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Columns Votes - December 2006

How did you pay for your college education?

Comments on Government Support

I had a Washington Scholars scholarship for tuition. My parents paid for everything else. UW should offer more merit-based awards. A lot of my friends didn't come to UW because other schools offered them more merit-based aid. I almost didn't go to us because of that as well.

I stayed out of debt by joining the Army Reserves. It worked out great, but I wouldn't do it now given the current situation.

Being awarded an NROTC scholarship meant a commitment after graduation to spend 4 years in the Navy. The best decision I ever made as I ended up being a Navy pilot and, consequently, had a 33 plus year career with United Airlines as a captain.

I graduated from the School of Law in 1977. Our commencement speaker--I believe it was James Dolliver, then a Justice on the Washington State Supreme Court--said that all of us law school graduates were standing on the shoulders of the people of the State of Washington--meaning the people of the State of Washington had financed our education by paying taxes that went directly to pay for that education. He was absolutely correct. Thank you, people of the State of Washington.

My expenses were paid by VA and SS benefits that I received due to the death of my father when I was 12 years of age. Benefits were enough to cover room/board, tuition fees and books for four years. My fifth year (pharmacy program) was covered by loans and job.

My two children will not have to go through this experience since I already paid for four years of college tuition through the GET program.

I interrupted my undergraduate years to serve in the Army during the Vietnam era. The assistance of the Veterans Administration to complete my undergraduate and graduate degrees was essential to my education, and I would do it again. The career I developed because of that educational experience allows me to pay for most of the costs of my children's education at the UW.

I earned enough money by working summers and part time during the school year to pay for my first two years. In my second two years I had an Air Force ROTC scholarship that paid tuition and books and $50 per month. I continued to work part time to pay apartment rent and food. In return for the scholarship, I spent four years on active duty with the Air Force and an additional 17 years in the reserves, retiring as a lt. colonel.

Air Force ROTC Scholarship was a major contributor to financing college. I subsequently “paid back” by 23 years of generally challenging and interesting service.

Harborview Hospital/King County had a program whereby the county paid tuition for Jr/Sr year nursing students in exchange for a certain number of hours worked on the wards. This allowed a lot of women and men to pursue a baccalaureate degree in nursing that could have not afforded it otherwise.


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