When I enrolled at Boise Junior College in 1960, the tuition and fees were just under $100 a semester. Entry level jobs paid about $1 an hour, so one could earn enough with a summer job to go to college. A part-time job would help with living expenses. Over the years tuition grew to $1,000 a semester and entry-level wages increased at about the same rate. Then in 2001, the Legislature started cutting taxes, thinking this was the road to prosperity and attracting new business to the state.
Now tuition and fees at Boise State University are about $3,500 a semester and entry-level jobs won’t meet that cost. Many students have to borrow big bucks to get a college education. It’s not fair.
People wonder why there is a shortage of educated workers. Parents and politicians of my parents’ generation were willing to pay the taxes to support public colleges. Ours was the fortunate generation.
Elinor Chehey, Boise