Local College Students Visit With State Lawmakers Concerning Worries Over Rising Tuition and Fees

Hundreds of students gathered at the state capitol for community college day. Students from Victoria College had the chance to visit with state legislators, hoping lawmakers will here what they had to say.

A new day, a new semester.

Not to mention, a brand new year filled with worries over how Victoria College students will fund their education.

“Right now we don’t have very good funding for community colleges,” says VC student Malary Michalka.

With huge cuts in the state budget, student’s are beginning to feel the burden of tuition and fees.
As of now, students fund 40 percent of their education, taxpayers also fund 40 percent, but only 20 percent of funding for community college education comes from the state of Texas.

“We need every penny we can get to keep on going, and to support the new generation,” says VC Student Donny Carroll.

With worry over the financial burden of a college education, 18 students from Victoria College traveled to the state capitol to speak with legislators.

“Its going to be a tough year. I can’t stress how tough it’s going to be,” says Senator Lois Kolkhorst.” If you really look at it, we’re 4 or 5 billion dollars short.”

The really tough part, according to Representative Geanie Morrison, is to try to stay within the state budget revenue without raising taxes.

“Revenues are low because our oil and gas industry is down. So we do not have the funds that we did last legislative session. But, I think we’re going to see a big push. I talked to a lot of members that know that we need to make sure community colleges are funded.” Morrison says.

Still students say it’s important for legislators to remember that community college is not only a gateway for higher education, but to remember that funding their education matters, too.

“We ask that the state look at community colleges as an investment,” says freshman VC student Chad Shoemake.

“Education is everything. It makes the world go around,” says Carroll.

Students left the Capitol with confidence that the state of Texas will continue to support community colleges, but still have concerns about the cuts in the state budget. Moving forward, students plan to find new ways to advocate for more state funding.