Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Associate’s degree an alternative to college debt

Editor,

The editorial cartoon in the May 7 edition of the South Whidbey Record showed a new graduate squeezed and about to be swallowed by a giant snake named Debt.

Although I chuckled briefly, this scenario is a somber reality for many. Earning an associate’s degree or even taking some college classes at a community college before going off island to a university is one way for students to save money and decrease the cost of their bachelor’s degree. For example, a year of full-time tuition and fees at Skagit Valley College would run students around $4,200, while that same year at an off-island public university would cost between $8,000 and $12,000, and that’s without the approximately $10,000 for room and board to live on campus or the cost of the commute for those who continue to live on the island.

High school juniors and seniors with at least a 2.25 grade point average can save even more (money and time) by participating in the Running Start program, earning high school and college credit at the same time. Their tuition is covered, and they are only responsible for books and fees.

Earning an associate’s degree is a smart move for many on their educational journeys and a way to lessen the squeeze of college debt.

Sincerely,

KELLI WHITE-MELLISH

educational planner

Skagit Valley College

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