UConn Staff, Students Concerned About Gov. Lamont's Proposed Budget Cuts

In a letter to the university, UConn's president said the school could lose nearly $160 million next year and even more the following year, raising tuition by thousands of dollars for students.  

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Following Gov. Ned Lamont's budget address Wednesday, students and staff at UConn said they are worried about funding. 

University President Dr. Radenka Maric said UConn could lose nearly $160 million next year and almost $200 million the following year. 

In a letter to the university, she said in part:

"The appropriations proposed for UConn and UConn Health fall far short of what is necessary to adequately fund the university, carry out our critical public health mission most effectively, and fully cover the sizeable costs the state seeks to pass along to us." 

Radenka furthers, if these funding cuts are approved, it could mean an increase of $3,000 or more per student at UConn Storrs next year alone.

This was tough news to swallow for some students.

"I'm actually an out-of-state student so already tuition is kind of high," said UConn sophomore Gavin Vitale.

"Being an out-of-state student, it's definitely a concern for me. Coming in, I knew I was going to have to take out loans," said UConn sophomore Anthony Zingalis.

"I love UConn so much and I think it's a shame they're doing that. And I know personally, just thinking about how it's going to affect the school and affect others is just unfair," said UConn sophomore Jack Sherbacow.

Students including Sherbacow and Zingalis said they plan to participate in a student walk-out organized by the student body president.

"We need more funding. That's kind of been the theme in a lot of different spaces at UConn is that we need more funding," said UConn's student body president Mason Holland.

The university relies on the state for 25% of its funding every year. To keep costs down, UConn is spending $175 million on financial aid this year, a 7% increase compared to the year before.

NBC CT reached out to the governor's office Thursday. They said in a statement:

"Governor Lamont is proposing to increase state spending for UConn by $23.7 million over base appropriations and transfers in the last biennial budget. Additionally, he is proposing to invest a final allotment of $110.4 million in federal Covid funding over two years for UConn."

It will be some time before the state sees a final budget, but staff and students said they will continue to advocate for better funding. 

The student walk-out will happen next Wednesday, Feb. 15. Students are expected to walk out of class at 10:45 a.m. and travel to the State Capitol.

Free transportation from the Storrs campus will be provided. 

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