This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Re "Utah Regents push higher credit loads to boost graduation rates" (Tribune, July 20):
As a recent law graduate I'm painfully aware of what it's like to be a student struggling to make ends meet while earning a degree. I earned my bachelor's on the so-called "5-6 year" plan. Why? The costs of education and living were at perpetual odds. Thus, a four-year track was sidelined for a more sustainable 5-6 year plan.
It should serve as no surprise that students need time to earn money to pay for the rising costs of education alongside living. Encouraging students to take more credit hours simply asks students to work and earn less. This then leads to larger loans to pay for non-educational purposes, which counters the purpose of "student loans."
Perhaps a better solution would be to revive apprenticeships that pay while earning credit. These paid internships would give students an incentive to graduate faster through experiencing education in action while earning money to pay for more credit hours.
We need more creative and pragmatic solutions that match the government's goal with the students' realities.
Jeffrey Van Hulten