Tuition increase remains a possibility for CSCU students - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Tuition increase remains a possibility for CSCU students

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CSCU president Mark Ojakian sought to consolidate administrative functions in the system, but the plan was rejected. (WFSB) CSCU president Mark Ojakian sought to consolidate administrative functions in the system, but the plan was rejected. (WFSB)
NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) -

Students who attend schools in the Connecticut State College and Universities system could end up paying more for their education.

It's because a plan to consolidate functions was recently rejected.

Channel 3 asked what happens next during a speaking event with CSCU president Mark Ojakian.

He said the next move involves working with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges again.

He said he'll also be looking to lawmakers.

"We need to work with the legislature to continue to advocate for the dollars we need to keep these institutions open," Ojakian said. "Nobody wants to see a campus closed, nobody wants to see tuition raised."

Students and lawmakers told Eyewitness News that they do not want to see tuition go up across Connecticut colleges and universities.

The system serves some 55,000 students.

Ojakian said the system will run out of money in two years. That's why he sought to consolidate administrative functions at 12 colleges.

His plan was rejected last week by the Regional Accreditation Commission. It said the plan needs a study first.

However, Ojakian said there isn't time for that.

He also told the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce that he would not be stepping down, despite several educational leaders calling for his resignation in a local newspaper.

However, it remains unclear how the system will fill the gaps.

"We can’t continue to operate in a deficit position with limited reserves. Something has to give," Ojakian said.

The system is facing a $31 million deficit next year.

"We’ve had a 61 million dollar decline in state support since 2015," Ojakian said.

He said he's committed to continuing services already in place across the system.

“If they raise tuition I couldn’t afford to go here," said Lilly Meyer, of Haddam, Middlesex Environmental Science.

“I know I applied for financial aid and I get financial aid," said Leah Scoppetto of Wallingford, Middlesex Radiology. "It would be a problem if I didn’t receive it.”

Students told Channel 3 that they still have concerns about what might happen next.

“It would be hard for them and maybe some would even attend or come back," Scoppetto said.

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