Life is Harder

Nords said ""Free"?!?
Did Vietnam vets get full expenses plus stipend? I don't know.

No they didn't. Facing the draft when I turned 18, I joined the Air Force, but my enlistment was delayed 8 months due to the training backlog caused by Nam.

When I got out in '71, college was out of the question. Unlike WWII, coverage for tuition was limited (no high-priced universities/colleges tuitions coverered) nor was there any "extra help" for living expenses. When I went in, it was "only me". When I was discharged, I had a wife/baby to support. Being that my son is was/is disabled, my wife stayed home to care for him for the first 5+ years, so what would be considered "normal additional income" (e.g. two working people in the family) was not an option in our case (but I'm sure it was in others).

BTW, the first local "community college" did not come about in our area till after I enlisted. "Higher education" meant that you had (or your folks) had money. Credit was not available as readily as today if you wanted to persue an education.

However, things still worked out in the end - that's all that counts anyway, isn't it? I (nor my wife) may have a degree (only 3 of 4 of our joint parents finished high school), but my son (even being a high-level autistic) received his BS in computer science. That was part of the "American dream" - to have your kids get a bit further (in any desire) than you did...

- Ron
The problem with the cost is entirely student loans if they didn't have them only kids with scholarships or who had parents that saved to send them could go unless they worked full time while going.
I worked my way through college with no help and no loans but it wasn't that bad because it was before everyone tried to send every kid.

Today the yearly cost of tuition and fees for most state universities is about $9-10K. That's a lot of money if a kid is putting herself through college. Students usually have to take out loans. Those loans are very often private loans and what is happening now is that graduates have to pay back the loan immediately and they can't find a good enough job. If they miss payments, the interest rate gets jacked up. It's such a trap.

I put myself through college and grad school, as a single mom. The junior college I went to cost nothing for tuition. It was FREE for everyone! Then University of California gave me a scholarship but tuition only cost about $400 a quarter back in 1974.

Also, because I was a single mom, day care was subsidized. Also, I received food stamps, courtesy of the state of California. Thanks, guys! It really helped keep my kid and I in groceries.

Books for college students are outrageously expensive now too. And the publishers keep coming out with the "latest" edition so students can't buy used books. It's really a racket.

So in that one respect, higher ed, things were SO MUCH better for me in the 1970s than for students now.
An relevant exerpt from an article regarding the current high cost of childrearing [The war on the family | Home | Canadian Business Online]:

You can't blame young couples for their decision to have fewer children than their own parents. Over the past three decades, total family incomes in real terms — that is, adjusted for inflation — have actually gone down. Statistics Canada says the median family income in 1980 was $58,000. Twenty-seven years later, it's $57,700. (Both figures are expressed in 2005 dollars to remove the effects of inflation.) But stagnant incomes are not the worst problem. A generation ago, it took just one working parent to generate that median household income. These days it takes two.
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