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Learning the hard way 

Street Smarts

Unless you take out student loans (or have one heck of a trust fund), options for higher education are limited. Americans owe more than $1 trillion in student debt. From any angle, that's absurd.

click to enlarge Ben Lowe
  • Ben Lowe

Ben Lowe of Palmer Park works in commercial real estate.

What's your best or worst memory of college? I'd say the best memory was just opening my mind to different opinions and people. Getting out of that box I was in in high school.

What do you think of our country's student debt problem? It's definitely a problem. I don't pretend to know the solution, though. I'm of the opinion that if you take out a loan, if you sign that contract, then you've got to pay it, but I do agree that college is too expensive.

How do you feel about the idea of free tuition? Nothing's free. We're still going to pay for it with taxes. Selfishly, I don't like it because I worked my way through college, and it's like "if I can do it, you can do it," but I understand times have changed.

click to enlarge Victoria Heim
  • Victoria Heim

Victoria Heim of the Cheyenne Mountain area is a poet.

What do you think of our growing student debt problem? We need affordable education for every human being who wants or is interested in it. We are more cultured, more connected the more educated we are. And we communicate better.

How do you feel about the growing free tuition movement? Absolutely, I support it. There's a lot we need as a country, but we should prioritize education. It will lead to better communication skills, better jobs. We need people to be more self-authoritative. We need to train people to realize their own possibility. Create more possibility thinking.

Do you think college does that? Not exactly. It trains people to have that mindset of, you know, you're training to get a job and get a paycheck. When we create a competitive society, some people have a lot of money, some have none. You have to be able to learn that we are all valuable.

click to enlarge Keith Williams
  • Keith Williams

Keith Williams of the southside is "your local downtown street artist."

How do you feel about our student debt problem? College tuition is growing rapidly, but they aren't helping kids. You get a Pell Grant, but those aren't doing enough. It's real rough on kids who get out of college. If they don't get a good job, they pay for it.

What about the free tuition movement? Free tuition! I'd want to go back to college! Give me free tuition.

What do you think going to college or trade school should accomplish? Now trade school and college are different. If you're learning a trade, that's a lot of money you can acquire, but you have to make sure that's what you want, and that you're into it. Then you're going to be successful. If you join a union, then you'd be set. College is different. You never know.

  • Americans owe more than $1 trillion in student debt. From any angle, that's absurd.

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