Tuition Could Climb For State Colleges

The four universities in the CSCU system could see a five percent tuition increase

Tuition hikes could again be on the way for students at Connecticut State Colleges and Universities.

The university system’s president says the increases have to happen in the face of a huge deficit, but some parents say they don’t want to pay another dollar.

“CCSU… the tuition there was a lot better,” explained Michael Serrano of why his daughter is going to Central Connecticut State University.

Serrano is sending his daughter off to college this fall. They chose CCSU in part for its strong education program, but also because of the cost.

“It won’t be a burden for her in the future, all the loans,” Serrano said.

News that all four state universities in the system could see a five percent tuition increase is a concern for this father, who is helping his daughter pay for school.

“The increase, it’s going to affect us. Regardless. People say five percent is not that much. It will be a lot,” he said.

The Board of Regents Finance Committee voted to increase fees Tuesday, which CSCU President Mark Ojakian says is a necessary evil as the system continues to face a $25 million deficit.

“We took a look at what was reasonable in terms of tuition, and we made a decision to propose raising it by five percent,” Ojakian said. “We tried to, last cycle, increase it only four percent for two years. But we found that that wasn’t sustainable given the financial condition that our universities are in.”

Even with students likely having to pay more for the coming year, Ojakian says the higher tuition still won’t cover all the CSCU costs.

“No it’s not going to meet the deficit. I mean even with this increase, the universities will probably have to dip into their reserves up to $20 million.”

State funding for the university system has remained flat, and Ojakian says future tuition hikes could be on the way down the line unless legislators allocate more money.

“Unless we get additional funding over time from the legislature, we’re always going to have to talk about student tuition increase,” Ojakian explained.

While state tuition rates are still dwarfed by massive tuition bills at private collages, news of higher costs are not welcome.

“I hope that it doesn’t, buy the time my 13 year-old gets to college it doesn’t increase another five and so on and so forth,” Serrano said.

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