Tuition hikes pitched for public colleges and universities

It’s almost certain to become more expensive to attend the Connecticut State Universities and community colleges over the next two school years.

Board of Regents President Mark Ojakian on Friday recommended state residents pay $403 more to attend the four regional state universities next year — a 4 percent increase — and $104 more to enroll in the 12 community colleges, a 2.5 percent increase.

He is recommending similar increases the next year as well – bringing the total cost students would pay in tuition and fees for the community colleges to $4,384 and for the regional state universes to $10,901.

If the system’s governing board approves these increases as expected April 6, the cost to attend these public schools will have doubled over the past 12 years.

In a letter to the system’s 85,000 students, Ojakian wrote of the major fiscal hurdles facing the schools and the need for another tuition increase next school year.

“I want you to hear this news directly from me. I am recommending a tuition increase at all of our schools,” Ojakian wrote. “I am fully aware that an increase is still an increase and this will impact you and your families. As a public higher education system, we will work hard to provide you with the affordable high quality education you deserve and expect.”

CT Mirror file photo

Students on campus at Manchester Community College

The state university system is facing major deficits in coming years and state funding is likely to be cut as legislators grapple with closing budget deficits of their own.

These tuition increases do not resolve the system’s fiscal woes.

“This does not close our deficit and we would never look to tuition to do so. If we did, we would have to raise it by double-digits and that’s not an option we’d be willing to consider,” Ojakian wrote to students.