Tuition hike unlikelyBy LISA RATHKE
Associated Press | February 15,2014MONTPELIER — A trustees’ committee of the Vermont State Colleges is recommending that tuition remain at current levels for Vermont undergraduate students in the next academic year.
The full board is to take up the recommendation Feb. 20.
The chancellor of the state colleges, which includes Castleton State College, Community College of Vermont, Johnson State College, Lyndon State College and Vermont Technical College, had recommended a 3 percent tuition hike through the next two years, but the committee voted 4-2 Wednesday against a hike.
Linda Milne, a member of the trustees’ Finance and Facilities Committee, said she’s become concerned about the message being sent to students who are the first in their family to go to college. At the Vermont State Colleges, 53 percent of students are first generation college students and most — 83 percent — are from Vermont.
“I’m concerned about increasing prices causing sticker shock. And I want to send a message to Vermont students that they can afford college, and I think an important way to do that is not to raise the tuition prices,” she said.
Tuition has been rising faster than the income of many Vermont families, who also may be faced with rising property, town and city taxes, she said.
But Committee Chairwoman Martha O’Connor, who voted against the no-hike proposal and in favor of recommending the 3 percent increase, said she worries that programs might have to be cut to cover the costs.
“It’s tough for people to pay ... I understand that, but we have to keep the quality of the Vermont State College system as high as it is now,” she said.
Jerome Diamond, who voted to keep the tuition at the current level, said the state appropriation for the operation of the Vermont State Colleges has fallen to a “woefully low” level in recent years causing the state colleges to increase tuition every year.
“I want to be able to shift the burden from the student and back where it belongs to the state of Vermont. I know there are limitations, that we don’t have money for everything, but education and higher education is key,” he said.
He and Milne said they were concerned about the number of high school graduates who do not go on to higher education in Vermont. While Vermont’s high-school graduation rate is among the highest in the country, only about 50 percent of graduates go on to college, and half of those complete their education in four years, officials said.
“I want to be able to say to the students of this state ‘we want you to come to college. There may be some financial aid available, but this is going to be your tuition and it’s not going up next year, period. Come to college. Start your higher education,”’ he said.
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1927, striking Colo. miners attacked with machine guns by state police; 1877, Thomas Edison announces invention of the phonograph, 1959, Alan Freed fired by WABC 770 AM for accepting payola to promote records.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivers short speech in Gettysburg, Pa.; in 1984, a Pemex LNG facility destroyed by series of gas explosions, 600 people are killed; in 1998, Senate builds fire under Bill Clinton.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1831 – Independent South American super-state, Gran Colombia, dissolved; 1856 - Fort Buchanan built to control Apache warriors; 1970 - William Calley Jr. goes on trial after 1968 massacre at My Lai, Vietnam.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Wisconsin Sen. Joe McCarthy takes advantage of Cold War jitters and builds a tidy little fiefdom for himself on Capitol Hill. It's all good, but pride goes before you know darn well what. The junior senator is damaged going down.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1927, Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in control of the Soviet Union; in 1970, Oregon DOT tries to dynamite a dead whale off a beach with a rather shocking result.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 1972, Southern Airways Flight 49 is hijacked, the crew and passengers held for ransom. The hijackers want $10 million and passage to Cuba. In 2007, in Santiago, Chile, King Juan Carlos of Spain loses patience with Hugo Chavez.