Governor Dave Heineman announced Monday a plan that would freeze tuition for two years at the University of Nebraska and the state college system.
If the governor's proposed plan is approved by the state legislature, Nebraska students attending University of Nebraska schools and schools in the state college system won't see their tuition increase for the next two years — something UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen says is good news for students and the university.
"Maybe families aren't going to have to find that second job for a student to cover these costs, so it's good for the students," Kristensen said. "For the university, this is good news because we now have predictability, it increases our base budget, and we won't have to raise tuition as much in the future because we're going to have this increase in the base budget from the state of Nebraska."
The governor hasn't said exactly where the funds to make his proposed plan possible will come from, but says that the tuition freeze is important to ensure Nebraskans have affordable access to higher education, and to help create jobs in the state.
"Every budget is about priorities," Gov. Heineman said. "I've been willing to make those tough decisions working with the legislature, and we're going to continue to emphasize education and jobs. That's the key to our future — give our young people the very best education we can give them, and then make sure we're creating jobs right here in Nebraska."
The governor's budget request includes a $43 million increase in state aid for the University of Nebraska in fiscal year 2015, which would bring total state aid up to $541 million.
The Nebraska state college system would see a $4.1 million increase, raising total state aid to $49.6 million.
If approved, the plan would save students about $1,000 over two years.