Bad timing for tuition increases

Published 8:25 pm Friday, June 19, 2009

Over the past few days, many of the state’s universities and colleges announced tuition increases, some as much as 15 percent. At the same time, silence has been all that’s been heard from the state’s two-year college system.

And, just what is the reason for the silence? That’s because for yet another year—a year where the state’s four-year schools have increased tuition—our state’s two-year system has held tuition rates the same.

In an environment where unemployment is increasing and an educated workforce is more in demand than ever, it is hard to believe that our universities have continued the trend of announcing significant tuition increases.

It has come to the point that our state’s public schools, which provide fantastic educations, are beyond the financial grasp of many in the state. Factor in the fiscal destruction of the PACT program, and many families in our state may never be able to send their children to college.

But, they can send their children to a two-year school and provide them the quality education they are seeking at the quality price they are seeking.

The more our universities and colleges increase rates, the stronger our two-year colleges become.

In the coming years, if trustees in our state’s collegiate systems wonder why enrollment is not increasing at an expected rate or even declining, they can look back and easily identify the point in history when that decline was set in motion.

In this economy, today we applaud our two-year college leaders and appreciate their investment in our state’s education.