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Lower Rates for Higher Education

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About two dozen college students gathered in Richmond this week to demand lower rates for higher education.   

Among them, John Maggi, who studies at the University of Virginia. 

“In the United States, privilege is kind of what determines your educational status, especially when it comes to higher education and universities.”

Scott LeCates, an organizer with the teachers’ association in Roanoke, said debt was crippling college graduates – especially those who had chosen careers in education.

“We’ve got plenty of money for other things, like the military war machines, and yet teachers in the classroom are so saddled with student debt that they have to go to a second job after they leave.”

And a George Mason University student who identified himself only as Rodrigo said he was forced to work full time while in high school to pay for college.

“I applied to a lot of scholarships.  I saved up and worked two different jobs during high school – over forty hours a week.”

He cheered an early victory in Richmond, where a senate committee defeated efforts to impose out-of-state tuition on so-called Dreamers -- children of undocumented immigrants who have grown up in this county.  Now, the group is hoping for passage of House Bill 1877, which would end tax credits for coal companies and use new revenue for scholarships at Virginia’s public universities.   

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief
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