HARTFORD -- Beating drums and shouting voices could be heard outside the Capitol Building early Thursday.
Dozens of students, teachers and political figures gathered there in search of affordable higher education for all students.
Organizers say the day of action is meant to draw attention to the state’s rising public higher education costs.
According to the American Association of University Professors, Connecticut has seen a 22% drop in state funding for public higher education since 2009.
Tuition costs have also gone up by as much as 78% in the last ten years.
Political leaders say those numbers not only hurt students but can also make it harder to attract businesses.
"Big companies looking to transfer, they are not just looking at low taxes. They want to know there's a workforce they can hire now and in the future. They want smart people. We need to do more to make sure our people are those smart people,” says State Representative Peter Tercyak.
"Public higher Ed is really, really important to me. It's become a privilege instead of a right,” says Paige Sorenson, a student at Central Connecticut State University.
The day also featured several panel discussions by state collegiate educators and a screening of “Starving the Beast”—a documentary about the defunding of public higher education across the country.