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Conn. legislature committee looks into UConn's cost

By Julia Werth
On October 15, 2013

In June, the State Government of Connecticut launched a study to investigate the affordability of UConn with a focus on instate students. The tuition and fees for UConn during the 2013-2014 school year total $12,022, ranking the school as 25th in the country for affordability of a State Flagship University.

With only 48 flagships in the United States, this puts UConn in the bottom half, the reason for much of the concern.

Although the State Government of Connecticut may feel that UConn's tuition is too high, "it is a much better value for in-state students" in comparison to the University of Massachusetts, said the Undergraduate Student Representative to the Board of Trustees Michael Daniels, a seventh-semester political science and economics major.

The cost of tuition and fees at UMass-Amherst for the 2013-2014 school year is $13,258, more than a $1,000 higher than the cost to attend UConn. In addition to a reduced cost, UConn is ranked significantly higher than UMass; UConn is ranked 57th compared to UMass at No. 91, according to the National University Rankings.

Some students at UConn recognize that they are paying an affordable price for their top notch education. Kevin Alvarez, a third-semester political science major and member of the external affairs board of the Undergraduate Student Government at UConn, said that "for the most part, students think UConn is affordable, especially for all the opportunities that UConn offers."

The committee studying UConn's affordability is comprised of state senators and members of the House from both parties. Currently the committee is attempting to determine if UConn is in fact affordable as many students believe. The committee is also discussing passing a bill to bring the management of UConn's tuition back under the control of the state. In 1991, the state relinquished its control of UConn's tuition to the board of trustees.

According to Alvarez, it would not be "a good idea for the state to take it back because the Board of Trustees has a finger on the pulse of UConn." The Board, which has two representatives from the student body, knows the ins and outs of the university.

For the time being, tuition is set to increase by approximately six percent each year in order to hire additional faculty. Whether or not this increase will cause the university to become unaffordable for the majority of in-state students is yet to be determined.

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