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Vocational Schools

July 01, 1988

Henry Weinstein's articles (Part I, June 16, 17) regarding vocational schools were timely and well done.

The larger question is the need to address the problems of financing college educations of those adults who are just beginning to realize that they are deficient in basic skills as well as vocational skills, and to deal with the enormous numbers of young people ready for college who need something better than what they have been getting.

State and federally funded and guaranteed student aid is dispensed by each school on an autonomous basis (at least in California). Each community college and each Cal State campus has its own student aid department, essentially answerable to no one.

What is increasingly clear is that those in charge of the business of assisting students in obtaining the financial aid already provided by Congress simply do not care about their applicants. They receive their salaries if they process two applicants a day or 20 applicants a day.

I know this is a rather encompassing indictment, but is, nevertheless, painfully true. I have gathered files of "horror" stories concerning the terrible treatment received by students from public institutions. The abuses of shady private vocational schools does not stop at those doorsteps.

A whole new system of aid must be devised, or the Feds have to start doing their jobs. A local community college should not have the unrestrained power to refuse properly due state or federally funded or guaranteed financial aid to any student.

MERLE H. HORWITZ

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