Like many students attending VSU, Rusty Townsen relies on the Hope Scholarship to pay for his college education. Already, talks are underway to eliminate Hope funding for books and fees, but now the state board of regents wants a 10-percent midyear tuition increase. Townsen said, “it will definitely be hard to make up that extra money because I come here expecting it and now I'll have to make certain adjustments later on. That is always tough.”
The proposed increase in tuition would mean an additional $700,000 to $800,000 for VSU. Educators say however that is only about half of what they've lost in state funding due to budget cuts.
They say students must put the proposed hike into perspective. Louis Levy, VSU Vice President, said, “we still rank among one of the lowest states in terms of tuition in the south.”
VSU officials say it's difficult to do business with low tuition and increasing enrollments because tuition only pays a small part of the higher education costs.
The real question people are wanting to know is if lottery revenues will be sufficient enough to fund another 10 percent tuition increase.
So for now, students like Rusty will have to wait and see what the board of regents decides and pinch those pennies until then.