Troy University to participate in Higher Ed Day

Published 3:00 am Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hundreds of university students will descend on the State Capitol in two weeks for the annual Higher Education Day rally to advocate for more state funding for public universities.

Troy University is a big proponent of the event, giving official excuses to students to travel to Montgomery as a statement to the legislature.

Marcus Paramore, director of governmental relations for Troy University, explained what the day means to the university’s students, faculty and staff.

“Higher Education Day is really an opportunity for– students, number one– but for students, faculty and staff of Alabama colleges and public universities to rally at the State House and advocate for institutions of higher learning,” Paramore said. “This give the opportunity for students to show what higher education means to them and what a college degree means to them, and to ask the State to support them through the education budget.”

Paramore said the day also gives students a chance to see what advocating and being involved with government is like.

“This is part of an overall learning experience for them about advocating for their institution,” Paramore said.

Students from across four-year institutions from across the state will be in attendance at the rally, with the Alabama Higher Education Partnership (AHEP) estimating that over 2,000 advocates will be at this year’s rally.

The day’s events will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a march to the State House led by university students from every corner of Alabama. The march will begin at 2 N. Jackson Street and will travel through downtown Montgomery to the State House on Union Street.

The rally will follow at 11:00 a.m. Attendance for this year’s event is expected to surpass 2,000 advocates seeking to increase support for the state’s universities, according to a release by the Alabama Higher Education Partnership.

“With every dollar invested in the public universities, the state receives $12.5 dollars in return, jobs are created and leaders are developed,” Gordon Stone, executive director of the AHEP, said in a statement. “Achieving a four-year degree also provides income growth. According to the United States Census Bureau, a university graduate will earn twice the amount of income as a non-graduate.”

Paramore said that increased funding from the State is key for the university to keep tuition and fees down and provide more resources.

“The more funding we get from the state, the more resources we have to provide better quality educational programs for the students,” Paramore said. “If funded appropriately, it diminishes having to raise tuitions and fees.”

Troy is currently appropriated roughly $50 million, which Paramore said the University is hoping to increase for the upcoming fiscal year.

Higher Education Day is Thursday, February 23