Students face much debt after graduation

Congratulations graduates, that starting salary looks nice, and in a few short months you’re on your way into the real world. But, there’s a catch.
You, like many college students, may be starting your career buried under tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.
The issue is real, and representatives from the Vermont Student Union are working on the Castleton campus to raise awareness of a bill that could bring student costs to a manageable level.
Vermont bill s.40 was drafted by a team of Vermont State College faculty and students alongside Sen. Anthony Pollina. The bill aims to increase state funding for colleges in order to relieve some of the pressure on students.
When the Vermont State College system was founded in 1961, the mission indicated the state would support the system, “in whole or substantial part,” according to the Vermont Statute on education.
In 1980, the state funded 51 percent of the costs to maintain the Vermont State College system. Currently, the state funds less than 20 percent, according to the Vermont State College public facts and figures.
“To me, and many others involved, 20 percent does not seem like a substantial part. That is what s.40 is about,” said Maria Burt, a student supporter of the initiative on campus.
The bill has passed through the Senate is now in the House. If the bill passed through the House, a study group would be formed. The group would work over the next year to develop recommendations for reducing the cost of college for students.
The bill could potentially require Vermont to restore funding for the VSC back to 51 percent, more than doubling the current contribution by the state. Students would see tuition drop.
“I know students who have graduated with more debt than my house is worth,” said Linda Olson, a Castleton professor and advocate for the bill. “They start their careers with a mortgage.”
Want your voice to be heard on the issue? You have several options.
First, refer to the supporter Facebook page at Students can also write a letter to their local editor or reach out to their respective legislatures by visiting
If you wish to become more  involved, contact Linda Olson at

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