When the going gets tough, the tough invest in education

Dear Friends,

Many sports locker rooms across the country display a message that reads, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” On our campus, we are witnessing firsthand the commitment of a growing number of tough-minded individuals determined to “get going.”

Although the current economic recession has prompted an overall tightening of belts and greater spending prudence, Purdue Calumet enrollment this fall is up. Other colleges and universities are reporting the same trend.

Why? Why are more individuals and families opting to spend or borrow precious, limited financial resources to pay for education?

Let me suggest one word: INVESTMENT. During challenging economic times, people are more aware of the difference between spending for consumption and spending for investment. We are willing to invest our dollars, even as doing so stretches our budgets, when we can expect a return in the future. An automobile is an expense, but if we need one to provide reliable transportation that enables us to attain a higher paying job, it also is an investment.

While a university degree does not guarantee a job and rosy future, it does increase, if not maximize, a student’s future employment opportunities. That makes the cost of education a tremendous investment—in one’s self, in one’s future, in the welfare of one’s family, and in the quality of life one aspires to achieve.

So amidst the current, tough economic going, I am encouraged that a growing number of tough-minded, determined individuals have decided to get going at Purdue Calumet as new students, returning students, transfer students and even continuing students carrying increased course loads. Presumably, their commitment also includes staying the course until they graduate to benefit from the payoff of their investment.


Howard Cohen