The news about state-owned universities like Edinboro University not being able to retain students is not surprising (“State System’s Universities Struggling to Retain Students, But Rates Vary,” March 16). Students are realizing that going to college and taking non-STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses often results in amassing great student debt and an inability to find a decent job.
Additionally many students prefer to go to state-related schools like Penn State or Pitt rather than to state-owned universities like California State or Slippery Rock because of a desire to go to a more prestigious university. There are also too many state-owned and state-related colleges located near one another. Even Penn State and Pitt have branch campuses located near each other, such as the Pitt Titusville campus and the Penn State DuBois campus.
Furthermore, there are too many colleges and universities in this state and not enough vocational schools. We should follow the lead of countries like Germany that funnel students into appropriate vocational apprenticeships depending on aptitudes and interests. These changes in our educational system would mean a better future for Pennsylvania students and save money for the state’s taxpayers.