To the Editor:

Eric Rodawig’s column on financial aid and college education (“A Red Light for Federal Financial Aid,” THE HOYA, Dec. 2, 2005, A3) has two major flaws. First, Rodawig attempts to make the point that in order to be successful one does not need to be educated at an expensive, top-25 university. He gives an example, saying many U.S. senators have not gone to top schools. He argues that students who cannot afford a Georgetown education should try a “cheaper” school, like Creighton.

I agree with Rodawig that someone can get an excellent education at a school like Creighton. According to Creighton’s Web site, however, tuition for the 2005-2006 year is $29,922. Most American families would consider this cost prohibitive. And while students attending a school like Georgetown might be able to achieve a merit scholarship elsewhere, many quality students will not be able to find such scholarship aid.

While there might not be a big drop-off from Georgetown to Creighton, there is a big drop-off from Creighton to an affordable community college. I have seen first-hand the expense of education hinder very smart people from developing their talents. While American students continue to lag behind in the sciences compared to other countries, jobs are being outsourced, and all this as the world is becoming increasingly flat and technologically-based. Clearly it is a terrible idea to say that cost should prohibit some deserving students from continuing their education as best they can.

Secondly, Rodawig poses the question, “Is it worth an extra $50,000 to $150,000 to have an introductory theology class called `Problem of God’?” This is a simple-minded argument that thoroughly misses the Georgetown experience. One cannot measure a college experience by the name of the school on one’s diploma or fancy class names.

Georgetown’s experience is unique for everyone and impossible to put a price tag on. If Rodawig sincerely believes that we pay a ridiculous amount of money for a name, I hope he has a scholarship. Otherwise he just admitted he wasted $150,000.

James Kelly (COL ’03, MED ’07)

Dec. 10, 2005

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