Wednesday, August 20, 2008

NEA Video Contest: "Got Tuition?"

Contact: Jennifer Lucas Phone: 703-302-8387

Debt-ridden students, parents, recent grads get national platform on costly tuition
NEA, Huffington Post launch first-ever “Got Tuition?” video contest

WASHINGTON – Millions of students and families facing skyrocketing tuition costs in a sour economy will soon be able to tell policymakers how to fix the problem. The National Education Association (NEA) and top news blog The Huffington Post launched today a first-ever, “Got Tuition?” national video contest to provide a high-visibility platform to push for solutions to high tuition costs.

The producer of the winning two-minute video will get the opportunity to blog on the front page of Huffington Post about college affordability and $1,000 in prize money. Videos will be judged by a panel that will include Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington and other Huffington Post contributors, who will select five finalists on which the public can vote.

“Every year NEA members see talented students whose potential is not realized because they can’t afford to go to college, and our elected officials are not recognizing just how serious an issue this is for families,” said Shilpa Reddy, a spokeswoman for the NEA. “With almost 200 small lenders suspending their student loan programs this year, this has become a serious national economic issue. We’re providing a platform to the people who are bearing the brunt of this problem.”

Recent polling shows that families are increasingly concerned with rising college tuition costs in difficult economic times. Over 75 percent of people say it is more difficult to pay for college now than it was 10 years ago, and over half of families with students in high school report cutting back on spending in order to afford college. The faltering economy is most frequently named as the reason people cannot keep up with tuition costs. To add insult to injury, credit agencies actually penalize families who shop around for the best rate on student loans by tarnishing their credit ratings.

The campaign will be promoted through innovative ads on the increasingly popular site,, in order to reach students, who are among those most affected by tuition costs.
Contestants should send their videos to and must include their name, address, daytime phone number and email address. Videos must be no longer than two minutes and should tell the contestant’s story about tuition costs, resulting student debt and what policymakers should do to solve the problem. Judges will be looking for creativity, how well the message is conveyed and relevance to the theme of college affordability.

Videos that advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate for any federal, state, or local elected office are ineligible. For more information visit

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