Grad Act allows universities to raise tuition by 10 percent

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wwltv.com

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 26 at 7:42 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- College campuses across Louisiana are empty this week as students enjoy their spring break, but university officials are busy crunching the numbers for next semester.

Unfortunately for students at the University of New Orleans, their tuition is going up by another 10 percent.

“It's very difficult for me to approve these raises knowing that our students have trouble paying their tuition, but the state is forcing us to build our budget on self-generated funds, which include tuition and fees,” said UNO President Dr. Peter Fos.

Fos said the average student will pay an additional $250 next semester. Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposed budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year strips about $75 million in state funding from high education.

The so-called Grad Act allows colleges and universities to raise tuition up to 10 percent to offset state cuts.

This is the second time in as many years that UNO has raised tuition by 10 percent. Fos said that still leaves this university about $3,000 below the southern average.

“There comes a point you'll be at a tipping point where students can no longer afford to come here,” Fos said. “I've been asked what is that point, and of course I wish I had that answer. I hasn't affected us yet.

Next door at Southern University New Orleans, administrators are also considering a 10 percent tuition hike. The Southern board authorized its campuses to make the move.

Vice Chancellor Jullin Renthrope said SUNO is still studying the raise.

“We would like make college affordable for our students and don't want to increase the tuition if we can get around doing that.”

In exchange for giving colleges and universities the ability to raise tuition, the Grad Act mandates certain performance measures at the schools, including increasing student success and institutional efficiency.

 

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