Nathan Stubbs

Bills seek to raise college tuition

by Nathan Stubbs

A trio of bills in the state legislature would allow UL Lafayette to raise its student tuition for the ’08- ’09 school year. The primary measure will come from the Board of Regents’ tuition proposal. As a backup, state Rep. Don Trahan has filed two separate measures, one of which calls on direct legislative approval for a four percent increase to UL Lafayette’s tuition – an increase Trahan says would be covered by TOPS. Trahan, who chairs the House education committee, also has filed a separate bill to give postsecondary management boards greater autonomy in setting tuition rates.

Trahan says UL’s tuition has lagged below the state’s other Doctoral II universities (UNO and LA Tech), in addition to smaller schools within the UL system. “[These bills] would help UL tremendously,” Trahan says. In addition, Trahan has filed a resolution on behalf of the governor to appeal to the Board of Regents to re-examine its funding of higher ed. Traditionally, university funding has been based primarily on enrollment numbers. The governor wants to see other factors, including number of doctoral programs and level of faculty research, to have more of an impact on funding levels.