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Increases threaten future


When the Board of Governors announced a 2.5 percent increase in tuition and fees in July, many students breathed a sigh of relief, feeling the increase was minimal and should be regarded as a victory. I, and many other students from the Rutgers Student Union, along with other student organizations on campus, did not. ?    

The increase has been worded cleverly, with constant mention toward the seemingly meager increase of $318 per student used to make it seem minuscule and harmless. But what those applauding this increase fail to realize is just how detrimental this can be toward students who face economic hardships. During that July BOG meeting, many students reminded the board of just how detrimental a seemingly minor increase could be, and how even the 1.6 percent increase of the prior year caused one student to starve and become severely underweight.

Furthermore, we must recognize the mentality that this perpetuates — the mentality that education is a privilege that only certain individuals can have. For make no mistake, this increase will keep several students from returning to college. While it may not seem like much, for many, that increase is too much — and for those that must offset that cost with additional loans, the debt they will further place themselves in is terrifying. An acceptance of this increase is an acceptance of education being for a select group, and that’s unacceptable. Education is — or should be — a right. In order for us to see education as a right we must continue to strive for a lesser tuition increase or even (as mad as it may seem) a tuition freeze. The stake of many students, their degrees and their futures are at risk if we continue to accept these increases, however small they may seem.

Marios Athanasiou is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in political science.

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