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Mission

We are students fighting for free college. As tuition hikes, campus hunger and homelessness, and overwhelming student loan debt put higher education out of reach, we are leading a movement to put college within reach for all.

1,200 percent

increase in the cost of tuition in a generation

Join the Movement

$1.5 Trillion

in student loan debt nationwide.

Take Action on Your Campus

Fight for Free College Tuition

Our grassroots campaign is led by students and supporters like you. With your help, we can make California a state where hard work and talent -- not income or wealth -- determines your success in college and beyond.

Lead the Movement

Apply now to organize with Rise on your campus

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$7 billion

States Are Spending Less On Higher Education Than Before the Recession

  • “Sometimes I worry that working 20+ hours a week is not enough. It grows more concerning at the start of each quarter, having to pay for textbooks and other class fees, but I worry that working more hours will pull me away from my education, extracurricular activities, and family life.” — Vincent, UC Riverside .
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“I am a full time student, a barista 24 hrs per week, commutes to school, and helps with caring for my nephew. Over the first two years of college, I’ve come to realize that the cost of attending college goes far beyond what I had initially thought. UCR does not have the capacity for quick parking or transportation for its massive commuter population, and car payments combined with paying for gas is not cheap. Things add up pretty fast.

Sometimes I worry that working 20+ hours a week is not enough. It grows more concerning at the start of each quarter, having to pay for textbooks and other class fees, but I worry that working more hours will pull me away from my education, extracurricular activities, and family life.

On top of my job and caring for my nephew I am involved in student government. It has given me a platform to learn from and educate my peers on the importance of advocacy. 
I fully support the fight for free college education because it’s a movement to uplift students who started at a significant disadvantage. I have seen so many of my friends struggle to stay in school due to the financial burden, and I truly hope that changes.” — Vincent, UC Riverside
  • #TBT to when we teamed up with @asucrexternal and @Medina4Assembly to stop the proposed 2018 tuition increase! 🔥 We are excited to work with so many new students through our advocacy this year. ✨ 🆓🎓⠀
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#College #Students #Politics #FreeCollege #FreeCollegeTuition #StudentDebt #Advocacy #California #Rise #RiseFree
  • “To those who don’t support free college, I would ask: why should higher education be inaccessible to low income students? The state of our current higher education system is a direct example and consequence of how much we value it and low income students.” - Alexandra Gessesse, UCSB⠀
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“I was introduced to the idea of higher education through my dad's own experience. When a dean saw my dad struggling, he decided to pay for his degree. And that’s what saved him. ⠀
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I decided to go to college because I have always wanted to be in a space where I can grow and give back to my community. Engaging with people is how I learn. Unfortunately, working two jobs has made that experience difficult.  I have tutored, worked at our campus’ recreation center, at our admission’s office, and at the Apple store near our campus. My sophomore year I was working 30 hours a week while being a full time student. At the beginning of this year I only had one job, but then rent increased. ⠀
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My parents can sometimes help me, but it’s important that they save for their retirement first. In the past, we have depended heavily on my refund checks. Before they help me, I want to make sure they’re financially stable. ⠀
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To those who don’t support free college I would ask: why should higher education be inaccessible to low income students? The state of our current higher education system is a direct example and consequence of how much we value it and low income students. “ - Alexandra, UCSB⠀
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#College #Students #Politics #FreeCollege #FreeCollegeTuition #StudentDebt #Advocacy #California #Rise #RiseFree
  • "I live paycheck to paycheck, go to the food pantry three times a week, and only eat one meal a day." Read Davon's incredible story ⬇️⠀
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"I went to a non-profit charter high school that wanted to close the achievement gap for African Americans. They pushed me, and so did my family. I just knew that people believed in me. During my freshman year, I was able to afford things because of scholarships that I had. By my second year, even as an RA, I was still struggling financially. By my junior year, now being in student government, I live paycheck to paycheck, go to the food pantry three times a week and only eat one meal a day. My mother only makes $35k a year, and my dad has been in prison 4 different times. Without financial aid, I wouldn’t have been able to become the first Black Vice President of External Affairs for UC Santa Cruz' student government." - Davon, UC Santa Cruz

#College #Students #Politics #FreeCollege #FreeCollegeTuition #StudentDebt #advocacy #California
  • "If tuition was free, I would not have to stress about trying to pay tuition and I would be able to afford my textbooks. Furthermore, free tuition benefits the community. People who want to go back to school could finish their education without having to worry about such high tuition costs. This would help the State of California because the more educated people we have, the quicker we will be able to solve our problems like homelessness and hunger. As a student in community college, I think free college tuition would create a brighter future for the children growing up that will one day fill our shoes." - Yasmese, Merritt College
  • We are excited to announce Camp Rise! Camp Rise is an advocacy training camp for students interested in leading the free college movement in California. We’re bring together students from across California’s colleges and universities for a half day workshop on Saturday, January 26th at UCLA. Space is limited so please RSVP ASAP (link in bio ☝️). Breakfast and lunch will be served (including S’mores because duh), and travel stipends are available. DM us if you have questions and tag a friend you want to join! 
#FreeCollege #Students #California #Politics #Advocacy #FreeTuition #StudentDebt #RiseUp #Rise #CampRise
  • "Many students struggle with basic needs, and the extremely high costs of college only overwhelm a student more. In order to support our students, we need to take all these issues into better context and create solutions for them." -Rajpreet, UCSD⠀
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"I chose to pursue higher education because, although I am a first generation college student, my parents have always instilled the value of education in me.  I know that the greatest opportunities are available to those who attend college. I wanted to be able to achieve more than what my parents had the opportunity to because of the limitations that were placed on them. I am able to afford college through financial aid as well as loans. I support the fight for free or lower cost education because no student should be held back from their education because they cannot afford it. Education should not be stressful to afford, but rather should be another opportunity for students." -Rajpreet, UCSD
  • "I'm a first generation graduate, and I’m proud of my journey. My experience as a transfer student would have been much more enjoyable had it not been for the constant worry of how I was going to pay for textbooks, transportation, food or rent. Sometimes I only had enough for the bus which meant I would go all day without food." - Alfredo Camacho, Mt. Sac
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• “Throughout my time at Mt. Sac and Loyola Marymount, I maintained a leadership position in student government, wrote for student journalism, worked at several internships and still managed to work full-time. One of my biggest regrets and most difficult decision was having to resign from a really amazing unpaid internship out of necessity and financial hardship. •

I have encountered others like myself, who on a daily basis had to make difficult decisions such as skipping meals, not buying a text book or putting their dreams & aspirations on pause because of financial hardships. •

The experience of college should be one full of learning, growth and immersing ourselves in the college/university life and culture, and gaining valuable real world experience in the field that we hope to one day work. We shouldn't have to rush off to work in order to sustain ourselves. •

I am a proponent of free or affordable higher education because not providing it puts folks who need it the most at a disadvantage. To the students going through things like this, YOU CAN DO IT"! - Alfredo Camacho
  • "I not only go to school and work, but I’m also an intern. I take on these roles because I want to build experience and connections for my future career. Although I’m learning a lot, the commitments limit how much I can work which means more pressure on my family." - UC Irvine
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"When I first got admitted into UC Irvine, I was ecstatic! My entire family was so proud of me and they still are. The only difference now is that we feel the burden of the cost as a family. I not only go to school and work, but I also work as an intern. I take on these roles because I want to build experience and connections for my future career. Although I’m learning a lot, the commitments limit how much I can work which means more pressure on my family. I also feel the pressure to take out loans. I support free college tuition because it would mean that the financial anxiety at the beginning of each quarter would disappear." - UC Irvine
  • "I learned who I am in college, what I care about and have a passion for. No student should be denied that opportunity because they can't afford the sticker price." - Valerie Johnson, Crafton Hills College⠀
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"I am a second-year student at Crafton Hills College. I chose community college because its low cost was the only way that I would be able to attend college.⠀
Along with the costs of classes, the costs outside tuition can be crippling for so many students. Thankfully, I am able to receive a fee waiver that covers the cost of my tuition, but that is not at all where college costs end. While working 15-20 hours per week to cover my personal expenses, I have also struggled to cover the costs of textbooks and supplies. While my family is very supportive and encouraging, they are not always able to provide me with cash for school expenses, and I would really prefer to be able to pay for things myself. ⠀
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I support free college because everyone deserves the opportunity to access education. Everyone deserves to have a chance to be in the classroom because it's where you learn more about yourself than ever before. If colleges operated tuition-free, this would provide students with some breathing room and allow them to spend money on other important things like housing, food, transportation, and other basic necessities. ⠀
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I learned who I am in college, what I care about and have passion for. No student should be denied that opportunity because they can't afford the sticker price." -Valerie Johnson, Crafton Hills College

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