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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 8, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Bellevue Community College expansion

Turf and control

Pure and simple, the “U,” as The University of Washington likes to call itself, does not want competition [“BCC’s goal: 4-year degrees too,” page one, Feb. 5]. Attending BCC costs less than half what the U costs. So, it is affordable and willing to take students the U would not normally take.

So why the opposition?

Pure and simple, it’s about turf and control. Expanding BCC would mean less transfers to the U and a very competitive alternative. There are thousands of students from Washington state who don’t get in the U, even with grade-point averages as high as a 3.5, because of limited enrollment.

BCC should be allowed to expand and offer those students who cannot afford or cannot get into the U, instead of waiting for the “branch campus” issue to be resolved.

The U is just being greedy in slow economic times. Or, are they scared that the BCC basketball and baseball teams will embarrass them too?

— Art Francis, Issaquah

UW’s undeserving monopoly

I understand why the University of Washington opposes Bellevue Community College adding more four-year degrees to their menu of options, but that doesn’t mean that the UW’s goals are any less repugnant.

Current, public four-year universities should not have the ability to restrict other options to students who, by means and opportunity, are first guided to our state’s two-year colleges.

It is obscene that at the same time the UW is not allowing transfer students from two-year colleges on their campus, other than athletes, of course, they would further seek to deny four-year degree opportunities to students.

The UW does not deserve a monopoly on postsecondary education between Olympia and Bellingham, nor should it enjoy one.

— Jacob Shepherd, Marysville

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