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Friday, September 07, 2012

Thank You, New Jersey!

Here I am in my official graduation portrait, the proud recipient of a teaching degree. I had help getting the degree. The State of New Jersey gave me a scholarship. NJ also gave a scholarship to my brother. We got the scholarships because we were good students, but came from a low-income family. My father worked as a journalist every day for forty years, but most journalists don't make the kind of salaries that chief executives make.

The scholarship paid for my tuition. I went to a state college and the tuition was very low. I wound up costing the state approximately $1200 over four years. The scholarship did not pay for books or any other college costs. I did not live on campus, I commuted to college on buses--a round trip of approximately sixty miles. I worked during the summers.

I finished college on time and got a job in my hometown. My salary for the first year of teaching was $8000. I lived at home with my parents, but I bought a car. :^)

I taught for twenty-five years, but it wouldn't have happened if I didn't have help in the beginning.

So thank you, New Jersey. I will always be grateful to you.


grace graupe-pillard said...

Thank you NYC - I went to CCNY for free at a time when you only had to pay GO dues as they were called and they were $14 a year.

Penelope Marzec said...


What a bargain! :^)

MarkD60 said...

This is a nice post that gave me the warm fuzzies. Glad you are who you are.

Penelope Marzec said...


That was sweet. :^)

I figure NJ got the money back because I worked all those years afterward, but I still very much appreciate having the tuition handed to me when I needed it.

Irene said...

Didn't get a state scholarship, though I do not know why, Perhaps because my older brother graduated in June and I went to Montclair in September. But tuition was low back then. My own daughters went to the same is still there...Jersey state schools are great. Still, I've appreciated what I learned back then. It was a bargain for sure.

Penelope Marzec said...


When it came time for our daughters to go to college I told them they had a choice of any of the state colleges, but that was their only choice. :^)

Two of them graduated from Stockton and one from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers.

Our state colleges are great!