As Students Protest Potential Tuition Hikes, Schools Should Find A Compromise

EducatioN Rally

Temple University Student Government President Natalie Ramos-Castillo leads hundreds of TU and Penn State Abington students to fight against proposed education cuts.

Gov. Corbett’s proposed $1 billion dollar cut in education may not affect Temple University Senior Natalie Ramos-Castillo’s tuition next year because she graduates this May. But the early elementary education major says it could make finding a job much more difficult in an already saturated job market.

“These cuts will make us end up uneducated and unemployed!” she fiercely shouts into a megaphone to more than 400 students.

Temple University and Penn State are two schools that often cannot agree on much, but both colleges—along students from a dozen other state-funded schools across Pennsylvania—rallied today on their respective campuses in opposition of Corbett’s education cuts.Debt

According to The Temple News, Temple University Hospital “serves more medical assistance patients than any other hospital in Pennsylvania, [and] could be hit hard by the proposed budget.” Mass layoffs, significant tuition increases and canceled courses could also result if Harrisburg passes Corbett’s 50 percent education cuts.

“Temple generates great investments for the city and state. It doesn’t make sense not to invest in education,” says Ramos-Castillo.

Temple’s current in-state tuition stands at almost $12,000  a year, and about $22,000 for out-of-state students.  Ramos-Castillo says that number could increase by as much as $7,000, forcing some students to not be able to afford tuition next semester, which she finds especially unfortunate for students who have already racked up student debt.

It’s Our Money’s Ben Waxman agrees and wrote that “based on the proposed budget, Corbett does not prioritize funding for the traditional role of state government in education.” That sounds sassy and logical, but today the state’s education chief backed up Corbett’s cuts, saying money doesn’t make better schools.

Part of the problem of tuition increases is systemic within schools’ own structure, and even further entangled within which definition of the American dream one believes.

As a Republican, Waxman incorrectly states Corbett’s beliefs are not in education. Corbett’s beliefs are actually primarily rooted within fiscally conservative ideals, which call for a more free society by rooting out as much government intervention as possible. The more the government involves itself in our lives, like subsidizing education, the less Americans are equal because the government gives advantages to certain groups of people—usually at the expense of the wealthy, according to conservatives. Of course, liberals will argue, that also means that some things, like education, is not achievable for everyone. Opponents of Corbett’s plan contend that higher education should be accessible to everyone. Until it is free and actually accessible to everyone, however, this argument holds as much weight as the American Dream and proves that social equality and economic freedom cannot coexist.

Further, most college degrees today call for at least four years of higher education, and some students require up to five. Others must further their education in graduate programs, however, all of this adds more and more student debt that needs to eventually be paid. Meanwhile, across the pond in England, it takes just three years for a student to earn a college degree—and the British government is pushing to cut a year off of that number, making college just two years.

Natalie Ramos-Castillo is the Temple University Student Body President

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