Today, March 4, was the Day of Action to Defend Public Education, and all across the country student and faculty protesters were out in force. Budget cuts are forcing institutions of higher learning to try to make up the shortfall by cutting staff, furloughing teachers, canceling classes, increasing class sizes, and raising student fees—and nobody is happy about it.
(CNN) — Dissatisfaction, anger and an uncertain future have led professors and students in California and across the country to call for a day of action Thursday to defend education at state colleges and universities.
Budget cuts have resulted in canceled classes and class waiting lists doubling or tripling in California.
Whitney Thompson experienced this firsthand when all her courses at Fresno State University were dropped, setting her back an entire year. She is part of a rising phenomenon in which students take up to six years to graduate.
These “super-seniors,” as they are referred to by the universities, have to take out more debt to carry the full-time load needed to maintain their financial aid and health insurance. She is now enrolled in classes that do not meet her graduation requirements.
“My plans were messed up, I now have more debt, and I’m taking classes that were my least choice,” Thompson said.