A proposal puts tuition at the University of Connecticut rising by around $600 each year for the next five years, putting annual increases at their lowest levels in five years, according to UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.
In-state tuition is currently $13,798, while out-of-state tuition is $36,466. Under the new plan, it will rise for all students by $608 in fall 2020, $625 in fall 2021, $642 in fall 2022, $660 in fall 2023 and $679 in fall 2024.
The proposal was announced at two town halls open to UConn students on Thursday. It will be presented to the Board of Trustees’ Financial Affairs Committee on Dec. 9 and the full board on Dec. 11.
The dollar figures in the new five-year tuition proposal are based on a combination of factors, including current tuition costs, the rate of inflation for higher education and costs UConn must fund as a state agency.
“The plan adds a flat $100 increase plus inflation to cover increases in personnel costs, materials, services, utilities and other expenses,” UConn Today said. “The Higher Education Price Index estimates inflation in the sector to be about 2.8 percent next year, which calculates to about $389 in new tuition dollars per student. Finally, a dollar amount is added to offset increased fringe benefit costs that UConn must pay as part of Connecticut’s plan to catch up with unfunded pension and retiree healthcare liabilities statewide, which have built up over many years.”
That dollar amount for 2020-21 results in the need for about $119 per UConn student, according to UConn Today, making the total increase in tuition for that year $608.
The tuition proposal reflects the smallest possible increase necessary to protect the academic gains made over the years, and UConn will continue to reduce costs through consolidations and operational efficiencies, UConn Today said.
Katsouleas said, in his early conversations with Gov. Lamont and members of the general assembly, he asked that they do all they could to hold state funding for UConn steady.
“That happened for the current fiscal year, and I am hopeful it can continue. As a result, we are able to propose tuition increases that are significantly lower than those enacted in recent years,” Katsouleas said. “This reflects the importance of the social contract between the state, its citizens and UConn as Connecticut’s flagship public university.”
Tuition and fees fund approximately 41% of UConn’s annual operating budget, while UConn’s state support funds 26% and the rest of the budget comes from auxiliary revenue, research grants and philanthropy.
For the 2019-2020 academic year, tuition was raised by $950 for in-state students and $1,250 for out-of-state students under the previous five-year tuition plan adopted in 2015.
The amount of funds to support financial aid will increase accordingly each year when tuition rates change, ensuring reliable support for Connecticut’s neediest students, according to UConn Today.
Gabriella DeBenedictis is the news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.