Carrie Bauer of Luverne, Minn., has figured out at a young age how not to let a lousy economy ruin your plans. She’s a high school senior who’s been taking college courses at Minnesota West Community & Technical College, where I talked to her on Wednesday. “People don’t realize how much college costs. Minnesota has paid for my school for two years. I’ve saved so much money,” she said.
Because she’s at the top of her class at Luverne High School (She’s #2 in her class. She says it’s because she got an A- in gym), she had the option of taking post-secondary classes at college instead of taking classes in high school. “I haven’t paid anything to go here for two years,” she said. “I’ll graduate in May from here and then I’ll graduate in June from high school.”
On Tuesday, she found out she’s been accepted at the University of Tampa. She plans on majoring in political science and international business, then she’ll head for law school, become a politician, and eventually, she hopes, a diplomat.
There was only one hurdle to overcome. Her mother told her there isn’t money to pay all of her college. So in November, she joined the Minnesota National Guard. “I kept thinking my parents were going to pay for my school, but she told me they paid for only a portion of my sister’s school and I didn’t have that kind of money. (The National Guard) will pay for wherever I want to go to school. It’s amazing! I’ve made so much money.”
Nobody will shoot at her for two years, at least until she gets her bachelor’s degree. “I’m going to help defend the country and then I’ll come home and the GI Bill will pay for my law school.”
Bauer says many of her friends have also joined the Guard.
“After two years of going to school in the south, I’ll come back to Minnesota to go to law school. Minnesota is a good place to raise your kids in. Luverne is a small town and you have to get away from it to appreciate how good Luverne is. But most people who go to school here, they graduate here, and they stay here. I’m not going to be one of those people who are a Luvernian for the rest of their life. I need to get out of here and experience the world.”