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McDonnell asks public college presidents to limit tuition increases following budget increase

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Gov. Bob McDonnell is urging Virginia’s public colleges and universities to limit in-state tuition increases to the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index.

For the 2011-2012 school year, the average in-state tuition increase was 9.7 percent at the state’s public universities, while the Consumer Price Index for the last 12 months increased 2.7 percent, McDonnell said.

So far, the University of Virginia has already announced its tuition increase for next year, which is a 3.7 percent increase, the lowest raise since the 2001-2002 school year.

“During the last decade, Virginia students experienced on average, double-digit tuition increases annually,” McDonnell said in a letter to college presidents. “This trend is unacceptable and cannot continue. I, therefore, ask that you endeavor to keep in-state tuition increases for the fall semester and beyond to the increase in the Consumer Price Index, because we cannot let dramatic price increases be a deterrent to higher education for all qualified and motivated Virginians.”

The General Assembly’s budget includes an additional $230 million to higher education over the two-year budget.

“We recognize that your institutions have not fully recovered from the reductions which began in 2007, but together we must continue to find internal operating efficiencies and implement best practices to educate more students in a more cost effective manner,” McDonnell said in his latter. “It is my plan to continue to make new investments in higher education in future budgets as the economy improves.”

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