By Carten Cordell | Virginia Statehouse News
ALEXANDRIA — Gov. Bob McDonnell
has asked Virginia’s state universities to limit their increases to the Consumer Price Index
, or CPI
McDonnell wants to stem the rising tide of college tuition and student loan debt.
The index, calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
, measures the level of price change for consumer goods and services. The CPI is often cited as a measure of the rate of inflation.
“We know in Virginia that 58 percent of students graduate with an average of $23,000 in debt,” the governor said. “We must do everything we can to control operating costs, limit tuition increases and reinvest state general fund dollars in our colleges and universities to reduce the amount of student borrowing.”
The CPI rose 0.3 percent in March and has increased 2.7 percent since 2011. By comparison, The College Board
, a member association that provides college entrance exams, this year reports tuition increases are up
8.3 percent for in-state students; 5.7 percent for out-of-state students, nationally.
McDonnell cited legislation in the 2013-14 biennial budget that invests $230 million in higher education.
“It is my plan to continue to make new investments in higher education in future budgets as the economy improves,” he said. “The more higher education institutions moderate in-state tuition and fee growth, the more likely it will be that I can secure additional state funding from the Legislature.”
The State Council for Higher Education in Virginia
, or SCHEV
, lists 378 institutions
of higher learning in the state, including four-year colleges, junior and community colleges, private, for-profit, out-of-state and vocational institutions.