When it comes to a college education, few fields can equal the benefits of an agriculture degree. Not only can it prepare future farmers, but it can also lead to a wide range of opportunities, including business, forestry, manufacturing, sales and many others.
But financing a college education can be a challenge. Tight budgets have forced some states to cut funding for public colleges and universities, and the schools have had to raise tuition as a result. Private colleges, likewise, have been steadily raising tuition, and it’s increasingly difficult for a family of modest means to pay for a child’s education. Total student debt surpassed total credit card debt for the first time in June 2010. And the Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently reported that U.S. student loan debt rose by $42 billion, or 4.6 percent. That brings total student debt to $956 billion.
That’s why I’m proud of the work the Murray Wise Foundation is doing in providing scholarships to deserving students. Each year, as recipients graduate, the foundation is able to bring others into the program. We typically have students in a number of schools around the country.
We had a record number of applicants a year ago, and I’m hopeful that the same will be true in 2013. If you work with a 4H or some other organization that would likely have candidates, I invite you to help us get the word out.