BURNS: Tuition-hike roundup for April 2010

May 3, 2010
Steve Burns

According to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, at least 28 states have implemented cuts to public colleges and universities and/or large increases in college tuition to make up for insufficient state funding, and four more states have proposed cuts but have not yet carried them out. Full report here...

Vermont: A proposal to raise University tuition by 4.8 percent brought an angry response by the state's Governor, Jim Douglas, who called the increase "excessive, and an unfair burden on struggling Vermont families." Under the proposal, tuition at Vermont State Colleges would rise 4 percent. Read more...

Arkansas: The university board of trustees voted on April 16 to approve increases ranging from 4.8 to 6.9 percent for the 2010-11 school year. Board members pointed to a new scholarship program funded by the state lottery as one means to lessen the impact of the tuition hikes on Arkansas families and students. The Arkansas legislature has set the amounts of the lottery-funded scholarships at $5,000 per year to attend a four-year school and $2,500 per year to attend a two-year school. Read more...

Kentucky: The state's Council on Postsecondary Education approved tuition hikes for 2010-11 of 6 percent for the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville, 5 percent for comprehensive universities and 4 percent for community and technical colleges. Board members debated whether to ask the Governor for authority to raise tuition even more, with some university presidents raising the fear that asking for more than a 6 percent hike will lead to decreased state appropriations for education because legislators will perceive that colleges have enough revenue from tuition.
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Kentucky: The state's Higher Education Assistance Authority has notified more than 16,000 of Kentucky's neediest college students that they won't be getting state aid next year, because the state’s College Access Program has used up all of its funds. Read more...

Wisconsin: The university's Board of Regents approved a new set of guidelines for enacting tuition increases. Under the new rules, submitting a differential increase - a tuition hike that applies to some campuses but not to others - requires the Board of Regents to obtain an official position from a campus’ student government. The new guidelines also stipulate all students on campus must receive notice of any new tuition increases, and the regents must be able to have access to any surveys students filled out regarding their opinions on an increase. Read more...

Alaska: Students turned out to protest tuition hikes that may end up being as much as 10-12%. Read more...

Maryland: State legislators passed a bill designating part of the state's Higher Education Investment Fund for the purpose of stabilizing tuition. The fund was originally created three years ago and draws revenue from the state’s corporate income tax. In the past, universities could tap the fund to cover budget holes or to pay for one-time improvements and projects. Under the new policy, universities will also be able to draw money from the fund to prevent large jumps in tuition. Some elected officials were skeptical about the significance of the change. “It’s a good thing, but it’s not a game-changer,” said state Sen. Jim Rosapepe. Read more...

Idaho: The State Board of Education approved a 9 percent in-state tuition increase for Idaho State University students. Full-time out-of-state students, who currently pay $7,385 per semester in tuition, will see a 7.1 percent tuition increase. The increase was scaled back from an in-state tuition increase of 9.9 percent proposed by ISU's administration. Board members cited the University of California system's tuition increases of more than 30 percent to argue that the increase was reasonable. Read more...

New Jersey: Governor Chris Christie is proposing a 4 percent cap on increases in tuition and fees for the state's public colleges and universities. The proposal comes as school leaders are considering a host of cuts to staff and programs to make up for a $173 million cut to higher education in the governor's proposed budget. Read more...

Utah: The Board of Regents approved increases ranging from 6 percent up to 12.5 percent for students attending the state's two-year colleges. College administrators noted that the increase, combined with past increases, means tuition at Utah's two-year colleges will be as high as 151 percent of the average tuition charged at big urban community colleges in other Western states. At Weber College, students earning an associate degree will pay more than $4,000 in tuition. Read more...

Colorado: The University's Board of Regents voted to increase annual tuition on its four campuses to make up cuts in state support. Resident undergraduate students on the Boulder campus will see tuition climb from $6,446 this year, to $7,018 in the 2011 fiscal year, a 9 percent increase. Read more...

Florida: The House approved a plan to increase tuition at state universities by 8 percent, on top of a potential 7 percent increase already authorized. Community colleges would get an 8 percent tuition hike as well. The House plan would cut some scholarship awards by 12.5 percent and other financial aid programs would be cut by 12 percent. The Florida Senate has produced a plan with less severe cuts. Read more...