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Bana Habash

College for All: Why Students Are Demanding Tuition Reimbursement

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Her Campus at FSU.

As part of the College for All campaign, in support of a partial tuition and fees reimbursement for the Fall 2020 semester, Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) at Florida State University has been participating in the discourse that emphasizes why such reimbursement would be critical. YDSA FSU is mobilizing and shedding light on an issue that is affecting millions at a time.

What is YDSA?

Young Democratic Socialists of America is the youth and student section of Democratic Socialists of America and a national organization of recognized campus chapters made up of several hundred activists. This organization is made up of students organizing in universities, colleges and high schools to fight for the workers’ and students’ immediate needs while building our capacity to fight for more radical and structural changes. YDSA fights for democratic socialism through active campaigns meant to improve the lives of working people.

What is the College for All Campaign?

The College for All campaign emphasizes that student debt must be abolished and that higher education needs to become more accessible to everyone. The current crisis in higher education gives YDSA a historic opportunity to raise mass awareness about capitalism’s broader failures and offer a socialist alternative.

Seizing this moment to win tuition-free public college, student debt cancellation and ending profit in education requires a strategic approach that consists of:

  1. Raising consciousness about the crisis in higher education.
  2. Organizing around issues that expand access, quality and democracy in education.
  3. Gradually building capacity to pass federal College for All legislation.

All of these approaches will be made while articulating a broader critique of capitalism and emphasizing a socialist alternative.

Wescott Building at Florida State University
Photo by Ernie A. Stephens from Pixabay

What are the demands?

  1. 10 percent tuition reimbursement.
  2. 20 percent fees reimbursement.
  3. Waiving of all special fees, including fines and penalties.

YDSA is demanding that this reimbursement come not at the expense of worker pay or slashed campus services, but rather through tapping into FSU’s remaining $4.6 million in CARES Act funds, the $700 million endowment fund, reducing the FSUPD budget and/or cutting bloated top administrators’ salaries. Students and the working class have taken the fall way too many times.

Why should you care?

As a student attending one of the country’s top universities, they expect the highest-grade education and top tier amenities. Due to the global pandemic, those things are no longer accessible. While there is no one to blame for that, and everyone must all do their part to combat the virus, it is absurd that students still pay their tuition in full, and some even pay more due to online fees. Students no longer have abundant access to their amenities. Why should you pay full price for something you know is not the quality you asked for?

How can you get involved?

  1. Reach out and join your local YDSA chapter!
  2. Sign the petition to demand tuition reimbursement.
  3. Follow YDSA on social media.

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Bana Habash is a Florida state student majoring in international affairs and minoring in film studies. She is a beauty assistant for clutch magazine and a staff writer for HerCampus. She loves reading, singing, writing, and filmmaking. If she could spend a day with one celebrity, it would be Hayley Williams from Paramore.
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