Today in NC State History: Students protest tuition hike

January 13, 2013
By Bill Krueger

blog_series6Going to college, it seems, has always been a costly proposition.

There have been countless news stories and studies done in recent years about the rising costs of higher education amid concerns that some people won’t be able to afford a college education.

But concerns about rising tuition are nothing new at NC State.

On this day in 1939, students at State College gathered in Thompson Gymnasium to protest plans to increase the tuition from $85 to $125 for North Carolina residents and from $180 to $225 for out-of-state students, according to an account in Historical State, an online archive maintained by NCSU Libraries.

“Students don’t know much about State legislation, but when they are hard pressed they can step into action with amazing promptness and really get things done,” read an account in the February 1939 issue of Alumni News.

It was an increase “which most of the boys that go to State College cannot afford,” read the account.

“The plan before the General Assembly was to decrease the school’s appropriation and increase the tuition. Carolina sent over three of its lobbyists, State students called on their legislators and had a few heart-to-heart talks, and the folks back home did their part by sending letters to the Assembly.”

The protest apparently worked, as the Alumni News account said that “the plan seems abandoned.”


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