SUNY Purchase students protest rising tuition costs
Students at SUNY Purchase are protesting rising tuition costs.
Dozens gathered for a rally to demand a better chance at an affordable education.
The protesters want an end to the tuition hikes that they say threaten to put higher education out of reach.
"My parents can't help me as much as they would like to," said one student. "I have to rely on unsubsidized loans that keep going up in order to come here."
The students say they're fighting not only for their colleagues on their campus, but also for those attending SUNY institutions elsewhere.
The cost of tuition for undergraduates, excluding housing and books, is $3,000 per semester for residents and almost $8,000 per semester for out-of-state students.
SUNY Purchase President Thomas Schwarz says he came in a show of support.
"This issue of student debt in this country is a national problem that needs to be solved on a macro-level, and on a micro-level you see it here, with students who cannot afford to stay in school and are taking on debt," he said.
Students say that while state funding for SUNY institutions has decreased by more than $1 billion since 2008, tuition rates have increased by 127 percent in the last two decades.