MaShelle Hess 
Member since Mar 7, 2015


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Re: “Why Idaho kids don't go to college

My son, Geoffrey Hess, was interviewed for this article. My husband and I are both college graduates and my husband received his formative education in Idaho. He graduated with an Associates degree and works for the U.S.G.S. making a really good salary. We offered to pay for my son's education. All he had to do was live on campus; he refused. We offered to pay for trade school; he chose not to go. He did not take the Compass exam. We did not kick him out; he chose to leave. I filled out his FAFSA application; he chose not to go to school.

I am a first generation college graduate. I am the first one in my immediate family to go to graduate school. We have always stressed the importance of education in our home, spending thousands of dollars on tutors and I even supplemented my son's education by giving him special projects to do at home. I was in graduate school while he was in high school and we were still able to pay for his schooling. Not every kid has that type of opportunity.

Our educational system has increasingly become more expensive and the gap between the poor, the working poor, the middle class, and the upper class has continued to widen over the past several decades. That said, there are numerous grants, scholarships, and loans to help people get through college. Sandpoint High School has the right idea with helping students apply to college and for financial aid. I believe this should be offered in all schools. I also believe college tuition should be lowered across the board.

Most people don't really know what they want to do for the rest of their lives at the age of 18. College is an excellent way to explore a variety of options. Supposing a person graduates from college still not really knowing what she wants to do; she has still gained an incredible depth of knowledge in a variety of topics and improved her critial thinking skills. Isn't that, in and of itself, an asset? Employers are looking for higher level thinking skills. On average, college graduates do make more money than non-college graduates.

With technology expanding at the rate it is, there is an increasing number of "tradtional" colleges offering accredited online degrees. This offering has improved accessibility and, to some extent, affordability, but students still need help navigating the college and financial aid application processes.

Idaho does have some work to do with improving education and preparing students for a postsecondary education. Our state legislature needs to make education a top priority and improve educational opportunities for all students - for those requiring special education and disability services and for those with who thrive in college preparatory classes. Improve technology in schools and provide adequate training to teachers so they can use technology to educate our students. Increase teacher salaries to attract more qualified teachers. Invest in educational infrastructure to make learning an enjoyable experience coupled with quality instruction.

24 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by MaShelle Hess on 03/07/2015 at 12:30 PM

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