Tuition Hikes Around the Country
Across the country, states continue to cut higher education budgets and schools are predictably responding with tuition and fee hikes.
In California, the California State University trustees are set to propose a 5 to 10 percent increase in fees on the heels of last year’s 32 percent hike. A plan backed by the Governor and Assembly could close enough of the budget gap that CSU would only need the revenue from a 5 percent increase. However, that plan hasn’t passed and trustees are nervous about banking on it. After a different revenue raising plan failed last year, trustees decided to impose a mid-year tuition hike prompting a lawsuit and state-wide protests from students. To stave off a similar situation, some on the board are advocating for the full 10 percent increase.
In Virginia, tuition at Virginia Tech is set to rise 11.1 percent at the same time that 200 faculty and staff positions are cut. Like in California, the Board of Visitors argues the tuition hike is necessary because of another drop to state funding. While the state’s stated policy is to provide 67 percent of the cost of education of each resident, this year the state will only provide 40 percent on average. At schools like Tech, that percentage is even lower—for 2010-2011 state funding will comprise only 28.9 percent of the budget.
Further north in Massachusetts, students at the University of Massachusetts campuses will start feeling last year’s $1,500 fee hike as trustees fail to find another way to fill their budget hole. While tuition will remain flat this year, most students got a $1,100 rebate on tuition last year after federal stimulus funding kicked in. Now, that rebate is unlikely to come.