Senator Witkos Opposes Tuition Increase

January 23, 2012

Hartford – Senator Kevin Witkos (R-8) today expressed disapproval of the decision by the Connecticut Board of Regents of Higher Education to increase tuition and fees for students at the state’s four regional public universities and the 12 community colleges.

Senator Witkos said, “I am deeply concerned over this new tuition increase. Last October, the legislature passed a jobs bill including a total of $20 million in funding for community colleges. At the time, I said that I did not want to see a tuition increase request to deal with increased enrollment after the allocation of many millions of dollars for their manufacturing programs.”

Public Act No. 11-1 was signed into law after its passage at an October special session. Titled An Act Promoting Economic Growth And Job Creation In The State, the jobs bill was a package of numerous spending initiatives, tax incentives, and other measures. Senator Witkos cast one of only two dissenting votes.

Senator Witkos continued, “Sure enough, the Board of Regents approved a tuition increase on Thursday that will make the cost of getting an education more expensive for students throughout our state. There is no excuse for an increase at this time, and I call upon the Board of Regents to limit any future hikes.”

The Board of Regents voted Thursday for tuition increases that will range from 3.1 to 3.8 percent. The increase will reportedly be used to hire professors to decrease class size. Community college students will see an increase of about $108 during the 2012-2013 academic year. Full-time enrollment currently costs almost $3,500.

During the debate at the October special session, Senator Witkos said, “I agree that manufacturers have spoken about the lack of trained students coming out of the colleges that they can employ at their manufacturing firms when I visit my chambers of commerce. And maybe it is a good investment of $17.8 million. But the result of that $17.8 million is an annual operating increased cost of $800,000 every year at the regional community colleges. I better not see a tuition increase request from these community colleges because of an increase in student enrollment because we are paying for it out of this bill.”

To watch Senator Witkos’ comments, please click here.