The Ivory Tower: What Can You Do?

Is college worth it? That’s the central premise in the recent CNN documentary “The Ivory Tower.” The film looks at serious issues facing many universities, including low graduation rates, a high debt load, and unique challenges facing low-income and first generation students.

The University of Washington has been a leader among its peers in bringing solutions to these issues. Among its successes:

  • One-third of UW’s undergraduates receive support through the Husky Promise, a program that guarantees full tuition and standard fees will be covered for eligible Washington residents.
  • UW consistently appears in the top 10 for “social mobility” rankings – recruiting and graduating low income students.
  • More than 80 percent of the UW’s students graduate within 6 years.

Why is college so expensive? Reduced state support for higher education over the past decade has shifted the burden of the costs of a college degree to students and families. What used to be an affordable, state-supported education has become a hard-to-attain dream for too many. Tuition has skyrocketed while our lawmakers have cut funding for the UW and other state institutions by more than 50%. Slowly but surely, our state has been posing a threat to the “public” in “public higher education.”

How can you join the fight for college access and affordability? Tell your legislators to reinvest in higher education today. Send an automated, introductory message to your elected officials by clicking here (it takes 30 seconds). Legislators need to know that their constituents are paying attention and that they care deeply about the issue of public, affordable, and accessible higher education. Add your voice today.