To the Editor:

What is a reasonable cost for a college education?

When I was a student at Florence State the cost was easily calculated. Before I entered college, I spent roughly two years in the U.S. Army, serving a year in Vietnam, in order to qualify for VA educational benefits. Those benefits covered most of my expenses, including tution.

I finished in about three and a half years by going through the summer sessions when I could, and by applying myself almost entirely to books throughout.

UNA can do only so much in controlling tuition costs because skyrocketing tuition is a national problem. When UNA began a long-needed updating by entering Division I athletics, some people wondered if the state needed another ‘ball team’ school. Probably not, but UNA is doing only what other Alabama colleges have done with vigor for decades. If Division I is a problem at UNA, why is it not a problem down at “Mudville”, or Auburn, or Troy State, or South Alabama, etc.? If we want to de-emphasize college athletics, why not do it on a statewide level? As a UNA (Florence State) graduate, all I’m asking for is fairness.

I trust the UNA administration and Board of Trustees and they’ve been successful. Nevertheless, having been born and reared in Alabama, I’ll venture this warning for them in case they haven’t learned: Watch out for people who have no interest in your success. There are many backstabbers in this state!

Thomas L. Ponder