Higher education may be first to see cuts

This week, hundreds of college students and faculty protested at the Louisiana Capitol in Baton Rouge against $310 million in cuts to education over the past two years, reports The Upshot. According to at least one advocate for higher education, other states can expect similar scenes to play out in their midst as federal stimulus funds dry up and lawmakers target state universities to plug gaping deficit holes. Terry Hartle of the American Council on Education tells The Upshot that state politicians often turn to higher education when they need to make budget cuts, because students “look very much like paying customers.”

In-state tuition has jumped 7.9 percent just this year, according to a recent study, and the average college student’s debt is now a record $24,000. At  least 38 states are projecting budget deficits for the next year, and unlike the federal government, states are required to balance their budgets and cannot roll over any deficits…

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