Letters to the editor

Readers respond to stories on Thomas Jefferson, college costs, and aging.

Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau
Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Charlottesville, Virginia, is indeed a great place to visit for a long weekend, but the author skimmed over the University of Virginia as a sightseeing stop (“Jefferson Slept Here,” September 8). The campus is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country (if not the most beautiful) and well worth a visit. I graduated from UVA and feel privileged to have spent four years of my life there.

Julie Broderick


Did your fact-checkers drink too much sweet Monticello root beer when editing this article? They failed to correct the misuse of “field workers” and “servant” where “slave” or “enslaved person” was meant. Or did you intend to diminish the bitter reality of Jefferson’s enslavement of people in your honey-toned puff piece on Charlottesville?

Michael Pol




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We travel a great deal and these suggestions are the exact reason we love to (“Top 5 Travel Mistakes — and How to Avoid Them”). Great work.


posted on


Jim Braude got it right: Student debt is a national crisis that needs serious attention at all levels, especially the state (Perspective, September 8). Since Capitol Hill is not seriously addressing college costs or student debt, Braude argues that states “should be the laboratories of affordability.” Massachusetts is ripe for just such an approach. The state’s recently created higher education commission must advocate for affordable education for all entering students, without compromising quality or ignoring the support services required by those most academically at-risk. Though educators, administrators, and students appreciate the significant increase in public higher education funding for the current fiscal year, when adjusted for inflation, the state’s spending is still one-third lower than in the peak year of 2001. More full-time faculty and staff should be hired to create an experienced community of educators to serve all students effectively. Chopping college costs shouldn’t hamper student success.

Diana McGee

Vice President, Massachusetts Community College Council


My political ideology is often at odds with Braude’s, but on the topic of spiraling college tuitions, I am in complete agreement with him. Someone please enlighten me as to why the same education that my generation received in the ’80s is now 10 times more expensive?

Amy Nel Jacobs


Braude’s column sheds light on a shameful situation that involves both nonprofit and for-profit colleges taking advantage of federal student loan policies to line their pockets while low-income students and, in many instances, their low-income parents, take on debt they will have enormous difficulty repaying. A significant percentage of these students never graduate, making the problem even worse. We need to return to a policy that supports public investment in public higher education, rather than the current policy, which permits the banks that loan these funds to profit from interest and fees while the taxpayer covers the cost anyway — just on the back end.

Ann O’Hara


While President Obama speaks about the high costs of college and has danced around this elephant in the room by offering more and cheaper aid, his solution is precisely why the high costs are maintained and keep rising. As long as there is financial aid to support the colleges’ inflated budgets, then the prices will remain high. No one really has honed in on the long-term impact costs will have on our economy — from the students burdened with debt who cannot buy a home to the parents who forgo retirement to support their children’s education. This is where the rest of the world has and will continue to move ahead of us.

Marilyn Tressel




Just a quick visceral reaction from a 78-year-old about Miss Conduct’s advice on looking younger (September 8). Coloring her hair and wearing lipstick are definitely in order for this woman, but Miss Conduct missed the opportunity to point out that those tricks won’t work forever. I’d like to tell her, as she goes kicking and screaming into maturity, to keep out of the way of those of us who have discovered that there are benefits, joys, relief, and tranquillity in looking truth in the eye.

Audrey Child


COMMENTS? Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Comments, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.