Students at Central Protest Tuition Increase

Tim Goral's picture

Students at Central Connecticut State University Monday protested proposed tuition hikes and demanded additional investment in the state university system.

"This $800 increase…means I'm going to have to work more hours on weekends back home," said Central Connecticut State University sophomore Salam Measho. "That means less time spent studying. That's too much of a strain on myself and that's why I'm out here with everyone else to protest."

On Thursday, a Board of Regents for Higher Education committee will consider a proposal raising annual tuition and fees to $19,897 for students who live on campus, an increase of 4.1 percent. Tuition for commuter students would rise to $8,990, a 5.1 percent increase. A plan to cut out-of-state tuition and fees has been shelved in favor of a 4.1 percent increase to $31,402 a year. Monday's rally attracted about 100 students and featured several student speakers as well as one professor who urged those who attended to take action and demand that legislators invest in the university system. Members of Students for University Democracy, an activist coalition separate from the school, also attended and brought signs that they distributed at the rally reading things like "Education Shouldn't Be a Debt" and "Erase Student Debt."

"I'm afraid. I really truly am," said CCSU junior Brian Choplick, who is putting himself through college. Choplick said that after financial aid, he's only expected to pay around $1500 a year, but that could soon change. "As grants get cut, as scholarships get cut and tuition rises, it may become out of reach to me."

Amber Pietrycha has one more year left, and said she averages two jobs a semester—with all the money she earns going toward her education. "800 bucks for me will bring it close to the line where I'm not entirely sure I could do it," said Pietrycha, who fears not being able to complete her degree if these hikes go into effect. "I don't have my own car. I live on campus because I can't afford to commute back and forth," she said.

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