HOLYOKE, Mass (WWLP) - Frustrated college students are often scrambling to pay for college forcing them to take on large amounts of debt
Jacob Stearn, a freshman at Holyoke Community College, told 22News he thinks education should be free.
"Education is a right not a privelage. We can't deny people their right to education. When we decide to make school cost like 20 thousand dollars or something, I think that we're taking away a lot of people's right to have what they deserve," Stearn said.
Anna Komorowski, another college freshman at HCC, said she isn't sure she would have been able to start school had she not gotten enough scholarships and grants to cover the cost.
"I don't think so, it would take a lot for me to pay all of those loans back I mean I can only how long it's taking all these other people… that's a lot of money!" Komorowski said.
Tuition for Massachusetts colleges has continued to climb. For example, Holyoke Community College tuition has gone up about 1400 dollars over the last 10 years.
But the climb was put to a halt following the 2014 state fiscal budget, which put a freeze on tuition increases and additional student fees, at state colleges, including community colleges, according to Massachusetts Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland.
"This year it didn't go up at all. Big change! So in my view that's a reversal of a troubling pattern," Commissioner Freeland said.
The commissioner also told 22News there is a drought in the number of students graduating college.
He hopes easing the transfer of credits from a 2 year school to 4 year school could allow students to start at a community college, saving them large amounts of money throughout their college career.