EAST LANSING, MICH. (WLNS) — Wednesday was the first day of classes at Michigan State University and instead of wearing green and white, some students traded in their school colors for all black in protest.

The students are protesting MSU’s new flat-rate tuition. It just took effect for students enrolled in this 2019 fall semester, but the MSU Black Student Alliance is already noticing negative impacts because of this flat rate.

“I know a couple of students, more than a couple, that didn’t come back just because at this flat rate tuition they can’t afford MSU anymore,” MSU Black Student Alliance President Sharron Reed-Davis said.

MSUBSA is the group responsible for putting this protest together. They said students can take 12 to 18 credits for a flat rate and then students will only have to pay for 15. The group wants the university to lower that number to 12 because some students cannot afford to pay for 15 credits.

Reed-Davis said at MSU, “The black student retention rate is very low here, like they pride themselves on diversity and inclusion, but they don’t pride themselves on keeping us here and seeing us graduate cause the amount of black students that come into Michigan State is not the amount of black students that leave.”

I reached out to Michigan State University for their response. A spokesperson said they are aware some students have concerns about the financial impact of a flat tuition rate. The University is working with many groups on campus to share support options.

MSU Spokesperson Emily Guerrant said, “The university does have resources to assist including an additional $7 million set aside for undergraduate financial aid and waivers for 2019-2020 seniors.”

Guerrant said people can visit flatrate.msu.edu or email flatrate@msu.edu with any questions you have.