by Ron Gregory
Charleston — State Democrat Party Chair Belinda Biafore is blaming the Republican legislators for fee increases at the state’s two major universities.
Biafore attacked the GOP for cutting funds for higher education, which she said has already resulted in tuition increases at both Marshall and West Virginia universities.
“As a result of the devastating education cuts made by Republican leadership in the Legislature, Marshall and WVU students are being charged more to go to school. Costs for tuition are rising by hundreds and thousands of dollars,” she said.
“Because the Republicans would rather make massive cuts to our state’s higher education funding to give their big money friends a break, now young West Virginians will pay the price,” said Biafore. “One thing I thought we could all agree on was the betterment of the future of our state and her people, but I guess I was wrong. The hikes go up as high as nearly $1,000 more per semester just so our Republican leaders can keep their political loyalties and do their rich friends a favor or two.”
In the 2018 budget, Marshall University’s funding is cut by 6.7%. Resident tuition at WVU will increase $384 per academic year, from $7,992 to $8,376; non-resident tuition goes up $1,128 from $22,488 to $23,616.
“Our own West Virginians and those who have the opportunity to come into West Virginia are now being further deterred, and will possibly go somewhere else or not go to college at all,” Biafore concluded.