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Letters: Thoughts on avoiding big college debt

Reader letters to Newsday for Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019

The rising cost of education is a problem

The rising cost of education is a problem for many Americans. Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto / DNY59

As a parent of three children with graduate degrees, we have all felt the wrath of the tuition that universities charge [“LI’s student debt bind,” News, Feb. 10].

I suggest that parents consider sending children to college year-round as part-time students instead of the traditional two-semester, full-time year. In our experience, at some schools, the per-credit cost for a part-time student is less than going as a full-time student. If the curriculum allows, students can save on tuition by planning ahead.

If a student plans on going to graduate school, he or she also should look for a college that offers a five-year undergraduate-graduate combination degree. Some colleges charge undergraduate tuition at the graduate level when a student is on a five-year plan. Some might even offer scholarships that continue into the graduate year. A combination-degree program also can help a student save the time and energy needed to get into graduate school.

Maryanne Farrigan, Farmingdale

What you failed to mention in your article are the horrific interest rates being charged by financial institutions for student loans. We’ve found that interest rates start at a fixed rate above 6 percent for a parent with an excellent credit score. Interest can begin accruing the day the loan is accepted. The interest owed can end up being half of the loan. That is disgusting.

There is not enough support in this country for youth to further their education. Many colleges are very expensive, and students end up owing more than $100,000.

My daughter graduated as one of the top 10 students in her high school and won several financial awards, but still owes more than $100,000 in student loans. She was encouraged to attend a reputable college because the job market is so competitive. Young adults should not have to go into such large debt to become productive and successful members of society.

Sheri McConlogue, Levittown

Many readers will miss “Non Sequitur”

As an illustrator, I am in awe of great cartoonists. It is difficult work even for the brightest among us. Newsday’s daily dose of mostly top-tier comic strips provides reliable relief from increasingly distressful news. So the sudden decision to terminate “Non Sequitur” with extreme prejudice is shocking [“Editor’s note,” News, Feb. 12].

When I looked for “vulgar” language in the Feb. 10 “Non Sequitur” that might warrant extreme punishment, I could not find it. Using a magnifying glass, however, I did find some words in a scribble that could be made into a vulgar expression by erasing overlapping scribbles and adding an “F.” But I would have to imagine offense to find it. Even so, the cartoonist promptly apologized for expressing something that many Americans work hard to suppress every day.

That should have been the end of it. Instead, Newsday chose to hold a cartoonist to an impossibly high standard in a nation that does not hold its president to any standard. I hope Newsday will reverse its shameful error in judgment as quickly as it was made.

James Moyssiadis, Port Jefferson

Thank you for taking a stand for decency and canceling “Non Sequitur”!

When I saw the cartoon, I was furious. As a longtime subscriber, I applaud your decision!

John Sottnik, Wantagh

I am disappointed that you have discontinued “Non Sequitur,” the only clever and well-drawn cartoon that your paper carries. Your reasoning was based on one cartoon that contained a crude reference to President Donald Trump. Yet, you continue to report the words of the president, who continues to make crude references about women, members of the LGBTQ community, disabled people, people with black and brown skin, gold star parents, and immigrants, among others. Cartoonists help us survive all of Trump’s bullying by casting him in a humorous and sarcastic light. Your cancellation is nothing short of censorship, a dangerous and slippery slope for a local newspaper.

Lillian Clayman, Port Jefferson

Please continue publication of “Non Sequitur” by Wiley Miller. It is often the most humorous and ingenious cartoon in Newsday, and readers should not be deprived of it because one word in one strip offended some readers. Miller said he intended to remove the remark and has apologized for its publication. To discontinue the cartoon when the president occasionally uses the same vulgarity is to carry political correctness too far.

Virginia and Tom Uhl, Cutchogue

Arming teachers would be dangerous

A year after 17 students and teachers were gunned down at a high school in Parkland, Florida, a state Senate committee there is considering a measure to arm schoolteachers [“Remembered in silence,” News, Feb. 15].

Think about what happened the other night in New York City. The NYPD says a police officer was killed when seven officers fired a total of 42 times at an attempted robber with a fake gun. These men were trained to engage in situations like this, yet in the heat of the confrontation, as in the fog of war, there were tragic results. Imagine what could happen in a school filled with panicky children if teachers had guns. And the National Rifle Association advocates arming teachers? Think again.

Bill Domjan, Melville

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