Higher education was not exempt from the figurative slash of the knife in its budget this year by the Utah legislature.
Lawmakers cut 9% from higher education’s funding, resulting inemployee furloughs and layoffs and higher tuition for students pursuing their education at Utah colleges. It is anticipated that future years will see even more cuts to higher education budgets.
While some students are grateful that the tuition hikes did not go any higher than they did (ranging anywhere from 4% to 9.5% in Utah’s colleges), there are many students who are working their way through college and barely making it with current tuition costs. These hikes will make it even more difficult for these students to attain their goals during this time of economic hardships when their employment situations will not see relative pay increases to match their now rising cost of attending post secondary institutions.
Utah needs to examine tuition-free programs for students, particularly those with low incomes, like other states do, such as Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, and West Virginia.
(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)