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Time for a freeze? Advocates, students call for end to SUNY tuition hikes

SUNY Buffalo State may be among the cheapest colleges in New York, but for students dealing with those costs, it’s not much consolation.

“I had to take out a loan, a federal direct loan that my parents had to figure out how to pay for, and we’re still struggling to figure out how to pay for that,” SUNY Buffalo State freshman Colmari Garcia-Rodriguez said.

Garcia-Rodriguez went to the state Senate Higher Education Hearing in Buffalo to let lawmakers know she doesn’t believe she’s getting good return on her dollars.

“They barely have any counselors to talk to when it comes to financial aid questions or just someone to talk to if you have problems or like registration questions,” she said. “They also barely have tutoring available for like your STEM majors, like the Science, the Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and it’s hard to get help.”

Committee Chair Toby Ann Stavisky, D-Queens, said she’s heard similar concerns from students across the state.

“Even though tuition is relatively low, if you don’t have the money it’s impossible and yet I admire these young people,” she said. “I respect them and I think that perhaps we’ve got to do something to help.”

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