Maine College Students Protest School Tuition Loan Debt, Joined 'Million Student March'


Most college students graduate with huge student loan debts. University of Maine and Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) students were among numerous colleges who participated the "Million Student March" to raise awareness for loan debts, free public college for two years and higher minimum wage at $15 for campus workers.

WCSH6 reported that SMCC tuition costs $2,700 per year. University of Maine in Orono costs $8,370 plus mandatory fees and housing for $2,236 and $9,296 respectively. An SMCC freshman shared that their college debt is getting in the way of their focus in school.

"I feel like if we move funding to the right places, it could happen. If it was a little less, it would be a little helpful for more college students. They'd be able to follow their passion more," the student said. The "Million Student March" had an event page on Facebook. MPBN reported that only about a dozen students showed up during the protest in Orono and around 3 showed up in SMCC.

"We are here to protest the increasing cost of education," said Leah Turlo, sophomore at University of Maine and member of the Maine Student action group, as reported by Bangor Daily News. "Yes, UMaine has a [tuition] freeze right now, but it's still really expensive."

A student who did not take part in the "Million Student March" in Maine said that the issue is a pressing one for college students like him. "I'm, I want to say, probably $50,000, from my undergrad," Rich Metellus told the MPBN. "Which is not too bad I guess for a lot of people, but it's still high."

Meanwhile, the President Barack Obama and his administration are planning to give more than $7 billion dollars in student loan debt by permanently disabled Americans. All eligible borrowers will be sent a letter. It will guide them to apply for the Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) loan discharge program, University Herald reported.

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