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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

It’s Our Education, and We Want It Free Now!

Free+Education
Free Education

Why is the administration at the University of Massachusetts Boston constantly raising the rent on us like a Savin Hill landlord? For way too many people, the cost of school loans has reached astronomical figures. And like Aaron Eckhart’s character says in the film “Thank You For Smoking” says: “Everybody’s gotta pay the mortgage.”

Can someone tell our state representatives (Ms. Warren and Mr. Capuano, I’m talking to you!) to stop marching for a second and, I don’t know, maybe propose a tuition-free college bill to the House or Senate floor, and fight like Rocky Balboa until it passes? It would be super convenient, if we (the “we” being MA state college students) didn’t have to drown in debt for three decade or so, along with so many of our older siblings, friends, and relatives who are drowning in debt right now.

Believe it or not, there are people chained to federal student loans. The debt for a liberal arts undergraduate degree can reach as high as $80,000 to $100,000—and that’s just for a BA in English, Communication, or Philosophy. Throw in an MA or MS degree in journalism or political science, and that same poor student now has to deal with $150,000 in student loans! Forget paying someone else’s mortgage (which is what most of us are doing, if you rent a room in a house or simply do not own real estate of any kind). With student loans like those, you’re basically paying a mortgage on a house that doesn’t even exist.

The worse part is that the students here are attending UMass Boston, not a private “Gimme All Your Money” university like BU, BC, Northeastern, or Emerson. So why does UMass Boston insist on raising tuition? I know it is not simply to cover the reconstruction costs. Massachusetts is a small, but incredibly wealthy, state. Look at our economic powers—Harvard, MIT, Raytheon, Bose, Mass General Hospital, and TD Garden, not to mention the massive multibillion-dollar-a-year healthcare, biotech, and pharmaceutical industries we have here. Yet we can’t afford to give the young people and those looking to enrich themselves academically a state university a tuition-free college-level education? This is a crime of laziness, because I’m sure people would pass this if someone simply presented it to the political floor.
Are we not a state school? State schools are supposed be cheap. I thought that was the whole point of state university systems? Maybe I’m dumb, and don’t understand anything under the sun. But good God! Can the Massachusetts state government just do right by its citizens? Please!