Thursday, April 9, 2015

Louisiana Higher ed officials consider ‘doomsday’ funding scenario: 82 percent cut - ELIZABETH CRISP, the Advocate

Under what leaders are calling a “doomsday scenario,” Louisiana’s public universities and colleges would get about $123 million in state funding to split among their campuses next year — about an 82 percent cut from their current funding level. That’s the budget the state Board of Regents has instructed college leaders to start preparing for, though officials are hoping that the funding outlook will improve dramatically during the legislative session. “It’s just not possible,” Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo said during a recent meeting with The Advocate’s editorial board. To put that worst-case scenario into perspective, the state would spend about $600 per student on direct campus funding. It would spend an additional $267 million on the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, or TOPS, which provides tuition assistance to Louisiana high school graduates who meet certain academic benchmarks and attend college in the state.

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