Morning Brief: Student Loan Debt History, Monkeypox Vaccine Supply, LAist Readers Remember Vin Scully
gHello the Today is Thursday August 4th.
If I told you how much student debt I have, you would cry beside me. Yes, it is SO BAD, my friends. I am grateful that I was able to pay for my undergraduate education through a Pell grant and a grant for low-income students. But then came the doctoral school.
After three years of working as a teacher, I wanted to return to journalism and report on the problems I witnessed inside schools. I thought the best step for a young first-generation graduate, who is also a black woman, was to go to college. I had no connection with the media. Why not apply to the best schools that would give me a leg up in this society?
I did my graduate studies and I excelled. I am where I am because of my experience in higher education. But I took thousands of dollars to pay for it. Now I owe MORE than I originally owed because of accrued interest.
I’m not alone.
My colleague Julia Barajas’ in-depth article on the history of student debt is a MUST-READ. She writes about the idea that’s been put in our heads that college is THE path to economic mobility for working-class families, and how it’s driven so many to rack up massive debt for the good of society. ‘Higher Education.
As many of us have pursued this dream over the years, Julia reports that other factors have come into play that have contributed to increasing the cost of higher education – and the challenges of paying for it. For example, the average cost of tuition has increased 130% since 1990, but grants and other federal aid have failed to keep up with rising costs. Then, during the Great Recession, when so many students couldn’t find jobs after college, student loan debt soared from $772 billion to $1.6 trillion.
Did you know that long ago, California’s public university system was essentially free? This ended under Governor Ronald Reagan. Today, Californians owe about $142 billion in student debt.
Julia interviewed several Angelenos who took out loans to pay for their college education.
I identify so much with David Madina, a veteran teacher from Pico Rivera. Madina told Julia that even though he received better financial aid at Whittier College than his other first choice, UCLA, he still had to take out loans.
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He didn’t even hesitate to do so. Why?
“My generation was told that was the plan: you go to college because your parents didn’t,” he said. “I just figured out that you take out loans for cars, houses, and school, and that’s what you do, that’s how you get by.”
All I knew growing up was that I had privileges that my parents didn’t. They put food in my stomach, clothes on my back and a roof over my head… took care of everything so I could stay FOCUSED in school and do better than them. I had to do it.
Just like Madina, I bit the prize bullet and went for it.
And now, on the other side, with more than six figures in debt to my name, I just hope I don’t become a 91-year-old lady with over $300,000 in student debt to my name.
As always, stay happy and healthy, friends. There’s more news below the fold.
What else you need to know today
Before you go…A brief walk down memory lane with Vin Scully
For today’s journey in our time machine, we remember Wine Scullythe beloved and legendary Dodgers broadcaster died Tuesday at age 94.
Scully followed the team from Brooklyn to LA in 1958, and the rest became history. We asked you for your memories and it’s what some of you shared:
Kelly R.. remembered walking through the neighborhood on a hot summer evening:“As I walked past houses with open windows hoping for a cool breeze, I could hear Vin Scully’s voice passing through each one. The whole neighborhood listened to the voice of the Dodgers.
Eric S. reflected on a time when he was “lucky” to get club-level seats for a Dodgers game in 2000, and he REALLY wanted Scully’s autograph.
“He passed me about 100 feet before I started running towards him shouting, ”Mr. Scully! Mr. Scully! He stopped and I asked him to sign my glove. He complied without flinching. We spoke briefly and I told him that I was teaching my 1 year old son to say “Vin Scully” and that I hoped that would be his first words. He was so humble that he almost seemed shy about it. I’ve never met a more humble or nice celebrity in my entire life, and being from LA, we tend to see a lot of celebrities.
Leonard G. savored this moment:
“My grandma was such a huge fan and watched religiously. I remember there were some weird road games over the years that weren’t shown on TV. Instead, during a commercial break on KTTV, Vin was reading a short pre-recorded score with a big Farmer John logo in the background and he was letting us all know if the Dodgers won or lost that day.As you couldn’t rewind or check the scores of your phone at that time, my grandmother, with very few words possible, silenced anyone who prevented her from getting the brief, to STFU as fast as possible 🤣 And if you didn’t, you better for hearing the score of course to report back to him. Thanks for the memories, Vin. 💙”
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