Local students slammed by tuition hike

Posted: Updated:

Gov. David Paterson?s Wednesday announcement of tuition increases for all SUNY and CUNY schools left many local college students on edge.

Some Purchase College students say it is already hard for them to pay for school, without the $300 per semester tuition increase that goes into effect in the spring.

?For every raise in tuition, there are groups of students who can no longer go to school full time,? says Purchase College President Thomas Schwarz.

Although more than half of Purchase College?s students now receive some need-based financial aid, student president Joe Matoske says many of his peers have already approached him seeking help.

"It's a big financial burden to find another $600 to come up with on top of meals, books and gas," Matoske says.

Overall, the move will raise the tuition from $4,350 per year to $4,950 at all state universities of New York.

Gov. Paterson said the increase is part of his plan to save the state $5.2 billion over the next two years in an effort to close the growing budget gap.

?We understand the plight of students, but we think this ask of tuition is reasonable," Gov. Paterson said during a news conference.

The tuition hike comes on the heels of a 10 percent reduction in state funding for all SUNY schools this year, which translated into a loss of $2.4 million for Purchase College. Schwarz says the ability of the college to provide scholarships to needy students will also be impacted by the cuts.

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