By Kelsey Stewart, News Editor
UNO students could see some relief from rising tuition costs in the near future through a two-year tuition freeze proposed by Gov. Dave Heineman.
In the proposal, given early last week, Heineman recommends that the University of Nebraska’s state appropriations increase from its current level of $498 million to $541 million in fiscal year 2015.
The Nebraska State College System’s funding would also increase from $45.5 million to $49.6 million in fiscal year 2015.
The increase in funding would allow the universities and colleges to freeze tuition for two years.
“In Nebraska, we understand that education is the great equalizer, and that’s why education is a priority for me,” Heineman said.
Heineman worked with NU President J.B. Milliken and Nebraska State College Chancellor Stan Carpenter in developing the proposal.
“This should be a really exciting time for UNO and all Nebraska students,” Pelema Morrice, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management and marketing, said.
If the Legislature agrees, the two-year tuition freeze will apply for students attending UNO, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska Kearney, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Chadron State, Wayne State and Peru State for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years.
The freeze is an opportunity to help Nebraska families and provide relief to students. It could help increase enrollment numbers, said governor spokeswoman Jen Rae Hein.
Feedback has been positive, Hein said.
“It’s pretty straight-forward,” she said. “It benefits Nebraska students.”
In-state UNO undergraduates currently pay $196.75 per credit hour. That rate rose about 3.7 percent from the previous year.
Tuition costs increase yearly to keep up with rising costs, Morrice said.
“Students should be proud. It’s exciting that Milliken cares so much about student costs,” Morrice said. “This is a really big plus for students.”