging the life of this institution. In the very long term, it is possible that Morris Brown might revive and become an exceptional school once again, but that is years away even in the best of scenarios.

Until that highly uncertain dream comes true, the 120 students and any others going there in the future will surely suffer with a degree from a discredited college. That should be unacceptable to anyone who genuinely seeks to do his/her best for students.

Richard Funderburke, Decatur

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