Thanks to annual double digit tuition increases, going to college is out of reach for more and more Minnesota students. Those that can swing the loans graduate with a crushing debt that sometimes takes decades to pay back. That’s why 450 students from Minnesota state colleges and universities rallied at the State Capitol today in support of a bill that would cap tuition increases and impose a temporary freeze. The STOP signs that students wore and carried represented the words “Student Tuition is Over Priced” in Minnesota. The red hats represented the cap they think is necessary.
For the first time ever, student debt in this country now exceeds credit card debt. “According to the Office of Higher Education, the average student in Minnesota graduates with $26,000 in debt. It is incredibly difficult for our graduates to contribute to the economy when they are shouldered with that kind of debt,” said Minnesota State University Student Association (MSUSA) State Chair and Bemidji State University student Andrew Spaeth. Senator John Carlson, (R-Bemidji) is the author of the tuition freeze bill. He told the Senate Higher Education committee why the bill is necessary. Russ Stanton of the Inter-Faculty Organization spoke in opposition to the plan. (video courtesy of Minnesota Senate Media Services)