Students rally for lower tuition

“The public may not be aware of just how dependent the colleges have become on year-to-year tuition increases just to maintain operational budgets.”

Linda Olson, president of the Vermont State College Faculty Federation, is exactly right. Not only does the public not know, but many students and faculty members may not either. To be honest, up until a few hours before writing this, I didn’t know either.

This may seem like a broad statement about all colleges across the country, but it applies especially to the students in the VSC system. According to the 2011 State Higher Education Executive Officers Report, Vermont’s dependence on tuition as a percent of public higher education revenue is 83.7 percent compared to a U.S. average of 40.3 percent. Instead of the ideal situation of the school being funded by a 1:1 ratio of state appropriations and tuition money, Vermont schools are operating at a 4:1 ratio; for every four dollars of tuition money students pay, the college is given approximately one dollar from the state.

That may seem like a lot of technical junk, but it essentially means that colleges are, and will continue to be forced to raise tuition costs to stay in operation, unless something changes.

Now we get to why we’re giving you all this information.

There will be rallies for better state funding at each of the VSC schools, Castleton included.

Since many students are unable to attend marches on the capitol and events of that sort, the rally will take place on campus this time.

If you’re fed up with paying an arm and a leg to go to college, if you’re sick of worrying about tons of loans to make these four years of higher education possible, or if you’re terrified of a mounting debt that you’ll have to pay off after school, come to the rally.

On Thursday, Oct. 20 in the Jeffords circle, gather with others in your situation and push for change.

Don’t sit back and let the poor economy be an excuse for the situation that’s unique to Vermont state schools, take the steps to end it.

Tell the state that we deserve the support because we care enough about our education to earn it.


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