On a bitter cold Thursday night, Connecticut State University System students got some bitter news. Their tuition is increasing.
The CSUS board of trustees voted on Thursday to raise tuition at all four schools: Eastern, Western, Southern and Central.
Starting for the 2010-2011 academic year, students who commute to classes will see an average 6.3 percent increase, or about $477 more a year.
Students living on campus will pay about a 5.6 percent increase, or about $950 more.
"It's too much. It's hard enough to afford it now with loans and all that and I know times are hard and all that, but it's hard for us too," said Paris Camerl, a CCSU sophomore.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell agrees.
"I am deeply disappointed at CSU’s decision to raise tuition at this point in time. CSU is facing difficult fiscal challenges just like the rest of state government, but I am not convinced that university administrators have looked deep enough and hard enough for savings", she said in a statement released on Thursday.
The Board of Trustees said it has made changes, including implementing salary and staff freezes, calling for three furlough days and cutting fleet expenses by 20 percent.
Even after 18-months of cost-saving moves, trustees felt higher tuition was needed to preserve a quality education, however, they said they expect the increase will still keep tuition below the national average.
At Central, tuition and fees for commuters will be $7,861 and $17,437 for students who live on campus.
At Eastern, tuition and fees for commuters will be $8,350 and $18,438 for students who live on campus.
At Southern, tuition and fees for commuters will be $8,050 and $18,033 for students who live on campus.
At Western, tuition and fees for commuters will be $7,909 and $18,077 for students who live on campus.
According to the College Board, the average tuition at a public four-year college was $7,020 in the 2009-2010 school year.
"If I was going to be here another year I wouldn't like it, but I'm hoping that money will go toward making the facility better," said Matt Emblidge, a CCSU senior.
What paying more means for many students is simple.
"Apply for more loans and work," Camerl said.
"Working harder, make money," said Jennifer Budkofsky, a freshman at CCSU."
"Less free time," said Serge Lafortune, a CCSU senior. "I would have to do it, but I wouldn't like it. I wouldn't like it at all."
The tuition increases will take effect at all four universities starting in fall 2010.
Here's the breakdown: