BATON ROUGE, La. — Figuring out how to pay for college is a big issue for many students, and to make matters worse, students in Louisiana have been dealing with tuition increases over the past several years. So a group of higher education leaders is working to do something about the problem.
Lawmakers are also worried that a loss of funding and increased tuition, are making it too difficult for students to pay for college, so they set up the Tuition Task Force earlier this year, to try to keep higher education tuition affordable.
The panel of higher education leaders is studying tuition rates and working to come up with college pricing recommendations. It was asked to look at a few specific topics including the impact of increased tuition rates on the state's free college tuition program, TOPS; strategies for college access and affordability; and new ways of charging tuition to generate additional money for college campuses.
The concerns is that the Legislature will refuse to give them authority to set their own tuition rates, as Louisiana is the only state in the nation that requires a two-thirds vote of state lawmakers to raise tuition. Higher education leaders have tried unsuccessfully for years to remove that requirement.
One suggestion that has already been brought up is the idea of giving colleges the power to charge per credit hour, rather than only charging students for the first 12 credit hours they take in a semester.