Students at nine Utah colleges and universities will have to come up with extra money before they can register for summer quarter.
The Utah State Board of Regents on Friday approved a permanent tuition and fee increase ranging from 7 to 9 percent, effective July 1.The University of Utah, Utah State University, Weber State College and Southern Utah State College have been authorized to raise tuition 9 percent. Snow College, Dixie College and the College of Eastern Utah have permission to raise tuition and fees 7 percent.
Utah Valley Community College can raise tuition 8 percent and Salt Lake Community College can increase tuition charges 6 percent. The institutions were also given the option of increasing their fees the same percent or less than that of their assigned tuition increase.
The change will mean a cost increase of $124.50 over last year for a resident full-time student taking 45 hours of credit over three quarters at the University of Utah. Resident students with the same course load at USU will pay $102 more. At Weber State, the student will pay a $108 increase, while at SUSC, students will see a $78 increase.
A similar student at Snow College will pay $48 more; at Dixie, a $57.42 increase; at the College of Eastern Utah, a $48 increase; at UVCC, a $72 increase; and at Salt Lake Community College, a $69 increase.
C. Gail Norris, associate commissioner of budget and finance, said the increase was necessary, and his committee is looking for more ways to raise education money.
"We have an unusual situation in Utah," he said. "In many states, university enrollment is declining. But in Utah, the students are still there."
Norris said he anticipated enrollment would continue to increase "and the revenues from the state are not likely to be there." The Board of Regents has two committees, one working to "look at more efficient ways to do things, to combine and consolidate," and the other looking for new sources of revenue and studying how high to set tuition, Norris said.
He added that the trick will be to apply any new sources of income in such a way that the state will not decrease its funding.
There is a backlog of needs waiting to be addressed, he said. Such things as library improvement "never make it into the budget."
Some university systems tie their tuition to the consumer price index, he said. Others base tuition on the full cost of an education or the price at competing schools.
"It doesn't look like there will be much room for a significant tuition increase in Utah in the future," Norris said. "We could do it if there were federal aid to help students, but the federal programs are tapering off."
To raise tuition "significantly" without financial aid being available "would be denying students a chance at education," he said.