CSCU System Faces Huge Budget Shortfall

State colleges are once against facing a funding shortfall, but what the system will do about it is not yet clear.

The system has raised tuition for the past two academic years, by 4 percent at the four-year schools and 2.5 percent at community colleges, and with a $57 million shortfall this year, more tuition increases cannot be ruled out.

This is a system that has been trying to come up with ways to save money, some popular, and some not.

The system’s President Mark Ojakian, who oversees Eastern Connecticut State University, Western Connecticut State University, Central Connecticut State University and Southern Connecticut State University has proposed a plan to consolidate the system as a way to cut tens of millions of dollars in cost. That plan was rejected by the accrediting agency.

But those discussions will continue, as well as others to try to save money.

"I think they're two separate issues but clearly when you have less money than you need, then you have to look at your operating model to make sure that you're providing what resources are necessary to students on their campus to be able to complete their education on time,” Ojakian said.

The next meeting for the Board of Regents is in March. Governor Ned Lamont will also provide his first state budget next week, but it’s unknown if he has any plans to come to the rescue.

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