STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) – Major spending cuts and a hike in the cost of tuition are on the way at UConn to help close a $22 million budget hole.
The UConn Board of Trustees approved Wednesday afternoon a nearly $1,000 tuition jump for in-state undergraduates as part of a four-year plan enacted in 2016. It doesn’t sit well with students.
“Paying for college out of my own pocket is really hard as it is,” said student Iqra Malik.
“It’s already difficult to pay for college,” student Corey Akel added.
Officials warned tuition might go up again next fiscal year, along with cuts to programs and faculty.
“I find that disappointing,” Akel said.
“I’m actually living off campus because I can’t even afford to stay on campus,” said a frustrated Malik.
UConn blamed the slash and hike approach to a steady decline in state funding, $163 million less in state funds since 2010, according to the university. They also point to a sharp spike in the cost of fringe benefits like employee pensions.
But Republican state senate leader Len Fasano released a blistering statement, saying, in part, “UConn’s spending has been out of control for years. Administrative bloat has come before students. The budget issues at UConn were self-created by a school whose administrators have failed to put the needs of its students above politics and self-interest.”
“There is another way, and that way is to prioritize public education,” said graduate student Gregory Doukas.