“The State Cut our Funding” — the Excuse that Never Stops Giving

College students -- facing a future of endless servitude to debt.
College students — a future of endless debt servitude.

Students attending Virginia’s four-year colleges and universities will pay an additional 5.2% in tuition and fees compared to last year, according to the latest State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) data. Tuition leaped 6.8% but that was partially offset by a modest 2.3% increase in mandatory fees, covering such things as student health, transportation, athletics and transportation, reports the Loudoun Times. By contrast, the Consumer Price Index increased 2.1%.

Dan Hix, SCHEV’s finance policy director, blamed inadequate state support, noting that General Assembly funding covers only 53% of educational costs, far short of its 67% target. Despite initial promises to increase funding by $100 million (presumably this fiscal year — the Times is not clear), the General Assembly came through with only $5 million more, he said.

Let me get this straight. The state didn’t cut public support but actually increased it by $5 million (essentially keeping funding stable) yet colleges and universities are blaming the state for a 6.8% increase (4.1% over and above inflation) in tuition? Really?


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6 responses to ““The State Cut our Funding” — the Excuse that Never Stops Giving”

  1. You’re gonna find me on YOUR side on this and here’s why.

    This is happening not only at higher ed institutions but at local public schools where basically they want you to fund – whatever they choose to offer in services even if they want to expand services or not cut services.

    Local schools in my area spend 70 million dollars more than the state requires for the SOQ match yet not one of them actually details what they are spending those local dollars on – and every year – we get the same cry that we’re “cutting” schools.

    Our local schools have decided to offer 4 college tracks – the Governors School, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Dual Enrollment – never accounting for spending and at the same time crying that they do not have money for Pre-K/Head start or Career Tech programs and need more money for that – as well as more money for teachers because class sizes are increasing (no doubt, in part because teachers are being diverted to the 4 college-track classes).

    So basically the schools, including higher ed – want more money – AND they do not want to account for it or let others question priorities.

    “give us money – stay out of our business”.

  2. LifeOnTheFallLine Avatar

    Strong takedown of that strawman you offered up. Too bad nowhere in the article does anyone say state funding was cut. Otherwise this was a mighty cromulent piece.

  3. I’ll concede that the headline is not literally correct. No one blamed “cuts” in state funding this time. Instead, they blamed insufficient state funding. But it’s all part of the same syndrome — blaming the state. No question, lagging state funding has made the job of state colleges and universities more difficult. But that’s the *only* thing they ever blame. They *never* look at themselves.

    1. I’m with Bacon on this one. We do not make the case for cost-effective education and instead promote the idea that education cannot do more without more money – and I feel they are out of control these days.

      They basically are selling, with the help of de-facto pro sports – a “branded” experience for those who are willing to pay the hefty price tag – even if it means going into debt up to their proverbial eyeballs. (there _are_ reasonably-priced colleges around that don’t have big-time sports but they have become the Toyota Corolla’s of colleges – wall flowers… that offer “only” education.

      Used to be – a guy or gal of modest means could work in the dining hall or wait tables in a restaurant to pay for their education – but these days, it’s got so expensive that even if you do wait tables – you STILL go into tens of thousands of dollars of personal debt – EVEN WITH increased state funding.

      and now – they are all signing on to a letter to the POTUS – opposing his proposed rating system to rate colleges that are good values.

      If it were not for Fed subsidized loans and State funding – Colleges would be forced to slim down and deal with the reality of competition and market demand – and hopefully we are headed that way – because right now in my view Higher Ed is just out of control.

      1. If Larry and I actually agree on something, you’ve got to assume the logic is unassailable.

        1. I’m surprised Jim does not offer “vouchers” for high ed!

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