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State Lawmakers Want to Ensure a Tuition Freeze Still Happens

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Earlier this year, lawmakers set aside millions of dollars to freeze tuition rates. They shifted course and unallotted that money when COVID-19 cast a shadow of economic doubt, but now, a move to restore those funds has bipartisan support.

If the bid is successful, several universities and colleges will receive state funds to cap costs.

Speaking at a House budget committee meeting earlier this week, Republican Delegate Kirk Cox encouraged his colleagues to make it happen.

“You’ve pushed this as a core priority, I’ve pushed this, so I’d like to see us do something there,” Cox said.

Democrat David Reid has also proposed a reinstatement.

But faced with an estimated $2.7 billion revenue shortfall, Governor Northam did not include money for tuition moderation in his proposed budget revision.

Meanwhile, some schools have already frozen tuition voluntarily. That’s a relief for Stacie Gordon with the Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust.

She says lawmakers still need to address the financial burden of college costs, especially in these unprecedented times.

“Something does need to be done and we can’t afford to continue to not take action,” she explains.

And tuition is just one part of the equation, she says. Student fees are another.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.