Utah higher education board approves tuition increase for upcoming school year

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Board of Higher Education approved a 1.98% systemwide average tuition increase during a meeting Thursday.

The increase will take effect for the 2021-22 academic year.

The board also approved recommendations to slash general student fees by 11.5% on average and move those fees to tuition. That follows an October 2020 decision to undertake a comprehensive review of student fees at member institutions.

"Tuition increases, excluding general student fees, were primarily adjusted to meet the legislative requirement to fund compensation increases with tuition and for mandatory costs relating to tenure and promotion of faculty," the Utah System of Higher Education said in a news release.

The tuition increases range from a 1.56% hike at the University of Utah to a 3.53% jump at Dixie State. For in-state students taking 15 credit hours per semester for a year, that translates to $151 and $200 increases, respectively.

Utah State University increased tuition by 2.49%, Weber State by 2% and Utah Valley by 1.76%, the release says.

Only Southern Utah University lowered tuition; it slashed its rate by about 0.64%, translating to $44 saved per year.

An SUU spokesman told KSL.com this marks the third year in a row the Cedar City school has cut tuition rates. Southern Utah also announced Thursday the creation of an online Bachelor of General Studies degree for $9,000, which SUU believes "is the least expensive college degree offered by any public university in the United States."

Harris H. Simmons, chair of the Utah Board of Higher Education, said in the release that the board has taken steps in recent months "to ensure that the cost of college is clear to Utah students."

"Beyond public Truth-in-Tuition hearings held by Utah colleges, many general student fees are now wrapped into tuition, giving students a more straightforward look at college costs," Simmons said. "Affordability is a top priority of the Board, and after careful consideration, modest tuition and student fee increases for Utah's public colleges and universities were approved."

Tuition at Utah's technical colleges will remain the same, with the exception of a 2.08% increase per membership hour at Salt Lake Community College's School of Applied Technology.

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