This morning I met with Angela, one of ABM’s Twitter followers, in the library at St. Cloud State University. Angela is a graduate student at SCSU and took a few minutes out of what-must-be a busy week before school starts, to share her story with the Make Minnesota Thrive Drive.
Like Francis — the student we spoke to in Moorhead — Angela said she struggles to make ends meet following years and years of tuition and fee increases. What’s most striking, she said, is that college students at Minnesota state colleges are paying the same amount in tuition as she paid for private college tuition. Many of her peers, Angela added, are constantly worrying about how they’re going to pay for another semester’s tuition and that affects their studies. To make sure she pays for school and makes her loan payments on time, Angela has moved back in with her parents and borrowed money from them. Most students don’t have that option, she added.
But it’s not just tuition and fee increases that are affecting college students. Angela shared the story of one of her friends, a fellow graduate student, who is a brilliant researcher, but who struggles with depression. Angela’s friend is on MinneostaCare, and wouldn’t be able to afford her medication (upwards of $200 a month!) if not for the coverage it provides. When she heard about Governor Tim Pawlenty’s plans to cut GAMC funding and force 30,000 Minnesotans off of MinnesotaCare, she began to fear that she would no longer be able to afford to treat her depression.
Check out the video below. We’ll have more of our interview with Angela soon.