photo courtesy of 401(K) 2012.

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a second semester at a metropolitan university.

I had a student tell me today that he wouldn’t be returning for spring semester because he couldn’t afford to.  He is going home and getting a job and going to a community college.  Made me sad.  And mad.

Some students go home after a semester because their homesickness gets the better of them.  But it’s the ones who go home because they have to, either due to lack of money or family demands, that I want to acknowledge today.

I know that community colleges offer many strong educational experiences.  I know that most of us have to work our way through college.  I know that life isn’t fair.  And I know that he got a lot out of the one semester at a four-year university that he was able to attend.

But I also know that it will be harder for him to broaden his horizons and his opportunities once he moves back to his home town and gets a job and hopes/tries to attend community college.

Watching these young adults have to walk away from their university dreams is heart-breaking.  The girls are often in tears and the boys more stoic.  They are all disappointed but resigned to this norm of their lives, the ongoing inequity of resources in this grand country of ours.  May their paths be bright.