Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Reducing college debt

To the editor:

I enjoyed your editorial on the benefits of free education for our graduating seniors and all public school children. Near the end of the piece, you mention that many students end up with $35,000 of student loans at the end of their college careers. A partial solution to that, available to qualifying Washington state juniors and seniors, is Running Start.

Running Start is a program that allows students to earn their high school diplomas and associate of arts degrees at the same time. They can graduate from high school with two years of community college under their belts and transfer to most any college in Washington (and other states, too) as a junior. That’s almost $8,000 of free tuition! (Calculated at the current cost per Skagit Valley College credit — and we all know that tuition has increased dramatically over the past few years and will likely continue to do so.)

South Whidbey students have the opportunity to participate in Running Start through Skagit Valley College’s South Whidbey Center, conveniently located in Clinton at Ken’s Corner. They can choose to attend college full time or part-time, and still participate in sports, music, and other high school activities. To find out more, parents and students can stop by South Whidbey Center, call 341-2324, or email kelli.white-mellish@skagit.edu. We’ll be at SWC Monday through Thursday, until the end of June, resuming in early September. You can also check out the Running Start link www.skagit.edu/news.asp_Q_pagenumber_E_3357.

Running Start is another great educational opportunity provided by the State of Washington.

Kelli White-Mellish

Educational Planner

SVC South Whidbey Center

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