Spending money now to help build the future later

Elliot Golan/Roundup

The amount of money given out in financial aid shouldn’t be seen in any other way than as an investment in the future of our country.

Anafe Robinson, Pierce College financial aid director, estimates 60 percent of Pierce College students receive some form of financial aid, whether through fee waivers, grants, loans or combinations therein.  

Close to $19 million was given out during the 2008-09 financial aid period. 

Yes, it’s a large number. No, it’s not excess.

Parents preach the values of education, pushing their children toward the pursuit of lives better than their own.

However, when it comes to opening a wallet, ideals are often challenged.

This shouldn’t be.

Students are already faced with heavily increased costs. On Nov. 19, the University of California Regents approved a 32-percent increase in tuition. 

At $26 per unit, Pierce has raised its costs from last semester, when registration cost $20 per unit.

The combination of higher fees and lower income (due to the highest national unemployment rate since 1983) could be a reason for the record financial aid numbers.

More applications for financial aid have been received in the first five months of this year than the entire year prior.

Many of these financial aid recipients will go on to help support the growth of our country for decades to come.

Regardless of the economic crisis the country is in, we cannot allow ourselves to become fiscal hermits and cut spending. After all, capitalism is founded on private enterprise. Advancements in business and economics come only through education. 

According to Gladys Rodriguez, a technician at the Pierce financial aid office, grade point average, income and household size are the three greatest factors in determining who will receive aid.

With that in mind, doesn’t it behoove a nation to support applicants who, though financially burdened, maintain averages above 2.0? 

As the popular business axiom suggests, “You’ve got to spend money to make money.”