They woke up early, college students on a bus to Tallahassee to make a difference.
The group of University of South Florida students included freshmen and upper classmen, scholarship students and those working part time to pay tuition. Jean Cocco is a junior. He works, takes out loans and uses Bright Futures to pay for school.
"Where are we going to draw the line? Where am I going to have to say well, ‘is it worth it?’ That’s what I hear a lot of students ask, ‘is it worth it,’” said Cocco.
Janine Kiray is a senior who was promised a full ride, but cuts to Bright Futures and tuition hikes have forced her family to take out loans.
"Us students we don’t have much money and it’s very difficult sometimes to go to school and have a job,” said Kiray.
About 70 students traveled to the state capitol Tuesday. They're the first of many who will make the trip to Tallahassee over the next few weeks to influence lawmakers.
Wednesday University of North Florida students will be here. The visits are part of a multi-university effort to get an extra 118 million dollars for higher education. State lawmakers are listening
“I’d like to see us restore full funding to education,” said Sen. Geraldine Thompson.
There’s a lot at stake for Chloe Little. She's a freshman. Without the extra state funding her tuition could go up every year until she graduates.
“I am part of many students who could possible not be able to attend next semester depending on how dramatically it increases,” said Little.
The group split up and met with half a dozen lawmakers. The goal is to reach every member before session ends.
The visit is part of the Aim Higher campaign. Students from Florida’s 11 public universities are participating. The campaign was launched after presidents from the universities vowed not to raise tuition if state lawmakers would restore cuts and pump an extra 118 million dollars in to the university system.