BLOOMSBURG -- Many students at Bloomsburg University are fighting a big change in how the school plans to charge tuition.
Right now, full-time students pay a flat rate, but starting in the fall, Bloomsburg plans to charge tuition per credit and some students tell us that will cost them a lot more.
A surge of students signed a petition during lunchtime outside the student service center at Bloomsburg University. Nearly 1,200 students have signed, opposing a change to how the university charges tuition.
"We want to get us grandfathered into the system, so as many students as we can get, the bigger our voice will be and the bigger our impact will be," said sophomore Darion Normie.
Normie helped organize this petition drive, protesting a pilot program at Bloomsburg University. For the next two years the school will charge students $284 per credit, instead of a flat rate for all full-time students.
"It's unfair for students who came here under specific terms to have to make this change, this immediate change. It's just not fair for us students," Normie said.
The estimated flat-rate tuition for full-time students next year would be around $3,500 a semester.
Paying per credit would mean a savings for those taking 12 credits, but more for those taking the normal 15 credits, and even more for 18 credits.
Sophomore Marina Eberhart takes 18 credits, an extra class, most semesters.
"It's really tough, because like, I'm a double major so I have to get a lot of credits in and I don't want to have to pay a lot for extra credits," Eberhart said.
University officials say this change is a way of making tuition equal, whether students take more or fewer classes, but it's also a way of addressing financial concerns.
"We've heard our students. We do understand. We've made every effort to communicate with them, but they also must understand this is something we have to do to ensure we continue to provide the quality education we provide our students," said vice president of marketing and communications, Rosalee Rush.
The university says $3 million in aid will go to those who will pay more and qualify.
Students who don't get help are bracing for more debt.
"It'll just be additional money I'll have to take out in loans if I have to take extra classes to graduate on time," said junior Jennifer Bello.
Bloomsburg University says a benefit for students is that the per credit rate will be set a year in advance, so they'll know tuition costs earlier than normal.
If this pilot tuition program goes well at Bloomsburg, it could be applied to the rest of the state-owned universities.