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​Connecticut state universities prepare for potential budget cuts

The William H. Schwab Center for Information Technology on the West Campus of Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, Connecticut.
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The Connecticut State Colleges and University System expect a shortfall of $220 million dollars over the next two years. The finance and infrastructure committee discussed possible budget cuts at a meeting earlier this week.

The deficit — in part — is due to a drop in enrollment and from students who decide to live off campus. Chief Financial Officer Ben Barnes told the committee the funding gap was caused by the discontinuation of millions in federal COVID relief funds, along with raises for state employees.

Barnes said 60% of the deficit was at universities and 40% was at community colleges. State colleges and universities are expecting a shortfall of $106 million in 2024 and $115 million in 2025.

“It's a significant amount of money that’s going to require some thoughtful changes to what we spend it on and also additional revenue,” Barnes said.

Each college and university will need to provide ideas to increase revenue or decrease expenses. Barnes said no increase in tuition would be enough to make up for the shortfall, but it’s not completely off the table.

Next year’s tuition for the universities will be determined in October, and December for community colleges.

Jeniece Roman is a reporter with WSHU, who is interested in writing about Indigenous communities in southern New England and Long Island, New York.