The kindly worded email read:
“This fall, you may have received a letter from us asking you to make a gift to support the University of Iowa. Annual gifts from generous alumni like you help provide outstanding academic resources and unique learning opportunities for UI students –and every gift is important and appreciated.”Really?! While I'm totally for giving back to the education system, I have a bit of a problem with my alma mater reaching out to me for a monetary donation just 18 short months after I graduated. Us recent graduates are knee deep in student loans and making our way through one of the worst job markets ever - yet instead of our university getting us on our feet and providing career support after college, they reach out to ask us for money.
Dear University of Iowa, I waited tables for nearly eight months out of college, lived with my parents for more than a year and completed a total of three internships before finally, I got a full-time job. Now I'm finally on my own, struggling to make rent each month and counting my pennies where I can. Do you really think I’d spend MORE money on you – an institution that has already gladly collected more than 100,000 dollars of my family’s hard-earned cash?
Clearly, the answer is a big. fat. NO.
But as much as this makes me bitter at the University of Iowa, I realize this is a hot topic for many across the nation, not just myself and other UI graduates. As we all know, a four-degree is considered vital (if not a prerequisite) for obtaining a full-time job these days – and that education is not cheap. The average four-year college education is around $83,000 and results in an average of $23,186 in student loans per graduate. For a prerequisite to a career, that’s quite a burden for us twenty-somethings to carry.
So where's the breaking point? When do universities become forced to cap education fees, give more student aid to the average middle class family and provide more assistance as students transition out of college life?
Who knows. But for now, one thing is for sure - we're on our own.