Are you ready to Rock The Ivory Tower?!

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has launched a new campaign called Rock The Ivory Tower whose goal is to “get Texans engaged in the issue in order to help make universities more affordable, accessible and transparent for college students and taxpayers.”
For me, this campaign couldn’t come at a better time.  This year, we will have two children in college.  Two.  Dos.  Zwei.  And with two in college, our expected parental worry of their being on their out on their own comes alongside double expense.
In the past 10 years, the Texas Comptroller has shown that TX tuition has gone up 120% at the largest universities!  Parents and their children straining to find ways to pay for a college education, but AFP shows that almost half must take out loans.  This money is now taken away from our economy and is dragging our economic growth. 
We need to be looking for ways to make college more affordable and accessible to students.  In an ever worrisome economy, why aren’t we?  We are the ones paying the bills.  We are the ones supporting our children’s university at every chance and helping build that extra dormitory or science lab. We should also be verifying those costs = quality of education.  
AFP further shows how here in Texas, Governor Perry challenged the university community to find ways for college students to obtain a quality degree in 3 or 4 years for $10,000.  The Texas Public Policy Foundation has taken the lead in providing ways to cut costs of a college degree and if enacted, even the University of Texas would be able to cut their tuition rates in HALF!  Read more here.
Students from the state’s leading public universities are putting out a call for more accountability, accessibility and affordability in Texas higher education.
The students, Adriane Purdom of the University of Texas, Nathan McDaniel of Texas State University, Alicia Stewart of Texas A&M University, and Cole Bessner of the University of Houston, are featured in the latest video to be released by Rock the Ivory Tower.
“With no help from my parents, I’ve had to work countless jobs and rely on loans to help pay for college,” said Adriane Purdom. “With the rise in tuition, my loan debt is increasing. Trying to find more job hours in a suffering economy is a nightmare. We don’t need the added stress of higher tuition when students are already struggling as it is.”

Students are asking Texans to sign a petition calling for public university officials to:
          Provide more transparency within the universities’ budget systems.
          Ensure the most efficient and productive use of tax dollars.
          Ensure that public universities are more accessible and affordable.
          Provide a reasonable way for students to graduate without being burdened by overwhelming student debt.

Sounds very reasonable to me!  

The petition is available at

AFP State Director Peggy Venable states:

Tuition at public universities in Texas has increased 83 percent since 2003. Nationally, the average student graduates with $24,000 in student loan debt, and student loan debt now surpasses all credit card debt in the country, nearing $1 trillion. If we want an educated workforce down the road, then this has to stop. Otherwise, education and all of the opportunities it brings will be out of reach.” 

With student loan debt now surpassing all credit card debt in our country, I am thankful we have the AFP, Rock the Ivory Tower, and engaged students who are getting involved and speaking out.  Now if we can get the university community and our elected officials to get on board and cease resisting, we would definitely be winning.

Please join me in signing the petition at

Always remember: don’t leave it to someone else.  You ARE someone else.  The future of our children is truly counting on it.  Sign the petition today.

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