No Relief From College Costs

By: Chris Sutter Email
By: Chris Sutter Email

As Joe Finnerty watches his son warm up for the Holt vs. East Lansing soccer game, there's a lot more on his mind than how his son, Brenden, will perform.

He's thinking about the future and how he's going to be able to afford for his son to become successful.

"We are, for the next couple of years, making all of our financial decisions based on college," Finnerty says.

It's a battle parents of college students know all about and will perhaps even be a back breaker for the Finnerty's finances.

"We'll have to eat peanut butter sandwiches sometimes, but we're willing to do it because the education is worth it," he says.

That is unless a free tuition program proposed by a few State Representatives actually comes to fruition.

And sure every parent would like to send their student to a school like MSU for free but, it is going to be difficult to make happen.

"To all of the sudden give money to schools, at a college level, the ability to give a free education to students, I find that kind of hard to understand." David Martell, Director of Michigan School Business Officials, explains.

Because he says, at this point, the state is having a hard enough time funding K through 12, and it's going to get even worse.

"It's going to be a situation where districts are going to be edging towards a cliff of a lack of funding," Martell explains.

Leaving Finnerty's son in a financial hole far before he'll ever be able to pay for it.

"The bottom line is, he will come out of school with some debt," Finnerty explains.

More info on the Free College Tuition Program:

-It would apply to anyone who graduated high school with at least a 2.5 GPA.

-They would have to live in Michigan for five years before graduating.

-The price tag is hefty -- $1.7 billion dollars for four years. That's just for tuition -- no books, no fees, no room and board.

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  • by Anonymous on Sep 16, 2009 at 05:47 AM
    Earning an education means that you work to earn the grade and work to pay for the education. A teenager who works to earn something appreciates it more than one who has it given to them.
  • by you know who Location: holt on Sep 15, 2009 at 08:45 PM
    Brendan Finnerty is a spoiled rotten kid
  • by Anonymous on Sep 15, 2009 at 06:47 AM
    I agree Kathy.I also know the youth of america have it better than they think.Free this or that.I've seen some parents even do the kids school work so they can go out with their friends.I've seen homes where children have No chores or responsibilities.I've seen parents letting teens drink and their friends.It's not illegal inless you get caught.I've seen grant checks written out to students and they cash them,and don't use them for school anything.We've heard how some students in college drink and party.Then we hear how college professors go on strike to get higher pay and retirement stuff.Then we hear how expensive college is?However I hear how the state wants to CUT the ones programs that are so poor.So college students can learn what?How many start college,then drop out?More than we think.Money wasted.Free?There are people now with educations that can't find work.Or are being laid off.The golden platter comes next for those not needing a thing.
  • by Kathy Location: Manchester on Sep 14, 2009 at 09:28 PM
    Okay, the State is frantically trying to cut its budget and some politician thinks free college is a good idea??? Your article tells about a man who's "thinking about the future and how he's going to be able to afford for his son to become successful." News flash--the best way for his son (or other Michigan students) to become successful is to have to work for that success. It's sort of like exercise--it won't help your health if someone else does it for you. Someone else can't earn your success for you--you have to get it for yourself! I worked to pay for a lot of my college education, and my daughter worked to pay for hers. We both value what we earned. Help in the form of necessary loans with reasonable interest might be useful, but not a silver platter of money for college.
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