Amidst the state’s budget woes, the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education is in talks of raising tuition for state colleges yet again. This doesn’t come as a surprise however, given the $14.4 million rescission that occurred late last year affecting the state’s education system.
What does come as a surprise are some of the numbers that are being tossed around as to how much the increase might be. The CT Mirror recently reported that the regents are considering an increase upwards to 12.4 percent. While there’s nothing official about this number and there isn’t yet a proposal that has been generated, it still worries some that college tuition could possibly go up by that much.
This concern is understandable. With declined enrollment being reported at all four CSU schools it’s reasonable to think this increase would only negatively affect that. State officials have said that for the foreseeable future an increase is more than likely unavoidable. This comes as disappointing news, but again it can’t shock anyone given the state of the economy in Connecticut and the entire Nation for that matter.
Though it would be easy for The Recorder to name of all the reasons why its editorial staff believes that there shouldn’t be any increase at all, we aren’t going to do that. The natural reaction by a staff of student workers might be to oppose anything that’s going to directly cost them more money. But that would be the selfish approach.
In times of economic despair we all have to contribute to get things back to where they were before or even better. We can’t expect that the cost of living won’t affect us simply because we’re trying to get an education. And for students in college part of the cost of living is college tuition. It would be extremely self-centered to think that as college students we are exempt from the everyday struggles that Americans have to deal with.
On the other hand, 12.4 percent is absolutely absurd. If the state expects its students to be able to acquire a decent education after high school then it better reconsider an increase of such astronomical numbers. Most students that attend state schools do it because of the relative low costs that are associated with them.
It’s perfectly sensible that people are up in arms the way they over this possible tuition hike. If the board puts feelers out there and people don’t react the way they have thus far, then there’s no way for them to know that the public is outraged.
Rescission or not, the board must find a way to approve a smaller increase than a double-digit one. With all of the cuts that the educational system has endured over the past few years, you can’t expect students to pay more and more for fewer services. What happens when more people start leaving Connecticut because the state’s college system no longer offers competitive prices with those of other states? Or what about the people that can no longer afford to attend college because their state has failed to offer them an affordable education?
If history has taught us one thing it’s that a lack of education is more often than not the root of all evils. Connecticut has to look out for its future students and a 12.4 percent tuition increase is the last way to do that.