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Proposed Bill Seeks to Increase Funding to Public Colleges, Address Rising Tuition

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A proposed bill looks to increase state funding for public colleges and universities in the state to help address rising tuition costs.

“Education is an opportunity. It’s access. It’s a gateway," UConn senior Mason Holland said.

A gateway for Holland to achieve his dreams. He says his school has given him the tools to succeed in life, but paying for it has gotten harder.

Tuition at UConn is set to go up more than more than $600 next year to about $34,360. Holland said this has become too much for some of his classmates.

“They were on the cusp of a semester left or a year left and then I get a text saying they financially can’t do it,” he said.

To address the higher costs, some state legislators are proposing a bill where the state would increase funding to all public colleges and universities by 25%.

Senator Mae Flexer said back in 1991, the state provided 50% of UConn’s funding, but due to budget deficits, it went down to about 26%. She says with a current budget surplus, now is the time to act.

“In a moment where Connecticut has more resources where we’re not facing looming billion-dollar deficits, we need to be making an investment in UConn and all of our public colleges and universities,” said Flexer (D-Killingly).

UConn students say that money would help fund important student services in mental health and wellness.

“It’s really important to re-invest those monies so more students have the opportunity to have a high-quality education that UConn has to offer,” UConn senior Sydney Collins said.

Flexer said the next step is to listen in on Governor Lamont’s budget proposal coming up later this month.

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