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Letter: Advice to avoid big student debt

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Darren415

There is a way for students to avoid crushing debt upon college graduation: Enroll in a two-year college, take courses that will be accepted by most 4-year colleges, and then finish at a 4-year school [“LI’s student debt bind,” News, Feb. 10]. This can reduce your total college tuition significantly. More high school guidance counselors should recommend this path to students with very high and above-average grades.

Parents also have to rid themselves of the idea that if their child attends a junior college for two years, he or she is an academic failure, and that their neighbors will talk about it!

Math and science teachers and foreign-language translators are needed. Do not overlook trade and vocational schools. Today’s cars are computer-driven and require mechanics trained in electronics. Welders, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, heating and air-conditioning technicians also are in demand.

Robert Kralick,

Glen Head

The most concerning aspect of the student loan crisis has been the failure of institutions to emphasize two points to prospective students: loans require repayment, and tuition should be treated as an investment.

I often hear of college-seekers who become so enamored with a particular school or program that price becomes a secondary concern. That might be OK for very wealthy people, but inexcusable for the remaining 95 percent of us if that school or program does not provide a significant return on a potential six-figure investment financed with loans.

Prospective students need to ask whether a school or program is worth the expense. Students should take the initiative and research which job fields have high growth outlooks and average compensation (accounting and computer science, anyone?) and which schools provide the most bang for your education buck. Forbes’ annual “America’s Best Value Colleges” ranking is a good source. Spoiler alert: CUNYs and SUNYs are highly represented.

Students who adopt this approach will reduce their odds of being swallowed by student debt.

Robert Mosca Jr.,

East Northport

Editor’s note: The writer has been a volunteer with iMentor, a program in which college graduates help city students with college applications.

Hicksville train station garage is much better

In September, the Hicksville parking garage was closed for significant rehabilitation, inconveniencing already in-the-bunker commuters for months. It was announced that the garage would reopen at the beginning of the new year.

Yeah, right.

Of course, some of us commuters expected interminable delays, resulting in a who-knows-how-long closing of this critical facility. But then — guess what! — this complicated project mostly got done on time. It was reopened to cars by Jan. 1 (with some work remaining on lighting, an elevator and signage) [“Town: Hicksville garage open, but additional work needed,” News, Jan. 1].

I’ve been using that garage for 25 years and endured its many problems. For the first time, it seemed to be the garage commuters have been waiting for.

Town of Oyster Bay officials, the contractor and their employees deserve a standing ovation.

Drew Oringer,


Opposing views on Amazon in Queens

As a resident of Astoria for nearly 15 years and a visitor for the six years before that, I’m wholeheartedly opposed to Amazon moving to Long Island City.

Your Feb. 10 editorial, “Don’t botch this delivery,” ignores the fact that the area is getting more crowded and expensive for those of us who have been here or have had family here for decades.

What used to be a relatively easygoing 15-minute drive from Astoria, Queens, to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, now takes 30 dangerous minutes or longer, with drivers, who don’t use signal indicators, and jaywalkers. There aren’t enough parking spaces, and few new buildings include garages in their architecture.

While is a convenient shopping service, Amazon the company would cause gentrification and create a real estate nightmare for the people in this area.

Maria Bauser,


I am in total agreement with the editorial, which supports the plan for Amazon to set up a headquarters in Long Island City.

I am baffled at the argument that because Amazon owner Jeff Bezos is a billionaire, his company should not receive tax breaks that have been worked out for his company. New York State has made such arrangements many times to incentivize corporations, large and small, to set up shop in the state. The argument to make an exception for Amazon is specious, at best, and half-brained at worst.

The people of New York deserve having Amazon as its new neighbor in Queens. Running Amazon out of town is a terrible idea that we can ill afford.

Judah Ausubel,



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