If you want to increase enrollment, start by letting students enroll

Dear Editor,

In response to editorial that ran in Thursday’s edition: “What happens when reasons run out?”, I want to offer a new perspective.  When I read through the numbers of enrollment decreases and increases, I see myself directly in those statistics.

I attended SIUC from 2009 to 2010 after transferring from a junior college. However, I was under 24 and unable to receive financial aid, except a couple small loans. My parents wouldn’t cosign the Plus Loan for me, so the entire year, I stacked up a heavy Bursar’s bill that would haunt me for two years.

The state has this wonderful notion that when your parents make so much money, it means they’re going to baby you even after you turn 18. If your parents do this for you, believe me, I envy you. But my parents left me to fend for myself, because it’s what they had to do.

I just returned this semester, right after my 24th birthday, after a dead-end job let me go for petty reasons. I tried to make it in the “real world,” but truly I needed to buy some time so I could figure out how I would be able to still maintain a future.

Call it fate, if you like clichés, but I could have started a much better life by now if SIUC and I didn’t have to fight.

Keep in mind there is a policy for enrollment, which puts holds on your account if you owe more than $500. I’m so sorry, but really I’m not, when I say: Who the hell doesn’t owe SIUC? We’re young adults (predominantly) being thrown into an economy that, well, sucks.

Does SIUC seriously want to increase enrollment? How about we stop kicking people out of college? With the economy the way it is, God knows an education is important.

Loosen the holds policy.

Counsel your students more! All I got was a letter in the mail here and there for two years while SIUC added more and more charges to my bill. I get that it’s my responsibility, but without that precious piece of paper giving me the right to a career, I did not have the money to do anything about it.

Jessica Wettig
senior from Anna studying journalism

 

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