Letter to the Editor: Join NYPIRG in the fight against rising student debt


Do you know that Student loan debt is currently the largest and largest growing debt in the country?

Decreasing state support and increasing tuition rates is the leading cause of rising debt for college students. Student loan debt is currently an astronomical $1.3 trillion and estimated to be $2 trillion by 2025. Something has to be done now to stop this from continuing and the power lies with the students!

This is why the New York Public Interest Research Group’s (NYPIRG) Higher Education Project fights for affordable higher education in New York State. Since the economic downturn in 2008, funding for higher education has been dramatically cut. In the meantime, tuition and other cost associated with getting a college degree have skyrocketed- further threatening access to an affordable higher education and student loan debt.

The so-called rational provision included in the 2011 NY SUNY 2020 law allowed SUNY and CUNY to raise tuition by $300 per year over the course of five years. Meanwhile, over the past seven years, largely flat state funding has left CUNY and SUNY on the hook for mandatory cost increases like inflation, electricity needs, and staff contracts. Student tuition used to cover 40% of all SUNY operating costs. Now, student tuition covers a whopping 60% of all operating costs. This is largely due to the States lack of funding.

New York must acknowledge the importance of higher education and the economic gains higher education brings to the state and the city. For every $1 spent on education, the economy reaps $4 dollars in benefits, according to a study looking at California state schools. College access and affordability will benefit New York’s economy and communities at large.

Most Lawmakers and politicians submit legislation around February and March for approval. That’s why NYPIRG is gathering students to go to Albany and talk to politicians and lawmakers to advocate for affordable, quality higher education in New York State. Our Higher Education Lobby Day is scheduled for February 28th, 2018 and we need YOU to come with us so our voices can be heard.

If you are interested in joining us please stop by the NYPIRG office, Campbell Student Union 419 to sign up or call (716) 795-7012. Together we can fight to make Higher education affordable again!