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Higher Ed Commissioner Proposes 4 % Increase in Tuition

Utah’s Higher Education Commissioner is recommending the smallest tuition increase in more than a decade. The Utah Board of Regents will meet next Friday to consider the proposal.

This year, the state legislature funded employee compensation increases at Utah public colleges and universities, provided additional revenue for the fastest-growing institutions like Utah Valley University and set aside money for major construction projects system wide. That’s partly why Higher Education Commissioner Dave Buhler says he’s proposing a relatively small 4 percent increase in the cost of higher education for the coming school year. 

“Of course, we’d love to have no increase, but the realities are there are certain things we need to cover through tuition dollars,” Buhler says. “The base increase of 4 percent will all go towards personnel related issues on our campuses. But the blended average tuition increase for the whole system will be 4.7 percent which is the lowest since the year 2000.”

The Utah Board of Regents has approved an average annual tuition increase of 6 percent in the last ten years. 

Should the board sign off on this proposal, most resident undergraduate students at public colleges and universities would pay an additional $116 to $200 per year. Students at The University of Utah and Utah State University would pay more.

The Board of Regents governs the Utah System of Higher Education, which includes eight public colleges and universities. It’s responsible for setting tuition, approving programs and appointing college and university presidents among other duties. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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