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Featured story: "Berea College Students Craft a Bright Future, Tuition-Free"
As U.S. student debt balloons to $1.75 trillion, calls for low-cost or free college tuition programs are getting louder. Sound impossible? It isn't: Berea College has been tuition-free since 1892.
With the school year careening into its final weeks here in the U.S., many high school seniors (and their families) are buried in college enrollment paperwork—and, unless they are wealthy, or very lucky, facing a future burdened by years or even decades of student debt.
The total cost of a four-year college education in America has nearly tripled since 1980, and federal support has not kept up: Nationally, our student debt ballooned to $1.75 trillion this past year. Along with calls for expanding student loan forgiveness, some state and local governments are considering how to implement free and low-cost tuition programs of their own. If that sounds like a pipe dream, it really isn’t: Berea College, for example, a small liberal-arts school in Kentucky, has been tuition-free since 1982—and offers an education in craftsmanship to boot.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading this week’s short feature, “Berea College Students Craft a Bright Future, Tuition-Free,” written by Robin Roenker.
In other news, we’re working on some brand new content that we’re excited to roll out to you soon, as part of our our forthcoming reader-supported publications here on Substack. This won’t change our regular weekly stories or our magazine archives, which have always been offered free of charge and free of ads, and will remain so. We’re simply adding another layer of rich, unique content that we hope our readers will be inspired to support. More on all of this very soon.
Our Spring issue, which is about “The Future of Craftsmanship,” will continue through the end of May. Each Friday until then, as is our custom, we will release a feature story, short article, mini-documentary, photo essay, or podcast that relates to our mission — to “create a world built to last.” Along with stories that speak to each issue’s theme, we always have works on other topics, so please, stay tuned.
In the meantime, I hope you'll always find something intriguing to read, watch, or listen to within our pages. We welcome your thoughts via email, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Thank you for reading and sharing our stories, for donating to our cause when you can, and for being such a loyal part of the Craftsmanship community.
Editor & Publisher, Craftsmanship Quarterly
Look at almost anything you own of real quality, and you immediately see its maker's commitment to beauty, functionality, and longevity. Those values, which in our mind define works of craftsmanship, are being aggressively tested these days, as more and more material goods exhibit shoddy workmanship, and are not made to last. The trash this creates not only damages our environment, it also erodes the principles of excellence that advance us, both individually and collectively. In this issue, we introduce you to some brave souls and organizations that are fighting to preserve, and expand, the intelligence in our hands.