Penn State Lion Caucus Hosts Lt. Governor and State Senator to Discuss Cost of Education
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- A forum on the cost of education was held Thursday night with state Senator Jake Corman and Lt. Governor John Fetterman. They addressed the causes for the rise of tuition and other issues concerning Penn State and its students.
Corman talked about the number of employees Penn State has and how it factors into tuition prices.
“When you have as many employees as Penn State does, what happens? Well, we give raises every year, we give benefit increases costs of benefits increase every year, retirement costs go up every year, health insurance costs go up every year, so the costs of those individuals go up every year,” Corman said.
One student also asked about their position on a debt-free or tuition-free program. Fetterman said it was a good goal, but someone has to pay for it.
“Someone does have to pay for it. It doesn’t cost you anything to go to a public school in PA, but someone’s paying for it and that comes through various means so if we as a country make public education and that conversation to include a 4-year program, a college degree, I think that’s an important goal,” Fetterman said.
Another topic that was bought up was how the rise of education costs affects minority communities.
Penn State student, Nebraska Hernandez, felt as though his question and others regarding the topic were not directly answered.
“I asked them if they believed in increasing costs of college tuition and the cost for college disproportionally affects people that have been part of the historically marginalized communities and Fetterman answered it a little better but I do feel both of the danced around the question,” Hernandez said.
The cost of education has to be a national conversation and both Fetterman and Corman stressed that if changes are going to occur, then the current generation of college and university students needs to get involved.
“I think we and the country are coming to the proverbial fork in the road. It’s not just a PA conversation, it’s a national conversation and if you look at the election coming up in 2020 look at what the candidates are campaigning on for president. Look at their positions. How are we as a society going to look at college. Is it an extension of high-school that’s going to be funded in a guaranteed mechanism that’s going to produce at little to no cost or is it going to continue where students are going are incurring crushing loads of debt,” Fetterman said.
The cost of education continues to a hot topic that both Fetterman and Corman believe a bipartisan decision will be the stepping stone to reaching a solution.
Leeann Stapleton is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.