Tuition at the state’s public colleges and universities likely will increase as much as 5.4 percent under a plan that received preliminary approval from the state Board of Regents.
Actual increases likely will be more, however, when they are completed in March.
Regents each year approve two tuition rates. First-tier rates for each school, like those that received preliminary approval Friday, fund each institution’s share of employee compensation packages approved by the Legislature.
Second-tier rates are set by each institution to cover individual costs. The two rates are combined to reach the actual tuition increases for each school.
Preliminary first-tier tuition increases range from an average of 4 percent to 5.4 percent, depending on funding from the Legislature.
Rates vary by individual institution. Students at the University of Utah would see a 2.76 percent first-tier tuition increase if the Legislature increases employee compensation by 4 percent. Salt Lake Community College students would pay 2.62 percent more, while Utah State University students would pay 2.98 percent more. Weber State University students would pay 2.68 percent more, and Utah Valley State College would pay 2.62 percent more.
Regents also intend to ask lawmakers for $68.8 million in new money for operational expenses, a 9.4 percent increase over the current year’s budget. That figure does not include any proposed increase for employee compensation.
Some regents are bothered by the increase after raising Tier 1 tuition by 4 percent for several years in a row.
“I’ve been uncomfortable with the increases we’ve had the last four, five, six years,” said Regent Nolan Karras, of Roy. “We’ve just been ratcheting it up.”
He told the regents he was reluctant to approve a 4 percent increase.
“I will probably vote no but I am willing to be convinced, or have some alternative plan,” Karras said.
The Associated Press
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