Paying for College

Kevin Hoffmann December 4, 2018

paying college


After graduating from high school I planned to attend college at Mankato State, which was only thirty miles from New Ulm where I had grown up. It had never occurred to me to go any other place. During that summer, I worked mowing lawns and also had a paper route in order to save up enough to pay tuition and books in the fall.  One day that summer my parents got a call from New Ulm high school, that they had to come to the school office with me. My Mom was furious at me, and wanted to know what kind of trouble I had gotten into, and scolded me that I had caused them all kinds of trouble for them to leave work and go to the office with me.  I had no idea what problem there could be. When we got to the office my Mom instantly changed into a smiling and nice women as she always did when interacting with non-family members. The school officials then announced that I was being awarded the Erickson Memorial scholarship. In order to retain it for four years, I had to maintain grades of at least a B average.  The trip home was much more pleasant the trip to the school office had been. My Mom was happy and encouraged me.

The scholarship was enough to pay one quarter’s tuition each year, so I still needed other income to pay for rent, books, food, gas and the other three quarters tuition, but it was a welcome boost. Through help from my oldest sister’s husband, I got a job working as a welder at night.  I took a slightly reduced course load, planning to make up for the credits by taking summer courses. This was difficult, but I was up to the challenge. Then I was laid off from the welding job. At first I was denied unemployment benefits, because I was a student. But then a court ruled that everyone working full time (40 hours per week) was entitled to the same benefits, whether or not they were students. After a short time I found another night job, this time working as a stator winder at Kato Engineering. This was a much better job than the welding job. For my last quarter I was able to work my internship in the computer department at Kato Engineering.

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Kevin Hoffmann

Kevin Hoffmann was fond of visiting the New Ulm Public Library during his childhood . . .

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