The Vermont State Colleges system is asking for $25 million in additional funding over the next five years so it can compete against public colleges in other states.
The system has seen level-funding or reduced funding in seven out of the past 10 fiscal years.
The state currently contributes to 17 percent of the system’s budget, but the system says it needs at least 30 percent.
Inadequate support from the state has kept many young Vermonters form attending college, the system says. More than 40 percent of the state’s high school graduates do not go on to college, the lowest high rate in New England.
Northern Vermont University Professor Tyrone Shaw says additional funding can help keep tuition affordable and preserve academic programs.
Northern Vermont University junior Adriana Eldred says she is one of many students struggling to pay off her tuition.
She says it’s “unfair” that she should have to worry about tuition when she knows she’ll be a good worker in Vermont.