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Letter to the Editor

Rhode Island’s new Hope Scholarship sounds good on paper… at first. It’s great that current students can benefit from 2 years of tuition-free college. However, the program is a slap in the face to those of us who have recently graduated from public colleges and are still struggling to pay off 4 years of tuition and fees. The state has turned a blind eye to us. Our elected officials apparently do not care that those born a year or two earlier must not only bear the full brunt of their own student loans, but also pay off half of our younger counterparts by means of our own taxes.

Where is the help for life-long Rhode Islanders who have graduated, never missed a payment, and now must resume payments on high-interest state and federal loans? I graduated Rhode Island College on-time in 2016, have been making more than minimum payments, and still owe $10,012.65. My estimated payoff date is now November 2033.

I have no resentment of students taking advantage of the Hope Scholarship. However, the benefits have clearly not been distributed as warranted. Those responsible for shaping the program should be held accountable for their actions – or rather, lack of them.

James M. Hobson, class of 2016



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