UConn Budget Officials Warn of Potential Tuition Increase

Tuition at UConn might increase more than expected for the 2019-2020 school year. Earlier this week, the UConn Board of Trustees’ financial affairs committee looked at the proposed budget for the 2018-2019 school year

It was during that meeting, that the university’s budget officials warned board members that balancing the budget could be more difficult in the future and force them to raise tuition. 

UConn Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said it is because of three reasons: 

  1. UConn keeps getting less money from the state 
  2. The university has to pay more in unfunded pension liabilities. That is driving the cost of fringe benefits up from $148.3 million in 2011 to a projected $277 million in 2019. That only includes costs for Storrs and the regional campuses, not the UConn Health workers. 
  3. The university has to contribute to the recent pact the state made with unionized employees. The $2,000 one-time payment that each employee gets amounts to $20 million in costs for UConn. Only part of those costs is reimbursed.

All of these factors could lead to a larger tuition increase for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. UConn already had a four-year tuition increase scheduled.

“It’s an expensive college as far as even a state school goes and it’s becoming unaffordable,” said Colleen Schenck, whose daughter Nicola is transferring into UConn from San Diego State University.

Schenck said she is happy her daughter will be closer to home and will be attending her alma mater, but she is concerned hearing tuition could increase.

“Kids today are coming out with so much debt. We pay taxes, we’re Connecticut residents, we’ve given to the school and one of the perks of living in Connecticut is to be able to go to a great college at a more reasonable price. Even at the price it is now, it’s becoming unreasonable,” said Schenck. 

Other students on campus on Wednesday also expressed concern. 

“College is already expensive as it is. It’s not something I want to see. I came back so the tuition would be lower than what I was paying at my school,” said Brianna Pekala, an incoming sophomore transferring from High Point University in North Carolina. 

“If students have major debt and loans and all that kind of stuff, it all piles on eventually. So it’s definitely not ideal for a lot of students,” said Sarah Gorman, an incoming junior transferring from the University of South Carolina. 

The UConn Board of Trustees will vote on the FY19 budget on June 27. 

Reitz said any change to tuition would be discussed over this next year and could take effect at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.

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