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State OKs Tuition Hikes At WestConn, Norwalk Community College

Students will be paying more in tuition this fall to attend WestConn in Danbury.
Students will be paying more in tuition this fall to attend WestConn in Danbury. Photo Credit: Claire Tensa

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Tuition bills will  be going up next fall for students at four of the state's universities, including Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, and all the community colleges, including Norwalk Community College.

The Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education, which governs four state universities, 12 community colleges and Charter Oak State College, on Thursday approved an increase in tuition and fees for the system’s nearly 100,000 students, according to a statement .

The tuition and fee increases for fall at the Connecticut state universities are:

  • for in-state commuters: 5.1 percent or $434 for a total of $8,990 per year;
  • in-state residential: 4.1 percent or $778 for a total of $19,897 per year; and
  • out-of-state residential: 4.1 percent or $1,251 for a total of $31,402 per year.

and at the Connecticut community colleges:

  • 5.25 percent or $188 for full-time students, including fees for a total of $3,786 per year; and
  • 5.25 percent or $8 per extension credit plus fees for part-time students.

At Charter Oak State College:

  • for in-state students, yearly fees increased by $13 per credit, to $258 per credit.
  • the in-state college fee increased $9 per semester to $180 per semester.

“I hope students, their parents and the public understand that this is a difficult decision, and we don’t make it lightly,” said Lewis J. Robinson, chairman of the Board of Regents for Higher Education. “My colleagues on the board and I certainly understand why students don’t want to pay higher tuition and fees, but we are entrusted with an important fiduciary duty to assure the stability of our system, as well as to support student success.

"Sometimes, unfortunately, that means we must make some very tough decisions. We will continue to monitor the system office and campus budgets as we move through the fiscal year, and look for cost savings wherever possible.”

The Board’s Finance Committee had previously approved the increase on March 14.

“We are mindful that any increase in tuition and fees – regardless of the amount – is difficult for our students to absorb in these fiscal times,” said Finance Committee Chairman Gary Holloway. “When we originally began discussing the environment in which we would consider a tuition and fee increase, I was concerned we would be forced to consider a double-digit increase. Thankfully, that is not the situation in which we find ourselves.”

Under a policy adopted by the former Board of Governors for Higher Education, institutions must set aside 15 percent of tuition dollars for institutional financial aid purposes. When the tuition increases, so, too, does the amount of financial aid available to students.

These schools will see the tuition hikes: Central Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Southern Connecticut State University, Western Connecticut State University, Asnuntuck Community College, Capital Community College, Gateway Community College, Housatonic Community College, Manchester Community College, Middlesex Community College, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Northwestern Connecticut Community College, Norwalk Community College, Quinebaug Valley Community College, Three Rivers Community College, Tunxis Community College and Charter Oak State College.

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