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Va. Higher Ed. Council: Budget Cuts Put Public College System at Risk

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By Bill Redlin

Federal stimulus funds are helping to hold down some costs for in-state students at public colleges and universities. But when the federal money runs out, the Virginia Council of Higher Education says the system will be at risk because of budget cuts.

The council's report says even with $198 million in stimulus funds the average cost for an education is increasing 10.6 percent this fall.

The council says by fiscal year 2012, cuts to higher education will amount to $400 million, or 27 percent less than what was originally budgeted for the 2010 fiscal year.

The council says the state now covers only 38 percent of the public higher-education system's total appropriations.

Non-state tuition largely covers the remainder.

Thomas Daley, the council's acting agency head, says the council is working to find a funding formula to keep Virginia's higher education system affordable.

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