Pasco-Hernando State College Volume XIV, Issue II Fall 2020 | Page 14

GRADUATING DEBT- FREE FROM PHSC A REALITY FOR MANY By Rao Musunuru, M.D. A college degree is often considered the foundation of a successful career. Now, attaining academic credentials without the burden of debt is more important than ever. The Coronavirus is a thief that has robbed us all, including graduating high school seniors who watched time-honored teen traditions – proms, graduation ceremonies, movies and parties slip away. College plans, too, may now hang in the balance as financially strapped parents anxiously monitor COVID-19 statistics. As traditional classrooms transitioned to virtual platforms this spring, students adjusted and came to terms with virtual commencement ceremonies. Yet most agree that online-only college courses stray far from the vision of the ideal college experience. Regardless, there is no better time than now to pursue college credentials or workforce training. Flash forward to when COVID-19 is controlled. Educated, skilled graduates will secure better paying positions as the economy recovers. Those with a degree or workforce credentials in hand will be ready to answer the door when opportunity knocks. Dr. Musunuru and scholarship recipient Jessy Certain after the dedication of Rao Musunuru, M.D. Conference Center at PHSC’s Spring Hill Campus. Dr. Musunuru has served as on the District Board of Trustees at PHSC since 1999. Dr. Rao and Prameela Musunuru are among the PHSC Foundation’s most generous benefactors. Debt-free college may seem like a hot topic for political debates, when, indeed, graduating with a clean financial slate is a refreshing reality for thousands of students — 12 PHSC