Average tuition and fees for Massachusetts community colleges are 52% above the national average. Local students struggling to pay the cost are finding themselves deeply in debt, but this Thursday organizers at Holyoke Community College (HCC) are hosting a Student Speak Out on the Student Debt Crisis to address these issues.
Community college students face distinctive challenges, as speak out organizer and HCC student Nicole Ouimette describes, “I have not only struggled to find work to pay for my bills, but I cannot afford textbooks. Financial aid helps to pay for that, but that money could be better spent on food and gas … when one is a commuter student, it is harder to focus on school work because of the added stress, which then makes it near impossible to finish school in two years.”
Student’s voices will be heard by the HCC administration, faculty, staff and even state representative Aaron Vega. This speak out empowers students to stand up and take action on the issues of college affordability, funding, and student debt. “It’s a big deal to have this kind of thing at a Community College,” Ouimette explains, “Organizing busy commuter students to be in one place at one time is a challenge.”
The event will be 10am-12pm, Oct 18, in the HCC Courtyard outside of the student lounge. RSVP to the event via Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/events/392925824110585/