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UConn plans to trim planned tuition hike, citing COVID-19 pandemic

The new proposal, which must be approved the the school’s Board of Trustees, would cut the hike to 2.2%, or $312

Officials at the University of Connecticut floated a plan Wednesday that would trim the school’s planned tuition hike, citing the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students. UConn had previously planned for a 4.4% increase for in-state students this coming fall. That's about $625.  

The new proposal, which must be approved by the school’s Board of Trustees, would cut the hike to 2.2%, or $312. The school's Board of Trustees is expected to vote on the plan next week.  

Meanwhile, the state's largest teachers' union has produced a television ad urging the state to get its educators vaccinated immediately. 

The tuition adjustment proposal may be slashing in half the rate increase, but according to UConn the proposal will also keep many other fees at a flat rate. 

We talked to a few students who have mixed feelings about the proposed plan. 

Natalie Resto who is a graduating Senior at UCONN said, "Even a penny going up gives me heart palpitations because you know I can barely afford the holes in my socks."  

Resto was followed by Grayson Hall who is a Sophomore, who said,  "It's nice that they cut it down, but it's still increasing which really isn't ideal." 

Arun Polumbaum says his worries extend further than that of Resto and Hall, due to him coming from out of state. He said, "Already being out of state it's expensive for me like a lot more than these Connecticut people." 

The proposed tuition adjustment slashing plan came during a Tuesday virtual tuition and fee town hall. 

In the town hall, Scott Jordan, who is the Executive Vice-Presient of UCONN said,  "It's also worth noting that 625-dollars is the lowest increase in tuition proposed, and I'll probably get this wrong, but in just about a decade." 

If the 2-percent tuition adjustment proposal is approved UConn says it will be the lowest increase since fiscal year 2000. 

UConn says the proposed plan will also freeze any increase of other fees, besides fees like transit, student health and wellness alongside campus student activity fees which hopes to provide more activities for those returning in the fall. 

Jordan said, "Their goal is to provide is to continue to provide great programming and to not charge an admission fee wherever possible, especially as we all come back we hope in the fall."

Students say they still need to know where the money is going considering this past academic school year, many barely touched campus grounds. 

Hall said, they must have their reasons for doing so and still being a state school it's pretty low compared to a lot of the other private colleges." 

Resto who agrees said, "All of the stuff that they have us pay for half of us don't even use because we are trying to be responsible, or they are just depriving us of it in the first place." 

Other students say more still needs to be cut from the tuition. 

Polumbaum said, "Currently no, during COVID I think there should be a way to drastically decrease prices. I mean I'm sure it's going towards somewhere, but I can't imagine as much as people are paying that they are using it efficiently." 

The proposal still needs to be approved by UConn’s Board of Trustees which is set to put this up to a vote next Wednesday. 

*Editor's note: The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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