Like many students, Katie Asbury turned to loans to help pay for college.
"I did take out a loan to help me pay for books, mainly, and my classes as well," Asbury said.
The first year radiology student at West Kentucky Community and Technical College is relying on financial aid to pursue a degree. State numbers show that aid is dropping, significantly. From 2007 to 2014, budget cuts at the state's colleges and universities totaled more than $173 million. "If I didn't have the funding, I probably wouldn't have been able to be in school," she said.
Ken Wheeler is spear-heading the Fuel the Force campaign at WKCTC. He said the budget ax has fallen fast and hard enough. "Kentucky is one of the few states in the entire country that continues to cut their funding," Wheeler told Local 6.
He's planning to meet with the governor next month to hash out a deal that could keep more students in these seats. He adds the cuts are often passed on to the students, who take out more loans and incur more debt.
"It's really becoming a national problem, and that's the real reason we are going at this campaign," he said.
The financial strain hit Asbury's family. Her sister and father dropped out because of the cost. "My older sister is just now being able to come back next semester," Asbury said.
If you would like to take part in the Fuel the Force campaign, click here.