Students from Michigan’s 15 public universities are meeting in Lansing today to personally lobby lawmakers for more money for higher education.
Jay Gage is a junior at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie. He’s also the president of the Student Association of Michigan.
“I think it’s a lot more powerful a message than your average lobbyist that’s here day in and day out. To have students from every university come and say you know this is a priority,” Gage said.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is proposing a small budget increase for community colleges and state universities this year. But Gage says the students want the state to adopt a more stable approach for funding higher education so universities know what to expect each year.
Students will hold a rally at the capitol on Friday morning at 11a.m.
“Our goal isn’t just to make it cheaper for us as college students and save ourselves a few bucks but it’s to secure the state’s future,” Gage said.
Tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates at public universities in Michigan have more than doubled in the last ten years.
Universities now get a larger portion of their funding from tuition than public universities in 44 other states according to a recent report from the non-partisan non-profit Center for Michigan.
Gage says the rally will also address other issues like granting amnesty for underage drinkers who call for medical help for their peers and tax credits for students.