University Presidents Predict Higher Tuition, Lost Advances

No one knows how much tuition could go up because of a proposed 12% whack in higher education funding, but the numbers being thrown out today range between 15% to 20%.

“Horrible. It's not going to be easy to pay tuition; already have to take out student loans,” says Western Kentucky University Student Holly Conley.

That’s the grief that thousands of others may be facing if colleges bear the burden of the so called budget crisis.

University presidents worry what the future will hold.

“Programs will be eliminated. People will lose jobs. And students will be turned away,” WKU President Dr. Gary Ransdell told a House Committee on Thursday.

UK President Lee Todd has even sent out a letter to students and faculty telling them that the governor's proposal would devastate the UK community. He calls it bad public policy.

Other presidents told lawmakers that spending priorities are being reversed.

“Higher education funding is being treated as part of the problem, not the solution,” says Dr. Wayne Andrews of Morehead State University.

The problem obviously is revenue. But one lawmaker says one solution is a higher cigarette tax and called for support from the campuses.

“And I think we need the push from the universities and students and the public to say this has got to happen,” said Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville.

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