Tuition increases likely to be voted on in March

The board governing the state’s largest public college system will likely vote in March for tuition increases.

Regents on the executive and finance committees were told last week that tuition would need to increase by 12.4 percent — or $1,375 for students living on campus — just to close the current deficit and continue providing the same level of services.

The finance committee plans to meet in February to finalize the recommended increase it will be making for the board to consider adopting at their March meeting.

“The level of state support is the single most important factor in considering tuition,” Zac Zeitlan, the vice chair of the Regents finance committee, told the full board Thursday.

The regents and college presidents will also be meeting students to guage their feelings on possible tuition increases.

The system largely balanced the $14.4 million in state cuts they incurred midyear by leaving 187 vacant teaching and administrative positions unfilled, resulting in $11.1 million in savings. The remaining gap was filled by not hiring the 47 new faculty promised when the sysetm was merged and $5 million was saved by elimating 24 administrative positions.