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Tuition Freeze For State Colleges?



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Lower tuition and fees, it’s something most college students like to hear. The state Board of Regents is trying to make that happen.

The board will ask the South Dakota Legislature for more money to help make college more affordable for students.

The South Dakota Board of Regents met Wednesday at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls. They discussed a proposal to send to the Legislature to put a freeze on tuition costs for the 2014 to 2015 school year. This means they want to hold tuition costs and fees and not let them go up any higher.

The Board of Regents wants tuition to be more affordable for public college students.
So they've asked for an extra $4.5 Million from the South Dakota Legislature to hold down costs for next school year.

Executive Director of the Board of Regents, Jack Warner says he's committed to helping more students earn college degrees, for their own good and for the State.

"By keeping tuition and fees low, we hope it improves access to our universities  and makes our university's more successful as they progress through the through the  system," said Board of Regents Executive Director, Jack Warner.

Students pay for the school's salaries, staff raises and inflation costs. If the state would help out, students wouldn't see a tuition increase to fund these things.

“Just think about all the costs students have to go to school. It’s not only tuition and fees but books and transportation. The costs add up quickly," said South Dakota State University President, David Chicoine.

South Dakota State University President, David Chicoine says if the state makes this investment, it would be a big benefit, and would help South Dakota stay competitive with other states.

"Access to higher education is really important, not only to develop the human capital but also for the professional development of  students themselves, higher education is the  gateway to their  future," said Chicoine.

District 16 Representative Jim Bolin says a proposal like this is possible, but the legislature has to wait to see what revenue the state takes in from sales taxes.

"I would have some questions about it, I'm certainly not opposed to it off hand But I would want to see the details and we actually have to see each month and track the revenue the State is able to generate and see if there is extra $4.5 Million," said District 16 Representative, Jim Bolin.

Representative Bolin says he has some questions about the proposal. He wonders if there would be money available for other aspects of education like K thru 12. He wants to make sure one isn't favoring over another.
   
Governor Daugaard needs to propose his budget before the legislature can decide whether or not to approve the tuition freeze. 
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