September 28, 2010/ABC News 12
By Kristen Abraham
Higher education will see a 2.8 percent reduction. Students at one local school are questioning why lawmakers are cutting their funding, all the while promoting education as a must to succeed.
In a 10-year span, funding per Saginaw Valley State University student has dropped almost $1,000. Some students are asking where the value is in that.
"Any kind of cut will affect all students, from sports to extra circular activities," said Zach Bauer.
Students at SVSU have kept an watchful eye on Lansing lawmakers. The latest cut in higher education funding doesn't sit well with sophomores Nikki Brown and Lindsey Yaroch.
"They always seem to be throwing away money at athletes when there are students who are really here to get an education but we can never seem to find it," Yaroch said.
"It's really aggravating because they are pushing for higher education but they aren't helping people get it because they are taking money away and people can't afford to go right now because it's so expensive," Brown said.
After Brandon Baker's father lost his job last year, the freshman feared he wouldn't be financially able to attend SVSU.
"I was planning to go to community college," he said. "With the scholarships and loans I was able to come here without any loans on my parents."
School officials say keeping tuition affordable remains a top priority, but in recent years road blocks have made it tough to do.
"That is increasingly difficult to do when state appropriations continue to decline, especially in an environment where everyone agrees we need more college graduates to improve our economy," said SVSU's JJ Boehm.
Carisa Stewart of Pontiac chose SVSU for its location and affordability. She hopes state leaders see the value in her degree.
"Don't stress higher education if you aren't going to help," she said.
SVSU has seen an increase in students applying for financial assistance. Lawmakers working to erase a $484 million budget shortfall before Friday.
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