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cheap oakleys outlet USA students rally for higher education funding as tuition increases hinder their futures USA students and faculty at the Higher Education Day in Montgomery. USA brought more than 200 students to lobby for additional state revenue. Photo courtesy of Danielle Watson.Jobs and education are repeated over and over again in political rhetoric, and the two are not mutually exclusive. Only 22 percent of Alabamians have a college degree, six percentage points short of the national average. The lack of a college degree can inhibit the ability to get a job, and the increasing cost of higher education is a monstrous obstacle for students. Every year, Higher Education Day brings that struggle to the doors of state house in Montgomery to lobby for greater funding. State funding has decreased rapidly since over the last five years, changing The University of South Alabama's status as a state-funded university to a state-assisted university. In 2007, USA received 7 million in state-funding for the academic year. In 2014, it received shy of 0 million. USA still has the lowest tuition in the state for its caliber, but it costs a student that lives on campus taking 15 hours of college credit more than ,235 a semester to attend. Since 2007, tuition has increased due to losing more than 0 million in state funding. At a cost of ,000 a year, many are priced out of that bracket or choose to take the chains of student loans and wrap them around their future ankles. According to 80 percent of USA students graduate with more than ,000 in debt. USA took 200 student representatives to the statewide Higher-Ed Day event on Thursday amongst a crowd of students from other universities experiencing the same pain. The Student Government Association had a large hand in meeting with legislators. "We traveled to the State House and rallied for higher funding. I am glad Jag Nationhad great representation to advocate for higher funding. We had an amazing timeand also appreciate all of the Legislators' hard work to increase state funding," said SGA's Danielle Watson. Professor Karen Peterson felt that February was the perfect time for the day. "Higher Education Day in Montgomery couldnot have come at a better time as the Education Budget came out of the Senatewith a cut from the Governor's proposal to fund higher education at a moreequitable level," she told Alabama Media Group. "The University of South Alabama had one of the largestcontingents of students, faculty, staff, trustees, and alumni at the event. USAhad over 200 there to make our case to the state house for a return to 1/3 ofthe education budget for higher education. The group lunched with theirlegislators, met with them in their offices, and watched the Senate debatebefore returning home." Vice president of student affairs Dr. Mike Mitchell said the students are taking a stand and paying attention. "They were so engaged in the rally and in visiting legislators," he said. Higher Education Day is sponsored by the Higher Education partnership.