Dec.03, New York City:
Students Occupy Building to Resist Tuition Fees

Cooper Union students seized the clock tower atop the school’s headquarters and hung a banner urging the administration to keep the school tuition-free for undergraduates.

The school has not made a decision on charging tuition for undergraduates. But in April, it decided to begin charging tuition to graduate students for the first time in its 110-year history. The school’s president, Jamshed Bharucha, said then that he was searching for ways to keep undergraduate education free for classes after the one entering in 2013.

To understand the context better, it helps to know that Cooper Union is a private college fully dependent on private donors and with around 1,000 students.

Cooper is considered to be one of the most prestigious colleges in the United States […].

As a result, Cooper Union is one of the most selective colleges in the United States, with an acceptance rate generally below 10%, with both the art and architecture schools’ acceptance rates often below 5%. Cooper Union experienced a 20% increase in applications for the 2008–2009 academic year, further lowering the acceptance rate.

The protesters released the following statements:

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