Part of the American Dream every West Virginian should be free to pursue is giving their kids a life that is as good or better than their own. In many cases, that includes providing their children a college education.
West Virginia has built some pretty incredible four year institutions, and compared to out of state schools, they provide a quality education at what has historically been an affordable price. Tuition at WVU is around four thousand dollars less per year than even the in-state costs of the the public universities in surrounding states.
The relatively low cost of attending institutions like Marshall, WVU, Shepherd and West Virginia State University gives our young people a strong financial incentive to stay in the Mountain State. But if things keep moving in the direction they seem to be, that may not be the case for much longer. Every year our legislature decides to what extent our colleges and universities will be funded by the state, and then it’s up to the boards of those schools to fill the rest of their budget with tuition & fees. Recently, our legislature has made higher ed funding less of a priority,
In the past decade, in-state tuition at WVU and Marshall has risen by over 70 percent. This trend doesn’t seem to be stopping either. Marshall is set to hike tuition by over three percent next year, and WVU is voting on an additional increase, after this year saw a 5% hike. While inflation is a factor, additional state support to these institutions could help these tuition increases at bay.
In a year where the Governor has constantly bragged of surplus, and the legislature voted to give the coal industry a 60 million dollar tax break, you would think our leaders would have found a way to more strongly support something that could keep the future of West Virginia in West Virginia.