A Letter to Obama: The Saint Rose Betrayal

Hello,

I’m a 25 year old, recent graduate from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. I attended the school for seven years. I started as a freshman, pursuing my bachelor’s degree in English, followed by an MFA in Creative Writing. The MFA was a new program and I was in the inaugural class. I graduated in May 2015 with $90,000 in federal loans.

Yesterday, the college announced that it was cutting 26 of its programs, one of which being the MFA from which I graduated. The college prided itself in liberal arts and humanities, but cut a major chunk of their arts programs. I’m devastated that a college I loved for seven years, not only abandoned its mission, but abandoned me as an alum.

There are only a handful of people with an MFA in Creative Writing from the College of Saint Rose, and until yesterday I was proud of that. I was proud to be a trailblazer for future students–helping to craft a program that will benefit everyone who enrolls, but now I’m ashamed. I’m ashamed that my school would fire its beloved faculty and cut programs that were the backbone of the school.

Now, I’m left stranded with debt for a degree that will get me nowhere.

I understand that the economy is bad and colleges are struggling to stay afloat, but when they go down, they take future, present, and past students with them–leaving us with nothing but debt.

I’m asking you to pay attention to students like me who staked their entire lives in education, just to have it ripped from under them.

There are loan forgiveness programs for students who graduated from schools that closed down, but nothing for students who have lost their programs. For us, our program was the school. Without our program, it’s like our school no longer exists.

And we’re left here, repaying the debt of a degree that won’t be valued by future employers. It will be difficult for us to get a job in our field, affecting our ability to repay the debt we owe to the program that is dead. We’re paying for the mistakes of the college and we get nothing out of it.

We are left broke, disheartened, and jobless.

So please, help us. Help us with a program to assist in the repayment or forgiveness of our loans.

Sincerely,

The Abandoned Student

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