Tuition Increases At State's Public Universities Among Lowest In U.S.
Connecticut's 2.5 Percent Increase Far Below National Average Increase Of 8.3 Percent
By KATHLEEN MEGAN
October 26, 2011
The percentage increase in tuition and fees at Connecticut's four-year public universities for the current academic year — about 2.5 percent — was among the smallest in the country, according to a report released Wednesday by the College Board.
The report said that nationally, the average price for tuition and fees at public four-year colleges for in-state students is $8,244 for the current year, up from $7,613 last year — an 8.3 percent increase.
The $10,670 charge for tuition and fees for in-state students at the University of Connecticut is higher than the national average. At the state's four smaller state universities — Central, Southern, Western and Eastern — the charge for in-state students ranges from $8,055 to $8,555.
In Connecticut, tuition increases at all public universities and community colleges were kept low this year on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's request to keep them at or below 2.5 percent.
Compared with the hikes at other flagship universities in New England, UConn's percentage increase in tuition and fees for this year was substantially lower. UConn's charge for tuition and fees is less than any other New England flagship, except for the University of Maine at Orono, which is slightly less at $10,588.
The percentage increase for tuition and fees at the New England flagship universities ranged from a low of 4.4 percent at the University of Maine at Orono to a high of 11.5 percent at the University of New Hampshire. The charge for tuition and fees for in-state students at UNH is $15,250 this year. At the University of Vermont it is $14,784 and it's $12,797 at the University of Massachusetts.
"The rate of increase in published prices in the four-year public sector has been higher over the past decade than in previous decades," the report said, "but the same is not true for the public two-year and private nonprofit four-year sectors."
In Connecticut, the tuition percentage increases at public universities and colleges were in general smaller than those at private non-profit schools.
At Wesleyan University, tuition and fees increased 3.8 percent; at Trinity College, 4 percent; at Quinnipiac University, 5.5 percent, and at Yale University, 5.7 percent.
Michael Kirk, spokesman for UConn, said that the board of trustees looked at the governor's request for a restrained increase and "decided that was manageable."
UConn's Board of Trustees is taking up the issue of tuition for next year earlier than usual. The board typically waits until after New Year's but will take up the topic at its Nov. 10 board meeting, in part because of the state's severe budget constraints.
Bernard Kavaler, spokesman for the state university system, said the governor's request was certainly a factor in the decision to go with the smallest one-year increase since 2000. "But I think the board had said quite clearly that they were very aware of the pressures that students were facing," Kavaler said.
With the newly established Board of Regents now overseeing the state university and community college systems, Kavaler wasn't sure when the new board would address tuition for next year.
The College Board's Report on Trends in College Pricing is available at http://trends.collegeboard.org.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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