Disclaimer: I don’t know anything at all about the inner financial workings of this or any other university, how and when they get paid by government and private loans, etc. This is from the perspective of a frustrated student-hopeful who is tired of receiving shrugs and sympathetic nods and business cards as I’m sent back to Go.
It’s no wonder young people have been leaving the state of Maine at such a rapid and consistent rate for years; the University of Maine System makes it nearly impossible to enroll unless you fit a precise mold. As if the whole process of applying to college isn’t daunting enough, particularly for a recent high school graduate! For someone like me, well… I know USM has a fairly high percentage of “non-traditional” students by comparison to other universities, but I fall a bit outside the norm is all. My high school transcript has been lost to the wind since my school closed, so while I can’t prove to USM that I graduated, I don’t qualify to test for a GED because I did, in fact, graduate from high school.
Hey, maybe when I contact Portland Adult Education to take the GED, they’ll dig around hard enough to ensure that I don’t have a diploma that they’ll come up with my high school transcript so I don’t have to take the GED after all! And while I am damned proud of people I know who have not finished high school and have gotten their GEDs, is there really a need for both, particularly when the money I spend on the test could go toward my college fund? City College of San Francisco took a chance on me and I paid them out of pocket and maintained a 4.0 until my life flipped on its head; shouldn’t that count for something? Oh, and scholarships? Yyyyeaaaahhhh, not so much for the transfer student. But once I get in, there are more options! Oh wait – still don’t have a HS transcript or (redundant) GED. *headdesk* Seriously, college – stop making it so difficult for students to enroll in your classes and pay your faculty and staff. Take our money, please! Give us the opportunity to learn the skills and gain the experience that will keep us in our communities here in Maine rather than going to bigger cities with lower cost of education, higher pay rates, and in many cases equal cost of living.
And then I see something like this, and I wonder if I should even bother.
Seriously, what is wrong with this country’s higher education system? Is there a single thing RIGHT with it?
So, after all that, it doesn’t even matter today if I have my high school transcript or my GED or both or neither – the next step that makes the most sense is to complete 6 more credits toward my core courses at Southern Maine Community College where the classes will cost less, and then I’ll have enough total transferable core class credits for USM to waive the Entry Year Experience course. Because apparently 17 years of being an adult doesn’t cover those specific and exquisitely necessary basics.
Okay, okay, now I’m just getting snotty. Here’s the thing. I dig you, USM. I think we could hang. But you’re awfully hard to get to know. Give me a shot. Let me in. I promise you won’t regret it.