EGP NEWS: A Higher Education Revolution

Career College Central Summary:

  • You might not have noticed it yet, but student protests are undergoing something of a renaissance. They’re rising to levels unseen in decades.
  • In California, students are stripping half naked to oppose tuition hikes and shutting down highways to draw attention to crushing student debt. In Wisconsin, they’re rising up to resist massive cuts to education proposed by Governor Scott Walker.
  •  And on Capitol Hill last month, 300 college students from across the country rallied to demand that Congress cancel a proposed $150-billion cut to student aid in the recently passed Republican budget.
  • The action was organized by the United States Student Association, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse student-led group. They’ve been demanding free and universal access to higher education since their founding in 1947 — and the idea is catching on again.
  •  “We need a revolution in the way that the United States funds higher education,” said Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who spoke at the rally. “You are leading that revolution.”
  • Yet the idea that students should be able to attend college in this country without taking on mountainous levels of debt or bankrupting their families is far from revolutionary.
  • It wasn’t that long ago that Senator Claiborne Pell, the namesake of Pell grants, was calling for subsidies to cover the full cost of college for all students. Or when over 2 million Americans earned a free degree as a result of the GI Bill after World War II.
  • In fact, millions of Americans received a debt-free higher education before tuition skyrocketed 500 percent since 1985. Worse still, the Department of Education decided to turn education financing into a $50-billion-per-year profit center, extracting huge sums from student loan repayments.

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