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LETTER: More to Consider in Scholarships for All 

The proposal to offer Promise Scholarships to an array of post high-school graduate educational venues offers potential on its face. It seems a good idea for kids with the interest, aptitude, and ability to engage in and complete advanced education of all types. But there are caveats.

First, underlying this premise is the need for familial support — a doubtful supposition for many kids. Far too many youngsters lack encouragement to do better. Many lack the basics of food, clothing and shelter. Without meeting these basic needs, they have little chance. First things first.

A second factor which diminishes the impact of both private and public funding has been the rapidly rising costs of higher education. These are driven especially in colleges, which have jacked up student fees to support needless college athletics and other useless amenities. Higher education often seems to have lost its focus on enhancing knowledge, skills and abilities. It, like health care, has become a commercial enterprise.

Finally, there has to be economic development which engenders employment with decent pay. Otherwise, we end up with overeducated, underemployed and disaffected young folks. This is the profile of many who support turmoil in the Middle East.

Walt Pulliam Jr.
Henrico

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