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July 14, 2014

Prison graduation....

Courtesy Bing Images

Wow.  I was just doing a little channel surfing and caught the tail end of a show about inmates in Sing Sing (New York) obtaining college degrees.  


Here's a link ..... and here is a short blurb from the web site.

Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison has been administering college educational programs in New York State prisons for the last fifteen years. Hudson Link is funded entirely by private donations, and partners with five New York Colleges: Mercy, Nyack, SUNY Sullivan, Siena and Vassar, to provide college programs inside five New York State Correctional Facilities: Fishkill, Greene, Sing Sing, Sullivan and Taconic.

At the end of the program (on HBO), they cited that over 40% of inmates return to prison in 5(?) or so years, but that less than 2% that graduate with a degree while in prison return.  
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In view of how life changing education is, doesn't it make sense for our government to support higher education? 
Kids are leaving college with enormous debts these days.

~Books.  I know I've ranted about this before.....lets say you are taking Chemistry.  You discover the book used for $120 (keep in mind this is ONE book, and if you have a full schedule, you will likely need 5 more).  You know someone who took the same class last year & ask to borrow theirs.  Only to discover that the University is no longer using that particular book (or accompanying lab book for that matter).  Now, you may ask yourself, perhaps there have been incredible advances in chemistry and the book needs to be updated?  No.  Oh, there might be a few changes or new discoveries (I think they have added a few more elements to the table).  But, all in all, what you're learning is basic stuff.  There isn't any need to have a new book.  Except the publishers of these books help fund the University.  So, you know, we can't be giving up that funding.  No sir.
~Parking.  The cheapest parking pass is $175 at UNM.  This puts me at the equivalent of the nose bleed section of a sports arena. My pass will expire in the fall, but since I'm taking an online class, I won't need to renew....plus I figured if I need to go for some reason, I'll use one of the hourly pay spots.  
~Program fees.  I suppose they need to be able to replace the stuff that was broken in the last semester lab, or whatever.  Notice you aren't reimbursed for this if you don't break anything ~ or steal it.
~Computers.  You've just got to get one for school.  It's impossible without one.  However, with some exceptions, you can bargain shop around.....but you will need to have certain programs on it, so don't go too cheap.
~Supplies.  You know, note books and highlighters (don't get me started on highlighters, lol).  But watch the highlighting you're doing in the book you decided to rent instead of buy used, because they kinda frown on that.
~Fees for financing.  I may be the only person at UNM who is paying as I go.  I haven't taken out any loans at this point.  But if you want to make tuition payments as the semester goes along, be prepared for the extra $50 (at least) they will tack on to the total. 
~God forbid you change your mind after registering for a class.  That $40-70 registration fee?  Not refundable, even if you go back that afternoon and drop the class.  You had better be sure you want to take that class!

I wish our government would increase funding to colleges & universities.  But as with so many other deserving organizations, it's simply not going to happen.

What prompted this you ask?  Although I don't begrudge inmates obtaining degrees that they don't have to pay for (I think it's a great idea), I'm a little envious.  But only a little.  I don't think that going to prison would be worth it.

Love, 365

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