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QC Students: 'We Want More!' – QNS.com

QC Students: ‘We Want More!’

Citing the struggle of college students to “make ends meet” in the face of ever-increasing tuition costs, Queens College students rallied last week to demand more state funding for higher education.
“Over the last ten years, the state has drastically cut funding for higher education,” said Ross MacWhinney, Project Coordinator of the Queens College NYPIRG (New York Public Interest Research Group) chapter. “Right now, New York ranks 39 out of 50 states in state tax dollars allotted to higher education. It’s time for Albany to ante up.”
Protesters claimed that although the Princeton Review recently listed Queens College among the top ten best bargain public colleges in the U.S., the ranking obscures the College Board’s recent finding that the average net cost of attendance for a four-year public college for some students is nearly half their income per annum.
The study brought to light the fact that, in the 2003-2004 school year, for students at the lowest income quartile, tuition represented 47% of average family income (after grant aid was subtracted).
Therefore, many students at the college are forced to work part- or full-time in order to finance their education — with varying consequences.
“I work full-time to afford a living,” said Queens College sophomore Rocky Navarro. “This has greatly affected my performance and attendance. I have managed so far to keep good grades but at some point something is going to have to give. If tuition is increased I fear I will have to work more just so I can do my laundry and afford transportation to school.”
Vowing to keep up the fight and get their message across to Albany, NYPIRG is urging anyone concerned with the rising cost of tuition to attend the CUNY Board of Trustees Public Hearing, to be held at CUNY Central, located at 535 E. 80th Street, on November 21 at 5 p.m.
toni@queenscourier.com

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