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Conference discusses making college more affordable and accessible

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(KYTX) -- A Dallas conference is tackling the issue of making college more affordable and accessible for everyone.

Students at UT Tyler know the feeling firsthand. "It has slowly increased to where now I'm almost paying time and a half the price that I was when I was first a freshman," Jessica Cagle, a UT Tyler Senior, said.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is addressing that very issue at the globalization of higher education conference in Dallas.

"Higher education in America has a growing affordability problem while billions in the developing world struggle with accessibility," Bush said.

Hillary Clinton focused her speech on expanding opportunity.

"This is an asset. It is one of the most valuable assets that the United States has. It's something that we have to continue to invest in, to protect and indeed, to share with the world," Clinton said.

Leaders believe going forward technology will help bring down the cost of delivery, with more online classes offered.

"They're a good benefit. You do have to be motivated to do them, but they are cheaper and they help," Cagle said.

UT Tyler is a local college already in that mindset. "We're working toward more programs that are 100 percent online," MarQuita Hackett, Director of Financial Aid at UT Tyler, said.

And since the cost of room and board can run high,"Living close to home when they attend college sometimes will cut down on the cost," Hackett said.

Still many have student loans. "I take out the max that they'll let you, and it still only covers most of it," Marty Harger, another UT Tyler student, said.

The conference wraps up Tuesday.

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