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Students Rally to Support Public Education

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It happens periodically in the United States, college students and faculty members hold campus rallies to show their support for public/state higher education. Rally organizers worry about continuing budget cuts in most fiscal years. Some participants go to great lengths to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with education funding.

The most prolific events happened at the University of California campuses, which saw $637 million in cuts in 2009. At UC-Berkeley, 500 people participated in a sit-in at a campus library. Professors held classes outside in a “teach out” to protest an increase of student fees by 30%. California residents are also upset because the system has increased its enrollment of out-of-state students in order to take their higher tuition fees to make up for state budget cuts.

The cost of attending a state university is still significantly less than an equivalent four-year private school. The  national average is approximately $7,500 per year for tuition. Room, board and fees can run another $8,000 – $10,000 per year. Private colleges and universities charge an average of $27,500 for one year of tuition and their room & board rates are typically 50% – 100% higher. You can read more about the cost differential between public and private schools here.

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