Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Education

College

March 10, 2004 2 min read

Facial Expressions

There’s plenty of evidence that rising college prices are forcing North Carolina students to work longer hours, drop out of more classes, and slide further into debt—402 pages of it, to be exact.

Students from across the state offer first-person tales of hardship in The Personal Stories Project: Faces, Not Numbers, a book compiled by student leaders from the North Carolina system’s 16 public four-year institutions.

The project was undertaken last year by the University of North Carolina Association of Student Governments, which asked undergraduates to submit letters by e-mail describing how they had been affected by recent tuition increases. The goal was to persuade state and university leaders to avoid imposing similar increases in the future.

The association compiled the submissions, paid to have 500 bound copies published, and released the collection of roughly 800 personal stories on Feb. 9. The organization also put up a Web site, www.personalstories.org.

“I worked 30 to 40 hours a week every week during my junior year,” writes Rachel Alexis Johnson, a student at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. “I was falling asleep in classes and at work. I was trying to study while taking orders at Wendy’s. I did not have a fall break, Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, or spring break. Break was not a word that fit in my vocabulary.”

Whether the book will kindle changes in college pricing or wither away like kindling in the state’s budgetary furnace remains unclear. But Jim Phillips, a Greensboro, N.C., lawyer who serves on the UNC system’s 32- member Board of Governors, thought highly enough of the work to brandish a copy at a board meeting last month, telling colleagues that it reinforced many of the panel’s already-stated worries that rising costs are cutting off access to classes, academic programs, and faculty. Last year, officials at UNC-Chapel Hill announced plans to give qualified low-income students enough grant aid to graduate debt-free.

This month, the board will consider a request to increase tuition at 14 of the 16 state universities—which have different yearly prices—by $300, for the 2004-05 school year. The legislature can approve or reject the board’s tuition recommendations.

“The content of the book and the stories and letters are already at the heart of what the board [is going to be looking at] this year,” Mr. Phillips said.

—Sean Cavanagh

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
The 4 Biggest Challenges of MTSS During Remote Learning: How Districts Are Adapting
Leaders share ways they have overcome the biggest obstacles of adapting a MTSS or RTI framework in a hybrid or remote learning environment.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT, HUMAN RESOURCES
Larkspur, California
Tamalpais Union High School District
Special Education Teachers
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
MS STEM Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read