The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees will meet this morning to consider a tuition and fee increase that could significantly affect the budgets of thousands of students.
According to an email sent to university staff, the trustees will consider a plan to increase tuition and fees from between 6.25% and 6.75% each year over the next four years. The rate for room and board would increase by 3%, making the overall cost of attending UConn rise by between 4.2% and 4.6% each year.
If approved, the increased funds will be used to hire 290 professors to expand course offerings and help ensure students can take the courses they need to graduate on time, according to UConn.
As university officials consider the proposal, State Rep. Zeke Zalaski, D-Southington, said he hopes that the General Assembly’s High Education Committee discusses the issue before the university trustees vote.
“I understand that UConn wants to hire additional faculty, but I’m not sure the full cost of that should fall on student tuition and fee increases,” Zalaski said in a news release. “I am worried we will be shutting out middle class and low-income students with these hikes.”
Zalaski noted that according to published reports an increase of 5.8 percent in tuition and fees would mean the cost for an undergraduate student with room and board would be $22,430.
“That’s a lot of money for a lot of kids,” Zalaski said in the release. “I know the state budget is tight, but we should consider other options like increasing the amount of money the state gives UConn for its operating budget.”
, of the top 25 public universities in the nation – UConn ranked 19th in the most recent U.S. News listing – UConn had the third lowest tuition increase last year at 2.4 percent. UConn’s 2012 tuition and mandatory fee cost places it in the middle of the top 53 public universities in the U.S. at 26th.
About 15,000 UConn students received financial aid in 2011; the rate at which UConn graduates default on their debt is 2.4 percent; the national rate is 7 percent, .
The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees will meet on today at 10 a.m. in the Rome Commons Ballroom.