Believe it or not, in 22 years, the State has failed to increase funding to the Vermont State Colleges (VSC) to keep up with inflation. This has resulted in our State Colleges experiencing an alarming 76% drop in State appropriations from 1990 to 2013.
This year, the Shumlin Administration proposed to increase VSC funding by 2%, which would level fund the system when you factor in this year’s projected 2% inflation rate. The VSC had requested a 4% funding increase to help restore the VSC’s affordability and competiveness, so even the Governor’s proposal didn’t quite meet the VSC’s needs, but it did prevent an actual funding cut.
Enter the Vermont House, which voted cut the Governor’s 2% VSC funding increase to just 1%. Worse, the Senate then voted to take it a step further and take away the 1% increase. This means the VSC is once again level funded and officials will now have to find money somewhere to make up the difference. Where will the VSC find that money? Its students, who will most likely be asked to pay yet another tuition increase. This hurts our students, and it further damages VSC’s ability to recruit new students in what is already a tough recruiting climate.
Contact your Vermont lawmakers this summer and ask them to stop level funding the Vermont State Colleges and please show some support for students by increasing funding!
Here are some talking points for when you call:
- Please restore the State’s proposed 2% increase for the State Colleges;
- Vermont ranks 47th in state appropriations for Higher Education, per 1,000 of personal income;
- Vermont State Colleges receive only 18% of their funding from the State; the national average for state colleges is 53%; and
- Vermont State Colleges are 82% dependent on tuition for funding and the national average is 47%.
- The average Vermont student graduates with $28,299 of debt, the 13th highest average graduate debt in the nation.
Not sure who your lawmakers are? Click here to find out.