Tuition at public colleges jumps 8 percent, College Board reports
Tuition at four-year public universities rose again this year, outpacing inflation, according to a report released Thursday by The College Board. Federal aid to states and students softens the bite.
(Page 2 of 2)
Total state spending on higher education has increased about 8 percent in the past decade, but enrollments have risen dramatically – 33 percent at public colleges and universities. So per-student state spending dropped by 5 percent in 2009-10 and 9 percent in 2008-09.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Louisiana’s public colleges and universities have to cut about $35 million from their mid-year budgets, after already facing cuts last year. They’re shortening work weeks, laying off staff, and waiting for the shoe to drop about how much next year’s budget will be squeezed.
Faculty morale is low and “nobody knows how we will be able to deliver a high-quality education,” says Kevin Cope, president of the Faculty Senate at Louisiana State in Baton Rouge. The campus is preparing for cuts next year in the range of 23 to 35 percent.
“Already, a certain number of courses have been canceled and curricula eliminated,” Mr. Cope says of the flagship campus. Fourteen foreign language faculty will not have their contracts renewed, for instance, which means the loss of instruction in such major languages as Japanese and Portuguese.
In Missouri, the state is reviewing academic programs, asking campuses to consider consolidating or eliminating those that produce a very low number of degrees each year.
At the University of Missouri in Columbia, that means 75 programs, many of them at the graduate level, are being scrutinized for possible cuts. They range from exercise physiology to computer engineering. The review is part of a broader agenda by Gov. Jay Nixon (D) to make higher education more cost-effective as enrollments rise.
“In some respects [that kind of review taking place on many campuses] is one of the silver linings in a recession – that people are forced to make choices ... and then when you emerge from a rocky period, you’re stronger,” says Paul Lingenfelter, president of the State Higher Education Executive Officers in Boulder, Colo.
But the larger issue of pent-up demand for affordable higher education still looms, he says. “Somehow we’ve got to figure out a way to get both the provision of education and the financing of education in sync with the needs of students and the needs of the economy.”