On Wednesday, January 25, ACT Now! VA took out a full page ad in the Richmond Times-Dispatch to help spur conversation about higher education in the Commonwealth.
For Virginians, the pain is real.
“I’ll be paying off loans until I die.”
“The debt that is being hung on my 20-year-old son is staggering.”
“My husband and I are unable to afford children because of his student loan debt.”
“I struggle daily/weekly thinking about the amount of debt I will accrue attending college and wondering whether or not it is worth it. I want to be educated but at what cost?”
“The degree I studied was supposed to cost $28,000. After it was all said and done I owed about $60,000 between three separate student loans with the total cost greater than my house payment. I thought the degree would lead to a promotion. Instead, I got laid off.”
But so is the solution.
In Virginia, tuition and fees at public college have exploded. In just 10 short years, students and their parents are paying 74% more for the chance at a better future. It’s gotten so bad that the rate of increase in tuition has exceeded the devastating rise in national health care by more than 50%.
Some say that cuts in state funding have pushed public colleges to hike tuition, that Richmond is to blame. That’s wrong. For every $1 reduction in public funding, tuition goes up by $2.
That kind of math has turned what could have been a student’s sure path to success into a first-order challenge for our state’s economy and future. But Virginia’s voters get it: 85% say lowering the cost of a degree can create opportunities and be a powerful antidote to our state’s weak economic condition.
It’s been said that one man’s medicine is another man’s poison. But when the lives and futures of so many Virginians are at stake, do we really have the luxury of waiting for the next miracle drug?
Make college affordable.
Download and view the complete ad here.