CUNY Tuition Hikes Killing Students’ Future

A CUNY Tuition Hike Protest

A CUNY Tuition Hike Protest

After CUNY had already raised students’ tuition fees by $300 this fall, CUNY announced that they are raising the tuition once again this spring, by another $300.

Due to New York City’s struggling economy, the government has decided to take out its frustrations on students and cut $300 million from the public education budget, and force students to make up for that money themselves. Both CUNY and SUNY have already canceled courses, increased class sizes, imposed hiring freezes and cut maintenance needs.

“We’re tired of seeing funding for CUNY sacrificed for short-term budget savings,” said NYPIRG Vice Chairperson, Brooklyn College Junior Patrick Krus. “If policy makers would just think a few more moves ahead, they’d see that tuition hikes and funding cuts are never a good strategy.”

Imposing these huge tuition hikes on students is incredibly straining. Most people enroll in CUNY schools because they are ultimately cheaper than private colleges. Even so, students struggle to pay tuition, sometimes taking on two jobs to cover all of their education costs. Many students cannot even afford to continue attending college because of the tuition hikes.

“Asking New York’s working-class, poor and middle-class students to pay more is no way to fill a budget gap and it’s certainly no way to rebuild the state’s economy. Public higher education is the key to revitalizing New York’s economy. This is the moment to invest in CUNY and SUNY, not to put obstacles in the path of students,” said Dr. Barbara Bowen, Professional Staff Congress/CUNY president.

There have been several walkout, protests, and strikes held by CUNY students and faculty. However, they have had no affect on Governor Paterson’s decision to raise tuition. There will be another demonstration at the governor’s offices at Third Avenue and 41st Street at 4 p.m. on December 16, when a new state budget likely to include more cuts is expected to be announced.

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