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March for Tuition Relief at Penn State this Tuesday

This Tuesday, February 22, students, faculty and staff are invited to attend a Penn State’s March on Rising Tuition, starting at the Shields Building at 12:00pm. How did we get here? Why is it necessary to unite our voices for tuition relief, and more broadly for education reform in this country?

We know education to be the cornerstone of our democratic society. Education empowers individuals to make changes in their communities, to support their families, and to lead fulfilling lives with a compassionate heart and inquisitive mind.

Public universities across the country have raised rates, eliminated teaching positions and removed staff. Here at Penn State, costs have increased so quickly that in less than ten years the base tuition rate has doubled. Last year, the school approved a remarkable 5.9% tuition hike. Over the past ten years, average Penn State tuition increases are above 8.5%!

To put it bluntly: education in this country is being stabbed in the back. Funding for Penn State, already markedly lower in state funding received compared to other Big Ten universities, has been continually decreased. Many project that state and federal spending on higher education, including crucial need-based federal loans, will be slashed in the coming months.

We as students must make our voices heard on a united front. We know first-hand that rising costs of tuition can force students to drop out of school, either temporarily or permanently. Others are discouraged from ever applying, fearing that crushing loan debt would be insurmountable. We are students — we are community members — we are citizens — and WE ARE devoted to bringing fair and affordable education to every member of society for the betterment of us all.

Join us this Tuesday, February 22 at 12:00pm starting at the Shields Building (across from the IM Building in East Campus) for a march to Old Main to make our call for justice in education heard. Shields Building houses the Office of the Bursar, from which students are informed they will be unable to finish their education. But for us, it’s only the starting line.

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