The Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) today voted to set tuition and fees for the 17 Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) institutions, including the 12 community colleges, four state universities, and Charter Oak State College (COSC) for the 2021-22 academic year. Under the approved structure, tuition and most mandatory fees will remain flat at all institutions.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Connecticut students particularly hard,” CSCU Interim President Dr. Jane Gates said. “The Board of Regents, recognizing that we cannot ask our students and their families to shoulder a greater share of the burden during these difficult times, made the wise but difficult decision to freeze tuition and most fees for the upcoming academic year. The institutions within the Connecticut State College and University system are the most affordable, accessible options to get a great education – and we intend to keep it that way.”
BOR Chair Matt Fleury noted that that, while the Regents have frozen tuition for the year, the colleges and universities continue to face significant fiscal headwinds. He identified four factors that could drive future tuition increases.
- The community college merger could be blocked or reversed, and all the savings it has and can achieve would be lost;
- The state could continue to reduce its share of the funding that supports Connecticut's state colleges and universities, forcing unplanned cost reductions or tuition increases;
- CSCU’s labor contracts, which drive 85 percent of its total $1.2 billion in expenses, could cost more than can be sustained, forcing tuition to go up; and
- The effects of the pandemic on student experiences and higher education could last longer and be more dramatic than anticipated.
“Our strong position against a tuition increase depends on these things,” Chair Fleury said. “We must continue to shift limited resources from management to student services and teaching; we must have a fair and workable contract that enables system and campus leaders to manage expenses; our colleges and universities must have sufficient state funding from the legislature; and we must have a continued recovery from the pandemic. These are the ideals behind everything the Board of Regents has been doing and continues to do. We seek partnership with our talented faculty and staff and our political leadership to place students at the center of all these determinations.”
The tuition and fee plan also reduces fees charged for online instruction at the universities, adjusts the UPASS fee that funds unlimited public transit for students to $40 per semester, and restructures and reduces the cost of the meal plan at Central Connecticut State University.
The full details of the tuition freeze can be found on page 180 of the BOR’s agenda packet.
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