Pilot Editorial: Allen's Actions Pushed College Out of Reach for Many VA Students
Richmond, VA - In an editorial published by The Virginian-Pilot today discussing the cost of college tuition, the board highlights the key role George Allen played in pushing college degrees further out of reach for many Virginians.
"In 1996, Gov. George Allen froze tuition at the state's schools. Allen's freeze seemed like a good idea at a time when tuition had been rising by double digits annually to make up for cuts in state funding. By the time the freeze ended (and after Gov. Jim Gilmore had ordered the schools to cut costs), Virginia's colleges and universities were desperate. Maintenance had been neglected. The schools lost ground academically. Faculty had fled. The schools raised what they charge Virginia students and their families. Then they did it again. And again."
Allen's record on making college unaffordable was damaging during his time as governor and outright destructive as a senator. The higher education cuts Allen advocated as governor were so drastic, a bipartisan group of former governors and business leaders formed a new group to put a stop to the initiative.
During Allen's tenure in the Senate public college and university tuition rose by 40% -- but that didn't stop him from voting for the largest student loan cut in U.S. history. He voted against an amendment that would have kept 84,000 students from losing their eligibility for Pell grants, even as multiple Republican Senators voted the other way.
To read the full editorial, please click here.