PROVIDENCE — The state’s three state colleges are asking for tuition increases since a drop in enrollment during the pandemic have negatively impacted their revenues.
Rhode Island College is asking for a more than 2.5 percent increase, and the Community College of Rhode Island is asking for a more than 2.2 percent increase in tuition, including fees, for next fall. The news comes after a 5 percent increase at RIC and a 2.5 percent increase at CCRI last year.
At Rhode Island College, the increase means an additional $264 per in-state student and $598 per out-of-state state student. In-state tuition, including mandatory fees, is currently $10,702 per year and out-of-state tuition is $25,900 per year. The school had the third highest tuition for out-of-state residents in New England, according to a report, following Plymouth State University and University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.
During a meeting of the Council on Post Secondary Education on Wednesday night, RIC President Frank D. Sánchez said enrollment has declined. According to a spokesman at the college, enrollment this fall fell by 10 percent compared to the previous year. Last December, Sánchez reported the school’s enrollment declined by 6 percent, which translated to a $6.1 million loss in tuition revenue.
Sánchez said the tuition increase could generate about $1 million in tuition revenue.
The college will still also request an estimated $35 million bond for a student services building to be added to the ballot in November 2022, a $60 million bond to modernize the Fogarty Life Sciences building, $35 million to modernize the Whipple Hall & Steam Plan in November 2024′s ballot, and a potential bond for an amount not yet determined for a student learning and success center.
Sánchez also requested state aid to increase by $2.9 million.
At the Community College of Rhode Island, the tuition increase means an additional $100 for in-state students each year and an additional $10 to go toward a “technology fee.” In-state tuition at CCRI is currently $4,980 and the increase will mean tuition will exceed $5,000 annually.
Enrollment at the community college fell by 2,184 students from fall 2020 to fall 2021, estimates the college.
Hughes also requested $54.9 million in state appropriations, which is a 4.7 percent increase over its fiscal 2021 budget.
Hughes said increases will be used to help develop a digital learning strategy, invest in instructional design, provide remote access for student supports, and invest in faculty development. She outlined general bond requests, which included $52 million in November 2022, $52 million in November 2024, and $55 million in 2026. Many of the bond requests will go toward funding classroom upgrades, a 3-D printing lab, and more.
As previously reported by the Globe, the University of Rhode Island is seeking a 2.5 percent tuition increase for both in-state and out-of-state students for the 2022-2023 school year, President Marc Parlange announced in an e-mail to the URI community in September.
The tuition hikes were unanimously approved by the Council and will be submitted to Governor Dan McKee and the General Assembly as recommendations for approval.