Over the last few months, I have visited each and every CSCU campus. It has been my honor and privilege to hear from students across our 17 campuses about your educational goals and experiences. I am working each and every day to make sure our schools are providing you with the best education possible. For that reason, I wanted you to hear this important news directly from me. I am recommending to our governing board a tuition increase at all of our institutions for next year. My recommendation are as follows:
There are a few things you should know about what went into this decision:
- Every year we nominally increase our tuition to address the growing costs for programs and services but never significantly enough to balance our budget or fully mitigate our deficit.
- This next fiscal year the State of Connecticut, one of our largest funding sources, is experiencing an enormous budget deficit of almost $1 billion dollars. Our system is expected to be hit with a cut of at least $26 million.
- This increase does not close our deficit. If we relied on tuition to break even, an increase of more than 7% at our universities and almost 11% at our community colleges would be necessary. Instead, we are analyzing all of our expenses to find ways to cut spending. We are not implementing raises that we are not bound to by contract, and we have a hiring freeze in effect.
I am fully aware that this is not the news you wanted to receive. Nor is it the news I wanted to be delivering. We spent a lot of time reviewing our budget options for next year. I believe this increase is fair given our current environment, and keeps our schools affordable so you are not burdened with crippling debt when you graduate.
Our colleges and universities are some of the best in the country. Although sacrifices are necessary, the high quality education that you expect and deserve is not a sacrifice we are willing to make. I know you already make sacrifices to come to our schools and I know that you are our future heads of state, engineers, teachers, entrepreneurs and nurses. I will continue to be an advocate and champion for our schools because I believe in our students, faculty and staff. Please contact me if you have questions or concerns at CSCU-President@ct.edu.
Mark E. Ojakian, President
CT State Colleges and Universities