CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has given final approval to a handful of colleges and universities to raise tuition and fees next fall.

The commission’s vote came Tuesday with two members, Secretary of Education and the Arts Kay Goodwin and state School Superintendent Dr. Jim Phares, voting against the increases.

Goodwin said her vote was more about the students and their parents than the schools, like WVU, who are cutting their budgets and looking at ways to raise revenue.

“I’m not so worried about them (the universities) as I am worried about the students, their families and their loans,” Goodwin said.

The Tomblin administration cabinet secretary predicted some grave days ahead for some schools if the student debt issue isn’t resolved.

“I think that in the very near future we’re going to see some of those very institutions failing because of their student loan default rate,” Secretary Goodwin said. “And I think we only add to the problem when we increase tuition.”

The average increase is nearly $400.

Outgoing HEPC Dave Hendrickson said he hates raising tuition and fees, but at this time, with state funding on the decrease, it can’t be helped.

“It’s very difficult to balance the budgets of the institutions,” Hendrickson said. “I gotta tell ya there’s not any fluff in any of these budgets. It’s really tight across all of the campuses.

Hendrickson, incoming chairman Bruce Berry, commission member Kathy Eddy and others met with the representatives of the institutions for 10 hours Monday and Tuesday going over their budgets. Berry said for the first time he felt he wasn’t getting just a “boiler plate” presentation.

“They could show the areas of financial problems. They made a very compelling argument this year,” Berry said.

Eddy called the budget presentations “thoughtful.” She added the colleges and universities made their case for tuition and fee hikes.

The increases are initially approved by the boards of governors on the individual campuses, if the increases are more than five percent the HEPC has the final say. Approval Tuesday included tuition and fee increases for WVU, West Virginia State University and Fairmont State University.

The increases will begin with fall semester classes.


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  • leroy jethro gibbs

    i bet you can find a lot of waste and abuse in our state colleges and universities if someone would look... a college education is very expensive and only creates indentured servants in our youth

  • smith

    This is a state government priority issue. By cutting the budgets for higher education they are in essence creating a Higher Education Tax. Why cut the budgets of the state colleges and universities when we need educated members of society. This will be an ongoing issue unless politicians start to care. I think a statement from Marshall Universities president summed it up in a statement made in 2010: "Marshall University is an enterprise that multiplies and returns to the State more than 20 times the State's investment each year in terms of economic impact."

  • Charles

    College & Universities are paper mills that leaves students in debt to the Federal Goverment before he or she starts,

  • blugldmn

    Kudos to Ms. Goodwin for stating the obvious....