Feb 12, 2017 10:04 PM EST
Public Universities Brace For More Budget Cuts As State Revenues Continue to Decline [Video]
Public universities in the US are bracing themselves for more budget cuts this year due to declining state revenues. Schools affected might have to raise tuition fees so that they can continue to operate.
Among the hardest hit were the University of Iowa and the Missouri State University. Revenues in Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska had been declining in the past years. This prompted legislators in these states to cut the appropriation for public universities, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The schools had been taking austerity measures to keep up with the budget allocations. Only important expenditures were funded. Expenses for travel, technology and facilities would be put on hold first. By spending less, public universities would not have to increase tuition fees.
School administrators worried that cutting the budget could lead to low quality services. The University of Missouri, for example, had kept the same tuition fee rates for almost a decade. This was made possible because of the steady flow of government funds, according to The Kansas City Star. Once government funds decrease, they had no choice but to raise funds through tuition fee hikes.
Public universities that in states that get their revenue from agricultural products and gas were greatly affected. This was due to reduced prices of agricultural products and gas. This resulted to almost empty government coffers.
Enrollment in public universities has gone up in the past years, too. This means more students who need financial assistance and more teachers to pay. Buildings have to be constructed to accommodate the growing number of students.
The cut did not just affect The University of Missouri and the Iowa State University. In fact, as early as February of last year, the budget cut on University of California Berkely might threaten its reputation as a leading public research university, according to The Conversation.
Cutting the budget allocation of public universities would most likely affect quality of education. If this goes on, many students in the US would not be able to study in world-class universities anymore.
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