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Columns Votes - December 2006

How did you pay for your college education?

Comments on Finances and the Student Experience

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My parents could afford to pay for my tuition and books and board & room (on-campus dorm) on a quarter-by- quarter basis. UW tuition was much more affordable in the 70’s. I worked part-time for spending money. I was extremely lucky and I paid my parents back by studying very hard. I financed professional school entirely by subsidized loans and savings, working in the summer and being frugal.

I worked first, after graduating from high school. This allowed me time to mature, to better focus on my goal, and to practice saving money for what I really wanted - a bachelors degree. Paying for it all myself made it that much more special, gave me a greater sense of accomplishment and provided a huge boost of pride. It took a little longer, but the finish was just as sweet!

Avoid jobs that interfere with studying. Consider the times when you study best. During my second year I helped clean the dormitory kitchen, five evenings per week; this really hurt my grades. During my senior year I had a job where I worked eight hours on Friday afternoon and evening, plus eight  hours on Saturday; it was the only time I made the Dean’s List. When you pay for your college education yourself you are more serious about it and you work harder so you feel you get more for your money.

My undergraduate degree (University of Maryland) was paid for by the US Army. My M.S. in nursing at UW also was paid for by the US Army. I was given the opportunity to serve my country and get a great education!!!

I financed the cost of the master’s degree.  I received a Kellogg Fellowship for the Ph.D. combined with sabbatical leave income from the community college system and federal grant money for a curriculum project. Being in the graduate program at the College of Education was one of the highlights of my professional career. Thank you UW!

I worked for a year, after graduating high school, saving enough money to attend junior college for two years. Attending junior college, while living at home, significantly reduced my expenses. At the end of my first year, I was accepted into a co-op (work study) program. The program paid for half my books/tuition, and enabled me to work for my future employer during summer and winter breaks to pay for the remaining school expenses, including residence costs. I received an associate of science in engineering from Olympic College, and a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the UW. In retrospect, I would certainly take this path again. Attending junior college not only reduced my total college costs, but the smaller school provided a very personal environment. After forty years, I can still remember the name of almost all of my junior college instructors, and almost none of my UW instructors. The work-study program not only helped pay for costs, but provided real work experience and introduced me to my future co-workers.

Came to UW after ten years in Air Force, along with wife and two children. We lived in the old student family housing built for returning vets. Tuition help through GI Bill; worked nights at Boeing. My wife worked in the UW dental school. I got a B.A. in philosophy in 1960. Went on to earn an M.Div. at TCU. When I suggested that I might go on to a doctorate, my wife said enough was enough!

My parents paid about 80%—my work filled in the shortfall. However, my tuition in 1965-68 was about $115 a quarter. My Dad gave me $100/month for school, and it was enough!

I received an athletic scholarship my senior year, which was a tremendous help. My parents were amazing too.

Honestly, I just got lucky. My grandparents had some money set aside for all their grandchildren’s college and I received two year of full tuition scholarships through chemical engineering’s scholarship application. If it wasn’t for the full tuition ones, I would have had to take out a loan.

I worked way too many hours (about 32 hours/week) while in pharmacy school. Curriculum is too demanding for that many hours (20/week is suggested max). Some Work/study grant helped. Chronic exhaustion the whole time, took years to recover my health. I obviously did not get to enjoy the other activities that UW alumni have fond memories of—missed out on a lot. If I had it to do over, I would try for a loan for part of it and try to work less. That was 1982, the prices have gone up, a student could not do it the way I did anymore, they would have to have a loan.

I paid for all my own college while working part-time as a barista. I woke up at 4:20 am 4-5 days a week to get the good tippers. Not until my last year did I qualify (not based on my parent’s income) for any type of financial aid, the only thing I would have done different is maybe not accept the LOAN only the GRANTS!

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