Monday, November 12, 2007

Low revenue could signal tuition hikes: Presidents to meet next week

By Markeshia Ricks
Star Capitol Correspondent

MONTGOMERY—A slowdown in revenues going into the Alabama Education Trust Fund and a continued rise in fixed costs for four-year colleges could lead to tuition hikes for students at four-year institutions around the state.

The education fund is expected to grow by 6 percent, down from its initial 8 percent projection, and four-year university presidents plan to ask for at least level funding from the state to help them absorb the increased cost for health care and utilities institutions have to pay.

Alabama Commission on Higher Education Executive Director Gregory Fitch said to meet the costs of providing a higher education, the state’s institutions might have to pass on more of the cost to students by way of higher tuition.

It’s an option that Jacksonville State University President William Meehan, however, said he’s going to try avoid.

Meehan said JSU hasn’t raised tuition in the last two years, and he would like to keep it that way.

For the 2007-08 school year, a semester’s tuition for the 12 hours most JSU students take, along with room and board, is $3,657, according to the university’s Web site.

“We’re trying to hold to that for our students because 80 percent of them are receiving some financial aid, and we try to be very conscientious about that when it comes to tuition increases,” he said. “Any decision we make about that would likely be made in April, not now.”

See the full story here.

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