Tighter budget brings financial woes for higher education institutes
This year, higher education institutions may take they may take another budget cut.
At West Virginia State University, anytime Kimberly Osborne prints a piece of paper she prints on both sides. It's one small step the university is taking to save money wherever possible.
"We really want to look at the areas where we can save money without affecting the student contribution," said Osborne, the vice president of university affairs and operations.
Under West Virginia's Constitution public education is protected from budget cuts but post-secondary education is not.
"Generally, there is not enough money for higher education so we're balancing the higher education budget on the backs of our students," said Senator Roman Prezioso, a Democrat from Marion County.
Last year colleges and universities had to absorb a 7.5 percent budget cut. This year, higher education institutions may take they may take another hit. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's proposed budget cuts the budget for higher education by 3.75 percent.
"Instead of replacing a roof, a roof that could use replacement, we're patching when it's needed," said Osborne.
One possibility to increase revenue is to increase tuition. To do that universities and colleges will need to look to out of state and international students.
"As we grow ourselves we want to be an international institution. We want to bring the world to West Virginia and through the portal of the university," said Gorden Gee, the Interim President for West Virginia University.
Additionally, West Virginia is looking to keep in-state students here and then create an economy where more jobs are available for them.
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