State funding Cuts Mean Marshall University Tuition Hike

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- While the budget looms over the West Virginia Capitol, Marshall University's Board of Governor's are tackling their own budget.

The board passed four potential tuition and budget proposals on Wednesday, with tuition hikes between 5 and 14 percent.

This is after tuition increased close to 5 percent last year.

The budget depends on how much of their state allocated funding for the next fiscal year is cut by lawmakers.

The proposals were approved by the board with a 14-1 vote. Marshall Student Body President Matt Jarvis was the only vote against the proposals.

"There's not a student on this campus who ever wants anyone to vote in favor of a tuition increase," Jarvis told WSAZ.

Jarvis says it is his role to represent the students and the rest of the board understood his decision.

Interim Vice President of Finance Mark Robinson says the university can no longer make cuts.

"We need to grow our way out of this," Robinson told WSAZ. "We can't cut our way out of this."

All proposals keep the university's operating budget at $119.8 million dollars -- $200,000 more than the 2017 fiscal year.

"It's a bind between a rock and a hard place because you need to provide the services but we can't pass this off to the students because historically higher education is just going up and up and up," Robinson said.

But Robinson says it is the inevitable.

"Now we really have to treat education as a business, just like anything else," he said. "What is the charge that we can pass on to our customers and still bring the viable product."

The university said while these cuts in state funding are hard to swallow, it could have been much worse if Gov. Jim Justice had not vetoed the budget passed by the West Virginia Legislature.

Jarvis says higher education is the future of this state and hopes that lawmakers will look at the funding as more than just a line item.

While some students say they're not sure a bachelor's degree is worth it anymore.

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