The trustees of the Vermont State Colleges voted 8-5 Thursday to increase tuition by 3 percent at the state's five local colleges.
Tuition will increase about $280 at Castleton State College, for example, bringing the total to $9,500. Rates at Johnson State College, Lyndon State College, Vermont Technical College and the Community College of Vermont vary somewhat. Tuition at the University of Vermont, which is not part of the state college system, is $13,728.
On average, it costs about $19,524 for in-state tuition and room and board at the state colleges. The total rate at the University of Vermont is $26,120.
The trustees who voted against the 3 percent increase told the Associated Press the state is not adequately funding the state college system, and, as a result, tuition increases are hurting Vermont families struggling to pay for their children's college educations.
They wanted to freeze tuition as a way of sending a message to the Vermont Legislature,which must approve an annual appropriation for the University of Vermont and the Vermont State Colleges.
A freeze would have left the state colleges with a $6 million deficit, according to budget documents from the colleges.
In his budget address, Gov. Peter Shumlin proposed a 2 percent increase for the state's contribution to UVM and the state colleges, but because the increase wouldn't go into effect until January 2015, the boost amounts to 1 percent for the next school year. UVM has requested 3 percent and the state colleges want a 4 percent hike.
Recently state college board members have become more strident about what they perceive as a disparity in funding for UVM and the state colleges. UVM gets about $43 million from the state; while the Vermont State Colleges receive about $24 million.
Eighty-three percent of the roughly 10,000 students in the state college system are from Vermont, and 57 percent are the first in their families to go to college. More than 80 percent of students who graduate from the colleges stay in Vermont, according to statistics from VSC.
About 35 percent of UVM students, or roughly 4,800 students this year, hail from the Green Mountains.
Vermont has the second lowest level of state support per student (roughly $2,500) in the nation.