ON THE GUN BUSINESS
I could not believe my eyes when I saw the April 14 issue. Not only the cover, a picture of a woman wearing a smug smile and carrying a rifle, but then the article, “Greetings From Gun Valley,” waving the “good” news about the gun industry doing so well. I do look forward to my Sunday Globe, and especially the magazine that usually covers both sides of a story. But with innocent children and bystanders being shot all the time, I cannot fathom glorifying the gun industry.
Elaine Silberman / Ashland
I understand the problem with jobs, but tobacco manufacturers make the same arguments. The problem is that some 31,000 Americans die of gunshot wounds each year. How can you get the gun manufacturers to stop making the assault rifles and huge ammunition clips to sell to the public? How do you find new jobs for the too many who make guns?
Jean Caldwell / Springfield
I thoroughly enjoyed Neil Swidey’s informative article. The people he spoke to — the good, hard-working type that built America — added much to the story.
Tom McCabe / Plymouth
The article “Are Some Massachusetts Colleges on the Road to Ruin?” (April 14) is correct in describing the significant challenges faced by colleges that depend on tuition revenue for most of their operating funds. Unfortunately, the article pushes its generalizations too far, misrepresenting what is happening. For example, writer Jon Marcus references the National Association for College Admission Counseling list of schools that reported openings in the fall of 2012 for freshmen or transfers as a sign of distress. Yet Wheaton welcomed one of the largest first-year classes in its history in 2012. We responded to the NACAC survey by reporting openings for transfer students, but that should not be mistaken for a sign of a problem. The article also states that Wheaton’s discount rate stood at 42 percent for the most recent year for which statistics are available. This statistic was apparently calculated from tuition revenue alone, but that ignores a good deal of an institution’s income. Wheaton’s discount rate on gross revenue for this academic year is roughly 37 percent. These are difficult economic times for private colleges, but the Globe’s readership would benefit from a more careful explanation of the issues.
President, Wheaton College, Norton
NACAC wishes to make it clear that our voluntary Space Availability Survey of colleges is in no way intended to measure the fiscal health of an institution. Given the volatility in the admission process, it is not surprising if a college is under-enrolled in one year and over-enrolled in the next. Little evidence links participation in the survey to an institution’s overall well-being.
Director of Public Policy and Research, National Association for College Admission Counseling, Arlington, Virginia
Massachusetts private colleges, which graduate more students than public institutions, are committed to educating economically and demographically diverse students. More than 70 percent of minority students graduating from a four-year college here receive their bachelor’s from an independent college. Nearly 60 percent of all Pell Grant recipients in this state’s four-year colleges attend a private college. With financial aid, students often find a private college more affordable than a public one. Our colleges are adapting, innovating, educating, and exercising sound fiscal responsibility to respond to today’s economic issues.
President, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts
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