(WVEC) -- While the cost of college continues to increase, a lawmaker proposed a bill that would freeze in-state tuition for the next four years.
Democrat and 32nd District Delegate David Reid said by freezing the 2017-2018 rate, it will allow lawmakers and universities to reassess how to lower costs.
“It just keeps going up, it’s just completely out of control,” said Reid.
Norfolk State senior Caleb Wright said getting his college diploma means everything to him. However, last semester he said he worked three jobs just to pay the steep tuition.
“It’s hard,” said Wright. “You start to question if you’ll be able to finish the race that you started.”
Over the past four years, Wright has taken out more than $40,000 in student loans. The cost of in-state tuition increased more than 5 percent this year and more than 4 percent last year.
“I want to get it under control so that the students are going to be able to get out of college, not be burdened with a lot of debt and then begin their version of the American dream,” said Reid.
However, Peter Blake, Director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, said universities, not lawmakers, should decide whether or not to increase tuition.
“Institutions are closest to this issue,” said Blake. “They are at different starting points as to what they charge students currently and what their capacity is to increase tuition.”
Regardless of what happens, Wright said he’ll continue to work and get his degree.
“It seems impossible at times to manage but when you’re in certain positions and you really want to be successful like that you can’t complain,” said Wright. “You got to do what you got to do.”
According to Reid’s spokesperson John McAuliff, lawmakers decided to table the bill to reassess its financial impact. The bill will be re-introduced next session.
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