College students in Ohio currently graduate with nearly $28,000 in student loans, which ranks seventh highest in the United States. In addition to incurring large debts to attend college, graduates also now face a job market where average starting salaries have declined for six straight years.
At Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, students are taking on even more debt than both the state and national average. According to the Project On Student Debt, for the year 2010, 77 percent of Kent State graduates took out student loans. Even worse, the average debt upon graduation was $28,186! Why? Look at the rising tuition and fees. Since 2003, tuition and fees have increased by 46 percent. Moreover, KSU students have recently been informed that they will also be charged $440 per each credit hour for each one they take over 16. Such a plan will only force more students to incur more debt and extend the estimated date of graduation for many and is far less generous than most other colleges and universities in Ohio, which don't charge additional fees until 18 credit hours or more are reached.
In an effort to raise awareness about excessive tuition hikes and fees, the KSU Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) are organizing with other student groups, creatively utilizing social media to connect with others on campus and organizing digitally to stand in solidarity with students mobilizing at other campuses in the state.
Today, April 17, KSU students plan to demonstrate in Risman Plaza and will be tweeting using the hashtag #RAISEHELL and #NoTo16. The "RAISEHELL" hashtag is in reference to the slogan "raise hell, not tuition" which is being used at other student demonstrations across the country this week. Students far and wide are encouraged to stand in solidarity and tweet using the hashtags, #RaiseHell and #NoTo16.