2022-23 budget renews tuition freeze

2022-23 budget renews tuition freeze

Aggies at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. (Photo by George Hipple / NCTA)
Aggies at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. (Photo by George Hipple / NCTA)

By NCTA Dean Larry Gossen and the University of Nebraska

CURTIS -  The University of Nebraska budget requests for five campuses, including the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, go before the NU Board of Regents on Thursday (June 23).

NCTA has a separate FY 2022-23 budget of $4.8 million. It and the University of Nebraska combined budget for campuses in Kearney, Lincoln, Omaha plus the University of Nebraska Medical Center, also in Omaha, completes a three-year, system-wide plan to manage the fiscal challenges created by COVID-19 while positioning the university for long-term success.

At a time when families are paying more for gas, groceries and living expenses, the University of Nebraska System will again freeze tuition for all students under a proposed 2022-23 operating budget announced by President Ted Carter. The budget is a strong statement of the University of Nebraska’s priorities – starting with affordable access for students and families who are facing the highest rates of inflation in 40 years.

“As any Nebraska family or business knows, every dollar matters. Families are facing hard decisions these days, and we want them to know that we are doing everything possible to make sure a University of Nebraska education remains in reach for every student,” Carter said.

“That’s why we made a commitment across the entire university system to make the spending cuts necessary to freeze tuition across the board for two straight years. Access to higher education matters now more than ever. If we’re going to produce the workforce Nebraska needs and grow our economy for the future, we need to make certain no student is denied the opportunity to pursue a college degree.”

NCTA budget

NCTA is supported primarily by state appropriations and tuition funds. The total proposal of $4,803,508 is a 4% increase from last year’s budget of $4,620,951. The largest percentage increase in an NCTA budget category is 6% more for employee health insurance. The lowest expense increases of 2.5% are for utilities and general operations.

While NCTA does have a separate budget from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, some student services are provided through UNL for financial aid and student accounts.

Highlights of NCTA’s proposal are:

  • Tuition freeze at $139 per credit hour for all NCTA students (residents and non-residents).
  • Expanded investment in Nebraska Promise, under which qualifying Nebraska students with family incomes of $65,000 or less can attend NCTA tuition-free.
  • A $10 health service increase from $29 to $39 per semester in order to invest toward mental health resources, a key priority for Carter and campus leaders.
  • Semester fee Increases to parking permits from $20 to $25, $7.50 added to activities and printing fees, $3.50 for academics, and $29.50 to student union.

Overall NU budget

NU’s proposed budget limits year-over-year growth to 1.3 percent – well below current rates of inflation and less than the growth of state government overall. And when adjusted for inflation, the university system’s budget has been brought down to the level it was a decade ago, thanks in part to $48 million in cuts from 2020 to 2023. That includes a 20 percent cut in administrative costs Carter has implemented in the NU System’s Office of the President.

His plan announced in 2020 shortly after the pandemic called for back-to-back tuition freezes, significant spending reductions across the system, and targeted investments in strategic priorities like financial aid, faculty competitiveness and building maintenance that would advance the university’s momentum even through a challenging period.

“With this budget, we’re doing what we said we would do,” Carter said. “The chancellors and I knew we couldn’t take the approach of simply ‘waiting out’ the pandemic. The needs of our students, our state and our workforce are too important to hunker down.

“So, we built a plan to put us in a position of strength. We have had to make hard decisions and we have been conservative in our planning, but I’m truly proud to say we have maintained our upward trajectory. Thanks to hard work and discipline, today the University of Nebraska is well-positioned to help produce the workforce, research and services Nebraska needs to thrive.”

The Board of Regents will take action Thursday. The agenda and budget materials can be found at https://go.unl.edu/oijx.

At their August meeting, the Board will consider the University’s 2023-25 budget request to the State of Nebraska.

NCTA Events:

June 23:  Aggie Alumni Annual Meeting, 12 pm CT, Virtual Zoom

June 24:  Critter Corral, 8 a.m.- 2 p.m., NCTA Vet Tech Complex

June 26-28, 28-30: Ag Teachers Boot Camp and Coaches Clinics, NCTA Campus

July 6: Agronomy Youth Field Day, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., NCTA

July 14:  NCTA at NAYI Career Fair, Lincoln

July 26: Crops Field Day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., NCTA Farm

Part of the University of Nebraska system, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture is a two-year institution with a statewide mission of preparing students for successful careers in agriculture, veterinary technology and related industries. NCTA is known for its affordable tuition, high job-placement rate for its graduates, and for the success of student teams in competitive activities including crops judging, ranch horse events, livestock judging, shotgun sports, stock dog trials, and intercollegiate rodeo. The college is consistently ranked as one of the best two-year schools in the nation.

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