College students from the four state university campuses join with some professors calling on state lawmakers to consider their plight when finalizing state budget. It comes just one day after the Board of Regents approved a 5% tuition hike at all four campuses, plus a 2.5% increase in room fees, 5% for out of state students. Tuition at these state schools has gone up over 50% in the past decade as state funding has continued to be cut.
The news that commuting students at Southern, Central, Eastern and Western state universities are now facing an average tuition hike of $479 dollars a year…and students living on campus are facing a hike of $850 spread rapidly over night. It means the cost for commuting students will now be $11,400 a year and $24,700 a year for those living on campus.
“Any tuition increase is going to affect me. This week I’ve been stressing about trying to choose house for next year alone because of prices,“ said Eastern freshman Mitchel Kvedar. Eastern sophomore Jhomara Hernandez adding, “Most of them are getting affected personally especially because a lot of them already have food insecurities. So a lot of the time, like a day to day basis they have to chose whether they’re going to buy a college text book or they’re going to eat.“
The stark reality is that a large percentage of students at these state colleges are what are described as ‘low resource students.’ In other words their parents don’t make much money and another 500 to 800 dollars a year is an extreme hardship.
At a news conference organized by the union that represents professors and other staff, Western senior Victor Namer saying this to state lawmakers, “As you consider funding for the CSU’s, I ask you to realize it is not just what you can do for us, it is what we can do for our as future residents in this great state.“
It is estimated that over 90% of state university graduates stay in the state after graduation to live and work here but despite that number, state funding for the schools has been cut almost in half over the past decade.
In addition to the state budget lawmakers are considering proposals for free tuition for students that qualify because of need, as well as aid for text books, and loan forgiveness…