Going Deep Into Debt For A Degree

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

EAST LANSING (WILX)-- It's not just law and medical students digging themselves deep into debt to get a degree.

We keep hearing how important a college degree is if you have any hope of finding a decent job in the future, and that wouldn't be so frustrating if the price of tuition and room and board didn't go up every year.

Take Michigan State for example, the Board of Trustees raised room and board 3.9 % percent recently.

The tuition raises that never seem to ed has MSU student using what she's learned to try to do something about it.

Journalism student at MSU, Christina Stong has school loans are piling up. She found she wasn't alone when two years ago she started a documentary called The Expense of Learning.

"With tuition rising it is getting harder and harder to go to college. It was an important story and one that is relevant to a lot of people," said Strong.

With the documentary now finished she shows how the ever rising cost of tuition, including the cost of living, causes students to struggle.

"Many leave the dorms after the first year because it costs so much. Ten thousand for a small prison cell dorm room is too much," said Strong.

But to provide the students with the best services possible raising the price's has to happen.

"Students are still able to live on campus for $39 dollars a day. That includes their housing, unlimited meal plan, and this year we are rolling in laundry services," said MSU Director of Residence Education Kathy Collins.

As the cost of education goes up, Strong points out that financial help doesn't increase with it.

"For the 2012-2013 school year at MSU tuition went up 3.4 percent but not financial aid," said Strong.

Speaking out about the tuition hikes has inspired others to do the same.

"I thought that there was nothing I could do about it. Christina taught me you can do something about it," said MSU student Erin Bergin.

Strong hopes her documentary will ignite others around the state to start looking for a better solution.

"It's going to affect a lot of people. It's something to look for and a lot of people will be able to understand and connect with it. I'm hoping a lot of people will see it.," said Strong.

The board of trustees will vote on how much tuition will increase for the next school year in late June or early July. We'll let you know when it passes.

So how does MSU stack up with other public universities?

Michigan is charging almost $13,000 dollars for tuition and $10,000 for room and board for the fall and winter semesters.

Central Michigan's tuition is a little more than $11,000 dollars for both semesters. Room and board is another $ 8,500.

Ferris State will run you almost $14,000 for tuition, plus $8,700 for room and board.

All these numbers are for in-state underclassmen.

Those prices don't include books, supplies, insurance, and other items.

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