University Tuition: Louisiana Voters To Make Landmark Decision On Who Sets University Tuition Rates In LABy Darren Domirez, UniversityHerald Reporter
In the recent years, Louisiana legislators give some control to certain local universities and colleges over tuition and fees. However, that is only for a temporary basis. And that limited control is supposed to expire by the end of 2017.
This is the reason why both chambers in the Louisiana Legislature approved Senate Bill 80 to transfer authority over university and college tuition rates and student fees from state lawmakers to the schools' supervising boards.
Lest, these voters favored this proposal, it becomes the first permanent shift in authority over college costs from the legislators to the university boards, Nola reported. This will potentially authorize the universities to control their tuition rates and fees. And will allow public universities and colleges to become more expensive to attend. There have been many institutions which already raised both tuition and fees on students with only partial control over the costs.
On the other hand, Higher education officials made no secret that they are in quest of control over tuition and fees. This is to attend the dramatic decline in state funding they have experienced over the last eight years, Nola added. Minority of the colleges and universities wanted the power to lower tuition rates to become more competitive with other schools in the LA region. For example, LSU law school officials believe their out-of-state tuition is too high to draw students outside Louisiana.
Officials of Louisiana's higher education have been trying for years to get permanent control over tuition rates. The current law stated, the Legislature must grant any tuition change for any Louisiana university program with a two-third of votes.
Florida is the only other state in the country that involves the Legislature in setting tuition rates. In fact, Louisiana's universities offer some of the lowest tuition rates in the South. Recent concerns alarm that universities and colleges might choose to raise tuition when the TOPS college scholarship program is not liable to cover the cost of going to school.