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Posted on February 8, 2011

Cal U students will keep the commonwealth’s taxpayers in mind as they celebrate Tuition Freedom Day on Tuesday.

As part of the Cal U for Life initiative, students will meet at 11:15 a.m. Feb 15 near the Kara Alumni House, then parade to the Natali Student Center for a rally at 11:30 a.m.

Tuition Freedom Day is the mathematical date when the tuition funds that students or their families paid for the 2010-2011 academic year are exhausted.

For the rest of the spring semester, the education provided to Cal U students will be paid for by a combination of state funding, appropriated through the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and privately funded scholarships.

Officially, Tuition Freedom Day for Cal U students will fall on Feb. 17 this year.

“Although state appropriations for public higher education are declining, Pennsylvania taxpayers ultimately provide support for every student who attends a state-owned university,” said Ryan Jerico, coordinator of student and young alumni activities.

“Awareness and appreciation are a big part of the Cal U for Life initiative, so we are educating our students about how their education is funded and urging them to show gratitude for the financial help they are being given.”

In accordance with a resolution passed unanimously by the Student Senate on Nov. 22, the Student Government Association sent a letter of thanks last week to all members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. To thank taxpayers, a condensed version of the letter was submitted to newspaper editors in western Pennsylvania and in Harrisburg.

“We could not have achieved this dream without your financial support,” reads the letter, which was signed by SGA president Bonnie Keener on behalf of the student body.

“Soon many of us will be teachers, health-care professionals, business owners, technicians or other productive members of the workforce. We also will be taxpayers, ‘paying it forward’ to another generation of college students.

“Recognizing this, we sincerely thank the General Assembly — and every Pennsylvania taxpayer — for investing in our education.”

The letter will be posted on the University website, along with the signatures of Cal U students who endorse its message. Check back soon for a link to the letter.