In his budget out this week, Governor Deval Patrick is proposing higher education funding increases but not at last year's levels. Students are wondering whether those increases will be enough to offset the need to increase tuition and fees.
The Great Recession may be over, but its effects still linger at public colleges and universities.
A report by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center finds state funding for public higher education in Massachusetts is down 25 percent since 2001.
College students today are struggling with the state of higher education. For instance, class size is up 25 percent in some courses on University of Massachusetts campuses. Then, with money tight, schools are adding administrators to their payrolls. And if paying tuition isn't tough enough for most students, they're forced to pay hundreds of dollars more in fees.
At UMass Boston, Patrick hosted a private roundtable discussion with UMass President Robert Caret and several students, including sociology student Farrah Bruny-Brown.
“Coming up with $600 extra is just another struggle," said Bruny-Brown. "It makes it hard because you lose focus when it comes to education when you have to pay the bills.”