"Everyone took a very hard line on trying to keep (tuition) down as much as possible," Hendrickson said. "There's not any fluff in any of these budgets. ... It's really tight across all institutions."
Vice Chairman Bruce Berry said when commissioners were presented with the budgets this time around, "it was the first time (he) felt like it wasn't boilerplate."
"They could show areas where the fiscal restraints had definitely made a difference within the institution and why they were requesting the increase with tuition and fees," Berry said. "I'm usually one of the ones who votes against tuition raises, but they made a very compelling argument this year."
Kay Goodwin, secretary of education and the arts, and state Superintendent Jim Phares voted "no" on the increases.
Goodwin said her vote was related to the increasing prevalence of student loans at colleges across the state and country - and students' increasing inability to pay off those loans.
"I think that in the very near future we're going to see some of these institutions failing because of their loan default rate," she said. "I'll be voting no, but I'm well aware of the fiscal measures the institutions took."
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.
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