Students voice concerns about tuition increase - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Students voice concerns about tuition increase

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NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) -

Students at Connecticut's four regional colleges could find themselves paying more for school next year, according to proposed tuition and fee changes. 

According to school officials, 97 percent of the students that attend Eastern Connecticut State University, Central Connecticut State University, Southern Connecticut State University and Western Connecticut State University are from in state and they could be facing the highest increase in tuition and fees.

The Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education Finance Committee met Tuesday to review tuition and fee proposals for the next academic year.

Those officials told Eyewitness News state funding has gone down for the universities from year to year and next year, they have bigger bills to pay.

"Mostly due to the increase in our labor costs due to the union contracts," said Gary Holloway, chairman of the finance committee. "They're all mandatory. So, we have a significant increase in our labor costs that has to be covered."

The proposal would be a 5.25 percent average increase across the board.

But, it also includes cutting the university fee for out-of-state students by about half. By that proposal, an out-of-state student would pay $100 to $500 less than an in-state student.

"I think that it will have a negative impact," said Eric Bergenn, a student at CCSU. "We're looking at a time when enrollment is going down."

In 2012, there was a 3.8 percent increase for $315 in tuition and fees for in-state commuters. There was a 3.7 percent increase for $676 in tuition and fees for in-state students living on campus. There was also a 3.1 percent increase for $108 in tuition and fees for in-state students attending community colleges.

Students told Eyewitness News that 90 percent of graduates from CCSU stay in Connecticut and become taxpayers. 

"It's happened year after year after year and our hardworking students can't afford it," said Danny Ravizza, an alumni of WCSU.

And some are even considering organizing a walkout.

The Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education decided to wait until the beginning of March to vote on the proposal.

In retrospect, the University of Connecticut, which is not overseen by the Board of Regents for Higher Education, is also planning an increase of 6 percent starting in the fall.

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