Brianna Wallen- News Editor
With a new semester comes time for students to pay their bill. This time around, owls may have noticed an increase in their tuition.
According to NBC Connecticut, a 5% increase in tuition and fees for state university and college students was approved by the Board of Regents.
The hike is being implemented for the 2024-25 academic year. The increase will bring in $20 million in revenue according to officials and will aid in reducing the $140 million deficit.
It is clear the cost of tuition is not getting any cheaper, especially with the state of the economy.
Director of Student Financial Literacy and Advisory Lewis DeLuca shares the breakdown behind the tuition spike.
“If you look at a college, you think of three buckets of where the money comes from. Almost half is tuition and fees,” DeLuca said.
He added that the rest comes from the state, with about 15% coming from room and board. With this structure of income, costs were able to remain balanced. However, due to the state reducing their funding, universities must find new ways to receive money.
“Well, in the ideal world, the state would provide more funding to the universities, and we could keep tuition flat, so it would stay the same, right?” DeLuca said. “But without as much support, the university only has two other ways to get money, increased tuition and fees and increased room and board.”
With the lack of funding from the state, universities are now forced to shift their focus to college students. Health science major Aliyah Golding, a freshman, said that she is feeling financial pressure when it comes to paying for school.
Golding, who pays about $5,000 per semester, worries about the strain her new tuition cost will put on her mother.
“I am unemployed, so this will take a toll on my mom who is a single parent,” Golding said.
Similarly, many students have raised anxieties about paying for their education. Math major with a theater minor Abigail Hibert, a freshman, is concerned about budgeting her money that she planned to use once she graduated.
Hibert said that she pays off her tuition of $7,000 every semester with the money that her late father left for her.
“The raise is an inconvenience because it means I have to save more money to pay for school rather than use it to prepare for life after school,” Hibert said.
The rise in tuition also caused students to have to turn away from the university. Former sociology with a concentration in criminology major Keywon Wray was a sophomore in his fall semester when he packed up his belongings and unenrolled from the university.
Wray said that his reason for leaving was a financial burden that he could not relieve. Wray said that he owed the school over $3,000 and had to pay his tuition of over $4,000 per semester.
“Since I was a full-time student, I wasn’t working, so I couldn’t support my mom to help pay for my tuition,” Wray said.
Keywon said he hopes his story will display the impact the tuition increase has on students.
“The 5% increase is unfortunate. There’s people like me that want to learn and stay in their classes, but they can’t afford it,” Wray said.
Currently, Wray is taking a semester off to work. He plans to continue his education next semester.
“I feel that education has to come with a price, and sadly it’s a price that I can’t afford,” Wray said.