The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 7, 2013

Mike Pound: Even some of the best and brightest need help paying for college

It was the sort of gathering that is happening this spring in thousands of high school gyms and auditoriums across the country.

School officials, parents, relatives and friends come together to pay tribute to students who have managed to ace their high school academic careers.

I’m not talking about the sort of high school student that I was. I’m talking about the best of the best. I’m talking about the students with the 3.5 or better grade-point averages. I’m talking about the kids who make up the top 5 percent of their classes. I’m talking about the valedictorians and the salutatorians, the kids with the high test scores, and the kids who have attracted the attention of colleges and universities across the land.

The event I attended Monday night was at Carthage High School. Being recognized were members of the Carthage High School class of 2013 who distinguished themselves in the classroom, on the athletic field and through volunteer work in their community. Also being recognized were top students from the freshman, sophomore and junior classes.

There also were 20 or 30 members of the Carthage area community at the gathering, some representing local businesses, some representing civic groups and some representing those who are no longer with us.

Those people were at the high school to show their faith in the students and to award scholarships that will hopefully allow them to realize their dreams.

It was neat to see how many people and how many different businesses and organizations see the value of investing in the future. It was neat to see how those people thought it was worth their time and effort to give a little something back. Many of the people who were handing out scholarships Monday night were successful businessmen and women who benefited not only from a good college education but also from good elementary and high school educations.

I’m just guessing here, but I suspect that many of those people who were handing out scholarships were on the receiving end of scholarships themselves.

I’m guessing that many of those people who were handing out scholarships know that they didn’t get where they are today on their own. I’m guessing that many of those people who were handing out scholarships know that it took a lot of help from a lot of people for them to succeed. I’m guessing that’s why many of those people were handing out scholarships Monday night.

A number of students also received scholarships from various colleges and universities. Some of those scholarships were small, the type that might pay for a semester’s worth of books or tuition. Other scholarships were large, with several topping out at $80,000.

Carthage High School Principal Kandy Frazier said scholarships with a total value of more than $870,000 were awarded Monday night.

I think that’s something.

Unfortunately, it’s not quite enough.

What happened Monday night was great, but it doesn’t change the fact that in the richest country in the world, thousands of high school seniors will either find themselves or their families taking on massive debt in order to go to college, or they will be forced to put off going altogether.

You can argue until the cows come home over whose fault that is, but that won’t change the fact that what should be a given — a college education for those who want it — might be an impossible dream.

And the problem is not just funding college educations. States across the country are struggling to figure out how to fund their elementary and high schools. In Missouri, for example, one proposed solution — if you believe what you see on TV — is for people to spend more money on the lottery.

The logic being (I guess) that since a portion of the proceeds from the lottery goes to education, having folks gamble away their money is the best way to educate kids.

That doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. I think we can do better.

Or we can just wait until the class of 2013 is old enough to take over.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • r073114rebuildjoplin3.jpg 30 volunteers a day would be a ‘game-changer’ for Rebuild Joplin

    Betty and Louis Wirick, both 79, say they are grateful to have survived the 2011 tornado as it tore down part of their home of 25 years on South Bird Avenue. But three years later, they are frustrated.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Event for veterans on tap at Crowder

    For area veterans who have returned home from more than a decade at war, the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks hopes to send a simple message at an event this weekend: Welcome home.

    August 1, 2014

  • Fair to feature goats, chickens and decorated bras

    Along with the usual fair sights, sounds and smells — livestock, poultry, produce and the like — there will be something a bit unusual at the Cherokee County American Legion Free Fair this year: Decorated brassieres. And pink. Lots of pink.

    August 1, 2014

  • Damien D Doxley 051314.jpg Prison term meted out in carjacking case

    A Newton County judge assessed a defendant in a Joplin carjacking case seven years in prison Friday on a conviction on a charge of tampering with a motor vehicle.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 080114 Older worker1_72.jpg Co-workers, friends honor nurse with 50-year career

    Wilma Massey has worked a half century in health care and, even at the age of 74, she’s the first to arrive at work each morning.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Amendment 7 backers tout safety, new jobs; foes say special interests to benefit

    The constitutional amendment, sent to the voters by the Legislature this year, would temporarily increase Missouri’s sales tax by three-quarters of 1 percent, raising an estimated $5.4 billion for the next decade to fund transportation projects.

    August 1, 2014

  • Brownback names 3 Kansas Board of Regents members

    Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday named a former veteran Kansas House member and two attorneys to the board overseeing the state’s higher education system.

    August 1, 2014

  • Grant to fund solar energy system for PSU’s Plaster Center

    An $80,000 grant from Westar Energy will fund solar panels to provide both energy and education at the Robert W. Plaster Center, now under construction at Pittsburg State University.

    August 1, 2014

  • Survey seeks views on Joplin’s future goals

    Residents are being asked to fill out a survey on priorities for Joplin’s future. The effort was inspired by a meeting of community leaders last month. Survey forms are available at the Joplin Public Library and online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/jointjoplinareaplanningsurvey.

    July 31, 2014

  • Habitat slates volunteer work days

    In the wake of the 2011 tornado, Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity has been a partner with organizations and individuals in the construction of 86 new houses. But what’s also needed, Executive Director Scott Clayton said, are repairs to area homes.

    July 31, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Do you plan on voting in the Aug. 5 elections being held in Missouri and Kansas?

Yes
No
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter