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Tuition hike proposed for regional universities; community colleges next

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The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system’s Board of Regents for Higher Education has voted in favor of a 5 percent tuition increase for students at its four regional universities. A separate tuition increase for those attending the state’s community colleges is also likely on the way.

In addition, the regents voted for a 2.9 percent tuition increase for the online Charter Oak State College. The full CSCU board will vote on those proposed changes at its March 28 meeting.

The four state universities that would be affected are Western Connecticut State in Danbury, Central Connecticut State in New Britain, Eastern Connecticut State in Willimantic and Southern Connecticut State in New Haven.

As for the system’s community colleges, which include Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport and Norwalk Community College, CSCU President Mark Ojakian said a decision on tuition will likely be made in April. Those students paid 2.5 percent more in tuition this year than last year.

Ojakian told the Business Journal last month that to hold tuition flat for 2019-20, it needed $15.1 million from the state. After Gov. Ned Lamont unveiled his budget proposal later in February, which basically kept CSCU funding flat, Ojakian said the result could be “a $57 million shortfall between the community colleges and state universities — and would necessitate tuition increases, drawdowns of dwindling reserves or likely both.”

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