Tuition increase not definite

Victoria BresnahanNews Editor

With a newly-elected governor, President of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) Mark Ojakian said he is not sure if any changes will be made to the state-tuition rates in the upcoming year.

“I know any increase is a lot,” he said, at a Student Government Association meeting last week.

Ojakian said he is committed to making any increase as manageable and as low as possible.

In the spring, tuition rates will be revisited, according to Ojakian.

Over the past three months, he said the system has been creating a white- paper, or an official report providing information on certain issues, Gov. Ned Lamont.

The report describes what the CSCU system functions as, what type of students it educates and what it will need financially over the next decade, according to Ojakian.

“I think many of our institutions have cut to the point where there is no more meat on the bone,” he said. “So, it is going to continue to happen. Some student-based services are going to be impacted if we don’t get the necessary support.”

In addition, he said tuition policy options such as a rebate program have been included in the report. If a student graduated in a certain period of time, Ojakian said an amount of the student’s tuition could be refunded to them through this program.

The system and the Connecticut Board of Regents, which sets statewide tuition and student fees, has been working on different tuition ideas such as a policy to redefine tuition so it is not used to fill a budget gap, he said.

President of SGA Alexis Zhitomi and Vice President of the Board of Academic Experience Brooke Mercaldi attended a Student Advisory Committee meeting in Hartford last week. The use of textbooks was discussed at length during the meeting, according to Zhitomi.

In March, a summit will be held to discuss Open Educational Resources, or textbooks that are open sourced.

“Basically, a professor is able to take a textbook and just select the chapters that they want out of it,” she said, “and modify it any they want.”

These books would be sold to students at a lower cost, according to Zhitomi.

“Textbooks are outrageously expensive,” she said, “and any help to students is something that we should support.”

Photo Credit: August Pelliccio

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