letters | making higher education affordable

Grateful to lawmakers for moving to ease tuition crunch

As a student who is paying her way through the University of Massachusetts by working long hours and piecing together loans, grants, and scholarships, I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to see Massachusetts finally give working-class college students and their families a break (“Big break for college students: No rise in tuition,” Page A1, July 6).

It made my heart sink each spring to see that I would have to come up with an additional $500 or $600 to attend school the next year. That is a significant amount of money to someone who is balancing a full course load with full-time work. All of this is made even more difficult in light of the soaring student loan debt that these annual tuition increases are costing students and their families across the country.

As a student trustee at
UMass Boston, I followed this debate throughout the year, hoping that the Legislature would boldly turn a new page and begin to strengthen its support for public higher education. I hope that House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Therese Murray, and all the others who made this breather possible know how much it means to thousands of students who won’t have to add more work hours and go deeper in debt to receive the kind of education that will change their lives and strengthen the economy of the Commonwealth. It is my deepest hope that Governor Patrick can follow through on his strong support for higher education and sign this funding into law.

Alexis Marvel