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Blinn Students Lobby at the State Capitol

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About 80 Blinn students were among hundreds of community college students from all over the state that gathered on the steps of the Capitol asking for more financial support.

Amber Landry, a student at the Brenham campus says, "Without funding our tuition is gonna go up and we don't want that to happen."

Thursday was Texas Community College Student Day at the Capitol. And about 1,600 students stood outside the steps to talk to their local legislators. Blinn College was one of the largest groups represented...realizing junior and community colleges are a stepping stone to the next level.

Joe Buvid, a student at the Bryan campus says, "A lot of people find they go to community colleges and then go on to a four-year university. They're crucial to furthering our education and getting funding that we need is very important to us."

Last session, Blinn was hit with an 8 percent cut from funding. The current level of funding is equal to what was given to community colleges 10 years ago.

Don Voelter, President of Blinn College says, "Whatever the legislature doesn't fund, typically we have to get that money from one of two places-one student tuition and fees and the other is the local ad valorem taxes. And we don't want to raise tuition and fees anymore than we have to."

Blinn was only able to fund 25 percent of their "wish list" in the past four years. They've had to cut back on staff and do without equipment. They're hoping lawmakers will decide to give them $359 million in funding and allowing tuition and fees to stay down and continuing to progress with the times.

Rep. Fred Brown says, "It would be great if we could get tuition and fees to go down, but in reality it probably won't happen. But hopefully it won't go up an we'll be able to fund our junior college and community college at the level they've asked for."

Junior and Community colleges expect to have 5,000 to 6,000 more new students enrolled by 2015. Proving these smaller schools can serve as a good introduction to a college career.

The students feel like they had a very productive day and are hoping lawmakers will continue to support community colleges.