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The 36 States Where College Costs Could Rise


Brace yourselves, parents and college students: At least 36 states have announced cuts to funding for public four-year colleges and universities, according to a report scheduled to be released tomorrow by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Those cuts will start to hit parents and students — through higher tuition and less free aid — in the next few weeks, financial aid experts say; in some states, they already have. Given that school begins in about a month in some states, this is cutting it close; as we reported earlier this week, it’s the latest point ever that public schools have raised tuition and fees so close to the start of the school year.

Will the cutbacks affect you?

At least ten states have already approved tuition hikes or are expected to shortly:

Arizona: Funding to state public universities cut by 22.3%. Tuition and fees up from 15% to nearly 22%, excluding a $350 to $750 rebate some schools provide to eligible students.

California: Funding cut by 23%. Tuition increase of 10-12% on top of an 8-10% increase that was previously announced.

Colorado: Funding cut by 20.9%. Tuition hikes range from 9% to just over 20%.

Georgia: Funding cut by 10.7%. Tuition hikes average about 3%.

Illinois: Funding cut by 1.1%. Universities are still discussing whether to implement tuition hikes.

Indiana: Funding cut by 1.9%. The state recommended that public colleges limit tuition hikes to no more than 2.5% to 3.5% though actual increases are higher for many colleges.

Michigan: Funding cut by 15%. Tuition hikes so far are around 7%.

New Hampshire: Funding cut by 45%. Tuition up between 8% and 9%.

Tennessee: Funding fell 1.1%. Tuition up from 7% to 13%.

Texas: Funding cut by 5%. Tuition hikes of about 6% have been announced at two out of 35 public colleges. The state says more could come.

Another 26 states have cut funding to four-year public universities, according to estimates by the AASCU, which could trickle down to families as well:

Connecticut: Funding down 1.7%.

Florida: -1.2%

Idaho: -3.5%

Iowa: -3.6%

Kansas: -2%

Kentucky: -1%

Maryland: -0.5%

Mississippi: -1%

Missouri: -7%

Montana: -2%

Nebraska: -0.7%

Nevada: -15.3%

New Mexico: -5.9%

New York: -6.5%

North Carolina: -14.4%

Ohio: -11.2%

Oklahoma: -5.8%

Oregon: -13.5%

Pennsylvania: -18%

South Carolina: -6%

South Dakota: -10%

Utah: -2%

Vermont: -3%

Virginia: -7.2%

Washington: –23%

Wisconsin: -11%


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  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to or tweet @SMPayDirt.