Student body presidents express concern over threats to higher education
BATON ROUGE - In a plea to the governor, the Council of Student Body Presidents expressed their concern over "constant cuts" to higher education.
More than 30 student body presidents from Louisiana schools, including Louisiana State University and Southern University, issued a letter to Governor John Bel Edwards and other state legislators, saying they represent more that 215,000 college students across the state and the Student Government Association Presidents of Louisiana's colleges and universities.
"Over the last nine years, state funding for Louisiana's colleges and universities has been cut more than any other state in the nation," the letter read. "Tuition and fees have also increased by 111 percent durin gthe same period. The impaacts of continued cuts are felt on our campuses every day with fewer classes offered, larger class sizes, and a reducation of services that are vital to our academic success.
Higher education has been cut by more than $100 million in the last eight months, according to the COSBP.
"Not only are we paying higher tuition costs," they said, "but this semester, the state broke its promise to more than 49,000 TOPS students by not honoring the scholarships we have earned. That broken promise shifted another 80 million dollars in costs to students."
The COSBP explained the state of Louisiana funded 70 percent of the costs of higher education, with tuition accounting for 30 percent. They say those percentages have flipped, making it hard on families of students.
"Higher education is an investment into our future," they said. "We hope our state's leaders will focus on identifying a long-term source of sustainable fundin gthat will end the state's practice of repeated cuts to higher education."