So what if their tuition is lower because of who runs the school? It's a consumer choice, and those students are still paying to receive an education. Like consumers anywhere else, they have the right to protest when the prices rise. And in a greater sense, everyone has the right to protest, at least in the United States, where speech is protected.
Whether or not someone agrees with the views of any particular protesters, the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Students protesting tuition increases are exercising these fundamental American rights. If they feel the increases are unjust, it does not matter what other institutions are charging for tuition. People still have a right to protest.
Public university students have the right to protest anything they want to. They can protest their football team not winning as many games as they want. But, since a major portion of their tuition is being paid by taxpayers, it seems silly for them to protest that they want a larger portion of the tuition paid by other people.
Although public universities still have sharply lower costs than private universities, recent tuition hikes in the 30-40% range have inspired protests. Most public schools have been supported by state taxes charged to the parents and students themselves. These tuition increases, along with fewer grants and scholarships, have pushed college out of reach for some worthy, but low-income, students. In most cases, the parents of these students have been paying state income and sales tax for decades with the hope of one day sending their children to the state schools. It is unfair to place such a high burden on struggling students.
As taxpayers that fund the public educational system, the public university students have a right to know what happens with their money, and what makes the tuition increase necessary. If the cause lies in bad resource management, their protest make perfect sense. If the increase comes with no added benefits for the students, they may again have a valid argument. However, public funding for any institution is a very complicated subject, as is any collective system. Collective systems do not work, and the students may find themselves in an ideological fight with no definite answer.
Public university students most definitely have the right to protest tuition increases, so long as they do it peacefully and without harming anyone in the process. I believe tuition has grown too much in the past few years, as more and more state legislatures have withdrawn support from state schools. The universities have been left with little choice, other than raising tuition to cover costs, but that doesn't mean the students should just pay the increased tuition, without demanding answers about how these increases could be avoided. And, in many cases, the rate of increase has outpaced the decrease in state support.
Public college students have the right to protest, because it is a right we all possess whether or not we are correct. Additionally, public college students differ greatly from private school students. Most are barely getting through college even though they pay less, as they are not as economically advantaged as those at private colleges. If those economically disadvantaged students can't afford an education, our society on a whole will suffer, as we will be less competitive and have an even higher poor population.
It doesn't matter if students go to public or private schools, they should be allowed to protest anything they want. I personally think they have more of a right to protest at public universities since their tax dollars go to fund these schools. Maybe something can be done about the high cost of education if attention is drawn to the problem by protesters.
If someone wants to protest something, it is their right to do so. There is no correlation between whether or not I might think it is right or wrong, because they still have the right to protest about it. There is also no correlation between the cost of something and the right to protest, either. As long as the protest remains peaceful and doesn't cause physical harm to anyone, the protest is legitimate and acceptable.
Public universities are helped somewhat by taxpayers, so yes, students should be allowed to protect themselves from increasing tuition rates. Also, with an increase in tuition, you are setting the student up for failure in the real world, because they will be loaded down in debt, making them a less productive citizen.
Even though public university students are not part of the privileged elite, the change of the rate of their tuition still affects them greatly. It is critical that they be allowed to protest the increase of their tuition costs. They have the right to do so with their freedom of speech. Also, of course, they can also "speak" by not attending that school if the cost rises too much.