College students march to Capitol for more funding

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Nearly 100 college students are met with lawmakers at the Virginia General Assembly building Thursday, hoping to get their message across that there needs to be more funding for college tuition in the Commonwealth.

From the fingertips of those college students, to the social media world of Twitter, to the grounds of the State Capitol and into the General Assembly building, the students out today are on a mission.

"So that students can continue to afford college throughout their career without the uncertainty and fear of how will I pay for college?," asks John Beyer. He is a sophomore at Piedmont Virginia Community College.

That's a fear many of these students have now, and thousands will have in the coming years.

That's why Emily VanDaniker led one of the first groups into the General Assembly building this morning.

"I currently owe $32,516 and I still have one semester of school left and I know there are thousands of other Virginians in the same situation," she said. Emily is a second semester senior at Longwood University.

"Cutting costs and eating ramen is a sacrifice we are willing to make but anyway to make that easier would be a huge bonus for a lot of Virginians," adds John.

This is all in support of a bill working it's way through the General Assembly now. Governor McDonnell is looking to help these kids too. He wants to make colleges more affordable so more people can go to school and eventually get into the workforce.

By making college affordable, these students know they can shape the future of Virginia. "More affordability, more opportunities, more degrees," says John.

And, as the debate continues, the students off this to the critics of this bill. "There's no better investment than that. I know I'd invest in that if I had the opportunity to," says John.

"If you just sit back and watch, this isn't going to work. We are going there and we are going to make this happen," adds Emily.

You can get involved in the conversation, or leave your opinion on Twitter, by going to the following hashtag: #TopJobsTownHall.

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