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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

December 29, 2012 at 8:45 AM

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Tuition flexibility sought in Olympia

What about STEM fields?

As usual, The Time gets it wrong on differential tuition [“Retain tuition flexibility for higher education,” Opinion, Dec. 27]. The current issue with the GET fund offers an excellent opportunity to rectify a foolish mistake.

The Times’ wants to keep differential tuition, which will put in place higher tuition in STEM fields like medicine, science and engineering.

Differential tuition rates will ensure that only students from wealthier families will pursue those careers — substantially reducing the talent pool available to U.S. employers in the fields where that talent pool is already slim.

Students choosing less-demanding majors like English, philosophy, music and education should subsidize those students who are willing to work hard in more-challenging and responsible careers to build our economy.

James Harvey, Lake Forest Park

An absurd scenario

The Seattle Times editorial [on tuition flexibility] missed some very large points:

1) Last year, a state actuary report found the GET program to be solvent over the next 50 years, estimating the chances of default at less than 1 percent (source: The Seattle Times, “Report: GET program is solvent for next 50 years”, March 31, 2011).

2) The editorial states “It is unlikely every GET account holder would turn to the state to cash in their units today.” This is not “unlikely” but flat out impossible — unless The Times is suggesting that my 7-year-old son and all the young children that make up most of the GET enrollees might apply for college this year and would be accepted.

It is apparently based on this absurd scenario that the figure cited (“$600 million underfunded”) is calculated.

Mariza Costa-Cabral, Seattle


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